I loosely based my recipe on the European version described in the book, using the following:
a decent handful of pancetta, sliced into lardons
500g beef mince
2 cloves garlic, crushed
zest of 1 lemon
2 small red chillies, finely chopped
a good pinch of freeze-dried oregano (MUCH better than normal dried herbs, try them if you can find them at your local gourmet store!)
salt and pepper
Mix all ingredients together, trying not to overmix. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to firm the mixture slightly, then roll into small meatballs (about a tablespoon of mixture for each one is good).
Heat a little olive oil in a frypan over medium heat and brown the meatballs on all sides, then turn heat to low and finish cooking through.
Serve your meatballs hot, with any of the following:
- dropped into a chilli-spiced chicken broth with a few soba noodles and some Asian greens
- briefly tossed with a jar of tomato-based pasta sauce and perched atop a mound of spaghetti
- with mash and steamed vegies
- with tiny pasta shapes or rice (try deglazing your meatballs pan with a touch of white wine and throwing the pasta/rice around in this reduced mixture to coat & flavour), parmesan cheese and steamed broccolini - as per today's photo
Caramel-Quince Upside Down Cake
(adapted from the Yoghurt Cake with Syrup from Murdoch Books' Sweet Food)
8-10 pieces poached quince, drained of any syrup
200ml pre-bought caramel sauce, or you could make it yourself if you're feeling industrious (NOT that nasty fake caramel ice cream topping, please!)
185g softened unsalted butter
250g caster sugar
5 eggs, separated
250g plain Greek-style yoghurt
2tsp grated lemon zest
1/2tsp vanilla extract
280g plain flour
2tsp baking powder
1/2tsp bicarbonate soda
Preheat oven to 180C. Grease and line a 24cm round springform tin.
Spread the caramel over the base of your lined tin, then top with the quince pieces, arranging in neat circles so they present nicely when you turn out your finished cake. Set aside.
Beat butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add egg yolks gradually, beating well to incorporate. Stir in the yoghurt, zest and vanilla. Fold in the flour, baking powder and bicarb.
Whisk egg whites until stiff, then fold into the cake mixture. Spoon carefully into the prepared tin, being careful not to move the quinces too much, and bake for 50 minutes or until a skewer tests clean. Cool in the tin for 15-20 minutes, then turn out onto a serving plate so any sauce/juice runs down the sides of the cake.
Serve warm or at room temperature with double cream.