Tuesday, June 30, 2015

potato salad

Easy cooking, easy eating.
This salad is perfect with new potatoes, but if you can not find them choose those small, buttery, thin-skinned ones. I cut them in quarters or in half if they are smaller. Put them in the boiling water with a pinch of salt and cook for about 20-25 minutes. Drain them and return them to the pan with few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Shake the pan so they are all glossy and covered with oil. Place them in a bowl and add chopped parsley, leeks, capers, pink peppercorns, lemon juice and zest and season with coarse sea salt. This is a version of a classic potato salad that we usually make as a side dish with grilled or baked fish. I like this salad warm rather then cold served as a light main dish for a carefree afternoons.

POTATO SALAD with capers and leeks
Serves 2                                                      
6-7 potatoes (medium)
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium leek, chopped
about two tbsp of chopped fresh parsley
½ lemon, juice and zest
tbsp capers, pickle capers
few pink peppercorns
coarse sea salt

Monday, June 29, 2015

roasted carrots & spiced up sweet corn

I guess I'm already busy listening the summer buzz as it’s been a while since I visited my own blog.
Season of long hot days officially started a week ago but I still have a need to turn the oven on, especially during rainy afternoons. 
Anyway, I am opening the season of no fuss meals, easy salads and lots of garden greens and sweet berries. 

Roasted carrots and cooked sweet corn as a light side dish. Simple indulgences.

roasted carrots
1 bunch carrots
coarse sea salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 tea spoon dried thyme

Preheat oven to 200C.Wash carrots, I didn't bother to peel them as they were so young. Place carrots on a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with salt and drizzle with  olive oil and dried thyme. Roast until they brown a bit on the outside (about 20 minutes). Let cool to room temperature. Place on a serving platter, drizzle few more drops of olive oil and serve with whatever is your wish. I know spiced up sweet corn is a great companion.

spiced up sweet corn
3 sweet corns in husks
30g unsalted butter, softened
1-2 teaspoons spice mix - Italian potato salad (I use Italian mix for potato salad. It's a mix of dried spices: salt, black pepper, onion, garlic, chilly flakes, thyme, basil and oregano. I buy these in Belgrade, in a shop called spice up). 
Peel back corn husks and remove silk. Place corns in a pot filled with cold water (just enough to cover the corns) and bring to a boil. Cook them until tender, 8-10 minutes. Turn off the heat and using long-handled tongs remove corns from the boiling water on a plate. Place knob of butter on each corn and sprinkle with mixture of spices. 

Simple indulgences it is.

Monday, June 15, 2015

strawberry jam

Strawberry jam
I call this a morning jam.
You wake up, go to market, buy best berries, wash them, use best pieces and make fragrant spread for breakfast.
I was at the market the other day and couldn’t resist buying more fruits then needed. This sounds strange but it’s true. There are people who would eat fruit produce rather than fresh fruits. Strawberry jam makes strawberries live all year long and it’s closest to the taste of fresh berries.
I like to puree strawberries before making the jam. Sometimes I like when you can taste fruit chunks  in jams, but not in this one. This one I like smooth and red, strawberry red. I like to make jam in small batches, it makes it even more special, and I also like to storage in small jars.
Important thing! Don’t use soft fruits or those with rotten spots.
Wash the strawberries and remove stems. Mix (puree) them in a blender. Use a heavy bottomed saucepan, place strawberry puree and sugar and put on a high heat. Stir constantly and when it comes to boil mix in the lemon juice and keep on stirring. Jam should boil heavily for 5-7 minutes. Fill sterilized jars with jam. Keep the jam in dark and cold place.

430g strawberries
210g sugar jam (gelling sugar 2:1)
Juice of one lemon