Cold Soup Okroshka with Kefir !

‘Tis dark by now. He gets into a sleigh.
The cry “Way, way!” resounds.
With frostdust silvers
his beaver collar.

Eugene Onegin, Nabokov’s translation
Okroshka

Okroshka Ingredients (2 servings):
– 400ml Kefir
– 200ml water
– 100g chicken breast meat
– 4 baby potatoes
– 2 small eggs
– 150-200g cucumbers
– 150-200g radish
– 1/2 bunch dill
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 1 tablespoon sugar

Directions:
1 Boil chicken breast meat; let it cool down; dice the meat into 1cm cubes
2 Peel baby potatoes; cut into 1cm cubes; boil until ready; drain well and let them cool down
3 Boil 2 eggs, let them cool down, peel and dice into 0.5cm cubes
3 Chop dill
4 Cut radish and cucumber into strips
5 Mix in a large bowl cold (from the fridge) Kefir with water, salt, sugar, chopped dill
6 Add to the bowl eggs, radish, cucumbers, potatoes, chicken and carefully mix
7 Serve immediately !

Notes: traditionally Okroshka is served with Kvass, but it is tasty with Kefir as well 

Aubergine Rolls with Walnuts and Garlic !

I almost wish we were butterflies and liv’d but three summer days – three such days with you I could fill with more delight than fifty common years could ever contain.

John Keats
Aubergine rolls with walnuts recipe

Aubergine ingredients:
– 2 aubergines
– olive oil for frying aubergines

Filling ingredients:
– 1/2 cup walnuts
– 2-3 garlic cloves
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 1/4 tsp black pepper
– 1 bunch dill
– 1/4 cup warm water

Serving ingredients:
– parsley for serving
– pomegranate seeds for serving

Directions:

1 Cook aubergines:
1.1 Wash aubergines and slice them lengthways into 4mm thick stripes
1.2 Fry aubergine stripes on a skillet with olive oil until golden both sides
1.3 Put aubergine stripes on paper towels to absorb extra oil.
1.4 Let aubergine stripes cool down before filling
3 Prepare the filling: combine grated walnuts, grated garlic, salt, pepper and chopped dill in a bowl. Mix well and add water in small portions stirring constantly
4 Put 1/2-1 teaspoon filling over each aubergine stripe and roll them up
5 Put aubergine rolls in the fridge for 30-40 minutes before serving
6 Decorate with pomegranate seeds, parsley and dill. Serve as an appetiser !

Fresh Apricot Ice-Cream !

.. the future was all happy holiday as I moved Southwards week by week, easily, lazily, lingering as long as I dared, but always heeding the call!

Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows
Apricot Ice-Cream

Ingredients (4 servings):
– 250ml 33% cream
– 8 ripe apricots
– 2-3 tablespoons sugar (yes, it’s not much, but it preserves the delicate apricots taste!)
– 3g Vanilla sugar

Method:
1 Wash and de-seed apricots, bake them in the oven 15 minutes at 200C
2 Mash baked apricots with vanilla sugar after apricots have been cooled down
3 Whisk cream & sugar until mild peaks
4 Mix well mashed apricots & whisked cream: put in the freezer for at least 4 hours
5 Serve, serve, serve ! With fresh berries 🙂

Wheat-Buckwheat Pancakes with Salmon and Blue Cheese-Dill Sauce !

The fresh smell of coffee soon wafted through the apartment, the smell that separates night from day.

Haruki Murakami
Buckwheat pancakes with salmon

Pancakes ingredients (10-12 pancakes):
– 2 eggs
– 3/4 cup wheat flour
– 1/4 cup buckwheat flour (it gives pancakes a special taste & colour !!)
– 2 pinches salt
– 1 tablespoon sugar
– 500ml Kefir (hint: Kefir makes pancakes especially tender !)
– 1 tablespoon sunflower oil for batter
– 1/2 tablespoon sunflower oil for frying

Blue cheese sauce ingredients (2 servings):
– 120g grated blue cheese
– 80g sour cream
– 1 bunch of chopped dill

Serving ingredients (2 servings):
– 100g smoked salmon
– 4-5 chopped green onion sprigs

Method:
1 Cook pancakes with you favourite recipe! I like the following one:
1.1 Whisk 2 eggs with salt & sugar
1.2 Pour Kefir in the whisked eggs
1.3 Gradually add wheat and buckwheat flour continuously mixing
1.4 Mix in 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
1.5 Preheat the skillet with 1/2 tablespoon sunflower oil (no more oil will be needed!)
1.6 Pour 1 soup ladle of batter into the skillet for one pancake
1.7 Cook pancakes until golden ~2 minutes on each side
1.8 Keep the cooked pancakes warm covered with a lid on a separate plate
2 Mix blue cheese sauce ingredients in bowl 🙂
3 Serve pancakes with smoked salmon slices & the blue cheese sauce & chopped green onions
4 Enjoy ! … and let the black coffee flavour enter you room and inspire you for great doings 😉

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