Archive for ‘photography’

August 24, 2011

Recipe: Selection of easy-tasty and colorful dips!

 

If there`s one thing to know about The Wonderingchef..so moi, is that I like dipping! Ok so now its out there let me tell you why… cos it`s fun! I mean who doesn’t like to dip fresh bread or nachos into tasty and cool dips? Its perfect for movie night, bbq night, wine tasting night, party night, or just nights… Also never over think it, if you got a blender at home, and a few cans of stuff hidden in your kitchen there’s so many things a creative mind can do.

I took the photos a couple of months ago, as I’m working on a project only a few friends know of. I been saving the recipes and pictures, but to be honest with you, they are just too good to stay on a disk, and not be shared. So here they are hope you will enjoy them! The whole 3 dips and 1 salad should take not much more then an hour. If you only pick one, there’s one which literally takes 5 minutes to create!

Note: If you use yogurt, wherever in the world you are, there`s going to be plenty to chose from, however, I really advise you to buy good quality, THICK Greek or Turkish yogurt! Otherwise the dips will end up runny, and that’s not nice. In case there’s no available thick yogurt, press it trough a fine sieve, so it will get rid of excess water!

Be creative with the spices! Don`t have ginger? use coconut milk! Don`t have chili? Use pepper! and so on and on and on…you dip will be tasty anyway:) 

1st zucchini and yogurt salad, with lemon grass (serves 4)

2-3 small zucchinis, or  2 big ones, or 1 very big one

200ml of thick yogurt

handfull of lemon grass..shiffanade

3 cloves of garlic

salt, white pepper

1 onion finely chopped

3 spoons of olive oil.

Slice the zucchini into small-medium cubes, so they will stay chunky after frying. Heat a frying pan, add olive oil, onion and crushed garlic. Add zucchini and fry/brown all sides, until cooked in the middle.season.  Set aside to cool. When cold, mix it with yogurt, and lemon grass! (With mint, or Thai basil, or with some extra chili is fantastic!)

Instant beetroot dip

Here you can use fresh or canned beetroots as well. It doesn`t make any difference. Only the fresh beets you need to cook and peel of course. If you use canned beetroot, get rid of the brine..you don’t need that!

1 medium can of beetroot. or 2-3 fresh ones

3- 4 cloves of garlic

3 spoons of olive oil

handful of fresh thyme leafs

Blend all ingredients together! WOA…I told you it`s instant! (add a bit of honey, and rosemary for an extra twist!)

3: 5 minute mint-chili and yogurt dip!

200 ml of yogurt

handful of fresh mint

2 cloves of garlic

a bit of olive oil

chilies- depending how much you like them, or how strong are the ones you have. Here i really cant tell. I used one, of course i didnt use the seeds, and it was till nice and spicy!

bit of salt.

Blend mint, garlic, salt, and chili together. Most likely you will need to use some olive oil to help your blender. Don`t leave any chunks it should look like a pesto.

Mix with yogurt! (got some nice middle eastern spices at home? use them!)

4:  Roasted Carrot dip with honey, ginger, and corriander

3-4 carrots, thinly sliced

1 onion finely chopped

2 spoons of olive oil

1 spoon of honey

1 spoon of shredded fresh ginger

couple of fresh coriander leafs

Roast carrot on a frying pan, with olive oil, honey and onion. Make sure they are soft!

Blend all ingredients together while still warm!

So now! Dip the bread and enjoy!

June 22, 2011

Recipe: Camembert and ruccola spring rolls with blueberry jam

When I posted my last blog entry (which is even hard for me to admit how long ago its been) I didn`t think its going to be followed by such a big break. Unfortunately after trying to do way too many things at the same time, working like a dog, I lost the motivation to write. Its silly I know, cos all of this time I been thinking about recipes to post and share, been taking pictures, developing ideas, just when it came to actually writing them down, I stared at the screen a bit empty, lazy until lets face it nothing has happened. Why Im writing this? Well today was the first time after a month I dared looking at the site stats and the comments, and I realized people do read it, and like it, subscribe and leave comments. I also realized how stupid of me was that I left what I worked for just hanging. For all of you who are reading The Wonderingchef, thank you, and lets get the recipes started. 

 

So, not that long ago one of my dear readers requested the following recipe: “Camambert and ruccola filled spring rolls, with blueberry jam”, after I posted a couple of pictures of food ive been working on. So to @onceuponarecipe, and of course to all of you here is the guide to the rolls.

Why did I say guide and not recipe? Well first of all the is very easy, just fill the pastry sheets with the ingredients, and there you go! The only trick is folding the pastry the right way, so it wouldnt blow or break up while frying, also the proper storage is necessary as well, otherwise the sheets get too wet or too dry, which will make them impossible to fry.

After you know the important steps, it all should be easy. The reason why I like making spring rolls, is that that you can fill the sheets with whatever you like, its going to be fun to serve and most likely delicious as well. My favorite ones are duck rolls, one we used to make in a restaurant where I worked in England (there were many days before xmas I made 200 pieces daily)- fun times!

As much I dont like repeating myself too much, I posted a spring roll recipe a couple of month ago, which you can find on this link : http://thewonderingchef.wordpress.com/2011/03/15/spring-rolls-pt1-spinach-smoked-cheese-and-jalapeno/    here I listed all the steps which needs to be followed by making rolls. After you master that, you should be able to make all kinds of goodies, Im only listing suggestions.

Ingredients

These spring rolls can be either starters or desserts, lest say to a wine tasting, or just snack,, I mean after you make it you can do whatever you like :)

Brie or camembert cheese- to be honest you can use which ever you prefer, don`t use too expensive once or to strong or gourmet ones, First of all you are going to fry them, cheese will lose a bit of its taste, also going to melt, so dont use very runny ones, as its impossible to work with and just why would you do that to yourself?

Ruccola- fresh and crispy.

Note from all the fillings you need juts a little, lets say one slice of cheese, about half cm thick and a couple of lettuce leafs. If you put too much filling your pastry either going to break while rolling, or while frying the cheese is not going to melt completely.

Spring roll pastry sheet, and egg whites.

Hot oil for frying

Blueberry jam- if this was a perfect world, I would post my very own home made blueberry jam recipe, but its not a perfect world and let me be honest I never made jam before. So use whatever you feel like for dipping, if you take a suggestion ..buy organic! :)

So just click on the link and follow the steps listed in the recipe.

Enjoy!

 

May 16, 2011

Recipe: Cottage cheesy doughnut balls with raspberry jam.

Of course I`m not going to leave without a recipe, even if this one won`t fit into any of my dietary days. Also I promised more Hungarian recipes, cos they are fun, cos most of my readers are from The States, or pretty much anywhere from around the World, besides that 3-4 fans I have from my country. So this might be interesting for you “outsiders” :)

If there`s one thing we love more than doughnuts, is cottage cheese. Of course we are convinced, the best cottage cheese is indeed in Easter Europe, and nothing tastes so good, or even close. To be honest, I managed to find decent once in Australia, even in England, so this legend might be false, or ricotta also does the trick, even it`s hard for us to admit.

Why do I like this so much? Well it`s fried, there`s cottage cheese in it, and it`s easy. If you don`t belive me just read the recipe:)

Ingredients

500g cottage cheese

250 g all purpose flour

4 eggs

1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda

pinch of salt

Crumble the cottage cheese into a flour. Mix in the eggs, the bicarbonate of soda and the pinch of salt in a bowl, and work the ingredients well together.

Spoon them into hot oil, and fry until golden brown. They need to be the size not bigger then a golf ball when ready, you`ll see it almost doubles the size while frying, so make sure the middle will be cooked as well.

So serving suggestion: Icing sugar, vanilla icing sugar, jams. I used raspberry jam, as I have a fixation for raspberry, but you can use anything you want really.

You see? I told you it was easy!

Enjoy! xxx

April 12, 2011

Recipe: Ramson and shallot yoghurt dip, with Asparagus.

The days are getting longer, the sun is shining, and we know summer is approaching. Warm is coming, BBQ season is coming, fresh vegetables will blow our mind at markets, and now it`s time for some refreshing easy to digest foods.  Soon we can choose from plenty of beautiful green or white asparagus, in some countries and regions ramson is blooming, and people go crazy for it. If you don`t know ramson(or bear onion) is a herb most likely to b found growing in the wild, usually on woods. In Eastern-Europe it`s very common, also in some places in North-America. To be honest, for a decent price it can be found all over the world, I saw them at markets and delis in Australia, Singapore and England as well.  Ramson tastes a bit like leek, but much better, it`s something that must be tried out, not just for the taste, but it`s very healthy as well. Also, can be used in so many ways, you can easily slice it in your sandwich or salad, or make soup, or even bread with.


When summer comes I always think about yoghurt. It`s easy, and sour, and cold, which is the most refreshing dip or side for a nice BBQ. My all time favourites are tzatziki and labna cheese balls. But nowadays I like to experiment. One thing is sure, onions go well with yoghurt. I just love the nice crunchy chopped fresh shallots, and red onions in the creamy white dip. Other thing I love is dipping, garlic breads and fresh vegetables, me is crazy for that stuff :) So eventually when I spotted the beautiful green bunch of fresh asparagus at the market today, I know I found my perfect companion for my dip.


 

Again, the recipe is easy. Cos I like sharing easy things :) But yes, it shouldnt take you more than 10 minutes making it! So Enjoy!

Ingredients.

(for 3-4 people, as a starter or snack)

200g greek or turkish thick yoghurt.

1 bunch of fresh green Asparagus. About half a kg., mine was 700g. Washed, the bottom cut off.

2 spoons of white wine vinegar

8 big leafs of ramson, rolled up, shiffanade.

2 big shallots, brunoise

salt

white pepper


Boil water in a medium saucepan. Add some salt. Out in Asparagus and cook for about 2-3 minutes. Make sure you don`t overcook. We are trying to keep a nice green colour here, if you cook it for long asparagus will turn grey..not pretty!

immediately put in cold water, or ice. Will keep the colour, and the veg will be nice and crunchy.

Mix the yoghurt with brunoise shallots, shiffanade ramson, vinegar, salt and pepper.

Serve with asparagus!

 

Enjoy!

March 28, 2011

Recipe: Citrus zucchini dip with honey!

I love dipping:) any kind of bread or meat into any kind of dip/sauce.  My ultimate favourites are the ones which are yoghurt based. especially tzatziki. And the roast vegetable ones come close second. Most of the time they are very easy to make, and are great apetizers and party food. They also look very nice most of the time, especially if onse make a pretty colourful selection.


On the other hand, I barely eat zucchini dip. Maybe it`s just me, but I don`t usually find any, eggplant or squash for example are lot more pupolar. Even thou zhucchini holds a lot of potential flavourwise. It has a nice fresh taste, and can be perfect for a nice summer bbq. That`s how I got the idea for citrus. I used fresh lemon and zest, and a spice blend, orange pepper. The spice is amazing, and i`m in love with it, so to  say it can really “spice up” some dishes, with an easy move!


The recipe is easy like A-B-C!, and can be ready in about 20 minutes.

Ingredients (3-4 people)

2 zucchini

2 shallots

juice and zest of 1 lemon

2 spoons of honey

1 spoon of orange pepper- if you do`nt have any orange pepper, add some white pepper, and some orange juice.

salt

Slice shallots and zucchini in small cubes. Don`t make them too small, leave them a bit chunky.

Fry over oil, in a frying pan, untill soft. Add lemon juice, zest, honey, and seasoning. Mix well, fry a bit more.

Transfer into a bowl, and blend with food processor, until still warm.

Keep in fridge to cool.

Enjoy!

March 21, 2011

Recipe: Lemon, Beetroot risotto with walnuts and thyme.

One other favourites from the risotto family, this time with beetroot! I can`t describe how much I love it, it just tastes cool and loving the funky purple colour! The base of the recipe and the idea comes from Sydney`s Fyrefly tapas bar where I used to be an apprentice a few years ago.  I fell in love with the dish straight away, I never thought beetroot can taste so nice. I wasn`t really a big fan of the veg, but now it`s in my top 10 favourite ingredients. Since, I experimented with it a bit more,at the restaurant we served it with scallops,but  I wanted to add some ingredients, so it can be a nice individual meal, or starter. As much as I liked it, it was still a bit boring on it`s own. From all the searching, lemon was a surprisingly good taste with it, and walnuts are always a great companion to beetroot. The recipe is incredibly easy, and can be done in no time! And its an amazing treat for a romantic dinner!


Ingredients

150g Arborio rise

1 shallot brunoise

1cup white, rose or red wine, DRY!

2 spoons of butter

3 cloves of garlic

approx. 3 cups of veg stock

2 medium big beetroot, cleaned, peeled, greated

zest and juice of 1 lemon

handful of chopped, toasted walnuts

salt, white pepper

fresh thyme


Make a simple risotto base, in a medium saucepan. Melting the butter, adding the shallots first, then garlic, arborio rise. Add the wine, stir a little, until the onions cover the rise, before you start adding the stock. Reduce heat, and start adding the stock only a little at time, wait till liquid is reduced, and add more. Repeat untill rice is almost cooked. It`s ready when the middle is still a bit crunchy.

Add the beetroot, give a little bit of time for it to cook. Add rest of the ingredients, mix well, season.

Serve with fresh parmesan cheese, and some garlic butter bread. It is a perfect companion to seafood.

Enjoy!

March 14, 2011

Recipe: Apple Risotto (pt.2) with Gorgonzola cheese

Once, a few months ago I already posted an apple risotto recipe. Since I cooked it a few times, in many variations, and just can`t belive in how many ways this delicious meal can be served or to be made.

Also nowadays I stopped adding creme to my risotto! I always used creme, that`s what I learned, but since, especially with plenty of italian influence, I realised it`s not so important. If you do it right, you don`t need the creme. I like them better now. The only thing is, now I add some butter at the end, it really brings out the taste, and gives a beautiful silky color!

Lats couple of days, I had a massive kitchen just for myself, and now I`m working on a big big project. It`s so big, everyday after working on it I realise it`s way over me, and can`t even belive I`m doing it. Also trying to improve my photography skills, I think I`m getting better. Also working completely alone gave me the patience to take the shots, and not just rush over them.


Adding the gorgonzola to the risotto, came a couple of days ago, when I noticed the fresh cheese, at one of the local markets. It just looked so delicious. So we had it for dinner with some fruits, strawberries, and crackers and apples. They went fantastic together, the soft runny cheese with the fresh crunchy apple was a match made in heaven. Then I started thinking..apple apple, risotto, wow GORGONZOLA! It must be tried out!  And yes it works just as nice as I thought it will be. The recipe is sooo easy, and fast, and so gourmet, you could impress anyone coming over for dinner!

Ingredients (for 2-3 people)

20g butter

2 shallots brunoise

3 cloves of brunoise garlic

100ml rose or white wine (dry)

150 g arborio rise

2 fresh apples, peeled, chopped in small cubes

150 g Gorgonzola cheese

salt, white pepper

fresh thyme

about 1 liter warm vegetable stock

In a medium saucepan melt butter, add shalots, stir and cook. Make sure the shallots don`t burn or turn brown. Add the apples and the garlic, stir, and soften the apples a little bit. Add white wine or rose wine. Add rice, and stir. Cook for a couple of minutes and start adding the stock, not more than 1 cup a time. You need to reduce the heat and stir occasionally, so the rice doesn’t burn. Whet the liquid is reduced, add an other cup of stock, repeating untill the risotto is ready. You`ll know when it`s good, when the middle is still only a little bit crunchy. Don`t overcook! When ready add the salt, white pepper, and thyme for taste!

Meanwhile, your risotto is cooking, melt the cheese over bain marie, stirring occasionally.

Serve the cheese on top of the risotto!


Enjoy!

Ps: It`s amazing with some fresh bread, and garlic butter, and some wine on the side!

 

March 6, 2011

Recipe: Blueberry bomb!

I don`t know about you but I just can`t wait for spring to start! I wan`t fresh fruits and vegetables, and sunshine. Being a bit fed up with winter, I often daydream about nice cocktail in the sun! Or even about a nice fresh fruit salad. That`s why when I spotted the fresh blueberries at the local market this weekend I was so happy! Finally! For a few weeks now  strawberries appeared, but the taste was rather disappointing. And there were no raspberries or blueberries Fortunately this is about to change.


Also making a promise for myself, that I`m going to eat breakfast as much as I can, and try to bring healthier choices in my diet, including plenty of fresh raw fruits. I picked up a pack of cereal in the local supermarket, with some vanilla flavoured yoghurt. To be honest I never really eat cereal, I find them too flavorless for my taste. And thought trying something new, would be good for a change. This tasty breakfast treat is ready in no minute, and is really a good way to kick-start the day! Just add all ingredients in a bowl, and enjoy the fruity sweetness!

Ingredients

Fresh blueberry

Vanilla flavoured yoghurt

Cereal

 

February 23, 2011

Recipe: Mozzarella-Pesto-and tomato tart.

 

Well, to be honest there`s absolutely nothing simple about this recipe. But sometimes chefs, bloggers, food lovers forget about the most simple and delicious treats. Also if you don`t have time or enough patience to make a pizza dough you can still use the puff pastry sheet, and the snack/breakfast/brunch will be ready in no time. Seriously, no time:) If you wanna go a bit more gourmet or experimental, add some anchovies if you like, or artichokes and capers. Or even buffalo mozzarella but watch out, there might be a bit much liquid in it, so don`t put too much. Anyway, you can`t go wrong!


Ingredients

1 sheet of ready made rolled up puff pastry

1 ball of mozzarella cheese

3 spoons of pesto

1 tomato

olives

salt,white pepper, oregano, rosemary.

Preheat your oven to 180C. Spread the pesto on the puff pastry evenly, with a pastry brush. Top with other ingredients. Don`t overcrowd your pastry, it`s not going to rise/cook. Bake for about 20 minutes. Don`t open door while baking! Enjoy!

February 21, 2011

Recipe: Dried appricot and double cheese pastry triangles.

 

I love puff pastry. Not as much making them but the result of hard work effort is always rewarding. In almost every supermarket, we can buy ready-made good quality puff pastry which can be used with almost anything. If you feel having some sweet or savoury treat, you`ll know within 30 minutes you can pick out something amazing tasting from our oven. It`s almost impossible to ruin them.


I had to cater a party not long ago, and the host asked me to make some snack from puff pastry, but something unique and gourmet. I was thinking how to fill them, to make them interesting and still tasty, and don`t go too much over the edge. Now that im re-living my gorgonzola period, I thought about cheese, but gorgonzola would have been a bit too strong by itself, so I mixed it with some grated swiss cheese. Still something was missing, when the idea of dried fruit came to mind. I mean who doesn’t like fruits with cheese? And yes it has been a success, since I can`t stop making them!

The recipe is very simple and the result is yummie!!!

Ingredients (for 8 triangles)

1 sheet of ready made rolled up puff pastry

5-6 pieces of dried apricots, sliced

gorgonzola and swiss cheese (not much)

1 egg

sesame seeds


Preheat your oven to 180 C. Put down baking paper on a baking tray. Mos rolled up puff pastry already come with a paper, so all you need to do is roll them out. Slice 8 square shaped slices. Fill one side with ingredients ( cheeses, and the dried apricots). And fold one side on to the other, into a triangle shape. Make sure you don`t over fill, and push the sides down good so they don`t open while baking. With a pastry brush apply egg wash on top and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for about 20 minutes!

Important: Dont overfill your tray with the pastry, as they double their size while baking. Don`t op oven door while baking!


Enjoy!

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