Monday, 22 February 2016

Vegetable latke for dinner

Some days are short on hours, one deadline is chasing the other and it seems you are not quick enough for anything. Today is such a day... at work one email chased the other and it felt the more  I answered the more emails would pour in. I came late to pick up my son from kindergarten and by the time we were home I was just exhausted and tiered. But if you are a working mom (and I do not try to get your pity, just describing the reality) your day does not end here, it actually continues with far more important and funny tasks... such as cooking dinner for the family, playing with the little one, having a chat with your husband and then finally making sure the little one goes to bed, so you can have some time for you. 

And so it came me being exhausted in no mood for grocery shopping for dinner. I quickly checked what we had home, to make the dinner. There were zucchinis, carrots and potatoes a perfect combination for "Gemüseküchle" - vegetable latkes. I love them as they are quick to make, delicious and quite a hit in our family. 

We do prefer them with "quark-yogurt dip with herbs" and there is no actual need to serve meat to it. It goes quick, it taste delicious, you eat vegetables and you do not really miss the meat... Sounds great, doesn´t it? Gemüseküchle can be eaten as starter, main dish or a side dish to meat and even fish.

makes about 8-10 latkes
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 big potato
  • 1 egg
  • 1-2 tablespoon flour
  • salt, pepper, oil
Grate all the vegetables in a bowl. All the vegetables will lose some liquid, before moving to the next step, make sure you squeezed as much liquid as possible out of them (I take some amount of the grated vegetables and squeeze it in my hands). Add egg, salt, pepper and flour and mix everything quickly.
Preheat your frying pan with some tablespoons of oil on medium/high. Take some of the vegetable batter, about a tablespoon, and add it to the pan, latten the latke with the back of your spoon a little. Fry from both sides till golden brown. Meanwhile preheat your oven to 180C. Take the latkes out of the pan and put them on the baking sheet, put the latkes for 5-8 minutes into the oven.

Quark-yogurt dip:
  • quark
  • yogurt
  • salt
  • fresh herbs (dill, chives, coriander)
Mix all the ingredients together and serve to latkes...


Sunday, 21 February 2016

Easy fluffy pancakes for breakfast

Sunday is a day where we usually would sleep in, taking it very easy without rushing out of our beds. Having a nice breakfast all together, especially on Sundays we will take it very easy with breakfast taking our time to enjoy it, with no rush or pressure for any appointments and grocery shopping. On Sundays I usually would prepare something special for breakfast and pancakes are just perfect to spoil your family with. There are different kind of pancakes, depending where you are coming from... I am a big fan of the American pancakes version, mainly because of their lightness and fluffiness and because they taste the best with honey (you must know I am a honey freak)...

Today I am going to share a simple but very delicious pancake recipe with you, for the most fluffy pancakes you ever have been eaten... The dough is done within 3 minutes or even less and they can be served with everything you like...honey, Marple syrup, powdered sugar, bananas, fresh berries etc.

Fluffy Pancake
makes about 8 pancakes

  • 90 g flour
  • 1 egg 
  • 1-2 teaspoon sugar
  • 120 ml milk
Sift the flour in a bowl and mix it with sugar. Separate the egg and beat the egg white till firm peaks will form. Add milk and egg yolk to the flour and mix till all well combined. Add the egg white and fold it gently with a spatula till all well combined, make sure not to over mix it, otherwise you will break the air out of the egg whites, which will help tp rise the pancake during the cooking.
Preheat you frying pan on medium/high, grease it a bit with a neutral oil, take a good amount of the batter (I am always using the ice scream scoop for this) and put it into the pan. Flip the pancake after couple of seconds. The pancakes are cooking through very out not to burn them.
If you would like to make some of them with banana (see picture below)... then cut a banana in slices and put some slices on top before flipping the pancake... Serve with honey, powdered sugar, Marple syrup...


Saturday, 20 February 2016

Another year, another birthday!!!!

Coming back with a funny and delicious birthday cake, which I made for my sons 3rd Birthday. He is a big fan of the minions these days, so a minion cake was on order. To make the cake look like a minion I was using coloured fondant for the cake decoration. There are many ways to make a special theme cake, but I find fondant is the most easiest one to be used. These days you can buy it almost everywhere, the prices are OK and they come in different colours too. Fondant is easy to work with and you can create and experience as much as you want. Once you know how to deal with this delicate sugar paste you will find yourself creating funny, elegant and sometimes even crazy cake creations. If you liked play with "play dough" as a kid you will love working with fondant...

Vanilla sponge cake
(I used 15 cm round baking form)

  • 3 eggs
  • 100 g sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 50 g butter melted
  • 2 tablespoons greek yogurt
  • 100 g flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
Preheat the oven to 180 C and grease and line your baking form with baking paper. Beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla extract with an electrical mixer till double in size and pale in the colour. Add butter and yogurt, combine everything gently. Sift flour and baking powder into the egg mixture and fold it gently in. Pour the batter into the baking dish and bake for 25-30 minutes. Make the wooden stick test. Take the cake out of the oven and let is cool on the cooling rack for about 5 minutes, then take it our of the baking form and let is cool off completely.

You will get 2 layers out of this portion. I used 5 layers for my cake, hence I repeated the process 3 times. Level 4-5 cake layers and leave one unleveled using the round shape later to create a round shape of the minion head. 

Mascarpone frosting
  • 500 g mascarpone cheese
  • 50-100 g powdered sugar (depending how sweet you would like to have the frosting)
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cacao powdered
  • some tablespoons of heavy cream
In a bowl mix together mascarpone cheese, one part of powdered sugar and cacao. Taste and add more powdered sugar if you would like to have it a bit more sweeter. Gradually add heavy cream to get a smooth consistency of the frosting. It should be creamy and easy to apply on, but not too runny.

You can soak the cake layers with a syrup (take some spoons of your favourite marmalade and mix it with some water) to make the layers being more moist and fruity. Frost the cake, take some tablespoons of the frosting between the layers. Cover all the side and the top of the cake with the remaining frosting. Put the cake in to the refrigerator, while preparing the fondant. When you do work with fondant use powdered sugar to prevent the fondant from sticking. To stick the fondant together, use you use a small "painting brush" with a very little amount of water. Cover the cake completely with yellow fondant, which will be the base and continue decorating the cake. If you never work with fondant and have no experience how to cover the cake or apply fondant decoration, you will find plenty of videos in "youtube" for it. 


Friday, 5 February 2016

Missed cooking the chef challenge and zucchini basil soup

It it some time here I have been posting something, lately I got all busy with different things forgetting my blog and missing another cooking the chef  challenge. This month the chosen chef was Joan Roca, a Spanish Michelin stars chef and owner of the El Celler de Can Roca restaurant. Even though I missed to publish my post in time to participate in the challenge, I am still going to share the recipe with you today, as the dish I have been choosing was so delicious and so easy to do... And how cool is it to tell your guests or your family that you actually prepared a dish from one of the best Michelin stars chefs....

 Zucchini is one of my favourite vegetables and I have been preparing it in many different ways, but never as soup. As soon as I saw the recipe I knew this is a soup I would like to taste. This vibrant green colour, the creaminess and this remarkable taste of basil is simple amazing. The soup taste light and refreshing and in the same time creamy and rich...

Crema de calabacin al pesto

  • 600 g zucchini
  • 100 ml water
  • 200 ml double cream
  • 100 g mascarpone cheese
  • 40 g pine nuts
  • Salt and pepper
  • 50 ml olive oil
  • fresh basil leaves
Prepare the pesto. In a blender blitz together basil leaves and olive oil. Wash and cut the zucchini in small equal cubes. Put the zucchini cubes in a cooking pot and add water, salt and pepper, close with the lid. Let the water come to the boil, put down the hit a bit and let the zucchini cook, with lid closed, for 2 minutes. Meanwhile prepare a bigger pot with ice cold water, where you could fit it your cooking pot with zucchini. Take the zucchini from the heat, strain the water (in a separate bowl, you might need it later) put the pot into the ice cold water and puree the zucchini with a stick blender. Pour in the double cream and give it another couple if twist. If you like the consistency of the soup you can stop here, if not you ca add some of the remaining water which you did save from the previous step.
Serve the soup with a dollop of mascarpone cheese, your pre-made basil pesto, fresh basil leaves and roasted pine nuts.

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