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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Here comes Pot Roast, with a little secret.

It got real cold here! And when I say “real cold”,  I mean +6, +5 degrees Celsius. It does not seem that cold, but when you start thinking about the insides of your own home, and the temperature there (which can get to +14), and how you sit wearing layers on yourself, all you want is to get warm. One of the best ways for me to dive into a warm world is to cook meat and potatoes. I have to say, this recipe is very filling, with the meat melting in your mouth. But, you have to wait for at least 2.5 hours for it to get ready. If you are one of those people who likes meat having a particularly soft texture, you might have to wait even more. I can tell you, I waited for 3 hours. So, get all the patience you have inside you, and lets get cooking!

*Oh, and a little note, this recipe comes in with a little zest, its got dried prunes in it. This stuff is what gets you surprised. Just remember a day when you tried eating something that you are used to. So you eat, enjoy your food, even if its the usual for you, it still creates fireworks in your mouth. But then, suddenly, you feel like there is something new…Something that makes this dish taste even better. Something that you will remember every time now you think about this specific meal. Not only it adds new taste for the meal, but it actually delights you. In this usual meal you would not expect to come by this ingredient.

Ingredients:

3-4 medium potatoes, 1 kg of beef, half a kilo of chicken breast, 1 big carrot, 2 medium onions, 5-6 tablespoons of tomato sauce (I had sauce for pizza left from the time I prepared homemade pizza, so why let the good stuff go by?),  about 50 gr of dried prunes, garlic, parsley.

The Works:

Slice all your meat into bands, that way the meat will prepare faster. Put it all into a deep frying pan, and let it sit there on the stove, till the juices come out.20131212_095255

Peel of the skin from the potatoes and cut them into cubes. Get working on the carrot, slice it into big round pieces. About the onions, make nice big rings out of them. Mix the onions with the meat, let it sit for about 15 minutes (just do not make big fire on the stove) Remember, the juices still have to be there when you start adding other vegetables in.20131212_103223

Next, comes the carrot. Again, let it soak in all the juices together with the meat for several minutes. Then, start adding the potatoes. You already know what comes next, waiting. But, then comes the fun part, add the sauce you have to mix in a little bit of color in your works. Actually, the red of tomato paste, or in this case, pizza sauce, fits in perfectly with the meat. So, do not be afraid to mix it in! Do not forget to taste your food! If you feel like you need to add more of the sauce, you should positively do so! Afterwards, ladies and gentlemen, comes the bride! Dried prunes! 50 gr is about 7-8 of them, so add them without any hesitation. They are the ones bringing the surprise, remember? They bring a sudden feel of sweet into your dish. Mix it all once again, put the mixture on low fire, close the lid, and…wait…again, it should be close to 3 hours to let the meat be as soft as a baby’s skin. While you are waiting, do not let yourself go crazy, wash and cut the parsley (this one you should add last, when the dish is ready), and peel the skin off the garlic. You can add the garlic after about 1.5 hours. You do not need to slice it, just peel the skin, and throw it in there.

*Important note, when you are waiting for the meat to be ready, check on it once in a while, just open the cover. As we all know since high school, water tends to evaporate. So, do not forget to add some in while waiting those 3 long hours. Plus, it does not let you go bananza! Water should always cover your meat about half way. Otherwise, you’ll burn it all, and you don’t want this one to happen…All your hard work to fly away from you…

And, voalah, after 3 hours you get a beautiful meal that every member of your family can and will enjoy!

Warm up your hearts with a nice Pot Roast!

Feedback: My beloved members actually said that they enjoyed it very much. They haven’t eaten such a dish in a while. The best thing about this dish is, you don’t have to prepare additional garnish for the meat.

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!

Family Barbecue Meeting or meat in great marinade

I am a meat person. Can’t live without it! How much I’ve waited for this to happen! It seems that each week we would start talking about it, but then, something would occur that would make us postpone this wonderful meat feast! Finally, I got some meat marinated in with special spices. I am very happy to tell you all about it. Even now writing about it makes my stomach twirl…

The marinade is quite simple. All I had to do is to take about 3 kg of sliced meat, put it in a large saucepan…Then, pay attention, put about 3-4 table spoons of soy sauce, mix in a table spoon of mustard (I had dijon), get 2-3 table spoons of honey, slice a couple of onions into perfect round rings, and vous-a-la, we are finished! *Just cover it with a lid, let it marinate in the fridge for about 24 hours. The more the better, as it is all a process, let the meat soak in all the juices… On the day of the barbecue, I just added salt and pepper.barbecue

I want to say thank you to my precious man who took on this journey on the grill. Tnank you! We really had a blast, the meat turned out to be soft and juicy. Remember this veggie garnish I prepared specifically for it, well, I did not need it. At least the first time I tried the meat. Seriously, I was like a dinasour waiting for its pray…

The Lesson: Aside from the fact that I will need to create more meat recipes, this one really helped me to relax and have more time for myself this weekend! Really enjoyed family time!

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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:

Welcome to my childhood – Chicken today!

Do you remember when your mommy would give you a bowl of hot chicken soup everytime you were cold, or worse, got sick? I do. For me, this bowl of soup was a symbol of her warmth, her care, her love. One of the many…So, cooking this soup today brought all the memories back. And though, I am not a mommy myself (for now), I am sure I will teach my kids how to prepare it someday (one of my colorfull dreams)

I recall the smile on my face everytime I put a spoon of this soup in my mouth. Priceless…I always liked the green stuff (parsley, green onions) swimming inside it. Made me the hapiest kid in the world…

* I gotta say that I let myself distort the original recipe a little bit, I added mushrooms. Let you know how it tastes. According to my loving boyfriend, pretty darn good!

You know you want it!

You know you want it!

 

 

To share it with you in practice and not just in words, here it is, one of my family traditions, right from the heart:

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

Chicken – 500 g (preferably chiken breast), carrots – 2-3, onion-1 – 1.5, mushrooms – 6-7 small ones, chicken stock cubes or powder (3-4 table spoons), macaroni (those very thin, small ones you usually would use for soups) – a handful, parsley, pepper, salt, garlic – 4 cloves.

The Works:

Dice the onions, carrots, and slice the mushrooms. Prepare a frying pan. First fry the onions, see when they change color, then add the carrots. Mix together and wait about 3 minutes. Prepare for the next step. Fry the mushrooms separately, also for about 3 minutes. *Needless to say that while you are working hard on frying all these, it is important to also see that your chicken is enjoying boiling water in a saucepan. Take out the chicken.  Now see, you got the chicken stock from all that chicken in the water…Yes. you can cheat a little and add stock cubes as well, it will only bring out the flavor.

Throw in the macaroni, and all the veggies . Wait for about 10 minutes. Now, so you won’t waste any of your precious time, get to slicing the chicken (it does not have to be a work of art. don’t worry!)  So, when the slicing is done, you can immediately thow it into the soup. Again, be patient, you have to wait a little. While waiting, prepare your parsley for throw in. And, of course, the garlic. Add them in last, wait while garlic shares its flavor with the others (just for about 2 minutes), and turn the whole thing off.

Congratulations! You have prepared the soup of my childhood! Welcome to my Childhood!

I really want you to dive in!

Thanks for reading!

Want to experiment with chicken soup further, these look good to me too:

My variation of Harcho soup (Georgian lamb soup)

Today, since I had a little bit of time before work, I needed something fast but tasty to make for dinner…So I came up with my own version of Harcho soup, which originally is made with lamb. But since, lamb is quite hard to come by, I have decided to again show my creative side and cross Italy and Georgia together. What I got is a colorful, tasteful. yet simple soup that can be made by everyone, including the beginners of cooking.

It is percicely this kind of soup that warms up your heart during the rainy season. Imagine coming home in the rain, setting up the table for dinner, and there it is… A HOT AND SPICY soup that warms up your whole body, starting from your toes…

The thing is, afterwards, you have almost no need to wash the dishes and waste your precious time…instead, you can curl up into a warm blanket and enjoy your free time.

Ingredients:

Havea good evening

Havea good evening

3-4 tomatoes. 4 table spoons of tomato paste, 1 table spoon of butter, 4 cloves of garlic, 2 onions, 2-3 celery sticks, half a cup of rice, 2 medium carrots, parsley, green onion, red hot ground chili – depends on the level of “hotness” you want to achieve, salt, curry powder – 2 table spoons.

The Works:

Dice the onions, the tomatoes into small cubes. Chop up the celery  and the greens. Oh, and of course, don”t forget about your carrots and garlic! Take a big saucepan, heat it up nicely. Add the butter and let it melt for a while. You can add all the veggies in just when you hear the butter wispering…Let the party start! Add all the veggies (except for the greens), stir for several minutes…Then, take a half cup of rice and mix it in. Afterwards, you can relax a little bit, and let those guys talk to each other but only for a bit.. Pour in about a liter- litter and a half of water, and let it boil, let the rice cook. Do not forget to sprinkle your dish with parsley and green onions, add salt, tomato paste and chili. Wait for about 2 minutes and…it is…LEGEN..wait for it…DARY! LEGENDARY!

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!