Something New: Buckwheat and Chicken Hearts Recipe…

Today I went bananza…The urge was for something new, a dish I have never tried before in my life. I think it comes from my desire for creativity…but, who knows…

I remembered that there was a book given to me on this New Years by my boyfriend’s mom. I found it pretty quickly and began wondering what to prepare for dinner. Everything looked so delicious and quite easy to make. One particular recipe caught my eye, Buckwheat and Chicken Hearts. Must be honest with you, I am not such a fan of Chicken Hearts, but there is always a first time for everything. I even thought to design my own variation of this recipe, I searched over the almighty Internet in order to stumble upon a better course of action to withstand. On the other hand, there was no need.

I began reading. Simplicity has always been one of my best friends. I glanced over the recipe once more and made a decision. Today will be  Buckwheat and Chicken Hearts Day. No hesitation, no uncertainty! Plus, since my boyfriend seems to somewhat complain a little about me escaping to cook  meals from all those culinary books sitting on my shelf, I have decided to surrender this time.

Although this recipe is supposed to be assembled and prepared in a pot and thrown gracefully into the oven, I have thought of a new manner for its preparation. I have used a saucepan instead. The decision has materialized from quite simple of a reality: I don’t have a pot. (*This one will be on my Santa list next year) It just may be that making this meal in a pot would spin its taste, turn it into a juicy and refreshing delight, but it just means I would have room for improvement next time.

So, without any further adieu, I am proudly presenting BuckWheat and Chicken Hearts to you.

Ingredients:

Buckwheat 2 cups, chicken hearts – 500 gr, red and yellow peppers 3.5, onion – 1.5, garlic – 3 medium cloves, mushrooms -about 150 gr, chicken stock – 1 cup, butter 50 gr, celery – 2 sticks, salt, pepper.

The Works:

Chicken Hearts in Buckwheat

Chicken Hearts in Buckwheat

My advice: prepare chicken stock before you actually start cooking the dish. I just poured small amount of water into a smaller saucepan, boiled it and added chicken broth cubes to make it faster. Let it sit for a bit, then start chopping and slicing the vegetables. Chop the onion into cubes, slice peppers and garlic. Don’t forget about mushrooms, these guys also require some attention from your side! While chopping, get your buckwheat out. Prepare it separately from all other components. You can use THE SAUCEPAN you will use for your further cooking. Since you have a lot of matters happening in your kitchen, why not start working on chicken hearts as well? Fry them separately also in a frying pan with a little bit of oil. Done with that? Perfect! Throw celery and onion together into the oil you have left from the chicken hearts. Fry. After come the peppers and the mushrooms, fry them as well. * By the way, buckwheat should be all done by that time, chilling somewhere in your kitchen in a saucepan, which makes you free to throw all the cooked vegetables into it, once they are done. From my own experience, buckwheat should not take a lot of time cooking, about 16 minutes. I always time myself.

Mix all the vegetables and the chicken hearts with the buckwheat. After comes the interesting part, pour in a cup of chicken broth and add some butter. Mix and let it sit for about 5 minutes. The last step afterwards would be to put it on your stove, very small fire, for another 5-7 minutes. Ready to serve!

The Book that Made It All Possible

The Book that Made It All Possible

Congrats!!! You are the Champion!

Feedback: The reality is, it comes straight with garnish, so you don’t have to spend more time thinking about a good partner for what you have already prepared!

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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!

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: