June 29, 2008

Daring Bakers: Danish Braid

I am thrilled about this month's challenge. What an aromatic dough! I just loved the freshness of the orange zest and the cardamom. Mmm... I was not sure about the apple filling because I am not a big fan of fruit fillings but I decided to prepare it. It was very good and harmonized great with the rest. I enjoyed laminating the dough a lot more than when I did the croissants. It was easier to roll it out and the texture of the dough was lighter despite the big amount of the butter. I think it tastes best lukewarm with a cold cup of milk.

Thanks for this great challenge to Kelly from Sass & Veracity and Ben from What’s Cookin’?. Check out the fellow Daring Bakers here. This month's double DB is also completed, a yummy chocolate cake without flour, that I am going to post later.

June 25, 2008

Short Trip To Hungary

I have arrived today to Budapest and I can not wait to discover the markets and cook with those wonderful fresh vegetables. Mmm...Not to mention the beautiful fruits like deep red cherries. A big bowl of chilled cherry: the perfect summer dinner to me.

Rhubarb: The Key Ingredient!

Hot days, cold water and cold desserts...what about ice cream? For example my rhubarb ice cream that is featured on the Key Ingredient website, here. A place to find, create and share your recipes.

June 21, 2008

Black Pappardelle Gratin

This was the first time that I used black pasta. I was always afraid of it because I thought it might taste strange, however we met only once and I love it! While eating I had to think of poppy all the time. I adore poppy, however I only in desserts. How strange the mind is, the pasta is black and it makes me think of the only other black ingredient I have eaten so far. This pasta dish is fast and can be prepared hours before you want to serve it, so you only have to throw it to the oven and you can use any vegetable you have left. In my case I had zucchini and some white asparagus.

250 g black pappardelle
2 zucchini

5-6 white asparagus
50 ml white wine
30 ml vegetable stock

1 shallot
olive oil
200 g grated emmentaler
50 g freshly grated parmesan

200 g sour cream
150 g yoghurt (Greek)

1 egg
salt, pepper

Cook pasta until it is al dente. Slice veggies thin with a help of a mandoline or veggie peeler. Heat olive oil, add chopped shallot and fry it. Add veggies, stock and wine. Cook it for 1-2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Mix sour cream, yoghurt and egg, season with salt and pepper. Butter a heat proof form and add with the veggies mixed pasta. Add the sour cream-yoghurt mixture and the grated cheese. Bake for 20-25 minutes on 200°C.

This is my entry for the Presto Pasta Nights, hosted by Hillary from Chew On That and created by Ruth from Once Upon A Feast.

June 20, 2008

Carrot Salad

It happens to me week after week that I buy too many carrots. At least two big bunches and it seems they never end. I discovered some young ones in the fridge so I thought these would look good as a salad. I was searching for a dressing for quite a while in my books, but than I decided to give up and I create my own. No big deal, but it is light and refreshing.

5-6 carrots
1 red onion

1/2 radicchio
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard

3-4 tablespoons yoghurt
salt, pepper

Grate carrot, chop onion and slice radicchio. Mix a dressing out of lemon juice, mustard and yoghurt. Season with salt and pepper. Serve chilled.

June 18, 2008

King Prawn Mission 1.03 - Weekend Herb Blogging

Tropical shrimps, both farmed and wild caught.

Coldwater shrimps.

After the previous mission it was time for the poor little prawns again! I thought this time it would be fun for them to swim once more. Maybe in a bowl of ice cold Cantaloupe melon soup.

Melon is a term used for various members of the Cucurbitaceae family with fleshy fruit. It can refer to either the plant or the fruit, which is a false berry. Many different cultivars have been produced, particularly of muskmelons. The plant grows as a vine. Muskmelon (Cucumis melo) is a species of melon that has been developed into many cultivated varieties. These include smooth skinned varietes, such as honeydew, and different netted cultivars known as cantaloupes.Cantaloupe is normally eaten as a fresh fruit, as a salad, or as a dessert with ice-cream or custard. Melon pieces wrapped in prosciutto are a familiar modern antipasto. Sanjeev Kapoor describes the charentais variety: "the orange, sugary and fragrant flesh makes this fruit popular both as a dessert or main course. These have smooth gray-green rinds and very fragrant orange flesh. It keeps well when stored in a cool, dry place and ripens after several days in a warm room." Because the surface of a cantaloupe can contain harmful bacteria - in particular, salmonella - it is always a good idea to wash a melon thoroughly before cutting and consumption. (source:wikipedia)

One of my favourite fruit is watermelon. If you want to buy a real good and sweet watermelon then look for huge and oval ones. We never buy a watermelon under the weight of at least 12 kilos! While you cut the watermelon in half and it cracks by itself, you can be sure it is going to taste great! I believe that the tastiest watermelon come either from
Greece, Turkey, Hungary or Sicily. So now back to the soup recipe.

1 shallot
1/2 cantaloupe
1 lime
100 ml white wine
cayenne pepper
salt, pepper
olive oil
king prawn
Jamón serrano

Cut melon in cubes. Heat olive oil and add chopped shallot, fry while stirring. Add melon cubes, white wine and cook it for 3 minutes. Puree, season with salt, pepper, lime juice, cayenne pepper. Wrap prawn in ham, fry in olive oilve. I have added some caramlised cubes of melon with sherry.

I would like to share this cold soup and submit it to the WHB created by Kalyn from Kalyn's Kitchen this time hosted by Joanna from Joanna's Food.

June 16, 2008

Elderflower&Portwein Zabaglione On Mango - Culinarty Round-Up

There is a brand new event launched by Lore from Culinarity called Culinarity Round up. The theme is to create a recipe, anything, main thing it is created by oneself.

I wanted to prepare something sweet this afternoon, however I had no lust to bake or such. But I was keen to eat something sweet, and as I had a beautiful thai mango so I thought it is going to be my starting point. Hmmm mango sorbet? no way to puree this beauty! mango cake? nah no mind to bake! mango tart? haha wanna do some magic and get a puff pastry out of nowhere in a minute?! Then I remembered my zabaglione with wild strawberries and I thought well let's try if it is possible to make a zabaglione with elderflower syrup and no other sugar. Last week I made some elderflower syrup using a lot of sugar so that I get a nice and thick version, and it was a success! Great, I thought let's try! I confess, I did not trust only the syrup so I added some home made vanilla sugar. First I wanted to add sherry but after I saw that there is some port wein left and I used that. Here is the result...

1 egg yolk
4 tablespoon elderflower syrup

1/2 tablespoon vanilla sugar
70 ml port wein

Whisk vanilla sugar, elderflower syrup and egg yolks together, add wine. Whisk over steam for 10-15 minutes and serve with fruits.

At the begining I had no plan with this improvisation from today afternoon, however I think it is really yummy that is why I submit it to this event.
I was surprised that you can taste both as well as the port wein and the elderflower syrup. I was afraid that only one will dominate but they harmonise very nice. It is a short recipe, fast and light for a summer dinner.

Chicken Satay

I remember that years ago, before I started to cook, the first time I bought a bottle of satay sauce and after never even tried this dish. Meanwhile even the thought of grabbing such a bottle shakes me...brrr! Not only because the sauce was ugly, but also because I never buy such ready made stuff. Today for the first time I prepared chicken satay and a peanut sauce. I was thrilled. So simple and so delicous!


2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 onion, chopped
1 piece of ginger, minced

juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon Sambal Oelek
chicken breast halves

For the sauce:
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 onion
1 piece of ginger
1/2 teaspoon Sambal Oelek
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoon water

For the marinade mix all ingredients together and leave the breast slices to marinate for at least 2 hours in the fridge. After fry them for 3-4 minutes in oil. For the sauce heat oil, add chopped onion, minced ginger, Sambal Oelek and cook for some minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook it while stirring until it is smooth.

This is my entry for the Nutriferia Roundup.

The Recipe Muncher

One of my favourite food blog is Dhanggit's Kitchen written by the lovely Dhanggit who has launched her very first web project: The Recipe Muncher.

This site is going to gather the best food blogs that exist around in the blog sphere. So no need to worry anymore if you have no idea what to cook for lunch! Just check that fabulous site out and for sure you will drain in ideas and inspiration. Not to mention all those irresistible chocolate desserts that are already starring at you, hypnotising... eat me now!

Fried Rice

It was quite a long time ago that I prepared fried rice. This time I used black sesame oil for frying, that gave it an intense taste.

1 cup cooked rice
1 piece of leek
2 carrots, diced
1 handful of green peas
150 g brean sprouts
1 egg
black sesame oil

soy sauce

Chop leek while precooking peas in boiling water.
Heat 2-3 tablespoons of black sesame oil. Add onion, diced carrot, precooked peas and stir fry until fragrant. Add some more sesame oil and stir in rice. Stir fry until it gets a bit of colour.
Add bean sprouts with 2 tablespoon of soy sauce and mix well. Make place in the wok and add scrambled eggs and when it is done fold it into the rest.

June 14, 2008

Fava Bean Salad - Weekend Herb Blogging

The broad bean, fava bean, faba bean, horse bean, field bean, tic bean is a species of bean native to north Africa and southwest Asia, and extensively cultivated elsewhere. Broad beans have a long tradition of cultivation in Old World agriculture, being among the most ancient plants in cultivation and also among the easiest to grow. It is believed that along with lentils, peas, and chickpeas, they became part of the eastern Mediterranean diet in around 6000 BC or earlier. They are still often grown as a cover crop to prevent erosion because they can over-winter and because as a legume, they fix nitrogen in the soil. In much of the Anglophone world, the name broad bean is used for the large-seeded cultivars grown for human food, while horse bean and field bean refer to cultivars with smaller, harder seeds (more like the wild species) used for animal feed, though their stronger flavour is preferred in some human food recipes, such as falafel. The term fava bean (from the Italian fava, meaning "broad bean") is its most common name in the United States, with broad bean being the most common name in the UK.

Broad beans are eaten while still young and tender, enabling harvesting to begin as early as the middle of spring for plants started under glass or over-wintered in a protected location, but even the maincrop sown in early spring will be ready from mid to late summer. Horse beans, left to mature fully, are usually harvested in the late autumn.

The beans can be fried, causing the skin to split open, and then salted and/or spiced to produce a savory crunchy snack. These are popular in China, Peru (habas saladas), Mexico (habas con chile) and in Thailand (where their name means "open-mouth nut").
In the Sichuan cuisine of China, broad beans are combined with soybeans and chili peppers to produce a spicy fermented bean paste called doubanjiang. If you are interested to know more follow the link. (source:wikipedia)

I would like to share this fava bean salad with you and submit it to the WHB created by Kalyn from Kalyn's Kitchen this time hosted by Astrid from Paulchen's Food Blog.

fava beans

Jamón serrano
1 onion
2 red radish

3 tablesoons sherry vinegar
2 tablespoon dry sherry
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 pinch of sugar
1 pinch of cayenne pepper
white pepper

fleur de sel
5 tablespoon grape seed oil
2 tablespoon milk

Bring water to boil and cook beans for 1-2 minutes, then peel them. Chop onion and radish. Whisk sherry vinegar, sherry, mustard, sugar, pepper, salt, oil and milk together to a dressing. Stir in chopped veggies. Top the beans with the dressing, decorate with the serrano ham and pecorino.

June 13, 2008

Anatra all’arancia

Did you know, that the famous duck dish, Canard à l'orange is actually not a french speciality? Originally it is from the Tuscany, Italy. Already long before the French Cuisine claimed it for itself, it was prepared in Folrence under the name Papero alla melarancia in the 14th century. Catherine de' Medici brought it to the french courtyard when she married to Henry of Orléans in 1533.

I was kind of curios about this dish and was searching almost all morning for a recipe, and I have found loads of them, so it was impossible to decide which on to use. Of course I have not cooked a whole duck, only one breast. Here is one recipe for a whole duck.

Salt and pepper a duck inside and outsie, after fry on a mixture of butter and olive oil until golden brown. Throw away the unnecessary fat. Placing the duck on its side put it to the oven on 160°C for an hour. Zest one orange and set aside. Peel another 2 oranges, so that it has no white parts on it and cut filets out of it and set the juice aside for the sauce. Press the juice of three more oranges as well. Add the oranges zest in boiling water and repeat it twice. In another pot add 4 tablespoons sugar and 1 tablespoon water, let it caramelize, add 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar, 200 ml red or white wine and the orange juice. Let it reduce, add orange zest, 200 ml chicken stock and cook for another 15 minutes. You can also add some cognac, Cointreau or Grand Marnier.
Set the duck for a rest so that the breast is on the bottom on 60°C for 15-30 minutes. Bring the sauce once more to boil and stir in 2 tablespoons of ice cold butter. Serve the duck with the sauce and warm orange filets. (source)

Strawberry Sparkling Wine &Chilli White Chocolate Truffles

The last evening while sipping a little of the strawberry sparkling wine, I had the idea to prepare some truffles. I have never made any myself, it always seemed like a huge mountain and I did not dare to start climbing. I do not know if the glass of wine helped a bit or simply I was eager enough to prepare my first ever white truffles. Anyway I do not drink alcohol often, maybe once in a while some good red wine with some nice dish or a bier on a concert but defintely it is not my cup of tea. Anyway back to the chocolate. I have a huge stock of white chocolate since the Opera Cake DB Challenge, so I thought it is okay even if I screw it up. Surprisingly my trial was a success. I would not say they are perfect but okay and yummy. I did not dare to coat them with time.

80 g butter
80 g powder sugar
325 g white chocolate
100 ml strawberry sparkling wine (or any other)

dried chilli flakes
powder sugar and cocoa for coating

Whisk butter and powder sugar with a mixer until frothy while melting chocolate over steam.
Stir in molten chocolate with the help of the mixer. Add wine and chilli flakes and mix until it gets thick enough to inject small portions on a baking sheet. Let it cool for some hours. After form balls and coat with powder sugar and cocoa.

Zabaglione with wild strawberries

Yesterday I had the chance to collect some wild strawberries while taking my dog for a walk. I can hardly wait for the while raspberries, however these are hard to find. On the other side there are normally a lot of blackberries when it is season. So I wanted to prepare something light and fast together with the berries. While checking out my pantry I discovered a bottle of strawberry sparkling wine. I already felt the silky, smooth zabaglione melting in my mouth together with those cute wild things.

2 egg yolks
40 g sugar

60 ml sparkling wine

Whisk sugar and egg yolks together, add wine. Whisk over steam for 10-15 minutes and serve with fruits.

June 12, 2008

Lasagne al Forno

The time has come to prepare my first ever lasagna with home made pasta. As I do not own a pasta machine I was a bit worried if I will be able to roll out the dough thin enough. It was easier than I thought! Of course you can not compare to a machine but I was pleased with the result. Actually the reason for today's lunch was my recreated Bolognese sauce. This time I used beef, but I must confess I like it much much more with minced turkey breast. I am eager to experiment with other type of pasta. So now let's roll out that dough!

250 g flour (Italian Tipo 00)
250 g semolina
3 eggs
8 egg yolks

Whisk flour and semolina together. Make a hole in the middle and slowly add whisked eggs and with a help of a fork mix it together. When the dough is getting viscous knead it with your hands until it is smooth. Put it to the fridge for an hour. Roll out and cut out your lasagna leaves. After prepare Béchamel sauce: melt 3 tablespoons butter add 3 tablespoon flour and cook until it turns golden brown. Add about 3 cups hot milk and cook for 10 minutes. For the bolognese recepie click here.

Add some béchamel sauce on the bottom of a heat proof form, add lasagne and some from the bolognese ragù, some grated mozzarella and parmesan. Do this until you have no more left of the ragù. Add some béchamel on top and some cheese. Bake for 25-30 minutes on 200°C.

This is my entry for the Presto Pasta Nights, hosted by Kevin from Closet Cooking and created by Ruth from Once Upon A Feast.

June 11, 2008

My first real bread!

First of all a big thank you for Millie from Kuul Kat who baked this fantastic bread some days ago and encouraged me to bake it myself. She is great in baking bread and an inspiration to me. So we are talking about a baking technique called Pain à l'ancienne. The technique uses delayed-fermentation. Delayed-fermentation means that you make the dough then delay the fermentation by retarding the action of the yeast by chilling the dough. Ice water is used to mix the dough and then the fridge is used to hold the dough overnight. The recepie is from Peter Reinhart. The recepie is very easy and you get a fantastic crispy bread! As I had no time for cooking, I thought to make a pizza from part of the dough, as Millie mentioned in her post that the dough is great for this purpose as well. I have never made pizza sauce before, but I was very happy with my first trial from today. Yum. I can not wait to try other breads as well and bake my first real pizza with a good pizza dough recepie.

764 g white bread flour
16 g salt
5,5 g active dry yeast

550 g water with ice cubes

Knead a dough with a help of your mixer using the kneading attachment. Knead for 8 minutes. The dough is ready if it does not stick to the side of the bowl, but still does to the bottom. If it is not optimal add more flour and water as needed. When done, transfer it to another bowl which is oiled, and also add some oil on top of the dough. Now place it to the fridge and leave it there for 24 hours. The next day get it out and let it double its size. It takes about 5 hours. Flour a working surface and add the dough, sprinkle more flour on its top. Slice it and place on a floured baking paper. Preheat oven to 260°C and add boiling water in a baking form on the bottom of the oven. Place formed breads and with a help of a sprinkler sprinkle water on the sidewalls of to oven, so that it gets nice and streamy inside. Water should not touch the dough. Bake for 20 minutes.

1 onion
1 carrot
1 celery stalk
10 small date tomatoes
150 ml chicken stock

fresh basil, majoram, rosemary, thyme, oregano
1 tablespoon tomato puree
2 tablespoon milk
olive oil

salt, pepper

Heat olive oil, add grated onion, carrot and celery and stir continously while cooking for 2-3 minutes. Add peeled date tomatoes, tomato puree and stock. Reduce and add chopped herbs and milk. Season with salt, pepper.

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