Tag Archives: lunch

Vegetable bake with mozzarella and bacon

This simple, good-looking and so-delicious bake is a time-saving dish for busy week days, or when you’re tired but still want to prepare homey food. I love one-pot recipes, whether its made on a hob or in the oven, they are always comforting, full of flavor and tasty!
For this bake I used young potatoes, that can be substitute with regular, but make sure to slice it very thinly. Want better and quicker? Use boiled or roast potatoes! For the vegetarian option – omit the bacon.
Also the bake can be great and tasty work lunch, you can see it’s not difficult or time-intensive task. Homemade lunches are definitely healthier than any fast food, you know every single ingredient in it, also you can make it balanced, nutritious and satisfying. Beyond that, such home-packed meals is one of the simplest ways to trim your budget.Vegetable Bake with mozzarella and bacon

Vegetable bake with mozzarella and bacon

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
Ingredients
6-7 small potatoes
1 leek, chopped
1-2 capsicum
3-4 bacon slices, smoked
70-100g mozzarella, or as much as you wish, cut into cubes
40-50g pecorino or parmesan cheese, grated
1 spring of fresh rosemary, or 1 tsp dried
1/3 tsp paprika
1/3 tsp turmeric
5-7 mix peppercorns (black, white, pink), crushed
fresh basil, few leaves, for garnish, optional
sea salt, to taste
2 Tbsp olive oil

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 200C. Grease a baking dish with olive oil.
  2. Slice and fry bacon (without any oil). Transfer to paper towel to absorb exsess fat. Set aside.
  3. While the frying pan is still hot, add leek to it and saute on a medium heat for few minutes. Do not let it brown.
  4. Throughly wash and rub potatoes, thinly slice. Roughly chop capsicums. Put vegetables in a bowl, add 1 Tbsp olive oil, spices, season with salt and stir well.
  5. Spread leek on the baking dish. Add vegetables.
  6. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Add bacon, mozzarella and pecorino/parmesan, and bake for 5-10 minutes more. If you have grill, put the baking dish under the grill for 5 minutes.
  7. Sprinkle with basil and extra pecorino/parmesan, if desired.
  8. Serve with green salad.

Enjoy!

Potato bake with mozzarella and bacon

 

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
  • Print
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
  • Print
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!

Classic Beef Stroganov

 Beef Stroganov is a well-known Russian dish, which become extremely popular in many countries. It consists of fried beef cubes mixed with sour cream sauce. Various explanations are given for the name, one says that such dish was firstly appeared at the count Alexander Stroganov’s dinners, who was the Russian minister of the interior from 1839, the member of the state Council from 1849 and the governor general of Novorossiia from 1855. The sauteed beef was among other different dishes, which were served at ‘open tables’ when all decorous and presentable people could came in straight from the street and tried any meal.
 The first known Beef Stroganov recipe doesn’t contain onions or mushrooms, only floured beef cubes, which fried and sauced with mustard, bouillon (stock) and some sour cream. Thus, you may guess that it’s not the best recipe. The dish becomes much tastier and aromatic if you add onions and mushrooms (it tastes fantastic with cep mushrooms, even if you add only one), such recipe is considered now as classic Beef Stroganov.
Beef Stroganov

Classic Beef Stroganov

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print
 
You can also serve the beef with buckwheat instead of mashed potatoes.
IngredientsRussian Beef Stroganov
500g beef fillet, cut into medium cubes
2 medium brown onions, thinly sliced
200-300g mushrooms, sliced (cep mushrooms or brown champignons)
2-3 Tbsp plain flour
150-200ml sour cream
2 tsp dijon mustard
2-3 Tbsp beef stock
butter or sunflower oil
sea salt, black pepper to taste
mashed potatoes, chopped dill or parsley, rye bread, for serving
 
Method
  1. To make the sour cream sauce, in a small bowl, combine the sour cream with mustard, add stock to make it more thin (it should be liquid like kefir).
  2. Mix the flour with a good pinch of salt. Lightly flour beef cubes from all sides, shake off any flour excess. Heat the heavy frying pan, when it’s hot, add butter or sunflower oil. Then sear beef cubes in 2 or 3 batches, so you don’t overcrowd the pan and steam the meat. Cook for 2-3 muntes or just until browned. Transfer to the plate.
  3. In the same frying pan (reduce the heat to medium), add a knob of butter, mushrooms and onions. Fry onion until it’s soft. Then add fried meat, season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium-low, you need to warm the meat mixture for 2-3 minutes. Now add the sauce, stirring continuously for 1-2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, cover with lid and let it rest for few minutes.
  4. Serve with mashed potatoes, sprinkle with dill or parsley. Enjoy!
You can keep the dish in the fridge up to 1-2 days. Keep the fried meat and sour cream sauce separate in the different containers. Just mix it together and rewarm before serving (but don’t let the sauce bubble).

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
  • Print

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.