Tag Archives: dinner

Veal with pink pepper and squash puree

 Hey guys! What’s the autumn in your country/city? The weather here finally became amazing – only +29C! And in my home-city in Russia is  -7C! Which weather do you like more?
 I had the leftovers of squash in my fridge.. and I needed to come up with something to have for dinner. A very simple way to use it – make savory pancakes, but that idea seemed too boring for me. Further ‘excavations’ brought me a beet, a piece of pecorino cheese and a glass of red wine. And the idea came up!  Give it up and just drink wine. 😀
 So, the measurements in the recipe are given roughly, don’t be afraid to be an artist and make it to suit your own taste. The dish has a wonderful flavour, and this is a very simple way to cook. I served it over a bed of mashed squash and potatoes, and that was incredibly satisfying! Bright and slightly sweet squash and beet, mildly spicy pink pepper give that contented and warm-inside feeling which is what autumn cooking about.
Veal with pink pepper and squash puree

Veal with pink pepper and squash puree

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients
100-150g veal, cut into cubes
5 pink peppercorns, crushed
few sage leaves
1-2 Tbsp dry red wine, optional
80-120g squash or pumpkin, cooked and mashed
1 Tbsp beet, cooked and cut into cubes
1 small potato, cooked and mashed, optional
1-2 Tbsp pecorino cheese, grated
sea salt, to taste
1 Tbsp olive oil
 
Method
  • In a bowl put veal cubes, pink pepper, some salt and chopped sage. Pour in wine and stir well. Cover and let marinate for 10-20 minutes.
  • Make vegetable puree for the garnish. Combine mashed squash, potato and cheese together. Season to taste.
  • Heat an oil in a frying pan over medium heat. When oil is hot, add meat and fry it. Turn occasionally until done as desired and browned on all sides.
  • Mix pan-fried veal with beet cubes.
  • Put the squash puree on a serving plate. Arrange veal on top. Sprinkle with sage and pecorino cheese, if desired.
Of course a great glass of red wine goes hand in hand with this delicious veal.  😉
Enjoy the dinner!

Pokhlyobka – The Old Russian Pottage

 Pokhlyobka is a kind of thick Russian soup made by adding flour, grains, potatoes or other vegetables. It is similar to the Britain Pottage.
 Long time ago, it was a main meal among poor strata of Russian society. Most of the time, villagers and peasant farmers cooked and ate vegetarian pottage, because such expensive ingredients like meat or fish were not affordable for them. It’s worth mentioning that meat was eaten once or twice a year; more luckily were farmers, who had lived near rivers and could caught a fish throughout the year. The dish was easy to prepare, and people could use the remains of the yesterday meal – chunks of boiled potatoes or cabbage, then add extra millet or buckwheat. The rich part also ate pokhlyobka, but it was significantly better and besides potatoes, contained the meat of duck, hazel-hens, and etc.
Pokhlyobka
 My recipe of Russian pottage is also without meat.. Definitely, a good piece of fatty pork or beef could makes the pokhlyobka especially rich, so if you’re not a vegetarian you may add it. But I suggest you to try the non-meat option, which is infused with aromatic spices, and delicious pumpkin and thick sour cream make the soup absolutely irresistible!
‘Acoulina cooked absolutely delicious koulebyaks, various pokhlyobki..kvas..soaked apples..’ from the Russian novel ‘Whites, blacks and grays’  by Ivan Lazhechnikov written in 1856.
Pokhlyobka - the old Russian thick soup
  ‘The dinner was absolutely delicious that day: pokhlyobka made from goose meat with wild onions, venison shashlik and slices of bear meat..’ from the Russian novel ‘Plutonia’ by Vladimir Obruchev written in 1915.

Pokhlyobka - The Old Russian Pottage

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients
120-130g yellow split peas
3 small potatoes
300g pumpkin or squash
1 medium carrot, sliced
60-70g celery root, cut into small cubes
1 small onion, thinly sliced or finely chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped, optional
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp cumin
2 bay leaves
1.2 l water
1 Tbsp sunflower oil
salt, black pepper to taste
fresh parsley, chopped, for serving
sour cream, for serving, optional
fresh country-style bread, for serving, optional

Preparation

  1. Wash peas, put in a pan, cover with water and soak overnight. Pour out the water. Cover peas with new cold water. Boil on a medium heat for 15-20 minutes, until peas are tender. Skim the foam during the boiling.
  2. Meanwhile, in a frying pan, heat the oil, add spices and fry them for a minute. Add garlic, onion, carrot, celery root and saute vegetables on a medium heat for 8-10 minutes.
  3. Peel and cut into small cubes potatoes and pumpkin.
  4. Add potatoes to the pottage. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 8-10 minutes.
  5. Add pumpkin along with fried vegetables, simmer the pottage for 10 minutes more or until the pumpkin is soft.
  6. Adjust seasoning. If the pottage is too thick, add more hot water and stir through.
  7. Garnish each plate with a dollop of sour cream and chopped parsley. Serve with a slice of bread.
Enjoy the old Russian farmer meal! 🙂
I’m bringing this traditional recipe to all lovely people who’s enjoying the FF party today!

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!

Faskar (fish) with Aromatic Potato Wedges

I love fish. When I was a child I ate a lot of river fish, especially during summer. The city, where I grew up is located on a bank of big and great Russian river – Volga, moreover, there are also few small rivers and lots of lakes around it. My father is addicted to fishing, so quiet often during warm summer days we went to one of those lakes, where dad was fishing, while rest of the family (including myself) was swimming, sun-bathing and enjoying lovely summer. Even though most of the caught fishes were small with lots of bones, we liked to grill it mostly, or make some fish-soup. It was such a great time and delicious meal for the appetite you get on a fresh air!

To be honest, living on the Arabic coast, I don’t buy and eat lots of local fish… I wish they could promote it better; certainly you can buy it in hypermarkets, but in small markets I’ve seen local fish only once or twice. Another option is to go to the fish market and choose good and local fish there, but it’s not always convenient.

Surprisingly, there is only one fish market I know in Dubai, despite the city itself is quite large (generally speaking, there is one fish market per each emirate). And all UAE fish markets open early in the morning, and I do like sleep in the mornings, so it’s not quite convenient for me to visit fish markets at noon, when all fishes has been sold out already 🙂 Most of the fish or seafood available on the market is local and freshly caught straight from the sea, and some type of the fish can be found only on local fish markets, while supermarket fish stalls are selling mix of local and imported seafood. I will show you fish market in Dubai soon 😉

In that way, to support Emirates Wildlife, from time to time I’m buying sustainable species of local fish, like Faskar. You can substitute this fish with any local fish, what you can find at your market.

It is beautiful, isn’t it? 😀Faskar-4 

Faskar Fish with Aromatic Potato Wedges

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients
2 fishes Faskar, cleaned
½  lemon or lime, sliced
½ lemon, juice
2 garlic cloves, sliced
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
fresh flat leaf parsley, small bunch, roughly chopped
sea salt, white pepper
Garnish
4-6 baby potatoes, washed, cut into 4 wedges
some broccoli, optional
1 sprig of fresh rosemary or 1 tsp dried
1 tsp turmeric
½ tsp paprika
1 tsp sea salt
2-3 Tbsp olive oil
Method
  • Place fish in a baking tray, squeeze the lemon juice over it. Season with salt and pepper. Stuff each fish with rosemary, parsley, lemon slices and garlic.
    Parboil potatoes for 17-20 minutes. Put in a bowl along with broccoli, if using, toss it with rosemary, spices, salt and olive oil. Arrange vegetables around the fish.
    Bake in preheated 190C/380F oven for 25 minutes.

 

Middle Eastern Salmon steaks

 Salmon is a very popular fish in Russia. We pan-fry and roast it, make delicious cured salmon, pies, like worldwide famous Koulebyaka. Less fatty varieties, such as pink and hunchback are well-known and in high demand, they are less expensive, but still good and healthy choice. As you may know, such fish is an excellent sauce of Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins A and B. 🙂
 My husband and I love salmon and are always trying to find new ways to prepare it. The below recipe requires about 30 minutes and is guaranteed to please family or friends. It is simply amazing recipe, rich salmon, coated in aromatic Middle Eastern spices. 
Middle Eastern Salmon

Middle Eastern Salmon steaks

  • Servings: 2
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Ingredients
2 salmon steaks
2 round lemon slices
1 tsp whole white peppercorns, crushed
1-2 tsp coarse sea salt, crushed
2 tsp zaatar*
2 tsp sumac
2 tsp sesame seeds
2 tsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
 
*Make your own zaatar: 2Tbsp thyme+2Tbsp oregano+2Tbsp sesame seeds+1Tbsp sumac+1/2tsp ground cumin+1/2tsp salt
 
Preparation
  • Rub salmon steaks evenly with salt, white pepper and sumac. Place fish on a baking tray (you may line it with baking paper), drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil. Leave to marinate for 10-20 minutes. 
  • Preheat the oven 180C/ F. Sprinkle zaatar and sesame seeds over steaks; top with lemon slices. Bake for 18-20 minutes.
  • For the side dish, you can roast some potatoes, turnips or carrots along with salmon. Cut veggies into thin slices, sprinkle with salt, pepper, sesame seeds and olive oil. Potatoes usually need more time to be cooked, so you may parboil them before.
Bon appetite! 
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Delicious roasted carrots