Sunday, February 17, 2008

Kefta and Egg

Sat 16 Feb 2008

Often what we eat on a Saturday night is dictated by the latest arrival on the food magazine or book front. Yesterday, however, we found ourselves in the position of not having this restriction. So while I was in the shower Andy was able to spend the time browsing our extensive collection of recipes to come up with dinner.

It was Australian Gourmet Traveller September 2006 which came up with the goods: "fresh spring flavours". Well, it's not quite Spring yet but it's near enough (sunny but soooo cold here in Leeds) and the chosen recipe was fresh, light and packed with flavour, while still being warming. The kefta, roast capsicum, egg and coriander actually comes from a selection of breakfast recipes, but it certainly does as a post pub supper. As usual, the recipe below is our version.

First, make your meatballs. Take 300g of minced lamb (your butcher will be able to do this for you - the meat cost us just 90p from Michael Michaels in Butchers' Row) and mix it with one finely chopped onion, 2 cloves of finely chopped garlic, 1/2 tsp each of chilli flakes and mint (this will not make the meatballs particularly hot - the dish had a slight tingle on the lips rather than any roaring chilli heat). As a substitute for ras el-hanout we used pinches of Chinese five spice, ground fenugreek and ground cumin. Add at least 50g of breadcrumbs and finally mix in one egg to bind. The amount of bread crumbs you need will be driven by how easily (or otherwise) the mixture comes together. You need to trust your gut on this one! Season the mix with salt and pepper and make into meatballs. If you have the time and inclination, frying up some of the mix for a taste test pays dividends.

In a large frying pan, heat some olive oil and gently fry up a chopped onion and a finely sliced red pepper. Add as many of the meatballs as will fit in a ring around the edge and brown them all over. Add a tin of chopped tomatoes and cook vigorously to reduce the liquid.

All of this you can do in advance.

When you're ready to eat, make space in the centre of the pan and drop in an egg (or more, if you like). Cover and cook for around 3 minutes or until the egg is done as you like.

Serve on hot plates, sprinkled with chopped coriander and mint and feta cheese. And plenty of sliced bread for cleaning the plates!

This dish looks good and tastes fantastic. As a plus, it looks quite impressive too - so you could easily serve it to guests. We used eight good sized meatballs when making the dish and had about 6 left over. And we felt that pork or chicken would work just as well as the lamb.

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