So you know those weekends where you just feel like cooking up a whole lot of something different but the other members of your family just screw up their noses and say “EWWW, I dont eat that S@#T!” Oh the people in your family dont say that too you? Well neither do mine, but my husband doesnt enjoy my experimentation on the nest of occasions and this weekend i just needed to make something different yet sorted out my husband at the same time…. Soooooo….
I made his favorite mince. Sounds boring right? Well that part was, but the other parts, the ‘different’ or ‘yuck’ [as my husband says] parts were the fun bits, the bits that while might need ‘some’ improvement, are still worth a shot, especially if you are trying to be a little wheat free like me at the moment.
So what is it you say?! What could possibly make mince more exciting?! Well, well well [three holes in the ground] have i got two exciting things for you…
My polenta pastry & my polenta bread, both work magnificently with a good batch of what i call a mexican mince, i guess you could call it chilli con care mince, but im not sure it would classify as a classic chilli con carne!
So first things first
Stuff you’ll need
- Canned Tomatoes
- Tomato sauce, barbeque sauce, chilli sauce
- Basil / mixed herbs
- Kidney beans
- Refried beans (you can leave these out if you like, i just think it thickens the sauce a tad)
How i did it
So basically – make mince…. Fry off onion and garlic, brown mince, season & add herbs. Add canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, bbq sauce, chilli sauce and a dash of vinegar (just add a splosh of each and add more or less depending on what flavors you like). Then add the kidney beans and let the sauce simmer down for about 1/2 hour – 3/4 hour. At the last minute add maybe a 1/4 can of refried beans, not too many or thats all the sauce will taste like [oh and you will probably fart - yes, yes i just said fart - your way to the moon the next day from all the beans!]
Donskies, you could also use this mince for tacos or burritios or whatever, i always just cook up a big batch and freeze it so that husband has something to eat when he doesnt feel like cooking!
So now that the mince is made lets get to making the FUN stuff!
Stuff you’ll need
- 1 cup polenta
- 100grm cold chopped butter
- 1 egg yolk
- ice cold water
- dusting of flour
- Some of the mince you just made
- Mix of tasty and Parmesan cheeses
If you have ever made pastry, basically you are just making pastry with polenta instead. You could either make the pastry in a food processor by crumbing the polenta and butter, then adding the yolk and water until it forms a dough, or by hand basically with the same technique.
Once you have formed a dough flour a bench (if you are completely wheat free, obviously use wheat free flour) and gently kneed the dough until some of the flour is through it and it has come together without being too dry. Flatten to a disk and refrigerate for about 1/2 hour.
Remove from the fridge and roll to a thin sheet, now as you can see my technique needs much practice and i think next time using the same pie dish i would make more dough to make it easier. So once rolled out place over a pie dish, it is obviously way better if your pastry doesnt rip like mine did, cause as you know patch jobs on pastry just dont work – dont believe me? Check out the images! (still tasted just as awesome though)
Ok so once you have been successful in putting the pastry in the dish, refrigerate for about 1/2 hour. Pre heat the oven to about 180 deg cel. Once chilled, blind bake the pastry for about 20 minutes then remove from the oven, place some of the mince inside, sprinkle some cheese on top and place back into the oven until the mince is warm, crust golden brown, and cheese nice a grilled…
CAREFULLY remove from the pie dish, the pastry is quite delicate… And Enjoy, maybe with a side salad or a side of salsa with tomatoes cucumber onion and avocado…
Want more?! More you say more?!
Well i have more, yes i do… What on earth are you going to do with all of that left over mince? Or the next day when you really dont feel like cooking, what do you do? Well you have polenta in the cupboard, you have the mince, you have the cheese… So lets make…
Mexican Mince & Polenta Bread
Recipe taken directly from here
Stuff you’ll need
- 2 cups polenta
- 1/2 cup boiling water
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons canola or other vegetable oil
- 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
How i did it
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Oil a baking pan [i used two small round spring form pans, i guess you could use whatever you like, a loaf pan etc, just adjust the cooking time accordingly] and set aside. In a medium bowl, stir together 1/2 cup of the cornmeal and the boiling water. The cornmeal will become mushy and then stiff. Set aside.
In a large bowl, sift together the remaining 1 1/2 cups of cornmeal, the sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
Beat the egg into the cornmeal mush and stir in the oil. Whisk in the buttermilk to make a thin batter. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients, whisk just until the batter is smooth, and immediately pour it into the prepared pan.
Bake until the center of the cornbread is slightly rounded and firm and the edges are golden brown.
Once the bread was cooked i let cool slightly before removing from the pan, and then slicing using a bread knife.
To serve i heated a pan, melted some butter and fried the bread on both sides. Serve with the mince and a little cheese… Nomnomnomnom NOMMY!
Have you ever just fallen to the floor in a heap? Fell to the floor so hard that it almost feels like you have lost complete control of you body and mind, that you somehow cannot control what you are doing how you are feeling? Have you ever felt like there is no escape, that no matter how many times you cry, no matter how many times you scream the pain away, that there is just no escape.
Have you ever just lost it, lost it so much so that the pain feels like it just wont break away from your heart? That no matter how hard you push the tears, no matter how much you scream that pain, that ache that runs so deep, it just wont get out.
Have you ever felt like your happiness is being held captive by the demons of your past? Like no matter how much you wanted happiness, no matter how much you want to be whole, to be better, to finally hold a real smile on your face, something inside of you just wont let go, something inside of you, the pain inside of you just wont let you?
Have you ever looked up to the heavens screamed out in pain, wished hoped, prayed that somehow it would all get better? Have you ever just wanted to be whole, just for a moment, just so you could know what it was like to be normal?
I have, too many times, I have.
But I know that soon, someday soon, the demons inside of me, my past will finally be forgotten and forgiven, and soon, soon I will be whole…
Day 332 in my miracles life
Recently i have come across the phenomenon that babies just ‘know’
How do they ‘know’ you are sneeking out of the room so quietly not even a mouse would have heard you… When they are back fast asleep after waking in the night, but then the second you move away from the cot, no matter how quietly – they just ‘know’ your leaving them… Its a strange concept to me – almost like a physiological connection between my child and me, which to me is a very new concept, and in all its amazing-ness and wonderful-ness in part scares me just a little.
I was upset the other night, not just normal upset, but i was breaking down, i was emotionally not who i am, i was hurting and nothing seemed right… As i cried on the floor as if she just ‘knew’ my daughter began to cry as well… She cried a new cry, a cry i hadnt heard before, and no matter how much my husband tried to calm her, he just couldnt, and when i couldnt stand to hear her cries through my own anymore i found all the strength i had inside of me to console her, and as i calmed down so did she.
But the remarkable part about the evening, wasnt that she cried when i cried, but rather when my heart began to race, as did hers, when i felt my anxiety coming up again, so did hers. Maybe it was becasue i was holding her, maybe it was because for every action there is a reaction, i am not sure, but latley i have realised that my behaviours, my emotions are being passed so strongly onto my child that it scares me.
I know that my mind is not right, i realise now that i am in somewhat of a dark hole, trapped in a tunnel with no light, trapped in my own sad past, but the other night, knowing that my child is sensing my pain, almost feeling what i feel, it made me realise more than ever that i need to get healthy for her, i need to be stable for her…
Because heaven forbid she should feel the pain i am feeling right now.
I didnt know that i wasnt meant to feel this way.
For a while i thought this was normal.
I thought i needed to talk to someone because my heart was hurting and my husband just didnt understand…. But i thought that i was ok, i thought that the other emotions were part of life, i thought… I didnt think that… I didnt realise that…
It didnt cross my mind that i could be depressed, that i could be suffering from anxiety… But the doctor, she says that i am and now it all makes sense…
The tears over my morning coffee, the screams of emotional pain that come out after running until i cannot breath, the tension i feel when nothing is right or when everything is right… My hear racing in the car as im stopped by another red light, the lists of things to do and things i must not do, the constant battle i feel with myself and my weight… Falling to the floor in anger after a fight with my husband – screaming at him simply for a hug, punching the tiles, the fear in my eyes, the hurt in my heart, the pain as i sob on the floor wishing with everything inside of me that my mother was there to pick me up of the floor, that someone anyone would just tell me it will be ok…
I am struggling, everyday, others may not see it – i do well with a smile… But when i am alone, at the end of the day before i fall asleep… Its just not right, i can see now that it is just not right.
I want my mum, i want a mothers love, i want to know what it is like to be loved by a mother…. To have a family, to feel a part of something special.
Because right now i feel alone, so alone.
I have everything, yet i have nothing.
Right now i live for my girl… But i want to live for more.
Day 328 in my miracles life
I just cant help myself, she is the most beautiful most precious girl in the world…
Sunday nights, they are the killer for me, all i want on sunday night is one last treat before the week ahead begins… This week [and hopefully next week too] i have been attempting even over the weekend to stay wheat free, dont ask me why, not sure, trying to loose the kilo i managed to gain last week, but whatever the case i came up with this little dish that while my presentation and photography skills definitely need work [can you tell its not my thing?] really did taste uber yummy!
Veal Rolls with Broad Beans & Leek
Stuff you’ll need
- 400-500 grams veal schnitzel [not crumbed]
- Bocconcini Cheese
- Olives, pitted and sliced
- Sun dried tomatos
- Broad Beans, peeled
How i did it
First slice the bocconcini, olives and sun drieds. Lay out a piece of your meat and season, then at the top end lay a few slices of the sun drieds and olives with some of the bocconcini.
The next part was a little fiddely but not too tricky in the end slowly roll the meat over the filling and into a nice tight roll, pushing the ends in as you roll – so that when the meat cooks the filling will stay inside.
Repeat the rolling process for all of the meat slices – we had about 6 pieces of meat, but they were pounded quite thin by the butcher.
Once the meat is rolled, place a few breadcrumbs on a plate and season with salt and pepper – you could leave this step out, but it does create a nice crust and help to hold everything together! Roll the veal rolls in the crumbs [rollin, rollin, rollin rolls... lol]
Heat up a dash of olive oil in an oven proof pan, place the veal in the pan and fry for a few seconds on each side so as to get a nice crust. Make sure you are not cooking the veal too much as we want to finish it off in the oven [opps did i forget to mention that you need to preheat the oven to about 180?]
Once the veal is sealed on all sides, place in the oven for about 5 -10 minutes, make sure you dont over cook the veal, tough veal is gross – just saying…
While the veal is cooking, cook the beans in the microwave, make sure you dont over cook them or they go squishy – they still need to be firm. Slice the leek and fry off in some oil, season to your liking, then when the beans are cooked add them to the leek and if your feeling naughty [which i was] add a knob of butter just before you serve.
Once the veal is cooked to your liking [or a little under] remove from the oven and let rest for a jiffy.
Serve with the beans & your ready to enjoy your feast!