Tag Archives: chopped

Favourite things

We all have our passions and our favourite things in life.

I think I have always made it clear with all those who know me, that nature and medieval / gothic buildings are close to my heart; my inspiration. It kind of ties in with why I enjoy traveling so much, and why it is one of the few things in life which relaxes me and make feel at ease.

Fact: at least two thirds of my photos on social media cover these topics,  so don’t act surprise on what you are about to read!

When I bought my 300 year old house,one of the things I fell in love with is the courtyard. Although not huge in size, it is very homey and it had one gorgeous tree which flowers so many times a year. It felt like it was my own private garden. I was so happy to have found such a serene and beautiful place.

In the past 3 years, I have kept the yard as green as I could, considering that I work full-time and my gardening knowledge is not the best around. I have maintained and kept alive all the plants which came with the house and added a few new ones too!

Too many times, I have had tea outside, admiring the calm and peace of my safe place. At times, even birds came by.  My little peace of heaven!

bougainvilleaBut this week, the unthinkable has happened. My beautiful bougainvillea tree was snapped from the bottom of its trunk due to the winter winds. And now, I feel like I have lost a part of me. I must say, it has been a shitty start to the new year. The courtyard feels so empty now, and what’s worse is that I have spent three days chopping down this gorgeous healthy, full grown tree. It’s painful that I have to do this; putting it into boxes for the bin-man to take away in the morning.

And for those who think I am being dramatic, imagine that your favourite thing in the world is broken and is irreplaceable. (you will not find the exact replica) How would you feel then?

Cheese-Burger Pie

Today I will share with you a recipe I have conjured while experimenting in the kitchen. I have been sick the past few days, and I thought I needed an extra boost, so decided to make a meat pie. I also felt like eating something a bit more on the lines of junk food, so I came up with the idea of making a cheese-burger pie.

Here are the ingredients I made use of:

For the pastry:
– 250g plain flour
– 110g butter
– 90ml cold water (might not need it all)
– pinch of salt

Mix the flour and salt together in a bowl. Cut the butter into rather small pieces and add to the flour mix. Using the ‘rub-in method’, rub in the butter into the flour. Once this is done, start adding the cold water gradually until the mixture can hold together when pressed. Form the dough into a ball and let it chill.

For the filling:
– 300g ground beef
– beef stock
– 1 large onion, chopped
– cheddar cheese (you can use as much as you want)
–  few pickled gherkins
– mustard (I used german, but you can use your favourite)
– red sauce or ketchup
– salt and pepper

Put some butter in the pan, and once it warms up, put in the ground beef. While it is cooking, at some salt and pepper. When it is half way cooked, put in the chopped large onion and add the beef stock.steffisays-cheeseburgerpie1 Let this cook until the onion is slightly brown and soft. At this point, I added 3 table spoons of red sauce.Once the mixture is less watery, add the chopped picked gherkins and a few drizzles of mustard. You can add more, depending on how strong you like your mustard.
While I left the filling on low temperature, I greased the pie tin with butter, and started to prepare the crust.
Once this was done, I spooned the pie tin with the mixture and added 4 slices of cheddar on top and added some more pepper.
Finally I kneaded the top part of the crust, and added some sesame seeds for decoration.

I cooked the pie in a preheated oven at 180° for about 30 minutes.

steffisays-cheeseburgerpie2

My Pimped up Aglio, Olio & Peperoncino

Today, I decided to take a well known recipe and pimp it up to make it more tasty. It turned out divine and thought I will share it with you. Besides… I have not shared one of my recipes with you for a while 🙂

This can be served as either a main dish or as a starter…

Ingredients (for 2)

  • 200g pasta of your choice
  • olive oil
  • garlic, crushed
  • chili oil  (optional)
  • chilies, de-seeded and chopped thinly
  • mushrooms, chopped
  • butter
  • fine herbs
  • parsley, chopped thinly (optional)
  • spring onions
  • salt and pepper
  • cheese (grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano, optional)

Method

  1. Start with cooking the pasta of your choice according to the instructions on the packet. Make sure that you leave them al dente. Drizzle some olive oil and fine herbs.
  2. Reserve 3 tablespoons of the cooking liquid in a glass on the side.
  3. In a frying pan I melted the butter and sauteed the crushed garlic and soon after, added the mushrooms.
  4. Once golden and not yet browned, I’ve put in the thinly chopped chilies, and added chili oil for the extra hot spice.
  5. Add the reserved cooking liquid.
  6. I didn’t want the spring onions to be fully cooked which is why I added them at this point. I wanted the bits to remain crunchy-ish.
  7. Once ready, add the pasta and season with parsley, salt and pepper.
  8. Toss to make sure that the pasta is covered in the mixture and everything is combined.
  9. Serve immediately with grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano.

20150319 aglio olio peperoncino pimped upBon Apetit!