Fish. Arabian red grouper

 Hello-hello! Many of us know that fish is loaded with lots of important nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids, plus it is a low-fat and high-protein food. But let’s speak honestly: do you consume it at least once a week? I bet you often stick to the same preferences, it sounds “easier” to cook “favourite” chicken thighs or simply grill sausages… Maybe because you don’t know how to cook fish properly? or don’t like its smell?
 And for those of you who really like fish, what type do you prefer? Have you ever wonder how do you choose it: is it common salmon or tilapia, or do you buy whatever is sold on the market? Do you always stick to the same recipes or experimenting is your motto?
What are your thoughts, guys?
I like fish, most often I cook salmon, sea bream or sea bass. The easiest way to cook fish is Bake it. You need season fish, arrange it on a baking sheet/dish and bake until it’s done. Sounds easy, but if the cooked fish is too flakey that unfortunately means your overcooked it, and most probably it became dry and tastes not that nice as it should be. Well, it’s not a secret that I overcook fish quite often, especially fillets… I think I need to buy a special thermometer.. because how on earth I should check that fish color turns from translucent to opaque without flaking the fish? If it’s not right, I have to bake (cook) it longer and then flake it again..? So, finally, you will serve ruined-flakey fish instead of a whole piece of fillet. I prefer to cook it a bit longer that it has to be. I desperately need a fish thermometer! Red grouper with citrus slices and fresh herbs
This beautiful fish called ‘grouper’, it was caught in the Arabian Gulf (i.e in the UAE; I like to try everything local and that’s s why I chose it). When I don’t have any new ideas how to cook fish, I stuff it with fresh herbs and beautifully aromatic citrus slices, sprinkle with some extra dried ones plus seasoning and bake; and it turns out always good. If the fish itself is fresh and good, you can’t spoil it, right?
Red grouper

Baked Arabian red grouper

Tip: I have read 140F/60C is a desired internal temperature.
What You’ll Need
2 red grouper fishes
fresh coriander
fresh fennel or dill
some chopped garlic
few lemon slices+juice
few lime slices+juice
1/2 tsp dried fennel
freshly ground pepper
sea salt
EV olive oil
How to Make It
  • Wash, pat dry fish. Arrange on a baking tray.
  • Drizzle with lemon or lime juice, and season inside and out.
  • Stuff with fresh herbs and citrus slices.
  • Sprinkle with dried fennel and extra seasoning.
  • Drizzle with a bit of olive oil.
  • Bake in preheated 360F/180C oven for 15-18 minutes or until it’s cooked.

Enjoy!

Arabian Red grouper

Blini spiral pie

 Maslenitsa or Butterweek is going on in Russia right now. It’s a winter festival, saying goodbye to the cold winter days and greeting the warm and sunny spring. During this week people prepare and eat lots of blini. For breakfast blini can be served simple and quick with melted butter and sugar or some homemade jam, for lunch – again blini, and for the dinner, especially when the whole family is getting together, is really nice and festive to serve the delicious salmon pie or this one – soft, aromatic and nourishing spiral meat pie.
 Blini and the filling can be prepared a couple of days ahead, so you can assemble the pie whenever  you have the time or just before the dinner. Succulent stewed cabbage, tasty beef and aromatic dill along with coriander and parsley make the filling truly wonderful! Moreover, blini will be soaked in a mixture of sour cream and eggs, that adds extra moisture and taste.
blin_pie-2
 Maslenitsa is a very kind and light time, each day has a special meaning according to old tradition. For example, Wednesday is called “Gourmand”. On this day huge tables and stalls were settled on main squares, where people could drink hot honey-based sbiten and aromatic tea, enjoyed gingerbreads, fresh buns and some other sweet treats, and definitely taste the unlimited blini! But the main event was the visit of son-in-law his mother-in-law, and the mother tried to prepare the best blini she could to show respect and love to her daughter’ husband.
 On Friday, the mother-in-law returned the visit, then her daughter made pancakes and the son-in-law had to please the mother and her other relatives.
blin_pie-1

Blini spiral pie

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: moderate
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The quantity of the ingredients is given approximately, as it totally depends on the taste, quantity of blini, etc. 
*For the pouring mixture, you can use either sour cream or double cream; even milk will work, just reduce the quantity.
Ingredients
~8 blini
Filling
250g mince beef
250-300g raw white cabbage
1 medium red onion
2-3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
dried herbs: dill, crushed whole coriander, marjoram
salt&pepper to taste
some oil for frying
2-3 tbsp sour cream (15-20%)
100ml double cream (30-35%)*
2 eggs
Garnish
sour cream
Method
  • Make blini. The recipe is here.
  • Heat some oil in one frying pan, add chopped onion and beef, season with marjoram and salt and pepper. Fry on a high heat for few minutes, breaking up the lumps with spatula. Reduce the heat to medium and fry for 10-15 minutes more. Then add some warm water, if the meat is too dry, cover with the lid and simmer until tender or while you’re preparing the cabbage.
  • In another pan, heat the oil and shredded cabbage, fry on a medium-high heat, stirring occasionally and adding water if necessary, allow cabbage to brown but not to burn. Fry until cabbage is brown, then sprinkle with dill and coriander, season, cover with a lid and cook until the cabbage is soft.
  • To assemble, you need any round baking dish, covered with baking paper and drizzled with oil. Mix meat with cabbage and fresh parsley. Take one blin and put one-two tablespoons of the filling into it, roll. Make as much as fits to the baking dish.
  • Mix creams with eggs and pour over the blini pie.
  • Bake in preheated 190C oven for 30 minutes.
  • Serve warm with  a dollop of sour cream.
Enjoy! 

Spiced cauliflower with peas

 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’. Spiced cauliflower with peas

 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.
Fried cauliflower with spices
 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! 🙂

Spiced cauliflower with peas

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: very easy
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Adapted from “Spice” by Dhruv Baker.
Double the qauntity of cauliflower and peas to serve the dish as a main vegetarian course.
Ingredients
200-300g cauliflower
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp cumin seeds, crushed
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
3 small round chilli
100g frozen peas
1 large tomato, finely chopped
2-3 tsp lime juice, optional
some fresh coriander leaves, chopped
salt, white pepper to taste
 
Method
  • Wash the cauliflower and cut into small florets.
  • Heat the oil in a frying pan on a medium heat, add mustard seeds. As soon as the start to pop add all spices and stir for a minute.
  • Add cauliflower florets and stir to coat with spices. Cook on a medium-high heat for 5-6 minutes.
  • Add frozen peas and tomato, season to taste. Reduce heat to low-medium and cook for 20 minutes or until cauliflower is cooked.
  • Arrange on a serving plate, drizzle with lime juice if using and top with coriander.
Enjoy!
Fried cauliflower with peas, mustard seeds and round chilli

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

Black Forest Pancakes

 When I decided to make chocolate pancakes, I didn’t expect them turn out so good and delicious: a pure indulgence! I wanted to serve them only with a black-cherry jam. But when I stumbled upon a pack of mascarpone in my fridge, that I wanted to use somewhere else, the decision came itself – use it as a topping! Mascarpone worked perfectly as a cream and cherry syrup (I mixed jam with some water to make it thinner) sucked into pancakes very well, like into a sponge cake. All ingredients worked more than good together, dark chocolate and fresh cherry on top added a nice and charming touch as well. Plus, the taste reminds the famous cake – “Black Forest”. It’s my husband’s favorite cake, so he was on a nine cloud! Honestly, these are highly recommended pancakes!Schwarzwald Pancakes

Black Forest Pancakes

  • Servings: 3
  • Difficulty: very easy
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Ingredients
200g sour cream
250ml full-fat milk
2 eggs
2 tbsp white sugar
a pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla
20g butter, melted
270-300g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
5-6 tsp unsweetened pure cocoa powder
40-50g dark chocolate (70%cocoa), chopped
sunflower or any veg oil for frying
For serving
200g mascarpone
2 tsp maple syrup or pure honey, optional
100g dark cherry jam
70ml warm water (or more to make it thinner)
1-2 tsp lemon juice, optional
Garnish
some chopped dark chocolate
fresh cherries, optional
Preparation method
  • In a large bowl, beat eggs with with sugar, salt and vanilla. Whisk in butter.
  • Pour in milk and sour cream, stir all together.
  • Sift flour along with baking powder, soda and cocoa into a batter. Whisk until combined. Fold in chopped chocolate.
  • Heat large frying pan on a high heat, pour in some oil. Using large spoon, pour in batter. Cook each pancake until bubbles appear on top, then flip and cook on another side.
  • For cheery syrup, in a small saucepan, bring jam and water to gentle simmer. Simmer on a medium-low heat for few minutes. If it’s too sweet, stir in lemon juice. Add more water to make it more thin, if desired.
  • In a serving bowl, stir together mascarpone and maple syrup or honey.
  • Serve pancakes with mascarpone and cherry syrup.
Enjoy!
Black Forest pancakes