Dates&Figs Tart

When experiments in the kitchen end up like this amazing tart, all I can say is – you have to try it as soon as possible! Really! It is luxurious and creamy, and as many other my recipes is very easy to prepare, especially if you already have a ready shortcrust pastry in your fridge or freezer! Preferably homemade.. Seriously, don’t go out and buy ready pastry. Do try to prepare it yourself, at least once and you will see how easy it is. 😀 Have a look at my unsweetened pastry recipe here (super tasty quiches).
 The tender custard-ish filling was done in almost no time. Simple and unbelievably good! Of course it’s hard to get fresh figs, so I do think you can substitute with dried ones, but then reduce the sugar. Fig&Date tart-2
 Sweet and tender fruits, rich and flaky crust – all these words make my mouth water!
Fig&Date tart-1
What you need is to get ingredients and follow instructions. Very easy recipe, believe me. And don’t forget to stand back and admire this beautiful tart before enjoying! 😉
Date and fig tart

Dates&Figs Tart

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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For 20cm baking tin
*Substitute with orange juice or simply omit.
Ingredients
Unsweeten or sweet shortcrust pastry, any one you like/have.
10-11 medium-size dates
3 fresh figs
1 tbsp orange liqueur or cognac*
2 large eggs
80g brown sugar
250ml creme fraiche (30%)
1 tsp vanilla extract
a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
almond flakes
Method
  1. Line the baking tin with baking paper if need. Otherwise, roll out the pastry to fit the tin. Prick the pastry base with a fork and chill in the fridge for 15-20 minutes. If you have a time you can prebake the pastry base.
  2. Pit the dates, keeping them whole; cut figs; put both in a bowl and drizzle with liquor and leave to infuse for 15 minutes.
  3. Beat eggs with sugar.
  4. In another large mixing bowl, whisk creme fraiche with vanilla, nutmeg, add the egg mixture and whisk again.
  5. Arrange the dates and figs over the pastry. Pour over the batter. Sprinkle with almond flakes.
  6. Bake in preheated 180C oven for 20-25 minutes or until the centre is set. Leave to cool in a tin, then carefully take the tart out and serve.
Enjoy! 
DATE TART

Almond and ricotta cake

 One of the great part of food blogging is that you can discover new and interesting recipes almost every time you open your browser; you can see what bloggers cook and enjoy in different parts of the world, and of course try to prepare those amazing international recipes at home. So, when I saw the ricotta-almond cake that Margherita shared at her blog, I immediately saved it and decided to make it the other day. The cake turned out really moist and very nutty. I even could say that you can feel more nuts than ricotta, but it’s not bad at all (especially if you love lots of nuts in baking). Moreover, orange zest gave a fantastic aroma to the cake. The only thing – it was a bit too sweet to my taste, so I will reduce the quantity of sugar next time.
Almond ricotta cake
And I didn’t wait for an hour before unmolding the cake, about 20 minutes was enough to get it cool and enjoy with a tea. 🙂
A slice of almond-ricotta cake

Almond and ricotta cake

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
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*Was a bit sweet to my taste, next time reduce sugar to 100g
For 20cm spring form tin
Ingredients
250g ricotta
180g ground almonds
3 egg whites
1/2 tsp lemon juice
a pinch of salt
90g butter, soft (at room temperature)
120g white sugar*
zest from 1 orange
3 egg yolks
some almond flakes
orange zest, for decor, optional
Preparation method
  1. In a bowl, stir ricotta with ground almonds. Set aside.
  2. Beat egg whites with lemon juice and salt until steady peaks. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, blend butter with sugar and orange zest until creamy. Mix in egg yolks, one at a time.
  4. Stir in ricotta mixture.
  5. Carefully fold beaten egg whites into ricotta mixture.
  6. Line the baking tin with greased parchment. Pour in batter. Sprinkle with almond flakes and orange zest.
  7. Bake in preheated 170C oven for 50 minutes or until golden.
  8. Let it cool in the tin for 20-30 minutes and then carefully transfer to a serving plate.
Enjoy!

Herb-marinated salmon

 I love cooking and eating salmon. Roasting salmon is my favourite way to prepare it. Usually I sprinkle it with some sea salt and freshly ground pepper, plus a pinch of dried rosemary or thyme – and salmon goes into the oven. Then a super healthy&tasty dish is ready in short time. A couple of weeks back I bought fresh salmon steaks and decided to roast it again, but that time I prepared a marinade and left it for a half an hour or so to soak up all of the amazing flavours before roasting. I chopped fresh coriander, parsley and mixed it with mustard, and some ground green pepper. Now you can imagine all those wonderful flavours! 🙂 What to say, salmon turned out gorgeous and unbelievably tasty! On the weekend I repeated the recipe but grilled it on a barbecue. It was superb again! Next weekend you will try it, right? 😉Herb-marinated salmon steaks

  What about you, dear readers? how do you cook salmon? and what spices and herbs are you usually using?Roasted herb salmon
UAE is celebrating today its 44th National Day! Happy Birthday to the country, which has become my second home.

Herb-marinated salmon steaks

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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*You can substitute green peppercorns with white.
Ingredients
2 salmon steaks
Marinade
4 tbsp finely chopped parsley
4 tbsp finely chopped coriander
1 garlic clove, minced or chopped (optional)
2 tsp Dijon mustard (you can also use wholegrain mustard)
1/2 medium lime, juice
1/2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp olive oil
1-1.5 tsp coarse sea salt (or more to taste)
2 tsp whole green peppercorns*
Extra
1 large sliced red capsicum
2 small sliced parboiled potatoes
2 gralic cloves in their skin, optional
Preparation
  1. For the marinade, crush sea salt and green peppercorns. In a bowl combine all ingredients for the marinade.
  2. Put salmon steaks in a shallow plate, pour over marinade and leave to marinade for 30 minutes at room temperature, turning once. You can keep the fish in marinade for longer, but cover the plate with plastic wrap or foil and put in the fridge until ready to roast.
  3. Preheat oven to 190-200C.
  4. Arrange salmon steaks in a baking dish, add sliced capsicum, potatoes and garlic. Roast for 20-25 minutes.
Serve warm. Enjoy!
Herb-marinated roasted salmon with capsicum and potato slices

Oatmeal Cookies with dates

 There are thousands recipes of oatmeal cookies, I guess. Needless to say, I prefer homemade cookies to store-bought. Homemade is homemade, right? Plus I can vary the amount of sugar, thus you can feel that you’re eating oat cookies, not sugary cookies with oats! And of course, you can add your fav nuts or chocolate chips as much as you like. 😀 Personally, I don’t like chocolate chips in cookies. I add it sometimes too, but almost never do it; choco chips contain more sugar than pure chocolate; so if I deliberately reduce the sugar in a recipe why should I add more sugar but in another form.. I prefer roughly chopped dark chocolate, it’s healthier and adds much more flavour and taste! Add a small handful of dried berries or fruits for extra deliciousness! 🙂Oatmeal cookies with dates-1

 So, it’s my fav oatmeal cookies recipe. What’s yours? 🙂

Oatmeal Cookies with dates

  • Servings: 20-22 cookies
  • Difficulty: easy
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Instead of dates you can add some black raisins or dried cherries.
Addition of chopped dark chocolate make cookies only better. 
IngredientsOatmeal cookies
170g butter, soft at room temperature
35g brown sugar
35g golden caster sugar (or more brown sugar)
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
50g plain flour
50g fine oats
1/2 tsp fine salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2-1  tsp cinnamon
a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
200-220g oats
80-100g roasted walnuts, roughly chopped
6-8 large dates, stoned and chopped
Method
  1. In a bowl, whisk flour with fine oats, salt, baking powder and spices.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter with sugars until creamy about 2 minutes. Beat in egg and vanilla.
  3. Add flour mixture into cookie batter and whisk/beat until combined.
  4. Stir in oats, walnuts and dates.
  5. Line 2 baking trays with parchment. Scoop in cookies, leaving the space between cookies about 4-5cm. With wet hand flatten the cookies slightly.
  6. Bake in preheated 180C oven for 15 minutes or until light golden.
Enjoy with a glass of cold milk!
Oatmeal cookies with dates and walnuts

Knyshy

 One day I was watching numerous foody videos.. among those millions just one stuck in my head. Russian cook (don’t know his name) made small pies with potato filling, which he called knyshy. Pirogki with potato mash are one of my favourite, they always bring back memories about parents’ home ..kitchen, my mother is making pies, me and my sister are impatiently sitting and waiting while pirogki are baking in the oven.. Sweet time!

 The difference between these pies and regular Russian pirogki is in the dough and shape, first ones are round, second are oval and usually made from yeast dough. I browse the Internet, and found not much information about these little pies. According to different sources, knyshy belong whether to old-Russian or Belarusian cuisine. In 19th century knyshy were widely-eaten pies among middle-class people, and the most popular filling was buckwheat kasha with fried onion and bacon.Knyshy

 It took me some time to shape them and make look like small barrels filled with tasty potato mash instead of rum (or whatever you imagine when hear barrel), but knyshy turned out beautifully and puffy, so they definitely worth all the hard work.

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Knyshy - little pies with potato filling

  • Servings: 16 pies
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients
Dough:
1 egg
120ml sunflower oil
120ml warm water
1 tsp vinegar
400g plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
Filling:
600-700g potatoes
1 large onion, chopped
1 tbsp oil+ 1 tsp butter for frying
1 tbsp butter
some chopped dill, optional
salt, pepper to taste
Egg wash
1 egg, beaten
Method
  1. In a bowl whisk egg with oil, water and vinegar.
  2. Sift flour with salt and baking powder into another large bowl.
  3. Pour the egg mixture into the bowl with flour. Mix all ingredients together, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave to rest for 40 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the filling. In a frying pan heat oil with butter, add onion and fry until lightly golden. Clean and peel potatoes, cut into medium chunks and boil until ready, drain. Using a potato masher blend butter into potatoes until soft. Mix in fried onion and dill, if using. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Divide the dough into two parts. On a lightly floured surface roll out one part into 30x40cm rectangle. Spread half of the filling near the edge of the longest rectangle side. Make the roll. Cut the roll into 8 pieces: 5cm width each.* Carefully seal the ‘hole’ on one side, shaping into a roundish form (like a small barrel), place pie sealed side down on a lined and greased baking sheet. Repeat with all pies.
  6. Brush all pies with egg wash. Bake in preheated 190C oven for 40 minutes.
*You may cut the roll into smaller pieces to get more but small-sized pies.
 
Enjoy!
Knyshy - pies with potato filling