Sunday, 7 September 2008

Father's Day - Making some of dad's favourites

My dad has a couple of things that he loves eating (apart from sweets :) )
One of those is stuffed tomatoes. For some unknown reason, we only make them at Christmas. I decided to break from tradition and make them for Father's day, cause dad just loves them.
They are very easy to make

8-10 medium sized ripe but firm tomatoes
400gms of cooked rice
200gms of mayonnaise (approximately)
1 425gm can of tuna in olive oil (drained)
2 small onions chopped
Olive oil
5 stuffed olives cut in half.

1. Sautee onions in olive oil until they become transparent. Do not allow them to color. Remove from heat.

2. Cut out a circle at the top of the tomato, and using a spoon remove all the seeds and pulp. Rinse them and put them upside down on a piece of kitchen paper to drain.

3. In a large bowl mix in the rice, onion, tuna, mayo.

4. Using a small spoon fill the the tomatoes with the rice filling.

5. Cover the top with a little more mayonnaise and decorate with half an olive.

I don't actually eat these, as I'm vegetarian. For a vegetarian option, sautee one red capsicum (chopped) together with the onions, and then add one greated carrot, and cook until tender. Allow to cool and then add it to the rice and mayo mix.

Another of dad's favourites is canneloni. They are a variation of the italian ones. I am not sure if anyone else in the world makes them this way, in fact they're not really canneloni, but that is what we call them. They are thin crepes filled with spinach, ricotta, fresh corn kernels, sauteed onions and white sauce.

I made about 40 of these, some of them got frozen at mum's and some at home, because hubby also loves them. The filling I am going to detail below makes approximately 30-40 of them, depending on how much you fill each one.

Ingredients for Filling
1kg of fresh ricotta (i bought it still warm from the cheese factory)
400gms of baby spinach leaves (washed and drained)
2 medium onions chopped finely
Kernels removed from 4 medium sized fresh corn cobs.
2 cups of white sauce (made with flour butter and milk)
Ground nutmeg
Olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste

  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan, and sautee onions until lightly coloured.

  2. Add baby spinach leaves and stir until they have just wilted.

  3. Mix in ricotta, corn kernels, and white sauce, until all well combined.

  4. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper.

  5. Use aroun 2-3 large heaped tablespoons to fill each crepe, and roll up, and place in a deep oven tray so they can be heated up in the oven.

I don't have an exact recipe for the crepes. But i made about 4 or so batches of the following to make enough crepes for all the filling above

Crepe Recipe (rough recipe, not exact)
In a blender place
1 large egg
400mls of full cream milk
2 tablespoons of finely greated parmesan
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup of plain flour

Blend, and add more flour or milk to form a mixture with the consistency of thickened cream. Cook on a non stick pan. I like my crepes to be very thin, but having a very thin mix means getting lots of holes, so you need to get a perfect consistency :)

Heat up your filled crepes and serve with extra white sauce and pasta sauce. We heated ours up in the microwave, but you can also heat them up in the oven :)

Pasta Sauce
1 large onion finely chopped
1 large red capsicum finely chopped
2 400gm cans of chopped tomatoes (i only use 100% tomatoes, with no added sugar or other preservatives etc)
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Sautee onion and capsicum in olive oil until tender. You can now add your tomatoes and cook it for 40 or so minutes, but I put the tomatoes and the cooked capsicum and onion in the food processor to make the sauce a little less chunky. Once it was all blended together, i put it back in the pot and simmered it for about 30-40 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.