Marinated roasted peppers

 Hello, dear friends and all foodies! I’ve been away for awhile.  The life and time with my little pie fly by so fast that I haven’t realized that summer is already over and autumn almost too, and I haven’t posted a recipe or even a small note. Hope someone miss me, because I’m happy to come back with new ideas and recipes. 😀
 When you think autumn what do you imagine in your mind, I bet not only beautiful yellow and reddish leaves and trees in the woods, also lots of pumpkins and probably carrots. That’s not bad at all, I love those vegetables too; its bright color and wonderful taste turn a dull and boring day into a cheerful one. But I decided to go another way and prepare bright, aromatic and tasty marinated roasted peppers. If you have never tried to make those at home, you have to! Really! It is one of the quickest dishes, and no need to buy those expensive jars from a store! Make your own! The final result is fabulous, you can use peppers in so many ways! One of the recipes will be in the next post, don’t miss it!
MRP-1
 But first, you need to roast bell peppers. I usually cut them into halves, remove all seeds and stems, arrange on a tray (line it with a foil – less mess), then drizzle with some oil, and roast in the oven for 40-60 minutes. When they are done, pell off the skin, it comes off very easily. At this step you can stop and eat them, for example on a slice of sunflower seeds bread😀 or be patient, slice them, arrange into jars along with couple of garlic cloves, rosemary, and chili flakes, optionally – a good pinch of sea salt, plus a splash of white balsamic vinegar,  and of course drizzle with some oil (I prefer extra virgin oil, but you can use any you like/have).
 I keep peppers in this marinade for a week in the fridge (honestly, they rarely stay that long). And what an amazing smell when you open a jar!
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If you want to store them longer, I suggest to heat the marinade and use sterilized jars.
About the recipe: I don’t have any exact ingredients, just add as much as you like/feel. Happy cooking!
MRP-3

Small quiches: 4 fillings

I Love Pies! Small and large, closed and opened, with fish and hm less meat, whether it’s cabbage pie or raspberry tartlet. So, it was that day when I couldn’t decide what filling to choose and made 4 different savory quiches! Beautiful and delicious! 🙂 It’s a quick (especially if you prepared the pastry ahead as I did), easy and tasty way of using up all those small cheese pieces and veggies leftovers.Small quiches: 4 fillings

Small quiches: 4 fillings

  • Servings: 4-8
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Pastry
160g/5.6oz all-purpose/plain flour
120g/4.2oz butter, cold and cut into cubes
a good pinch of ground sea salt
40-50ml iced-cold water
Put flour, salt and butter in a big bowl. Quickly rub ingredients together until coarse breadcrumbs (or use food processor). Add water and mix until the dough is formed. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes or overnight. You can keep the pastry in a fridge up to 3 days.
Roll out 3-4mm thick dough to fit your baking tins. Bake blind in 180C preheated oven for 15-20 minutes.
Filling
2 large eggs
100-150ml 30% cream (or double cream)
freshly ground sea salt and black-white pepper, to taste
  • Broccoli+Gruyère cheese
  • Leek (slightly sautéed in butter)+Cheddar
  • Zucchini (raw, sliced or grated)+Thyme(fresh or dried)+Parmesan
  • Sun dried tomato (chopped)+Olives+Basil (fresh or dried)+Pecorino Romano cheese
Whisk eggs with cream and season to taste. Arrange vegetables, grated cheese and herbs in pastry cases. Pour the egg mixture over veggies. Bake in 180C preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until the filling is set.
Enjoy! 

Small quichesBeautiful and Tasty: small quiches

Sunday Breakfast: Savory bread pudding

  During the week I’m trying not to buy an extra loaf of bread, if I still have some leftover. But when I see a freshly-baked croissants it’s so hard to resist.. And the poor leftover bread is lying and waiting to be used somehow. Though I use leftover bread and make breadcrumbs with herbs or croûtons for a soup-puree, but sometimes I simply do not need it. Several years back when I started being interested in various cuisines and tried to cook different recipes, I stumbled upon one English recipe – ‘bread pudding’. I was surprised how simple this dish is, and lately – how trendy it can be. It dates back to the early 11th century England and was a popular dish among poor classes, because leftover bread was used for this frugal meal. We have similar dish in Russian cuisine, which is called ‘grenki’ (fried bread); for that we just dip white bread slices into a mixture of eggs, milk and sugar, and then fried it. But what I like the most in English version, that I can bake it and even make it a night ahead. Plus there are endless possibilities for bread pudding: I can add soaked raisins, fresh peaches or any other available berries, vary the type of bread and even make it savory! And that’s what I did this time – I cleaned up my fridge and used not only bread leftovers, I added fried mushrooms with onions (have got some from a pie filling), some peas and cheese. Simple and tasty! 🙂Savory Bread Pudding

Savory bread pudding

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: very easy
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Also tried to add some fried smoked bacon, it adds a nice smell and taste.
Ingredients
few white bread slices, cut into cubes
2 eggs
80ml full-fat milk
1/2 dried thyme
salt, freshly ground black pepper, to taste
fried onions+ mushrooms
a handful of peas (if using frozen, no need to defreeze)
50g feta or mozzarella cheese, cut into cubes
some grated parmesan, optional
1-2 tsp butter or oil, for greasing baking dish
Method
  • Preheat oven to 190C. Grease a baking dish, arrange bread cubes.
  • In a bowl, whisk eggs with milk and spices. Pour over bread crumbs, mix with your hands or a spoon.
  • Mix in fried mushrooms, onions and peas. Season with some extra pepper. Put in the oven for 14-15 minutes.
  • Take the dish out and top with feta or mozzarella cubes. Sprinkle with some parmesan as well, if using. Put back into the oven for 5 minutes more.

Serve immediately for breakfast! Enjoy!

P.S. Even if the bread is too stale, don’t throw it – go outside and feed birds! 🙂
Savory Bread Pudding with mushrooms and peas

Cauliflower couscous with shrimps

 When I saw a cauliflower couscous recipe for a first time in a food magazine I didn’t pay much attention to it and dismissed it, and made another pan of creamy cauli soup. 🙂 But when I stumbled upon similar recipes again and again, I decided to give it a chance. 
 I red few recipes to know how to make a cauliflower couscous: the main thing is to pulse cauliflower florets in a food processor to get tiny bits, which reminds couscous grains and then you can mix it up with any your favourite ingredients. Thus, I came up with my own recipe. Even thou, I topped cauli couscous with shrimps, you may omit it and keep totally vegetarian. Whatever you choose, this dish is full of flavour! It’s a good alternative for a regular couscous, and especially for people with gluten sensitivity. Such couscous pairs well with roasted chicken or barbecued meat as well. Cauliflower couscous with shrimps
 And you know what, now it’s my fav way to prepare cauliflower! When I served it for a dinner my husband couldn’t guess what was that – whether pasta or couscous, but he liked it. Because it tasted divine: buttery and aromatic! 🙂

Cauliflower couscous with shrimps

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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You can also try to add: chopped walnuts or pistachios, raisins, goji berries, chickpeas..
Ingredients 
Cauli’couscous
cauliflower 400g
baby onion 5-7, sliced
1 garlic clove, chopped, optinal
olive oil 1 tbsp+ butter 1 tbsp, for frying
lemon juice 1 tbsp
sea salt, black&white pepper to taste
chopped mint 1 tbsp
chopped parsley 1 tbsp
olives 6-7, stoned
extra virgin olive oil, for dressing
roasted slivered or flaked almonds 2 tbsp
Shrimps
medium shrimps 10 (or more if shrimps are small), cleaned
lemon juice 2 tbsp
1/3-1/2 tsp chilli flakes, optional
1 tsp sweet paprika
freshly ground sea salt and white pepper to taste
olive oil 2 tbsp, for frying
 
Method
  1. Mix up all ingredients for shrimps marinade. Put shrimps in a bowl, pour over marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and keep in a fridge at least for 1 hour.
  2. Wash and roughly cut cauliflower. Using a food processor, blitz cauliflower until breadcrumbs/couscous size.
  3. In a frying pan, heat oil and butter. Add whole baby onions and fry over medium heat until golden. Add cauliflower and garlic if using, fry for 10-15 minutes or until cauliflower is ready. Add lemon juice and season to taste. Stir in chopped herbs and olives.
  4. In a separate pan heat oil and fry shrimps for 2-3 minutes on each side over medium-high heat.
  5. Arrange cauliflower couscous on a large serving plate. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with almonds. Top with shrimps.
Enjoy!

Cauliflower couscous

Radish-Cucumber salad

 Many of you already greeted the autumn season and began to bake various apple pies and cook hearty dishes. Autumn signs have been also trickling into Dubai, but slowly and it is still summer-like days here with plenty of strong sunshine during the day-time. Mornings and days, though still warm and sunny as usual, have been followed by lovely and cool evenings. Despite of all hot days, it’s a big advantage of living near the Gulf: we can enjoy the sea and sand any time over the year long. That’s what we did one afternoon – went to a beach. But before the joy of swimming in the sea, I prepared a very simple, light and fresh, and crunchy salad. It needs only few ingredients including beautiful radishes, which I found at local supermarket and just couldn’t resist picking up a huge bunch.Radishes-Cucumbers-Spring Onion

As you can see, the recipe is V-E-R-Y simple: all you need is lovefresh sliced cucumbers and bright radishes, chopped spring onions, some seasoning and sour cream!

Radish-Cucumber salad

 I like this salad. It reminds me summer holidays: staying at parents house, fun of gardening and eating lots of fresh veggies and berries. And for that reason I decided to mix up vegetable slices with traditional Russian dressing – sour cream, instead of olive oil. Simple and well-loved. Be generous with spring onion!  You may also add some chopped dill, if you wish.
Radish-Cucumber salad (with sour cream dressing)
 Don’t be sad if the summer is over in your place, I will post autumn recipes soon {more pie recipes are on the way..} Thanks for reading and Stay turned! 🙂