Wednesday, February 14, 2007
How do you have it?
White or black?
Sugar? How many?

Personally I'm a skim milk and none kind of girl.

But I like a LOT of coffee with that skim.

How about you?

Enjoy this cuppa while I think about the next post. My mate Tony recently gave me a lot to think about, with the writing and such. And now I'm thinking, but not really writing.

I don't expect that to make sense to anyone else.

That's why I'm serving coffee.


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Sunday, February 11, 2007
Greek BBQ Pie Recipe

You know, I'm not so good on actual recipes. You need to see Joke or Kim for that, because they are very good at it indeed.

I'm more of a technique gal. I know enough to know what works, and usually have that sort of channelly feeling in my head when trying something new: sort of an internal humming that says "yes, sumac," or "the powdered oregano, not the fresh, you moron" (yes, my inner chef-channeller can be a rude bitch).

So when, on a recent warm evening, I decided I wanted to use the minced beef in the fridge but did not want to cook indoors, nor did I want to barbeque rissoles again, my inner (rude bitch) chef channeled this one up.

Greek BBQ Pie for five with leftovers

  • Olive oil
  • As much garlic as you can take, smashed with the side of a knife and cut across the grain
  • Half an onion, finely chopped (or not so fine if you don't have to hide it from children)
  • A carrot, finely chopped, and similar for celery, if you have it ( I didn't, and inner chef was cross with me)
  • 5-600grams minced beef (lamb would also serve admirably)
  • one tin of drained cannelini beans, or similar
  • about two cups of stock - I know this may cause shudders but I have a big supply of chicken stock in the freezer and it is so rich I felt it would go with the beef and SO It Did. (capitals for the sake of those who won't drink red wine with fish). Beef stock, obviously, would work but perhaps it would be too obvious?
  • tablespoonful of tomato paste
  • Hoyts Greek Giro mix, see picture above (click on it to get bigger view) or similar mix of greek herbs. Nothing fresh from the garden this time, inner chef said 'no'.
  • five or six medium potatoes, boiled or in my case microwaved in the magic terracotta crock*
  • fetta cheese, in large crumbles

In my case, for the aforementioned climatic reasons, this was cooked in a paella pan on the barbeque, with the hood used to keep temperatures steady. Any old stove top would give similar results.

  1. soften garlic, onion, carrot and celery in olive oil in a wide, open pan
  2. add mince and brown lightly, breaking up well as it cooks
  3. add stock (also wine, I donated a glass) and tomato paste and stir well, adding also the Greek Giro mix or similar.
  4. Mix through the cannelini beans.
  5. Cook down until mixture is growing thick but not dry, it should feel like meat pie consistency so add more liquid if not enough sauce is evident.
  6. thickly slice the cooked potatoes and arrange them to cover the meat
  7. scatter the fetta cheese crumbles over the potatoes and cook another five minutes or so, either with hood down (bbq) or possibly inside oven if indoors - you want the fetta and potato to start to brown without drying out.

Serve, to the acclaim of large husband and small children, at least three of whom will request leftovers for lunches at work and school the following day.

Try to think of clever name and instead come up with Greek BBQ Pie.

Bon appetit



*The magic terracotta crock, as seen in the photos above, does truly extraordinary things to potatoes in the microwave. I live in dread of the day that one of my thousands of children inevitably knocks it to a smashing end, but until then, I can assure you all that you have NEVER tasted a potato unless you have eaten it dry-steamed from my terracotta crock. Mine came from my ex-husband's aunty, a professional potter and the sort of hippy who owns a microwave. Sheer bloody genius.