Thursday, June 24, 2010

Mushroom chicken

A family favorite.

1-2 pounds of chicken meat
3-4 bay leaves
60g butter
black pepper
100mL red wine
50mL whole milk
100g grated smoked mozzarella
1 tsp lemon zest
500g canned or browned mushrooms

Chop the chicken into medium sized pieces. Melt the butter and add bay leaves to it. Add the chicken bits, dust with black pepper and salt.

Cook until golden. Pour in the red wine and turn the chicken pieces in it a few times. Cook until the chicken is nearly done. Add in the milk and mushrooms and simmer for 15 more minutes.

Top with the cheese and lemon zest. Serve with steamed rice.

Mango dessert

Another quick improv dish. This was very delicious as well!

for two people:
one mango
3 scoops of vanilla bean ice cream
sugar to taste
1 tbsp vanilla flavor
1/3 cup milk
ground walnuts

Peel and chop the mango. Add the milk, sugar and vanilla, blend until smooth. Add the ice cream and blend again to mix.

Scoop into serving dishes and place in freezer for 10 minutes.

Top with walnuts, optionally extra scoop of ice-cream, and serve!

Quinoa dish

I just improvised this one, because I'm trying to empty my fridge before I have to move this weekend. I had some quinoa at hand, and this was a delicious way of preparing it.

2 cups quinoa
1 lb lean ground beef
1 tbsp oil
1 yellow onion
1 seedless cucumber
1 cup grape tomatoes
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper
salt to taste
2 tbsp sriracha hot sauce

Prepare the quinoa according to the directions on the box.

Saute the chopped onion, then brown the beef breaking it up into chunks. Add the spices and cook until nearly done. At this point stir in the chopped, seedless cucumber and the halved grape tomatoes. Simmer for 5 more minutes stirring occasionally. Finally fold in the cooked quinoa and heat up once more.


Monday, June 21, 2010

Danish pastry

I've made this twice before, and failed to take decent pictures on both occasions. Here it comes with crappy pictures taken with my cellphone camera.

0.25 cup warm water
0.25 cup warm milk
1.75 tsp yeast
2 cups flour
3/8 cup sugar
0.5 tsp salt
1 tbsp butter
1 egg
0.5 cup butter
1 tbsp flour
0.25 tsp cardamom

1 egg
8 oz cream cheese
1/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp vanilla
1 pint blueberries

Heat milk and water to a scald. Melt in 1 tbsp butter. Add in the beaten egg and the yeast to bloom.

In a bowl mix the sugar, flour, cardamom and salt. Pour in the bloomed yeast, mix and knead for 5 minutes until elastic.

Wrap into a plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile prepare the butter sheet, rolling out the 0.5 cups of softened butter mixed with 1 tbsp flour between two sheets of plastic wrap (4x8 inch). Refrigerate.

Roll the dough out into a 6x12 inch rectangle. Place the butter sheet onto the bottom two thirds.

Fold the free third onto the butter, then fold again in a letter fold. Press the air out and seal the edges. Turn the dough at a 90 degree angle, and roll into a 6x12 inch rectangle again. Fold into a letter fold, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate. Fold three more times, keeping the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes between each fold. Allow to sit overnight in the fridge (or at least for 1 hour).

Roll out on a lightly floured surface into a 10x15 inch rectangle. Move onto a piece of parchment paper, which will help with transferring it onto the baking shape later. Dry the blueberries as much as possible. Mark off three inches on each side of the dough and fill the middle with the whipped cream cheese filling and drop in the thawed blueberries on the top. Cut the edges at an angle to the filling into 1 inch strips.

Fold up the ends, then braid the strips on top. Cover with plastic foil and allow to rise for 60 more minutes. brush with egg wash.

Preheat the oven to 350F, and bake without the baking paper for at least 40 minutes. Remove and cool on a wire rack.

Serve cold!

For the individual Danishes pictured on the top, slice the dough into strips, twist and roll into the above shape. Press a hole in the middle and fill. Allow to proof as the braid, then bake for ~20 minutes.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

King ranch casserole

There won't be any pictures for this one, as I forgot to take my camera with me. But next time I make it, I will be sure to post some pics...and I assure you, there will be a next time.

update: figures added thanks to Jing!

8 medium corn tortillas
3 chicken breast halves
1 onion diced
1 yellow pepper diced
1 red pepper diced
1 orange or green pepper diced
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can beef broth
1 can diced tomatoes with jalapeno
2 tbsp sour cream
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp paprika
0.5 tsp oregano
8 oz shredded cheese
1 tbsp vegetable oil

Saute the onion and peppers for a few minutes, just to take off the edge. Pour into a bowl.

To this bowl add the soups, tomatoes, and broth, the sour cream and the spices. Mix well.

Roast the chicken, or cook it in salty water. Cool and chop into pieces.

Preheat the oven to 350F. Cut the tortillas in quarters.

Take a 9x13 inch casserole dish, or two smaller dishes. Put down a little bit of sauce on the bottom, then sprinkle on half of the chicken and a third of the cheese. Layer on the first layer of tortillas.

Cover the tortillas with half of the sauce, spread on the remaining chicken, and half of the remaining cheese, cover with tortillas again. Spread on the remaining sauce and cover it everywhere, then sprinkle on the remaining cheese. Bake for 40 minutes, or until bubbly. Broil the top if necessary.

You can of course increase the number of layers in this.


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Bacon rolls

A starter I prepared to serve with salad recently.

5 bacon strips
3.4 cups flour
2 tbsp sour cream
1.25 cup water
2 tsp yeast
1 tsp honey
0.5 tbsp salt
3 tbsp butter
3 oz cheddar cheese

Fry the bacon and cut into bits.

Bloom the yeast with the honey and 0.25 cup warm water. Add in the remaining water, salt, sour cream and flour. Knead for about 10 minutes.

At this point, flatten and add in the bacon bits and the butter. The dough will fall apart then come together again as you work it. It should be a beautiful elastic dough by the end.

Coat with oil and cover with plastic wrap in a bowl. Allow to double in size.

Punch the dough down and cut into 6 pieces. Roll out each piece and shape into an elongated cylinder. Place them seam-side down into a baking shape dusted with cornmeal.

Brush with oil and sprinkle with fresh rosemary. Cover and allow to rise again until double in size.

Grate the cheese and distribute on top of the rolls. Bake in a preheated 375F oven, sprayed with water.

Hungarian egg drop soup

I'm not sure of the exact recipe my grandmother used to use, but this is an approximation of egg-drop soup, with the addition of green peas, which are totally alien to the original soup as made in Hungary.

yellow onion
1 clove garlic
5-6 eggs
3 tbsp flour
1 tbsp Hungarian paprika
Piros Arany
0.25 tsp black pepper
2 chicken bouillon coubes
lemon juice or vinegar
green peas
vegetable oil


Saute the chopped onions on a bit of oil. Add the minced garlic for 30 seconds. Add the flour to prepare a roux. Add the paprika for 20 seconds when the flour smells like baked bread.

Add the spices to taste and stir. Add cold water stirring constantly.

Add in the green peas and whip up the eggs.

Bring to a boil and pour in the beaten eggs, mixing the soup constantly. Add the lemon juice/vinegar to taste and boil for 30-60 seconds.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Sardine spread

Sardines are supposedly healthier than tuna, but many people don't like the fishy taste.
Well, for those of us who love it, here is the ultimate treat:

1 can of sardines in oil
spicy mustard
lemon juice
black pepper
Drain the sardines and mash them up with the other ingredients used to taste.

Serve with hot toast and red onion slices. One of my favorites!

Hungarian fruit tart

This is a emergency version, and a smaller one compared to the standard crust.

Just take two thirds of this recipe and pour the batter into the center of the pan. Push to the edges evenly and it will create a thinner crust.

I filled this one with canned fruits I found in the pantry: pineapples are the absolute requirement. They taste absolutely fabulous with the vanilla pudding.


A hearty thick chili for beef lovers. I've made this with ground turkey as well, and I definitely prefer the beef version.

2-3 zucchini
one yellow onion
one green bell pepper
one packet taco seasoning
one tsp ground cumin
one tsp paprika
one can of tomato paste
one can of fire-roasted, diced tomatoes
two cans of beans
one-two pounds of ground beef
hot sauce
vegetable oil

Dice the vegetables.
Saute the onions in a little bit of oil until translucent. Add the peppers and saute with the onions as well. Add the beef and cut into medium sized pieces in the pot. Dust with the taco seasoning, salt and black pepper and cook without stirring for a while. This will allow the chunks to stay together.

Stir carefully and cook until the beef is browned lightly. Add the tomato paste and the diced tomatoes, as well as some sugar if necessary Stir and add a bit of water if too thick. Simmer.

In a separate pan brown the zucchini pieces on high heat. Add to the rest of the chili and simmer for 5 minutes. Serve with fresh, chopped cilantro and a slice of nice bread.