All posts tagged: Tomatoes

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 …

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 …

Life simple pleasures: Tomato & Egg

Ah! Such an amazing match: the rich tomato sauce infused with Italian herbs, nurturing the egg-poached goodness and a warm crusty bread. I am absolutely in love <3. It’s super easy&quick to-make and what’s best – you can tailor the dish to your liking by flavouring the tomato sauce with your all time favourites. Preparation time + cooking: 20-25 min / Serves 2 hungry or 4 willing to try We would need: 4 tomatoes Some olive oil 1 red onion, peeled and finely sliced 4 free-range eggs 1 tbsp. of caster sugar Salt & pepper to your taste 1 tsp. of dried Italian herbs (such as basil, oregano, marjoram, thyme and rosemary). Fresh herbs (optional)   DIRECTIONS: Prepare the tomatoes: peel off the skins, clean the stems out, roughly chop and then purée in a blender. In a large skillet, heat the oil. Add onion and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until softened, for about 2-3 minutes. Lower heat, add the tomato purée and sugar and let simmer until the sauce is thickened, another 5-7 minutes. Season with salt&pepper, and Italian …

Rachel’s cream of tomato soup with crunchy lemon chickpeas

This quick & simple recipe comes from Rachel Khoo’s latest cookbook “Rachel Khoo’s Kitchen Notebook”. The soup celebrates the simplicity of ingredients and transforms them into a luxurious lunch meal. Yet another proof that you can make a fuss free dinner from basic food cupboard ingredients. This silky textured tomato soup with roasted garlic and a splash of cream, topped with baked lemony chickpeas for additional crunch, is sincerely brilliant. Would definitely cook again. Preparation + cooking time: 50 – 60 minutes / Serves 2 / Veg-friendly We would need: 1 x 210 g tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed 1/2 unwaxed lemon, sliced 3 cloves of garlic, unpeeled 1 tbsp of rapeseed oil sea salt 1 x 400 g tin of good-quality chopped tomatoes 250 ml of vegetable stock 1 tbp of sugar 1 tbsp of red wine vinegar freshly ground pepper 100 ml single cream DIRECTIONS: Preheat the oven to Gas mark 4/ 350°F/ 180 °C. Toss the chickpeas, lemon and garlic in the oil and place on a baking tray. Sprinkle with salt and …

Delicious Focaccia bread with cherry tomatoes

I am absolutely in love with Italian food and focaccia bread is a beautiful superb accompaniment to go with it. It looks great, it tastes amazing and what’s important is super-easy to make. See for yourself! Preparation + cooking time:  over 2 hours We would need: 500 g of strong white bread flour 1 sachet of dried yeast 400 ml of lukewarm water fine sea salt olive oil Handful of cherry tomatoes Italian herbs Leftover cheese (optional)   DIRECTIONS: Place the flour into a large bowl, add 2 tbsp of salt and make a well in a middle. Fill it with the lukewarm water, add the yeast. Allow few minutes for the yeast to melt, then mix the entire content to make a soft, slightly sticky dough. Take a baking pan and drizzle some olive oil to the bottom. Pour the dough into the pan and spread it evenly. Cut the tomatoes and assemble them over the top. Pour 3/4 cup of olive oil over the tomatoes. Sprinkle with salt and Italian herbs over the entire …

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 …

Wonderful smoked salmon&green beans savoury tart with Parmesan crust

Rich and tender pastry along with a melange of harmonious savoury flavours…a real treat! Sliced up and served with a salad makes it a delightful main course for your weekday suppers or even family get-togethers. I am so excited to share this recipe with you! INGREDIENTS: 250 g of wheat flour 1 tsp. of baking powder 100 g of butter, cold and diced; and some more for baking 5 tbsp. of cold water 1 medium onion 100 g of green beans 100 g of smoked salmon 2 eggs 75 g of Parmesan cheese Salt and pepper to the taste Some tomatoes (for garnishing) DIRECTIONS: First the pastry: Sift the flour into a large bowl, add baking powder and a good pinch of salt along with the diced butter. Splash in 5 tbsp. of cold water and mix continuously until it comes together. Don’t worry about making the dough smooth, we are just combining all the ingredients into a slightly sticky mass. Lastly, shape the dough into a disk. After preparing your baking pan, push the soft pastry into …

A lovely summer starter: Nut coated goat cheese balls in bed of fresh home-grown salad

“Un fromage par jour de l’année” – (There is a different cheese for every day of the year, French proverb). From day one, I moved to Paris, I felt in love with cheeses. And trust me, it’s a great place to be for a cheese-lover. French have deep-rooted culture of cheese and more than a thousand cheeses in their lexicon. One of the cheeses, I learnt to appreciate is fresh goat cheese. Incredibly light and soft as snow, it tastes lovely with a rustic toast and is great in salads. If you are craving for a luxurious bite, and only have a few minutes for cooking, it’s just the right recipe for you. INGREDIENTS: 400 g of fresh goat cheese 2-3 spoons of natural yoghurt 4-5 spoons of crushed nuts (pistachio, pecan, almond) A pinch of salt Some pepper DIRECTIONS: 1. Crumble cheese into a large bowl and a roughly mash with yoghurt and season to your taste. If the mix is too dry, you can add more yoghurt. I also like to use some lemon zest for the additional swirl …

Summer delight: Tomato cottage cheese tart

This is one of the most delicious tarts around, as it combines two of my favourites: tomatoes and savoury pastry. Rich in flavour, joyful and easy-to-prepare. Once made, it will constantly reappear on your dinner table. For the amazing tart we would need: 250 g of wheat flour 5 tbsp. of cold water 100 g of butter, cold and cubed. Plus some more for baking pan 1 tsp. of baking powder 3 free-range eggs 400 g of fresh tomatoes 300 g of cottage cheese Some salt and freshly ground black pepper Some rosemary (optional) DIRECTIONS: 1. To make the pastry, sift the flour into a bowl, add baking powder and a good pinch of salt, then add the cubed butter and about 4-5 tablespoons of water. Mix continuously until it comes together to form a rough dough, you can also add more water if needed.  Shape the dough and on floured surface roll it into a disk. 2. After that pick 26-28 cm wide baking pan and rub it well with the butter. Gently ease dough into baking …

Tips&Tricks

My first conscientious rendezvous to the kitchen happened when I was about 15 years old. Surely I have seen my grandmother & mother busy juggling of pots and occasionally even helped them out, but the big fascination for the kitchen magic occurred to me years later. It is truly amazing how some simple Tips&Tricks can help you get off on the right foot in the kitchen and whip up a delicious dinner. Here are some of my AHA!-moments: Keep your kitchen clean The kitchen is the heart and center of the home but usually gets dirty fast. If you have dishes piled up in the sink, most likely you won’t be really in the mood to cook a fresh meal. Everyone knows how tiring deep-cleaning marathons over the weekend can be, just make sure you spent a few moments to clean your kitchen every day, so it is fresh every time you use it. Clean-up as you go Spending any amount of time in the kitchen usually results in dirty dishes. We can miss out on a savoring meal due to the thought …