Five Days, Five Easy Meals: Flatbreads topped with minced lamb, aubergine & goat’s cheese

flatbread with aubergine and lamb

I made these last week for supper for two using the left over lamb from the first recipe in this series. It’s a simpler version of a pizza. Instead of laboring over pizza dough to create the base, you use store bought flatbread such as lavash. Top it with anything that suits your mood. Give it a whirl in the oven and serve it piping hot.

Here, I used aubergine/eggplant and goat’s cheese as I thought the flavours melded well with that of the minced lamb. Once again, here’s a step by step –

1. Dice one half of a large aubergine. If you have the time, place the aubergine in a colander, sprinkle liberally with salt and set aside for at least half hour to drain out the excess liquid from the vegetable. This avoids it from absorbing too much oil while cooking and going soggy. Later, rinse it under cold water and use kitchen paper to soak up the excess water.

2. Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan. Add close to half a pound of minced meat and fry until brown and cooked through. Transfer the meat to a plate and set aside. In the same pan, add the aubergine and half a red onion, thinly sliced. Saute the vegetables until they’re softened and start to have crisp edges – around 10 minutes. Add a sprinkling of dried oregano and season with salt and pepper.

3. On a large baking sheet, place two pieces of flatbread next to each other. Divide the meat followed by the vegetables equally between the two. Crumble large pieces of goat’s cheese on top. Drizzle with some more olive oil.

4. Place the sheet in the oven. Bake for about 10-15 minutes. Remove and serve right away.

 

flatbread with aubergine and lamb

 

 

Five Days, Five Easy Meals: Lamb meatballs with Harissa Rice

meatballs and rice recipe

On a few odd occasions, I find I have to rustle up a quick lunch or dinner just for myself. Now here’s a confession – I do not enjoy cooking for myself as much as I do for others. So, often a stretch of imagination is necessary to avoid me from falling for the usual take away suspects! I thought I’d share some of my recent inventions when it comes to easy and quick meals. These can be modified to leave out anything you don’t have right at the moment in the kitchen and to include any other odd bits and pieces of vegetables, meat, etc that maybe lying around. It’s just a way of me trying to inspire you to open that refrigerator door and use anything in there that catches your fancy.

The first dish in this series is for a warming plate of rice made with harissa and tomato paste along with scrumptious meatballs topped off with creamy yoghurt and tart sumac.

easy meatballs recipe

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IFBC 2014 – A Taste of Seattle

local produce Seattle

The IFBC opened on Friday evening and ran through Sunday afternoon. On Saturday evening, we had a ‘Taste of Seattle’ fair  – a showcase of some of the best local gourmet products and food from some of the best restaurants in town. There was a lot going on. There was vegetarian and regular sushi, tuna poke, root beer floats, spiced and candied nuts, and sous vide steaks to name just a few nibbles on offer. All this was accompanied by wine from local wine merchants and even an eclectic fashion designer who fashioned costumes out of mussel shells and the backbones of deer. If  you’re curious at all, the complete list of vendors who were there, can be found on the Foodista website.

food fair ifbc

Food Fair Seattle

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IFBC 2014 – Opening Evening & Sessions

IFBC Seattle 2014

The elevator doors opened and there I was on the fourth floor of the Westin where all the action would take place. Just as I expected, there was a crowd of faces, all strangers – I did not know a single soul! Of course, I could have networked before the conference and exchanged tweets and made friends even before getting to Seattle but of course, I didn’t do that. I wanted to take a slow organic approach to it all (or at least that’s what I kept telling myself).

ifbc seattle goodies

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IFBC 2014 and Seattle – First Impressions

Pike Place market Seattle

We spent the last weekend in Seattle – Peter explored the city while I was busy attending the International Food Bloggers Conference hosted at The Westin. This conference has been bringing together food bloggers from all corners of the country (and some corners of the world) every year since 2009. When we were still living in Europe, I was always envious of people who lived in the US and could easily travel to the conference location. So now that we live in California, this was my chance to experience first hand what a gathering of food bloggers is all about. Conference and air tickets and hotel reservations were all arranged well in advance. All I had to do was to remember the dates, pack my bags and make sure I was there, exciting!

Seattle Washington

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