10/30/2014

Breakfast muffins

Breakfast muffins

I tried them once and it was love at first sight and I felt I had to try them again. They are so easy-to-do and so tasty. The breakfast muffins recipe bellow was adapted from a German recipe booklet, but I can't say it's a German recipe. Every and each of you could do and enjoy it as well.

Ingredients :
- Mix 1 : a cup and a quarter of flour (250 g), a teaspoon of salt, a baking powder sachet .
- Mix 2 : 2 large eggs, 3/4 cup (150 ml) milk, 1/4 cup (50 ml) oil.
- Filling: 100 g Parmesan, a thick slice of ham, chicken chest (fried), a thick slice of bacon,  green onion, a small carrot, finely chopped parsley leaves, 5-6 olives.

Preheat the oven at a medium temperature.
All the ingredients for the filling must be cut into small, cube-shaped pieces if possible.

Breakfast muffins

Mixture no 2: beat the eggs, add the oil and incorporate the milk into the composition. Mixture no 1: mix the flour with salt and baking powder with a spoon, then add the mixture number 2.  Homogenize then add the ingredients from the filling and mix everything gently with a spoon.

Breakfast muffins

Fill the muffin cups (filled 1/2 or 3/4 full) after you have greased the cups with butter. Decorate on top with sliced ​​olives, then brush every muffin with beaten egg. Bake for about 20-25 minutes. They are done when they pass the toothpick test and their edges are light brown. Then remove them from the cups and serve, warm or cold, it doesn't matter, they will disappear fast from the table.

Enjoy!




10/24/2014

Salade a la russe

Salade a la russe

The way we prepare this salad at home is very different from the original salad invented by chef Olivier at the Hermitage restaurant in Moscow, more than 130 years ago.  It is said that the Olivier salad contained many exotic ingredients, such as lobsters, capers, or French wine in the mayonnaise sauce. The recipe suffered many transformations along the time and the original ingredients were replace with more accessible ones, depending on the country or region.

The name of this salad became a la russe or even boeuf salade, accordingly to what kind of meat it contains: chicken or beef.

The ornamental snake shaped salad you see in the pictures is prepared as it follows: one large chicken breast, 3-4 large carrots, 3 large parsley roots, 5-6 potatoes, a celery, a large jar of pickled cucumbers, 1 lbs mayonnaise, salt, pepper, 2 tbs of mustard. The quantity of meat should be about 30-40% of the total quantity of salad.

Salade a la russe

Peel the vegetables off (except the potatoes and the cucumbers), wash them, wash the meat and put them to boil in water. The potatoes must be boiled separately, unpeeled. When they are done, throw the water away and leave the ingredients aside to cool. In the meantime you can chop the cucumbers in small cubes and then squeeze them in your hands, or you can prepare the mayonnaise sauce. Then peel the potatoes off and chop all the vegetables and the meat in small cubes, of the same size if possible. Mix everything in a large vase adding salt, pepper and a few tablespoons of mustard, to taste.

Add about 3/4 lbs of mayonnaise and mix carefully, leaving aside 3-4 tbs of mayonnaise to cover the salad with after you put it on a large plate. Then arrange on a plate and decorate with boiled eggs, olives, cucumbers, etc. Usually we serve this salad during a more sophisticated meal, for example on Christmas.

Salade a la russe

The ornamental salade a la russe - phases of the preparation:


Salade a la russe
Salade a la russe
Salade a la russe



Enjoy!

10/22/2014

Spaghetti alla carbonara

Spaghetti alla carbonara

I love Italian food so I make from time to time spaghetti, lasagna or pizza. Today was the time for spaghetti alla carbonara.

I  used a bunch of thin spaghetti and I boiled it in water with a pinch of salt for 8-10 minutes. They should be boiled only al dente (the core of the spaghetti stick remains hard) but I must confess I don't like pasta al dente, I like it well done. Meanwhile I made the carbonara sauce as it follows: a few slices of bacon slightly fried in olive oil, mixed with 2 whole eggs, grated Parmesan cheese (parmiggiano), salt and black pepper. Optionally you can add some garlic cut into very small pieces. The sauce is combined then with the hot spaghetti immediately after they are done and the water is removed.

The sauce must be creamy and the eggs should not coagulate at all. It's a delightful meal that gives you pleasure and energy for the whole day :)

Enjoy!

Spaghetti alla carbonara



10/20/2014

Foret Noire cake

Foret Noire cake

The black forest cake has been on my waiting list of to do cakes, since long time ago. I've had it written in an old recipe book for about 15 years, though I don't understand why I haven't prepared it so far, because I am fond of the cakes combining the chocolate and the sour cherries.

I used:

- for the biscuit: 10 eggs, 10 tablespoons of sugar, 8 tablespoons flour, 2 tablespoons of cocoa, one baking powder sachet, one vanilla sugar sachet, rum essence (or 50 ml of rum).
- 250 g (0.5 oz) or up to taste, whipped cream mixed with lemon zest
- 300 g sour cherries
- 300 ml rum or fruity liqueur.
- chocolate glaze or sour cherries to decorate

Method
Preheat the oven at about 180 C / 356 F
Mix the egg whites first, then add the sugar and continue mixing until stiff peak. Then add egg yolks one at a time, rum essence and vanilla, and at the end add the flour mixed with baking powder and cocoa. This last step may be done with a wood spoon or with an electric hand whisk at low speed.

Spread this mixture into a cake pan of 28 cm/11 inch diameter (or a rectangular pan), greased with oil or covered with baking paper, about 40 minutes over medium heat. It's done when it passes the toothpick test. After cooling, remove the paper and then cat horizontally into 2 layers.

Moist the layers of biscuit with rum or any other fruity liqueur (cherry would be just perfect) then spread some sour cherries on it, fill with the whipped cream, spread again some sour cherries (without their cores) then cover with the second layer of biscuit.

For decoration you may use some cherries or a thin layer of chocolate glaze.
It's a fine, delicious and lightly alcoholic cake (not for children!) that would go with a fine meal as well as with an usual dinner or family lunch.
Enjoy!

Foret Noire cake