Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Chocolate tahini sesame muffins

Ingredients for 14 small muffins

50 g butter
20 g dark chocolate
5 tablespoons tahini

240 ml buttermilk
2 eggs
vanilla extract
130 g brown sugar

50 g cocoa
130 g flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
a pinch of salt

sesame seeds
30 g of chopped chocolate

How to:

1. Start your oven at 175 C. Melt the butter and the chocolate over a bain marie dish. Let it cool for one minute and the add the tahini, the beaten eggs, the sugar, the vanilla extract and the buttermilk.

2. Sift the flour, the cocoa together and then add the baking powder, the baking soda and the salt. Also you could add some chocolate nibbles or some chopped chocolate.

I think the next time I will do this recipe, I would add some toasted sesame seeds in the flour mix for more texture.

3. Briefly mix the dry and wet ingredients, just until you won't see flour in the mix. You really don't want to over

do it (in this way you keep your muffins moist and soft).

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Asparagus & lemon risotto

The best way to welcome spring into your life.

Ingredients for 3 pers:

1/2 shallot - finely chopped
2 tablespoons of finely chopped celery
250 gr arborio rice
200 ml of dry white wine
about 1 l of vegetable stock
1 bunch of thin asparagus - about 350 gr
parmesan - as much as you want
the juice from half a lemon
parsley & mint - chopped
salt & pepper

1. First, wash and trim the asparagus. Keep the woody parts and add them to the boiling vegetable stock, it will add a subtle, fresh flavor.
2. Add a splash of olive oil, then  the shallot and the celery to a big pan and gently fry them for about 1 or 2 minutes, while stirring. Next, the rice - fry it for about 2 minutes - untill it gets translucent.
3. Deglaze the pan with the white wine and wait untill it is absorbed.
4. Start adding the soup, in small increments to the rice (about 100 ml at a time) and most importantly - stir.
5. After 15 minutes or so, taste and see if the rice is done. It should be al dente. Turn of the gas, add some more liquid (it will be absorbed), add the lemon juice and put a lid on and wait for another 3-5 minutes while you chop the herbs and shave the parmesan. No butter or cream is needed - maybe a dash of some good olive oil while you plate it.
6. Enjoy!

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Butternut squash, kale and gorgonzola frittata


Ingredients for a 28 centimeters pan:
- 400 g cubed butternut squash
- 200 g kale leaves - just the tips, remove any stringy part
- 100 g gorgonzola
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 8 eggs
- 50 ml single cream
- salt, pepper, chilly flakes, grated parmesan.

1. Turn on he oven at 180C. Toss the squash in a tray with some olive oil, salt, pepper and parmesan and roast it for 25 min.
2. Meanwhile, beat the eggs with some salt, pepper, parmesan and chilly flakes.
3. In a 28 centimeter ovenproof pan (if you don't have  one, just transfer everything in a cake tray or something similar), heat 1 tablespoon of olive or sunflower oil and gently fry the pepper, the garlic and the kale (a lid will help in getting the kale to wilt faster). This will take about 5 minutes or so. Just be careful, don't over do it or it will taste bitter. Put it aside and check the squash, if it is almost done, just throw  it in the pan, along with the egg mixture and put the pan back on the heat for 1 or 2 minutes. Don't worry if it seams too little egg, it will puff in the oven.
4. Tear the gorgonzola cheese over the frittata and get the pan in the oven for about 15 minutes. Just check it after 12 minutes and see if the egg is still runny.
5. Serve it with a mezclum and cherry tomato salad, dressed with balsamic, olive oil and honey. It will balance the strong flavors from the frittata.
Enjoy!

Monday, 7 September 2015

Stuffed peppers, courgettes and tomatoes with rice and feta - greek style - gemista






Ingredients

4 red peppers (small to medium sized)
5 medium tomatoes + 4 small tomatoes
1 cougette
2 green peppers

1 heaped tablespoon of rice for each vegetable
1 small onion
2 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon sugar
a splash of white wine
extravigin olive oil
250 g tomato passata
100 ml water
dried mint
dried oregano

How it's made

Preheat the oven at 180 C and prepare a baking tray. 
Scoop the peppers, tomatoes and the courgette, putting aside the pulp. Blend the pulp of the vegetables with the 4 small tomatoes and some fresh parsley
Finely chop the onion and the garlic and pour some olive oil in a pan. Once the pan is heated, slowly fry the onion and the garlic. Pour the pureed vegetables into the pan with the white wine, sugar, salt and pepper. After 5 minutes add the rice, the mint and the oregano. Let everything simmer for 10 more minutes. Add the crumbled feta plus 4 tablespoons of extravirgin olive oil and start filling the vegetables. The mix should have a thick soup consistency.
After arraging the peppers and the tomatoes, add some breadcrumbs on top. Just pour the passata and the water in the tray and let them cook in the oven for at least 75 minutes. 

It's even better when served with some greek yogurt and dried mint.

Enjoy! 






Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Stir fry with broccoli, mushrooms, tofu and ginger



It might sound ridiculous, but tofu can be a really nice tasting food. You  just need a little preparation to improve its texture.


Ingredients for 2 people:
500 g broccoli
250 g firm tofu
8 portobello mushrooms ( or shiitake)
sesame seeds
chilly flakes

For the sauce:
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon hot chilly paste
2 teaspoons of minced ginger
1 teaspon cornstarch

First wash well the tofu piece and dry it with two paper towels, cut it in big slices and put it in a tray in the preheated oven at 180 C for 20 - 25 minutes. This will dry it even more.

Meanwhile, cut the mushrooms and the broccoli and bite sized pieces and stir fry them in batches. For the broccoli you should add a few splashes of water to steam it a little bit. The mushrooms need about 6 minutes and the broccoli around 5 minutes if you like it crunchy. At the very end, add the sesame seeds and put them aside.

Mix all the ingredients for the sauce and take out the tofu from the oven. Cut the tofu slices in smaller pieces and stir fy it with some sesame seeds for 2-3 minutes. Pour on the sauce; it will quickly evaporate and become like a glaze. Mix in the mushrooms and the broccoli and sprinkle with some chilly flakes. It can be served with some rice.

Enjoy!

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Grilled courgette, hazelnuts and parmesan salad







Ottolenghi inspired dish.

Ingredients:

1 or 2 courgettes, sliced on angle
a handful of toasted hazelnuts
parmesan shavings
some rocket

For the dressing :

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon pomegranate molasses
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper

Grill the courgettes for 3-4 minutes, then drizzle them with balsamic vinegar while hot. Some finely minced garlic is a nice addition. Let them rest while you arrange the rest of the ingredients on the plate and shake the dressing in a jar.

Enjoy!

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Almond and apple puree cake


Rich, buttery taste without any actual butter.

Ingredients:

2 apples
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

4 eggs
80 g flour
75 g almond flour
30 g rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
lemon rind & lemon juice
50 g sugar


How it's made:

1. Puree the apples and the lemon juice with the help of a blender and turn on the oven at 175 C.
2. Beat the eggs with the sugar, using a paddle mixer for about 5 minutes or until frothy and they have a double cream consistency.
3. Mix in the apple puree, lemon rind and lemon juice and the oats
4. Sift over the egg mix,  the flour and almond flour, then fold it with a rubber spatula so that you don't release the trapped air.
5. Pour the batter in the buttered baking form and bake it for about 40 minutes.



Friday, 17 April 2015

Healthier oat cookies with dark chocolate nibs, walnuts and cranberries

As much as something sweet but not too sweet can be healthy, anyway.
Ingredients for about 20 large cookies:

100 g walnuts or hazelnuts 
80 g dried cranberries or raisins
40 g shredded coconut
30 g dark chocolate cut into small pieces 
140 g rolled oats
220 g flour
1 heaped tablespoon of cocoa
2 tablespoons hot water
1 teaspoon baking soda
50 g butter + 40 ml light olive oil
1 egg
100 g brown sugar
2 tablespoons rum 

1. Preheat the oven at 160 C.
2. Toast the walnuts in the oven for 10 minutes.
3. Soak the cranberries in hot water for a couple of minutes.
4. Sift the flour and mix it with the rolled oats, chopped toasted walnuts, cranberries, coconut, cocoa and chocolate.
5. In a small pan melt the butter and add the olive oil, baking soda and the 2 tablespoons of hot water.
6. In another bowl beat the egg with the sugar, until the sugar dissolves and the pour the butter  mixture plus the rum.
7. Mix  the liquid ingredients with the solid ingredients. The batter will be quite sticky but no worries, it should be like this.
8. On a lined baking tray arrange the cookies, leaving enough space between them.
9. For my oven 14 minutes was the perfect spot but you should watch them carefully. They will be soft to touch but they will set when cool. Very important, put them to cool on a wire rack.

They keep well in an airtight jar for 3 days or you could freeze them. If you are the type of person that can have only one cookie and stop ( probably you hate dolphins anyway).