CAJUN MEATBALLS WITH CANNELLINI BEAN STEW
Rustic one-pot meals like this are just perfect for chilly nights. Add a loaf of crusty bread for mopping up all of those juices and you’ve got a real winter pleaser. I’ve used a combination of lamb and pork mince to build extra flavour, but by all means use whatever minced meat you have available.
- 300g each lamb and pork mince
- 1 egg
- 1 cup cooked couscous
- 3 tsp Cajun spice mix (see pg 34)
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, finely sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 stalk celery, finely sliced
- 1 small carrot, finely sliced
- 1 x 400g can cherry tomatoes
- 1 x 400g can cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
- 1 cup chicken stock
- handful fresh coriander leaves to serve
To make the meatballs, combine the lamb and pork mince, egg, couscous and 2 teaspoons of the Cajun spice mix in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Form into golf-ball-sized meatballs.
Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat and brown the meatballs. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
Add the onion, garlic, celery, carrot and remaining teaspoon of the Cajun spice mix to the same pan and cook until soft, 3–4 minutes. Add the tomatoes, cannellini beans and chicken stock.
Gently add the meatballs back to the stew, nestling them into the liquid. Reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for 10 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through.
Serve with a sprinkling of fresh coriander.
Serves 4 / to prep: 15 min / to cook: 15 min / Dairy-free
HOMEMADE CAJUN SPICE MIX
- 1 tsp flaky sea salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
Mix together all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Store in an airtight jar.
BLACK RICE PUDDING WITH SALTED COCONUT CREAM
- 1 cup black sticky rice 3 cups water
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup coconut milk
- 1 cup coconut cream
- 1 tablespoon white sugar
- 1½ teaspoons flaky sea salt
- 1 pandan leaf (optional)
- 1 x 440g can whole lychees, drained
Bring the rice, water and salt to the boil in a large, heavy-based saucepan. Cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes. The rice should be nearly cooked and still wet. Add the sugar, vanilla and coconut milk, and simmer for 30 minutes with the lid off, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens and the rice is cooked al dente. Remove from the heat.
For the salted coconut cream, combine the coconut cream, sugar and salt in a small, heavy-based saucepan. Add the pandan leaf (if using). Bring to a boil over a low heat and simmer for about 10 minutes until thickened slightly. Remove the pandan leaf and set aside to cool.
Divide the rice pudding between four bowls, top with lychees and drizzle with salted coconut cream. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.
TIP: The pandan leaf adds an authentic Asian flavour, but isn’t necessary. You can easily find pandan leaves in the frozen aisle of your local Asian supermarket.
VARIATION: To make this dish beautiful and extra-special, top with some edible flowers.
Serves 4 / to prep: 10 minutes / to cook: 1½ hours / Vegetarian / Vegan friendly, Gluten-free, / Dairy-free
REPRODUCED WITH PERMISSION FROM MY UNDERGROUND KITCHEN BY JESS DANIELL. PUBLISHED BY PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE (NZ). RRP $44.99. TEXT © JESS DANIELL, 2015. PHOTOGRAPHY © LOTTIE HEDLEY 2015