Seafood Risotto


The inspiration for making this dish (as always) is that we recently visited our favorite fisherman store not far from Jaffa port. They have huge variety of fresh fish and seafood. The mussels were so fresh, that even after spending a couple of days in a refrigerator they were still in a top shape and almost all “opened up” when being cooked.

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It is absolutely crucial to use fresh seafood for this risotto. Don’t even bother trying this with frozen or pre-cooked ones.

Ingredients:

(For 6-7 portions)
A pinch of Saffron “threads”
1.5 liter of fish stock
300 ml. of dry white wine
0.5 kg. shripms
1 kg. mussels
2-3 crabs
6 small calamari
75 gr. butter
1 onion finely chopped
500 gr. of large round risotto rice
Parsley for serving

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Curry and Corn Pancakes


This recipe qualifies as gluten-free, its very easy to make and serve as a perfect snack.

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Ingredients:

For 8 pancakes:
400 grams corn seeds (fresh, defrosted or canned)
3 tbsp. rice flour (can be substituted by a “regular” flour)
1 tbsp. yellow curry paste
1 egg *
1 medium sized red onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp Fish Souce (Nam Pla) or Soy Sauce
1/2 glass of finely-chopped cilantro (coriander) leaves
Corn Flour (optional)
Frying oil

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Sweet Challah Bread


This is a second post in my Challah Bread series. In the previous one, I have shown how to make a salty filled Challah in two variants – with mushrooms or spinach filling. This time we will deal with the sweet variant – both the dough and, naturally, the filling are going to be different. The history and the meaning of the meal are the same, so, if this is the first post you are reading, I really suggest to read the background here.

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Ingredients:

(For 3 loafs)

850 gr. white flour
150 gr. whole rye flour
1 egg
100 gr. brown sugar, preferably Demerara
2 tbsp. lemon zest
560 ml. water
300 gr. cold butter cut into cubes
1.25 tbsp. salt

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Mediterranean Cold Eggplant Soup


Spring is coming, gradually bringing warm weather, and this means that its time to update the menu and replace “heavy” winter soups with light and cold summer ones. Here’s one based on eggplants. Making this soup is very quick and if the weather suddenly becomes less warm than anticipated, it can actually be served hot as well.

The tastes combination is classically Mediterranean – eggplants, mint, goat yogurt and chili peppers….

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Ingredients:

(For 6 regular soup-bowls or 16 small servings, like the one illustrated above)

3 large eggplants (or 500 grams of grilled eggplant “flesh”)
500 ml. goat yogurt
500 ml. water
2 garlic cloves
100 gr. goat cheese – similar to non-aged/young Sainte-Maure
1/2 chili pepper
Mint leaves (amount can be varied, roughly take half-a-bunch or mint branches)
Salt, Pepper

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Buns with Fried Onions and Poppy Seeds


What I like about these buns is the very unusual combination of ingredients – I haven’t seen any use of poppy seeds in non-sweet bakery before (except for some basic bread recipes). I have to confess that I simply love the sensation created by the poppy seeds when eating these buns – the crunchy sense and sound. In this recipe, the dough is a bit unusual as well, slightly resembling that of a pancake.

So, the result is somewhat related to both pancakes and muffins with a sweetish crispy filling. Very very nice 🙂

Lire en Francais

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Ingredients:

(For a baking form of 12 muffins)

Filling:

30 gr. butter
3 small or medium-sized onions (can be red/purple)
1/4 glass poppy seeds (whole or crushed)

Dough:

210 gr. flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp mustard powder
300 ml. milk or sour milk
3 eggs
1 tsp salt

Oil for spraying the baking form

Process:

Clean the onions, cut them first into halves and then further into thin half-rings. Fry them “on” oil in the frying pan, till the point when they become transparent. Very important to stop at this point, as the onions will continue their preparation in the oven.

Mix all the ingredients for the dough into a smooth mixture and leave for 10 minutes – the dough turns liquid.

Preheat the oven to oven to 210C and warm the muffin-shaped baking form inside. Spray oil on the baking form very generously. Fill each muffin-shape in the form with the dough – one way of doing it is with a ladle, spreading on top a spoonful of onion and a teaspoon of poppy seeds. Bake for 30 minutes. During the baking, some of the onion and poppy seeks will sink into the dough, and the dough itself will “rise” almost doubling its original size.

The buns are best served when they are still warm, straight of the oven!

Check out similar and related recipes:

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Did you like this recipe? Do you think that you are going to cook it anytime soon? Have you already tried it?

Please leave us comments about your experience…..

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Phyllo “Cigars” with Beef and Lamb


This is a very famous oriental (middle-eastern, I guess) dish made with Phyllo dough. The original ones are usually deep-fried in oil and, therefore, become very fatty. In my version, I sprinkled the cigars with oil and then baked them. The result is very crispy and much less fatty. The only downside 🙂 is the fact that rolling them is still a lot of work.

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Ingredients (for 20-25 units):

600 gr. meat (lamb mixed with beef)
1 large onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp crushed coriander seeds
1/3 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
12 sheets Phyllo

Salt and Pepper, as well as 1/4 glass of olive oil

The Process:

If your Phyllo dough is frozen (it is sold that way) – put in the fridge beforehand. Onion should be cut into small cubes.

In a heavy saucepan, heat the oil and fry the onions until they become transparent. Add beef and cook over high heat, stirring and breaking up the pieces of meat with a fork into gravel-like form.

When all the beef completely change color – add spices, salt, pepper; mix everything again and remove from heat.

Cool to the mixture to room temperature. Cut the Phyllo dough into quarters. It’s best to cut all the sheets at once (first cut into two rectangular halves, fold and stack these rectangles, then cut in half again into two squares). Beware, the dough is drying very fast, so while you wait for “rolling” the cut pieces of dough should be stacked and covered.

Now to the rolling itself:

Take one piece (quarter) of dough, and brush some oil on it. Do it lightly, being careful not to put too much oil and not to tear the “page” of dough. Then cover it with another square piece and brush it with oil as well.

Spread approximately 1/2 tablespoon of the meat mixture near one and and start rolling the cigar in the sequence shown below – first cover the part with the stuffing, then fold the sizes and roll into a tube.

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Resulting rolls should be laid on a baking for covered with baking paper laid baking paper. Sprinkle some oil, preferably for a pressurized container (I used olive oil) and then bake in pre-heated oven for 30 minutes at 200C, until the exterior of the cigars turns golden brown. Serve hot – when they cool, the dough gathers moisture and looses the desired texture.

Bon Appetit!

Did you like this recipe? Do you think that you are going to cook it anytime soon? Have you already tried it?

Please leave us comments about your experience…..

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