Friday, September 10, 2010

A change of pace

Some of you may have noticed that I'm kind of fussy when it comes to food. Okay, that's an understatement. I'm stupidly fussy. But it's clearly genetic because half of my family is the same. And I'm by NO means the fussiest one in the family! Anyway, when it comes to dinners, I'm not much of a meat and vegetables kind of a girl. I tend to stick to a meal that doesn't require a knife and that can be eaten from a bowl. Don't ask me why, I have no idea. Probably because it's easier to eat on the sofa, which is where I eat 90% of my meals...

Anyway, last weekend when I was planning out my meals for the week, I decided I was going to try something different. Something that required a knife and more than one pan. I wound up with this:

And I'm glad I did. I had no idea what I was doing with the meatballs - I just mixed some beef mince with an egg, some herbs, and some breadcrumbs - but they turned out incredibly well. I fried them in a little olive oil, then added a tin of crushed tomatoes, a sachet of tomato paste, a teaspoon of sugar to cut through the acidity, and a teaspoon of garlic. Then I let it all simmer for about 20 minutes.

When it comes to baked potatoes, I usually take the easy option - throwing them in the microwave for 6 minutes wrapped in a piece of kitchen paper. But last night, I had a little extra time, so after I'd microwaved it, I threw it in the oven while the meatballs simmered. It made the skin crispy and the centre light and fluffy. It was like eating mashed potatoes, only not... The grated carrot was steamed with a little bit of margarine for flavour, and the peas and corn were just boiled.

The overall result was pretty impressive for something I wasn't sure would actually work. The meatballs were juicy, slightly spicy from getting overzealous with the pepper, and tasted kind of like meatloaf, but less dry. I might try putting them with rice or pasta in the future, rather than a baked potato. Possibly some risoni - it's the best of both worlds, really!

I'm not saying I'm going to change my habits overnight, and start cooking a multitude of knife requiring dishes. But I'm not going to automatically declare it too much work. Because this really was a cinch to make, despite my apprehensions!

K xx

PS. Having looked at the photo again, I've just realised that the potato looks rather a lot like a bread roll. It's really not... I'd just mashed up the inside with a fork and mixed a little margarine through it...

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