Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Biscuit Salami

450 g biscuits (I use rich tea biscuits)
110 g butter
125 ml milk
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa
50 g walnuts 

4 tablespoons raisins or sultanas
1 / 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon rum extract
cling film

1. Crumble the biscuits into small pieces and place them in a bowl.
2. Put the milk, sugar and cocoa in a cooking pan and simmer it until the sugar melts (stirring continuously).
3. Let it cool slightly, then add the butter, stirring until it melts.
4. Pour the warm sauce over the crumbly mixture and stir quickly to incorporate.
5. Add the walnuts and raisins or sultanas, gently mixing.
6. Roll it into a salami shape and wrap it in cling film.
7. Leave it in the fridge for a few hours, then cut it in slices.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Quick Cold Garlic Sauce

If you want something creamy and tasty to brighten up your day and delight your taste buds, why not try this easy and quick garlic sauce recipe? But make sure you pick a day when you don't have to go out or engage in close social interaction, as it can cause you a little breath problem!!

1 garlic clove
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp sour cream
3 tbsp natural yoghurt

Crush the garlic clove with a garlic crusher. If you don't have a garlic crusher, chop it as fine as you can. Add salt, then gradually add the oil, stirring continuously. Add the sour cream, the yoghurt and the dill. That's it!! Your sauce is done!This garlic sauce is delicious with chips, cauliflower-based dishes, chicken or fish.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Easy Apple Cake

This simple apple cake recipe is ridiculously easy to make and incredibly delicious.

1 kg apples
200 g butter
1 mug semolina
1 mug flour
1 mug sugar
1 tsp baking powder
ground cinnamon
vanilla sugar

1. Peel and grate the apples, then mix them with the cinnamon.
2. Mix the semolina, flour, sugar and baking powder together.
3. Coat a baking tray with 1/3 of the butter.
4. Pour half of the crumble mix.
5. Put half of the apple mixture.
6. Sprinkle 1/3 of the butter cut in small cubes.
7. Repeat step 4, 5 and 6 with the remaining ingredients.
8. Bake at medium heat for 40-45 minutes.
9. Let it cool and cut it.
10. Serve with vanilla sugar on top.

Note: This recipe is suitable for vegans if you replace the butter with margarine.

Semolina Dessert in Breadcrumbs

This is an alternative version of the classical Romanian "papanasi" (defined by Wikipedia as "a kind of doughnut made from a mixture of sweet cheese, eggs, and semolina, boiled or fried and served with fruit syrup or jam"). Only that in my recipe, I use yoghurt instead of sweet cheese.

200 ml natural yoghurt
50 g semolina
30 g butter
1 egg
a pinch of salt
1 lemon
3 tbsp oil
30 g breadcrumbs
sugar or vanilla sugar
sour cream, jam or fruit syrup for serving (optional)

Mix the yoghurt with the egg, add the butter, the salt, the zest and juice of one lemon and the semolina. Boil the mixture for 8-10 minutes, stirring continuously until it thickens. Let it cool. In the mean time, saute the breadcrumbs in oil until they become golden in color. Roll the semolina mixture into balls (about the size of a plum) and coat them in breadcrumbs. Add sugar or vanilla sugar. Serve with sour cream on top. Alternatively, you can use jam or fruit syrup, as suggested in Wikipedia. They are better hot, but you can leave them for the next day and reheat them in the microwave.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Baked Bean Soup

When you are in a hurry and you want to prepare a quick but tasty soup, I would suggest you try this simple baked bean soup recipe. I've learned from my own experience that quick recipes are sometimes just as good - if not better - than the ones that take a lot of time, patience and dedication. With this easy recipe, you can get the soup ready in less than half an hour. The reason for this is that you're using beans from the can, which are already cooked, so the cooking time of the soup will be greatly reduced.

1 can of baked beans soup in tomato sauce
1 chopped onion
2 tbsp oil
1 carrot (optional) 
1 stock cube 
2 tbsps flour
sour cream

1. Chop the carrot and put it in hot oil. Cover the pot and let the carrot cubes sweat for a few minutes until it softens a bit.
Note: The carrot adds a special flavour to the soup but it takes longer to boil, so it will increase the cooking time.
2. Add the chopped onion and saute it until it softens and changes color.
3. Add the contents of the baked beans can and stir for a couple of minutes with a wooden spoon.
4. Add water to fill the pot.
5. Add salt and pepper, and one stock cube.
6. When it starts bubbling, turn the fire down and let it boil slowly for ten minutes (half an hour if you use carrots as well).
7. Prepare a thickening with 2 tbsps flour and half a cup of water. Make sure you add the water gradually so that the mixture doesn't curdle.
8. Pour the thickening into the soup, stir it and let it boil for another ten minutes.
9. Before you serve it, add sour cream and vinegar to taste.

If you can't eat it all in one go, you can keep it in the fridge for a few days. It seems to improve with time.

Aubergine Salad

Aubergine salad is one of my favourite dishes. I enjoy both eating it and preparing it. There are many ways in which you can serve this dish. You can eat it either as a spread or as a salad. I prefer it as a spread on a piece of bread, with sliced fresh tomatoes. It is also delicious on top of hot dogs or with meat balls.

1 big aubergine or 2 small aubergines
1 egg yolk  
garlic salt 
sesame seeds (optional)

1. Grill the aubergine(s) till the skin is charred and the flesh inside becomes soft.
2. Peel the skin and leave the the aubergine(s) to stand for about an hour.
3.Throw away any juice left, as juice can make the salad bitter.
4. Chop the aubergines as small as you can and put them in a bowl.
5. Add salt, a tbsp of vinegar, a tbsp of oil,  a pinch of garlic salt, sesame seeds (optional).
6. Prepare the mayonnaise by mixing one egg yolk with a squirt of mustard and gradually adding oil till it thickens.
7. Mix the mayonnaise with the aubergines and stir well with a wooden spoon.

If the thought of home made mayonnaise doesn't appeal to you or if you want to cut down the preparation time, you can use one of the ready made mayonnaises or salad creams you can find in shops. In that case, you will need less oil and no egg. Some people don't use mayonnaise at all. Optionally, you can add half an onion (finely chopped or grated) or, if you don't find it too offensive, a clove of fresh garlic (finely chopped). A pinch of celery salt also works perfectly.

This salad is very versatile, you can experiment with it yourself, play with ingredients, alter quantities, etc. A real explosion of taste...

Tasty Aubergines in Breadcrumbs

I've tried this recipe several times and so far it's been a success. The aubergines can be eaten hot or cold (I prefer them cold), as an alternative to meatballs or as a tasty snack. All you need is:

1 big aubergine
1 egg
2 tbsp breadcrumbs
margarine or oil for the tray

1. Peel the aubergine and cut it in slices. You can slice it either on the whole length or on the width. In the first case, you'll end up with chunkier pieces, on the second with little round slices.
2. Put the aubergines in the microwave for 1 minute to soften.
3. Beat the egg and add salt, pepper and dill to the mixture.
4. Put the aubergines through the egg mixture.
5. Coat a baking tray with margarine or oil to stop it from sticking and spread a few breadcrumbs.
7. Coat the aubergine slices in breadcrumbs and place them in the tray.
8. Put the tray in the oven for about 30 minutes.

You'll know it's ready when the breadcrumbs turn a brown-reddish colour. You might need to flip them over half way through.


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