Tag Archives: appetizer

Eggplant wedges

Hey everyone! I came back from the holidays recently and slowly getting into blogging again. In my previous posts I shared with you some recipes using white and red currants, and you may think that I have had only berries during the summer time in Russia.. Yes I did! This summer has been bountiful: lots of amazing produce, including various berries – gooseberries, strawberries and currants, as well as vegetables like cucumbers, zucchini, eggplants.

I’m so glad that I was able to enjoy amazing veggies and greens form my parents’ garden. We cooked many dishes using these vegetables, including zucchini oladushki (fritters), sauteed veggies, salads, and so on. Finally we get tired of cooking eggplants and zucchini the same way. Moreover, I missed Dubai with its seductive aromas and herbs, rich and spice flavours in the air.. Fortunately, I brought my favourite spice – zaatar, and the decision was found: to make eggplant wedges with a Middle Eastern note! It was an easy and quick way to prepare eggplants. I drizzled it with aromatic olive oil, sweet molasses and of course zaatar, then served with a slice of country-style bread, yogurt and sliced fresh tomatoes!Eggplant Wedges

Eggplant wedges

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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You can substitute pomegranate molasses with balsamic vinegar or any other pomegranate sauce.

Ingredients

3 medium eggplants
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
3 tsp zaatar mix spice
1 tbsp sesame seeds
pomegranate seeds
100g plain yogurt or sour cream for serving, optional
salt, pepper to taste
Preparation method
  1. Cut washed eggplants into 8-10 wedges. Sprinkle with some salt and leave for 20-30 minutes. Place under running water to wash off the salt. Arrange wedges onto lined baking tray.
  2. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, molasses and zaatar. Brush eggplant wedges with this mixture. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Bake in preheated 180C for 25 minutes. Then increase the temperature to 200C and bake for 20-30 minutes more, or until eggplants wedges are soft and nicely browned.
  4. Arrange eggplant wedges onto a serving plate, sprinkle with sesame and pomegranate seeds.
  5. Serve with yogurt on side, or pour it over warm wedges.

Enjoy!

Sharing with all bloggers at Fiesta Friday party!

Arabic Mezze

 While I’m enjoying the time in my home-country, in Dubai is the month of Ramadan. It’s one of the important months for Muslims; during the month they are fasting (no food or drink) during the daytime. Traditionally, it’s normal to brake the fast with dates before Iftar. Iftar includes buffet tables with a large variety of dishes.Arabic mezze
 Mezze is a selection of small dishes, appetizers served before the main course in many countries like Turkey, Lebanon, UAE, Syria, Greece, Cyprus. There are vegetarian, fish or meat mezze. Arabic-style mezze platters often include marinated olives, fresh herbs such as mint and zaatar, labneh (thick yogurt), halloumi cheese, kofta (meatballs) and many others. I guess, almost everyone is familiar with classic hummus – pureed chickpea dip. I do like this tasty dip, it’s wonderful with roasted chicken or lamb kofta, or simply with bread. But this time I made unusual hummus -with roasted red bell peppers and pomegranate molasses; it turned out so delicious! I served the hummus with Arabic pita bread, olives and baked halloumi cheese. Roasted red pepper hummus
 Halloumi cheese is another tasty appetizer, which is pretty popular in Middle Eastern cuisine. Baked halloumi with touch of honey and thyme makes wonderful snack. Serve it warm with bread or salad.Arabic mezze platter

Arabic Mezze: Roasted red pepper hummus & Baked halloumi

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Roasted red pepper hummus
Adapted from BBCFood

Ingredients

2 large red peppers
1 tbsp olive oil
1 shallot or 1/2 small brown onion
1 small garlic clove, chopped
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp paprika (plain or smoked as you like)
1 can (400g) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2-3 tbsp fresh chopped coriander
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp orange juice
2 tsp pomegranate molasses (or add more lemon juice)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black/white pepper, to taste
Preparation
  1. Cut peppers into halves and place them onto lined baking tray under the grill for 15 minutes, or roast covered in foil in preheated 180C oven  for 30 minutes. Remove their skins.
  2. In a small frying pan, heat olive oil, add onion and fry over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, add garlic and cumin and saute for a minute more.
  3. In a food processor, add peppers, fried onion, paprika, chickpeas, coriander, lemon and orange juices, molasses if using and pulse several times. Add extra virgin olive oil, and blend again. Season to taste.
  4. If you want to make the hummus thiner, add a couple of tablespoons of water.
  5. Serve with Arabic bread, pita, crackers or your favourite bread.
Baked Halloumi
Ingredients
200g halloumi cheese
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp liquid honey
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp black sesame seeds
  1. Cut halloumi into slices. Place onto baking tray lined with baking paper or foil.
  2. Mix all other ingredients. Pour over cheese.
  3. Bake in preheated 200C oven for 10 minutes or under the grill until just begin to brown.

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
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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! 

 

Citrusy Scampi with fennel salad

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One day my husband brought home these strange-looking shrimps from a local fish market. A fishmonger called it ‘scampi’, wikipedia told it’s a kind of shrimps or langoustines. So, I’d decided to make a citrusy marinade as for shrimps and then fried it. Sliced fennel with cubes of bell pepper and orange segments worked out great with fried scampi. The smell was amazing! It turned out unbelievably delicious! This scampi recipe can be done in minimal time, super tasty and will leave you satisfied! Scampi with fennel-orange saladNow, it’s one of my favorite seafood meals. Moreover, it looks elegant and you can serve it as a top-class dish for your guests or for a romantic dinner under the stars in your garden. 🙂Ingredients for Scampi Recipe

Citrusy scampi with fennel salad

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: moderate
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You can substitute scampi with large prawns.
Ingredients
3 large scampi per person as a starter or 6-7 as a main course
Marinade
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lime juice
1/2-1 tbsp orange juice
2-3 tsp orange zest
2-3 garlic cloves, crushed or chopped, as you like
1 tbsp fresh chopped coriander
S&P to taste
Salad
1/2 red onion
1 small fennel bulb or 1/2 large
1/2-1 bell pepper, red
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp white balsamic vinegar
1 orange
S&P to taste
Serving
fresh chopped coriander
extra virgin olive oil or basil oil
Preparation method
  1. Cut the fennel and onion into  julienne (thin slices) and add to the mixing bowl with the balsamic vinegar and oil, toss in. Cut bell pepper into small cubes, add to the bowl. Remove the rind on the orange then cut into segments and add to the mixing bowl (save all orange juices and add it to the salad); gently toss in the bowl with all ingredients. Reserve at room temperature.
  2. Clean scampi, leave tails on if desired. In a bowl mix together olive oil, citrus juices, garlic, chopped coriander and orange zest. Add scampi and leave to marinate for 30 minutes to 1-2 hours. Heat the frying pan on a medium-high heat, add scampi without marinade. Cook for 2-4 minutes on each side, depends on the size of scampi. Season to taste.
  3. Season the salad and gently mix. Divide the salad evenly on plates. Serve salad with scampi placed on top. Sprinkle with finely chopped coriander and drizzle even more oil, if desired.
Enjoy!

Scampi in citrusy marinade

Sharing at 62nd FF party with Angie, co-hosts JessPrudy and all guests! Hope you all gonna love these bright, healthy and delicious dish!

Trout fritters with green peas

 Last weekend I bought a beautiful rainbow trout. It’s a very delicious fish, that rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and its’ also an excellent source of vitamins and protein. One its part gone to be cured (you may find the recipe here), another was roasted and I still had some more. I decided to make a pie from the book “pies and tarts” by S.Reaynaud. The recipe is very simple, it’s called for the trout, puff pastry, peas and horseradish, I’d had all that stuff. I’d made the filling and was disappointed because its quantity was more then enough, despite that I used more puff pastry then was needed. Fortunately, the overall result was fine, and the pie tasted pretty good. Have you tried to cook any pies from that book?

Thus I had to fix the remaining trout.. And here is the easiest and quickest recipe of delicious fritters. I used fresh trout, but you can substitute it with salmon, fresh or canned. I ate these little fritters for breakfast, they were good and satisfying!

Trout fritters
After plating I topped it with with sour cream and some horseradish sauce, also I recommend finishing it with a slice of cured trout or salmon. It was truly divine!Trout tritters with green peas and horseradish

Trout fritters with green peas

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients
100-150g fresh trout, chopped
2 large potatoes, peeled and grated
50-60g green peas, fresh or frozen
1 Tbsp finely chopped onion, optional
1 egg white (or whole egg)
1-2 tsp horseradish sauce
3-4 Tbsp thin cream
4 Tbsp or more plain flour

sea salt, white pepper, to taste

Garnish: sour cream, horseradish sauce, lemon wedges, cured trout/salmon slices
Method
  • Preheat oven to 200C. Line the baking tray with parchment.
  • Squeeze out the liquid from potatoes. Add it to a mixing bowl along with trout, peas and onion. Add horseradish, egg white, cream and combine.
  • Add flour, salt and pepper, and mix well.
  • Scoop out the dough to make 10-12 fritters. Gently press them down with hand.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden-brown.
  • Serve with sauce you like and cured trout slices.
Enjoy the meal!
 Trout fritters with peas and horseradish