Tag Archives: vegetables

Cabbage casserole with farmer cheese

  White cabbage is widely used vegetable in Russia, it’s eaten raw in salads, pickled to eat during the winter and braised in various stews.
 Nowadays it’s pretty popular to eat healthy dishes, such as cauliflower soup, sautéed Brussels sprout, fish with broccoli and etc. It seems like everybody forgets about this simple beauty – the white cabbage.
Even Greek philosopher Pythagoras said: “It is a vegetable, that helps to have a courage and cheerful mood”. In ancient Russia it was a belief, that if one has a headache, they should cover their temples with cabbage leaves to release the pain.
 The below recipe is a very simple dish with a modern twist, using fresh ricotta and your favorite cheese. It could be eaten alone or as a nice side dish. A must try! 🙂
Cabbage pie-1

Cabbage casserole with farmer cheese

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: not too tricky
  • Print
Adapted from Russian magazine ‘The school of gastronomy’
Ingredients:
400-500g white cabbage, thinly sliced
1 small onion, sliced
100-150g fresh homemade ricotta/cottage cheese/farmer cheese
60g any grated cheese + 1Tbsp for the top (Emmental/Gouda/Red Cheddar)
1Tbsp Parmesan cheese for the top, optionally
2 big or 3 small eggs, whites and yolks separated
40g butter
50g flour
400ml milk (preferably low fat)
2Tbsp bread crumbs, homemade
pinch of nutmeg, cumin
1Tbsp fresh chopped dill or 1tsp dried
salt, white pepper to taste
1Tbsp olive oil+1Tbsp butter for frying
 
Preparation:
1) First, make the sauce. Melt the butter in a small saucepan and turn the heat to low. Sift the flour into the butter, stirring continuously to combine them. Add the milk a little at a time. Cook for 8 minutes more, stirring continuously until the sauce becomes thicker. Remove the saucepan from the stove and let it cool.
2) Meanwhile, put olive oil, butter and onion in a pan, and fry for 4 minutes. Add cumin and fry for 1 minute more.
Add the cabbage, sprinkle with dill and stir fry for 10-15 minutes. Transfer the cabbage into big bowl.
3) Add egg yolks into the sauce, one at a time, nutmeg and combine thoroughly.
4) Pour the sauce into the cabbage, add cheese, ricotta, salt, white pepper and give it a good stir.
5) Beat egg whites with a pinch of salt until foamy, then carefully combine with cabbage mixture.
6) Grease the baking pan with butter, sprinkle with bread crumbs, add the cabbage mixture and sprinkle with cheese. Bake in preheated oven 180C/360F for 40 minutes.
7) Serve warm. Enjoy!
Cabbage pie-2

Healthy&Light Vegetable Soup with Chicken

 I guess we all didn’t like veggies when we were kids 🙂 kids mostly love fruits and so was I, because fruits are sweet and veggies are not. But, despite our childhood preferences my today’s post is about vegetable soup which I could probably like many years back if I would tried it before. My today’s soup is light, smooth and simply delicious.
 When I made it first time and tried, it was love from the first spoon. 😀 In Russia soup has another look (like Schi I posted about earlier), but creamy soup have different consistency and taste. Needless to say, that soup with fresh veggies and plenty of protein in chicken breast are always a healthy choice for a general well-being and also for those who look after their body shape.
Such soup for dinner can be a weekday lifesaver, especially if you make a huge pot ahead! 😉
Chicken vegetable soup-2
This soup can be made completely vegetarian, or based on chicken stock (nothing beats the flavor of homemade chicken stock!), or it’s good way for using leftover chicken. Do what works best for you. 🙂

Ingredients:
Cooked or raw chicken breast – 2, medium size
Zucchini – 1 large
Bell peppers – 2-3
Tomatoes – 3
Onion – 1
Garlic clove – 1
Dry thyme – 1 tsp, optionally
Bunches of dill and/or parsley, finely chopped, or 2 tsp dry
Olive oil – 1 Tbsp
A pinch of chilli or cayenne pepper
Salt, pepper – to taste
Chicken vegetable soup-1
Preparation:
  1. If you make this soup with raw chicken breast follow next step, otherwise go to the step 3.
  2. First of all, put the chicken breasts into a pan and cover with water (1l/34oz or so). Add bay leave, whole small onion and several peppercorns; bring to boil, simmer for 20 minutes or until the breasts are ready. Discard herbs and onion. Take the chicken out, cool it, then cut into small cubes and set aside. Reserve the stock. You can do it a day or two ahead.
  3. In a soup pot, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and cook until tender for 5 minutes.
  4. Cut bell peppers into cubes, add to the onion and saute for 4-5 minutes.
  5. Cut the zucchini into cubes, add to the veg-mixture and saute for 2 minutes more.
  6. Add chopped garlic, herbs* and chili pepper, stir and cook for 30 seconds more.
  7. Chop the tomatoes, add into the pot along with chicken stock (or water), season with salt and pepper and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  8. Puree the soup until smooth. Put chicken cubes* into soup, bring it to a boil. Cover with a lid and simmer over moderate heat about 10 minutes.
  9. Ladle the soup into bowls, garnish with fresh dill or parsley and serve with baguette slices.

*I recommend reserve some chicken and herbs for garnish.

Enjoy!
Chicken vegetable soup-3
And now, would you like a dessert?  Have a look here!

Irish Stew with Guinness

 I have to admit that I’m a big fan of Ireland and dreaming about to visit this country some day and try authentic Irish dishes and, of course beer. In Dubai we have a pub called Irish Village, and the name of the place says for itself. As I have not been to Ireland yet, but for me it is a small part of the Ireland in the middle of the busy megalopolis, and this is the place where it’s all started… Back in 2006, this was the place where I have tried draught Guinness for the first time in my life, and from the first sip I felt Irish cheerfulness and joy. I have been to this place many times afterwards and tried many dishes like beef and Guinness pie, cottage pie, black pudding and others. Some of the dishes I tried for the first time ever, and with every my visit to this place I felt like I am coming back to something very comfortable, something like home away from home, and I felt in love with the Ireland more and more.
 
 Ireland is celebrating Saint Patrick’s day on 17th of March and I made one very special dish today – the traditional Irish Stew with the Guinness stout.
Irish stew-2I wish all Irish and all people around the world who may read my blog now a very happy Saints Patrick’s day! 🙂
Ingredients:
800g boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 5cm/2″ chunks
1kg baby potatoes
3 carrots
1 large onion
3-4 cloves garlic, peeled
500ml/1 can of Guinness stout
400ml lamb or beef stock
3 Tbsp flour
1-2 Tbsp olive or sunflower oil
3 sprigs of thyme (or 2 tsp dry)
2 bay leaves
salt&black pepper to taste
A handful of chopped parsley
Preparation:
The stew can be made on the stove-top or oven.
  • Coat the lamb with salt, pepper and flour evenly. In a large frying pan heat the oil and brown the meat all over. Avoid crowding the pan with the lamb pieces or it will boil instead of brown. Set aside.
  • Peel and thickly slice the onion and carrots.
  • Add the onion and garlic to the frying pan and sauté for 5 minutes. You can avoid this step and add it straight to a casserole.
  • Wash and scrub the potatoes thoroughly, peel the skin off if desired, and leave whole or cut in half.
  • Put in a casserole half of the potatoes, add the lamb, then remaining potatoes along with carrots, onion-garlic, bay leaves and thyme.
  • Add the stock and stout. Cover with a lid.
  • Bring to boil, then reduce the heat and cook on a very low heat for 1,5-2 hour or until tender (or braise in the oven 160C/320F), stirring occasionally. The meat and vegetables should always be covered by liquid.
  • The ready stew sprinkle with parsley.
  • Enjoy!
I served the Irish Stew in a clay dishes; the meat turned out very tender and juicy, the taste and smell of meat broth was scrumptious thanks to the stout. 😀
Irish stew-1

Adapted from here

Velvety&Luscious Cauliflower soup

 Vegetables play an important role in our lives. Let’s do it more healthy and cook this velvety and creamy cauliflower soup.
Sautéing capsicum and roasted cashews is great topping to the soup, infused with spices.
Soup
! Don’t forget to adjust the level of chilli seasoning to make the soup less or more spicy. 🙂
Serves 4-6
Ingredients
1 medium head of cauliflower (600-700g/1.5 pounds),
cut into medium-size florets
1 capsicum
1+1 garlic cloves, a slightly crushed
1 small onion
1/2 Tbsp butter
1+1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp cream cheese
100 ml single cream
100 ml vegetable broth (or water) + some warm water
3-4 Tbsp cashews, roasted and crushed
1 tsp dry basil
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg (or 1/4 tsp nutmeg powder)
2-3 tsp chilli flakes or chilli seasoning
3-4 tsp chopped parsley and/or basil
Salt&pepper
1 tsp olive oil per plate, for dressing, optionally

 

  • In a soup pot, heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil and butter. Add the onion and cook until soften but not browned for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the cauliflower and garlic, cook for 5 minutes. Pick out and discard the garlic.
  • Add the broth and water, season with basil, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, heat the oil on a frying pan, add the capsicum and garlic and sauté for 5-6 minutes. Pick out and discard the garlic.
  • Purée the soup until very smooth. Season with the nutmeg. Stir in the cheese and cream.
  • Rewarm it over medium heat (just few minutes). If necessary, add more water to thin the cauliflower soup.
  • Serve with capsicum on the top; sprinkle with fresh basil, parsley, chilli and cashews.
  • Drizzle over the olive oil, if desired.
Bon Appetit! 
The soup can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

 

Georgian Salad

The weather leaves much to be desired here (in Dubai), and the sun is all day long. Today is 47C (117F)!!!! and needless to say, how hot it is 😀

So I’ve started enjoying salads for dinner pretty much. I know what you could think: salads are boring! Be creative! Upgrade your small salad to big entree and add extra meat or beans to make it more hearty.

The below salad is named Georgian or Tbilisi, after the country, which cuisine offers various meat dishes with herbs and vegetables.

We need 300 g of baked (or boiled) beef meat;

1 can of red beans;

2 yellow or green bell peppers;

1 red onion;

1-2 cloves of garlic;

seeds of 1 pomegranate;

juice of 1 lemon;

olive oil;

khmeli suneli.

First, I need to explain what khmeli suneli is. It’s a Georgian spice mix, which can be used in any dish, it gives nice flavor to beef stew, goulash or hearty soups. You can buy it at any Russian store or DIY 🙂

In equal parts (all ingredients are dry):

-dill

-parsley

-coriander

-crushed bay leaves

-marjoram

-chili pepper- much less~2%

Next ingredients are not necessary, but you can put them as well:

-fenugreek leaves or seeds

-basil

-mint

-savory

-saffron ~0.10%

Cut the red onion into half moons and keep it in a hot water. Meanwhile cut the meat and peppers into cubes.

In a serving bowl, combine together meat, peppers, beans (without liquid) and onions.

In a small cup, prepare the dressing-mix olive oil, lemon juice, crushed garlic and spice mix (khmeli suneli). Pour it over our salad, mix well and let stand for 15 minutes.

Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds, black pepper and salt.

 

Bon appetite!

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