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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Mussels in White Wine Sauce (Moules Mariniere) | You've Got Meal!

Mussels are one of our favorite choices when we want to cook seafood in the Youvegotmeal! kitchen, and for obvious reasons. They’re delicious, light, easy to cook and look great at the table. 

Unfortunately, when dealing with fresh mussels the most difficult part is cleaning them, but you can’t skip this part, especially when you’re using them whole. Scrub the mussels with a wire wool and make sure to remove the “mustache” or “beard” of the clam, meaning the algae that sometimes hangs from inside the mollusk.

 Cooking the mussels in some white wine sauce is one of the classic ways to do it and I’m sure you can find dozens, if not hundreds, of variations of this dish on-line. The concept is a simple one, and we made best with ingredients at hand:

  • 1,5 kg of whole mussels, 
  • 1 medium onion, 
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, 
  • some nice dry white wine, 
  • coriander, 
  • parsley, 
  • salt, pepper,
  • olive oil, 
  • cooking cream

  • First of all separate the leaves and stalks of your greens. The idea is to use the leaves, that are more tender in the end of the cooking process and the stalks from the beginning. 
  • Bind the stalks of coriander and parsley with some string in order to easily remove it later – you can also add some lemon thyme springs to the coriander and parsley stalks and create a very nice bouquet garni. 
  • Next, start  cooking the finely diced onion and garlic cloves in the hot oil, on medium heat, for 3 minutes, with the stalks in. 

  • Add the wine, about 100-150 ml, bring to a boil, kick the heat up and pop the mussels in. 
  • Cover the pan and let the clams open in the wine steam for 4-5 minutes- throw away any mussels that don’t open. 
  • Remove the top, add some cooking cream for color (about 50 ml) with the parsley and coriander leaves. 

Serve the mussels with some crunchy bread and the rest of your white wine.


Sunday, February 23, 2014

Broccoli and Anchovies Tagliatelle | You've Got Meal!

This recipe is about using some of the most common items in your pantry, in order to create a super simple and easy to cook fresh pasta recipe that is sure to give you a lift after a hard day’s work or accompany a nice glass of Pinot Grigio for brunch.

The ingredients are: 

  • Tagliatelle, of course (home made from 200 grams of flour and 2 eggs, quantities that make enough for 3), 
  • 8-9 anchovies fillets, 
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, 
  • 400 grams of broccoli florets, 
  • about 100 grams of red pepper (we used the Kapia for this because of the shape), 
  • 50 grams of capers, 
  • the juice from half a lemon, 
  • salt, pepper, chili flakes,
  • fennel leaves or parsley for garnish

We talked a lot about homemade pasta in past posts, and we most certainly hope that you guys give it a try because it’s definitely worth the extra effort. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil; it should be big enough to give both the pasta and the broccoli room to boil. I suggest starting with the sauce (if you can call it that) after the water starts boiling as it takes very little time and you want the pasta done in time. So, in heavy base large frying pan, heat up some olive oil on medium heat and pop in the sliced peppers and anchovies, cook them until the fish dissolves in the hot oil, it will take about 3 minutes. Again, keep in mind that you need to synchronize your pasta with the anchovies very well. 

For the homemade tagliatelle the cooking time was about 5 minutes, so we added the pasta to the water at the same moment as we started cooking the fillets. So, next, add the garlic and capers in the oil and cook for 1 minute. At the same time pop the broccoli in the pasta water and cook the vegetable and the tagliatelle for 1 minute – you want to sync the capers&garlic with the broccoli. After that, use whatever kitchen tool you need to remove the broccoli and pasta and put them in the anchovy pan. Mix the ingredients well so the tagliatelle are covered by the anchovy flavored oil. Remove from heat and sprinkle the lemon juice on the whole thing, feel free to add more if you find it necessary. For garnish you can use some parsley leaves, but we went for some fennel.


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Chicory, Green Apple and Mozzarella Salad | You've Got Meal!

Simple and healthy croutons salad idea. A recipe using endives, apple and Mozzarella. Perfect lunch/light dinner salad or as a starter.

Can’t believe that it took us so long to actually make a post about this dish. We’ve been making it for the past couple of years and we got the recipe from either Jamie Oliver or Good Food, can’t quite remember who we have to give credit.

Nonetheless, it’s a great salad, full of crunch, flavor, and it’s so light that you can use it as a starter to a longer meal. 

You’ll need:
  • fresh mozzarella (for 2 generous portions we used 2 balls with roughly 150 grams each), 
  • 1 rather tart green apple (Granny Smith), 
  • 2 medium sized chicories (or endives, if you know them by that name), 
  • a couple of slices of bread, 
  • salt, pepper, 
  • olive oil, lemon juice. 

  1. Just roughly chop the endives – by the way, the salad looks better if you can find and use both red and yellow - tip types, and cube the bread. 
  2. Heat up some olive oil on medium high heat and stir-fry the chicories for 2-3 minutes, remove from the pan and set aside. 
  3. Next, in the same pan add the bread croutons, splash a small amount of olive oil on top and cook them until they are slightly crunchy and browned all sides.
  4.  Meanwhile, cut or break the cheese in any way you like, dice about 1 quarter of the apple per portion and add it to the mozzarella. 
  5. Make a vinaigrette of 1 part lemon juice/ 3 part olive oil, salt, pepper and pour it over the endives, apple and mozzarella. After that, pop in the croutons and mix well.

The next part of the recipe is optional, but we definitely recommended it: open your very well chilled bottle of Prosecco, pour yourself a tall glass of the bubbly and enjoy this great salad that will make you love it at first taste.


Saturday, February 15, 2014

Fish Roe Salad | You've Got Meal!

This has to be one of the best and easiest to make appetizers out there, but it can have an acquired taste for some people – you are eating raw fish eggs in the end. There are a lot of possibilities from which to choose when deciding what type of fish’s roe to use, and for the recipe we went for pike. In my book, pike roe is in the top half, alongside trout roe. I like the fact that it has a medium granulation and the texture is a lot smoother than other types of roe that you could use for salad, like carp or hering. I’m pretty sure this is a well known fact, but the roe you use in salads are not the fresh ones, they are preserved with salt and plenty of it, so keep that in mind.  


  • 50 grams of pike roe, 
  • vegetable oil (make sure you use a bland oil, without a very strong flavor), 
  • lemon juice, 
  • a small onion, 
  • soaked bread (optional). 

Making the salad is a very similar process to the way you make mayo, it’s about adding periodically small amounts of oil and incorporating it into the roe. You can either use a fork and work out in the kitchen using your hands to mix the salad, or plug in the hand mixer on a low speed, it’s up to you. 

For about 50 grams of the roe we used about 100 rams of sunflower oil. We like to start by just mixing the roe without any other ingredients, in order to break some of the eggs, but not all of them -  they give a nice, pearled look to the dish. The amount of lemon juice you add is up to you, same as the moment you add it to the salad (we do that at the end).

The idea behind the use of the soaked bread is to create volume and to cheat about the amount of salad you make. You need to soak the bread in water, drain really well and incorporate it in the salad so there aren’t any lumps (don’t use crust for this). Finely slice the onion and incorporate it in the salad. You can choose to grate it if you’re not going for the crunch factor, but make sure you drain the onion really well then.

So that’s it, easy fish roe salad. For me, this always reminds me of 2 things:  Mrs. G.'s mother, who makes some great hering roe salad, and the taverns in Greece, that served this as antipasti alongside some Retsina wine. So, what about you guys, any thoughts about the dish or recipe?


Friday, February 14, 2014

Sticky Ribs with Goose Fat Fries | You've Got Meal!

Ah, sticky ribs, the reason God gave you fingers. And there you go. Enjoy! Just kidding, Mrs. G says I have to give you guys the full details of the recipe. Not that I wouldn’t have done that, but I think I mentioned before I’m kind of lazy. 

The main idea of the whole meal is to enjoy a Friday night sticky, greasy, delicious dinner made of some oven baked ribs, some potatoes cooked in goose fat, everything balanced by some crunchy and tangy salad leaves with beets and pumpkin seeds. 

The ingredients we used: 
  • 3 single ribs, about 100 grams each (makes it easier to cook), 
  • some potatoes, preferably new, 
  • salt, pepper, 
  • thyme, oregano, smoked paprika, 
  • ketchup. 

For  the salad we had some crunchy iceberg leaves, with some radicchio rosso, an oven cooked small beet, cut into sticks, pumpkin kernels, salt, pepper, olive oil, lemon juice, red wine vinegar and a tsp. of some not very strong mustard.

I find that cooking ribs has a positive effect on my mood, maybe because of the delicious smell of grease and condiments melting away into something great. Despite that, it has a definite negative impact on the look of the kitchen, especially if you pan sear it. So, I like to slow cook the ribs in the oven, in an covered tray until the fat melts and the meat gets nice and tasty.

  1. Start of by rubbing the meat with the dry condiments and some salt. 
  2. For the next step, you can choose to use a tray with a grill on top, so the fat will melt and fall into that, or you can place the ribs straight in an oven tin, in which case the fat will melt and the ribs will also cook in it. 
  3. We went for the second, mainly because I find that cooking meat in fat of any kind makes it really tender and elevates the taste. 
  4. So, we covered the tray with some tin foil, and cooked the meat for 80 minutes on a medium low heat, turning the ribs half-way and covering back the tray with tin foil. 
  5. In the last 10 minutes, remove the tin foil and brush the ribs with some ketchup or barbeque sauce. Turn up the heat and cook in order to create a glaze.

Meanwhile, you can cook the spuds by, you’ve guessed it, frying them in goose fat. Start of by cooking them on high heat for a couple of minutes, in order to get some color, then reduce the heat to medium and cook for around 15-20 minutes, until you get a golden brown color on all sides.

The salad helps the meat and the potatoes tone down on the fatty note. Just make a vinaigrette with the juice of half a lemon, 3 tbs. of olive oil, 1 tbs. of red wine vinegar, 1 tsp. of mustard, salt and pepper. Mix the result with the salad leaves of your choice – choose some crunchy ones, the beet and pumpkin seeds.
This meal, that you’ve just got – pun intended, screams for some Cabernet or a nice, red ale, so take your pick with the alcohol.  A full, heart meal that can get you ready for a lazy weekend at home, perhaps in the company of some chicken wings? Because that’s the second reason God gave you fingers.

Guys, we try and give you in every recipe we post here our honest and explicit experience with food, and any feed-back or tips for further improving any dish is well appreciated. So feel free to comment, criticize or like any post here, can’t wait to be hearing from you!


Sunday, February 9, 2014

Shrimp Ceviche | You've Got Meal!

I remember the first time we saw ceviche being made we were a bit amazed by the simplicity and the flavours that were involved, so we decided we should give it a try. For us, ceviche works great as an appetizer or starter to the meal, as the tanginess and the zing of the lime combine with the light touch of the seafood can get things started for heavier meals. We decided to use shrimps in our ceviche, but you can also use fresh fish, emphasis on the fresh part – you won’t be cooking with heat so this part is important in order to avoid any intestinal problems after. 

Let’s talk ingredients:  

  • 12 medium shrimps, 
  • fennel, 
  • radicchio, 
  • avocado, 
  • coconut, 
  • salt, pepper, 
  • the juice of 2 limes 
  • 1 lemon.

We boiled the shrimp for 2 minutes then popped them in ice water, but you can choose to use them raw. We just wanted to play it safe on our 1st try on the ceviche. So, clean, devein and remove the shrimp tails and put them in the citrus juice for about 45 minutes, alongside the salt, pepper and the thinly sliced fennel. And that’s it, nothing more.

Put some finely sliced radicchio on the bottom of a glass, some fennel and avocado on top, and 3 shrimps per portion. Use 4-5 tbs. of the lemon juice for each glass and mix it with the water from 1 coconut – it will just add a hint of flavor without taking the dish off course. Pour some juice on in each glass and you’re ready to impress your party guests. A great addition to the dish could be a touch of heat from a chili or some fresh coriander leaves, take your pick.

We paired the ceviche with some well chilled Sauvignon Blanc that worked great with its mineral, citrusy, grassy touches.  


Thursday, February 6, 2014

Homemade Pizza- 3 Amazing Versions + Pizza Dough Recipe | You've Got Meal!

I honestly think that fast food has gained a far too bad reputation than it deserves. Pizza, hamburgers, kebabs, fries, all these food industry bad boys can be redeemed with just a little ingenuity and effort into some great tasting healthy meals. From all the choices, pizza is my favorite for cooking at home. It’s simple, delicious, let’s you combine a lot of incredible flavors and, if you make your own dough, it gives you that rewarding feeling that you get when baking.

In this case, I used the recipe for the dough from the Jamie Oliver site, except I halved the quantities he suggested, meaning I used:
  • 500 grams of 000 flour, 
  • 7 grams of dried yeast (that’s basically a small dose that you can buy individually), 
  • 1 tbs. sugar, 
  • 1 tsp. fine salt, 
  • 2 tbs. olive oil, 
  • 325 ml of warm water. 

  1. Sieve the flour in a large, deep pan (I tried doing this on a work surface but I ended up making a giant mess in the kitchen), add the salt. 
  2. In a separate bowl, mix the yeast with the sugar, olive oil and the warm water. 
  3. After leaving the wet mixture sit for a couple of minutes, pour it in a well in the middle of the flour and start bringing in the sides into the middle, gradually. 
  4. Use your hands to knead the dough until you get a nice, smooth and elastic result. 
  5. Next, put the dough in a well floured bowl, cover it with a damp cloth and let it rest in a warm room without a draft source for an hour – it should double in size. 
  6. The resulting dough was enough for 3 pizzas with a diameter of 30 cm with a thin base.

The 1st one was with: pancetta, salami, zucchini, broccoli, as seen above. The pancetta was amazing especially when we curled it on the dough and it became just a bit crispy. The broccoli alongside the zucchini made this pizza so special that it was Mrs. G's favourite. Plus, it is healthier than most. I have to mention the broccoli stays just a bit crunchy and that is perfect and you have to use fresh broccoli, as the frozen one might leave some water and make the pizza more runny.  

Mean while, prepare your ingredients for the pizzas. For all 3 pizzas we used some fresh Mozzarella that we crumbled on top. Also, I started by massaging the rolled pizza dough with a very small amount of olive oil (just enough to give it some shine) and relatively thick tomato paste (also used some of the home made paste that we made for this recipe). The cooking time in a hot oven (200 Celsius) was around 10-11 minutes. As another advice from our pizza adventure be careful with the Gorgonzola – don’t use too much and place it near the center of the dough as it tends to melt a lot and get runny. The same rule applies only partially for the fresh mozzarella as it tends to hold its own better, but, again, don’t overdo it, especially near the edges. 

The 2nd one: salami, Gorgonzola, zucchini, mushrooms, onion, as seen above. This one had a classic taste, a nice tangy hint from the Gorgonzola and you can't possible not love mushroom and onion together on a pizza.  

The 3rd one: pancetta, broccoli, zucchini, olives, onions and artichoke hearts, as seen above. Basically the one where I went all out, a true veggie delight on a pancetta bed and topped with cheesy, Mozzarella goodness. 

Super easy, super fast, super fun and super delicious food. And the next time you start taking a look at those menus from your neighborhood pizza place keep in mind that you can take them out of business any time with this kind of tiny effort. Ok, might sound worse than it actually is, a slight exaggeration there, but you get the idea.


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