Notes from a Small Kitchen

First up, meatballs. I had intended to make them last night, but Julia was hungry, time was short, the night was cold and the chip shop was soooo tempting.

I had mushy peas with mine and followed up with an apple and a pear. I’d had a banana with my breakfast cereal and salad with lunch so that scraped my five a day. This is important as five a day, which was once sufficient, has now become ten. I didn’t know there were ten sorts of fruit and veg, and until last week certainly had no intention of ever eating 10 sorts in one day.

Getting 10 sorts of fruit and veg into me takes a technique that is closer to loading a cannon than it is to cookery. However, it’s something I will have to work on.

I have a simple meatball recipe. Meat, breadcrumbs, milk, egg and stuff. In this case  the meat was minced pork and the “stuff” was a chopped spring onion and parsley. The milk to dampen the breadcrumbs and the egg all contribute to making a nice, tender meatball. You can do without them, but the end product is more suitable for playing golf than eating.

The bread crumbs may look a bit strange but don’t worry, the bits are just chopped up grains because I used the crusts of a seeded loaf to make the crumbs.

You can season it I suppose but the pork ones always seem to be OK with just herbs. I do season the beef ones a bit, normally using Worcestershire sauce or black pepper. You can also use dried herbs and grated parmesan.

Mix it all together with your hands and roll into balls the size of a walnut (a walnut in its shell, to be precise). Either poach it in a tomato sauce (about 40 minutes) or oven bake for 20 minutes at 180 C, 350 F or Gas Mark 4.

I based the bean burger recipe on one by Mark Bittman that was passed on to me by Laurie Graves.

My recipe was a tin of chickpeas, half an onion, parsley, a good shake of chilli powder, a teaspoon of cumin, an egg, some brown linseed (which was just hanging about needing to be used)  and enough oats to make the mixture dry enough to work. I made six burgers but we will only eat four for tea.

We ate them with roasted vegetables and stir-fried black kale, as pictured in the featured image. They still need a little work but are already much better than the previous recipe I was using and as good as any I’ve eaten recently when eating out.



18 thoughts on “Notes from a Small Kitchen

    1. quercuscommunity

      Yes, kale is good. Spinach, on the other hand, is a waste of time unless used as salad. I started off with a pan of leaves yesterday and ended up with two spoonfuls!

  1. Laurie Graves

    Yay for the Bittman! And thanks for the shout-out! I plan on making chickpea patties sometime this week, and I love the idea of having roasted veggies with them. And that Kale looked pretty darned good, too. Ten a day is a challenge, but fortunately the serving sizes are fairly small. Something to aim for anyway.

      1. Laurie Graves

        Ever since I read your post I have been craving roasted veggies and stir-fried kale. Do you use olive oil and garlic with the kale and stir fry just until soft. And, yes, soups with lots of veggies are great!

      2. quercuscommunity

        I’ve used chilli infused oil in the past and am currently using sesame oil, and throw in a bit of garlic or ginger, depending what I feel like. I try to leave a bit of crunch, but results can vary between chewy and charred. 🙂

  2. Pingback: Notes on Food | quercuscommunity

    1. quercuscommunity

      Yes, dates and prunes are OK, though you then need to watch out for the sugar. I used to make a breakfast compote with dried fruit (apple, prune, apricots, sultanas) soaked in tea. Made it on Sunday and it lasted several days. As usual, I got out of the habit. ight do it again now you’ve reminded me.

    1. quercuscommunity

      Chips don’t count at all. Jam and marmalade don’t count. Chocolate isn’t a fruit despite growing on a tree. The barley and hops in beer don’t count (though fruit juice does). I don’t think this has been thought through properly at all.


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