,,One of the delights of life is eating with friends, second to that is talking about eating.
And, for an unsurpassed double whammy, there is talking about eating while you are eating with friends. ,,
-Laurie Colwin

Saturday, September 25, 2010

French onion soup with Guinness and mozzarella baguettes

In France - ´´French onions soup´´ is a standard bistro fare, in Ireland they do a version with Guinness and today I combine both recipe to do my own version of this classic soup were I will add a Italian twist. A classic soup perfect for winter, is packed with onion flavor and is delicious for those occasions when soul food is needed to raise the spirits. Make sure that you use a good beef stock and allow the onions to caramelize to get the maximum flavor in your onion soup. For vegetarians, the beef stock can be replaced with vegetable-based stock.
The trick for this great onion soup is starting with good stock. Another important step is to caramelize the onion. Caramelizing onions take at least thirty minutes of slow cooking the onions over medium heat. The browning, or caramelizing, of the onions brings out the sweetness of the onions.
Recipe below make enough for 4-6 portions.
Chopping onions note
Chopping onions is a nice 'crying' experience! The way to stop you from crying when chopping onions is tricky! Just use a very sharp knife, serrated knives are no good. When you chop an onion you break the walls of the cells, this allows the juices of the onions to go into the atmosphere. Sharper the knife is, the less cells are broken.
6 large Spanish onions peeled and thinly sliced.
olive oil

1 teaspoon of brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ liter beef stock
1 of 500 ml can of Guinness
1-2 table spoon worcestershire sauce
2 bay leaves
½ teaspoon of fresh chopped thyme
salt and pepper
12 slices from French baguettes
150 gr grated Gruyeres cheese
6 of 80 gr French baguettes with garlic butter
4 of 125gr Buffalo Mozzarella
pot of basil to garnish.
In a large saucepan, sauté the onion in the olive oil on medium high heat until well browned, but not burned, about 30 minutes.
Turn the onions every minute or so to ensure they are evenly cooked.
Add the minced garlic, sugar and thyme and continue cooking on a medium heat for 10-15 minutes until the onion is well browned, stirring frequently.
Stir in the Guinness,  worcestershire sauce and stock and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.Cook the onion until gets a light brown color so that is soft but not falling apart.
Put the French baguettes slices under the grill or into the oven, to toast them.
Rub each slice of toasted French bread with a garlic clove.
Top with grated cheese, and grill or oven backed for 3-4 minutes until cheese begins to melt and bubble. Put the cheese croutons on the top of the soup, garnish with fresh basil and served.
To make a meal on its own I served on the side with a mozzarella and garlic baguettes.
Enjoy! Pin It Now!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Teriyaki Salmon

Teriyaki Salmon it’s so simple, healthy and it is a great recipe for entertaining. Teriyaki is a Japanese way of cooking where the food is broiled, baked or grilled in a sweet soy sauce mixture. Many foods can be cooked in teriyaki style such as salmon, tuna, chicken, beef, tofu etc. It’s simple to make your own teriyaki sauce and only requires few ingredients: soy sauce, onion, brown sugar, mirin, ginger, garlic, sesame oil. Mirin is a sweet rice wine that is similar to sake and contains alcohol. You can make a lot of teriyaki sauce and store it in the fridge until needed. I recommend serving the Teriyaki salmon with rice or noodles and cucumber-coriander salad or pickle ginger, wasabi and mooli salad (white radish salad). If you have any leftover, this tasty sauce can also be used tossed through a crunchy cucumber salad or like I do, use it in julienne vegetables salad. You can cook the rice ahead of time and keep it in the fridge until need, no more than one day.

4-200gr salmon filets
4 cups of cooked rice
For Teriyaki sauce:
100 ml soy sauce
100 ml mirin
50 ml sesame oil,
2 chopped onions,
50gr grated ginger,
50gr chopped garlic,
3 tablespoon brown sugar
For julienne vegetables salad:
1-red pepper
60gr white radish (mooli)
60gr zucchini
60gr carrots
60gr pickled ginger
2tbs mirin
2tbs sesame oil
2tbs lime juice
2tbs soy sauce
To make the sauce fry onions in a saucepan, then add all ingredients for the sauce and boil slowly until a syrupy consistency is achieved, about a 50 percent reduction. Let cool completely. Add salmon and marinate for 1 hour. Cook salmon with marinate in the oven at 180c for 10 min or until cooked. Do not overcook.
For the salad cut vegetables into very thin sticks. In a bowl, combine all vegetables and set aside. I chose and I recommend to don’t cook the vegetables to get all the benefit from fresh vegetables.
To make the dressing, in small bowl, combine sesame oil, mirin, lime juice, and soya sauce; mix thoroughly. Pour over vegetables and toss to mix. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve the teriyaki salmon with rice, julienne vegetables on top and garnish with fresh coriander and pickled ginger. Enjoy. Pin It Now!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Kringel bread

Kringel is a Estonian traditional sweet-bread cake that appears to be originated from Germany. Is knotted and sprinkled with nuts and chocolate and filled with cream cheese or raisins. A standard dessert at Estonian birthday’s parties.The dough is similar with traditional Romanian sweet bread ( cozonac) a cake for all holidays: Easter or Christmas, wedding or christening. Every Romanian has a recipe from her mother or grandmother. My grandma always cooks huge quantities of sweet bread for Easter or Christmas. There is a lot of Romanian sweet bread recipes on the net for that I chose today to make a Estonian version in my own Romanian way. I made extra dough for my daughter to play with and she came out with some beautiful cinnamon rolls bread.
24 g dry yeast,
75 ml warm water,
550 ml milk,
500 g sugar,
1 tsp. salt,
1 tsp. cinnamon powder
3 eggs,
900 g plain flour, sieved
225 g butter, melted
250 g soft butter
2 tsp. cinnamon powder
250 g raissins
250 g chocolate
150 g butter,
100 g tasted almonds,
Preheat oven to 200°c. Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water.
Stir in the milk, salt, cinnamon, eggs and 200g of the flour, until the mixture forms a batter. Beat until smooth before adding about 300g more flour. Beat well, until the dough is quite smooth and glossy. Stir in the melted butter. Add the remaining flour and mix to stiff dough. Turn the mixture out onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes. Return the dough to a lightly greased mixing bowl and leave to rise for an hour or until double in size. Take the dough out of the bowl and rolled out to a thickness of 1cm. Spread the softened butter evenly over the pastry, then sprinkle with raisins, cinnamon and sugar.
You then roll it up Swiss roll style and slice it in half lengthwise. Twist the dough together, lifting each half over the other in turn. Finally, shape the bread into a bretzel shape and transfer to a buttered baking tray and leave to rise for another hour.

Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 190C  for a further 30-35 minutes until dark golden brown and cooked through. In the meantime, prepare the chocolate topping by melting the chocolate and butter in a bowl over boiling water or in microwave. Once out of the oven, let the bread cool down a bit, place on a serving plate and drizzle with chocolate sauce and toasted almonds.
To make a savory, Kringel, leave out the raisins and sugar, fill them with cream cheese, bacon, spinach, pepper sundried tomato and cheese then sprinkle the Kringel with grated cheddar. Here is the pictures of one I made.
Enjoy. Pin It Now!

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