Travel

Eat the World Dubai

 Hello guys! How is your week going on? Today I’d love to share with you how I spent last weekend!Eattheworld-coffee

I visited “Eat the World Dubai” as a part of the Dubai Food Festival 2016. It was held on a green lawn (which is called Burj Park), right next to Burj Khalifa and the Dubai mall. It was all about street food. The most exciting thing was that 15 food trucks were brought from the UK, and as it was announced ‘the best ones’- winners and finalists of British Street Food Awards. Of course, some local street food there was as well.

 I think nowadays street food means more than regular hamburgers and hot-dogs. There are lots of people/cooks who are passionate for food, who have a creativity for what they cook; people who desire to prepare something extravaganza in front of you. Plus, it should be affordable and don’t ruin your family budget.
Eattheworld-DXB
 One of the thing I wanted to try was “Crabbie Shack”. I imagine myself a huge, unreal ans super tasty patty made from crab meat. After a pretty long line of waiting, finally I got it. Honestly, I was a bit disappointed. Crab was deep-fried (I rare eat such food) and seemed it was left in some skin.. plus the bun was too greasy and it was complicated to bite the huge burger. What I like – the combination of fennel seeds and almond flakes; definitely I will use it in the future cooking. Harissa (not spicy one) and smashed avocado was another delicious touch.
 It’s worth mentioning the remarkable pizza preparation. Guys were made it in a truck! Can you imagine? Oven truck! 😀
Eattheworld-pizza
 Dark Sweet side was an ice cream! One of the UAE team trucks “from Miami to Dubai” sold gelato on a stick, that you could dip into various chocolate and cover in nuts, sprinkles or coconut flakes. I tried strawberry covered with white chocolate and walnuts. Yummy! 🙂
 British crew “Milo&Hector’s” brought a cute little truck and made ice cream sandwiches. Never tasted before, it was soooo good! Especially after a sunny afternoon in the park. May be I’d reduce the sweetness of cookies..
 And so much more..
 I enjoyed every minute of this open-air festival. There were lots of amazing smells and flavours around. Music, cooking demos, smiling people who were eating&eating, siting on a grass, relaxing..Eattheworld-people
 Hope you had a fabulous weekend too!Eattheworld-Dubai

WhiteCurrant tart

 Hello-hello! I love summer because it’s berry season! May be not that summer when the outside temperature is +40C or even 50C.. Hope you are having the same great summer as I do this time in Russia: lots of organic berries, vegetables and greens, amazing weather, long walks and talks with friends. But sometimes the weather plays a joke: in the morning can be so cold that you need a thick jacket, later so hot – you need a dress instead of jacket, and so on..Russian FieldRussian Nature
 Talking about summer berries, currants is super common and one of the popular type of berry in Russia. I’m sure many of you tried redcurrants or seen it in supermarkets, or tried a dessert garnished with it. Here, there are three types of currants: black, red and white. They differ from one another not only in their color; blackcurrant is the sweetest one, red is tender and sour, and whitecurrant is sweet-and-sour with lots of seeds. And I guess, the white one is less-known, so I’ve been determined to make something tasty with these beautiful berries. Here, they are usually eaten as is or they make compotes (cold drink), jams. I made shortcrust pastry with tvorog (cottage cheese), filled with tender tvorog filling (yes, again cottage cheeese! I love it!) and scattered whitecurrants over the top. Yummy! A slice of whitecurrant tart
 So, how is your summer going on? 🙂White Currants in RussiaWhite Currant Tart

WhiteCurrant tart

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
The recipe calls for whitecurrants, which are usually uncommon, so use redcurrants or any berries that you can get.
If you’re using frozen berries, don’t defreeze it.
I used 22cm baking tin.
Ingredients
Pastry
200g flour
100g butter, cut into small cubes
100g tvorog/cottage cheese (I used 0% fat)
1 egg
Filling
3 eggs
70-100g sugar or fructose (depends on your taste)
300-350g sour cream (20-30% fat)
100g tvorog/cottage cheese (I used 0% fat)
1 tsp vanilla sugar/extract
450-500g whitecurrants
Preparation method
  • To make the pastry, place flour, butter in a large bowl (or in the food processor) and mix to get breadcrumbs. Mix in tvorog. Add egg and mix until just comes together. Shape into a disc, cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  • Roll the pastry on a lightly floured table to form a round. Grease the baking tin and lightly dust with flour. Arrange pastry into the baking tin. Place in the fridge to cool while you’re preparing the filling.
  • Preheat oven to 180C.
  • In a bowl, whisk eggs with sugar. Beat in sour cream. Add cottage cheese and vanilla, whisk to combine.
  • Take the pastry out the fridge, pour in filling. Scatter over berries.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes. Leave to cool in the baking tin, then carefully remove from the tin and serve.
Enjoy!

Summer

 Hello my dear blogofriends! I’ve been out of blogging for some time, but I have a reason: I’m currently on holiday in my home-country. The weather is perfect here, only +30-35C during the daytime, and evenings are cool and fresh. Moreover, it’s a strawberry season here, and my parents have got lots of delicious strawberries in their garden, so you can imagine how many berries I’ve been eating every single day. 😀 Local strawberries are totally different from those ones in Dubai’ supermarkets, they are flavorful, sweet and of course organic!
 Another amazing thing about fruits, that cherries and apricots are both in season in Tashkent (the capital of Uzbekistan), and fortunately for me, plenty of these fruits are sold in Russian markets straight from sunny Uzbekistan, which is known for their tasty fruits.
 And here is the picture of ‘zemlyanika’ or wild strawberries which I picked myself in the wild woods near one Russian village. I have no words to describe them! These little germs are full of wonderful aroma! You need to try these little berries at least once. 🙂
Zemlyanika or Russian wild strawberries

Happy New Year

Happy New Year, guys! It’s the very first day of the year, and it’s -13C/9F and snowing in Russia currently. What does your family do every New Year eve? Do you have any memorable tradition? Every family celebrates holidays in their own way. The New Year Eve is a very important holiday in Russia, it’s time when all family members gather together, bring salads and sweets, cook pork or roast goose, socialise and discussing passing year, watch music tv-shows and exchange presents.

From the Soviet time Christmas wasn’t widely celebrated and most of the religious traditions, which are common for the Western people took their place on the New Year Eve. And so it is every since.

Traditionally all the best foods and treats were set on the festive table, the most popular salads still shuba and oliver (will post soon). Cold cuts, salted mushrooms and pickled cucumbers are also served. The dessert can be any cake or chocolates, and every home is full of mandarine aroma.

By one tradition, we open a bottle of champagne sharp at twelve midnight and make a wish. 🙂

By another  tradition, Grandpa Frost (Santa Claus) and his granddaughter Snow-maiden come to children and they should tell festival poems and songs, and children receive gifts in return.

Russian Winter

Have a fabulous winter!

Winter trees

Moroccan-inspired Dinner. Roast chicken with chickpea stuffing and sauteed okra.

 When was the last time you had a proper Sunday dinner {or Friday dinner in Arabic countries}? Do you plan it ahead or make it spontaneously? I suggest you to plan the dinner this time. Find the recipe you haven’t tried yet (or try mine) and which doesn’t require much time to be cooked, do the shopping a day ahead. And probably in the weekend you can allow yourself the luxury of feasting on the company of those you love the most.
 I love to spend a weekend afternoon in the kitchen preparing dinner surrounded by the wonderful aromas! Last weekend I was browsing through the photographs from the trip to Morocco, and inspired by all those bright, ancient and beautiful scenes, I decided to prepare the dinner in Arabic style. 🙂
 This roasted chicken recipe is a terrific option for dinner if you are looking for scrumptious, healthy and something easy to cook! The richness of garlic, the fire of harissa paste and the aroma of lemon make the dish comforting and that the whole family will love!
 So get cooking! 😉
Arabic-spiced Chicken

Roast Arabic-spiced Chicken

Roast Arabic-spiced Chicken
Ingredients
1*1.3-1.5 kg chicken,corn fed, free range
Salt, pepper to taste
2Tbsp butter, at room temperature
1 tsp thyme leaves, fresh or dried
Rub:
1/2 lemon, juice and zest
3-4 tsp harissa paste
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp ginger powder
5 allspice berries, ground
1 Tbsp olive oil
+2 Tbsp zaatar
Stuffing:
200g chickpeas, cooked or from tin
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 small chilli, finely chopped
1/2 lemon
olive oil
Method
Rinse the chicken and pat it dry. Coat it inside and out with salt and pepper.
Gently separate the skin from the flesh with your fingers and insert butter and thyme under the skin.
Mix ingredients for the rub to make a marinade. Rub all over the chicken, cover and refrigerate for 1-3 hours.
Take the chicken out of the fridge 30 minutes before cook. Sprinkle with zaatar.
For the filling, in a bowl mix chickpeas, garlic, chilli and a dash of olive oil. Stuff the chicken and place the half of the lemon at the entrance.
Truss the chicken and place in the roasting pan (breast-side up).
Roast in preheated 210C oven for 40 minutes, then down the heat to 180C and roast 30-40 minutes more, or until the juices run clear.
Remove from the oven and rest for 10 minutes before carving.
Extract the lemon from the cavity of the chicken and spoon the filling in a serving bowl. Squeeze the juice from the lemon, season with salt and pepper, mash chickpeas with a spoon a little bit. Drizzle with olive oil.

Sauteed Okra

Okra
Ingredients
400-500g fresh okra, cut into pieces
400g/1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic, chopped
2 tsp dark muscovado or brown sugar
2-3 Tbsp lemon juice
fresh coriander, chopped
salt, pepper to taste
olive oil
Method
Heat the oil in a large pan on medium heat, add onion and saute until soft.
Add garlic, okra and cook for 5 minutes.
Add tomatoes, lemon juice, sugar, season with salt and pepper.
Cover and leave to cook for 10 minutes more.
Turn off the heat, sprinkle with coriander.
Serve alongside the roast chicken and chickpeas.
Enjoy the food!