Feel like Designing New Type of Cutlet…

Friday, the day my wheels always seem to start turning. I cannot sit in the same place, my mind resembles a deep abyss.  I myself keep falling into this black hole, trying to fill the void, designing new types of foods, being creative.

This Friday a small idea crawled into my head and, I have to say, my heart as well…Little did I know that this meal will turn into a feast for my stomach. Its not that I suddenly had an urge to become a vegeterian, I was simply willing to create something new, just like that, out of the blue.

I looked at what appears to be lying quite nicely in my kitchen – what caught my eye were the vegetables, the grand variety of them…I asked myself, what can I make? Afterall, I had the mightiest vegetable of all looking at me – brocolli!

What came up was THE RECIPE of all time! New type of cutlets made from brocolli, parsley, dill, mushrooms etc

Ingredients:

4-5 mushrooms, 1 kg of brocolli, parsley, dill, feta cheese, 2 eggs, 1/2 cups of flour, salt, pepper.

The Works:

1. Its time to start using your microwave. What I did is I put all the brocolli required into a microwave safe bowl, covered it with a lid, and let it run for its life! For about 10-15 minutes what appeared to be happening is the greatest party I have ever seen, the water (which I poured into the bowl) was dancing heavily together with the brocolli. Afterwards, when everything seemed to be ending, I had one perfectly cooked brocolli. No time wasted with less dishes to wash…

2.  Actually, this step you can perform while you prepare your brocolli. Chop, dice and slice the vegetables you have into a separate bowl. Mix together.

3. Slice cooked brocolli, add into the mix.

4. Add  eggs and flour, salt and pepper. Get powered, mix again.

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5. Look at what you got! Beautiful! Now, all that is left to do is put a frying pan on a high flame, pour in some oil, form little balls and fry them giving it all you have.

You are done! Congrats!

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How much is the Fish? A rewarding pie for your eyes

After a very heavy month, my blog returns to its full capacity, slowly but surely.

Have you ever had your mood change so quickly when you look at colorful food? I did.What do you see when you look at this pie?

I must say, the very first time I’ve layed my eyes on this one, I automatically got hungry for some salmon. Somehow I went from a tired person to a very happy one. Maybe, just maybe it is the color of the salmon. I am one of those people who can wake up and shout from the bottom of their hearts: “I want sashimi!” I am that in love with this fish. But, dear readers, today I want to share with you something else you can create using this magical piece of food. This one is a little bit hard to make, just because you have to wait for the dough to get in the mood, so to speak. But, otherwise, it is a very rewarding pie for your eyes. I let you in to a little secret, I just found this one on the Internet, haven’t prepared it yet, but truly want to. I found this one would be helpful when you have a lot of guests over and you want to surprise them with something special.

I am sure this one gets your appetite going as well. And I am sure it does bring an unforgettable party to your tastebuds. On that note, I will not keep you waiting any longer, I give you THE RECIPE. When you are reading this though, don’t forget to look at the pictures.

Personal note: Even if you are the one who thinks food does not seem to look very well on photographs, this one makes you change your mind.

This beautiful story starts when you get these ingredients:

500 gr dough. How do I prepare this dough, you ask me? The ingredients for the dough are: preheated milk (till 30 degrees) – 100 ml, yeast – 10 gr, 1 egg, 2 table spoons of sugar, 1 tea spoon of salt, 70 g butter, 370 gr flour.

Of course, how can you send this one over to your tummy without any stuffing? So, here comes the stuffing:

600 gr of salmon, 120 gr mozarella cheese, 1 medium red pepper, 1 medium tomato, parsley,salt, pepper (according to your own taste)

Sa…Wait for it…Salmon Pie:

Dissolve  yeast in the milk, add sugar, salt, butter, flour and the egg. Get the dough started. Cover it and get it in the fridge for about 3 hours. The volume of the dough should increase after the time has passed. Get the baby out and let it chill out for a while (about an hour) in the regular room temperature.

The next step would be to get it rolling after an hour, about 0.6 cm thick. Now, this is the interesting part, about 3.5 cm from the edge of the circle you, I hope managed to create after you started rolling, you add a little color and put salmon on it all around (which is also cut into bands about 2.5 cm thick) Cover all your magic up with the dough edges (see pictures attached) , don’t forget to close them though. Cut the creation into pieces (again see the pictures), 4 cm thick and turn it over 90 degrees, with the fish looking at you. The fish, the one you  got left, slice again and put it in the middle of the pie.

On top of the fish in the middle, you put tomato cut into pieces, red pepper, add salt, pepper, and get some mozarella going around. Put it into a warm place for 30 minutes. While doing that, preheat the oven up to 180 degrees C. Finally, get your pretty pie into the oven for about 30 minutes as well. Can’t wait for it to be ready? Wait until you get golden color covering it all over. After 20 minutes in the oven, just don’t forget to grease it with egg yolk. * This will help the pie to get an even better tan.

This recipe(and the pictures) was provided to you by: https://www.facebook.com/allrecepts (if any of you here speak Russian as well, this is the place for you)

Ready to put some salmon on the dough?

Ready to put some salmon on the dough?

What  I meant by "Closing the edges of the pie"

What I meant by “Closing the edges of the pie”

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Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way…New Year’s menu from Katya!

Although it is almost half a month till New Years,  I find myself thinking about party meals more and more…These precise thoughts make me actually feel like it is New Years time. I don’t remember if I mentioned this before, but in Israel, it’s not just that there is no celebration for this holiday (duh), but there is also no snow. And, all those that have fun on this holiday have to be creative so that they won’t forget what it feels like.  I do value all the Israeli holidays of course, but sometimes I just wish they would celebrate New Year’s as well…

I don’t know how about you but the smell of mandarins and Christmas tree  always enters my mind when I recall all those wonderful holidays we’ve had in Russia as a family. I remember each minute of this very much anticipated holiday. My dad would always bring home a Christmas tree (once we even discovered a nest inside it, what a shame), and my mom would always surprise us with mandarins and some tasty meals. It was always a fun process…We would spend a whole evening just decorating our Christmas tree, laughing simultaneously at our cat, who would always play with every tree decoration we had. Some memorable times….

What I try to do is to make it so those memories would come to life. And, the same as my mom, every New Year’s I cook some of my most (at least I like to think so) delightful meals. I like to keep family traditions flowing. I even decorated a Christmas tree already. And bought some mandarins. What is missing is a plan for what kind of food will appear on the table, and maybe some snow…Because the second will not show itself here (although it would be very interesting to see some snow on palms), I will settle for the plan for the party table.

This year I would like to make an accent on the entrees. More entrees and less huge, space-taking in the tummy meals. The verdict for New Year’s is:

1. Round Tomato Slices with garlic, mozarrella cheese and fresh basil covered in good old-fashioned olive oil.

2. Fried round eggplants covered with mayo and garlic.

3. Stuffed mushrooms with cheese and squash. 

4. Traditional Russian potato salad.

5. Let’s say hello to Russian Mimosa salad. 

6. Home made sandwiches with butter and sardines. 

7. Salmon wrap with lettuce and cream. 

8. Whole chicken done in the oven.

9. Fillet Salamon baked with spices. 

9. Potatoes with yellow peppers and onion,  also in the oven.

10. And of course, something for the sweet tooth, something that I haven’t thought about yet. 

Merry Christmas Everyone and Happy New Year!

Behold…A quick homemade pizza!

I  am going to let you in on a little secret…I am a person who if they really want something, they will get it one way or another. And, if I have some sort of a craving, I have to fulfill it, maybe not right away, but still…The thought about my craving will interfere in some way until  I get it over with.

Yesterday, my desire for pizza got a hold of me. I did not want to spend any money, though. So what a better way to get over a craving for something than get working on cooking it? (that is, if we are talking about foods, of course) Plus, if prepared, the pizza will not be just for me, but for my whole family…I actually had everything to make pizza in my fridge, so why not make it?

Behold…A quick homemade pizza is coming

Ingredients:

4 tablespoons of sour cream, 9 tablespoons of flour, 2 eggs, 4 tablespoons of mayo + anything you have in your fridge that you think will make a good pizza (I took olives, feta cheese, regular cheese to sprinkle on the pizza, tomatoes, special pizza sauce (you can buy it in any store nowadays), sausage, fresh basil, red pepper, an onion, oregano) I have to say I completely forgot about mushrooms, but you can try it and tell me how they mix in there as well.

The Works:

Mix sour cream, flour, eggs and mayo in a large bowl. * What you will get is sort of  dough, very liquid, if not, just add more eggs…Pour the mixture in a frying pan, greased with butter.

Before my stove's magical works!

Before my stove’s magical works!

Then, comes the fun part! Slice and dice all of your favorite ingredients for your pizza, add pizza sauce, sprinkle some cheese on it and….DONE!All you have to do now is just put it on the stove for several minutes with a closed lid. When the cheese starts to melt..

YOUR PIZZA IS READY!

Some thoughts and feedback: I put a lot of stuff on the pizza, so there was a lot of juices flowing around. The result was, my own war with the frying pan, as it was hard to get it out of it. I let it cool for a while, thinking that it would make it easier, it actually did make it so, but the downside was, the pizza was cold! The lesson is to pour the mixture in a better frying pan. This one was kind of old…Plus, maybe it would be better to put it in the oven…It might actually consume less time.

The happy side of it all, this baby was tasty, and did not take a lot of time. All of it about 20 minutes. It tasted like a Margarita. Once again, took me back to Italy!  I think this would be a nice addition to my New Years fancy table plans. A nice entree so to speak….So, just wait for my New Years table menu!

Arivederci, my dear readers and followers!

The meaning of BreakFAST or Sandwiches + Toasts + Avocado = Perfection

BreakFAST! Even its own name hints on the most important meal of the day to be simple and fast. Simplicity lots of times leads to perfection. Unfortunatelly, nowadays, the word “fast” is often associated with Fastfood. It does not have to be this way. I declare that even meals that do not require a lot of time from you, have to become healthy masterpieces. So what if here we are talking about piecies of bread? It is still healthier than eating some pie from some fastfood place in the morning. I hope many of you here wll nod in agreement.

On that note, I am proudly presenting to you these small, not at all time consuming sandwiches and toasts that I made today to spoil myself and my beloved!  It was worth every minute spent!

For toasts: Take an egg, pour in some milk (pretend that you are making an omlet), add some salt. Mix together. Take 3 pieces of sliced bread, baithe them in the mixture. Preheat your fruing pan (Yay, I actually used a grill), put your little breads on the frying pan, fry from both sides. And, they are done! Congrats you nailed them! Simple, huh?

Hello, we are grilled toasts

Hello, we are grilled toasts

At this point you can go crazy and add anything that you like to them, I used some ham and cheese…simplicity again! 

20131204_104318 (1)For sandwiches:  Take some bread, get anything you want on it! Yes, I used humus (I fell in love with it here, they actually add some tasty stuff to come with it – spices, for example). After comes the ham, again, any ham your stomach will celebrate from! And you don’t have to stop there…I covered the ham in a special eggplant and mayo cream (not a lot, though)…Yummmmmmm!

Oh, and avocado! How could I forget?! Just slice it into small pieces. Cover it with a good quality olive oil and salt.

Come, your breakfast is ready!

To let your stomachs celebrate even further:

Turns out, you can have a rainbow in your own home – Braised Vegetables.

I knew we are going to have barbecue this weekend. I will let you know how it all turned out afterwards. I also knew that I did not want any heavy garnish to go with the barbecue. Besides, we have already had a full load of macaroni, potatoes (fried ones, boiled ones…any kind), hence my strong desire for changes. And yes, after looking at those mind-blowing kitchen pictures yesterday, I honorably declared: “I want diversity!”  It appears that those photos did their work, they did inspire me to get more colors into my life.

Plus, with all that meat lying on a plate, you would want something light as a garnish, no? Not one of us would fancy a phrase: “A moment on the lips, forever on the hips!” A balance is required in everything. And, the amazing thing is, if you don’t want to eat it with anything else, just enjoy it as it is! So, I wish to say “Gratitude” to those who came up with such a simple recipe –  Braised Veggies. My own version of a French creation – Ratatouille! The thing is, you can just open your fridge and start visualizing how your garnish becomes a reality. It is really of no relevance what you throw in, virtually everything combines together when you talk about vegetables.

Here’s how its done: As I said before, I just went up to my fridge, looked closely and, oh Heavens, I found all the colors I needed. Those bright large peppers (red, yellow, green), onions, tomatoes, parsley, cabbage, garlic, carrots, squash, eggplants…and even broccoli – take pairs, this way you will certainly know you have enough for everyone in your dearest family! Well, maybe cut down a little on the eggplant (totally depends on its size)

I grabbed all, and began dicing, slicing and yes, frying. (Some of them, like eggplants and squash) *But remember that guys like squash and eggplant need to be added last, as they have a tendency to become soft real fast. So, you don’t even have to fry them for a long time. Everything I took, I sliced in large pieces, let the rainbow of colors show in full power! *Every time you put something in a saucepan, or if you want to go all fancy – a wok, remember to add gradually, letting each of the vegetables to take in the juice for several minutes and stir before you add another one. The order is this: Cabbage, onions, carrots, our favorites of all time – colorful large peppers, broccoli (I had frozen, so it needed more time to cook), tomatoes, and…after I waited for about half hour – 40 minutes with all that stirring and mixing, I finally added the eggplants (or an eggplant), and squashes. I took all the strength I got left and mixed those guys together!

Here’s a little secret, for I did not want it to become dry like when walking in a desert, I actually made a sauce for them.

Sauce:  Sour cream (or flour in water), water, pressed garlic (about 5 large cloves or the way you like it) mixed together well. Pour the sauce into the pan, cover with a lid and wait for some magic to happen for about 5 minutes. Add parsley, salt and pepper, decorate!

The Lesson: Mood elevated, light food prepared (despite the sour cream, as I didn’t add a lot of it), diversity achieved!

Enjoy and be healthy!

Want even more diversity in your food:

Shrimps in White Wine

My Dear readers and visitors! Although, it is been a couple of days since I’ve last written here…

I am proud to say that for this weekend I plan to prepare the greatest snack anyone has ever talked about…Shrimps in White Whine. Amazing turn of events! Promise to provide my personal feedback later on. I heard they go perfectly with beer, and the sauce itself is marvelous. So, let’s say I “patiently” wait for this Friday to come.

Do not know why, but, among other things, my muse is Friday. It is the thought of this particular day that makes me go nuts about food. *One small note, here, in Israel, Friday is when the weekend starts (for some people, including me) Maybe this is what influences me…Suddenly, the atmosphere changes at home, everything turns to warmth. Even when, it seems to rain outside and it gets colder each day.

So, today and for future Friday, I present to you, the greatest recipe of all – Shrimps in White Wine:

Nice, nice, nice

Nice, nice, nice. Simple, anyone can do it!

Ingredients:

Up to 1 kg of shrimps (better to take the big ones, does not matter if they are frozen or not), garlic – 4 cloves (even though I plan to put a little bit more), 4 table spoons of olive oil, 1 chili ground chili pepper, 150 ml white wine, lemon juice from half a lemon, lemon pieces for decoration afterwards.

The Works:

All you need is to put a frying pan on the stove, get it very hot, pour in the oil and add garlic cloves. Can you smell happiness? The smells are simply amazing. I automatically feel the presence of Italy when I put garlic in good olive oil, but actually, this recipe is said to be Portugeese. Let the oil absorb the smell of the garlic. I love when those two dance together! Add shrimps and fry them a little, until they change color. Pour in lemon juice, and mix the chili in. Then, comes the bride, the wine. Pour it in also, and wait, lets see how the guests at your party mingle together. Almost forgot, a good dish, cannot go without salt (in my humble opinion)

You can serve these with croutons made from fresh bread, with butter, and do not forget to put little pieces of garlic on the bread also. I can promise you, it will be tasty!

Yours truly,

Katya.

Guacamole – A great way to start a day.

Guacamole

Simply Unforgettable

Morning again…I come to the fridge, and, as some of you can understand, suddenly I see that I am missing butter for my toast. What to do, I ask myself? You always say you are a creative person, so IT IS TIME TO BE CREATIVE! Show your creativity in the real world!

I turn around, and I notice an avocado. It’s just there…It wants to be found…I have a feeling that it is even looking back at me. There it is! I found a solution to the problem! Make a nice Guacamole, I say to myself. It would be a great way to start a day. And no, I am not turning all Mexican on you, just trying to spice it up a little. I am sure there is nothing wrong with that!

So, my  hands grab the avocado, and get to work incredibly fast…I have to say, there is nothing that is easier, than making a Guacamole! And the amount that is left afterwards is enormous, so you can use it for the whole week…Freeze it if you want and save it for later! Guests, for example…Surprise them, by saying: “He hecho Guacamole sólo para ti…” Ok, ok, maybe my Spanish is not so good, but what can’t you do today in the age of technology=)))) So, blame the tech, if needed, but not me=)))

Ingredients:

half an onion, 2 avocados, coriander leaves – a handful, ground chili- 1/2 teaspoon, salt – 1 teaspoon,  red tomatoes – 250 gr, lemon juice 5 ml.

The Works:

Dice the onion into small cubes, put what you got into a bowl and mix together with coriander leaves and salt. Cut the tomatoes into small cubes as well. Turn to avocados, cut them in half, get the nucleus out, work only with thee green soft stuff – the pulp, if you will.

Work with a fork, smash the pulp together in a bowl and add lemon juice later on. Invite in your tomatoes and onion mixture. Then, add ground chili and mix.

And now, it is time to be even more creative. Remember I told you to cut avocado in half? Yes, well, don’t throw away the halves. You can actually put Guacamole inside those and decorate it all with a piece of lemon on top. Serve up!

Of course, there are variations of this particular dish, but it is the one that I find easiest to make. Not only that, it is also very delicious! Agree?

Whether you put it on regular bread, or make a delightful tortilla’s dinner, it does not matter…Part of you will always feel Mexican afterwards=)

Gnocchi (Nioki) in Mushroom Sauce

During this week, I found myself talking to my friend who asked me quite a general question: “Have you ever tried cooking nioki?” To my surprise, I have answered: “No, they escaped my attention.” But the sound of that word have not left my head since. I was so fascinated to try something new. It was truly exciting. My friend promised me, in her words, to change the situation. Little did I know that nioki would come to me this weekend. I have to say, she showed me real master class. I can definitely say that I have learned something new and opened up my horizons. Once again, I am assured that cooking brings people closer together. Maybe Madonna, when singing that music brings people together, should also sing the same thing about cooking.

I want to say BIG THANKS to my dearest and beloved friend for a great day! Thanks, hon.

Ingredients: (for about a box of nioki)

Nioki, a delight!

Nioki, a delight!

Potato puree from 4 potatoes, flour – several table spoons, spices, salt, pepper, 1 egg. For the sauce: a handful of mushrooms (can be any kind of them, but ideally – dried ones, the ones that before cooking you put in water for several minutes), greens (onion, parsley), milk – about half a liter, again, a little bit of flour – 1 table spoon, salt, 4 cloves of garlic.

The Works:

Nioki: Make potato puree from 4 potatoes. Simply boil them in water, until they are soft and later, squish them together in a bowl. Add salt, pepper, and any other spices to the mix (like oregano, rosemary, etc.) Anything that you like. * While you are making the puree, if you have dried mushrooms, put them into a bowl of water and let them soak in it for several minutes. If you, however, use regular mushrooms, you do not need to go through the process.  When all the spices are added, add an egg and mix it all together. Get a mixer, put in the flour gradually, mixing after every table spoon. You should add about 10-12 table spoons of flour. The texture you get supposed to be even, and turn into a viscous dough. *Put some water into a saucepan and let it boil on the stove. Get a small bowl and pour some cold water in it. Make small round balls from the dough you got and put them into a boiling water on the stove. * You know they are ready when they start to come up. Put nioki into a separate bowl.

The Sauce: Dice mushrooms, put them into a frying pan, add the garlic. Stir together for several minutes. * I have to say that the smells you get from this are simply marvelous. Especially, if you are using good olive oil.  Put these guys into a separate bowl afterwards. Then, pour milk into the same frying pan, add all the greens you like, let it boil. Add the mushrooms with the garlic, mix together. Last but not least, mix in a little bit of flour. * My advice, if you don’t want to get stuck with small chunks of flour floating in your milk, mix the flour separately with a little bit of water in a small cup, and then add to the milk. Again, let the mixture come to its senses for several minutes. * According to my friend, it is also very tasty if you add fresh basil leaves into the mixture. I did not have any, but if you like you can definitely try it out and report back=)

Final step, pour the sauce into the bowl with nioki, *Here, some say it is wonderful to add cheese, makes the sauce even more delicious. As the cheese melts, what you get is a totally different rainbow of taste. Let them cool a little bit, and serve!

Have to say, it really was an interesting and delightful meal.

Get ready for a delicious adventure!