Slasher Movie Hangover

Souzoukakia (Greek Meatballs in tomato sauce)

It was a big day/night yesterday. Meat pies and sausage rolls for lunch, kilos of chocolate, 2 large bags of potato chips and of course, the obligatory alcohol to go with our ‘Friday the 13th’ movie marathon – 10 movies and I have to admit we only got to number 8 – finishing that at 5am and realising that I was still the only one awake – (the other two had dozed off) – I made everyone go to bed!

So, I’m the Queen of staying up late and sitting through all of mummy’s boy, Jason Voorhees’ kills. However, the most horrific thing about these films is not necessarily all the slashing, mincing and dicing but the ‘acting’. The acting is so poor that these films are borderline some of the best comedies I have ever seen and some of the characters are so unlikable that you just don’t give a shit what happens to them.  In fact some of them are so awful that you find yourself on the side of the killer – egging Jason on – “Oh that asshole needs to die in the most horribly gruesome way!” and cheering for “Good ‘ol Jas” when he impales that obnoxious blonde rich boy on the back of an old man’s truck.

I don’t quite know what this says about the people who make these films or the people who watch and enjoy them but they are fun. We all agreed that we liked Jason best in the later films, where he maintained a steady walk in pursuit of his victims, not the running he did in the earlier films – which is why I’m a much bigger fan of the ‘Halloween’ movies with Michael Myers – the slasher King of slasher movies!

Of course this meant a slow day for me today and a pounding headache. I still had to be up early, so not much sleep was had but I did manage, after dropping my daughter off at work and a quick trip to the butcher, to squeeze in 2 nanna naps on the couch with the dog – she stayed up too but by film number 6 she was well and truly over it as well as out of it.

I managed to grumble something to the butcher about mincing up some beef for me and as he did so, my mind drifted off to various scenes from the previous nights’ gore fest – I imaged limbs and eye balls being pushed and squeezed through the mincer. Combined with my fuzzy head from the alcohol and my queazy gut from all the junk we ate, it took every bit of strength I had to stay upright. But as I was the Queen of staying up late, drinking and watching slasher movies, I knew I had a reputation to protect, so upright I stood, and even managed a smile for the butcher.

I kinda figured that I may as well combine the beef mince I had bought with the pork mince I had defrosted overnight and make a Greek dish called ‘souzoukakia’ (say it as it’s spelt).  I don’t actually know what the literal translation is for this, I just know that this is what they are called.  They’re oval shaped spiced meat balls fried and then cooked in a tomato sauce and are usually served with steamed rice or roast potatoes and salad. We went with the steamed rice. They are so incredibly tasty with all the spices and white wine in them and it was quite good to sit on the kitchen stool, stare off into space and roll them.

Overall I would say that I did rather well today considering I felt like 10 different types of pooh!

Some good shit right here:

Ingredients

Mince

1 kilo mince – I used a combination of beef and pork but you can use whatever you like.

5 cloves garlic

1/4 cup dry white wine

2 – 3  slices thick soaked crustless bread

1 egg

salt, pepper

oil for frying

flour for coating

Spice Blend

4 tspn ground coriander

4 tspn ground cumin

2 tspn sweet paprika

1 tspn ground nutmeg

1 tspn cinnamon

1/2 tspn ground cloves

1/2 tspn cayenne pepper

Tomato Sauce

2 tins crushed tomatoes

1 small onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1/2 cup water

1 tsp butter

1/2 tspn cinnamon and 1/2 tspn allspice

Method

Put all the mince and spice ingredients into a large bowl and knead well. Use your hands for this – it’s the only way.

get yer shit together

get yer shit together

Mould the mixture into small rolls of longish shape and coat them with flour.

shape them nicely

shape them nicely

Not too much flour

Not too much flour

Heat oil in large frying pan and fry until half done. Remove souzoukakia from pan and prepare sauce. Bring the sauce to the boil for 5 mins then turn down heat. Before the sauce thickens, add the little fried mince rolls and allow them to slowly boil on low heat for a further 10 – 15 mins.

Bubbly awesomness!

Bubbly awesomness!

Do I really need to tell you how to steam rice? – No, I thought not!

Serve with rice…Mmmmm…delish 🙂

eat! eat! eat!

eat! eat! eat!

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Make it Chocolate Please!

Chocolate Brownies

Monday is an unusual night for me to get home, cook dinner then bake something. No matter what my head thinks I should do or would like to do, my ass keeps dragging itself (and the rest of me) to the couch. My head kept telling me to go for a run, as exercise has been seriously lacking in my life lately…but my ass said “No!”…  and considering the aforementioned lack of exercise, my ass’ voice is gaining volume by the minute.

As if a chocolate conspiracy had mounted an all out attack on me, my partner casually dropped the “I feel like something for dessert and it needs to be chocolate” bomb and there I was, pulling out what I needed for these delish brownies! My ass it seems, responds favourably to chocolate brownies but not going for a run – funny that innit considering how fast it got itself off the couch and to the pantry!

This is based on a Donna Hay recipe but I used dark muscovado sugar instead of plain brown sugar and added chunks of  dark chocolate to the top of the mixture before baking – as if this wasn’t rich enough!

Damn! I wish I were that rich!

So they were delish and I only had one…and that’s the truth!

Ingredients

250g butter, chopped

200g dark chocolate

1 3/4 cups dark muscovado sugar (or brown sugar)

4 eggs

1/3 cup cocoa powder, sifted

1 1/4 cups plain flour (all purpose flour), sifted

1/4 tspn baking powder

Extra chocolate chunks

Method

Preheat oven to 160C (325F). Place the chocolate and butter in a saucepan over low heat and stir until smooth. Allow to cool slightly.

Place the sugar, eggs, cocoa, flour and baking powder in a bowl. Add the chocolate mixture and mix until combined.

Pour into a 20cm square tin lined with non – stick baking paper. Roughly chop chunks of chocolate, all different sizes and scatter over the top of the brownie mixture.

Bake for 40 – 50 mins or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool slightly in the tin before slicing.

My ass' best friend!

My ass’ best friend!

 

 

 

Where’re The Salada Biscuits?

What’s in my pantry? Well, everything really. I have a food shopping obsession. For the one or two of you who read this post on another site, this isn’t the same post but a version of it. That one I accidentally deleted with no way of getting it back, so I’ve started again – elsewhere! Mine is not a blog whereby I go out and post pics of restaurants/cafes etc although I will do that occasionally. Mine is a home cooking experience with lots of the inner workings of my mind thrown in for your amusement.

My obsession began when I watched Nigella Lawson for the first time, many, many years ago and fell in love with her pantry. She kept saying such things as “Oh I always keep Chaar Magas, Mace & Kasuri Methi in my larder…you know…just in case!” It was the way she said that last bit that made a little voice in my head go: “why haven’t you done that?”

The fear and anxiety this created in me was too much to handle. How was I living all these years? What had I been thinking? Why don’t I bloody well have Kasuri Methi in the pantry? The simple answer to this was that at the time I didn’t know what bloody Kasuri Methi was!…and what the hell was she doing putting Mace in her food…wasn’t that what you used to spray in someone’s eyes if they tried to attack you?

The room spun and voices echoed all around me – all my voices actually – too much to think about. I gathered all my cook books and an A4 exercise book and crammed 6 pages worth of ingredients I may one day need – you know – just in case…damn that Nigella!

I slept soundly that night knowing that my pantry would be healthy, groaning with pleasure after being filled with so much goodness and guilty little treasures and secrets – Good God I was even beginning to speak like her!

I was safe – if war broke out we could live on curry spices – and maybe char sui sause for something a bit different. I am impulsive and could quite easily decide at midnight on any given night to make the best Butter Chicken you have ever had or moreish pakoras or sticky bbq pork ribs…so a full pantry is a must. No way do I want to read a recipe and run my finger down the list of ingredients and stop and scream “OOOHHH NOOOO, I DON”T HAVE THAT!!!” then find tufts of my hair strewn all over the house over the next few days. So, the squid ink sacks nestled between the something else stuff in the freezer and the pantry was full of the smell of cassia bark and cinnamon quills and sugars and spices…

When I moved 3 years later I threw it ALL out!  Thank goodness that silly phase was over. New house and new beginnings. Nothing was ever going to make me go back…stay on the wagon I kept telling myself. And now…Well…Yep, that’s right…I fell off…Big time! I’m right in the middle of the biggest pantry crisis of my whole life. Nothing else will fit in there. So I have filled the fridge and freezer in order to satisfy the urge to shop for food. It doesn’t seem to be working as I’m constantly baking and cooking in order to make room for more shopping. Vicious cycle…Catch 22…stuff…going on here!

My family aren’t too happy right now.  My daughter just wants to be able to find the Salada Biscuits and my partner, he just wants white squishy soft bread with jam. They are in there somewhere. You just need to know where to look. Between the 6 bags of flour and 4 bags of sugar, below the assorted bags of chocolate buttons and to the right of the jars of pickled stuff and containers of oily anchovies…not hard really 🙂

Baking! I don’t bake. Too many measurements and precise instructions going on. It’s a Science and I well and truly failed that in high school. However I have bought so much chocolate, butter, sugar, baking powder, bicarb of soda, cream of tar tar, and sprinkles and baubles and trays that I have been teaching myself to bake. Quite successfully really!

So here’s to food “pantryobsession” and eating frenzies…

Yo Yo Biscuits and Scones…Just awesome!

Here are the recipes and pics…Happy Food Dreaming People 🙂

Yo Yo Biscuit Recipe

Biscuit Ingredients

135 g (1 cup) s.r. flour …(or 1 cup plain flour…your choice…works with either – I used plain)

1/2 cup (60g) custard powder

1/3 cup (50g) icing sugar

3/4 cup (185g) butter

Method

1. Set oven at 180 C

2. Sift flour, custard powder and icing sugar

3. Beat until the ingredients have become a stiff dough (use beater attachment)

4. Roll into balls – approx 1 teaspoon – and place on oven tray. Usinf a fork, flatten each ball a little.

5. Bake at 180 C until a pale fawn colour – approx 15 mins (mine took only 10 mins so keep an eye on them).

6. Cool on a wire rack and join together using the following butter icing mixture.

Icing Ingredients

1/2 cup icing sugar

2 tablespoons butter

2 teaspoons custard powder

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Use the beater attachment to cream all ingredients together. Stop mixer and scrape down bowl to ensure all ingredients have been incorporated

Scones Recipe

Makes

16

Ingredients

  • plain flour, for dusting
  • 3 cups self-raising flour
  • 80g butter, cubed
  • 1 to 1 1/4 cups milk
  • jam and whipped cream, to serve

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Lightly dust a flat baking tray with plain flour. Sift self-raising flour into a large bowl.
  2. Using your fingertips, rub butter into flour until mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  3. Make a well in the centre. Add 1 cup of milk. Mix with a flat-bladed knife until mixture forms a soft dough, adding more milk if required. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Knead gently until smooth (don’t knead dough too much or scones will be tough).
  4. Pat dough into a 2cm-thick round. Using a 5cm (diameter) round cutter, cut out 12 rounds. Press dough together and cut out remaining 4 rounds. Place scones onto prepared baking tray, 1cm apart. Sprinkle tops with a little plain flour. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden and well risen. Transfer to a wire rack. Serve warm with jam and cream.TIPS:  Ensure butter is cold and only use the tips of your fingers to rub the butter into the flour.  Cut the butter into mall cubes and rub in a little at a time. Also, when measuring the flour, ensure you level off the cups so they are not heaped…sifting all dry ingredients together, twice, helps evenly distribute and aerate them. Hope this helps 🙂