Tag Archives: delicious

Thick lentil soup with pork ribs

 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!Thick lentil soup with pork ribs
If you want this soup to be vegetarian, feel free to omit the meat or try this recipe of red lentil soup (meatless).
Lentil soup with pork ribs, chilli and bay leaf

Thick lentil soup with pork ribs

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: easy
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IngredientsThick lentil soup
200g pork ribs, cut into segments
200g beef, but into medium cubes
4-5 black peppercorns, optional
100g brown or green lentils, washed
1 small leek and 1 small red onion, sliced
2 small potatoes, peeled, cubed or sliced
1/2-1 tsp chilli flakes
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 medium tomato, chopped
1+1 tbsp olive or other veg oil, for frying
salt, black pepper to taste
small bunch fresh parsley or coriander, chopped, for garnish
Method
  1. 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.
  2. Add lentils to the pan, and simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. 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.
  4. Stir vegetable mixture into soup, season to taste and simmer on a low heat for 15 minutes or until lentils and potatoes are cooked.
  5. Serve hot, sprinkle with chopped parsley.
Enjoy!
Adapted from Rus magazine “Collection of recipes”, 2010

Millet bitochki

 Bitochki or bitki is the name for round-shaped, flattened cutlets (côtelettes/patties) in Russian cuisine, which are prepared from chopped meat or grains. Originally in old Russia, a good and expensive cuts of meat were flattened, cooked and called bitochki, but lately people adapted the recipe and began to use cheap meat. Any remaining meat was chopped, mixed with other ingredients and then served fried or baked. Poor people even used grains.MIlletBitochki
 Nowadays, not only poor one can make such bitochki. I used millet for mine. Bitochki are not only tasty, but healthy and it is a good option for a meatless day. Millet is one of the healthiest grain, moreover is considered to be one of the digestible and non-allergenic grains*. It contains lots of fiber and low simple sugar. Finally, bitochki have such a nice texture inside (it reminds a white fish a bit) and crispy outside.
 You can serve them with a lettuce-tomato salad on a side. I made mushrooms sauce, but if you are run out of time or lazy – serve with a good dollop of sour cream (or creme fraiche).
MIlletBitochki with mushroom sauce

Millet bitochki with mushroom sauce

  • Servings: 12 pieces
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Instead of mushroom sauce you can serve bitochiki with sour cream.
Bitochki as well as mushroom sauce can be made a day or two ahead and then gently reheated.
 
*You can use both cream and sour cream, or any one.
Ingredients
150g millet
500ml hot water
1 medium egg
2-3 tbsp finely chopped parsley
1 medium onion (any sort you like)
300g mushrooms (I used oyester and champinions), chopped
1 tbsp butter+ 1 tbsp olive oil, for mushrooms
20g butter
15-20g plain flour
100ml 35% cream*
2-3 tbsp sour cream*
150ml hot water
salt, freshly ground pepper to taste
2 Tbsp olive or sunflower oil, for frying
some chopped parsely, for garnish, optional
Preparation method
  • Wash millet throughly under running water, cover with hot water, season with some salt, bring to boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until millet is ready. You need to cool it completely. To make it faster, spread millet on a large plate and put in a fridge for 10-15 minutes, while preparing the mushrooms and sauce.
  • In a frying pan, heat butter and oil, add onion and fry for 5 minutes (set aside half of onions for millet ). Add mushrooms and fry on a hight heat for 10 minutes or until all liquid is evaporated (if there is any). Season to taste. Set aside 3-4 tbsp mushrooms for millet; then chop it finely.
  • Meanwhile, in a small pan, add butter and flour, stir on a medium heat for 5 minutes. Stir into mushrooms.
  • Pour over cream along with sour cream, give it a good stir. Pour in hot water. Check the seasoning. Simmer on a medium heat for 5-8 minutes. Add more hot water to reach desired consistency. Keep the sauce warm.
  • Transfer cooled millet in a mixing bowl, add egg, parsley, season with salt and pepper. Mix in fried onion and mushrooms. Combine the mixture. I didn’t use any flour, but if the mixture seems doesn’t want to resemble into a patty, add a tablespoon or two of plain flour.
  • Generously spread breadcrumbs on a large plate. With a tablespoon take a millet mixture and make a ball, pat it down with your hand or spoon. Cover in a breadcrumbs. Repeat with all millet mixture.
  • In a large frying pan, heat oil, put bitochki and fry on both sides until golden. To keep it warm while preparing others – put them in a preheated 120-150C oven.
  • Serve with mushroom sauce and sprinkle with extra parsley, if desired.
Enjoy!

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

Sponge cake with tvorog-cream and poached plums

 Hello to you, to a person who is reading this post or just glancing at photos of this moist and delicious cake with creamy filling, that was topped with aromatic spiced plum slices. The cake itself is a sponge cake, which is very simple to make and for that you need only four ingredients. I also added a drizzle of honey to the batter, honey gives a nice golden color to the cake and of course incredible flavor!
Sponge cake with  plums and  tvorog cream
 It has been ages since I made any layer cakes, so I decided to experiment with the cream. Tvorog is a dairy product, that used very often in Russian cuisine in such dishes like syrniki, sweet bakes and many other. Thus I took tvorog, mixed it with sugar and whipping cream, and I guess the cream became very Russian. 🙂 But I didn’t stopped there and added also gelatin to the cream. Honestly, it was my first attempt adding gelatin to the cake cream (with the exception of using it in panna cotta). I wasn’t sure that it would dissolve completely in the cream, and I beat it with electric blender. I love the result – cake was super tasty as well as the cream, and it’s gone very fast, especially if you serve it with some poached plums on a side.
 If you have any tips and advises how to add gelatin to a cake cream, please do share with me! I’d like to know and learn how to use it properly.
Sponge cake with poached plums

Sponge cake with tvorog-cream and poached plums

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Using gelatin in the cream is totally optional (it just makes the cream more thick); you can easily omit it.
Ingredients
Sponge Cake
3 large eggs
100g white sugar
1/3 tsp runny honey
110g plain flour
100ml plum syrup (liquid form poached plums)
1 tbps cognac or other aromatic  alcohol, optional
poached plums, for decor
Cream
220g tvorog (Russian cottage cheese)
150g icing sugar
200ml whipping cream (35%)
8-10g powdered gelatin
50ml cold water
Method
  1. For the cake, in a large bowl beat eggs with sugar until pale and increase three times in size. Add honey and beat a little bit again. Sift the flour and carefully fold into the egg mixture with spatula.
  2. Grease 20cm cake pan with butter, sprinkle with flour and pour the batter. Bake in preheated 180C oven for 40 minutes.
  3. Leave the cake to cool in a pan for 20-30 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack or plate and leave to cool for 4 hours or overnight. Cut the cake into two layers. Brush each cake with the mixture of plum syrup and alcohol (if using).
  4. For the cream, soften tvorog with a folk or electric blender. Add icing sugar and beat until combined. Add whipping cream and beat again.
  5. Dissolve gelatin in cold water and leave for 10 minutes. Add to the cream and beat again.
  6. Spread about half the cream on one of the cakes. Layer the second cake, and spread the remaining cream on the top and sides. Decorate with poached plums.
Spiced poached plums
5-7 soft plums (about 200g), sliced
80g white sugar (or more to your taste)
250 ml water
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
2 cardamom cloves
Method
  1. In a small pan, add plums and sugar. Add spices and cover plums with water. Heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring to boil, then reduce to low-medium heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until plums are soft. Leave to cool.
Enjoy!
Sharing with Angie FF#105 and co-hosts Lily and Julianna.
Sponge cake with tvorog-cream&poached plums

Salted peanut cookies

 I love shortbread cookies, there are almost thousands possibilities of flavours that you can add: mandarin, lemon or orange zest, vanilla or cinnamon, cardamom and etc. I stumbled upon this recipe a long time ago on one Russian website that content was about news, conferences for chefs and there were some recipes as well. I don’t know why I haven’t tried this recipe earlier, because these cookies are amazing! They have the right shortbread cookie texture – not too crumbly neither hard, simply divine! 🙂SPCookies

Salted peanut cookies

  • Difficulty: moderate
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I mix all ingredients with my hands. You may do it with electric mixer, but don’t overmix.
Ingredients
75g butter, cold
50g caster sugar
1 medium egg
lemon zest from 1 small lemon
120g plain flour
30g salted peanuts, chopped
Method
  • Cut butter into 1cm cubes and bring to room temperature. Divide the egg into yolk and white.
  • On a flat surface (you can do it in a large bowl too), mix butter with sugar until just coarse crumbs.
  • Add egg yolk, half of egg white (keep the rest) and lemon zest. Mix to combine.
  • Mix in flour. Combine the dough. On this step you may think you need to add extra flour, stop, no need to add extra flour or overknead the dough; after resting it’ll be perfect. Cover the dough in a plastic wrap and put in a fridge for 40-50 minutes.
  • Once the dough is cooled, roll it out on a lightly floured surface into 5mm thick disk. Cut out cookies any shape you like. Carefully transfer cookies on a lined baking tray. Brush with remaining egg white, sprinkle with peanuts.
  • Bake in preheated 180C oven for 12 minutes or until cookies are lightly golden.
Enjoy!