Showing posts with label cakes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cakes. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Spinach and cheese “meatballs”

Bolinhos de espinafre e queijo

Who follows me on Instagram has seen some of my lunch dishes: it is usually simple food, quick to put together, so I can make it and eat in on my lunch break. Rice and beans I keep ready at the fridge, so it is just a matter of roasting some vegetables, making a salad or an omelet, or getting meatballs from the fridge straight to the oven. All very quick.

But when I have a little more time, or when I get organized enough on the previous night, I like to make new recipes, food that takes a little bit longer in the kitchen, like these delicious spinach “meatballs”: I had some spinach in the fridge and wanted to use it in something different – on a busy day I would simple stir-fry it with olive oil, garlic and a pinch of nutmeg for a tasty side dish, but since I had a bit of extra time I went to my good old sources for recipes online (Donna Hay, Jamie Oliver, Gourmet Traveller, both Australian and UK Delicious magazines) and it was on the Guardian that I found something interesting. I adapted the recipe slightly and got truly delicious spinach cakes – I am calling them meatballs because I decided to roll them into balls.

I am sure these meatballs would be delicious baked, but since my oven was already full with something else I just grilled them quickly in a nonstick frying pan with a little bit of olive oil. If you decide to bake them, line the baking sheet with foil and brush it with olive oil, because the amount of cheese in these cakes will make them stick on the sheet.

Too bad the recipe does not yield much – the meatballs were gone in no time at all. :D

Spinach and cheese “meatballs”
adapted from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's savory spinach cakes recipe

4 cups (260g) fresh spinach, tough stalks removed, leaves washed, packed
1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
½ medium onion, finely chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
½ cup coarsely grated yellow mozzarella – cheddar should make a fine substitute, or even Monterey Jack
2 tablespoons finely grated parmesan
1 tablespoon cream cheese
2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 egg, lightly beaten – the egg I used was a small one, 50g; I buy organic eggs and sizes vary
salt and freshly ground black pepper

For frying the balls:
2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon olive oil

In a large nonstick frying pan over high heat, cook the spinach in two batches, stirring until wilted. Transfer to a colander. Once cool enough to handle, squeeze very well with your hands, then chop. Set aside to cool completely.
Using the same frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute – don’t overcook or the garlic will turn bitter. Remove from the heat and let it cool completely.

Transfer spinach, onion and garlic mixture, cheeses, cream cheese, breadcrumbs and nutmeg to a medium bowl. Stir in the egg and season with salt and pepper. With damp hands, roll 1 ½ tablespoons of the mixture into balls, pressing slightly to compact the mixture. Transfer to a place and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Before frying the meatballs, roll them into the breadcrumbs. Heat the olive oil in the same frying pan used before over medium-high heat and fry the balls, turning two or three times to evenly brown them – be careful because they are very soft. Serve immediately.

Makes 10-11 cakes

Friday, September 13, 2013

Spiced honey cakes and another TV show

Spiced honey cakes / Bolinhos de mel e especiarias

The best TV show ever made is sadly coming to an end and I felt like finding another addiction to watch. :) I’d read somewhere that “Broadchurch” was good (and then avoided reading more about the show because apparently people can’t write about movies and TV without resorting to spoilers) so that was my choice. Because it is a show with a very short season (only eight episodes) I finished it in no time and yes, it is every bit as good as I’d expected and both David Tennant and Olivia Colman are magnificent on it (note to self: try to find “Tyrannosaur” as soon as possible).

Though considered a no-no, I sometimes like to eat while watching TV and if it’s something tasty even better: these cakes, which are super easy to make (melted butter, no need to wait for it to soften), turned out delicious and utterly tender, and one of them was devoured still warm from the oven while I watched the season finale of “Broadchurch” – lucky for me the episode really got my attention, otherwise I would have eaten another cake right after the first one. :D

Spiced honey cakes
slightly adapted from the always stunning and delicious Gourmet Traveller

180g all purpose flour
1¼ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch ground cloves
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
¼ teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
¼ cup (44g) light brown sugar, packed
120g honey
1/3 cup (75g) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
100ml whole milk, room temperature
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ tablespoons whisky
icing sugar, for dusting

Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F. Butter and flour eighteen 1/3-capacity muffin pans.
Sift together flour, baking powder, spices, baking soda and salt, add sugars and whisk to combine. Make a well in the center, add honey, butter, milk, egg, vanilla and whisky. Whisk until smooth, spoon into prepared pans and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean. Cool in the pans over a wire rack for 15 minutes, then carefully remove from the pans and cool completely on the rack.
Sift with icing sugar before serving.

Makes 18 – I made the exact recipe above, used 180ml-capacity pans and got 8 cakes

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