Hello my dear blogofriends, foodies and readers! Hope you’ve been missing my posts. I’ve got a huge news for you – I birthed new life: became a first time mom. I am literally in a different world. World filled with love, joy, sleepless nights and all kind of things. Needless to say, it’s all new, overwhelming and touchy to me. Almost all the time I’m busy with by little bear, the rest hours I’m eating, sleeping and again eating. I haven’t cooked anything interesting for ages, but I do hope I will be back into the foodblogolife soon..
I know there are many mothers of newborns out there, who could join baby feeding and caring with blogging, but that seems a bit hard for me right now. I’m sure I will be alright and get into this new life soon. So.. what about you? How it was, what did you feel being a new mom? Please do share.
This widely-popular French Tart Tatin is the treat, that I was able to prepare in a short time. A perfect dessert for the new mom. If you remember I always prefer homemade pastry and I made it myself (yay!), of course you can switch to a store-bough but try to find the good one with butter (no any palm or margarine).
Plum tart tatin
250g plain flour
1 tbsp white sugar
a pinch of salt
150g butter, cubed and cold
2 tsp cold water
6-8 plums, cut into halves (or more, depends on the size of your pan)
80g white sugar
40g butter, cubed
For the pastry, sift flour and add all other ingredients until just combined. Shape into a disk and chill for 20 minutes. Roll into a 3-4mm disk to suit your baking dish.
In a pan add sugar with water, leave to soak for few minutes. Heat on a medium heat until golden. Turn off the heat. Stir in butter, add plums and saute for 5 minutes.
Transfer plums into baking tin (or leave in the same pan if it’s oven-safe) with the liquid. Cover with pastry (slightly tuck the edges).
Bake in preheated 190C oven for 30-40 minutes or until the pastry is golden-brown.
Leave to cool for 10 minutes or so, then carefully flip over into a large serving plate.
You can eat it as is or there are few options to serve it with: whipped or Greek cream, creme fraiche or frozen vanilla yogurt.
When it’s not a weekend, sometimes being pressed for time can make hard to prepare anything for breakfast, and I’m not saying about to sit down and enjoy it, and you probably skip it day by day.. I never skip breakfast, and studies show that those who eat breakfast regularly lose weight! So be sure you eat a good and tasty breakfast! Like this protein-based, that starts your metabolism and your energy level will be fired up.
You only need to put all ingredients together in a baking dish (small-individual or one large to share), crack small&tasty quail eggs in it and bake for few minutes. Meanwhile, you can make a fresh tea or toast some bread.
Baked quail eggs with Gruyère cheese, ham and spinach
Everything is simple here. A few days ago, Argentinian pears were sold in a supermarket here, I’ve never tried them before and the price was attractive, so I bought a huge pack. Even though they turned out juicy and very delicious I still had some not-so-ripe left. Good to highlight, that using a bit hard but ripe pears that retain its shape during the baking process is a key to the good and not mushy filling.
I added tvorog (as I mentioned many times in my blog – it’s very Russian product) into the dough for my roll, it makes the dough softer and more tasty. Don’t worry, the dough won’t rip but make sure you carefully roll it out on a floured surface.
The roll looks like a strudel, but the dough is absolutely different, it’s not that thin and thus much easier to roll out! It is tender&delicious and absolutely deserves to make it again and again. Another bonus, the dough can be make a day ahead! Plus juicy pears, sweet black raisins and crunchy nuts in the filling! Doesn’t it sound luscious? It is!😀
In another small bowl, whisk egg with sugar until pale. Add beaten egg into the mixture.
Sift the flour along with salt and baking powder into the dough. Combine to get the soft dough, shape into the disk. Cover in a plastic wrap and put in a fridge for 30-60 minutes to cool.
Preheat oven to 180C/360F.
Wash raisins and cover with hot strong black tea or water. Leave to soak while ready to use. Drain.
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface into 30x40cm rectangle, making sure it doesn’t stick to the surface.
Brush the surface of the roll with egg white (optional). Sprinkle with nuts, spread pears and raisins. Sprinkle with sugar. Slightly fold in all sides (thus the filling will stay inside the roll and don’t fall out). Roll the dough into a barrel.
Carefully transfer the roll on a greased lined baking tray. Brush the roll with egg glaze and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 40 minutes or until golden-brown.
Leave to cool for 15-20 minutes. Slice and serve as is or with whipped cream/frozen vanilla yogurt/ice cream.
A year ago I visited “Taste of Dubai”. It was a large, full of fun and activities festival, dedicated to food, cooking and eating! It brought together restaurant and street food, music performances, cooking classes and live cooking demonstrations. You could order some nice food, relax and enjoy the music, another great way to spend the evening was to cook along with top chefs. Many world-famous and celebrity chefs were invited to the festival, and I could watch how they are preparing amazing and tasty food, and then taste it. Among many chefs was Dhruv Baker, he is known as a winner of MasterChef 2010, and I didn’t miss a chance to sign his cookbook ‘Spice’.
Honestly speaking, I’ve prepared only few recipes from his book so far.😀 They were not spectacular as I expected: for example, “caponata” turned out as a regular eggplant stew, that I make often too – only without vinegar and olives. But I really liked this recipe made from fried cauliflower florets with peas, tomatoes and a mixture of spices. Mustard seeds, fresh ginger and cumin infuse the dish perfectly, while chilli adds a mild spiciness. The final addition of fresh coriander leaves on top and lime juice adds a beautiful touch. I served this simple but tasty cauliflower with roasted chicken.
I am curious about all new foodie things and lately, I have discovered on the Internet that the combination of cauliflower and peas is a common in Indian cuisine. I really liked this easy and healthy dish. Spices do wonders!
One is dreaming about spring and warm days, another like me wants the weather staying cloudy and windy as longer as possible. This soup is not something extraordinary, but it is comforting and hearty. It nourishes and fills you up, and sometimes that’s exactly what you need after a long day at work. I love lentils because they are healthy – contain protein, fiber and vitamins, and easy to prepare – you do not need to soak them for hours.
Aromatic bay leaf and hot chilli flakes make this thick soup brighter! So, wake up your taste buds and start cooking the soup, it’s a great way to warm up your belly and bowl!
If you want this soup to be vegetarian, feel free to omit the meat or try this recipe of red lentil soup (meatless).
small bunch fresh parsley or coriander, chopped, for garnish
In a frying pan, heat oil and fry pork ribs and beef cubes from all sides on high heat until just browned. Transfer the meat to a soup pan along with peppercorns, cover with water. Bring to boil, reduce the heat to medium, cover with a lid and simmer for 20 minutes. Do not season with salt, it will increase the lentils cooking time.
Add lentils to the pan, and simmer for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in the same frying pan (you use another one if you wish), add more oil if needed, and fry leek and onion on a medium heat for 5 minutes. Add potatoes and fry for another 5 minutes. Turn off the heat, stir in chilli and garlic, saute for a couple of minutes.
Stir vegetable mixture into soup, season to taste and simmer on a low heat for 15 minutes or until lentils and potatoes are cooked.
Serve hot, sprinkle with chopped parsley.
Adapted from Rus magazine “Collection of recipes”, 2010