Another year rolled by, and I feel like nothing has changed. I still feel like 17 year old, with some gray hair sprouting up and a laughter line or so more.
Thanks goodness, no wrinkles yet.
I was determined to pass the New Year's eve with sandwiches and popcorn this year (as I 'smartly' advised a friend to do the same), but as fate would have it, things changed at the very last moment.
I was on the phone with my mum and she was telling me of the million dishes she prepared for the celebration, so I felt sort of guilty for not doing the same for my husband.
You see, I'm in a big pickle at the moment, with my graduation thesis haunting me in my dreams, another assignment due in 10 days and another 2 exams that has to be passed. Not to mention other issues...
So, at about 4 pm yesterday, I decided to make small fiesta for dinner. Thanks goodness for the defrost function on the microwave!
Our modest dinner consisted of freshly baked bread rolls, quails with orange and honey,peasant style meat, potato salad and Russian salad.
So, I'll start with the starter:
You'll need the same amount of these products:
* Cheddar cheese
* Garden peas (tinned or cooked)
* Carrots (steamed or cooked)
* Potatoes (cooked in their skins)
* Pickled gherkins
Cook the potatoes, carrots and peas (if using the fresh variety) and drain them. Leave them to cool completely. In meantime, cube all the cold ingredients into small cubes.
When the potatoes and carrots are completely cool, cube them as well and put all ingredients together in a bowl. Pour over the mayonnaise and mix gently to bind the ingredients. Chill until needed.
Quails with honey and orange
For 2 persons you will need:
8 rashers of bacon
1 teaspoon honey
pinch of cinnamon
little freshly ground black pepper
Squeeze the orange and grate some zest into the orange juice. Mix the honey, cinnamon and black pepper into the orange juice.
Pat dry the quails with kitchen tissue and stuff each cavity with 1/4 of the lemon.
In a baking tray lay the bacon and put the quails breast side up. Rub some salt into them and with teaspoon pour over some of the orange-honey marinade. (Do not use up all the marinade at once, you'll need to bast them again)
After 15-20 minutes of roasting, baste them again with the marinade and roast them for another 20-30 minutes (depending on the size) or when pricked the juices are running clear.
Peasant style meat
For 2 persons you will need:
300 grams of ground beef
300 grams cubed pork
300 grams tinned mushrooms (mixed if possible)
4 bay leaves
10 black peppercorns
1 glass (250 ml) white wine
about 300 ml water
1 tablespoon flour
2 crushed garlic cloves
1 medium onion very finely chopped
3-4 large pinches of oregano
pinch of cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
2 teaspoons "Vegeta" or "Knorr Aromat" (If you can't find these, use salt to taste)
Some oil for frying
First you have to make little meatballs from the ground beef. Chop the onion very finely, add to the ground beef, put generous pinch of oregano, some salt or "Vegeta", little ground black peper and mix well.
Now it's good time to preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
With wet hands form small balls (the size of a walnut) and put them in a dish or tray.
Heat some oil (about tablespoon or two) in a frying pan and fry the cubed pork. Do not over fry, just lightly brown it. Take out the pork from the frying pan with a slotted spoon and put them into a baking dish.Put the meat balls into the same pan and fry until lightly browned, and again, take them out with a slotted spoon and add them to the pork into the baking dish.
Put the drained mushrooms into the same pan, season with some oregano, add the crushed garlic, cayenne pepper and paprika and heat them through. Pour them over the pork and the meat balls and stir around gently so they mix well into the baking dish.
Scatter the whole black peppercorns and lay the bay leaves on top of the meat and put in the oven for about 10 minutes. Take out the dish and put the glass of wine and return for another 10-15 minutes in the oven. After the wine has evaporated, mix the 1 tablespoon of flour in cold water (about 300 ml) and pour over the meat, shaking the dish gently and return back to the oven.
Leave the dish in the oven for another 20-30 minutes (or until golden brown).
Can be served hot or at room temperature. Leftovers are freezing well for up to 2 months.
For 2 people you will need:
2 large boiled potatoes (boiled in their skins)
1 small onion, sliced
salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon of oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
After they have cooled down, peel off the potato skins and cut the potatoes into medium cubes. Add the sliced onion and season with salt and pepper. Pour over the oil and vinegar and mix lightly so all the ingredients combine. Best served at room temperature.
Enjoy and have fabulous, healthy, wealthy and very HAPPY NEW YEAR!