Friday, February 26, 2010

Spinach Pancakes with Beet Raita



Recipe:
1 egg
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cup spinach thawed and drained (frozen spinach works well)
½ cup Feta cheese cut in smaller pieces
Pepper
Salt
1 tsp honey
Your favorite spices (I use curry and coriander)
1 tbls flax seeds (optional)
Water (arround 2 cups)

In a large bowl, mix all ingredients and pour in water, gradually until you get pancakes-like batter. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides.                      

Serve hot with salad or sauce. My favorite combination is ayurvedic beet raita:

Recipe:
½ cup yogurt
½ cup peeled and grated fresh beet
1 tbls ghee
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp curry


Fold the beets into the yogurt and add salt. Heat the ghee in a small skillet.
Add the mustard seeds, when they start popping, add other spices. Remove from heat and pour the mixture over the yogurt-beet mixture. Mix well. Serve at room temperature.


My cake



Lemon Crunch Cookies


Recipe:
1 cup flour
1 cup quick oats
¼ tsp cream of tatar
½ tsp baking soda
¼ cup butter
¾ organic light sugar
1 tbls lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
1 egg
¼ tsp allspice
¼ tsp salt


Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare dough mixing all the ingredients in bow, by hand. Shape the dough into 30 balls. Bake them on cookie sheets for 12 minutes. Cool thoroughly and roll each cookie in confectioners sugar. Serve with berry based jam or mousse.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Chocolate Nut Raisin Squares

                                  

There is a saying in art: Less is more. I think it can well be applied for this recipe – it is as simple and as quick as it can be. Very dark chocolate, works great with this recipe. You will also need nuts and raisins. I use walnuts, almonds, pecans and raisin combination. Peanuts, cranberries and macadamia nuts could also be used.

Ingredients:


100 grams dark chocolate (preferably 72%)
2 cups nuts and raisin combination chopped or whole


Line a baking sheet with foil or paper. Melt the chocolate over a hot-water bath. Mix the nut mixture well and combine with melted chocolate. Spread the mixture on the foil.


Refrigerate it until set. You can either cut it or break it into squares.

Bizcocho Dominicano - Dominican Cake


Recipe:
Batter:
½ cup butter (113 g)
½ cup brown sugar
2 eggs at room temperature for 30 minutes
1 cup all purpose flour
¼ tsp of grated lime peel (You can also use lemon peel)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
¼ cup orange juice
Pineapple filling:
2 cups fresh pineapple, cut into cubes (about half of pineapple fruit)
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup water
Meringue:
2 egg whites at room temperature for 30 minutes
1 cup sugar
3 tbls water


To prepare the filling, mix pineapple, sugar and water in a saucepan and bring it to boil. Cook covered on a low temperature for about 30 minutes or until the pineapple is tender and the water has evaporated and it has a marmalade consistency.


Beat together the butter and the sugar with electric mixer until smooth. Add eggs one by one. Add lime peel and vanilla. Gradually add flour and orange juice.


Cover the cake pan with aluminum foil and grease it with oil. Pour in the pineapple filling and gently disturb it evenly to cover the bottom of the pan. Pour the batter over it. Bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. By the end of the baking time start preparing the meringue.


In a small saucepan melt together ½ cup sugar and 3 tablespoons of water. Bring to boil and simmer over low temperature until you get thick syrup. In a bowl mix egg whites with electric mixer until it forms peaks. Gradually add ½ cup sugar and mix well until smooth. Very slowly pour the syrup in while mixing at high speed. Mix for few more minutes until the mixture cools down a little bit. Set aside.


When cake is cool, turn it on a cake plate, upside down. Gently peel the aluminum foil off the cake. Spread the meringue on top of the cake and decorate with thin slices of fresh pineapple.




This cake is best served fresh so I am usually making only half measure which is the recipe above. If you are preparing this cake for a birthday party you may double the amount by simply doube each ingredient. In that case you will bake two layers of cake, put pineapple in each. When you will be assembling the cake,  fruit side of the first layer should be on top, than spread the cream and  put second layer of cake with fruit side down, so that you have pineapple parts in the middle of the cake. Cover the cake with the cream and decorate it by your skills and taste.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies

Recipe:
2 eggs
½ cup butter
½ cup peanut butter
1/3 cup quick oats
2/3 cup flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup dark chocolate cut into chip sized pieces
¾ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp kosher salt


Preheat oven to 350F. Line two backing sheets with parchment paper or foil. Mix all the ingredients in the bowl by hand, adding chocolate at the end. Shape the dough into 36 balls. Arrange balls on each pan living 2 inches between them because the dough will spread.
                                                
 
Bake in upper third of the oven for 12 minutes. Cool the cookies on the pans for w few minutes, and then transfer to the racks to cool completely. You can store the cookies in an airtight container for a few days.


                                 

Mlinci

Mlinci (pasta tatters) is a traditional Croatian dish. It is a unique thin dried flatbread soaked in boiled water and fried in fat from the roasted poultry (usually turkey). Turkey with mlinci is a renowned Croatian cuisine specialty. My way of making this dish lighter is to roast mlinci in mixture of soy sauce and olive oil rather than in poultry fat. That way mlinci are suitable even for vegetarians as they can also be prepared with seitan or tofu. Mlinci can be combined with various dishes and salads. Recently I have prepared the dinner that was an interesting fusion of Croatian, Indian (Ayurvedic) and Caribbean cuisine – Roasted turkey tights marinated in Indian spices, roasted sweet potato in Caribbean spices, Indian chickpeas salad with mango and Ayurvedic beet raita.
If you would like to try making your own mlinci pasta it is rather easy.

Recipe:
2 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 tbls olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tbls brown sugar
1 egg
½ to ¾ cup water


In a bowl mix all ingredients gradually adding water, only as much as needed to form bread-like dough. Live it covered with kitchen cloth to „rest“ for half an hour.

                                                    

Divide the dough in 3 or 4 equal pieces and roll them out into rounds as for noodles (but not too thin). Bake in oven at 325F on the lowest rack. You will have to turn them once.

They need to have brown spots and be completely hard and dry.

Cool mlinci and than break them into pieces.


Now, this is the main part of preparing the mlinci. They need to be prepared like Italian „al dente“pasta – not too soft. Put broken mlinci into a big bowl and pour enough salted hot water over them. Live it for few minutes to soften. Frequently chek mlinci – don’t live them too long. Drain mlinci well. They need to be drained really well because remained water could made them too soft while you will be roasting them. Put mlinci into a hot fat from the roasted poultry, preferably into the same dish where you roasted the poultry. Mix mlinci well with fat and taste if it needs more salt. Roast mlinci in the oven at 400F for 20 minutes. Serve hot.

With their taste and texture mlinci are imitating the meat with which they are prepared. If you notice that your guests are eating more mlinci that meat than you know that you have succeeded! Keep this in mind while you are preparing them.

Bread Made Easy

Pink Meringue Kisses

Peanut Butter Cranberry Cookies