Month: February 2016

Magnificent Egg Clouds

I dumped meat years ago, though some of my treasured summer moments have involved shashlyki (skewered meat cooked on a grill next to the lake or forest in a company of friends or family).  Nonetheless it was relatively easy breakup for me – for one thing sure, I couldn’t go completely vegan as eggs & dairy, especially cheese, kept me tight. I love eggs too.  For their simplicity and yet limitless possibilities with egg-based dishes. Like this dreamy delicious egg-treat with whole creamy yolks and a cloud of egg whites baked to perfection. If you keep a good relationship with meat – you can also mix in some cooked breakfast sausage or bacon, for the rest of us – sautéed onion & fresh herbs will make an excellent choice. Magnificent Egg Clouds Preparation + cooking time: 15 min / Serves 2 We would need: 2 free-ranged eggs a good pinch of  grated parmesan cheese salt & pepper to taste some freshly chopped chives DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to Gas mark 8/ 450°F/ 230 °C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Separate …

Homemade cream of mushroom soup

Funny things happen once you find yourself stuck at home with a sore throat and the battle for Middle Earth unrolling in the background. It got me thinking that Hobbits, too, have a great passion for good food, surpassing even the greediest likings of Big People. Particularly, J.R.R. Tolkien’s small & homey people love mushrooms. Do you remember – when they have set off on their epic-journey-quest, firstly,  they shortcuted through a field of mushrooms? :) Sam: Trust a Brandybuck and a Took. Merry: What? That was just a detour, a shortcut. Sam: Shortcut to what? Pippin: Mushrooms! As it happens, though, I am not a hobbit (my husband especially is happy about me not having hobbit feet), I share the everlasting love for mushrooms. We both do. Making a cosy warming bowl of this delicious soup was a great way to continue adventure with Frodo&Sam out of  the TV screen and keeping our bellies nicely full. This full of earthy mushroom flavours soup is fairly quick and easy to make. A delightful dish, I am happy to revisit regularly. Try it with dinner today! Homemade …

A spoonful of Baltic with a twist: pickled herring bites

I think it is safe to say that most Estonians wouldn’t claim that their country is best-known for its food. In fact for the majority of us the local cuisine might stay the next big secret, but in case you are curious – traditional Estonian kitchen celebrates simple peasant food: meat, fish, potatoes, as well as rye bread and a variety of dairy products. Estonian eating habits are also closely linked to the food traditions of nearby countries and are deeply influenced by pure Estonian nature. However, it is absolutely fair to say that Estonia is a country of good quality food. For instance, the local taste palate is stipulated by four seasons. A necessity back in the days, but in the age of food abundance, rather a mindful use of a local produce. A culinary trend more and more widely recognized in the world. As Estonian cuisine, the national fish of Estonia – Baltic herring – is also often overlooked. Coming from the Baltic region myself, I felt responsible to share with you my experiences with this little sea fish and perhaps …

In search of perfection: soy tikka masala

I have a problem. I have a husband, too, but he is not the problem. The problem is, I am happiest in the kitchen when I’m going deep on some quest: studying cookery books, trying to do everything from home-made gelato to creamy mussels. The problem is that my husband prefers familiar food. Who could blame him for that? As that alone wasn’t enough, I have to admit that I have been a pescetarian now for over 15 years and leaving side by side with avid meat-lover sometimes might be tricky. I have to give him a huge credit for supporting me and keeping me company throughout all of my experiments. Since we moved to UK, I wanted to try one of the nation’s most popular dishes – a brilliant curry – tikka masala. To the joy of my husband, I quickly figured that soy chunks have a very good quality of absorbing gravy, so no time wasted, and my take on spicy & tangy classics have hit our dinner table :).  In search of perfection: soy …

Apple, ginger & celery juice

This zingy bright green drink is full of fresh ingredients to make you feel refreshed and energised. Perfect for start of the day. Preparation time: under 5 minutes / a vitamin shot for 2 We would need: 4 apples, cut in half, each half cut into wedges 2 celery sticks, trimmed 2 cm – piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced DIRECTIONS: Put apples, celery and ginger in the juicer and juice following the instructions of your machine. Pour into glasses and serve immediately. With love, Marie   Šviežiai spaustos obuolių, imbiero ir salierų sultys Maloniai aitraus skonio šviežiai spaustos obuolių sultys padės Jums jaustis energingiems ir žvaliems visą dieną. Skani puikios dienos pradžia. Paruošimo laikas: iki 5 minučių / Vitaminų šaltinis dviems Mums reikės: 4 obuolių, supjaustytų skiltelėmis 2 salierų stiebų 2 cm imbiero gumbo gabaliuko, nulupto ir supjaustyto GAMINAME: Sudėkite obuolius, salierą bei imbiero gabaliukus į  elektrinę sulčiaspaudę ir išspauskite sultis. Supilkite į stiklines ir iš karto patiekite. Į sveikatą! Su meile, Marie

Uplifting creamy roasted bell pepper soup

This is a delicious and warming soup, superb on a cold day. A winning combination of roasted bell peppers and other soup-friendly veggies like onions, leek, carrots, celery and garlic, accompanied by cumin and a bit of garam masala takes it up a notch. It’s also exceptionally velvety and rich in flavour. Add some red pepper flakes for a spicy kick. Preparation + cooking time: 60 -70 min / Serves 2 or 4 for starter/ Veg-friendly We would need: 3 large bell peppers (red, orange and yellow), halved and seeded Olive oil 1 medium onion, chopped 1/2 leek, cleaned and trimmed, white parts only 2 cloves of garlic, minced 1 carrot, peeled and chopped 1 celery stick, chopped 1 tbsp of chopped fresh parsley 1 tsp of ground cumin 1/2 tsp of garam masala 1 tbsp of sweet paprika 2 bay leaf 3 cups of vegetable stock Salt & pepper to taste 1/4 of heavy cream DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to Gas mark 7/ 425°F/ 220 °C. Place peppers, cut-side down, on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil to lightly …

Georgian Aubergine with garlic and cilantro

Did you know that aubergine is actually a fruit? A berry to be exact. In fact, a berry related to both tomato and potato. It was a discovery for me, which straight away made me think of a delicious&unforgettable Georgian Nigvziani Badrijani (ბადრიჯანი, aubergine rolls with spiced walnut filling). [I would be making those too in the nearest future]. I visited this magical mountain country last march and brought back with me deepen love for extraordinary Georgian cuisine. There are plenty of original and exquisite dishes. Some of my favourites include most recognizable Khachapuri and Khinkali, Lobio and Sulguni cheese, and of course aromatic Georgian wine. This is my variation of Georgian style aubergine starter. Slices of aubergine are served with fresh onion rings and garlicky dressing, garnished with pungent flavoured cilantro. A great appetizer to begin your culinary journey through Georgia! Preparation + cooking time: 40 min / Serves 2 as a main dish and 4 as a side or starter TIP: In order to reduce bitterness of aubergine,  usually it is sliced and salted before cooking. We would need: …

Blissfully delicious: Coconut milk pancakes

A fun twist on pancakes: these fluffs are made with coconut milk and served on a bed of black cherry home-made jam, topped with maple syrup drizzle. A soft sweet piece of heaven. Preparation + cooking time: 15- 20 min / Serves 2 We would need: 1 ½ cup of plain flour 1 heaped tablespoon of baking powder a pinch of salt 1 ripe banana, mashed 2 eggs 1 cup of coconut milk a little oil or butter for greasing the pan DIRECTIONS: In a large bowl, combine together flour, baking powder and pinch of salt. Make a well in the center, add mashed banana, eggs & coconut milk. Whisk to a smooth batter. Cook on a non stick pan over medium heat for about 1-2 minutes per side. Serve hot with jam, syrup or whipped cream if you like. Bon app! With love, Marie Palaimingai skanūs: Kokoso pieno blyneliai Smagi kombinacija: šie puručiai yra pagaminti su bananais ir kokoso pienu, patiekti su namine juodųjų vyšnių uogiene ir paskaninti klevų syrupu. Tikras nuosavas, minkštas bei saldus gabalėlis …

Radish garden salad with a cranberry spin

A lovely light starter with fantastic sweet&salty flavours. Easy to toss together, and is everything salad should be – fresh and crunchy.  Tried, loved and adopted from my mom’s kitchen. Preparation time: under 10 minutes / Serves 2 / Veg-friendly We would need: 2 handfuls of mixed greens (crisp romaine, baby spinach, rocket works well) 1 small cucumber, peeled lengthways into ribbons 4 radishes, ends trimmed, thinly sliced 1 tbsp. of freshly chopped chives 1 tbsp. of freshly chopped dill Salt & pepper to taste a pinch of roasted sesame seeds (optional) For the dressing: 1 tbsp. of cranberry jam 1 tbsp. of light soy sauce 1 tbsp. of water DIRECTIONS: Place greens in a large serving bowl along with cucumber, radishes and herbs. Season with a tiny bit of salt & pepper. Toss together.  Add some sesame seeds if using. Whisk the dressing ingredients in a small jug until well combined. Drizzle the dressing over salad just before serving. Bon app! With love, Marie

Food cupboard spicy bean soup

This hearty, delicious warming soup uses some basic food cupboard ingredients and comes together very easily, which makes it perfect for chilly winter days. Keep the winter out and warmth in with this spicy & flavoursome bowl of soup. Preparation + cooking time: 45-50 min / Serves 2 / Veg-friendly We would need: Olive oil 1 onion, finely sliced 1 carrot, sliced 1 big potato, diced 1/3 of celery stick, chopped 2-3 garlic cloves, minced 1 red bell pepper, chopped 1 x 400 g can of chopped tomatoes 6 cups of vegetable stock Sea salt & freshly ground pepper 1 tbsp. of sweet paprika 1 pinch of dried red chilli 2 bay leaf 2 tsp. of chopped fresh parsley or ½ dried 1 x 400 g can of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed DIRECTIONS: Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan and when hot, add onion and carrot. Stir in diced potato, celery, garlic and red bell pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes. Tin in the tomatoes and add the stock. Season with salt & pepper. Sprinkle in sweet paprika and a pinch of dried …