Sushi!

•June 26, 2009 • Leave a Comment

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See, the cool thing about sushi is that you can roll pretty much anything in a handfull of rice and still call it sushi. Here’s my pick of the day:

Ingredients:

For the sushi:

  • 3 cups sushi rice, refrigerated
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1/4 avocado
  • a handfull of watercress sprouts
  • 1 slice of smoked trout fillet
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds

Sauce:

  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp wasabi paste
  • fresh ginger, grated ( or if you prefer, pickled )

Star by julienning the carrot, cucumber and avocado. Take a piece of foil if you don’t have a rolling mat on your hands. Grease the foil lightly. Moisten your hands and pat down the rice on the foil. Form a rectangle about 1 cm thick. Arrange the veggies and the fish and start rolling making sure the filling stays in the center. Let sit for a few minutes. Unwrap and roll in sesame seeds. Slice the sushi with a sharp, wet knife.

To make the sauce, combine all ingredients… and start dipping…

I just went over to Ajme koliko nas je! to check what my fellow bloggers are up to and found out that this month’s theme ingredient is rice! Well, isn’t that convenient!  Thank you Cosmo for reading my mind!

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Fava Bean and Seafood Paella

•June 3, 2009 • 2 Comments

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It’s paella time! Well, any time is paella time I guess, but with all the spring time abundance at the markets these days I had the hardest time picking out my ingredients…ah, decisions…

Anyway, I finally settled for fava beans and sea food from the Adriatic. It doesn’t get fresher than that!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups fava beans, blanched and peel removed
  • seafood of choice ( shrimps, squids)
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 1/2 cup rice ( I used parboiled )
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder (  not a big fan of saffron )
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 3-4 cups of stock
  • salt, pepper

Preheat the oven broiler.

Chop onion and bell pepper and saute for 7-8 min. Add the rice, turmeric powder and tomato paste and saute for additional 1-2 min. Season with salt and pepper. Start adding the stock one cup at a time. Stir occasionally. Cook the paella on the stove until almost done. Add the fava beans and sea food and cook for a minute. Put the paella under the broiler. Make sure the paelly is not too dry, there should be some liquid on the bottom when you take it out. The rice will absorb it eventually.

Serve with lemon wedges.

Not as complicated as it looks, huh? Hopefully I’ve cured some paellophobes

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Three-Nut Pesto (me being one)

•May 8, 2009 • 3 Comments

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Last year I tried making pesto at home. I really don’t know why I waited so long! What was I thinking?? Clearly, I wasn’t…

Well, those who have tried making it know there’ s no looking back anymore…you can skip that supermarket aisle!

Thanks to my dear friend Z., I’m a proud owner of a beautiful pestle and mortar, however, I find it easier and better to just mix everything in a food processor. Here’s how you do it if you don’t have a mortar and don’t want to end up with an overly mushy pesto.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups basil leaves
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 2/3 cup walnuts
  • salt

Start by adding olive oil and nuts to the food processor. Pulse a few times. There should be some visible chunks. Add the basil leaves and salt. Pulse again. Mix in the grated parmesan cheese ( don’t puls ) and transfer to a bowl. Add more olive oil if  needed.

Now, how easy is that??

Guess who’s 30? Ouch!

•May 5, 2009 • 2 Comments

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Wow. It’s been so long I’ve blogged I almost forgot I had a blog. I really ought to work on my inconsistency. Like, big time.

Anyway, not to bore you too much with my annoying flaws let’s talk cake. I  normally like to try out new things in the kitchen but this particular cake has become a sort of a birthday tradition. It was passed down to me by my ex-boyfriend’s mother ( a great woman and an excellent cook ) who spent a few months living in Sweden as a refugee. She quickly picked up on the language and started reading Swedish cookbooks and magazines. Unfortunately, we’re not in touch anymore but her recipes still make up a large part of my culinary repertoire. So, here it goes:

For the cake:

  • 3 eggs
  • 9 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 9 tbsp all-purpose flour

For the filling:

  • 5 cups sour cream
  • 1 pound strawberries
  • 1 cup honey
  • 6 gelatine sheets
  • brown sugar and cinnamom to sprinkle

Preheat the oven at 200ºC (400ºF ). Mix the eggs, sugar and vanilla sugar in a bowl and beat with electric mixer until light and fluffy ( 5 min ). Add flour and baking powder and mix for 15 seconds. Grease a 22 cm ( 9-inch) springform and transfer the mixture to the form. Bake until golden and the skewer comes out clean. Let cool. Run a knife around the edge to cut out a disk.

In a separate bowl mix sour cream with honey. Soak gelatine sheets in cold water for 5 min.

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Arange strawberries on the bottom of the cake. Heat the gelatine sheets over low heat and add them to the sour cream and honey.  Pour over the strawberries and cover with the second disc. Let cool overnight. When you’re ready to serve, sprinkle the top with some brown sugar and cinnamon.Trust me, it makes all the difference.

A piece of cake and a shot(s) of tequila and I’m ready to face the rest of my life. I think…

Old-fashioned Easter Eggs

•April 11, 2009 • 4 Comments

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You’ll have to forgive me my lack of culinary imagination lately; all I can say in my defense is that some other priorities have taken over my life.

I did, however, find a little time to do something I haven’t done since I moved out of my parents’ home and that’s dyeing eggs the natural way. I’m not a big holiday person but I do remember this being really fun so I thought I’d remind myself of this particular tradition. This way, once you’re done admiring them, you can peel them and eat them safely.

And, to overcome my laziness, I’ve even included a little tutorial;)

Directions:

Cook the eggs first until they’re hard boiled. Let them cool.

In a separate pot bring water to boil. Peel the skins ( only the dry ones ) off  4-5 purple onions and add them to the water. Cook for 30 minutes.

Use an old pair of stockings and cut them into 5-inch long pieces. Take one egg and press a little plant of your choice ( shamrock works really well ) against the egg.

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Now, pull the piece of the stocking over the egg and tie the ends in a knot.

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When you’re done tying all the eggs, soak them in the onion water and let sit for 30-40 minutes. The longer, the better. Obviously, I was impatient.

Drain the eggs and remove the stocking wrap.  Run the eggs under some cold water and pat dry. You can brush them with some oil to add shine.

Happy Easter everyone!

Parlez-vous French Bread?

•April 2, 2009 • Leave a Comment

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Well, well,… it was about time I tackled this particular challenge. They don’t say neccessity is the mother of all invention for nothing. I found myself wandering the streets of Zagreb early Sunday afternoon looking for bread and came back home empty handed!

Okay, partly it was my fault because, God forbid I should have a life and sleep a little longer in the morning but ever since a law was passed that all stores be closed on Sundays, scouting for food has become mission impossible!

Seems that as long as I do have a life bread baking’s going to be a tradition in this household. Luckily, I always have flour and a package of yeast so I rolled up my sleeves and got down to business.

I made bread in the past but I was looking for something different this time. Well, being hungry and all I didn’ t feel like fussing too much…I wanted the least kneading possible and a thin, soft crust. And I found it.

Maybe it’s just me, but this bread smelled differently

You can find the recipe here, it’s very well explained. No need to recycle, really…

Hasselback Potatoes

•March 23, 2009 • 4 Comments

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Here’s a cool and unique way to serve potatoes next time you make your favorite roast or want to impress your in-laws. I actually stumbled upon the recipe while looking for something to go with some fresh turkey sausages I bought at the market. I mostly cook for myself, and if you think that I wouldn’t turn on the oven for two potatoes…

Those two potatoes were the bestest, awesomest potatoes I’ve ever had!

What you’ll need:

  • As many potatoes as you can eat
  • Favorite blend of seasoning
  • A drizzle or two of olive oil
  • salt, pepper

Wash the potatoes thoroughly ( you can also peel them, but I prefer them with the skin on ).

Using a sharp knife slice each potato crosswise, making 1/4-inch apart slices, cutting down vertically, but not all the way through.Dust with seasoning and drizzle with olive oil.

Preheat oven to 450ºF. Place the potatoes in a glass baking dish and bake for 45 min.

That’s it! Carb heaven right in your kitchen!