Friday, May 31, 2019

GF pancakes

Rice flour pancakes filled with mascarpone and cream, served with macerated strawberries.
Happy days. 

Simple and special. Few days ago this was served instead of a cake for a birthday lunch. And I saw a girl licked her plate.

Rice flour crepes
Serves 2
One egg (55-60g)
100g rice flour
One cup of milk
Pinch of salt
One teaspoon of sugar
Vegetable oil for frying (about 5 teaspoons, one for each pancake) 

Put flour, salt, sugar, milk and egg in a bowl and whisk hard (this way you will get batter without lumps). I do this by hand but if you wish you can use blender or hand mixer. But some exercise will do you good.  In a pancake pan (20cm) heat the oil. Heat 2-3 teaspoons of oil and then wipe it some off.
Ladle batter into the pan then quickly swirl so that the batter quickly covers the base of the pan in a thin layer. Cook for a minute and flip it and cook for about another minute on the other side, then remove the pancake to a plate.
Continue with the rest of the batter (I get five pancakes from this amount of batter).  
Spread about two teaspoon fulls of mascarpone filling on each pancake and roll it up. Serve with macerated strawberries.

Mascarpone and cream filling
Make sure mascarpone cheese is at room temperature. Place 3 table spoons of mascarpone with two tablespoons of icing sugar in a bowl. Add juice of one lemon and stir everything to combine. Add softly whipped cream (150ml) and mix gently. Fill pancakes with this mixture

Macerated strawberries
Keep strawberries at room temperature. Wash them and remove stems. Cut them in halve or in quarters, if they are bigger, and place them in a bowl. Add splash of vanilla, juice of one lemon, 2 tablespoons of sugar. Gently mix everything with a spoon and leave to macerate for 10-15 minutes.

white sandwich bread with strawberries

I've been eating clouds for days now. 
Fleecy clouds. 
Come, join me! 

Fragile fruits on toasted white bread. Instead of butter and jam. Real Spring hero.

White sandwich bread 
Heavy cream 

Toast white sandwich bread till pale gold. Softly whip heavy cream. Generously pile whipped cream on the toast. Add slices of fresh, soft, sweet, strawberries. Drizzle runny honey over the strawberries. Eat.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

hummus plate and strawberry season

I usually go once a week to farmer's markets to buy all the greens and fruits. This weekend I was mainly focused on strawberries and whether strawberry fields have survived heavy rains and cold weather. I know most of them are under plastic roof tops but still, life was not easy last few weeks for any kind of frailness. Also, I somehow forgot about other foods. Selfish need for locally grown strawberries overcame everything else. It doesn't happen that often, this 'obsession' for certain foods that hits me, but when it does I just let my self go. That means I eat strawberries all day, for breakfast, lunch and in the evening. In the morning I eat them fresh with cooked oats, or with french toast. During afternoon I snack them, sometimes with spoon. Desserts I save for dinner time and spend evenings with macerated strawberries, finger ladies and cream. Fruits must bee at room temperature. It's like picking and eating them right away. I wash them carefully and remove stems. Cut them in halve or in quarters, if they are bigger, and place them in a bowl. Then I add splash of vanilla, lemon or orange juice and few table spoons of sugar (not too much) and leave them to macerate for 10-15 minutes. I roughly crumble lady fingers into the bowl and stir. After I whisk heavy cream until soft peaks form, I generously dollop it on top to cover shiny fruits. Then I dig in with a big spoon! 

I know this post so far is about strawberries and looking at the picture above while reading all written doesn't have much sense, but this way I keep on feeding this mania, passion that I am experiencing. I am powerless to resist, I actually don't want to resist at all.

And regarding the picture above, this lunch we had few days ago. I should say few words about it but actually picture says it all. It's simple, it's beautiful, tasteful, and even gluten free, a colorful weekend lunch plate. No cooking required (boiling eggs not included). You go to the garden, on foot or by bike or by bus. You pick veggies. You pick everything you like, you desire, you crave for and wash carefully and cut. Scatter over a plate, bed of arugula, around hummus and that's it. Then you dig in with a fork!

Arugula bed
Carrot and apple mach sticks
Cherry tomatoes halves and quarters
Finley sliced red onion 
Small radishes 
Avocado + za'atar
Olive oil and lemon juice for drizzle 
Soft boiled eggs (not pictured)
can of chickpeas (400g, drained 240g)
1-2 tablespoon ice cold water
2 cloves of garlic (minced)
one teaspoon tahini 
juice of half lemon
4-6 tablespoons of good olive oil
salt to taste
spoon of cream cheese or sour cream optional (for creamier and lighter version)

Place chickpeas and cold water in a food processor and mix until you get almost paste like consistency. I have an old blender so it takes some time but it's worth it. Add all other ingredients and mix again to get smooth paste. Try, taste and add more lemon juice and/or more salt if needed. 

Thursday, May 16, 2019

banana fritters

Till sunnier days arrive

Nigel Slater's banana fritters  
Serves 4 
bananas 4, large and slightly under-ripe
caster sugar for rolling
groundnut oil for deep frying

For the batter:
plain flour 100g
rice flour 50g
baking powder 1 tsp
water 200ml

Combine the flours and baking powder in a bowl and stir in the cold water and beat with a whisk. Scatter a layer of caster sugar over a plate. Heat the oil in a pan. Peel the bananas. Cut each in half and dip them in the batter and place them carefully into the hot oil. No more than 4 halves at a time.
Turn the bananas over as they cook. When the batter is golden remove the bananas on kitchen paper and roll them in the caster sugar. Serve the fritters with the coconut yogurt, as suggested by Nigel Slater, or with chocolate sauce.

Empty streets,
Loud winds,
Summer's sultriness,
Fallen flower petals on the kitchen table,
Concrete walls,
The buzz of fat flies,
Toasted and lightly sticky hazelnuts with the taste of sweet maple and salt,
Cold citrus juices oozing down the chin,
Sizzling oil from the pan at noon,  
Soft baked bananas,
Till sunnier days arrive. 

Thursday, May 9, 2019

granola vol. 2

600g rolled oats 
100-150g coconut chips
400g raw nuts (hazelnuts, walnuts halves, almonds)
2 teaspoons salt
240ml maple syrup 
160ml olive oil

This amount requires two oven trays. And if you are not granola type of person there is no need to make ahead this amount. Simply cut the recipe in half and you will be fine for a week. 
Preheat the oven to 150 degrees C. 
Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add olive oil and maple syrup and stir well to coat evenly. Spread out the mixture on the prepared tray and bake for about 40 minutes. Make sure to stir once or twice. I follow original advice and check on granola every 15 minutes as it bakes. Once it's evenly brown and coconut chips toasted it's done. 
Allow to cool completely, then transfer the granola to airtight containers. 

Recipe adopted from Molly Wizenberg <3

I made my version only with whole hazelnuts and served it once only with pink grapefruit and fresh orange juice. I usually eat granola with plain yogurt but sometimes I love to serve it only with fresh citruses or berries. Tonight I have made another batch with combination of nuts, whole hazelnuts, walnuts halves and whole almonds. Now I am impatiently waiting for the weekend to grab some fresh strawberries from the market, first of the season, to pair them with granola and coconut yogurt.
You'll be crazy not to try the best granola so far.

You get out of the bed and go to the kitchen. You put the water on to boil for a good cup of tea or coffee. Temperatures are pretty low and we are experiencing winter blues. Most of the days are dark, rainy and cold. Still, mosquitoes are biting. You want to scratch but instead you reach for your best granola and start to nibble. Spring winter blues relief from a jar. Do try!

Thanks again Molly for such a great granola recipe.