All posts filed under: Travel inspirations

My 20 min after work Korean dinner

Last few weeks were extremely busy for me, which resulted in having almost no time for cooking. In a way it was good as I had an opportunity to get creative and improvise on a speedy after work  dinner options. Here is what I came up with: Taking just 20 minutes from kitchen to plate, this Korean-style 4 dish-dinner makes a perfect healthy midweek meal. Delicious tuna pancakes are served with rice and lightly stir-fried courgette with a tangy lettuce & scallion salad on the side. Prepare to be amazed! My 20 min after work Korean dinner   / Serves 2 Preparation + cooking time: 10 min Tuna pancakes (Chamchijeon,참치전) We would need: 1 can of tuna, drained 3 tbsp of onion, chopped 1 garlic clove, minced 1 free-range egg a pinch of sea salt a pinch of ground black pepper 1 tsp of roasted sesame seed oil 1 tbsp of flour 1-2 tbsp of canola oil, for frying DIRECTIONS: In a large mixing bowl combine all ingredients and mix well together. Place a non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat and pour 1-2 …

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 …

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: …

Fish Ambul Thiyal or My sour fish curry

I had a pleasure to visit Sri Lanka earlier this year. Big thank you to my friends who made it possible and  yet another one for their unconditional hospitality <3. During my stay I was lucky to try different sorts of food: vegetable & fish roti, spring hoppers, various sorts of curry with red rice. Not even talking about the plethora of fresh fruit & veggies. I loved it all! Naturally once back I wanted to recreate some of those fantastic dishes, and my first take was this delicious sour fish curry. It’s not as complex as it might seem from the first look, spicy and beautifully sour in flavour. It works best with the firm white fleshed fish, however, in my version, I used regular salmon. Hope, you’ll like it!   Preparation + cooking time:  a bit more than 1 h/ Serves: 2 We would need: 300 g of fish, cubed 5 cloves of garlic 5 cm piece of ginger, roughly chopped 1/2 tbsp of black pepper powder 1 tbsp. of fenugreek 5 pieces of goraka 2 tbsp. …

Autumn on a plate: simple fried eggs with a touch of chives

Delicious autumn! When every leaf looks like a flower! These are the last days of summer in the UK,  mellow sunlight makes me want to go out and soak in every single ray. Spending some time in the countryside is a great way of welcoming autumn, enjoying yet still warm weather and celebrating time of the harvest. Autumn is a truly magical season. Fascinating golden leaves and hiding wild mushrooms, curious hare dashing through the meadow and calm clouds of sheep. An idyllic picture. To immerse oneself with nature even more you can try cooking over an open fire. Glowing red flames and smoky ambers invite to get all creative and venture for a whole new cooking challenge. As for me, from the moment I saw it,  I was completely drawn for more refined but yet very homely and appealing way of cooking – on a wood-fire ESSE cooker. It is very elegant and also wise-designed cooking stove, I simply couldn’t miss my chance! With a excitement of a five-year-old, I was throwing logs into the furnace …