Serving Suggestion for Fresh Vegetables Plate


My daughter’s kindergarten has held a “Family Day” activity, and our assignment was to prepare a vegetables plate. I thought of the below serving idea, using a braided basket.

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Naturally, the most interesting feature of this plate is the idea to put a dip inside the cabbage. “Scraping” the cabbage into this shape could be done using a large spoon with sharp edges. I used this Ice Cream Scoop (the brand doesn’t really matter, the form does). The dip itself, naturally, could be whatever suits your taste.

Just an idea…

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Pumpkin soup with Coconut Milk, Lemon and Curry


I have to start by saying that this soup has a very unusual taste. (Unusual, but good :-)) Also, it is very light and can be served either hot or cold. As you can see from the below picture, the soup was prepared as a part of a multi-course dinner, but, since it is interesting enough on its own, I prefer writing about it separately.

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Ingredients:

(Below will yield about 1 liter of soup)

1 carrot
1 onion
30 gr. coconut oil (any other oil having neutral taste can be used instead)
600 gr. pumpkin
200 gr. coconut milk
1.5 glasses  chicken stock
1/4 sprigs of parsley
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. yellow curry paste
salt

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Universal Tomato Sauce


Ready for use jars of this sauce practically “live” nowadays in my refrigerator (and freezer – for longer term usage). I have picked up the idea once in a cooking magazine, and I am keeping using it and returning to it ever since. Cooking this sauce is very simple and it can later on be used for either a complete solution for a pasta sauce or a basis for a more complex pasta sauce. It can also be used as a basis for tomato soup or stew, pizza sauce, sauce for kebaps/burgers or even for tomato-based fish dishes. And, of course, it can also be consumed “straight from the jar” with a spoon 🙂

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Most important secret for making a successful tomato sauce is picking up very ripe and “sweet” tomatos. When such tomatoes aren’t available at the markets, it is better to use Italian canned tomatoes.

Following yields approximately 3 lilters of sauce.

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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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Russian Beef Stew with Porcini Mushrooms, White Wine and Vegetables


Here’s a very nice variation on Russian beef stew. It is very light and could serve as a great dish on every table.

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Ingredients:

1.5 kg beef
2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil
Some flour
1 large onion
20 gr. dried Porcini mushrooms
1 bottle dry white wine
5 sprigs of thyme
salt and pepper
water (or vegetable broth)

Preparation:

Cut the meat into cubes (approximately 2 x 2 x 2 centimeters). Cut the onion into half-rings. Put the dried mushrooms into a bowl and pour a glass of boiling water on them.

Warm up the frying pan, heat the vegetable oil, add onion and thyme and fry. When ready, remove the content of the frying pan.

Roll the meat cubes in flour. The best technique to do this is in a plastic bag – put a couple of tablespoons of floor in, add some meat cubes close and shake vigorously to reach the desired effect.

When ready start frying the meat cubes on high heat (not all of them together – better to do that in small portions). Afterwards, add back the onion and thyme, pour in the wine and bring to boiling.

In the meantime, squeeze the mushrooms to remove extra liquids and chop them into small parts. Add both the mushroom parts and the water squeezed from the mushrooms into the pan containing the meat. Then top up with the additional water (or vegetable stock) to cover the “barely” cover the meat with liquids. Add salt and pepper, bring to boiling and then simmer over low heat for 2-2.5 hours.

As a garnish for this dish I would recommend some simple oven-baked vegetables.

1 cauliflower
1 large sweet potato
1 large onion
2 small zucchini
3 branches of thyme
10 garlic cloves
Salt (better use coarse)
2 tbsp. olive oil

Dismantle the cauliflower into florets, coarsely slice other vegetables (important – leave the garlic cloves intact). Add some salt, pour in the oil and mix by hands. Bake in the oven on 200C for approximately 40 minutes until the vegetables are ready.

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If you liked this recipe, check out other 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…..

Tricolor Tomato Salad with Mozzarella, Anchovies and Capers


The salad is very simple and very tasty, It is just what you need for breakfast when you have no time to prepare it, but you would still like to get something nice. The color combination is very bright and lively projecting the exact energetic state of mind you are looking for in the morning. All the ingredients except the eggs and salsa are in the photo.

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Ingredients:

For the salad:
30 cherry tomatoes of different colors (red, yellow and chocolate)
1/2 glass small mozzarella “balls”
Leaves from 3 basil branches
6 anchovy fillets
1 boiled egg

For the salsa:
2-3 tbsp. olive oil
Juice of 1/3 lemon
2 anchovy fillets
2 capers
*No need to add salt, the anchovies and the capers are very salty

Process:

Cut cherry tomatoes in halves and tear basil leaves into small pieces. Cut the egg into 6 parts. Mix all the salad ingredients into a salad bowl. Mix all the salsa ingredients in the blender, pour over the salad and serve.

If you liked this breakfast idea, check out these other breakfast meals:

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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…..

Marinated Cherry Tomatoes


As far as I can remember into my childhood, in the summer it was hot in the kitchen – not because of the temperature outside, but because of the stove that was always on. Mom was always steaming, cooking, boiling, picking and one had to be extra careful in our large kitchen in order to avoid bumping into large cans spread everywhere

Then, in the winter, the storage room was filled with various pickles (salads, vegetables), fruit purees, jams, marmalade, etc… Seeing such a variety was always a great pleasure.

Nowadays, with the modern agriculture, fruit and vegetables are available all-year-round, and the need to preserve vegetables is now more of a culinary practice than a necessity.

Still, my mother’s marinated tomatoes is a taste that I remember from the distant childhood….

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Per liter of water:
2 tbsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
Celery branch
2-3 garlic cloves
Optional: a few branches of parsley, hot pepper

Put the tomatoes in a jar and top with water. Then remove the water into a pan and measure the volume. Add salt, sugar, celery (parsley and pepper), according to the volume of the water and boil.

Make a small hole in the tomatoes with a toothpick (if doing it near the connection point of the branch, the tomatoes will not “explode” later) 🙂 Peel the garlic cloves, cut each into small pieces and put into jars. Pour boiling water into the jars. Cover (not tightly) with a lid and leave in a cool place for a couple of days before the fermentation starts. Once the water is turbid – put the jar into the refrigerator.

Periodically taste if ready – small sherry tomatoes are ready after 5 days. They can be left in the marinade for a couple of weeks for extra taste.

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A couple of small comments from the recipe author – my mother:

  • It isn’t necessary to pour the water into the jar when boiling
  • Dill as alternative to parsley can give a slightly different taste variation

If you liked this recipe – try out the following ones, they really work well together:

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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…..