Chinese egg noodles with ground beef, bell peppers and broccoli

I had some Chinese noodles left from a pack I bought last week, so I decided to try this recipe. It is easy and filled with goodness and colours!


For 500 gr of high quality lean beef 

First, prepare the noodles — let them stand in cold water for one minute, than two minutes in boiling water. Drain and set aside.

For the ground beef: in a deep pan place some sesame oil, then add one red bell pepper cut in strips, some broccoli florets and about four or five small green onions (scallions) in slices (add some of the green part as well). Mix and let it cook. When the onions start giving out their aroma, add the ground beef and mix well. Let it cook gently uncovered until the meat is done. Mix from time to time.

For the sauce: mix one quarter cup of Soya sauce, two tablespoons of rice vinegar, two tablespoons of brown sugar, some garlic and fresh ginger root crushed. Mix well.

Finally, pour the sauce on the meat mixture and let it cook for five minutes or so. Add the noodles, mix well and cook until everything is nice and hot.

Serve with a hot sauce on the side such as a Szechuan garlic and hot pepper sauce.


Ground beef East Asian style with bell peppers

An absolute delight inspired by reading through from Korean and Chinese recipes. The soya-ginger-garlic-brown sugar combination brings wonderful aromas to this dish. The basic recipe can be used also for stir fry chicken or fish.


For 500 gr of lean ground beef 
1- In a pan, place some sesame oil and fry lightly one bell pepper cut in thin strips with a handful of scallions sliced. Stir constantly.
2- When the scallions start giving their aroma, add four garlic cloves crushed, some fresh ginger root also crushed, two tablespoons of Soya sauce and one tablespoon of brown sugar. Mix well. The aromas will be an absolute delight!
3- Add the ground beef and a generous handful of fresh cilantro chopped. Mix again.
4- Cook until the ground beef is done, stirring often and making sure the beef does not remain in lumps.

To serve, just sprinkle with sesame seeds and accompany with white rice. Enjoy!

Keema – version 1.2

A variance on the original Keema (see recipe here) – a savoury dish made with ground beef and spices, originally created in the royal kitchens of the Mughal Court.


For 500 gr of high quality ground beef 
1- In a pan, place some olive oil and add: one teaspoon of freshly ground pepper, the seeds of seven cardamon pods, one teaspoon of cumin, one teaspoon of Madras curry, one teaspoon of turmeric, half a stick of cinnamon, three garlic cloves crushed and a few centimetres of fresh ginger root crushed. Keep the fire on medium and mix as it cooks.
2- When the spices have released a bit of their flavour, add the ground beef, half a kilogram of very small cherry tomatoes each cut in half, and a handful of fresh cilantro chopped. Mix well and cover.
3- Cook covered on low to medium fire for about 15 to 20 minutes, mixing often.

I served it with Basmati rice cooked in Saffron infused water with raisins, simple yoghurt mixed with cumin and dried mint, and a sprinkle of fresh coriander. Oh! and I had some wonderful Mango chutney I recently made, at hand.

Baby burgers


These are small hamburgers made with high quality ground beef (no fat). I make them regularly and they are a house favourite. I served them with a lovely fresh salad.

Baby burgers 
1- Make small burgers with the ground beef.
2- Heat up the pan, and place the burgers with no oil added. Keep the fire medium to high.
3- A few minutes into cooking sprinkle with freshly ground pepper and dried herbs (I used an Italian mixture).
4- Turn over and continue cooking. Do not turn them over again –that is the secret for making juicy burgers.

Serve immediately with Dijon mustard on the side. 

The salad 
1- Cut in cubes: tomatoes, avocado and cucumbers.
2- Sprinkle with: lime juice, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, freshly crushed pepper, salt and dried or fresh mint.
3- Mix and serve.


No ordinary Rosbif sandwich

A simple delight and the combination of flavours and textures is marvellous.


1- Toast some bread.
2- Spread the bread with Dijon Mustard, then add: rosbif, tomatoes, Romano cheese and blackberries. You can sprinkle some ground black pepper and some mint leaves if you want.

I served it with a cucumber and mint leave salad on the side.

Bucatini con strisce di carne

A little Italian inspired dish that proved quite a success! I used an artesanal Italian pasta called “bucatini con archetto” – a little bit like spaghetti but thicker. Just wonderful.


For two servings
1- Cook the bucatini as indicated in the package (about 250 gr. or a little more than 100 gr. per serving).
2- Meanwhile, place 200 gr. of high quality sirloin cut in strips on a plate and sprinkle with salt and freshly crushed pepper.
3- In a bowl, place a few cherry tomatoes cut in half with some crushed garlic, salt and olive oil.
4- Once the pasta is done and draining, place the beef strips on a pan with a drop of olive oil. Keep the flame on high and sauté the strips. It should take less than 10 minutes.

To serve: Place the bucatini on a deep plate, place some strips, the tomatoes, some arugula leaves, shavings of Parmigiano and finish with a few drops of Balsamic vinegar and freshly crushed pepper.

Ground beef Persian style with potatoes and raisins

This is a delicious dish filled with flavours and textures. The raisins and the use of Adviyeh spices give a wonderful sweet and tangy feel, balanced by the small potatoes. It is also easy to make.

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For 500 gr of ground beef
1- Boil 500 gr of small potatoes. Just wash, leave the skin on and place them in cold water then on the stove. Cook until a fork can penetrate them.
2- In the meantime in a large pan, place some olive oil, four garlic cloves smashed, a bit of fresh ginger root also smashed and three teaspoons of the Persian spice mix Adviyeh. Mix well.
3- Once the garlic and the spices start giving out their aroma, add about four tomatoes cut roughly and mix again. Then add the ground beef, a generous handful of raisins and a bunch of fresh cilantro chopped.
4- Mix and cover. Let it cook on low fire for about 20 minutes. Mix from time to time.
5- When the potatoes are ready, let them cool a little. Then cut them in four parts (half then half) and mix with the ground beef.
6- Let it cook another 10 minutes or so covered.

Serve with a side of plain yoghurt and a fresh salad such as cucumber with tomatoes, or tomatoes with fresh mint

Pasta Bolognese with lots of carrots

This was just perfect on an especially cold January day. I added a whole bunch of carrots, giving it a wonderful sweet taste.


For 500 gr of high quality lean ground beef.
1- Place some olive oil in a large pot and add four garlic cloves crushed and one small red onion chopped.
2- When the onion pieces start to wilt and the garlic gives its aroma, add three carrots chopped in cubes, one kilo of tomatoes cut in large pieces, one generous tablespoon of brown sugar, three sprigs of rosemary (I cut them from a plant at home) and some crushed pepper. Do not add salt or the Bolognese will turn very liquid once you add the meat. Mix well.
3- Add the ground beef and mix again. Cook for about 25 minutes on low fire mixing from time to time. I like to keep it covered than uncover it for the last 10 minutes or so. That way it acquires just the right consistency.

Serve with pasta (here Fettucine all’uovo) and sprinkle with freshly grated Parmigiano or as I did today Romano. I like to add hot chili peppers on my plate, such as chile chipotle.

Ground beef with tomatoes Persian style

This is a wonderful dish generally prepared with ground lamb. The flavours are very subtle.


For 500 gr of lean ground beef:
1- In a deep pan with a few drops of olive oil, cook half a red onion cut in small pieces. When they start getting translucent, add three cloves of garlic sliced, a little bit of fresh ginger root sliced, half a tablespoon of brown sugar, and two teaspoons of the Persian spice mix Advyeh. Cook for about 10 minutes stirring frequently.
2- Add four tomatoes cut in cubes and mix. Then add the ground beef and a handful of fresh cilantro chopped. Mix well. Add one tablespoon of Saffron liquid and mix again.
3- Cover and let it cook for about 25 minutes, stirring from time to time.

Serve it with white rice and some green vegetables or yoghurt with cucumber. I served it with white Basmati rice cooked with raisins, and a topping of avocado. 

Tagliatelle bicolore con pomodori e pancetta

A colourful pasta with the nice added flavour of Pancetta.

Pancetta is an Italian type of bacon with black pepper. I could not find it here in San Miguel so I used organic bacon, which proved to be as delicious.

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For two servings of Tagliatelle
1- Cook the Pancetta (or bacon) in a heavy pan until nice and crispy.
2- Take away the strips and leave any piece that may be just fat. Add four tomatoes cut in cubes and a teaspoon of black pepper crushed. Let it cook stirring from time to time.
3- Make sure you remove the excess fat on the fried strips of pancetta with a paper towel. Cut them in small pieces. Set aside.
4- Cook the pasta.
5- In a bowl, mix freshly grated Parmigiano with dried herbs of choice. I used oregano and mint. Set aside.

To serve: Mix the pasta with the tomato sauce and serve in a deep plate. Add some of the Pancetta on top and some Parmigiano mix around it.