Meatballs and eggs

Tava Kyabab, meatballs and eggs

This is a quick and easy dish from Azerbaijan, the type of recipe that makes you wonder how good it can be if made with the best ingredients, not the ones I get from the supermarket.

  • 500 g minced beef
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 6 eggs
  1. Mix meat and onions, season with salt and pepper and make 6 meatballs.
  2. Add two tablespoons of vegetable of oil to the pot and brown meatballs on both sides over medium heat, around 5 minutes per side.
  3. Beat eggs and add to the pot. Lower the heat, cover with a lid and cook until set.

Serve it with a tart salad and good bread and you’ll be in heaven.

meatballs and potatoes

Meatballs and Potatoes

This is my one pot take on a dish from my mother’s repertoire. She browns the meatballs, then adds the sauce ingredients, and finishes the dish with fry potatoes. Her dish looks better, by my version tastes as well and it’s a lot leaner (as in lean manufacturing.)

  • 2 potatoes, cut in small cubes
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • Minced veal (around 500 g)
  • 2 or 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Parsley, finely chopped
  • Breadcrumbs, soaked in milk or water
  • 1 large egg
  • Flour
  • Saffron
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Mix meat, garlic, parsely and egg. Squeeze as much water as you can out of the breadcrumbs and add to the previous mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Make small meatballs (you get the the ideal size when you need two happy bites to eat one) and sprinkle with some flour.
  3. Fry the potato cubes in 3 tablespoons of olive oil until brown.
  4. Add onions and fry for 1 minute.
  5. Make room for the meatballs and cook shaking the pot occasionally.
  6. Add saffron, salt and pepper and 1/4 of water. Put the lid on and cook for 10 minutes.
  7. Done.
Spanish Garlic Chicken

Spanish Garlic Chicken

Called “pollo al ajillo” in Spanish, is a dish for garlic lovers who will nibble on the golden bits of garlic with pleasure. Add a green salad on the side and a slice of good bread.

It’s important to use thighs because chicken breast is too dry. Don’t be put off by the amount of garlic because a long sautéing mellows its pungency.

  • 3 chicken thighs cut in 6 pieces each
  • 9 cloves of garlic
  • Bay leaf and clove (optional)
  • Olive oil, salt and pepper
  1. Brown the chicken over medium-low heat. Stir often for at least 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, slice the garlic cloves.
  3. Add to pot once and stir until the garlic browns too. Scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon once in a while.
  4. Add a generous splash of dry white wine or water. If you want to add bay leave, do it know. Scrape. Reduce. Serve.

Cook’s reward: once the dish is done, the spoon used for scraping will have a mixture of garlic and crispy chicken bits of flesh and skin. Use a small piece of bread to grab as much as you can and enjoy.

Tips&Tricks:

  • In step 1, if you sauté for just 20 minutes, chicken will be very tender and juicy but the skin will be kind of gross. If you keep cooking for another 20-30 minutes, the skin will fall off, crisp up and be a thing to die for.
  • Use a free range animal.