Monday, November 22, 2010

New Web Page

I'm happy to inform You about my new cooking web page! 
This blog will not be renewed or edited any more.
There You will find all the old and new recipes.  See You at

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Spicy red lentil soup in Indian style

Incredibly nutritious, awakening and spicy with oriental notes and an Indian accent. Here's how to describe this soup.
Many of my friends do not like lentils, although it is unbelievably! But in this version, lentils are a great success! Interested? Try it!
Serves 4
200 grams red lentils
250 grams onions
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cm fresh ginger root
1 tsp powdered chili pepper
1 tsp turmeric
1.5 liters mutton or chicken stock
450 grams canned skinned tomatoes (1 can)
Salt to taste
1 bunch cilantro
Chives for decoration

Dice the onions. Grate ginger on a fine grater. Heat the stock. Chop tomatoes. Finely chop the cilantro.

2) Heat the vegetable oil in a saucepan, over medium heat and onions and ginger. Fry stirring until onions are translucent. Add spices and stir.  

Add lentils in a saucepan. Fry  stirring for 1 minute.

3) Add  the hot stock. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Add tomatoes with juice and salt. Stir and cook for another 10 minutes, until lentils are soft.

4) Remove from heat and add cilantro. Stir and serve sprinkled with green onion rings on top.
Bon Appétit!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Almost all I know about eggs ...

     Eggs - is an incredibly popular product on our table. And why not? Tasty, affordable and
nutritious! I will focus on chicken eggs, because they are the most popular. It would seem that such an ordinary product, but not everybody knows how to use it in the kitchen and cook properly. So, will introduce you some facts and tips!

About the anatomy:

1) Color of an eggshell depends on the breed of the hen and has no effect on the flavor or taste.

2) Yolk color depends on what the chickens are feed. Many connoisseurs say that the color of the egg yolks, and so the food given to the chicken influences the taste and aroma a lot.
3) In a large egg yolk weighs approximately 20 grams and it collected all the fat and almost all the vitamins.

4) Egg yolk contains lecithin - a natural emulsifier and popular panacea. It is responsible for the thickening and creation of stable emulsions in sauces such as mayonnaise, hollandaise sauce. There is now way to make a dessert sauce sabayon without lecithin as well. In addition, it is incredibly beneficial for our health. Thanks to it, the statement that you can not eat a lot of eggs because of cholesterol is MYTH. Lecithin prevents the absorption of that egg cholesterol. So, my dear, eat eggs!
5) Egg white of a large egg weighs about 30 grams and does not have fat, but also doesn’t have many vitamins. But it contains most of the egg protein.

About the freshness:
1) A test for freshness: Place eggs in a bowl filled with water. If laid horizontally - it is the freshest. If strives upward or standing upright - it is not so fresh. If the egg floated – throw it away!
2) The explanation for that is the fact that the eggs begin to accumulate air from the moment of being laid by the chicken. Creating, so-called air "pocket". The older is an egg – more air it contains.
3) If You want to make neat deviled eggs it is better not to take the freshest eggs. Older eggs are easier to clean because of the air "pocket" and the skin of older egg clings less to the egg.
4) But if you want nice, neat fried eggs - sunny side up, it is better to take the freshest eggs. Protein in fresh eggs is more firm and less runny.

About Storage:
1) It is better to store eggs in the same container they were sold in or in an airtight container.
2) And eggshell has a porous structure through which the string eggs can easily penetrate.
3) Keep eggs in refrigerator and not on the door, but closer to the wall, it's colder there. At room temperature, the eggs deteriorate as much in a day as in 4 days in a refrigerator.
4) Not everyone knows that the egg whites and yolks can be frozen separately. Egg whites as they are, just place them in a cellophane bag or small airtight container. And add a little salt or sugar to the yolks, depending on what you are going to do with them later.

To be continued .... About methods of cooking eggs.

See also:

How to cook boiled eggs:

Breakfast egg salad on a crispy bread

 Eggs Benedict in the rays of morning sun

How to cook boiled eggs:

 There are many methods, each cook has its own, but not everyone knows that the eggs can not be actively boiled. This affects that the egg white becomes rubbery and a smelly gray rind is formed around egg yolk. Eggs should be cooked in gently simmering water, over low heat. Some even pour boiling water in a pot with eggs, cover with a lid and steep them. For hard-boiled eggs water should be changed several times.
Cooking time is indicated for large eggs, the average weight of 50-60 grams.

Martha Stewart' Method, so much beloved by many people:

Place the eggs from the refrigerator in a saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Then remove from heat, cover with a lid and steep.
For soft-boiled eggs steep for - 90 seconds - 2 minutes.
For hard-boiled eggs steep for - 10-12 min.
After this time, transfer eggs in ice water, or cool them down under cold running water, to stop the cooking process.

My Husband’s Method, which I use,  that has never failed:

Bring water to a boil in a saucepan, put the eggs (from fridge) in a boiling water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low and cook, the water should be gently simmering:
For soft-boiled eggs for 6 min after boiling moment
For hard-boiled eggs 12 minutes after boiling moment

After this time, once the eggs should be dipped in ice water, or cool them down under cold running water, to stop the cooking process.

Bon Appétit!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Egg white almond cake

Almond taste and light consistency are the main criteria for this cake. Inspiration for this cake came from one interesting cooking blog "nami-nami" I've changed for my taste and all together it worked out well. If you have any unused egg whites and when You are sick of meringues, macaroons and Pavlova make this cake. It is so good that I wanted to make it even if there is no unused egg whites. Try it! 
160 grams almonds200 grams sugar110 grams butter1 tsp almond extract (or a few drops of almond essence)160 grams of flour1 tsp baking powder

 1) Blanch the almonds: place almonds in shells for 2 minutes into boiling water. Strain and rinse with cold running water. Peel the skin, it should slide off easily.

2) Preheat oven to 180 ˚ C.3)
Whisk together butter and sugar in a food processor, or by hand with a whisk in a bowl. Add  sifted flour, almonds, baking powder and almond extract. Blend everything in a food processor till ingredients are well mixed.

If doing by hand - chop the almonds
with a good knife or  finely shalt in pestle and mortar. Then mix with remaining ingredients.4) Separately, whip the egg whites to the stage of unstable peaks. Carefully fold beaten whites into the batter.

5) Prepare the cake tin. Smear it with butter and sprinkle with flour. Shake off excess. Tin must be coated with a a thin layer of flour. Fill the form with batter and place into the oven.Bake in oven for 40-50 minutes. Make a test with a toothpick: insert it in the center of the cake in the center, if it comes out clean - the cake is ready - if not, bake for another
5-8 minutes and make the test again.

Once you take the cake out , let it cool for 5 min before unmolding. Then I suggest to cool another 10 minutes on a rake before You start slicing.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Leek and ham tart

Seasonal French style tart, both nourishing and elegant. So easy to make, but looks like Your have spent a day on the kitchen. Perfect as a starter for a festive meal or serve it with simple green salad with vinaigrette for a light dinner.

For a 23 cm tart:

Basic pasrty dough
2 leeks (white parts only)
100 gram ham
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cloves of garlic
150 gram cheese (Ementaler, Gauda)
1 egg
50 ml cream 20 % (You can substitute with dense sourcream)
Salt and pepper to taste

For 28 cm tart increase the quantities of ingredients by half and take 2 eggs instead of 1.

1) Make Basic pastry dough. Roll it and place in the tart baking pan in a thin layer.
2) Preheat the oven to 180 C.
3) Slice leeks into half rings, dice ham and coarsely grate cheese.

4) Separately in a frying pan over medium heat fry ham In 1 tbsp of vegetable oil till lightly brown. Transfer into a clean bowl.  Sweat leeks till soft in  the same frying pan with a tbsp of butter.
5) In the mean time beat an egg with cream. Add salt and pepper to taste. 

6) In a bowl mix leeks and ham, milk and egg mixture, press garlic in and add 100 grams of grated cheese.

Stir well and transfer into prepared tart baking pan with dough. Place the tart into preheated oven.

7) Bake for 20 min. then sprinkle the rest of cheese on top. Bake for another 15-20 min. The filling should thicken and the crust should be lightly brown.
8) Take Your tart out and let it cool for 5 min before unmolding if you have tart pan with a removable bottom. If not then let it cool for another 5 min and carefully transfer on the plate, upside down first. Then with help of another plate turn around.  If You are not sure of Your unmolding skills then carefully slice the tart in the pan.

And serve onto a plate.

It’s the best to have it with a glass of chilled dry white wine! Bon Appétit!

The best basic pastry shell dough

It’s just the best tasting, best in flavor and the easiest to work with dough I have ever made. The recipe is not mine. I’ve found it accidentally on  . It works and it’s flavourful without adding any artificial shortenings, no eggs and a little work involved.

Then best about pastry dough that You can double the amount, and keep the rest into freezer up to several months, and up to a week in a fridge.

The main rules while making pastry dough are:
1) All the ingredients should be cold before mixing. You can even place  in a fridge your bowls and pastry blender that You are going use.
2) Mix all the dry ingredients first, stir well then add diced butter.
Pre-cut butter into cubes! Do not through the whole lump in. It’s better to refrigerate butter cubes for a while after dicing (15 min should be enough).

3) Work fast not to let Your ingredients to warm up. If You work with hands, you can cool Your hands under cold running water just before You start.
4) Do not overwork the dough. Tiny visible pieces of butter in the dough is ok. They make the crust tender and the dough flaky.
5) If You make the dough in food processor, use impulse function. Flick by flick, and watch the consistency. Do not forget about tiny butter pieces:-). You may start it food processor, then end in a cold bowl, assembling the dough together with Your hands. 

Though: I must admit, after many trials, I prefer to make my dough with hand pastry blender, not in food processor. The result is much better.
6) Refrigerate dough for 1-2 hours before using. Overnight is even better!

So here is the recipe:

Makes 2 open pie 23 cm shells or you can roll it into 1 closed 28 cm pie. 

320 gram flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
225 gram butter, diced 1 cm dice
125 ml ice cold water

1) In a bowl mix sifted flour, sugar and salt. Mix well and add butter.

2) Work butter into the flour with pastry blender or hands. (You can also make it in food processor by impulse blending)
3) Add ice water to bind the dough. Add half first and then another half. Working the dough with Your hands and form a ball. 

Press dough down to make a disc and wrap with food foil. Place into fridge for 1-2 hours or even overnight.

4) After resting, roll out the dough.

Carefully transfer rolled dough into the tart baking mould. Rest it for 1 hour more in fridge to prevent it from shrinking.

 And follow the recipe…

You can fill the shell according to the recipe or blind bake the shell first if the recipe calls for it. I will write separately about blind baking.

P.S. If You want to make special sweet pastry dough for fruit tarts, add 16 grams of vanilla sugar and 2 tbsp of caster sugar to the main dough.