Friday, December 25, 2009
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Ingredients for sugar Cookies (2 dozens):
3 1/2 cups (460 grams) all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups (300 grams) granulated white sugar
2 larger eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the royal icing you need:
2 large egg whites
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
3 cups (330 grams) confectioner’s (powdered or icing) sugar, sifted
1. Preheat an oven to 350 F (176 C).
2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
3. Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of your electric mixer.
4. Beat until light and fluffy (about 3 to 4 minutes).
5. Add the eggs and vanilla extract…
6. … and beat until combined.
7. Add the flour and salt and beat until you have smooth dough.
8. Place the dough on a floured surface and form a ball.
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about one hour or until firm enough to roll.
9. While you are waiting for the dough to chill, you can prepare the royal icing.
Beat the egg whites with lemon juice.
Add the sifted powdered sugar and beat until combined and smooth (soft peaks should form).
And while we need two colors for the cobweb design (brown and white) we need to divide the mixture now.
So divide the mixture into 2 parts – 3/4 (add the cocoa powder little by little into this part until you achieve the wished color) and 1/4 (remains white).
Keep the brown and the white mixture in airtight containers as royal icing hardens when exposed to air.
10. Remove the chilled dough from the fridge.
On a lightly floured surface roll out to the thickness of 1/4 inch (0,6 cm).
Keep turning the dough as you roll, making sure it does not stick to the counter.
Using a lightly floured round cookie cutter cut out the shapes and transfer them to the prepared baking sheet.
Bake for about 10 minutes.
11. Remove from the oven and let cool.
12. Decorate as desired with prepared icing.
Makes enough for one 10-inch tart or about four 4-inch tartlets (i made in 9 inch form)
5 ounces/ 140 grams all-purpose flour, plus additional for dusting
2 ounces/ 55 grams margarine or butter, cut into cubes
¼ teaspoon active dry yeast
pinch of salt
¼ cup water, very cold
In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, yeast and salt. Add the margarine cubes then, using your fingers, quickly rub them into the flour until each cube is completely covered with flour.
Make a well in the flour, then drizzle the water and use a fork to mix the liquid with the dry ingredients. Using your hands, work the dough to fully absorb the liquid until you get a texture that’s firm but pliable and not sticky. Add more water (if the dough is too crumbly) or more flour (if the dough is too wet) to achieve this consistency.
Shape the dough into a ball, then refrigerate, covered with plastic wrap for at least 45 minutes before assembling the tart. At this stage, the dough can be kept tightly covered in plastic wrap in the refrigerator for up to a week.
3 medium apples, halved, cored and thinly sliced (2, if you’re making tartlets and I recommend slicing them with a mandolin at its thinnest setting)
½ ounce/ 15 grams vanilla sugar or ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
3½ ounces/ 100 grams granulated sugar plus a pinch
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon corn starch
3 large eggs
3/4 cup/ 200ml heavy whipping cream
Preheat the oven to 400F/ 200C and grease the pan to be used.
Combine the granulated sugar, cornstarch and vanilla sugar or vanilla extract in a bowl, then whisk in the eggs, one at a time. Add the whipping cream and whisk until the mixture is a pale yellow. Set aside.
After 45 minutes, remove the dough from the refrigerator and flatten it on a floured surface with both hands. With a well-floured rolling pin, roll out the dough, flipping it after 2 to 3 strokes of the rolling pin while keeping it well-floured.
When the dough’s just about a millimeter thick, transfer it to the buttered tart pan by draping it over the rolling pin, then unfolding it on the tart pan. Use your fingers to gently press the dough into the pan’s corners. If you’re making tartlets, use a 6-inch cutter to cut out the crusts then gently press it into the tartlet molds. Remove any excess dough by either rolling the pin over the tart pan or snipping it off with a scissors.
You’re likely to have leftover dough at this point – we like to roll it up into a ball and bake it alongside the tart in the oven for a crisp, tasty dough to savor. It’s also a helpful indicator to tell when the crust is done.
Arrange the apple slices in a circle starting at the edge of the pan and work your way in until all the apples are assembled and the pan is full. If you’re making tartlets, layer the apple slices in a fashion that suits your fancy until it reaches the top of the mold. Sprinkle a pinch of sugar and the cinnamon over the apples, then pour the egg/whipping cream mixture into the pan.
Bake in the pre-heated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, depending on the strength of your oven. The tart is ready when its surface has caramelized and turns a golden brown. Leave to cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing and serving. The tart is best eaten on the day it’s made.
Once again Million Thanks to Bon Vivant for such great recipe and step-bys-step recipe!
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
Simple healthy dish for "after work" quick dinner.
1 pkg (300 g.) of frozen artichoke hearts
300 g. of minced meat (i used minces beef)
1 cup of vegetable stock
1 medium onion (i did not use)
1/2 tsp. Baharat (all spices)
1/2 tsp. Ground Cumin
Salt and Pepper
How to prepare:
1. Boil artichokes in salted water with lemon juice for 15 min., no need to defrost prior.After boiling cover them with cold water to stop the process of cooking immediately.
2. Fry in 1 tsp. of olive oil onion (if using) till transparent, add minced meat, spices mix and cook for 10 minutes till meat will become brown.
3. Artichokes prior to stuffing you can also fry for 2 min in the oil just to give them nice color, but i did not do it, hence i do not feel need for extra fat in food.
4. Place a 1 tsp. of meat into each artichoke. Dice tomato in very small cubes and sprinkle over the meat.
5. There is two ways to cook it: either place them in the pan with just enough stock to cover 3/4 of artichokes and simmer on low heat for 10 min under closed lid. Or, the second option, place them in the baking tray with the same amount of stock, cover with foil and bake for 10-15 min in the hot oven.
6. Artichokes can be served, for sauce - reduce the stock from cooking and add a bit of flour to thicken it.
I had some fried minced meat left, so i made arabic rice with fried meat: just add some washed and drained basmati rice to the pan with meat, add a little more cumin for flavor and fry for 5 min to coat rice in oil. add hot water (3 cups for every 2 cups of rice) and simmer under the closed lid until cooked through.
Monday, October 19, 2009
We have a lovely seasonal fresh figs in the supermarkets and i could not miss an opportunity to try it out in main dish recipe. It ended up being a strange combination of sweet glazed figs and spicy chicken. I garnished this dish with few baby asparagus and baby corns. The glazed figs tasted amazing, but i would highly recommend you reduce quantity of black pepper if you are not a fan of spicy food. Of course made it for two people and doubled the proportions. Also i think would valuable to add, that chicken breast would taste even better if coated in spices and cooked as whole piece rather than stripes, as advised below.
This recipe adopted from BBC Food Website.
Ingredients (serves 1):
For the chicken:
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ground coriander
pinch dried chilli flakes
½ tbsp crushed black peppercorns
1 chicken breast, skin removed, cut into slices
1 tbsp oil
For the figs:
1 tsp honey
2 figs, cut in half lengthways
splash balsamic vinegar
1. Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7.
2. For the chicken, mix the coriander, cumin, chilli flakes and peppercorns in a clean bowl. Place the chicken into the spices and turn to coat well.
3. Heat the oil in an ovenproof pan. Place the chicken into and cook for two minutes, until golden bown. Turn the breast over then transfer to the oven to roast for 10-12 minutes, or until completely cooked through.
4. For the the figs, heat the butter in a frying pan and add the honey. Place the figs open-face down into the pan and then place into the oven to cook for five minutes, or until sticky and soft.
5. Remove the figs from the oven and add a splash of balsamic vinegar to the pan. Place over a high eat for one minute to reduce.
6. To serve, place the chicken onto a plate and place the figs around. Drizzle the juices from the pan over.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Simple biscotti recipe can sound differently with just a small addition of weird for this kind of bakery ingredient - banana. Banana makes the dough a little softer inside, while outside cookies still stays crunchy. I was a little worried how dried cranberry will compliment banana flavored dough, but the result was amazing. And also you can utilize soft bananas.
This recipe is adopted from one of Russian cooking journals. And had a huge success with my lovely fiancé.
Ingredients for 12 biscotti’s:
2 cups (280 g.) all-purpose flour
½ cup (140 g.) white granulated sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
Pinch of salt
2 soft bananas
1 Tbsp. olive (or any other vegetable) oil
1 tsp. vanilla essence
1/2 - 1 tsp. almond essence
1 large egg
1 cup blanched almonds, coarsely chopped
½ cup dry cranberry
Preheat oven to 350F (175C). I do not have a good oven, so guessing that it was the right temperature.
Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl – flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.
In separate bowl puree bananas using food processor or just with a fork. Add egg, vanilla and almond essences and mix well.
Add banana mix to the flour, mix well until dough will be smooth. Add almonds and cranberries.
Line baking tray with baking sheet. Pour the dough onto the sheet and form into rectangular shape 25 cm by 15 cm. Be careful on this one, because the dough will be very sticky and difficult to form, form the dough with wet hands or by helping with spatula or spoons.
Place baking tray in preheated oven and bake around 25 min or until golden color.
Take out baked loaf from the oven to cool slightly (for approximately 10min) and then cut into long stripes 0,8-1 cm thick.
Place the stripes back onto baking sheet and bake in the oven on lower heat, approximately 300 F (150C) for 15 min or so.
Then turn biscotti’s to the other side so they can get browned and crunchy from both sides – keep in the oven another 15 min.
The time of “drying” biscotti’s can differ depending on how crunchy you like them. If you like softer, than keep them less than 15 min.
PS i like to dip them in black coffee.