Recipes fly back and forth in my family. If someone finds something interesting we email each other, and even send photocopies – old fashioned style – through the mail. I have a big pink folder with tried and true recipes handed down from my family and friends. It’s a faithful ‘go to’ when I’m in need of inspiration. This one was an email from my Mama, to my Nana, with me as a cc. I’m still happy being an afterthought.
My Mama is one of those cooks who is as comfortable tackling a three course meal as she is a weeknight quicky. As the aim of this blog is fast and fabulous, at least for the present moment, so I won’t try to dazzle you with any of her doozies just yet (it’ll come, my pretties, we’re just getting to know each other), but this little recipe is super fast, and easy, and again suitable for little and big munchkins alike. It’s not fancy, but it’s tasty, and it’s healthy.
These zesty, cheesy little morsels are paired perfectly with pasta, or rice, but polenta is having a resurgence in my house, so I make a batch of creamy, delicious wet polenta. I always make sure to have left-over polenta because twice cooked polenta (read : polenta chips, mmmmmmmm) are delicious. These rissoles work equally well with turkey mince if you want to extra lean, but they’re also yummy with lamb mince if you want to go in a slightly different direction. You can add dried mixed Italian herbs to the lamb for a more robust herb aroma.
If you don’t have mozzarella just sprinkle with cheddar but the stringy, gooeyness of mozzarella takes this to a different realm for me. Again, I’m a little modest in my cheese usage for fat reasons but you can go nuts with it if you want to. I also struggle not to sneak in a little vegetable here and there, particularly if I’m feeding it to D Man who’s not yet au fait with ensalada (ha, French and Spanish, I’m obviously a linguistical genius. So tempted to remove this but it’s is how my brain works). These work well with a little carrot finely grated or zucchini. They’re both fairly innocuous and undetectable by the naked eye when smothered in tomatoey, cheesy, deliciousness.
Yeild : 10 rissoles
You will need :
- 500g chicken mince
- 1/3 cup finely chopped basil leaves
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
- 2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
- 1 tbls lemon juice
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- 1/2 bread crumbs (make your own if you can, it does make a difference, but if you can’t be arsed, it doesn’t make that much difference!)
- plain flour for coating
- 700ml jar passata (If you want to make your own, throw some onion and garlic into a pan and add some crushed tomatoes and Italian herbs – it’s totally worth the effort, but we’re keeping it simple this evening, because we’re tired and our back hurts)
- mozzarella (1 cup grated, but I used slices)
Preheat oven to 180c.
Throw into a bowl your mince, breadcrumbs, parmesan and basil. Add lemon juice and zest, crack your egg in and get your hands in there to give it a good ol’ mix. Take your wedding rings off as rissoles in your filigree ain’t pretty. Shape into about 10 rissoles and coat very lightly with your flour. Heat oil in a large frypan and over a moderate heat and lightly sear rissoles on both sides before transferring to over proof dish. Pour over your passata, top with mozzarella and bake in the over until golden and bubbly and yummy. Serve with your pasta or polenta and a big salad.
‘Wow, what do you call these, love?’
Never gets old.