Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Strawberry-peach galette

This turned out so well, that my husband seriously encouraged me not to post it and save it for a cookbook. Well, I don't think a cookbook is anywhere in my near future, so here it does. But if you make it, or plan to make it, leave me a comment please.

1x9-inch pie crust
3 yellow peaches
0.25 cup small, frozen strawberries
1/3 cu sugar
2 tbsp starch
0.25 tsp salt
0.25 tsp almond extract
0.25 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp sugar

Try to get ripe, but not squishy peaches. Peel them and slice them into quarter inch slices. Cut the strawberries into pieces. Mix with the almond and vanilla flavor.

Add the sugar, salt and starch on top. Mix well using your hand.

Preheat the oven to 400F. Pour the filling into the crust, then fold the edges over and brush the edges with milk. Sprinkle with sugar.

Bake for 30-40 minutes, until it reached the desired golden color. Allow to cool on a wire rack, serve with vanilla ice cream. The flavors are truly subliminal. The almond extract gives it just a hint of almond flavor.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Creamy zucchini side dish

The best zucchini I've ever eaten. We ate it as a side dish with roasted chicken, but it would be tasty with any grilled meat, or simply on its own.

3 zucchini
0.25 tsp ground mustard
0.25 tsp black pepper
0.25 tsp garlic powder
0.5 tsp oregano
2-3 tbsp sour cream
0.5 tbsp vegetable oil

Wash the zucchini and dice into quarter inch cubes. Preheat a large skillet and add the oil. Add the zucchini pieces and cook until browned lightly.

Add the spices and stir, cook for about a minute. Add in the sour cream and heat together only for a very short time.

Allow to cool a bit and serve.

Macedonian zelnik

I already posted this once, but I used a different technique to make it this time. The ingredients are the same, but I cut the dough into eight pieces.

Greased each disk and allowed it to sit for 30-40 minutes. Meanwhile I prepared the leek filling. I thought the 2-3 leeks were too much, and next time I will repeat this with one leek and two eggs.

I also successfully replaced all the lard with vegetable oil. That's got to do something for the health-aspects of the dish.

Monday, June 27, 2011


A Swedish hash, that's prepared according to Jamie Oliver's instructions. Meaning: I put in it whatever was leftover at home.

2 chicken thighs
3-4 medium potatoes
1 large yellow onion
black pepper
fresh parsley
pickled cucumbers and beets

Separate the meat from the bones and cut into bite-sized pieces. Dice the potatoes into quarter inch pieces. Slice the onions.

Start with some fat in your skillet, then add the onions, caramelize, then remove from pan. Add the potatoes and brown thoroughly. Add back the onions and add the chicken. Cook until desired crispness.

Sprinkle with some fresh herbs. Remove from pan and mix with a little bit of mustard. Serve with pickles and a fried egg, raw egg yolk, or a poached egg. Delish!

Chicken fat and snacks

If anyone out there knows the English name for these, help me out please! When you render lard out of fatty tissue, and you fry these pieces of mostly meatless bacon, you get these small brown pieces of tasty snacks after the lard is pressed out. What are these called?

fatty tissue from chicken
1 tbsp vegetable oil

Chop up the fatty tissue and add to a skillet preheated to medium-high with a tablespoon of vegetable oil. Cook until all the fat was released from the tissue and the remaining cell walls and protein form crispy, small, brown pieces.

Drain the fat from the pieces and collect the fat into a jar. Cool the jar and store in the fridge, for using in dishes such as pastrmajlija. Salt the brown pieces and eat with bread and your choice of veggies.

Roasted chicken with onions and potatoes

A quick and easy dinner, which you can serve with any number of Hungarian salads, like cucumber salad, cabbage salad, or pickled veggies.

1 chicken leg quarter
3 medium Eastern white potatoes
1 large yellow onion
1 tbsp chopped parsley
0.25 tsp fresh thyme
0.25 tsp poultry seasoning
black pepper

Peel the potatoes and dice into quarter inch pieces. Peel the onion and slice into thick slices.

Preheat the oven to 400F. Salt and black pepper the chicken leg, and sprinkle with poultry seasoning. Allow to sit for 5 minutes. Preheat a cast iron skillet on medium-high heat (never on high, or it may crack!). Add a tablespoon of vegetable oil. Pat the chicken dry and add to the skillet skin-side down. Allow to brown undisturbed for 7 minutes.

Meanwhile, rinse the potatoes 2-3 times with cold water. Turn the chicken leg and cook on the other side for 7 minutes as well. Remove from the pan and set aside. Collect most of the grease from the pan.

Add the onions to the hot skillet and brown lightly. Remove from the pan. Add the potatoes and brown.

Rub the chicken leg with thyme and add back to the skillet. Add the onions back as well. Bake in the preheated oven for about 30-40 minutes, until cooked through. This will hugely depend on the size of the chicken you're using.

When done, remove the chicken leg form the pan. Add the parsley to the onions and potatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes on the stove top, stirring. Serve these with the chicken.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Cornell chicken

A chicken marinade developed by a Cornell professor.

0.5 cup cider vinegar
0.25 cup vegetable oil
0.25 egg (whisk it and take a spoonful)
0.5 tbsp salt
pinch black pepper
1 tsp poultry seasoning
2 chicken leg quarters

Mix egg with oil, then whisk in vinegar and spices.

Clean chicken pieces and place into a Ziplock bag. Add enough marinade to coat the chicken, save the remaining marinade for basting during grilling.

Marinade in the fridge for 12-24 hours.

Grill at low temperature (250F), turning and basting the meat every 15 minutes until done. Serve!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Blueberry galette

If you have trouble justifying the preparation of a nice berry pie for a two-person household, this is your solution: a blueberry pie for two. A galette is essentially a pie crust folded around you choice of tasty filling. Now I have to admit, I did not make the crust for this one, but a nice store-bought one works out just as well.

1x9-inch pie crust
2 cups of blueberries (about a dry pint)
zest of a lemon
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
0.25 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp starch
0.25 tsp salt
1/3 cup and 2 tsp sugar
0.5 tbsp butter

Preheat the oven to 425F. Roll out your pastry dough and lay it into a pie shape.

Wash the blueberries and mix with the lemon zest and juice (do not use the industrial-strength, bottled juice! fresh juice only), 1/3 cup sugar, cinnamon, salt and starch.

Pour the filling in the middle of the pie crust, leaving a 1-2 inch edge. Fold the edge over the filling, forming ruffles.

Brush the edge with milk and sprinkle with 2 tsp sugar. Cut the butter on top of the berries in thin slices. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until center is bubbly and sides are golden brown.

Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Beef with rice noodles stir fry

Quick and tasty.

1.5 pound beef steak
0.5 cup soy sauce
3 tbsp cooking wine
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp starch
1 tbsp ginger paste
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp Sriracha sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
0.5 tsp black pepper
1 onion
2 red peppers
1 package rice noodles

Mix minced garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, hot sauce, brown sugar, black pepper and cooking wine.

Slice beef against the grain into thin slices. Mix into half of the sauce, reserve the other sauce portion. Allow to marinade for half an hour.

Bring a pot of water to the boil, add the rice noddles and turn off. Allow to sit in water for about 10 minutes (follow package instructions). Drain.

Slice peppers and onions. Heat a large skillet on nearly high heat, add the oil and brown the onions and peppers quickly, so their inside remains crunchy, but the outside is flavored. Do this in small portions, so the veggies don't cook in their own juices. Collect onto a plate.

Add a little bit of oil and the beef in small portions, drained as well as possible. Dispose of the uncooked marinade. Collect browned beef onto a separate plate. Ensure that you cook the beef well.

Combine all veggies and the meat back into the pan when the last portion of beef is done, add the reserved marinade and toe rice noodles. Simmer for a few minutes. Serve. You may want to garnish with scallions, this dish needs the color green.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Ajvar with whole wheat baguette

This was a quick-fix appetizer, using store-bought ajvar, home-made wheat baguette and cheddar cheese cut into chunks. Very tasty.

Pesto and Gorgonzola sandwich

This was a spur of the moment kind of thing. We were off hiking, and I was making sandwiches. My husband went with his usual ajvar sandwich and feta cheese. Sadly, since my whole health debacle started last fall, I can't eat spicy meals much. So, here was an opportunity to experiment. The results were amazing. At least in our opinion.

1 buttermilk sandwich roll
1-2 tsp basil pesto
1 tbsp freshly crumbled Gorgonzola
drizzling of extra virgin olive oil
cucumber slices

Cut the roll in half, spread with basil pesto on one side. Sprinkle with Gorgonzola and drizzle the other side with a flavorful olive oil. Now, if you are taking this on a hike, pack the cucumbers separately.

Right before eating, add the cucumbers. Scrumptious.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Macedonian strudla

Well, this is likely not the real thing, but my husband claims it tasted close enough. I thought this was delicious, and rather easy to make.

250g flour
2 tbsp oil
1 tbsp butter
4 apples
ground walnuts (optional)
0.25 cup ground animal crackers

Mix the flour with a pinch of salt and add water until it comes together into an elastic dough. Cut into two pieces and coat with oil. Set aside, covered on an oiled surface for 10-15 minutes. The drier the dough, the flakier the final pasty, but the harder it is to stretch it out.

Peel and core the apples, shred or cut into thin slices. Mix with sugar and set aside for 5 minutes. Squeeze out some of the juice. Toss the apple with sugar, cinnamon and ground walnuts. Use sugar to taste.

Stretch out the dough starting from the middle. Sprinkle with the cookie crumbs and apple filling. Roll up and brush it with butter, dust the top with sugar and cinnamon. Bake at 400F.

Serve with shipped cream of vanilla ice cream.

Fluffy oatmeal

In an effort to reduce our sugary cereal intake, here is a high-fiber, fruity breakfast for two.

2/3 cups of oats
1.5 cups water
0.5 cup milk
tiny pinch of salt
brown sugar

Add the oats to a pyrex dish. Add salt and 2 cups of boiling water. Microwave for 2 minutes.

Stir in the milk and allow to sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes. Move it to the fridge for an overnight stay.

The next morning: microwave until warm, stirring occasionally. Flavor with brown sugar and serve with berries. This is super easy and healthy.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Roasted chicken salad

This is in the sweet-and-sour spirit of the US.

1 chicken breast
garlic powder
black pepper
1 romaine lettuce heart
0.5 tart apple
0.5 cup blueberries
6 cherry tomatoes
salad dressing of choice

Salt the chicken breast the sprinkle with paprika, black pepper and garlic powder. Bake in a 400F preheated oven for one hour, covered with aluminum foil. Remove the foil for the last 15 minutes. Allow to cool.

Wash all the veggies and fruits. Shred the lettuce, cut the tomatoes into rings. Slice the cucumber and the apple.

Toss the lettuce with the salad dressing. Top with tomatoes, cucumber, apples, blueberries and super-thin-sliced chicken. Drizzle with more dressing. Serve with a piece of crusty bread.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Hungarian fish goulash

Also called fisherman's soup or halaszle. This tasted pretty good and very close to the original, even though it was not prepared outdoors in a tripod over open fire.

2 pounds fish
1 large onion
1 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp Hungarian crushed paprika spice
1 tbsp paprika
0.25 tsp black pepper
4 bay leaves
4 oz tomatoes
2 fish bouillon cubes
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp flour
2 quart water

Chop the onion and saute in the oil until translucent. Meanwhile chop the fish.

Add the spices to the onion and oil mix, saute for a few minutes, do not burn the paprika! Add the flour and cook for a few minutes. Pour in the cold water and mix immediately.

Bring to a boil, add in the fish and chopped tomatoes and simmer for an hour.

Remove half of the fish pieces with a little bit of the liquid, allow to cool a bit and blend until smooth. Pour back into the soup.

Serve with a slice of crusty bread. It tastes quite authentic, but using a mixture of fishes, that are not filleted would be optimal. And cooking it over a fire, of course. I actually preferred it bone-less.