Monthly Archives: April 2015

Chicken Liver Pâté

 Hey guys! To say the last few weeks of my life have been filled with sport, beach and meeting with friends, so I hadn’t been posting regularly and commenting on your lovely blogs, but I will resume blogging and posting more often. 🙂 And I want to share with you a simple but super delicious recipe –  chicken liver pate! The pate is very quick and easy to make, and require only a few ingredients. Another advantage is a low cost of chicken livers. Pureeing the cooked livers along with butter and a little cognac or brandy transforms the plain part of chicken into something magnificent! It’s a great breakfast on a slice of toasted bread or can be a nice appetizer topped with a cornichon or little pickled onion. 🙂Chicken liver pate

Chicken Liver Pâté

  • Servings: >6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
If cooking for children, omit the cognac.
Ingredients
1 large onion
1 medium carrot
20g butter
500g chicken liver, cleaned
1+1 tbsp cognac (or brandy/whiskey)
1/2 tsp dried thyme or 1-2 tsp fresh leaves
a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
50ml water or chicken stock
100ml cream  (12-15%)
50-60g butter, at room temperature
sea salt to taste
freshly grated black and white pepper to taste
Top
40-50g butter
 
Preparation
  1. Peel onion and cut into small cubes. Wash, peel and grate carrot.
  2. In a deep frying pan or saucepan, heat butter and add vegetables, cook on a medium heat until soft (don’t brown). Add liver and fry for 8-10 minutes. Add one tablespoon of cognac, herbs and season to taste. Simmer on a medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Add water, cream, bring to boil and turn off the heat. Leave to cool at room temperature.
  3. Transfer to a food processor or puree with hand blender. If the consistency is too thick, add more warm water or stock. Adjust the seasoning. Add soft butter, cognac and blend again.
  4. You can make a butter ‘lead’, for that heat the butter in a small bowl and pour over the cooled pate.
  5. Transfer pate to a bowl and keep covered in the fridge up to 5 days.

Enjoy! 

 

Coriander Chicken Drumsticks

 Today I realized that I haven’t ate chicken for quite a long time. When I was a teenager chicken drumsticks weren’t available as a separate part of a chicken. When my mother wanted to prepare chicken for dinner she used to buy whole chicken thighs and cook it as is or cut into two parts.. I’m not even sure that drumsticks are on sale in Russian stores now, may be except the capital. Anyway, nicely spiced and roasted chicken drumsticks is a good and quick-to-cook midweek meal (with some rice or potatoes on a side) or a very good accompaniment to a beer! For this recipe I grind dried coriander seeds, then add turmeric and mild paprika, stir into the meat along with olive oil and let it marinade. If you’re hungry, skip the marinating and roast it straightaway! 🙂Coriander Chicken Drumsticks

Coriander Chicken Drumsticks

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients
500g chicken drumsticks (I used without skin)
2-3 tsp dried coriander seeds
1 tsp turmeric
3/4 tsp mild paprika (or hot if you like)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp lime juice (or lemon)
2-3 garlic clove, unpeeled
freshly ground black and white pepper, to taste
sea salt, to taste
  • Grind or crush coriander seeds, mix with turmeric and paprika. Combine with olive oil and lime juice. Rub the marinade into chicken drumsticks. Add garlic cloves, season generously with pepper and salt to taste. Cover and leave to marinade in the fridge for 1-3 hours, or skip this step and arrange chicken (with all marinade juices) onto a baking tray or dish.
  • Bake in the preheated 200C oven for 20 minutes. Then low the heat to 150C, cover with a piece of foil and bake for 10 minutes longer or until the drumsticks have cooked through.
  • Serve warm, but they are also good cold. The cooked drumsticks will keep in the fridge for 2 days.

Plum cake

It’s a fact that spring came to this year-round sunny city too, and temperature start to creep slowly. During the day the weather is still nice for swimming and sunbathing without uncomfortable sweating like in the summer months. Another pleasure is to take an evening walk in the fresh air, or to sit outsite and enjoy sipping a tea while the weather is till cool. Having a tea without a piece of cake is absolutely wrong thing! 😀 So, you can guess that one of my favourite ‘indoor activities’ is baking! I had mascarpone cheese and ripe plums that used to be a jam, but mascarpone was nearly to expiry date and I had to use it somehow.. Plum cake ingredientsIt was a ‘mix all what you have’ cake, I also added a splash of cognac for an extra hit. After a half an hour of baking the cake was still uncooked and I was a bit worried. But the final result was a wonderfully divine and delicious cake! It was totally worth the wait: tender, moist and filled with amazing flavour! I will be making this cake again! 🙂Plum cake (with mascarpone and cognac)

Plum cake with mascarpone and cognac

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
Ingredients for 18cm baking tin
50g butter, very soft
80g brown sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 tbsp cognac (or brandy)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 tbsp lemon zest, optional
100-120g mascarpone, at room temperature
100-110 g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
4-5 dark plums, sliced
1 tbsp plum jam (or apricot jam), optional
Preparation
  • In a mixing bowl, beat the butter with sugar. In a separate bowl, beat eggs with cognac, vanilla and lemon zest. Gradually stir into the butter mixture. Fold in mascarpone cheese. Sift flour with baking powder into the batter, mix to combine.
  • Pour the batter into greased baking tin. Arrange plum slices on top. Bake in preheated 180C oven for 50-60 minutes or until the inserted toothpick comes out clean. Grease the top with jam. Let it cool slightly before serving.
Enjoy!
Tender and Tasty Plum cake

Paskha – Russian Easter treat

 In the previous post I’ve told you about the traditional Easter cake – kulich. But there is one more no-bake dessert for Easter, it’s called ‘paskha’, which means Easter in Russian. It’s made in a special wooden or plastic pyramid-shaped mold, which called pasochnica. Of course, it’s not easy to find such mold, but it can be easily substituted with a clean flower pot or a bowl.
There are many variations of the Paskha but of course tvorog (farmer cheese) is a main ingredient and mixed with eggs and butter. Some recipes call to mix it with raw egg yolks, another with cooked, the quantity of butter may vary as well. To flavour the tvorog mixture adding some chopped candied fruits, nuts, cocoa powder. If you love soft, creamy desserts that reminds a no-crust cheesecake you should definitely prepare it! 🙂Russian Paskha

Paskha - Russian Easter treat with tvorog

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print
Ingredients
500g tvorog, dry preferable
60g butter, soft at room temperature (not melted)
50g chopped candied fruits like orange peel, pineapple, strawberry
50g raisins
1 large egg yolk
80-100g white sugar
1 tsp vanilla sugar
80ml cream (20-30% fat)
  1. First of all you need to beat the tvorog with an electric mixer until very smooth or push it through a sieve two times.
  2. Whisk butter for a creamy consistency. Add to tvorog along with 50g candied fruits and 50g raisins.
  3. In a small bowl whisk egg yolk with sugar and vanilla.
  4. In a small saucepan warm cream, then pour it into the egg mixture and quickly stir. Pour back into the saucepan, simmer for a 3-4 minutes, whisking continuously. Stir the mixture into tvorog.
  5. Line a paskha mold or any suitable bowl with a double layer of wet cheesecloth, pour the tvorog mixture in, fold ends of cheesecloth on the top. Arrange a weight (it can be a can or jam jar) and put in the fridge for 12 hours or up to 24 hours; allowing whey (liquid) to drain. When it’s ready to serve – unmold, remove the the cheesecloth.
  6. Decorate with candied fruits, if desired. To serve cut a slice or eat with a spoon.

Russian Easter. Kulich

 Today is Paskha (Easter) in Russia, it’s a bright and warm festival that is celebrated among Orthodox Christians. One of the traditional and famous treats for this day are died eggs, kulichi and paskha (in my next post). During this day we congratulate each other and say ‘Христос Воскресе’ which means Christ is risen, and the reply is ‘Воистину Воскресе’ – indeed hi is risen.Easter cake-Kulich
 Kulich is a special Easter sweet cake/bread which usually has a cylindrical shape and decorated with white icing. It’s made from rich yeast dough; raisins, currants or candied fruits can be added. Traditionally kulichi have a cylindrical shape, and some Russian housewives use empty tins from pea or beans for that purpose. After baking and cooling kulichi is glazed with white icing (egg white or water with sugar) and decorated with edible sugar beads, flowers and thin candle. Kulichi and died eggs can be also blessed in church; a part of Easter treats usually is leaved in church for poor people.Kulich- Russian Easter cake

Kulich recipe {Russian Easter cake}

  • Servings: 2 pieces
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print
I used large eggs. Egg for the glazing need to be very fresh.
The dough should be soft, but if needed add more flour.
 

Ingredients

350g plain flour

5-6g yeast
small pinch of salt
130ml milk, warm
1 egg
1 egg yolk
70g white sugar (or 90-100g to make it sweeter)
1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla sugar
50g butter, very soft but not melted
60g raisins (golden)
60g currants (dark)
Icing
1 egg white
150-160g icing sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
Preparation method
  1. In a large mixing bowl, sift 100g of flour, add salt, yeast, warm milk and stir to combine. Cover with a wet kitchen towel and let it rise for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk a whole egg, egg yolk, vanilla and sugar with hand or electric mixer for 2-3 minutes until pale. Add egg mixture and butter to the dough, mix to combine. Sift the remaining flour and knead to combine. Cover again with wet kitchen towel and let it rise for 30-40 minutes.
  3. Wash raisins and currants, blot it up with paper towel, sprinkle with a teaspoon of flour – you need to cover all raisins with some flour, it allows them to be evenly distributed throughout the dough. Add raisins and currants to the dough, mix into the dough. Cover with wet kitchen towel and let it rise for 60 minutes.
  4. Line baking pans with baking paper, grease with butter. Divide the dough bettween two baking pans, the dough should occupy 3/4 of the volume. Cover and let it rise for 20-30 minutes.
  5. Bake in preheated 100C oven for 10 minutes, then in 180C for 30 minutes or until the toothpick inserted into it gets back dry. If the top become too golden – cover kulichi with a piece of foil or baking pepper.
  6. Take out of the oven, let it completely cool.
  7. For the icing, whisk egg white with few tablespoons of sugar and lemon juice until well combined. Or beat it with an electric mixer on a low speed. Gradually add more sugar and whisk again. Keep adding sugar until you gets the desired consistency (not too liquid).
  8. Spread the icing on top of each kulich with a tablespoon. Let it dry.

Enjoy!

Cover kulichi in the foil and keep in the fridge up to 3-4 days.

Russian Easter sweet cake -kulich