Tag Archives: weekend

Sunday Breakfast

 I think, breakfast is one of the most important meal of the day. I never miss breakfast; even if I woke up at 12 or 1pm – I prefer to eat something from breakfast category whether it’s mushroom kasha or sweet pancakes.
 I know that lots of people skip breakfast or have only coffee and sort of to-go bar; some say they are not hungry enough, or another reasons are lack of time or motivation. But eating breakfast can help you to wake up, to boost your energy and metabolism. Moreover, experts say that people who eat breakfast tend to have a lower risk of many health issues. Breakfast should be around 30% daily calories intake. So, skipping the breakfast leading to seek out higher calorie food later in the day.
 Thus, I decided to start a series of ‘Sunday Breakfast’. Why breakfast? – that you’ve read above. Why Sunday? – because it’s usually weekend, no need to hurry – you’ve got plenty of time to prepare any breakfast you/your family like. I’m going to post breakfast recipes that I’m cooking and enjoying. And I’d be more than happy if you share with me your breakfast ideas and recipes; if you decided to take part in this series – send me links to your posts or articles in the internet with your favourite morning meal. You can also write recipes and send me by email, so I could choose a suitable for me and taste them.
 Let’s begin a healthy way to start the day, especially if you haven’t had a breakfast for a long time!
Sunday Breakfast: Zucchini oladushki
I’m quite sure that almost everyone loves zucchini fritters. We call them oladii/oladushki in Russia, that means small pancakes (have a look another recipe by clicking here). These zucchini oladushki are more healthier, because I used fine oats instead of plain flour and fried them almost without oil. As you can see from the photos: they are served with fried quail eggs, which can be substitute with regular ones; herbs add a nice and aromatic touch – to wake up your senses!Zucchini oladushki with fried quail eggs

Sunday Breakfast: Zucchini Oladushki

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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*I didn’t use salt, because I used parmesan which is salty itself, but you can add some salt if needed.
**If zucchini oladushki don’t stick to your frying pan- omit the oil.
Ingredients
1 large zucchini, grated
few spoons of fine oats (or wholemeal flour)
*3-4 tbsp grated parmesan
3 quail eggs or 1 regular egg for the zucchini mixture
2 tsp lemon juice, optional
2-3 tsp fresh thyme leaves (or 1 tsp dried)
1/2 tsp dried oregano leaves
freshly ground black pepper to taste
**1-2 tbsp olive or sunflower oil for frying
quail eggs for serving, as much as you like
some grated parmesan for garnish, optional
  • In a bowl, combine all ingredients, except oil. Heat the oil (if using) in a frying pan on medium-high heat. Using a tablespoon pour a spoonful of the mixture into pan, making oladushki/fritters, fry for a 2 minutes on each side.
  • Keep zucchini oladushki in a warm place: put them in warm 50C oven or cover with foil. Meanwhile, fry quail eggs (you may use the same pan).
  • Top oladushki with fried quail eggs, sprinkle with parmesan if desired.
Enjoy your breakfast!

Zucchini oladushki/yellow flower

Best Ever Plum Crumble

 I discovered crumbles not long time ago, but immediately fall in love. Thank to the British for this amazing, simple and absolutely delicious dish! I’ve already tried various sweet crumble recipes – with peaches, mixed berried, pears.. I love them all! But.. Once I stumbled upon a new crumble recipe by James Martin, he is a well-known English chef; the recipe called for plums, spices and wine. And what do you think – it’s the best crumble I’ve ever made and tried! Plums with spices sautéed in red wine remind me mulled wine, and it’s incredibly tasty! This crumble is very aromatic and delicious even without ice cream on top! I slightly adapted the recipe – added oats and chopped nuts, walnuts and/or pistachios is a nice crunchy addition here.Plum crumble

Best ever plum crumble

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients 
20g butter
7-8 dark plums, halved, stones removed
1 vanilla pod or 1 tsp vanilla extract
1 star anise
a pinch of fresh nutmeg
1 cinnamon stick
20ml water
60ml red wine
2-3 tbsp golden syrup (I used honey)
2-3 tbsp brown or raw sugar
Crumble topping
50g plain flour
30g oat flour or fine oats
2 tbsp demerara sugar
40g butter, softened
2-3 tbsp chopped pistachios or walnuts
To serve
vanilla ice cream
Preparation
  1. Preheat oven to 200C.
  2. Heat the butter in a pan over medium heat. Add the plums and fry for a few minutes.
  3. Add the split vanilla pod, star anise, nutmeg and cinnamon stick to the pan. Add the water, red wine, honey and sugar and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5-6 minutes, until the plums break down to a thick sauce. Transfer plums with sauce to one or 2 individual baking dish.
  4. For the crumble topping, mix the flours and sugar together in a bowl. Rub in the butter with your fingers until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Mix in chopped nuts.
  5. Sprinkle the crumble over the plums and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until golden-brown.
  6. Remove and allow to cool slightly before serving with ice-cream.
Enjoy!

Plum crumble-2

Maslenitsa (Butter Week). Blini recipe.

 Maslenitsa (Butter Week) is a Christian holiday, one of the brightest and widely-celebrated holiday in Russia, a week before Great Lent. The name Maslenitsa came from Russian word ‘maslo’ which means butter. In the beginning of 16th century, when Church initiated the holiday, it was restricted to eat meat, however fish was allowed, as well as dairy products and butter. Most of the peasants could afford to eat only butter, thus the week began to call Butter Week or Maslenitsa.
 During Druids’ times- before 16th century in Rus’ (old Russia’s name) was celebrated a pagan holiday – The Day of spring equinox, which was called Komoedica. It was one of the ancient pagan holidays, celebration of greeting spring, and moreover, worship of the Slavic Bear God: early in the morning people got together, song the songs and went into the forest to praise the Bear God, so they left first and freshly-cooked blini on tree stumps to treat him. After that the Butter Week revelry had been started.Russian stuffed blini (crepes)
 That time Spring was considered as a beginning of new life, people revered to the Sun and made round flat-bread as its symbol. But  in 9th century peasants began to make round-shaped blini. Hot and yellowish, blini became new symbol of the Sun; people also believed that with eating blini they had a piece of warmth and power of the Sun.
 In ancient times the Komoeditsa holiday was celebrated during two weeks and played an important role for peasants. After a long, cold and often starving winter people had to eat plenty of food (usually it was winter stock remains), cheered up and got stronger for future spring works. Butter week celebrations denoted that winter has passed, and it’s time for a warm season to come. After this holiday peasants began to work from sunrise until sunset during all warm months – spring, summer and autumn. Up to next snow season, they forced to work almost non-stop, without any weekends to get food for their families, fodder for cattle; they repair houses, and cut woods to keep homes warm during the long Russian winter.Russian Blini
 When Christianity was established as a state religion, all pagan celebrations and traditions were prohibited; Christian churchmen battle in a vain attempt to stop all holiday habits. After several centuries of unsuccessful fights, in 16th century the Church created new holiday – ‘meatless week’, the week before the Great Lent. People got used to the new holiday, started celebrate it widely and created other name – Maslenitsa.
 Finally traditional Maslenitsa celebrations were set in 18th century by Russian Emperor Petr I, who was a famous reveller and  party lover. Of course, the main treat was blini, which were baked and eaten in enormous amounts!
 One of my fav sweet fillings for blini is a mixture of tvorog (cottage cheese), sour cream, raisins and sugar. For me, it’s a pure indulgence to tuck the delicious filling into piping hot blini! You can also fold blini into half then half again to form wedge, then take the wedge and deep it onto sweet condensed milk.. Incredibly satisfying breakfast or lunch, or even dinner! 😀
 This blini recipe suits for any savory filling as well.

Russian blini. Sweet cottage cheese filling.

Ingredients 
2 eggs, medium size
a good pinch of salt
1-2 tbsp white sugar, optional
200ml hot water
1/2 tsp soda
200-230ml kefir (or sour milk/laban/buttermilk), 2-3% fat
150-170g plain flour
3-4 tbsp sunflower oil
some oil for frying, if needed
Filling
300-400g soft cottage cheese
2-3 tbsp sour cream, or more if needed
2-3 tbsp sugar or sweet condensed milk
50-60g sultana/raisins
Garnish
sour cream/sweet condensed milk/icing sugar
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs with salt and sugar.
  • In a glass or cup mix water with soda, stir and add to the eggs, stirring constantly.
  • Add kefir and mix well.
  • Sift flour and add it to the batter. Stir to combine.
  • Add oil and stir.
  • Let the batter rest for 20-30 minutes, if you have time.
  • Heat the frying pan and fry thin pancakes as usual. You can make any diameter you like.
  • For the filling, soak sultanas in hot water for 5-10 minutes, then drain. Mix all ingredients until well combined.
  • To assemble, spoon some filling in center of each pancake. Fold bottom edge of pancake over fililng, fold in both sides and roll up. Sprinkle with icing sugar and/or drizzle some sweet condensed milk, if desired. Or serve with a dollop of sour cream.

Enjoy!

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!

Grilled Tiger Prawns

 Summer is a lovely time to spend outdoors, having a barbecue, grill meat and veggies, enjoying weather..with some exception for Dubai, it’s terribly hot; the barbecue standing lonely, and waiting for the chilly days to be dust off.. If you are lucky and enjoying weather, I recommend to try this one of the most flavorful grilled prawns recipe I have tried (or grill it in the oven). The recipe is on my list of easy and impressive dishes!Grilled tiger prawns

I’d like to invite all bloggers who’s parting @FF to try these scrumptious prawns! I’ve got a couple of bottles of white wine.. 😉 I’m sure today evening will be a hit!

Grilled Tiger Prawns

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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2-3 prawns per person are enough for an appetizer, but for the main course increase the quantity as many as desired.

Can be served with a glass of good wine and pineapple salsa.

Ingredients

12 tiger prawns

1 shallot or small red onion

3 garlic gloves

1 small red chilli, optional

1 Tbsp fresh coriander, finely chopped

½ lemon, juice

sea salt, black pepper to taste

Butter Sauce

60g butter

2 Tbsp coriander, finely chopped

2 Tbsp lemon juice

  • Cut prawns in the middle and clean. You can cut off heads or leave it. Arrange them in a big shallow dish.
  • Finely chop shallot, garlic and chilli. Sprinkle it over prawns along with coriander, add salt and pepper to taste. Cover the dish and let it marinate in the fridge for 1-3 hours or overnight.
  • Remove from the fridge 30 minutes before grilling. Grill for 5-7 minutes.
  • Make the sauce. Heat the butter in a small pan, add remaining coriander and lemon juice; adjust seasoning.
  • Serve hot! Enjoy!

Grilled tiger prawns by milkandbun