Jam Cake

 This cake is well-known in my home-country, and it’s quite popular among village people, or at least who prepare homemade jams. Oh, we love make jams in Russia! Nothing can beat a real homemade jam, jam for which you picked up fruits or berries yourself in the garden or forest during summer. And like everything is done at home the taste of every jam in every home is unique. When it is dark and dank outside, or even when it’s a snowstorm during cold Russian winters, it’s such a great pleasure to be at warm and cozy home, sip a hot herbal tea with a spoon of jam, or spread it thickly over a piece of bread.
 Many Russian grandmothers used to make this cake, mainly when was a cup of jam left, and nobody wanted to eat it up. Among such ladies was grandmother of my classmate, she used to make delicious cake with strawberry jam! 
 The cake recipe is very easy and quickly to prepare, you need only few ingredients and patience while it cooks, and the result is sweet and tasty cake! Ability to use any jam is excellent, every time you’re getting new-flavoured cake! Isn’t it cool? 

Jam Cake

Jam Cake

Ingredients
200ml jam, not watery (I used plum jam)
200ml full fat kefir
1 tsp baking soda
50-100g white sugar, depends how sweet is jam
1 big egg or 2 small
300-350g all-purpose flour
In a big bowl, mix jam and soda, leave it for 5 minutes. In another bowl, slightly beat eggs with sugar. 
Add kefir and beaten eggs into jam mixture, stir well. Add flour, and combine all ingredients.
The consistency of the batter should be little bit thicker than for pancakes.
Pour batter into greased pan, bake in preheated 180C/360F oven for 50-60 minutes.
Sprinkle with icing sugar and decorate with fruits or berries, if desired.
Enjoy!

Jam Cake with plums

Dubai Eating Out

 Last year I’d been invited to the pre-opening culinary evening of new Spanish restaurant in Dubai. Spanish waiters were greeting guests with aromatic red Sangria at the entrance and that promised a good evening ahead. The restaurant’s ambience was very welcoming and relaxed. I was very excited and anxious to try out Spanish dishes!Spanish Restaurant in Dubai We had tried few tapas (appetizers), cold tomato-cucumber soup-Gaspacho, Spanish pudding and another famous dessert – churros. And of course, an icon of Spanish national cuisine – Paella! The young Chef was preparing saffron seafood paella just in front of my table! Can you believe, they have bringing the rice for paella straight from Spain! And not only rice, among others stuff is sherry vinegar, sausages, wine… Thus, I’d tasted the real taste of Spain being outside the country! Besides the dinner, there was a drawing, and my husband was extremely lucky that day and won the main prize – the voucher for a dinner. So, we had a chance to dine there one more time.Spanish Restaurant

 One of the distinctive features of the restaurant is a large open kitchen and bar, counter seating and tables are laid around it. We sat near the kitchen, where the chef was preparing food in front of us. While waiting paella, we were served complimentary crusty bread on a wooden board. The waiter explained that we should rub bread with garlic, tomato and season to taste. A good and aromatic starter!

The main dish – paella was flavorful, but overly salty. I almost wanted to scream ‘stop!’ at chef, when I’d seen how much salt she added in a huge paella pan.

Enjoyable dish was churros with Nutella dip. They remind me Russian khvorost.Spanish Churros

To sum up, I’d like to say, that the food tasted really good (but too salty), the decoration is impressionable and fresh for Dubai, and staff is friendly, but.. The paella’s potion is a bit small for such pricy tag! Compare to other Dubai restaurants, where almost everywhere the potion is big enough to share. So, this Spanish restaurant could be visited once to try paella or churros, and don’t’ forget to ask about ‘paella of the day’, it’s two times cheaper.

I’m little bit late to Fiesta Friday this week, but I’m very chirpy to be part of it, and hope there is some food left.. :D Enjoy the weekend, bloggers!Spanish

Sweet Galette

 From time to time everyone of us have come across special moments, which we enjoy. What about baking or probably preparing a hearty stew or a pie, which recipe was received from mother or grandmother, or trying something new. It’s hard to explain, but there is something magical, sense of happiness and satisfaction, when I’m making dough for a pie, baking. I adore making pastry, especially when much time is not required to make it. Like short pastry, you need only four ingredients to get smooth, buttery pastry.Cherry-Peach Galette

Simple, but beautiful, always delicious, with apples or apricots, it’s all about Galette. I’m so excited that this crusty cake one day came into my life! I still remember my very first galette, it was sweet galette filled with mix of wild berries, and it’s turned out so tasty and delightful, that I couldn’t expect more. Since then I’ve experimented with various fillings, tried savory galettes too; and I’m sure now that it’s almost impossible to choose the favorite one, I love them all! My fellow-bloggers don’t drop back, just look at aromatic galette from Seana @cottagegrovehouse, I almost can feel sweet-smelling scent of apricots! Or another delicate grape galette from Suzanne @apuginthekitchen, it can be a great weekend brunch with a glass of crispy rosé!

A couple of weeks back I bought sweet cherries from Iran and was nearly to eat them all at once. :D I had in a fridge few cherries and peaches. So, all those goodies I put in galette on a bed of cottage cheese, and folded in rich nutty pastry! Yummilicious!

Sweet Galette

You can divide the pastry into 2 partss to make 2 small galettes with different filling
Walnut Short Pastry
170g/6oz all-purpose flour
120g/4.2oz butter
50g/2Tbsp walnuts, roasted and finely chopped
1/2 Tbsp caster sugar
a pinch of salt
50ml cold water
Put flour, sugar, salt, walnuts,  and butter in a big bowl. Rub ingredients together until breadcrumbs. Add water and mix until the dough is formed. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. You can keep the pastry in a fridge up to 3 days.
Filling
2 peaches, cut into wedges
few cherries
100-200g soft cottage cheese/farm cheese/ricotta
50-70g brown/raw or white sugar
1 egg, yolk and white separated
1 Tbsp brown or demerara sugar
Method
For the filling, beat sugar with cottage cheese with a spoon or hand whisker, then add egg white and beat.
On a lightly floured table, roll out the pastry into 30cm/12inch circle.
Place cottage mixture in the middle of the pastry and spread evenly. Arrange peaches and cherries as desired. Sprinkle with some brown/demerara sugar. Brush pastry all over with egg yolk.
Bake in preheated 190C/370F oven for 45-50 minutes or until the pastry is golden.
Enjoy!

If you like peaches, have a look here to get the recipe of amazing cake!
Sweet Galette

Faskar (fish) with Aromatic Potato Wedges

I love fish. When I was a child I ate a lot of river fish, especially during summer. The city, where I grew up is located on a bank of big and great Russian river – Volga, moreover, there are also few small rivers and lots of lakes around it. My father is addicted to fishing, so quiet often during warm summer days we went to one of those lakes, where dad was fishing, while rest of the family (including myself) was swimming, sun-bathing and enjoying lovely summer. Even though most of the caught fishes were small with lots of bones, we liked to grill it mostly, or make some fish-soup. It was such a great time and delicious meal for the appetite you get on a fresh air!

To be honest, living on the Arabic coast, I don’t buy and eat lots of local fish… I wish they could promote it better; certainly you can buy it in hypermarkets, but in small markets I’ve seen local fish only once or twice. Another option is to go to the fish market and choose good and local fish there, but it’s not always convenient.

Surprisingly, there is only one fish market I know in Dubai, despite the city itself is quite large (generally speaking, there is one fish market per each emirate). And all UAE fish markets open early in the morning, and I do like sleep in the mornings, so it’s not quite convenient for me to visit fish markets at noon, when all fishes has been sold out already :) Most of the fish or seafood available on the market is local and freshly caught straight from the sea, and some type of the fish can be found only on local fish markets, while supermarket fish stalls are selling mix of local and imported seafood. I will show you fish market in Dubai soon ;)

In that way, to support Emirates Wildlife, from time to time I’m buying sustainable species of local fish, like Faskar. You can substitute this fish with any local fish, what you can find at your market.

It is beautiful, isn’t it? :DFaskar-4 

Faskar Fish with Aromatic Potato Wedges

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients
2 fishes Faskar, cleaned
½  lemon or lime, sliced
½ lemon, juice
2 garlic cloves, sliced
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
fresh flat leaf parsley, small bunch, roughly chopped
sea salt, white pepper
Garnish
4-6 baby potatoes, washed, cut into 4 wedges
some broccoli, optional
1 sprig of fresh rosemary or 1 tsp dried
1 tsp turmeric
½ tsp paprika
1 tsp sea salt
2-3 Tbsp olive oil
Method
  • Place fish in a baking tray, squeeze the lemon juice over it. Season with salt and pepper. Stuff each fish with rosemary, parsley, lemon slices and garlic.
    Parboil potatoes for 17-20 minutes. Put in a bowl along with broccoli, if using, toss it with rosemary, spices, salt and olive oil. Arrange vegetables around the fish.
    Bake in preheated 190C/380F oven for 25 minutes.

 

Morocco. Part I

Hello there! How is your week going on? I promised to show you some photos from my holiday trip to Morocco, here they are.Cherries!

Morocco is an amazing and charming country, where time appears to have stood still.. May be the only exception are cosmopolitan cities, such as Casablanca.

RabatMorocco has turned out to be the endless country; we have covered about 2,500 km by car for just only a week. All major cities are located quite distant from each other, but if you rent a car and take a highway, few sights can be seen from the car, but mostly vast fields, and red Atlas Mountains closer to the Southern part of the country and lonely houses of shepherds and farmers. Reasons for stop on the road are limited, only same-looking petrol stations spread unevenly along the road. On the radio were played Arabian songs, thus we were forced to recall all word-games from our childhood, and looked at passing scenes. Moroccan landscape is very diverse, we passed medleys, mountains, coastlines… I was surprised to see a lonely house in the middle of corn or sunflower field, but after several hours, it became normal to see a small hut far away from the road, even in the middle of dried and cracked area.. Once, I and husband felt ourselves in the middle of nowhere! We drove an amazingly awful and damaged road across the desert, pure darkness surrounded us and I have never fell myself in a such dark place, there was no even a single light around. While we drove, we decided to stop in the middle of the road, then we switched off the car lights, opened the windows and began to listen… Nothing! It was absolute silence and pitch darkness…

Spending time in the heart of the Moroccan cities is one of the great ways to enjoy this country. They call old part of a city – Medina. Very ambient place with narrow streets, and ancient buildings, souks (markets), craftsmen’s and regular workshops.. Medina is cars free, so you can walk and enjoy! But be careful – it’s easy to get lost in its chaotic, tiny alleyways. I was amazed by an exotic medley of smells that came from spice souks! And all those fruits and vegetables stalls.. Fruits are so cheap, that I wish I could buy a hundred kilos of cherries and figs! I imagined how many delicious pies and jams I could made! :D

Rabat StreetThe first city we stopped by was Rabat. It’s a capital, which lies on the Atlantic coast. To describe the city in few words, I can say the following: amazing wooden stuff, beautiful carpets, honey-touched and the tastiest figs ever tried, cheap cherries (around 2.6US$ per kg), too fatty cheesy pastry (wasn’t good), yummy street-baked crepes (yes, crepes!), pestering henna-painting women, and gorgeous green doors!Stunning Rabat Doors