Archive for ‘recipe’

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!

August 23, 2011

Recipe: Halloumi cheese and pesto bites

 

 

I finally managed to find some decent halloumi cheese in the supermarket. Let me tell you, I love them! Its a great substitute for a vegetarian BBQ, which meat lovers will like as well. These cheese is traditionally Cyprian, and very popular in The Middle East and Greece. Usually made by sheep’s or goats milk, sometimes there are cows milk based available too.

The best thing about it: It goes ell with almost anything, with chili or sweeter sauces, vegetables, grills, prosciutto, salads..you name it. Spices as well can be used while grilling, I would recommend sumac and some cured lemon.

I had to try out some bread recipes today, and ended up, with a nice thin sourdough, which is perfect toasted with some olive oil. I thought it ill go well with the halloumi, just wanted to make it a  bit colorful As I said it goes well with almost anything, I thought I add some grilled tomatoes, and since I had a pesto open just spread it on the toast. The result was yummy! The combination of the flavors was just amazing, and nothing beats fresh home-made bread! Its perfect as a welcome snack or to a wine tasting or to pretty much any food-loving occasion!

Note: If its your first time grilling halloumi, there’s a few things you should know. Fry it in a non-stick frying pan. Make sure the pan is burning hot…and I mean literally burning hot! Use only a drop of olive oil, not much more! Don`t overcrowd, so try and fry maybe 3-4 at once, or else the temperature will drop and your cheese is going to melt instead if grilling. Just brown each side and your cheese is ready!

Heat a frying pan, add a couple of spoons of olive oil, toast the bread slices at both sides

Spread some pesto over the toasts, while they are still warm so it melts a bit.

heat the same frying pan, until burning hot

add halloumi cheese and fast fry on both sides

when finished with cheese add tomato halves, and grill

season with a bit of sumac and white pepper only if you like

be careful with salt, as the cheese itself is very salty!

Enjoy!!

August 22, 2011

Recipe: Pea and mint soup, with balsamic glaze and tomato bread.

 

 

It looks like every summer has a “trend” soup, especially among Budapest caterers/restaurants/bloggers. This summer it seems to me, the craze is, minted pea soup. This one I actually do like. It`s easy to make, it goes well with plenty of sides and garnishes. And actually is plenty tasty. And I like easy and simple, and of course the light green color is funky:)  (note: Im really sleepy, just going to cut the chase, and continue writing the recipe…)

Don`t overcook the peas, as the color of the soup will become dark. You can use fresh or frozen peas, this is really up to you. The soup sometimes can use some Parmesan cheese, as a garnish, will become very tasty. You can use ready-made balsamic glaze, is just as good as home-made ones. Very easy just boil balsamic vinegar with some sugar.

Ingredients For 3-4 serves

3 onions thinly sliced

4 cloves of garlic, crushed

3 spoons of butter

1 glass of dry red wine

2-3 handful frozen or fresh peas

100 ml creme

0,5 liter of vegetable stock

handful of fresh garden mint

salt, white pepper

4 slices of sourdough bread

2 tomatoes

In a saucepan melt butter. Add onion, soften it, be sure doesn’t get brown.

Add garlic, and peas, mix well.Add wine and saute the vegetables.

Add half of the stock and bring it to boil.

When peas are soft remove from stove add mint and blend. Make sure you blend well, as sometimes there can be a couple of hard peas.

Add remaining stock, and creme, and bring back to boil. Stir well, and blend again if needed.

Serve with balsamic glaze, and tomato bread… goes well with cool dry rose or white wine!

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!

April 4, 2011

Recipe: Chili lime and prawn Risotto recipe.

Risotto. Why? Because it`s so much fun:) Endless possibilities in one simple meal, ready in no time, and everybody loves it. Even if they say no, they secretly like `em:)

Also chili and lime together is delicious, not to mention if you hide s bit of seafood, in it, you end up with one unique gourmet dinner. Trust me, you can only get compliments for this one. The recipe is simple and fast, and the result is culinary heaven :)


So long story short… here is the recipe:

Basic Risotto recipe

150g Arborio rise

50g butter

100ml rose or white wine

2 shallots

3 cloves of garlic

1liter of veg stock approx.

And the delicious extras:

zest and juice of 1 lime

100ml sweet chili sauce

100g of cocktail prawns, of a couple of fresh scampi

1 fresh green shallot thinly sliced.

bit of fresh coriander and some green pepper.


Cook a basic risotto base. Melting the butter, adding the thinly sliced onions, garlic, arborio rise, and wine. Constantly adding a bit of stock, reducing the liquid, adding more stock, untill rise is ready. The outside in nice and soft, and a bit, BUT ONLY A BIT! crunchy in the inside.

Meanwhile melt some butter over a frying pan. Needs to but hot hot hot! Add your prawns or scampi. Fry both sides, add the sweet chilli sauce, stir.

Add zest and juice to risotto. Mix with prawns. Wait a bit stirring, untill flavours combine. Season with salt, coriander and green pepper.

Serve with green shallots and sweet chili on top!

You see? i told you it`s easy:)

Enjoy!

 

April 3, 2011

Recipe: Mini Tomato foccacia bites

Well, I never kept my foccacia obsession a secret, and I guess soon i will need to seek therapy, because I`m just hooked on the amazing tomato bread. The whole thing is just brilliant. It`s cheap, it`s easy, it`s fast, and just soooo yummy!  And not to forget FUN! Soon it`s BBQ season, also perfect timing for parties, and picnic, outdoor fun, and having friends and family over. And good hosts give good food:) Smart good hosts try not to make this not too difficult for themselves:) So foccacia is highly recommended. Especially these little bites.


To be honest there’s absolutely no difference between these and a normal oven foccacia. They just have a fun shape, and easy access at a party. If you wan`t to make them even more fun, you add different colourful toppings, like red bell peppers or zucchini, or just simple herbs, maybe even pesto?

The basic dough is easy peasy. And 1 kg of flour makes plenty. And I mean plenty!  Also don`t forget, they disapear kinda fast. My motto is you can never have enough foccacia:)


Ingredients

1kg of flour

2 spoons of dry yeast

4 spoons of sugar

4 spoons of salt

600ml of luke warm water.

Tomato slices, olive oil, salt, white pepper, crushed garlic, mixed together in a bowl.

In a medium big bowl, sift in flour. Make a hole n the middle, add yeast, sugar and salt. Mix well together

Add water, only a little at the time, and mix with wooden spoon. When flour takes up enough water, transfer on a clean table, and start kneading. Add more flour or water if needed. The dough needs to be medium hard, a bit elastic, easy to knead.

Oil up  medium bowl, put in dough mix, cover and let ir rise at a warm place. It usually needs an hour. Really depending on the quality of the ingredients. Sometimes it triples it`s size within an hour, sometimes it needs more time and patience.

Preheat your oven to 220C.

Roll the dough out, to about 2 cm thickness. With a small glass, or pastry cut, make small rounds. Put them on an oiled baking tray. (Foccacia loves oil, so depending on your taste you can use plenty of olive oil if you like). Make sue you don`t put the rounds too close to each other. place a slice of tomato on top of each, push them into the dough a little bit, so they stay.

Put them in the oven for about 15 minutes, or untill golden brown. leave on a wire rack to cool.

Enjoy the tasty tomato bread goodness!

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 15, 2011

Spring Rolls pt1: Spinach, smoked cheese and jalapeno

I love spring rolls, I also like making them. I mastered this activity in England, when sometimes I had to make a few hundred weekly. So I guess I had my chance to practice:) Now when it comes to spring roll pastry, it`s easy to use, untill you follow a couple of easy steps, after you shouldn`t have any problems with rolling your own:) What I like about it the most is, you can fill it with whatever you want, it can be vegetarian, or sweet, or meat, or even seafood, any spice, or cheese goes well with it. It`s really up to your own creativity what you make out of it!

And again, spinach is in season, and I`m already a bit addicted to it, and thought it would be good in my spring rolls. I wanted to add some extra flavour to it thou, when I found the smoked cheese in the fridge, it would give a nice thick and rich flavour I thought. But something was missing, I’ve been thinking about adding some chilly, but that would have been way too hot, especially if someone bites on it. I still had some jalapeno left over, and slicing it into small cubes would do the trick. The filling recipe is very easy, there’s few things you need to watch out for thou. Here are the crucial points:


  1. Get rid of as much excess water from the spinach as possible
  2. Make a thick filling mix
  3. The spring roll pastry dries out very fast, so ALWAYS cover after opening, with a clean cloth. You can also sprinkle some water on the cloth, but make sure don`t make it too wet, that also damages the pastry!
  4. When filling and rolling the pastry, make sure you do it tightly, otherwise it`s going to open, or blow up while frying.
  5. In case you storing it in fridge, never put foil on top. It sweats, and damages the pastry, just leave it open on a tray, you can put some baking paper under it.
  6. Always fill with ready to eat ingredients, fry in very hot oil.

Ingredients (for 10 spring rolls)

10 sheets of spring rolls pastry, defrosted, separated. Only separate as much as you need, the leftovers, cover in foil and put it in fridge.

2 cloves of garlic

300 g fresh spinach leafs, washed

200 g smoked cheese grated

150 g jalapeno peppers, chopped.

white from 1 egg

salt, pepper.


In a frying pan, fry the spinach leafs with garlic salt and pepper, over a bit of  oil. When ready put in a colinder, and try to push out as much liquid as possible.

Transfer in a bowl, and mix with cheese and jalapeno.

With your hands fold your mix into 10 individual batches, about 5 cm long rolls.

Put down 1 pastry, 1 angle facing you and brush the sides, with egg white, using a pastry brush. Dont put too much egg white.

Take one of your batches, put it down, to the angle facing you, fold the angle on it, firmly, start rolling up.

Stop before the middle, fold in the 2 angles, put some more egg white, and firmly start rolling to the top.

Fry in hot oil!

Enjoy!

 

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