Warm salad is heartwarming indeed…

Spring is in full blood and slowly crawling into the summer. New potatoes arrived, little gems in the dirty little skins that come off with a touch. It got me thinking, what if good old potato salad could be turned into eintopf – a dish fulfilling and rewarding in its simplicity. Warm salad… yes how weird it sounds warm salads are best treat ever. Lovely meal where coldness of leaves, crunchiness of garnish and warmth of main ingredients mingle. It’s more like a painting on the plate or a story told by food. It’s hot and cold, crunchy and soft, creamy and spicy… world in a spoon so to speak.

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I decided to mix two kinds of meat: pork fillet and chicken breast. Both of them were roasted in the foil, their perfect companion was roasted onion. New potatoes were boiled in salt and herbs bath, so they were very flavoursome indeed. As run out of mayo decided to stick with good old vergine olive oil and ancient grain mustard parentship must have brought from Provance. As mentioned before this is a rather quick and easy dish. Roast and cook what needs to remain warm, chop others which shall remain fresh and juicy, toss all into a bowl and add dressing of your choice. And you are done… so simple and so good for you.

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Warm Potato Salad
(feeds hungry 3 as main)

about 800g new potatoes, boiled in peels
3 big onions, sliced and roasted with herbs of your choice
1 roasted chicken breast
1 roasted pork fillet
1 small class of capers, drained
1 small red pepper, chopped
3 pickled cucumbers, diced
bunch of parsley, chopped
1 tbsp lemon juice,
1 tbsp whole grain mustard
virgine olive oil
salt, peper

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Mix together diced meats, quartered potatoes, and other ingredients. Make the dressing and mix throughly. Serve immediately and enjoy. It’s brilliant and quick dish. Can be serve either as main or as a starter. You can easily modify its ingredients, add for instance nice mayo either homemade or ready bought, chop some extra helping of favourite herbs (ours aren’t quite there, so parsley it was).

Posted in capers, cucumber, food talk, pepper, pork, potatos, salad | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Happy Fish Cakes

There are dishes that bring comfort and memories, the others seem to be so typical that understanding country’s cusine without knowing those is not really right. So are the fish cakes. Dish which became one of Britain’s national favourite and was listed in Jamie Oliver’s “Jamie’s Great Britain”. I’ve been fiddling with this recipe for a while, and think that finally have the good base for descent marriage of mash, fish and Asian twist. As big fan of mash and fish it is one of my favourite treats, easy to make, can be used as good opportunity to get rid of all mash leftovers.

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Today I decided that the old favourite needs another twist, and since there was no fresh or smoked fish, used the tinned fish instead (and yes it worked like a song) and served those bad boys with nice poached egg. Ever since I’ve seen and read “Julia and Julie” I was mesmerized by idea of poached egg, having in mind how complicated it sounded I never dared to attempt it. Of course the day to face this great challenge sneaked upon me unexpectedly. Some time ago, when I was down with stomach issues decided to ask Mothership what could be a good and light thing to have instead of rusks and apple compote which became my daily food at the time. She said: poached egg, fair enough I anwsered but do you know how to poach an egg?? Of course she didn’t, but oblivious to the knowledge of the complexity of the process (or what I thought its complexity was) insisted it must be piece of cake. So I gave it a go and damn it was blinking tasty. So I did it again and again and every time I am being mesmerized by the beauty and simplicity of its elegance.

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And believe me or not fishcakes served with poached egg and little Asian salad are the perfect summer dish. Light and satisfying, filling but not too heavy, spicy and delicate at the same time. All ingredients can be easily found in every pantry, dish is fairly quick, and should satisfy all lovers of Asian and sea food.

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Fish Cakes
enough to feed 6
500g potato, peeled and boiled with 4 cloves of garlic
1 leek, sliced
1 chilli pepper, chopped
2 knobs of butter
salt
sage, chopped
parsley, chopped
1 can of tuna
1 can of sprots, chopped
1/2 can of anchovy, chopped
1/2 cup of flour
1 egg
2 spoons of sour cream
flour to dust the cakes

In the pot melt 2 knobs of butter, add chilli and leek, sweat until nice and tender. Add to boiled potato, with extra olive oil, cream and mash to perfection. Let to cool. Add fish, herbs, flour, egg and mix well. Form cakes and roll them in flour. Fry immediately until golden on both sides.

Asian Root Salad

5 carrots, peeled
1/2 celeriac, peeled
handful of raisins
sesame oil
apple vinigar
cinnamon
powdered garlic
salt
smoked paprica
2 tbs honey

Grate the carrots and celeriac, mix with the rest of ingredients and let cool for at least an hour before serving.

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Asian Relish

1/2 jar of light mayo
1/2 handful of chopped chives
1 tbs apple vinigar
1 ts horse raddish
1 chilli
salt

mix all together. Season to taste. Chill before serving.

 

Posted in anchovy, British Food, carrot, celery, cream, fish, food talk, Jamie Oliver, raisins, recipe, salad, salt | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Ken Hom and Wontons…

…. those two seriously come together, they really do… why? Well first of all Ken Hom’s chinese cooking book was my very first English cookbook ever. I was given it by my Host Mom back in Colchester and still treasure it. Secondly, Ken Hom was the first to introduce true Chinese cooking to both British and Americans. Wontons on the other hand are one of my Swiss memories. Yes, I know it sounds just weird but there was this one lovely meal which I had at Piddo and Romy… and Romy made those mouth melting little parcels of goodness. When yesterday I felt low and quite melancholic I decided there’s nothing better than some retail theraphy and directed my steps to international market.

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I was deeply pleased to have found wonton dough and tom yum veggetable set and right there idea was born. Today we had tom yum with wontons, and from the leftovers of filling we made small meat balls, which were cooked in soup and will be served tomorrow with soup and nice portion of rice noodles. Like that something which could be an extravagant meal turned out to be economical two days feast. Not too bad indeed!

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Recipe is straight forward as always. Wontons do need some good old hand work, and seemingly working in team provides a descent mother-daughter time. Tom yum can be of course done from the paste, but why to bother if the package of frozen veggies costs as much as packet of the paste?

Tom Yum from scratch

1-1,5l of water
1 pkg frozen Tom Yum veggies, defrost
1 big turkey wing
1 can coconut milk
2 carrots in sticks
1/2 of celeriac in sticks

Place turkey wing in pot, cover in water and make sure there’s plenty of water, add Tom Yum veggies and let them boil for at least 1 hour. After that add veggies and coconut milk and let boiling for another hour.

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Wontons

1 pkg of wonton wrappers
2 chicken breasts, finely chopped
5 mushrooms, chopped
3 shalottes, chopped
salt, peper and spices
1 beaten egg to seal the wontons

In the bowl mix chicken, mushrooms and shalottes and spices and mix well. Set aside in the fridge for at least 20 mins. Afterwards, start wrapping wontons by placing a spoon of filling in the middle of each wrapper, brush the edges with egg and glue to form the parcels. Boil in salted water for 3-4 mins.
If any filling is left, then mix it with remaining egg and form little meat balls. Cook them in soup.

Posted in chicken, chilli, coconut, food talk, ginger, mushroom | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

I’m still here… seriously

My life seems to be a mad ride lately. And even if I find time to cook, I usually forget to blog… is a vicious circle I’m telling you, but will do my best not to disappear for so long. Seriously mostly focusing on multitasking, while  things, events and finally obligations are piling up joyfully. Allez, I’m not here to moan but to talk about food.

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My parents have their favourite cusines and those are either Chinese or Italian. And of course to serve their fancy I keep on researching both cusines constantly and madly trying to get as many inspiration as only possible. Today I found a big piece of ginger (there still is almost 20cm piece left, but I have amazing plan for it…. it will end up in Christmas presents) lingering around fridge, and an idea just popped into my mind. Checked the pantry for other regular suspects and put together this lovely little number. It’s comforting, light and still rather exotic that’s what suits this winter just perfectly.

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It consists of all my favourite elements and spices – fresh ginger, lemon, smoked paprica, wasabi (yes, you heard it right – wasabi baby!), garlic and honey. Dish is a rather quick fix, the only time consuming bit is marinating meat, but hey it’s worth it ;) I tried new technic as well, which was reducing the meat marinade into thic sauce then added to the fried meat and veggies as final touch. Worked like a song to be honest. Mix of three kinds of rice was cooked in vegetable broth, and to provide creamy finish added splash of seasam oil instead of butter.

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Honey Wasabi Chicken Stir Fry

2 boneless and skinless chicken breasts cut in small stripes or chunks
5cm fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 lemon, zest grated, and juice squeezed
1 tb spoon honey
1 tea spoon wasabi powder
splash of seasam oil
splash of dark soya sauce
2-3 garlic cloves grated
1 leek, cut into thin stripes
2 carrots, cut into matches
1 root celery, cut into matches
1/2 stalk celery, sliced
2 tb spoons bamboo shoots (if you like them)
additionally: 1 tb spoon honey
1 tea spoon wasabi powder
3 chopped garlic cloves

In a bowl mix ginger, soya sauce, seasam oil, garlic, honey, lemon juice and zest. Mix well and add the chicken chunks. Let it marinade for at least 30 minutes, preferably longer. Stir occasionally.
In wok preheat oil of your choice, remove the meat from marinade and fry until done, remove from the pan and set aside. Pour in the pan remaining marinade and let boil for good 5 minutes until thickens. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add some more oil and add chopped garlic, let it fry for a moment, then add leek, after few minutes root celery, carrot and keep frying until tender, add honey and extra wasabi, then celery stalks and bamboo shoots, fry 2 minutes. To the marinade add the juices from meat. Add now meat to the veggies and then thickened marinade, and season with extra tea spoon of smoked paprica and black pepper. Fry all together for 2 minutes. Serve with rice of your choice :)

Posted in carrot, celery, chicken, chinese, food talk, ginger, honey, soul food | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Is in the Fish….

it really is when it comes to sushi. I’m a huge fan ever since the first time in London restaurant back 2000, when my posh and amazing cousine from Australia introduced me to the brand new idea of sushi and miso soup. Darling, I’m forever grateful to you for that summer in London, it in a way determined my life as it is now. It was as well my lovely cousine who taught me how to make sushi, and japanese omelette, together with my first bowl of gree thai curry.

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That one summer in London seriously determined who I am now. Amazing people I met back then, tastes and experiences, all now are proves that UK and London feels very much like home. So as you see one summer was enough.

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Sushi is about the fish. Japanese have amazing culture based on the access to the high quality of seafood. So is UK and London. But Warsaw? Here nice fish is expensive, fresh tuna is hardly avaliable, salmon is ok to fry but no to eat raw. So all is left are smoked fishes and other local products like herrings. I strongly believe that variation of such sushi is much more accurate and can make it more affordable at the same time.

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I’m very greateful for another invention – sushi molds. Makes life so much easier and work quicker, plus one can have heart-shape norimaki… how cool is that?
Please don’t get me wrong, I love handrolled sushi and whenever I have some time I’m more than willing to make such. But days like today when one’s in hurry and all one wants is a nice lunch sushi molds seem the quick solution. Mine were filled with smoked salmon and smoked mackerel, carrots, cucumber and kohlrabi. Very satisfying indeed.

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As you see Smeagol was very curious about it as well ;) So when next time are you making some sushi?

Posted in carrot, cucumber, fish, food talk, kholrabi, soya sauce, sushi | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ruguh…what? Rugelachs My Love

yes, you heard well rugelachs, which are small pasteries in crescent shape, filled with delicious filling, they come from Jewish tradition and are to die for… big time. You can read more about them here. As I was reading through Pinterest, no wait reading is not a right word – browsing, definetely browsing, so when I was browsing through Pinterest last night on my quest to find perfect recipe for rhubard, I came across rhubarb rugelachs recipe and fell in love. Sorry lovely person, who gave me this idea I didn’t save your blog and now can’t find it. The post wasn’t much of recipe but gave general idea of regulachs with rhubarb filling done according to Martha Stewart’s recipe. As I seem to have love-hate relationship with Martha, but still idea was too tempting, I decided to give it a test ride. Better safe then sorry on Dad’s namesday party.

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First things first I collected rhubarb in the garden – four stalks, then peeled them, washed them and placed them in the dish with sugar, cinnamon and few cloves. And then let it roast in the oven for about an hour. After that time it was just enough to give it a quck stir, and rhubarb changed into amazing thick jam. So simple and so absolutely satifying…. I could eat the whole of it just as it was. Now I know I need at least one or two stalks more.

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The dough recipe given by Martha is simple, quick and straight forward. Ready is nice and crunchy and flaky, absolutely delicious. Together with tangy, spicy and sweet filling is match made in heaven. Nice crunchiness is provided by almonds, but now I’m thinking pistachios as they have more body then almonds. So those are the winner big time! I made 54 of those darlings, and already half of the plate is missing. Dad seems to be refilling every few minutes and so is mum. To me they are the taste I’ve been looking for ever since my last visit in jewish restaurant Mandragora in Lublin…. heaven in mouth, which perfectly accompanies a cup of coffee.

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So what you think? Maybe time for you to give a try to those little darlings? Recipe requires just a bit of time… but is worth it!

Little Darling Tangy Rugelachs
(for about 50-60 pcs)

recipe for rugelachs (dough, coating and preperation) by Martha
filling:

5-6 stalks of rhubarb
4 tb sugar
cinnamon
few cloves
2 handfulls of chopped pistachios or almonds (or any other nuts of your choice)

Prepare the dough according to the recipe, devide into 6 equal pieces and stick it in the fridge for at least 2 hours. Seemingly longer it stays in fridge more playable it becomes. Clean, wash and slice the rhubarb, place in the baking dish, cover with sugar and spices, add 1tb of cold water and roast in the oven for about an hour (200C or 180C fan-forced). Remove from the oven and give it a good stir, so that rhubarb turns into jam. Set aside to cool. Roll each piece of dough into circle 20-25cm diameter, cut into 8 equal wedges, place a tea spoon of rhubarb on the wider end of triangle, add good helping of nuts and roll, when you have about 16 pcs done ( that’s enough for one tray – if you have big trays) dip each rugelach into butter, then sugar and cinnamon mixture and place on the lined tray. Bake until nice and brow (carmelized), so for about 35 minutes in 180C (or 160C fan-forced). Let them cool and not try to eat them all at once…

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So are you ready to treat yourself?

Posted in baking, cinnamon, food talk, jam, jewish, Martha Stewart, nuts, rhubarb, rugelachs, soul food | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Time Flies By….

…. and I seriously didn’t have time to blog. Somehow I cooked, photographed and then…. forgot to blog or was too busy to catch up on my blog. What is a great pity and makes me really upset to notice how much time passed by and how many of fun dishes weren’t reported here. But voila, I promise to catch up on that asap.

Today was another quick fix, as it turned out that noone bothered to do shopping on Saturday (as I was at work) and we had vet visit scheduled around noon, I had to cycle to the nearest shop to restock. Still as time was short the plan was to cook something what could be prepared ahead, and then just quickly cooked to perfection. And for me this means one thing – it’s time to heat up the wok :)

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I used pork chops, which were lurking on the fridge waiting to be eaten, and got inspired by “Easy Chinese Cooking” by Ken Hom. Planned something completely different but then of course it turned out that our local store (one of them) does not have any kind of chinese noodles. Oh well… so pork chops chinese style it was.

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Ken Hom Eat My Chops
(feeds 6)

5 boneless pork chops, sliced in stripes
1/2 root cellery, peeled and sliced in stripes
2 carrots, sliced
1 onion, sliced
6-8 leaves nappa cabage, sliced
1 courgette, sliced
handful muhn mushrooms, sliced
1 pack broccoli sprouts

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pork marinate:
dark soya sauce
honey
peper
paprica
cinnamon
ginger

celery marinate:
dark soya sauce
peper
paprica
cinnamon
honey

Mix both marinates and mix into one pork chop stripes and celery to the other. Let sit for at least an hour. In wok heat up 1-2 tb spoons of peanut oil, until it’s steaming hot and fry the pork. Take out, whipe the wok, add more peanut oil and fry celery. Take out, whipe clean the wok. Add peanut oil and fry carrots, courgette, nappa cabage, onion and mushrooms. Add meat and celery, stir and fry together for few minutes. At the end add broccoli sprouts and cook for 2 minutes. Serve with rice of your choice.

Posted in celery, chinese, ginger, mushroom, pork, soya sauce, zucchini | Leave a comment