In my cooking I very often mix and match different styles, tastes and techniques, mainly because I love experimenting, but also because the results can be absolutely stunning. This is one of those adventures – Aussie lamb shanks, seasoned with a wonderful “Three Little Pigs Touch of Cherry” BBQ rub, one of the best commercially available rubs I’ve tried, and then roasted with a pint of Guinness stout (“The black stuff”, as they call it in Ireland).
It’s been a long while, as I’ve been busy with my other projects, which I will be delighted to share with you quite soon. My wood workshop has been made fully operational and I am trying my luck as a hobbyist woodworker.
However, my barbie was not given any days off! So here is a quick and very easy to make pork fillet roll, grilled, needless to mention. And with some extra bacon reinforcement it really is a treat!
Despite its simplicity, this dish has a history of thousands of years. Pilaf, or palov, osh-palov, biryani, pulão… It has known countless variations in India, Balkan, Caucasian, central and south Asian countries, and it’s basis is rice, cooked in a seasoned broth. The usual meat of choice is lamb, but here’s a version of the same dish, but with chicken.
Last two weeks the weather was, how shall I put this, not smoke friendly. So I pulled out my dutch oven, or, to be precise, a bigger brother of a wok, made of cast iron, which can be used on a gas stove top, and… well, there was a cubed beef, potatoes, carrots, onions…. so here we go – braised beef with potatoes, the way my granny used to make it 30 years ago.
Few days ago we were invited to a dinner at our friends… As it was one of those “collectively prepared” meals when everyone brings a plate to share, we were requested to bring the dessert. Making a long story short, my wife pulled few recipes out of her infinite stash of books, cut out magazine pages, notes and God knows what else, and there was this one, right on the top of that pile… As I saw it, I knew it’s going to be the one, and boy, it turned out to be a success!
When I posted this photo on my Facebook page I wrote “burgers and kabobs”. However, since I got quite a few complaints from my Greek speaking friends (and working in a company with a big branch in Cyprus, I have a bunch of those 🙂 ), I decided to give this post a Greek spirit. So, today we are grilling mpiftekia – Greek burgers, and souvlaki – chicken thigh fillet skewers. And yeah, you’ll get extra points if you’re able to actually pronounce those names 🙂 🙂 🙂
Those of you who follow my posts probably remember my origins, roots, if you like, are from Eastern Europe. Generally speaking, Russian, I would say, but being more specific, I was born in Bessarabia, a relatively small piece of land in between Moldova, Ukraine and the Black Sea. Throughout its whole history Bessarabia was a very desired trophy – it’s been conquered by Turks, Romanians, Russians and a handful of others who ruled the land for shorter periods of time… Such a mixture of cultures created a very interesting culinary fusion as well, and Bessarabia’ cooking is heavily influenced by that of the conquerors – Turkey and Romania mainly, but also Russia and Ukraine. So, today I want to show you my take on a traditional Romanian “mititei” – grilled ground meat rolls, as I remember them from my childhood.