Katushki and Prunes

Little meatballs, cooked with prunes and served in a sour cream sauce on a bed of rice, Katushki and Prunes needs only the addition of a fresh green salad and black bread to make a perfect supper.

2 x

1-inch slices of day-old white bread, crusts removed, soaked in cold water

1 lb. minced beef

1 egg, lightly beaten

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon dried marjoram

2 oz. fine dry breadcrumbs

1 oz. butter

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 lb. prunes, stoned

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

½ teaspoon grated nutmeg

1 bay leaf

5 fl. oz. sour cream

Squeeze any excess water from the bread and tear it into small pieces. Discard the water.

Put the minced beef into a medium-sized mixing bowl and, using a wooden spoon or spatula, stir in the bread and the egg.

Add

½ teaspoon of the salt, the pepper and marjoram and mix well together. If the mixture is too dry, add a tablespoon of milk or water.

Using your hands, shape the meat mixture into about 30 walnut-sized balls. Put the breadcrumbs on a plate and roll the meatballs in them, making sure they are well coated. Set them aside.

In a large frying-pan, melt the butter with the oil over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the meatballs. Reduce the heat to low, and fry the meatballs for 15 to 20 minutes, or until they are evenly browned on all sides. Remove the frying-pan from the heat and, with a slotted spoon, transfer the balls to kitchen paper towels to drain. Set aside.

Put the prunes and sugar into a large saucepan and pour in just enough water to cover the prunes. Bring the water to the boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover the saucepan and simmer the prunes for 20 to 25 minutes, or until they are tender, adding a little water from time to time to keep the prunes covered.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the meatballs, lemon juice, remaining salt, the nutmeg and bay leaf. Pour in more water, if necessary, to cover the meatballs and prunes.

Cover the saucepan and return it to low heat. Simmer for 10 minutes, or until the meatballs are heated through.

Remove the saucepan from the heat

Served with a green salad and black bread, Katushki and Prunes, small meat balls cooked with prunes and a sour cream sauce, makes a super meal! and remove and discard the bay leaf. Stir in the sour cream and spoon the mixture into a warmed deep serving dish. Serve at once.

Kawasaki Chicken

Kawasaki Chicken is adapted from a Japanese recipe. The chicken is marinated in a delicious mixture which gives the dish an unusual, subtle flavour. Serve it with plain boiled rice.

4 fl. oz. mirin or pale dry sherry

4 fl. oz. sake

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 teaspoons sugar

1 x

6 lb. chicken, cut into

8 serving pieces

6 tablespoons cornflour

2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground ginger

5 tablespoons vegetable oil

In a deep mixing bowl, combine the mirin or pale sherry, sake, soy sauce and sugar. Put the chicken pieces in the mixture, cover the bowl and marinate for 4 to 6 hours at room temperature, turning the chicken pieces occasionally.

Preheat the oven to moderate 350°F (Gas Mark 4, 180°C).

With kitchen tongs, remove the chicken pieces from the marinade, shaking each piece to remove any excess marinade. Drain them on kitchen paper towels. Reserve the marinade.

Mix the cornflour , salt and ginger together on a large plate. Roll the chicken pieces in the mixture until they are well coated on all sides.

In a large frying-pan, heat the oil over moderate heat. Add the chicken pieces and fry them for 4 to 5 minutes on each side or until they are golden brown. Using tongs remove the chicken pieces as they brown and place them in a large ovenproof casserole.

Pour the reserved marinade over the chicken pieces in the casserole and place it in the centre of the oven. Braise for 45 minutes or until the chicken is tender.

Remove the casserole from the oven and serve immediately.

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