My Favourite Sandwiches: with Camembert and Cranberry Jam !

“Just living is not enough,” said the butterfly, “one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.

Hans Christian Andersen

Ingredients (for 6 sandwiches):
– 6 Ciabatta slices
– 60g Camembert
– 30ml cranberry jam
– a few miners lettuce leaves

Method:

1 Slice 6 pieces of Ciabatta
2 Slice Camembert
3 Put Camembert slices over Ciabatta slices and sprinkle with cranberry jam
4 Serve for breakfast with miners lettuce leaves and a cup of black coffee !
5 Have a great week !

Sweet Potato Puree with Champignons !

But shouldn’t all of us on earth give the best we have to others and offer whatever is in our power?

Hans Christian Anderson, The Complete Fairy Tales

Puree ingredients (2-3 servings):
– 3 sweet potatoes (~1200g in total)
– 100 ml 33% cream
– 1/2 large onion (~75g)
– 1 tsp salt

Fried champignons ingredients:
– 7 champignons (~300g in total)
– 1/2 large onion (~75g)
– 1 tbsp olive oil

Method:

1 Start cooking sweet potato puree (2) and champignons (3) simultaneously, then you will have a delicious lunch just in 30 minutes
2 Sweet potato puree
2.1 Peel sweet potatoes and cut them into 1cm cubes.
2.2 Chop onion
2.3 Put sweet potatoes cubes and onion into a pan: add 300-350ml water
2.4 Boil at medium heat for 15 minutes, add salt 2 minutes before ready
2.5 Remove the pan from the heat (do not drain water!) and pour in 33% cream
2.6 Mash vegetables with cream with an immersive blender until smooth
3 Fried champignons
3.1 Wash champignons and remove remaining dirt with a paper towel and cut out a small slice from their bottoms
3.2 Chop champignons and onion
3.3 Pre-heat a non-sticking skillet with some olive oil
3.4 Stew champignons and onion at medium heat for 10-15 minutes until golden
4 Serve sweet potato puree with champignons on top: decorate with a few leaves of miner lettuce
5 Enjoy the healthy lunch and have a great sunny Sunday !

Ossetian pie Tsakharadzhin with beet greens !

You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep Spring from coming.

Pablo Neruda
Ossetian pie Tsakharadzhin with beet greens

Dough ingredients (for 4 pies 20cm diameter):
– 500g wheat flour
– 400ml Kefir
– 10g dry yeast
– 2 tbsp olive oil
– 1/2 tsp salt

Filling ingredients:
– 100g beet greens
– 150g Feta cheese
– 150g fresh cream cheese
– 1 pinch black pepper

Directions:
1 Filling: combine chopped beet greens with Feta & cream cheese & black pepper
2 Dough
2.1 Combine dough ingredients and knead the dough.
2.2 Let the dough stay in a warm place for 1 hour
3 Pies
3.1 Pre-heat the oven to 220C
3.2 Separate the dough into 4 equal parts with a knife
3.3 Roll out with hands a ~20 cm diameter disk out of one of dough pieces
3.4 Put 1/4 of the filling in the middle of the disk
3.5 Gather the sides up sealing the edges tight with the fingers in the center altogether
3.6 Turn over the dough with a filling and gently! flatten into a ~20 cm diameter disk
3.7 Cut out with a knife a small (~0.5-1cm diameter) circle in the middle of the pie to let the air go through while baking
3.8 Put the pie on the baking paper: bake for 20 minutes at 220C until golden
3.9 Repeat 3.3-3.8 for the left pieces of dough
4 Serve hot with a cup black coffee and enjoy with friends ! Without friends the pleasure will be totally lost.

Spinach Pancakes with Salmon and Honey !

If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.

Marcus Tullius Cicero
Spinach Pancakes with Salmon

Pancakes ingredients (~8 pancakes):
– 200g fresh spinach
– 300ml Kefir
– 2 eggs
– 7 tbsp wheat flour
– 3 tbsp olive oil
– 2 tsp sugar
– 1/2 tsp salt

Serving ingredients:
– 30ml acacia honey
– 100g smoked salmon
– a few raspberries

Method:

1 Wash spinach and squeeze it in a colander to get rid of extra water
2 Mash spinach in a puree with an immersive blender or in a food processor
3 Combine spinach puree, flour, Kefir, eggs, olive oil, sugar & salt: mix well until smooth
4 Pre-heat a non-sticking skillet with a small amount of olive oil (we need extra oil only for the first pancake!)
5 Fry pancakes until golden at medium heat 1-2 minutes each side
6 Serve the pancakes with smoked salmon, acacia honey and raspberries
7 Enjoy and have a great sunny Saturday !

Side note: These beautiful guys might be capricious as many beautiful creates are… That is why it is important to choose the right heat level when cooking them, but after a couple of failures you will be on the right road to their hearts 🙂

Pkhali: minced aubergines, champignons, walnuts and garlic !

It was June, and the world smelled of roses. The sunshine was like powdered gold over the grassy hillside.

Maud Hart Lovelace
Pkhali

Pkhali ingredients:
– 500g aubergines
– 200g onion
– 8 champignons
– 1-2 tbsp olive oil
– 2 garlic cloves
– 1 cup walnuts
– 1 tsp cardamom
– 1 tbsp vinegar
– 1 tsp salt
– 1/4 tsp black pepper

Serving ingredients:
– pomegranate seeds
– parsley

Method:

1 Prepare Pkhali ingredients:
1.1 Peel aubergines and cut into ~1cm cubes
1.2 Chop onion
1.3 Slice champignons
1.4 Peel garlic cloves
1.5 Keep the walnuts for 5 minutes in hot water (to soften them a little), then dry them with a paper towel
2 Cook champignons, onion and aubergines
2.1 Fry chopped onion and sliced champignons for 7 minutes at medium heat with some olive oil
2.2 Add aubergine cubes and cook for another 15 minutes or until aubergines are soft
3 Combine cooked champignons, onion and aubergines with garlic, softened walnuts, cardamom, salt, pepper, and vinegar in a bowl: mash until smooth with an immersive blender
4 Put the bowl in the fridge for at least 2 hours
5 Take the bowl from the fridge and form with fingers ~2cm diameter balls.
6 Put the balls on the plate and decorate with pomegranate seeds and parsley: serve, it’s a really delicious appetiser !

Notes: you can use the same recipe as a delicious pate for the sandwiches 😉

Chicken baked with Quince !

Without you I wouldn’t have moved this way, to speak the language of flowers.

Vladimir Nabokov
Chicken Baked with Quince

Ingredients (2 servings):
– 2 chicken breasts
– 1 large quince
– salt and pepper

Serving ingredients:
– small bunch of fresh rucola
– 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Method:

1 Preheat the oven to 180C
2 Wash well and de-seed quince. Then cut into 0.3-0.5cm width slices
3 Wash chicken breasts and dry with paper towel
4 Put the chicken breasts in the baking form and make wide cross cuts to fit in the quince slices
5 Pepper and salt the chicken
6 Put the quince slices into the cuts
7 Bake for 30 minutes at 180C
8 Serve with fresh rucola and do not forget to sprinkle with balsamic vinegar 😉
9 Have a wonderful day !

Warm Pumpkin Salad with Spinach and Feta !

Nostalgia in reverse, the longing for yet another strange land, grew especially strong in spring.

Vladimir Nabokov

Ingredients (2 servings):
– 1 Hokkaido pumpkin (Red kuri squash)
– 125g fresh baby spinach
– 150g Feta cheese
– 35g pine nuts
– salt and black pepper
– 1 tbsp olive oil for frying pumpkin

Dressing ingredients:
– 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Method:
1 Preheat the oven to 180C
2 Wash pumpkin, halve and de-seed it
3 Bake the pumpkin for 30-35 minutes at 200C and let it cool down
4 Peel the pumpkin and cut into 1.5cm cubes
5 Wash baby spinach and let it dry itself
6 Cut feta cheese into 0.5-1cm cubes
7 Fry pumpkin cubes in olive oil for 4-5 minutes at medium heat
8 Put the salad ingredients on the plates as follows:
8.1 Baby spinach
8.2 Warm pumpkin cubes
8.3 Sprinkle with salt and black pepper
8.4 Feta cheese cubes
8.5 Pine nuts
8.6 Sprinkle with balsamic vinegar
9 Enjoy !

Spinach Pancakes: perfect for Sunday breakfast !

The best portion of a good man’s life: his little, nameless unremembered acts of kindness and love

William Wordsworth
Spinach pancakes

Pancakes ingredients (8-10 pancakes):
– 200g fresh spinach
– 300ml Kefir
– 2 eggs
– 7 tbsp wheat flour
– 3-4 tbsp olive oil
– 2 tsp sugar
– 1/2 tsp salt

Serving ingredients:
– 30ml acacia honey
– 20g Feta cheese
– a few raspberries

Method:

1 Wash spinach and squeeze it in a colander to get rid of extra water
2 Mash spinach in a puree with an immersive blender or in a food processor
3 Combine spinach puree, flour, Kefir, eggs, olive oil, sugar & salt: mix well until smooth
4 Pre-heat a non-sticking skillet with a small amount of olive oil (we need extra oil only for the first pancake!)
5 Fry pancakes until golden at medium heat 1-2 minutes each side
6 Serve the pancakes with Feta cheese, acacia honey and raspberries
7 Enjoy and have a great sunny Sunday !

Side note: These beautiful guys might be capricious as many beautiful creates are… That is why it is important to choose the right heat level when cooking them, but after a couple of failures you will be on the right road to their hearts 🙂

Broccoli Soup with Cream Cheese Tartines: quick and healthy lunch !

The robb’d that smiles, steals something from the thief;
He robs himself that spends a bootless grief.

William Shakespeare
Broccoli Cream Soup

Soup ingredients (2 servings):
– 1 medium or 2 small broccoli heads
– 4-6 baby potatoes
– 1 small onion
– 400ml vegetable or chicken broth
– 1/2 tsp salt

Tartines ingredients:
– 6-8 pieces of Ciabatta
– 100g cream cheese (e.g. Almette)
– 1/2 bunch chopped chives
– 1/4 tsp black pepper
– 4-8 cherry tomatoes for decoration

Method:
1 Soup:
1.1 Cut the washed broccoli with stalks & the peeled potatoes into 1-2cm cubes
1.2 Chop the onion as well. Yes, I often do this in sunglasses 😉
1.3 Put the vegetables into the boiling broth and cook for 15 minutes at medium heat
1.4 Add salt and blend the soup until smooth
2 Tartines:
2.1 Combine cream cheese with chopped chives and black pepper: mix well
2.2 [Optional] Bake slightly brushed with olive oil Ciabatta slices at 200C for 5-7 minutes. Let them cool down.
2.3 Butter the cheese mixture on the Ciabatta slices
2.4 Decorate with the cherry tomatoes halves
3 Serve and enjoy!

Lazy Khachapuri for a quick yet delicious breakfast or lunch !

We had our breakfastswhatever happens in a house, robbery or murder, it doesn’t matter, you must have your breakfast.

Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone.
Lazy Khachapuri

Khachapuri batter ingredients (2 servings):
– 2 eggs
– 100g grated Ciacotta (or Suluguni or butter cheese)
– 100ml Kefir
– 100g wheat flour
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 1 bunch of chopped parsley

Cooking and serving ingredients:
– 20g butter for frying
– 20g miners lettuce

Directions:
1 Combine all Khachapuri batter ingredients in a bowl and mix well!
2 Preheat a non-sticking skillet at the medium heat: melt 20g butter
3 Pour the batter uniformly on the skillet, cook for around 4 minutes one side until golden, then flip (I flipped it with two spatulas), cook for another 2 minutes
4 Serve Khachapuri with fresh greens or tomatoes (miners lettuce on the photo) !

Vareniki with Plums or Colțunași !

Iar când te văd zâmbind copilăreşte,
Se stinge-atunci o viaţă de durere,
Privirea-mi arde, sufletul îmi creşte.

Mihai Eminescu
Vareniki with Plums or Colțunași

Dough ingredients (all ingredients for 4 servings = ~30 Vareniki):
– 260g wheat flour
– 130ml water
– 30ml olive oil
– 1/2 tsp salt

Filling ingredients:
– 15 middle plums
– 2 tbsp sugar

Serving ingredients:
– 200ml sour cream

Method:

1 Prepare dough:
1.1 Add olive oil in the middle of flour heap and mix oil with flour
1.2 Stir in boiled water into the oily flour and knead the dough
1.3 Let the dough rest for 15 minutes
1.4 Separate the dough into 4 equal parts with a knife. Form ~1.5cm diameter “sausage” out of each part with your hands
1.5 Cut each “sausage” into 1cm width pieces and roll out each piece into a ~5cm diameter round
2 Prepare the filling:
2.1 Wash and de-seed the plums. Separate the plums into halves.
2.2 Cut each plum half into ~6 thin slices
2.3 Combine plum slices with 2 tbsp sugar and mix well
3 Make Vareniki:
3.1 Put 3-5 plum slices into each round, fold the round into a half-moon and pinch all the edges together strongly with fingers. Be careful: these plum slices are very naughty…
3.2 Put Vareniki into boiling water and cook for 5 minutes at medium heat
3.3 Serve warm with sour cream and enjoy !

P.S. inspired by Romanian friends! 🙂

Salmon with Quince and Rice: quick and delicious lunch !

See, see how the sun has moved onward while we talked. Nothing can stop it in its course.

Eiji Yoshikawa
Salmon with Quince and Rice

Ingredients (2 servings):
– 180g salmon
– 2 fresh quinces
– 120g white rice mixed with wild rice
– 3 garlic cloves
– 2 tbsp butter for cooking quinces
– 1tbsp olive oil for cooking salmon
– a few sprigs of parsley for serving
– 1/4 tsp salt
– 1/4 tsp black pepper

Method:

1 Salmon:
1.1 Wash salmon and absorb extra water with paper towels
1.2 Chop garlic cloves
1.3 Cook it for 4-5 minutes each side until golden in olive oil
1.4 Add chopped garlic cloves to the skillet 2 minutes before salmon is ready
2 Quinces:
2.1 Wash quinces and de-seed them
2.2 Slice quinces into 0.3-0.5 cm width pieces
2.3 Melt butter in the skillet
2.4 Stew quince slices for 15 minutes in butter at medium heat
3 Rice: boil it per instruction in salty water
4 Serve cooked salmon and quinces over the boiled rice: season with salt & pepper and decorate with chopped parsley
5 Enjoy!

Vareniki with Potatoes and Champignons !

Patsuk opened his mouth, stared at the Vareniki, and opened his mouth wider still. At that moment, a varenik jumped out of the bowl, splashed into the cream, flipped over and leapt straight up into his mouth. Patsuk opened his mouth again, and another varenik went through the same performance. The only trouble he took was to munch it up and swallow it.

N.V. Gogol
Vareniki with Potatoes and Champignons

Filling ingredients (all ingredients for 4 servings = ~30 Vareniki):
– 500g new potatoes
– 200g champignons
– 1 onion
– 1 carrot
– 1 tsp salt
– 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Dough ingredients:
– 260g wheat flour
– 130ml water
– 30ml olive oil
– 1/2 tsp salt

Serving ingredients:
– a few sprigs of green onions
– 200ml sour cream

Method:
1 Prepare the filling:
1.1 Wash champignons, remove dirt from them with a paper towel and cut a thin slice off the bottom
1.2 Stew on olive oil chopped onion with grated carrot for 5 minutes
1.3 Add chopped champignons to onion & carrot and stew for another 10 minutes
1.4 Put the frying pan aside and let it cool down
1.5 Boil for 15 minutes peeled potatoes. Then mash them with 1 tsp salt.
1.6 Combine mashed potatoes with fried champignons and mix them well.
2 Prepare dough:
2.1 Add olive oil in the middle of flour heap and mix oil with flour
2.2 Stir in boiled water into the oily flour and knead the dough
2.3 Let the dough rest for 15 minutes
2.4 Separate the dough into 4 equal parts with a knife. Form a ~1.5cm diameter sausage out of each part
2.5 Cut each sausage into 1cm width pieces and roll out each piece into a ~5cm diameter round
3 Make Vareniki:
3.1 Put 1 tsp filling into each round, fold the round into a half-moon and pinch all the edges together strongly with fingers. Put Vareniki on the floured plate.
3.2 Put Vareniki into boiling water and cook for 5 minutes at medium heat
3.3 Serve immediately with sour cream, chopped green onions, miner’s lettuce and grated carrot !

Notes: one can make several servings of Vareniki (e.g., during a rainy weekend) and put them uncooked in the freezer. And then… enjoy the benefits of quick & delicious lunch during the week! 🙂

Vareniki with Cabbage !

Patsuk opened his mouth, stared at the Vareniki, and opened his mouth wider still. At that moment, a varenik jumped out of the bowl, splashed into the cream, flipped over and leapt straight up into his mouth. Patsuk opened his mouth again, and another varenik went through the same performance. The only trouble he took was to munch it up and swallow it.

N.V. Gogol
Vareniki with Cabbage

Filling ingredients (all ingredients for 4 servings = ~30 Vareniki):
– 400g pointed white cabbage or young white cabbage
– 1 onion
– 1 carrot
– 1 tsp salt
– 1/2 tsp black pepper
– 1 tsp sugar
– 1 tsp vinegar

Dough ingredients:
– 260g wheat flour
– 130ml water
– 30ml olive oil
– 1/2 tsp salt

Serving ingredients:
– 1 grated carrot
– a few sprigs of green onions
– 200ml sour cream
– a few leaves of miner’s lettuce

Method:
1 Prepare the filling:
1.1 Cut cabbage into thin strips, chop carrot and onion
1.2 Fry on olive oil chopped onion with carrot for 5 minutes
1.3 Add striped cabbage, 1 tsp sugar, 1 tsp vinegar to onion and carrot and stew for another 15 minutes
1.4 Add salt and black pepper and mix everything well
1.5 Put the frying pan aside to let the vegetables cool down
2 Prepare dough:
2.1 Add olive oil in the middle of flour heap and mix oil with flour
2.2 Stir in boiled water into the oily flour and knead the dough
2.3 Let the dough rest for 15 minutes
2.4 Separate the dough into 4 equal parts with a knife. Form ~1.5cm diameter sausage out of each part with your hands
2.5 Cut each sausage into 1cm width pieces and roll out each piece into a ~5cm diameter round
3 Make Vareniki:
3.1 Put 1 tsp filling into each round, fold the round into a half-moon and pinch all the edges together strongly with fingers. Put Vareniki on the floured plate.
3.2 Put Vareniki into boiling water and cook for 5 minutes at medium heat
3.3 Serve immediately with sour cream, chopped green onions, miner’s lettuce and grated carrot !

Notes: one can make several servings of Vareniki (e.g., during a rainy weekend) and put them uncooked in the freezer. And then… enjoy the benefits of quick & delicious lunch during the week! 🙂

Snow White Cake – for a special occasion !

It was the middle of winter, and the snow-flakes were falling like feathers from the sky, and a queen sat at her window working, and her embroidery-frame was of ebony.

Brothers Grimm
Snow White Cake Recipe

Sponge cake ingredients (all ingredients for 8 servings):
– 3 eggs
– 80g sugar
– 80g wheat flour
– 2 tbsp cocoa powder
– 1/2 teaspoon baking soda & 1 tsp vinegar
– 300g sour deseeded cherries

Chocolate icing ingredients:

– 50g dark 70% chocolate
– 50ml 33% cream
– 20g butter

Mascarpone layer ingredients:

– 250g Mascarpone
– 4 tbsp 33% cream
– 2 tbsp sugar

Method:

1 Sponge cake:
1.1 Pre-heat the oven to 180C
1.2 Whisk 3 eggs & 80g sugar
1.3 Add cocoa powder & flour: mix well
1.4 Add baking soda & vinegar: mix well
1.5 Transfer the batter into the buttered 25x25cm baking form
1.6 Distribute the cherries over the dough
1.7 Bake at 180C for 20-25 minutes (test whether it’s ready with a wooden stick)
1.8 Let it cool down
2 Mascarpone layer:
2.1 Combine mascarpone layer ingredients: mix them well with a fork! 🙂
2.2 Put the mixture in the fridge until the cake cools down
2.3 You will get so beautiful Donau Welle waves caused by the cherries sinking in the batter… I do not have them on the photo since I flipped the cake upside down, pity. :-b
3 Butter the mascarpone layer on the cake. I distributed mascarpone only on half a cake (see photo). Distribute it overall if you aim for a thinner layer 🙂
4 Chocolate icing:
4.1 Melt chocolate & butter in 33% cream constantly stirring the mixture
4.2 Pour the icing quickly but carefully over the Mascarpone layer
5 Put the cake in the fridge overnight
6 Enjoy the cake the next day if you have a special occasion for such a cake, of course 😉 Or if falling autumn leaves make you think about sunny days by the Danube…

error: Content is protected !!
%d bloggers like this: