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  1. Persian Lamb Stew with Stevia and other Spring Greens

    April 5, 2015 by admin

    Persian Lamb Stew with Stevia and other Spring Greens 18Persian Lamb Stew with Stevia and other Spring Greens 16

    It is spring time so it’s lamb season. I was shopping in the farmers market and got a bunch of stevia.

    Not long time ago there was the Persian New Year –  Nowruz.

    So I was looking for something to combine them all – Persian food, lamb and stevia. I found – Gormeh Sabzi – but I replaced the spinach with the stevia.

    I cooked this dish for some friends, most of them stating that they don’t like lamb at all, but they will taste it not to insult me.

    At the end they ate it all leaving the pot empty! ;)

    So, Happy Nowruz everyone, with a bit delay :)


    Ingredients (about 8-10 portions):

    • 1 kg boneless lamb shoulder- I used a full shoulder which I deboned myselfPersian Lamb Stew with Stevia and other Spring Greens 01Persian Lamb Stew with Stevia and other Spring Greens 02
    • 4 tbsp olive oil
    • 1 onion
    • 4 garlic cloves
    • 2 teaspoon freshly chopped ginger
    • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
    • 1/4 teaspoon saffron
    • 400 g tinned kidney beans, drained
    • 3 bunches steviaPersian Lamb Stew with Stevia and other Spring Greens 08
    • 2 bunches parsley
    • 1 leek
    • 2 bunches spring onions
    • 2 bunches spring garlic
    • 1 dried limePersian Lamb Stew with Stevia and other Spring Greens 13
    • 1 teaspoon chili flakes
    • salt and ground black pepper to taste


    Preparation method:

    1. Cut the lamb meat into 2 cm cubes (debone it if necessary).Persian Lamb Stew with Stevia and other Spring Greens 03
    2. Chop the onion and garlic.
    3. Cut the stevia leaves into 2 cm strips.Persian Lamb Stew with Stevia and other Spring Greens 11
    4. Slice the green garlic, green onions and leek.Persian Lamb Stew with Stevia and other Spring Greens 09Persian Lamb Stew with Stevia and other Spring Greens 10
    5. In a large frying pan heat 1-2 tablespoons olive oil.
    6. Add first the fattier lamb pieces, to melt the lard until they have browned and a bit crunchy.Persian Lamb Stew with Stevia and other Spring Greens 04
    7. Add the chopped onion and garlic and fry them until golden. Persian Lamb Stew with Stevia and other Spring Greens 05
    8. Add the the remaining lamb and chopped ginger and fry them until golden brown.Persian Lamb Stew with Stevia and other Spring Greens 06
    9. Add the leeks,. Cover with a lid and slide into the oven for 1 1/2 hours.Persian Lamb Stew with Stevia and other Spring Greens 07
    10. Heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan and add the stevia, parsley, spring onions, spring garlic and leek greens.Persian Lamb Stew with Stevia and other Spring Greens 12
    11. Fry them for a few minutes, over medium low heat, stirring until fragrant and darker.Persian Lamb Stew with Stevia and other Spring Greens 14
    12. Add to the casserole with the limes, season to taste, then return to the oven for a further 1 1⁄2 to 2 hours, until the lamb is extremely tender.Persian Lamb Stew with Stevia and other Spring Greens 15
    13. Serve while hot with saffron rice.Persian Lamb Stew with Stevia and other Spring Greens 17

  2. Chilli con Carne Recipe

    March 26, 2015 by admin

    Chilli con carne 12

    Ingredients (8-10 servings):

    • 2 kg beef chuckChilli con carne 01
    • 4 red onions
    • 1 bulb of garlic
    • 2 cans cubes tomatoes
    • 2 cans tomato paste
    • 4 cans black beans
    • 1 red bell pepper
    • freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste
    • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
    • 2 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 2 tablespoons chili powder
    • 2 teaspoons thyme
    • 4 tablespoons chili flakes (personally made by me from very hot peppers from the farmers market) or 3-4 jalapeno peppers if you find
    • 2 tablespoons corn flour (best if you have the Mexican one – Masa harina, but I could not find so used regular)
    • 100 ml olive oil
    • 75 g dark bitter chocolate


    Preparation method:

    1. Dice the beef into 1 cm cubes.Chilli con carne 02
    2. Chop the onions and garlic.
    3. Cut the red bell pepper in thin stripes.Chilli con carne 08
    4. Place the beef cubes in a large bowl and season it with freshly ground pepper, salt to taste, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon cumin and 2 tablespoons of the chili powder.Chilli con carne 03
    5. Heat a large cast iron pan over medium high heat, add the olive oil and the meat pieces spreading in one layer. Leave them to brown and caramelize, turning only after the bottom is browned.
    6. Repeat this procedure until all meat is fried, in batches, approximately 4 batches. Remove the beef from the pan and set aside.
    7. Heat some olive oil in the emptied pan, add the chopped onions and garlic and saute for 5 minutes over medium heat until they get soft and golden brown.
    8. Add the chili flakes and saute for another minute.Chilli con carne 04
    9. Return the meat to the pan and add the tomato paste and the diced tomatoes.Chilli con carne 05
    10. Add the corn flour, the remaining cinnamon, cumin, thyme and chili flakes to taste.
    11. Simmer for 1-2 hours stirring now and then, until meat is tender .
    12. Add the red bell pepper stripes and simmer for another 10 minutes.Chilli con carne 09
    13. Add the chocolate pieces and stir to melt them. Chilli con carne 07
    14. Strain the liquid from the black beans cans and add the beans to the chili. Simmer for another 5 minutes .Chilli con carne 10
    15. Serve while still hot with some chocolate crunches on top and some extra chili peppers.Chilli con carne 11

  3. Cullen Skink – Scottish Fish Soup Recipe

    January 30, 2015 by Varga László

    Cullen Skink - Scottish Fish Soup 9

    Cullen Sink is a fish soup from North East coast of Scotland, from the fishing village of Cullen – hence its name, skink is a local word in Scots for soup.

    The recipe’s main ingredients are smoked fish (haddock) and potatoes, with addition of milk and butter for its creaminess.  Its somewhat similar to the American chowder and the French bisque.

    I came across Cullen Skink by watching Heston Blumenthal’s – In Search of Perfection – The Fish Pie Episode. He goes to Scotland in search for ingredients and tastes this wonderful creamy soup.

    Next day, on Sunday evening some friends came over and because of the cold weather from outside I wanted to cook something hearty – a soup or a stew. I had the Cullen Skink in my mind for a whole day and decided to cook it. It was a very good choice, all my friends liked it and one of them, Anca, almost literally licked the pot.

    Because she loves fish dishes and specially sops I promised her to cook soon some other fish dish, maybe Hungarian – Halászlé, maybe Italian – Acqua pazza or Brodetto, perhaps some Asian fish soup.

    Although the original recipe had smoked haddock, I had to replace it with smoked mackerel, not being to find haddock in time.

    So here is my recipe:

    Ingredients (6 servings):

    • 500 g of smoked haddock – I used smoked mackerelCullen Skink - Scottish Fish Soup 1
    • 500 g potatoes
    • butter
    • 3 small onions
    • 750 ml full fat (whole) milk
    • salt
    • freshly ground black pepper
    • 1-2 bay leaves
    • 1 green onion

    Preparation method:

    1. Peel and dice the potatoes into 1 cm cubes.Cullen Skink - Scottish Fish Soup 2
    2. Cook them until soft then mash them and set aside.
    3. Place the smoked fish in a pot, add the bay leaves and enough milk to cover the fish.Cullen Skink - Scottish Fish Soup 4
    4. Bring it to boil and poach the fish over low heat for about 8-10 minutes.
    5. Remove the fish from the milk. Carefully flake the fish removing all the bones and skins.
    6. Slice thinly the onions. Cullen Skink - Scottish Fish Soup 5
    7. Melt the butter in a pan and add the onions. Sweat the onions over medium low heat for about 10 minutes, without browning them.Cullen Skink - Scottish Fish Soup 6
    8. From time to time, add some cooking water from the potatoes to prevent the onions from caramelizing.
    9. Add the mashed potatoes and the milk from the fish pot.
    10. Bring to boil and add if needed some milk until the desired consistency/creaminess.
    11. Add the fish flakes, stir gently and season to taste with salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper.
    12. Serve immediately while still hot, garnished with sliced green onions.Cullen Skink - Scottish Fish Soup 8 Cullen Skink - Scottish Fish Soup 7