Monday, March 26, 2012

Russian soup - Rassolnik

Ingredients:1 lb beef (with or without bones)
4  potatoes
4 tbsp rice
1 carrot
3 cloves garlic
2 small onions
2  pickled cucumbers
1 small tomato
1 tbsp parsley
salt to taste
sour cream

Prepare meat broth: Put beef into a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Remove the grease and froth from the broth surface with a spoon. Add one onion. Cook at low heat for 1 hour.
 Pan-fry vegetables: Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan. Add chopped onions, carrots, garlic and parsley cut into sticks or shredded. Cover and saute at low heat for 15 minutes stirring occasionally. Add chopped tomato and saute for another 5 minutes. Simmer pickled cucumbers: Put chopped pickled cucumbers into a saucepan. Add meat broth covering cucumbers. Cover with lid and simmer at low heat for 15-20 minutes. Add rice to boiling meat broth. Bring to a boil. Add potatoes cut into bars and sauted vegetables. Boil for 10-15 minutes. Add simmered pickled cucumbers and boil for another 5 minutes. Salt can be added by taste.
 Served with sour cream.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

My very first chocolate-caramel cake

1 package (14 ounces) caramels
1 can (14 ounces) fat-free sweetened condensed milk 

 1/3 cup butter
4 squares (1 ounce each) unsweetened chocolate, melted
1/3 cup canola oil
1-1/2 cups water
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 egg whites
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/3 cups sugar
1/3 cup sugar blend for baking
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

Betty Crocker Whipped chocolate frosting 
In a small heavy saucepan, heat the caramels, milk and butter over low heat until caramels are melted and mixture is smooth, stirring frequently; set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine chocolate and oil. Stir in the water, applesauce, egg whites, egg and vanilla. Combine the flour, sugar, sugar blend, baking soda and salt; gradually add to chocolate mixture until blended.

Pour half of the batter into 9-inch baking pan well coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350°  about 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center of the top layer comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack and cut into 2 even layers.

Spread caramel mixture evenly over the first layer, cover with the second layer.
Put the frosting all over the top layer and place the cake in the refrigirator for at least 2-3 hours or overnight!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Pastry with Pineapple

Awesome, easy and tasty!
For the dough:
2 cups flour
1 cup warm water
2 tsp vodka
1 pack of yeast (8 gr)
2 tbs olive oil
1 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
Mix everything in a bowl, knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.
Transfer to large greased bowl, turning to grease all over. Cover with plastic wrap; let rise in warm draft-free place until doubled in bulk, about 1-1/2 hours.

For the filling
 1 pineapple cou into chunks
1 cup water
2 tbs sugar (I used brown sugar)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp flour
In a small pot boil pineapple chunks with water, sugar and cinnamon for about 15 min. Do not cover!
Add flour and stir really good, so you can't see the flour balls.

Remove the dough about 20 minutes before you're ready to make the pastries. After 20 minutes, roll the dough out as thin as possible into a large rectangle. I suggest doing this between two pieces of plastic wrap or parchment paper.
 Cut the dough into an even number of rectangles slightly larger than you want your pastries. Spoon filling onto every other rectangle.
Use the remaining rectangles to cover the filling and make a pouch. Use the tines of a fork to press the edges of the top and bottom pastries together.
Brush the tops with olive oil and bake for 20-25 minutes at 350°F.


Friday, March 16, 2012

Irish stew with Lamb and Guinness

Happy St Patrick's Day!

3 pounds lamb shoulder with a little fat, cubed
1/2 cup flour
3 large potatoes, peeled and cubed                                                 
3 large carrots, peeled and sliced                                                 
6 stalks celery, cut into 1/2" slices                                                 
2 large yellow onions, cut into large dice                                                 
3 - 4 cloves garlic, minced                                                 
1 bunch fresh rosemary
1 bunch fresh thyme
1 bunch fresh parsley
2 quarts beef stock
12 ounces Guinness stout
2 teaspoons corn starch                                                 
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • Cut off some of the parsley leaves and chop enough to make 2 tablespoons; reserve. Cut off some parsley stems, and tie them into a bundle with a few sprigs of rosemary and thyme; reserve.

  • Season the meat with salt and brown the meat in a little oil. Remove and reserve, sprinkling with a little flour, shaking off excess.

  • Add the onions, garlic, carrots and celery to the pan and sauté, tossing to coat with the fat.

  • Add the Guinness and deglaze, scraping up any caramelized meat juices.

  • Add the potatoes, return the meat to the pot . Add enough stock to cover, cook over medium heat until just boiling, then reduce heat to very low and simmer 2 - 3 hours, until the meat is tender, stirring occasionally.

  • Check seasonings, add salt and pepper to taste, then remove from heat, stir in parsley and the cornstarch (mixed into 4 teaspoons water) and stir.

  • Cook over low heat for a few more minutes to thicken. Serve with plenty of Irish brown or white soda bread, and more Guinness if you like.

  • Tuesday, March 6, 2012

    Fish cutlets

    1/2 kg Fish
    • 1 Egg • 1 Bread slice • 1 tsp Garlic paste • 1 tsp Ginger paste • 1 Cup Bread Crumbs • 1-2 Green Chillies • 1 tbsp Corn Flour • 1/2 tsp Garam Masala • 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder • 1 Bunch of Coriander Leaves • Salt to taste • Oil for frying
    Smear and rub fish with turmeric powder and salt. Wash it after 5 minutes.
    Keep the fish over a pan of hot water for steaming. Remove the bones and gently mash it using hands. Soak the bread slices in water and squeeze.
    Add red chilli powder, garam masala powder, ginger-garlic paste, corn flour, coriander leaves, green chillies, bread slice and salt.
    Mix all the above ingredients and make walnut sized balls and flatten the ball slightly.
    Take the beaten egg. Dip the cutlet pieces in egg and roll in breadcrumbs.
    Heat the oil slightly in a wok. Fry till the pieces turn brown.
    Fish cutlet is ready. Serve it with potato fingers and chutney.

    Monday, March 5, 2012

    Vegan perogies (varenniki)

    In Russia or Ukraine we usually eat perogies boiled, sometimes with broth but you can always fry them after if you like. And one more thing...If you make perogies with your own will taste completely'll see :-) I'm using a vegan recipe, because we can't use eggs, butter, milk or meat at this time of the year
    For the Filling:
    • 1 lbs potatoes, pleaded and cut into large chunks
    • ½ box frozen spinach, thawed and drained/pressed to remove any liquid
    • ½ medium onion, chopped
    • A splash of vegetable broth
    • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
    • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
    • ½ tsp salt
    For the Dough
    • 3 cups all purpose flour, plus extra for kneading
    • 1 tsp corn starch
    • 3 tbls canola oil
    • ½ tsp salt

    Boil potatoes until fork tender. Drain and transfer to a large bowl and mash until smooth.Sauté onion in broth for 5 minutes. Add to potatoes. Add remaining filling ingredients and mix into evenly incorporated. Set aside to cool.

    Making the Dough
    Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until it sticks together. You may need a bit more water, my grandmother said you could never really be sure about how much water you will need until you mix it all together. Flour surface and knead dough a few times. You want the dough to form a nice, non- sticky ball.
    Roll out on a floured surface to roughly a ¼ inch thickness. Using a round cookie cutter (or cup) cut circles out.
    Now get stuffin’: Fill each with a good amount of filling. It helps to roll the filling into a ball first. Pinch to seal the edges, using water if needed. Place on a floured platter until ready to boil.

    Vegan carrot cutlets

    And here we go again...The Great Orthodox Lent is here and we haven't had meat, butter or milk or anything that comes from an animal for a week now. Feels good actually :-)
    4 carrots, shredded
    1/2 cup breadcrumbs
    1 tbs olive oil
    salt, pepper to taste
    Mix all the ingredients together.
     With oiled hands, divide the mixture into 5-6 equal parts.
    Shape into flat round patties(or play around with shapes) about 1/2 inch thick.
    and fry on a greased skillet a few minutes, to make the cutlets golden brown, then cover and let it cook for another 15 min on low heat.