Food that’s Fresh, Fra­grant and Fru­gal

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE - FOOD, DRINK and OTHER MAT­TERS with Pa­trick Skin­ner

In dif­fi­cult times, fam­ily bud­gets have to be cut and many lux­u­ries deleted. This may mean less­en­ing the amount of meat and fish we eat and us­ing in­ge­nu­ity to feed our­selves. Any­one who re­mem­bers – as I do as a small child – or has read about the 1939-1945 World War, will know that food was se­verely ra­tioned. Nev­er­the­less, what peo­ple ate was enough to keep them fit and, per­haps more im­por­tant, it re­duced the risk of obe­sity. You can eat well, healthily and cheaply. From time to time I shall pro­pose nour­ish­ing, but in­ex­pen­sive, dishes. Here are three…

1. Us­ing a coarse grater, grate a piece of Hal­loumi. You can use it straight from the packet (drain­ing the liq­uid) or you can bake it for 8-10 min­utes in a mod­er­ate oven first to make it drier. 2. Put grated cheese into a bowl. 3. Add the fresh mint and an egg yolk and mix well adding some ground black pep­per. 4. Take a gen­er­ous tea­spoon­ful of the hal­loumi mix­ture and roll it into a ball. 5. Re­peat un­til all the mix­ture is used. 6. Fry the hal­loumi balls in hot oil turn­ing sev­eral times. This will take about three min­utes. Re­move from the pan and set aside. 1. In a bowl, whisk the eggs with the milk and a pinch of salt. 2. Break the bread into small pieces and add to the milk and let stir­ring regularly, un­til the bread has ab­sorbed all the liq­uid. 3. Finely dice the ba­con and salami, chop the onion finely, chop the pars­ley. 4. Heat a lit­tle olive oil in a fry­ing pan and cook the ba­con/salami mix­ture for a few min­utes, stir­ring fre­quently, then af­ter a minute or two add the pars­ley, then spoon into the bread/milk and mix.

5. Now add the flour, lit­tle by lit­tle, stir­ring care­fully un­til it is well blended, adding salt and pep­per to taste.

6. Spoon out the mix­ture and form into egg-shaped balls the size of an apri­cot (about 5cm / 2” in di­am­e­ter)

NOTE: Try form­ing and cook­ing one dumpling first – if it should break apart, add a ta­ble­spoon or two of flour to the mix­ture, mix well, make the dumplings and cook.

7. In a large pot of boiling salted wa­ter, or light chicken stock, gen­tly put the dumplings in to cook, four or five at a time. Sim­mer for around 10 min­utes. Try one to see if it is nicely cooked through.

8. In a small pan melt the but­ter. Drain the dumplings, put them in a serv­ing dish and pour over the melted but­ter and the grated Parme­san.

9. Serve with an Ital­ian tomato sauce, or coulis, or dolly up the cook­ing liq­uid by thick­en­ing it slightly with a lit­tle flour and adding some more flavour, like a spoon or two of white wine and a tea­spoon of tomato purée.

it oak for 20 min­utes,

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