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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Chicken Jalfrezi (Indian-Chinese)

This Chicken Jalfrezi dish may sound Indian if you only look at the name and the way it's prepared, but it is disputed between the Chinese and Indian cuisines, being, in fact, a fusion of both of them. 
It's very well-known around the world, apparently being the most popular dish in British Indian restaurants, and its heat is cooled down by a generous helping of cream or yogurt and fresh herbs (usually coriander).
We had it with gram flour chapatis (chickpea flour flat-breads). It's best if you can serve this with an ethnic bread as well, but it's delicious without it too.
Recipe source: mainly BBC

Last year: Beef and bamboo shot soup (Filipino).
Two years ago: Crispy chili beef with broccoli (stir-fry)
Three years ago: Green tree (cocktail).
Four years ago: Baby making and no cooking :).

Friday, September 25, 2015

Gram (chickpea) chapatis (Indian flatbreads) (vegan)

A chapati is a flat round bread from the Indian cuisine traditionally used to accompany all meals. Usually, chapatis are made with whole-wheat flour (as opposed to a roti which is very similar but made with all-purpose flour). But the gram chapati (made with chickpea flour) is another variation of these delicious flat-breads which tastes even more "whole" and authentic. 
We had them with a main of Chicken Jalfreezi, but feel free to eat them with any kind of spread (even a humble butter-and-salt) or curries. Enjoy :)

Last year: Shopska salad (Bulgarian).
Two years ago: Mushroom and baby corn soba noodles (vegan).
Three years ago: Truffle potato mash and Salată asortată (Romanian assorted salad) (raw vegan).
Four years ago: Baby making and no cooking :).

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Smoked salmon and scallion omelet

A quick and easy lunch with delicious bits of smoked salmon and scallions, folded in half to keep the savory filling inside. Enjoy :) 

Last year: Bob chorba (Bulgarian bean soup) (vegan).
Two years ago: Caviar on mashed potatoes (Russian).
Three years ago: File Marajoara (Steak with melted cheese) (Brazilian).
Four years ago: Baby making and no cooking :).

Monday, September 21, 2015

Quatro Formaggio pizza (Italian)

I'm getting hungry just by looking at it while I write this post. I mean, who doesn't crave cheesy pizza? Probably only the people who just had one. :)
The Quatro Formaggio pizza (literally "four cheeses" pizza) is one of the classic types of Lasio (Rome)-style pizza. According to tradition, it must contain a layer of tomato sauce, followed by a generous sprinkle of mozzarella, stracchino, fontina and gorgonzola. Sometimes ricotta can be swapped for on of the latter three. If you ever see a Quattro Formaggio pizza in a restaurant menu that contains Parmesan as one of the four kinds of cheese, don't buy it. It's not the real deal. ;)
(My personal recommendation is that if you replace a cheese with ricotta, don't replace the gorgonzola. It's saltiness gives an un-replaceable thing to the pizza. I replaced the stracchino with Brie cheese, since I couldn't find stracchino and I'm mad about Brie, but that makes my pizza a bit less authentic too, I guess. Nevertheless, I guarantee that it was divinely lovely. Do try it.)

Last year: Polenta, apple and dried fruit country cake (Italian-style).
Two years ago: Alivenci (Polenta cream cake bars) (Moldavian and Romanian).
Three years ago: Mascarpone marbled brownies.
Four years ago: Baby making and no cooking :).

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Coconut and raspberry muffins (vegan)

These lovely muffins are made exclusively with vegan ingredients, they're a tad crunchy from all the coconut in the crust and filled with a soft and runny pool of raspberry jam that drips from the inside when you eat them. They taste clean and bright, and the flavor combination of coconut and raspberry is a classic.
The ingredient list isn't fancy like in other vegan baked sweets out there (full of egg replacements or other chemical stuff) and they're quite easy to make. I made these during the pre-Easter lent period and they were lovely. Enjoy :)
Recipe adapted from here.

Last year: Dulceață de gutui (Romanian quince jam) (vegan).
Two years ago: Chicken and pomegranate molasses stew (Middle Eastern-style).
Three years ago:Penne alla vodka (Italian-American).
Four years ago: Baby making and no cooking :).

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Kartoffelpuffer (German potato pancakes)

Each people from around Europe and beyond seems to have their own version of potato pancakes. This is the German way: very thin, browned to crispiness, salty and onion-flavored, served next to a generous dollop of slightly sweet applesauce. I, for one, am a great fan of these. :)
Recipe source: Saveur

Last year: Gnocchi al pesto (Italian).
Two years ago: Pizza Margherita (Italian).
Three years ago: Pickled carrots in salt brine with honey and mustard (vegan).
Four years ago: Baby making and no cooking :).

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Shrimp cocktail in avocado cups

Shrimp cocktail with a little extra touch (the classic cocktail sauce that's supposed to dress the shrimps is made with Greek yogurt instead of mayo and heated with a touch of harissa or any spicy sauce you have around) and a beautiful twist: served directly from avocado cups instead of plain glasses lined with lettuce leaves :)
I personally think anything served from avocados is droolingly good (see the Mediterranean stuffed avocados or the Middle Eastern baked stuffed avocados), so, naturally, I thought this was a very good idea. And the recipients and recipe testers who got to try it were also quite convinced it was a good idea. From the first bite :).

Last year: Cypriot tomato salad (Greek).
Two years ago: Coconut corn salad.
Three years ago: Goat cheese rounds in prosciutto.
Four years ago: Baby making and no cooking :).

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Yuanyang (Hong Kong-style Coffee with Sweetened Milk Tea) (Chinese)

This is what happens when you mix black tea with coffee. And condensed milk. And sugar. And it's strong and sweet and great. :)
Recipe source: and Saveur.

Last year: Saganaki (Greek fried cheese).
Two years ago: Goat cheese, lemon scallions and walnut tart.
Three years ago: Banana American pancakes with agave syrup and almonds.
Four years ago: Baby making and no cooking :).

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Fried mini mozzarella (bocconcini) (Italian)

Breaded mini mozzarella balls (also called bocconcini) deep fried until crispy on the outside and melted and gooey on the inside. A lovely snack or starter to be served hot while the cheese inside is still runny. Perfect to please a crowd of visitors or as comfort food just for yourself. Enjoy :)
Recipe source: here

Last year: Flourless apple brownie with walnuts.
Two years ago: Muffins using only wholemeal flour (with raisins and chocolate).
Three years ago: Mimosa (cocktail).
Four years ago: Baby making and no cooking :).

Monday, September 7, 2015

Nutella swirl yogurt biscuits

I love making biscuits with yogurt, whether they're sweet or salty. The texture obtained by making their dough with yogurt is crumbly and tender and crunchy at the same time and after a while of experimenting you learn to distinguish it from all other biscuits :). It's kind of unforgettable. Not to mention very easy to make, the perfect thing to scoop up when you have a free afternoon on a rainy day or too much left-over yogurt on a morning when you can't figure out what to have for breakfast :).
And what better addition to keeping their easy, comfort food, go-to feel than some generous tablespoons of Nutella swirled through the biscuit mass? The result was purely scone heaven. I mean, who doesn't love Nutella on biscuits? What could be better than that, especially next to a cup of tea? Oh, I know: Nutella in biscuits. :)
Recipe heavily adapted from Two peas and their pod.

Last year: Goat cheese and poppy seed dip.
Two years ago: Spicy bean and avocado tostadas (Mexican) (vegan).
Three years ago: Breakfast croissants with Gouda cheese crust.
Four years ago: Baby making and no cooking :).

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Sauce Gribiche (French mayo dip)

A classic French sauce meant to accompany French fries in a flavorful way. It's very simple and fast to make, as you only need to whizz the ingredients in a blender and then dip away :)
Recipe source: Saveur.

Last year: Home-made pita chips (vegan).
Two years ago: Pesto and caper focaccia (Italian) (vegan).
Three years ago: Tomato gratin provencal with garlic butter baguette.
Four years ago: Baby making and no cooking :).

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Fagioli e tonno (Tuna and white bean salad) (Italian)

A super-easy recipe that is intended to be both an appetizer (antipasto) or main course, depending on how hungry you are. If you make it with precooked (canned) beans, then there's no reason you shouldn't complete this in 10-15 minutes, making it an ideal weeknight dinner. It's also in the healthy AND delicious department, so it's really a guilt-free meal. 
Recipe source: Saveur
P.S: Saveur also has a version enriched with red onion, which you should consider trying sometime, I only chose the classic this time because of my quest for sampling world cuisine as much as possible. 

Last year: Kahluaccino
Two years ago: Pindi chana (Spicy chickpea curry) (Indian) (vegan).
Three years ago: Sancocho (Chicken and root soup) (Puerto Rican).
Four years ago: Baby making and no cooking :).

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Spaghetti con acciughe e pangrattato (Spaghetti with anchovies and breadcrumbs) (Italian)

I was really happy to discover this recipe and it became one of my faves and part of my routine rotations. I always have a jar of anchovies in the fridge and some breadcrumbs in the cupboard so... it's an easy hit whenever hunger strikes. Enjoy.
Recipe source: Ana.

Last year: Rogan Josh (Indian & Iranian beef / lamb stew).
Two years ago: Orecchiette with onion and sage sauce.
Three years ago: Flammkuchen (Tarte flambée) (Alsacian).
Four years ago: Baby making and no cooking. :)

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