For May’s Play with Food cooking challenge, I have found & put my own twist on a beautiful dinner recipe for the family using celeriac.
Beef Meatballs & Celeriac
Flavoured with mild middle eastern tastes, this stove top meal is enough to feed 2 adults and 2 kids. Best served with rice, cous cous or flat breads.
250g Beef Mince
1/2 Medium Sized Zucchini, Grated
100g Bread Crumbs
1/2 tsp Allspice
1/2 Medium Brown Onion, Finely Chopped
5 Sprigs of Flat Leaf Parsley, Chopped (+ extra for garnish)
Olive Oil (for coating pan)
Salt & Black Pepper (as required for seasoning)
1/2 a Bulb of Celeriac, Cut into Batons
2 Cloves of Garlic, Crushed
½ tsp ea Ground Turmeric, Cumin and Cinnamon
1½ tsp Fennel Seeds
¾ tsp Smoked Paprika
500ml Chicken Stock
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp Greek yoghurt
In a large bowl, use your hands to mix the beef, zucchini, onion, breadcrumbs, parsley, egg, allspice, half a teaspoon of salt and some black pepper. Form into elongated meatballs. Squeeze with your hand around them to leave bumps which helps add crispy textures to the finished dish.
Heat the oil in a large pan (that has a lid) or a tagine, and sear the meatballs all over for about five minutes in total. Remove the meatballs before adding celeriac, garlic and remaining spices to the pan. Cook on high heat while constantly stirring for two minutes. Return the meatballs to the pan and then add the chicken stock, lemon juice. Season with salt and black pepper. Bring to a boil, turn down the heat, cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and leave to bubble away for 10 minutes more, until the sauce is quite thick.
Remove the pan from the heat and let it sit for a few minutes to settle. Taste, season as necessary and serve topped with a dollop of yoghurt and a sprinkling of parsley.
January was off to a great start with fresh chives. February wasn’t too bad with eggplant. March was a bit more difficult with figs. However, April yielded nothing for cumquats!! I couldn’t find any, let alone develop a recipe I was happy to publish here.
I didn’t want to admit complete defeat so I decided to see how substituting mandarines would be into a recipe I planned on using for cumquats. I made a spice rubbed chicken dish with a mandarin & lemongrass sauce for lunch. It was very loosely based on a Martha Stewart recipe that you can find here. I think I got onto too much of a “substitution” roll & eventually my dish was nothing like Martha’s!
What my toddler did like was using a light rub of ground coriander & turmeric on the chicken thigh (let that sit in the fridge for at least an hour before pan frying it).
The mandarin lemongrass dressing was not loved by my daughter but she did eat rice and chicken that had some lightly drizzled on it. My version cut out lots of the sugar, strained out all of the mandarin and I added a teaspoon of soy sauce. It would make a healthy substitute for a greasy take-away lemon chicken. The citrus pairing with chicken was ok but I know it’s not a pairing we often have in our household.
On the other hand, a big hit today was my pumpkin & sultana scones. I like to make my scones a bit more moist than most & bake them in a large circular slab. This way you can’t dry them out too much of you leave them to bake too long. You also get wedges of scone which means that you can serve to the size of your appetite. Savoury & sweet scones are great to use up left-overs & then freeze for after school snacks (see my post about afternoon snacks here!)
I have been wanting to hone my scone recipe because I think it serves as a great base for some poached fruit & ricotta. I was hoping I could feature a poached cumquat recipe here this month to enjoy with scones. Oh well! If I see them available later on in the season, expect to see a belated post!
Play with Food run fun, interactive healthy eating programs for children.