Tuesday, December 31, 2013

new year's wrap

'The New Year doesn't make a new you', or anything 'new' actually, but still, tonight on New Year's Eve we will be in a holiday mood or not, and in that one second while counting down we will be hopeful that all things will be well.

We can continue or start from scratch or just simply make a 'twist' at the very beginning of the year.

scrambled eggs with a twist / NY's wrap

scrambled eggs:
4 eggs
1 tsp garam masala
2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp ground coriander 
2 tbsp milk
pinch of salt
Heat one tbsp of oil (olive oil or sunflower oil) in a frying pan. Beat the eggs together with all the other ingredients in a bowl and pour the mixture in a hot pan. Stir and make scrambled eggs.

pomegranate raita:
2 spring onions, chopped
180ml greek yogurt
cup pomegranate seeds 
pinch of salt 
Combine everything in a bowl, save some pomegranate seeds for garnish

making the NY's wrap:
Divide scrambled eggs in two. Take two tortilla wraps and place the eggs over each of them evenly. Place baby spinach on top of the eggs and finally top with raita (about 2 tbsp). Roll up the wrap and eat.

Welcome festive eating season!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

when christmas goes pink..

.. and instead of Rudolph pie you end up making Pink Panther pie.
Pink Panther pie

300g plain flour
150g cold unsalted butter, diced
pinch of salt
one egg
2 tbsp schnapps (I used domestic pear schnapps)
125g icing sugar
2 tsp red food color (I used silver spoon food color)

Mix flour and butter by hand until crumbly mixture and add pinch of salt. Separately whisk egg, schnapps, food color and icing sugar. Add this to crumbly mixture and bind the pastry. Wrap in clingfilm and rest in the fridge for 20 minutes.
Roll the pastry out into a disc (do this between two baking sheets) and line the tin (27cm) with it. Prick the dough with the fork and put it back in the fridge for another 20 minutes.
Heat the oven to 180°C. Remove from the fridge and bake the pastry for 15-20 minutes.
Leave to cool on a wire rack slightly, and spread 3 tbsp of raspberry jam over it.

filling/orange curd:
60g unsalted butter
3 eggs
5 tbsp caster sugar 
150ml orange juice 
zest of one orange
2 tbsp whipping cream
3 sheets of leaf gelatine

Melt the butter in a pan and add eggs, sugar, orange juice and zest and whisk to a custard over a gentle heat (until thickened). Off the heat, whisk in gelatine leaves and cream. Pour filling over the pastry case and leave to cool completely.

170ml whipping cream 

Whip the cream until soft peaks and spread over the pie.

Monday, December 23, 2013

when tradition goes green

pasta with potatoes and basil pesto 

Starch-on-starch dish is red.
Ground red paprika, onions and two constants: potatoes and pasta are traditionally, where I grow up, mixed into one of favorite children meals. I do count myself in this statistics. Memories from kindergarten kitchen are intense and when I think of this dish all I remember is empty plates and happy bellies.
But my memory also records some contemporary trends. Nowadays we got used to eat and consume fresh herbs almost on every day basis. You can actually go to restaurant and while eating what you ordered you can additionally browse some fresh herbs from pot which stands in front of you.  
More and more people grow herbs indoors, under windows. Even my father has become a member of this ‘green’ population. He grows basil in his own yard and he is adding his very much favorite herb almost in all dishes, but only when no one is watching.

Today we are changing color to complementary green.
This ‘green tradition’ is inspired by basil, actually to be more precise by Nigella’s Kitchen and it looks like this..

..and it has the same taste, taste of happy belly no matter what the color is. 

The recipe:
3 medium potatoes (peeled and cut into small slices)
350 grams linguine
2 handfuls fresh basil leaves
100 grams grated Parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic (peeled and grated)
100 ml extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste 

Put potato slices into a saucepan. Pour several cups of water, enough salted water to take the pasta later, and bring to the boil. Cook the potatoes until tender and then add the pasta.
While this is cooking, put ingredients for the pesto in a food processor.
Before you drain the pasta and potatoes, reserve about half a cup of the cooking liquid. Tip the drained potatoes and pasta back into the dry pan. Add the pesto from the processor and enough cooking water to give a silky sauce. Stir everything with pasta tossers. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

bread and milk

fiction story about my aunt Benny and how she loved staled bread and milk, slightly dusted with sugar

It’s a cold winter’s day. The road is frozen outside, it's almost cracked from coldness. Wind is swirling snowflakes furiously. I don’t want to go out. I am not ready to face Mr. Celsius today, not yet. I will stay at home, read newspapers from yesterday, sleep and then read same articles again, than eat what has left or try to make something from leftovers, if there are any.

Noon hours, I'm not doing anything meaningful, just rummaging through drawers and snooping around old family photos.

We all have relatives. Somewhere, far, faraway, there is a blood relative we don’t know much about. Or maybe we do know more than it is needed. My aunt Benny should be now in her eighties. She is smiling on each photo, friendly face, and dark hair.
One day she packed her suitcase and left for good. Rumors say she couldn’t stand the heat and steamy atmosphere. Just too crowded for my taste, she would usually add. So she went to North Pole. I was very young when we saw each other last time. But, she is sending gifts almost every year for New Year’s Eve and what is so exciting about my aunt Benny is her passion for warm bread and milk. That was her favorite dish. As my mother grow up with her, the two of them were eating this on regular basis, with some extras here and there. Over the years my mum got hooked on this dish and it has become my mum’s favorite too. I also like to have a bowl of warm bread and milk.

Another lazy day just perfect for simple, easy and comforting dish.

On the menu today: bread, milk, sugar and hot cooker.

Recipe and directions for how to eat: After you pour almost boiling milk over the staled bread, sprinkled lightly with sugar, pour over a splash of rum, take a spoon and come by the window to watch snow falling. After a while you might hear Ho Ho Ho.

Monday, November 25, 2013

dark chocolate mousse cake

Good grief! It's snowing outside. Wintertime!
Keep calm and eat chocolate.

It is time for little big chocolate cake. 


250g unsalted butter (diced)
250g caster sugar
250g dark chocolate (chopped)
5 eggs
1 tbsp flour
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon 
icing sugar for dusting 
Frozen raspberries to serve (optional)

Melt butter, sugar and chocolate over a law heat. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, flour and cinnamon. Pour slowly chocolate mixture into the egg mixture while mixer running. Mix until smooth.
Line a loaf tin with baking paper. Pour cake mixture in and cover with aluminium foil. Cook in preheated oven at 180 ÂșC for 1 hour in a water bath. Once cooked, cool and place in fridge overnight to set.