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.

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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!