Saturday, 7 July 2007
Stuffed Zuchini and Meat Loaf
As most of you would have guessed by now, I only really have time to cook on the weekends. The wife and kids end up being either my guinea pigs for something new I want to try or they just get to enjoy my tried and tested dishes.
Deciding what to cook can sometimes be difficult. More often than not, whenever I ask the kids what they would like, they end up giving the 'universal childrens answer' - ANYTHING! I remember my mother used to tell me "Theres no dish called Anything."
Since the apple doesnt fall far from the tree, I say practically the same thing to my kids. Anyway, since the pasta that I made for lunch was polished off, I had to cook again for dinner. I was in a rather creative mood so I decided to make Stuffed Zuchinis as a starter.
Something else that some of you may have realised is that I very, very seldom ever follow recipes. Even if I do, it is more as a guideline and I always omit and replace. Anyway, I saw Stuffed Zuchinis on one of the blogs that I've come across on the net and that was basically the inspiration for my own version of Stuffed Zuchinis.
2 large zuchinis (I used yellow ones although I normally buy green ones)
150g Oyster Mushrooms
2 slices bread
2 cloves garlic
Handful of pine nuts
Preheat oven to 200C. Slice the Zuchinis in half widthwise and then lengthwise so you get 4 'boats' out of each zuchini. Scoop out the flesh from inside with a spoon and set aside. In a food processor, chop the oyster mushrooms finely. Remove crust from bread and process in food processor till you get fine crumbs.
Sautee garlic and pepper. Add in pine nuts and fry till golden. Add in mushroom and flesh of zuchini and fry till cook. Season with salt, pepper and chilli flakes. Set aside.
Heat a little oil in a skillet and toss in breadcrumbs. Fry till golden. Fill zuchini 'boats' with filling and top with breadcrumbs. Bake for about 20 mins or till zuchinis are soft. The stuffed zuchinis turned out to be a hit not only with my wife but the kids as well.
For the main course, I made a meatloaf - something simple yet tasty. This wa a favourite meal of mine from my childhood and is basically my moms recipe passed on to me.
800g-1kg minced beef
1 large red capsicum - diced
2 slices bread
3 cloves garlic
1 large onion
2 handfuls raisins
Preheat oven to 200C. Lightly sautee garlic and onion and set aside. Slice crusts of bread then soak in the milk. Mash up with your fingers till it resembles a paste. Season meat with salt and pepper and then add in the onion, garlic, raisins and bread paste. Mix will. Pack meat mixture into a loaf pan and bake for about 40 mins or till done. Overturn onto a serving dish and let rest for about 10 mins before eating.
Michael loved the meatloaf and was doubly pleased when he 'found' a raisin in the meatloaf!