Mixed Grill with Baked Spinach & Asparagus
Last night's menu was a mixed grill that consisted of Rumanian "Mititei" ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mititei ), pork loin "Hands" and baked spinach. ! There are many versions of this delicious Rumanian "sausage" - here is mine! Delicious & nutritious
1/4 lb each ground pork, lamb & beef
1 whole egg
salt, ground pepper
1 tsp each Thyme (cimbru), ground cumin & oregano
1/4 c. chopped garlic
1 tsp garlic powder
6 boneless pork loin chops
In a medium size bowl add: Pork, lamb & beef, egg, thyme, cumin, oregano and chopped garlic. Combing ingredients with your hands (so much fun!) until the egg is well incorporated and meats well blended, then season with salt & pepper. Still using your hands, take small handfulls of the mixture and form them into oval balls (or sausages) about 3" long by 1 1/2" wide and place them on a large platter leaving enough space on the platter to add the pork chops (see below).
Place each pork chop on a cutting board and on one horizontal side slice "fingers" into them. Season each one generously with salt, ground pepper & garlic powder. Place them alongside the mititei on the platter. Drizzle the whole platter generously with olive oil and set aside while you prepare the spinach....
Baked Spinach & Asparagus
1 bunch fresh green asparagus, steamed until tender but still crisp
1 bag fresh spinach, blanched
1 c. 35% cooking cream
1c. plain breadcrumbs
1/4 cup butter, softened
salt & pepper
Turn oven to 385o. In a medium sized pot with steamer, steam asparagus until tender but crisp. Remove and set aside keeping the water in the pot. Add spinach to the remaining hot water just to soften their leaves, drain well. Take a medium baking dish and place asparagus neatly on the bottom then top the whole thing with spinach. Drizzle with cream then sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Place pinches of the softened butter all over the top. Bake in oven until the cream is bubbly and the top slightly browned (approx. 30 mins).
While the spinach and asparagus are baking, turn BBQ on high, when ready grill meats turning every couple of minutes until done. (Note: you probably will want to put the Mititei on the grill first as they take longer to cook. Readiness test: they should be firm to the touch). Be careful because the oil will make your BBQ flame so it's best to keep the lid open and watch closely !
Bon Appetit !