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Sunday, November 29, 2015

Chicken in red wine and grape sauce (Italian)

When I saw this recipe for chicken cooked in a lovely red wine and red grapes sauce, with Italian seasonings like basil and pesto (also red, to match the rest of the sauce) I thought it to be quite special and worth trying. And I wasn't wrong. :)
Recipe a bit adapted from: Radu.

Last year: Bagula (Fava, garlic and dill salad) (Egyptian) (vegan).
Two years ago: Carrot, ginger and orange soup (vegan).
Three years ago: Banana-hazelnut-honey smoothie (vegan).
Four years ago: Sticky sweet and sour chicken wings.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Radishes sauteed in butter (French)

The combination of pink radishes and butter is a French classic, usually served raw on baguette bread (an awesome sandwich you should try asap if you haven't already). But another way to prepare radishes with butter in order to highlight the best in both flavors is to cook them gently until the radishes become slightly softened. Usually, the French cooks also add bits of radish greens to the pan to further enhance the flavor of the saute. 
It's quick to make, as delicious as a meal can get, and one of my go-to's whenever radishes abound. For the best taste experience, serve this with a few slices of country-style multi-grain bread, crunchy and ready to absorb all the peppery butter drippings. 
Recipe source: Epicurious

Last year: Toad in the hole (British).
Two years ago: Kolrābju Salāti (Kohrabi and apple winter salad) (Latvian).
Three years ago: Broccoli and coconut stir-fry (vegan).
Four years ago: Hummus (Middle Eastern).

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Schweinsoerchen (Pig's ears) (German)

A very popular kind of German cookies called literally "little pig ears". :) While the rest of the world simply calls similar cookies "palmiers" or palm-tree cookies. I actually made something very similar once, using a brown sugar and cinnamon filling. 
But this here is the true German version, so I'm sticking with tradition to bring you these little crunchy morsels. They're munched on especially in winter (and around the holidays). And they couldn't be any easier to make, really. Enjoy! :)

Last year: Gröstl (Austrian potato, bacon and onion hash).
Two years ago: Karbonāde (Pork Cutlets With Chanterelle Cream Sauce) (Latvian).
Three years ago: Butternut squash soup with chili and cream.
Four years ago: Middle Eastern pita bread (tutorial) (vegan).

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Paprika pasta with Camembert sauce

For this recipe, mini paprikas are ideal because of their intense flavor. But if you can't find any, regular red or orange paprika works just as well. The pasta is soaked in a creamy Camembert cheese sauce, flavored with a bit of Hungarian paprika and caraway. In the end, the fried garlicky paprikas are mixed into the whole thing. The resulting combination is pasta bliss. Enjoy :)

Last year: Valeriana salad (Field salad) with almonds and kumquats (raw vegan).
Two years ago: Kartupeli ar Dillēm (Boiled Potatoes With Dill Cream) (Latvian).
Three years ago: Khoresht-e-Fesenjan (Iranian chicken, walnut and pomegranate molasses stew).
Four years ago: Amaretto chocolate milk pudding (German).

Friday, November 20, 2015

German Potato Salad

The well-known potato salad, so present in its different versions in all the world's kitchens, here in the good old German tradition. With onions and bacon and a little white balsamic vinegar for a tang.
Recipe adapted from Saveur (they kept the onion raw for more of a kick, but I wanted to stick to the letter of the traditional version). :)

Last year: Namoura (Lebanese semolina and coconut cake with rosewater syrup).
Two years ago: Nashi pears in wine syrup with walnuts and walnut cream.
Three years ago: Artichoke and cous cous stuffed mushrooms (vegan).
Four years ago: Red lentil ragu with basil and ajvar.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Spicy sausage, olives and mozzarella pizza

An easy and relaxed dinner with a new version of pizza - the ultimate comfort food for movie nights and lazy days. :) The sweetness and creaminess of melted mozzarella provide a counterbalance to the spiciness and saltiness of sausages and olives perfectly. 
Goes wonderfully on thin and crispy pizza crusts (like mine here).

Last year: Batata harra (Lebanese spicy potatoes).
Two years ago: Spicy chorizo and chickpea soup (Spanish).
Three years ago: Chocolate chip cookies with salted butter (American).
Four years ago: Irish soda bread (buns) with mixed seeds.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Green Palmyra (cocktail)

Another variation on the mint-lime classic combination (just like Green Tree, Mojito and so on). Only that this time it uses vodka as its alcohol base. It's not one of those light cocktail (I'll admit it's quite a "heavy" one), but it's also still sweet enough to indulge more lady-like tastes. Anyway, like with all alcohol-based drinks (and sorry for being such a party-pooper), moderation is key :).

Source: another Friday cocktail pick from Saveur

Last year: Loubieh Wa Hommus Bi-Ziet (Green beans with chickpeas in olive oil) (Lebanese) (vegan).
Two years ago: Crisp rosemary flatbread (vegan).
Three years ago: Pork steaks with sage sauce and caramelized apples.
Four years ago: Winter tabbouleh with roasted eggplant and feta.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Uova all'Origano (Eggs with oregano) (Italian)

Next time you feel like making yourself a fast fix of fried eggs, try giving them this Italian twist instead. The flavor of oregano, a generous drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of Parmesan make them so much better. Without extra fuss. 
Recipe source: Epi.

Last year: Yogurt flatbreads with caraway (gluten-free).
Two years ago: Smoked trout quiche Provencal (French).
Three years ago: Cream of wild mushroom soup (American).
Four years ago: White chocolate and blueberry cupcakes.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

White bean and pancetta soup

I made this creamy white bean soup on a cold evening and it was ready pretty fast and very warming, which was exactly what I was aiming for, considering how low temperatures tend to drive me back to my burrow like a marsupial mouseling :). 
The soup is flavored with thyme and shallots and generously sprinkled with bread and pancetta croutons. It will be lovely whenever you try it. Enjoy.

Recipe adapted from here.

Last year: Kaeng khiao wan (Green curry with chicken) (Thai).
Two years ago: Pignoli (pine nut cookies) (Italian).
Three years ago: Arancini carbonara (Fried risotto balls in carbonara style) (Italian).
Four years ago: Chicken liver parfait with sage and red wine.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Fresh fig tart with rosemary cornmeal crust and lemon mascarpone cream

A rosemary-flavored crust with an addition of corn maze for a touch of crunch. On top, a filling of creamy sweetened mascarpone with lemon zest. And on top of that, freshly sliced figs, brushed only with a little red currant jam or jelly to make them shine. 
The combination of flavors is a classic - I've featured it before in some delicious mini baked tarts with agave, but there's nothing baked about the figs in this one. :)
Nothing could be simpler and it's the ideal dessert if you want to make something that has a heart enough base but really highlights raw figs and lets their flavor shine.

It's quite easy and fast to make, for a tart (only the crust needs to be baked). I really hope you try it - it's great to share with guests as well :). Enjoy.
Recipe adapted from here.

Last year: Masala chai (Indian spiced tea).
Two years ago: Red lentil and sausage stew (British).
Three years ago: Savory hazelnut bread (vegan).
Four years ago: Fettuccine Alfredo (Italian).

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Salată de gulii (My mom's kohlrabi salad) (Romanian) (raw vegan)

One of my mom's salads. I always loved its freshness and enjoyed it with almost anything (except desserts.. :P) It goes wonderfully with any kind of steak, fried chicken or vegetarian mains like pilafs, potatoes and so on. 
We mostly had it around in winter, but also in the spring and whenever the kohlrabies were fresh in season, for a little detox routine. 
It's ridiculously simple, with only three ingredients (one of them being salt...) but I wouldn't change anything about it. If you taste it, enjoy this little bit of our culture! :)
P.S: Sorry for the quality of the pictures on this one. But trust me, it reflects nothing of the salad's yumminess.

Last year: Tiramisu pralines (Italian-style).
Two years ago: Salată orientală (Romanian potato salad).
Three years ago: Risotto carbonara (Italian).
Four years ago: Plăcintă cu dovleac (My mom's pumpkin pie, with puff pastry) (Romanian-Moldavian).

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Mediterranean light pasta casserole

This is an easy-to-make and pretty light baked pasta casserole. To be honest, I prefer my tortellini souffle (it was truly addictive), but this is less complicated to make and vegetarian also, so I get why many people would prefer it.
I used some green pasta, fresh broccoli, mushrooms, tomatoes, and flavorful herbs. The result was really nice. I think pasta dishes (whether baked or just mixed up) are the most satisfying of all in relation to the very little time they require (as in tastiness achieved at the end per minute invested). :)
Enjoy your green and fresh and lazy dish! :)

Last year: Saltimbocca alla romana (Italian).
Two years ago: Fondi di carciofi (Bacon-wrapped artichokes) (Italian).
Three years ago: Coconut, carrot and brown sugar cake slices.
Four years ago: Chickpea, avocado and pesto salad.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Asparagus roast with almond flakes and bacon vinaigrette

I generally prefer green asparagus to white because of its stronger herbal flavor. I prefer it in bread, in risottos, and in almost anything (except when white asparagus it being specifically called for in an ethnic recipe). Of course, we've had our fair share of working with the white variety also, which I'll admit has the advantage of tasting more buttery when cooked properly.
Anyway, the main point is that I generally prefer the strong herbal flavor of the green variety of asparagus. It just tastes as green as it looks. And when you roast it up in the oven and you serve it with almonds flakes and a smoky-balsamic bacon vinaigrette it's just wonderful :)

Last year: Sărățele (Romanian cheese straws).
Two years ago: Kashmiri chai (Indian cardamom tea).
Three years ago: Zucchini, bean and cheese quesadillas
Four years ago: Baked Camembert with rum raisins (French).

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