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
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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

 

Perfectly Simple Cabbage Pie

 I have made a puff pastry! Can you believe?! :D And it was a classic recipe, not a cheat one. Though it has turned out not really good as I expected, I think I put a bit much of butter, or it wasn’t very cold.. But I’m still proud of myself, and the pastry is hundred times better then the store-bought. Moreover, puff pastry in stores is usually made from margarine or palm oil, which are trans-fats, the worst type of fat you can consume.

Cabbage Pie

 The below recipe is a classic recipe of Russian cabbage pie. This time I used puff pastry, the pie turned out crispy, buttery, comforting and so tasty! When I lived in Russia, usually we made a good quantity of this dough (which I used in koulebyaka-pie), and made one huge pie with savory filling; if we’d had some remaining dough we made small pirogki (small pies) with jam or sweet tvorog (cottage cheese).
 There is no filling recipe, because it’s hard to count grams of cabbage if you don’t know how big or small will be the pie. One loves when the dough is thick, another when the filling is falling out from the pie. You can have a look ‘the guide how to’ below, but the quantity of ingredients adjust to your own taste.
For the cabbage filling, shred some fresh cabbage, and slightly braise it along with chopped onion and spices. Then add coarsely chopped hard-boiled eggs, and season with salt, that’s it! The lovely cabbage filling is ready!
 I know, the pie is very simple, but it’s so comforting, that after first bite you begin to feel like you are at home.. Sweet home! <3 I’m bringing the pie to all party-people over there; I truly hope you will enjoy it!

Russian Cabbage Pie

The pie is equally good reheated for lunch or dinner next day! 
Ingredients
Cabbage filling
Fresh cabbage, shreded
1 small or medioum onion, finely chopped
1-2 tsp cumin
2-4 Tbsp chopped fresh dill, optional
sea salt, to taste
2-3 Tbsp sunflower oil
2-3 eggs, hard-boiled
Puff pastry
300g flour
50g chilled butter
a pinch of salt
150ml very cold water
220g chilled butter for layering
Glazing
1 egg  yolk + 1 Tbsp milk or only milk
sesame seeds for decoration, optional
 
Method
 In a big frying pan, add onion, cumin, cabbage and fry on a moderate heat for 5-10 minutes. Reduce the heat, add salt, some water (if the cabbage begins to burn), cover and braise for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Season with salt, add chopped dill, if desired. Mix with chopped eggs.
 Brush the pie with egg wash, sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake in preheated 180C/360F oven for 25-35 minutes (the mentioned time is enough even for a big pie).
 Let it cool for 10 minutes. Enjoy with a glass of milk! 
Russina Cabbage Pie

Grilled Tiger Prawns

 Summer is a lovely time to spend outdoors, having a barbeque, grill meat and veggies, enjoying weather..with some exception for Dubai, it’s terribly hot; the barbeque standing lonely, and waiting for the chilly days to be dust off.. If you are lucky and enjoying weather, I recommend to try this one of the most flavorful grilled prawns recipe I have tried (or grill it in the oven). The recipe is on my list of easy and impressive dishes!

I’d like to invite all bloggers who’s parting @FF to try these scrumptious prawns! I’ve got a couple of bottles of white wine.. ;) I’m sure today evening will be a hit!

Grilled Prawns

Grilled Tiger Prawns

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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2-3 prawns per person are enough for an appetizer, but for the main course increase the quantity as many as desired.

Can be served with a glass of good wine and pineapple salsa.

Ingredients

12 tiger prawns

1 shallot or small red onion

3 garlic gloves

1 small red chilli, optional

1 Tbsp fresh coriander, finely chopped

½ lemon, juice

sea salt, black pepper to taste

Butter Sauce

60g butter

2 Tbsp coriander, finely chopped

2 Tbsp lemon juice

  • Cut prawns in the middle and clean. You can cut off heads or leave it. Arrange them in a big shallow dish.
  • Finely chop shallot, garlic and chilli. Sprinkle it over prawns along with coriander, add salt and pepper to taste. Cover the dish and let it marinate in the fridge for 1-3 hours or overnight.
  • Remove from the fridge 30 minutes before grilling. Grill for 5-7 minutes.
  • Make the sauce. Heat the butter in a small pan, add remaining coriander and lemon juice; adjust seasoning.
  • Serve hot! Enjoy!

Garlic-coriander Prawns

 

Red currants ‘n’ cardamom Muffins

 Some time ago in Russia, small cakes-muffins-were called keksi, but since muffins’ popularization many people call them muffins! I think, almost all people like muffins, and may be some of you have a special recipe or ingredient. I do like experiment with flours and spices; I’ve bought soy flour recently and trying to use, I don’t see much difference with it so far.. If you know any good ways or recipes to use it, I would appreciate if you share it with me. 
Muffins
 So, about other additions to muffins batter, berries are one of my favorite. Raspberry is best-loved, but what about currants? I’ve seen in a blogosphere couple posts with it, and surprised, that it is not widely-grown and not quite  popular. Poor berries, if only they knew how underrated they are. When I lived in Russia, I ate lots of black, red and white currants. There were too many of blackcurrant bushes in parents garden, so I even dislike to pick them up.. Twigs of sour and bright redcurrants were easier to pick – straight away to my mouth! :D Blackcurrant in Russia is like blueberry in USA, has similar shape and taste, interchangeable berries.
 
 Today recipe combines Russian and Eastern flavours – red currants and cardamom. Enjoy!
Red currant

Red currants ‘n’ cardamom Muffins

  • Servings: 6-7 medium muffins
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

70g plain flour/all-purpose
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 baking soda
a pinch of salt
1/2 tsp cardamom, finely crushed seeds
30g soy flour
25g wholemeal flour
30g ground flaxseed
1 egg
2 Tbsp sunflower oil
70g kefir (or sub with yogurt)
80-90g liquid honey (I used dark one)
120-140g red currants, or mix of red and black (or sub with blueberries)
 
Method
  • In a large bowl, beat egg and honey, add kefir, oil, and stir. Sift the flours, baking powder and soda, salt, add flaxseed and cardamom into egg mixture. Combine.
  • Lightly cover berries in a flour, then carefully fold them into the batter. If using frozen currants, don’t defreeze them, add to the batter straight from the freezer.
  • Fill muffin tins or one cake tin and bake in preheated 180C/350F oven for 20-25 minutes.
Red currant & cardamom Muffins