Hi! Today is about fish again. It is a recipe followed from “The Practical Encyclopedia of East European Cooking” 1999, by
The recipe mentions Polish sauce and also that it is only in name not in origin, so don’t get fooled. It is an easy recipe and for this time of year when Orthodox are fasting for Christmas, there are lots of days when you can have fish. In case you don’t know how to cook it, here is another idea.
Plaice in Polish Sauce
- 4 plaice fillets, about 225g/ 8 oz each
- 75 g/ 3 oz/ 6 tbsp butter
- 2 eggs, hard-boiled and finely chopped
- 30 ml/ 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
- 15 ml/ 1 tbsp lemon juice
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- lemon slices, to garnish
- boiled baby carrots, to serve
- Put the fish, skin down, on a sheet of greased foil or baking paper (healthier option) on a grill rack. Melt the butter in a small pan and brush a little over the fish. Season with salt and pepper. (If you don’t have a grilled oved, you can fry the fish in a pan)
- Grill the fish under a moderate heat for 8-10 minutes, or until just cooked. Transfer to a warmed plate.
- Add the eggs, dill and lemon juice to the melted butter in the pan. Heat gently for 1 minute. Pour over the fish just before serving. Garnish with lemon slices and serve with boiled baby carrots.
Enjoy your meal!
Posted in Dishes, F word, Fish and Seafood
Tagged baby carrots, dill, egg, fish, fish recipe, lemon juice, Lesley Chamberlain, plaice, plaice in polish sauce, plaice in polish sauce recipe, plaice recipe, the practical encyclopedia of east european cooking
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? :))
- 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 :)) )
- 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
- 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.
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.
Posted in Desserts, Turkish, Vegetarian
Tagged almonds, baklava, baklava recipe, baklava syrup, dessert recipe, easteuropean cooking, filo pastry, hazelnuts, honey, lemon, lemon juice, pistachios, syrup, the practical encyclopedia of east european cooking, traditional recipe, turkish dessert, Turkish recipe, walnuts
This is a beautiful title for what comes next. I dared to take it from here as it is very romantic. Imagine a fruit that blushes. Wow! The recipe is a mixture of 2 other recipes: Spiced Quinces and Paula Wolfert’s Slow-Baked Quince. I thought of taking a bit of that and a bit of the other and have a new recipe. I have tried this recipe some years ago, at home. I was convinced at that time that I am the best… in the kitchen, with all the good feed back I got from abroad and I wanted to impress my family. Well, they were impressed. What did you think? Sometimes they are sooo not. De gustibus non disputandum, that’s why. You can do this recipe now, in autumn, as you know, quinces are fruits of the autumn or anytime. I just think that another perfect time is in the winter, to aromatise the house delightfully. Oh, don’t forget. You fall in love doing this so watch out for the one you share with…
- 2 medium quince
- 375 ml sweet wine
- 1 cinnamon quill
- 150 g sugar
- 1 clove
- 1 apple
- 1½ tablespoon lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 120˚C/ 250˚F.
- Peel and halve the quince. Using a sharp knife, core the quince halves. Reserve all the peel and trimmings.
- Combine the sugar, wine (or water, in case you don’t have wine or you don’t want to use alcohol), clove and lemon juice in a shallow baking dish, such as a casserole (preferably one with a lid). Stir with a whisk to dissolve the sugar.
- Add the reserved trimmings and the quince halves, cut side down.
- Peel the apple. Coarsely grate the apple over the quince halves, using a grater. This will prevent the quince from drying out while baking.
- Cover and bake for 5 to 7 hours until the fruit softens and turns pink or crimson. I was lucky to have them crimson.
- Have you fallen in love?
Posted in Desserts, English, F word, Vegetarian
Tagged cinnamon quill, clove, helen jackson site, lemon juice, Paula Wolfert's Slow-Baked Quince, quince, quince recipe, slow cook, spiced quinces, spiced quinces recipe, The Fruit That Blushes When You Cook It, wine
I feel so relieved! My exams are over. So is my stress. I can continue writing here, without thinking that I have an exam tomorrow or I have to learn for one. So I add today the recipe I put some weeks ago in Romanian. This is the English recipe of mousaka, the Greek type . But this one comes with a twist: it has Gruyère cheese in it. I loved it the moment I put my eyes on it, as it has cheese and aubergines, one of my favorite vegetables. Plus, it is traditional to make with aubergines, not potatoes. I have made mousaka with potatoes some years ago just to see how it tasted, but I didn’t like it. My fave is this one. If you are lucky to have this book: Josceline Dimbley “Marvellous Meals with Mince” – 1982, than you can just skip this.
What I like about this recipe is that it has exotic spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, that add a special flavour and fragrance to the dish.
Mousaka with Gruyère Cheese
- 550-675 g (1 1/4 – 1 1/2 lb) aubergines (approx. 3)
- lemon juice
- 2 onions
- 25 g (1 oz) butter (80-82 unsalted butter, if you find)
- 450 g (1 lb) lamb mince (you can add half lamb and half beef mince if you like)
- 1 tsp (5 ml spoon) ground cinnamon
- 2 tbsp tomato purée
- 6 tbsp water
- a good handful of parsley, chopped
- 200 g (8 oz) Gruyère cheese, sliced thinly (the original recipe states 100 g, but my experience has shown me that it is not enough, plus I love cheese, so there is never enough for me)
- salt and pepper
For the topping:
- 50 g (2 oz) butter
- 50 g (2 oz) plain flour
- 450 ml (3/4 pint) milk
- a little grated nutmeg
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 tbsp single cream
- salt and black pepper
- Peel the aubergines, slice into 1/4 – 1/2 inch (5 mm – 1cm) rounds and immediately smear with lemon juice to prevent discoloration. Then rub all over with salt and leave in a colander in the sink for half an hour, to drain away the bitter juices. I can tell you that there won’t be much or no bitter juices.
- Peel and chop the onions. To do this I have discovered in London the excellent Alligator Onion Cutter. I hate cutting onion so I have purchased one there. I saw it in Selfridge and other stores. It is worth it having one, believe me. Heat the butter in a large frying pan and cook the onion over a gentle heat until softened. Add the minced lamb and fry over a rather higher heat, stirring and breaking up with a wooden spoon until it is separated and sealed. Stir in the ground cinnamon and a good seasoning of salt and pepper. Then stir in the tomato purée and water and bubble until the water is absorbed. Turn of the heat and stir in the chopped parsley.
- Bring a large pan of water to the boil and empty the aubergine slices into it. Cover the pan and boil for 2 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water.
- In a 2 1/2 – 3 pint (1,4 – 1,7 litre) ovenproof dish (a glass one shows tha layers attractively) make layers of aubergine slices, mince mixture and Gruyère cheese, starting and ending with a layer of aubergine.
- To make the topping, melt the butter in a saucepan, remove from the heat and stir in the flour. Stir in the milk, gradually at first. Bring to the boil, stirring all the time and then bubble gently, still stirring, for about 3 minutes. Season lightly with salt and black pepper add a little grated nutmeg. What a lovely flavour!Remove from the heat.
- Whisk the egg yolks with the cream and gradually add the white sauce, stirring in thoroughly. If the sauce is al all lumpy, whisk until smooth and then pour on tp of the aubergine and meat layers.
- Heat the oven to Gas Mark 4/ 180°C, 350°F and bake in the centre of the oven for 45 minutes, until a rich golden brown on top.
Posted in Beef, Dishes, English, F word, Greek, Lamb
Tagged aubergine, beef mince, black pepper, butter, cinnamon, egg yolk, flour, greek food, greek recipe, Gruyere cheese, Josceline Dimbley, Josceline Dimbley Marvellous Meals with Mince, lamb mince, lemon juice, Marvellous Meals with Mince, milk, minced meat recipe, mousaka, mousaka recipe, Mousaka with Gruyère Cheese recipe, mousaka with Gruyere cheese, nutmeg, onion, parsley, salt, single cream, tomato puree
In the Orthodox countries like mine, we celebrate Saints Constantin and his mother Elena on the 21st of May, so the persons named like that are phoned/or told “Happy name’s day!”. As I am Elena, I was told “Happy name’s day!” a lot yesterday, in fact, most of the day I spent it in the phone answering and talking. It is a traditional custom to do that, or to visit friends or relatives to wish them the same. I had visitors, of course, a couple of friends and I had a nice day. A big surprise expected me when all my colleagues from a previous job wished me in chorus on the phone “Happy name’s day!”. I could hear them crying. That was so nice of them and totally unexpected.
Because of this beautiful name I thought of a recipe that it bears it and I came with a very special one that I made in London for the first time, years ago. I made it at home again, just once, for another special occasion and my mom had the chance to eat something fine, elegant, exquisite and delicious. And not just her.
I have found the recipe in “Good Housekeeping – All Colour Party Cookbook”, 1992 at the “Stunning Desserts” chapter. Stunning it is. But at home I was not entirely satisfied with what I had so I searched on the Internet and found another recipe and now I am presenting a mix from both. In my humble opinion this is one of the best recipe I have eaten and the feeling can’t be described. When I talk about food, about the recipe I have tried I feel them again, with all that it comes along. A good food gives you something special, a happiness and a smile on your face. If I may say so, it is as satisfying as making love.
Poires Belle Helene
- 4 cooking pears (preferably Conference)
- 50 g (2 oz) sugar
- 900 ml (1 1/2 pints) water
- lemon rind and lemon juice from a whole lemon
- 150 g dark chocolate, broken into pieces (high quality and at least 70 % cocoa)
- 3 tbsp orange-flavoured liqueur or Poire William liqueur
- 1 or 2 scoops vanilla bean ice cream per person (optional)
- a few almond cookies (thin and crisp, no matter what shape you choose, or more authentic “tuiles aux amandes”)
- 200 ml double cream
- vanilla sugar
- Put the sugar, water, lemon rind and lemon juice in a deep pot and heat gently, without stirring, until the sugar has dissolved.
- Peel the pears quickly (to prevent discoloration), leaving the stalks on. Cut out the cores from the bottom and level them so that the pears will stand upright.
- Submerge the pears if possible in the pot and simmer with the lid on for 20 minutes on medium heat or until tender. Drain the pear, cover and keep the juice. Let them both cool down.
- Make the chocolate sauce. Bring the pear juice to a boil in a small pot and allow it to evaporate until half of the volume is left. Discard the lemon rind from the syrup. Place the small pot in a bigger one, half full of water (“Bain Marie”) and place over medium heat without allowing the water to boil. Cut the chocolate into small pieces and melt it in the warm pear syrup, stirring until smooth and shiny. Add Poire William or orange-flavoured liqueur for a special twist. And yes, you can dip a finger to taste. ONCE. 😉
- In another bowl, whip double cream with vanilla sugar to make crème Chantilly.
- To assemble, place one pear in each dish, upright. Add 1 or 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream. Pour the chocolate sauce on the pear and ice cream. Add crème Chantilly. Stick 1 or 2 almonds thins in the ice cream.
- Serve immediately. I know you can’t wait to taste. But wait: there is somebody missing. Yes, your loved ones.
Posted in Desserts, English, F word, Vegetarian
Tagged almond thins, Conference pears, cream Chantilly, dark chocolate, Dessert, dessert recipe, double cream, French cuisine, french dessert, french recipe, Good Housekeeping - All Colour Party Cookbook, lemn rind, lemon juice, orange-flavoured liqueur, pear recipe, pears, Poire William liqueur, poires Belle Helene, poires belles helene recipe, tuiles aux amandes, vanilla ice cream
Yes, this is a very tasty dessert for two. Or more. The moment I have made this recipe I fell in love with cheesecake. My favorite cheesecake is the strawberry one, but you can do it with other fruits like mangoes, bananas, kiwi or all at once. Be creative. I have to say one thing. There are a lot of utensils to wash after the fun in the kitchen, so just ask your significant one to do it for you. Joking. But a little help is always welcomed. Another thing I have discovered and liked was digestive biscuits, especially those with dark chocolate.
The recipe is taken from “Good Housekeeping, Cookery Book”, 1985. You know what is my favorite part? Eating the cheesecake. 😉 So please, won’t you make it for me, once? Please! 🙂
- 75 g (3 oz) butter (don’t fool yourself with margarine)
- 175 g (6o oz) chocolate digestive biscuits, finely crushed (try dark chocolate ones)
- 50 g (2 oz) desiccated coconut (if you don’t like it, skip this one)
- 250 g strawberries (or 2 medium mangoes, or 2 bananas or 5 kiwi fruit, etc)
- 150 ml (1/4 pint) pure orange juice (you know you can make your own)
- 30 ml (2 level tbsp) gelatine
- 350 g (12 oz) full fat soft cheese (I use 2 Philadelphia cream cheese, plain)
- 100 g (4 oz) caster sugar
- 2 eggs, separated
- 30 ml (2 tbsp) lemon juice
- 300 ml (10 fl oz) double cream
- 3 strawberries to decorate (or 3 kiwi fruit)
- Lightly oil a 22 cm (8 1/2 inch) spring release cake tin. Base-line with greaseproof paper and grease the paper. If you ask me, I would choose a rather larger cake tin, let’s say about 25 cm, or an oval/ round Jena glassware. And no grease or greaseproof paper at all.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan and stir in the biscuit crumbs and coconut. Press into the base of the prepared tin. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Wash the strawberries and mash them or use the blender for a short while. You don’t want strawberry juice. With mangoes you have to peel them cut the flesh from the flat oval stone, discard the stone and roughly chop or mash the flesh. With bananas or kiwi you can apply the same treatment.
- Put the orange juice into a bowl and sprinkle in the gelatine and leave to soak for a few minutes. Place over a pan of simmering water and stir until dissolved. Leave to cool for 5 minutes.
- Beat the cheese and sugar until smooth, then beat in the egg yolks and lemon juice. Stir in the strawberries and gelatine mixture. Lightly whip the cream and fold into the mixture. By now you have used a lot of utensils. Told you so! 😉 Oh, you can taste a bit.
- Whisk the egg whites until stiff and carefully fold into the cheese mixture. Pour into the prepared tin (this part is not for mature, busy, angry, over-worked adults: leave a little cream in the bowl and use your fingers to clean it or ask the children to do that and have some fun) and place in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours until firm. Or make the cheesecake in the evening and leave it over night in the refrigerator.
- To serve, carefully remove the cheesecake from the tin. Decorate with strawberries (or kiwi fruit). Now you can enjoy yourselves. 🙂
Posted in Desserts, F word, Vegetarian
Tagged banana, butter, cake tin, caster sugar, cheesecake, cheesecake recipe, chocolate digestive biscuits, coconut, digestive biscuits, double cream, egg, full fat soft cheese, gelatine, Good Housekeeping Cookery Book, Jena glassware, kiwi, lemon juice, mango, orange juice, soft cheese, strawberry, strawberry cheesecake, strawberry cheesecake recipe