Tag Archives: honey

بقلاوه


There you go, the recipe in English. Can you guess what it is about? :)) Of course, you are a smart human being. Now, that you know, I must tell you that this recipe is not mine, it is as old “as time” and very popular around the world. I knew about it before I cooked it. But, when I decided to try it, I said I would find the one I am comfortable doing it. In the Practical Encyclopedia of Easteuropean Cooking, 1999, there it was. My mum had a recipe, I had neighbours who did it, friends and so on. But it happened that I wanted to do it later, when I was abroad and I am content with what I found. This is mine, in a way. And now I want to share it with you. You probably say, why? Aren’t there enough already? And I say: why not? :))

Baklava

24 pieces

Ingredients:

  • 175 g/ 6 oz/, 3/4 cup butter, melted (remember, go with 80-82% fat)
  • 400 g/ 14 oz packet filo pastry, thawed if frozen
  • 30 ml/ 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 60 ml/ 4 tbsp lemon
  • 50 g/ 2 oz,  1/4 cup caster sugar (or any sugar you have in the kitchen)
  • finely grated rind of 1 lemon
  • 10 ml/ 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 200 g/ 7 oz, 1 3/4 cups blanched almonds, chopped (replace almonds with nuts if you don’t have them)
  • 200 g/ 7 oz, 1 3/4 cups walnuts, chopped
  • 75 g/ 3 oz/ 3/4 pistachios or hazelnuts, chopped (again, replace with more nuts :))
  • chopped pistachios, to decorate (or go nuts :)) )

Syrup

  • 350 g / 12 oz/ 1 3/4 cups caster sugar
  • 115 g/ 4 oz/ 1/2 cup clear honey
  • 600 ml/ 1 pint/ 2 1/2 cups water
  • 2 strips of thinly pared lemon rind

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 160 °C, 325 °F, Gas Mark 3. Brush the base of a shallow 30×20 cm/ 12×8 in loose-bottomed or Swiss roll tin with a little of the melted butter.
  • Using the tin as a guide cut the sheets of filo pastry with a sharp  knife to fit the tin exactly. In case you don’t have a similar tin, or you want to use all the pastry, remember that you have to add more ingredients. Do your maths.
  • Place one sheet of pastry in the base of the tin, brush with a little melted butter, then repeat until you have used half of the pastry sheets. Set the remaining pastry aside and cover with a clean dish towel
  • To make the filling, place the lemon juice, honey and sugar in a pan and heat gently until dissolved. Stir in the lemon rind (half of it), cinnamon and chopped nuts. Mix thoroughly.
  • Spread half the filling over pastry, cover with 3 layers of the filo pastry and butter then spread the remaining filling over the pastry.
  • Finish by using up the remaining sheets of the pastry and butter on top and brush the top of the pastry liberally with butter.
  • Using a sharp knife, carefully mark the pastry into squares, almost cutting through the filling. Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour, or until crisp and golden brown.
  • Meanwhile, make the syrup. Place the caster sugar, honey, water and lemon rind in a pan and stir over a low heat until the sugar and honey have dissolved. Bring to the boil, then boil for a further 10 minutes until the mixture has thickened slightly.
  • Take the syrup off the heat and leave to cool slightly. Remove the baklava from the oven. Remove and discard the lemon rind from the syrup then pour over the pastry. Leave to soak for 6 hours or overnight. Cut into squares and serve, decorated with chopped pistachios.

Iyi iştah!

Tip (for the lazy ones, myself included): use baking paper in the tin and brush it with melted butter. This way, you will have a cleaner and easier to wash tin.

Honey on … pork


Happy New Year, my dear readers! Be happy, healthy, enjoy exquisite food with the loved one and be good to each other this year and always!  Today I thought of a delicious meal that hopefully will make your belly sing. I found it in Delicious Meals Made Easy, 1996 and I tried it one day, years and years ago.  It is a mix sweet and hot and made me think…hmm…now that is another use of honey ;). Because we all know, honey is very good on skin, in tea, usually for sweet things and food.

Here is the recipe of

Honey-Grilled Pork Chops 

Serves 4

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 16 – 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  •  225 (8 oz) can pineapple rings in fruit juice (unsweetened juice rather than syrup, because it is lower in calories and sugar)
  • 4 tbsp clear honey
  • 1 tbsp dry sherry
  • 2 tsp wholegrain mustard
  • 1 tsp hot chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • black pepper
  • 4 lean loin pork chops, about 100 g (4 oz) each
  • spring onions to garnish

Method:

  • Drain the pineapple, reserving the juice. In a bowl, mix the juice with honey, sherry, mustard, chilli powder, salt and pepper. Reserve 2 tablespoons.
  • Put pork chops and pineapple in a shallow dish. Pour over marinade. Cover and leave in the fridge for 30 minutes, turning once.
  • Preheat the grill to medium. Remove pork chops and pineapple from the marinade. Discard the marinade.
  • Put chops on a grill rack and brush with reserved marinade. Cook under grill for 8-10 minutes on each side, or until cooked and tender. Grill pineapple for the last 5 minutes of cooking time, turning it once.
  • Arrange the pork chops and pineapple slices on a large serving plate, garnished with spring onions.

Bon appetite!

Polish Omelette


I know, you might think that this is the Polish version of a simple omelette. It is not, sorry to disappoint you. I simply name it like this because of a Polish friend, Asia. She made this one day while we were in London, I really liked it and from that moment I decided that my favorite omelette was her version. It is not very difficult to make as you may think and it is mouth-melting. For a hearty and delicious breakfast I would go for this one while for a quick and nice one I would go for cereals. 😉 What I also like about it is that it is versatile, it goes with a lot of toppings, from sweet ones to salty ones. You can play with them. I prefer the sweet one with jam or honey. My recipe here is for just one person so if you want to make more omelettes, you have to start all over again each time and make sure you keep them warm on the plates until they are all done. It doesn’t sound too good but imagine the faces of those who will eat. 🙂 It will worth it.

Polish Omelette

Ingredients:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 tbsp water
  • jam, honey, chocolate cream or soft cheese, grated cheese
  • yoghurt (go for a fat one)

Method:

  • In a bowl, separate the whites from the yolks. Put the yolks in a cup and leave. Mix the whites with a mixer until stiff.
  • Put the flour and the water in the cup with the yolks and mix with a tablespoon until well combined.
  • Add the yolks to the whites and carefully fold them with circular moves until uniform. This way you keep the air inside and the omelette is fluffy.
  • Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a pan, add the omelette and leave to fry a  few minutes on one side, until golden brown then flip it with a pan slice or a palette knife like you do for a pancake and leave again for a few minutes until golden brown.
  • Slide it out of the pan onto a plate and add jam or honey, etc. Top up everything with a thick layer of yoghurt.

Bon appetite!

SSP


I know that you wonder what SSP is. You are paying attention now.;) SSP is sweet & sour pork for short. I remember eating this recipe for the first time in my life in Constanta in a Chinese restaurant and loved it to bits. When I discovered it in the “Original card from “Delicious Meals Made Easy” I was very happy. I had the chance to cook it anytime I wanted. It happened that I made it in London the first time.

Why are Chinese or Thai or Japanese or other Asian recipes so easy to cook? I have no idea but I like it. I would cook with a wok everyday, provided I have the ingredients and resources. I had this chance once, I took it and all I can do now is talk about it and sometime cook.

Sweet & Sour Pork

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice wine or sherry
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2,5 cm (1 in) piece root ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 450 g (1 lb) pork fillet, cut into 2,5 cm (1 in) cubes
  • 1 tbsp cornflour (or flour)
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar (or apple vinegar)
  • 2 tbsp tomato sauce
  • 3 tbsp clear honey
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 yellow pepper, seeded and diced
  • 175 g (6 oz) mange tout, topped and tailed (I think you can replace them with broccoli or other pods, as I haven’t seen here them yet, but they are excellent. Too bad)
  • 227 g (8 oz) can of pineapple chunks in natural juice (optional, for a fruity addition)

Method:

  • Mix soy sauce, rice wine or sherry, garlic and ginger. Add pork, cover and marinate in the fridge for 2 hours. You can leave them longer, from the evening until the next day, if you like. Just remember that it smells quite strongly, so cover it well.
  • Drain pork in a sieve, reserving the marinade. Stir cornflour, rice vinegar, tomato sauce and honey into reserved marinade.
  • Heat 1 tbsp oil in a frying pan or wok. Add pork and stir-fry over a high heat for 5 minutes. Remove pork from pan with a slotted spoon.
  • Heat remaining oil in pan or wok. Add peppers and mange tout and stir-fry over a high heat for 2 minutes.
  • Add marinade mixture to pan or wok and stir until thickened. Add pork and cook for further 1 minute, stirring constantly. Breathe in the smell!
  • Serve with the savoury basmati rice or Chinese noodles. Any noodles will do. Delicious!

Bon appetite!

Marble Cake


When I say marble, I always remember Marble Arch in central London. This is a symbolic sign of London, but not the only one. But I like the way it stands marking the end of Hyde Park and the beginning of Oxford street, in an open area and circled by roads and cars. I would love to see it again.

Talking about marble, what I am to put here now it is a recipe that it is well-known in Romania and it is somehow different from the way others do it. But, in my humble opinion ;), this recipe is better, even if it takes longer but the result is worth it. Trust me! I have eaten it in my godson’s house. His mother made it and I asked for the recipe. Since then, I haven’t tried out other marble cakes but this one is the best.

Marble Cake

Ingredients:

  • 10 eggs, separated
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 10 tbsp oil
  • 1 – 2 cups walnuts, chopped
  • 2 – 3 tbsp cocoa
  • 1 tbsp sugared vanilla or vanillin sugar
  • butter
  • honey
  • icing sugar

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 170°C.
  • Whisk the egg whites with sugar and vanilla sugar in a big bowl until stiff.
  • Beat the yolks with the oil in a smaller bowl.
  • Pour the yolks and fold gently with the whites until mixed.
  • Sieve in the mixture a cup of flour and fold again until mixed.
  • Divide the cake batter and put 1/3 of it in another bowl. Combine the cocoa with this 1/3 and fold carefully.
  • Sieve the flour in the white batter and fold again until mixed then add the walnuts.
  • Brush 2 loaves pan with melted butter to lightly grease or choose 2 foil bread loaves for a quicker baking. If you have a non-stick loaf pan, you don’t need to use butter at all, or do as I do: use non – stick baking paper to line the loaves and pour the mixture directly. Once it is cooked, you just take out of the loaves the marble cakes and discard the paper. Easy, peasy!
  • Pour the white mixture and then the cocoa one. Use a spoon to gently swirl the batters together to create a marble effect. Tap the base of the pan on a flat surface to smooth the surface.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 50- 60 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from oven and set aside in pan for 5 minutes. Brush the top with honey or sieve some icing sugar
  • Turn onto a cake rack to cool completely and cut into slices. Serve.

Bon appetite!