Archive for ‘Design’

October 2, 2011

Recipe: Gorgonzola, fig and peach bites

Well let me start with, this is not much of a recipe, but more like an idea. In a previous post I mentioned, I’ve been asked to cater a gin tasting night, so I need to come up with some bites, for about 50 people. My hands are a bit tied, as at the bar, I have minimum cooking facilities (pretty much only a chopping board and a knife) so the food needs to be cold, transportable, and if possible still created at the spot.

Also, what does one cook for a gin tasting? – I asked myself again, and the first hour I got nothing. I looked at my old recipes, and I came to the conclusion I prefer wine, and cook with or to wine. So that didn`t help much. I didn`t have any gin at home…also disadvantage. So gin..dry? Right? Right! So either something preferably very salty or something semi- sweet. So I ended up with 4 different bites 2 salty and 2 semi sweet ones. Which the first one I`m sharing with you now. Couple of weeks ago I posted a very similar recipe.. Gorgonzola toasts with poached figs , well yes I still have a fixation for figs, especially fresh one, and lucky me there are sort of in season now. I say “sort of” as they are indeed still in season, still impossible to find some. I wanted to use this recipe somehow, but I dont have any toast-privileges at the bar. So I thought a simple cracker will do the work. Also plain Gorgonzola is nice, but here I needed something which is not so rich in taste and a bit creamy. I ended up mixing the cheese with some spread. Why spread and no butter? Well butter turns bit hard when cold, even if its mixed with something else making it a bit difficult to work with, so spread does the work perfectly.

You need pretty much no time making these, so in case you planning a cocktail party, this recipe is highly recommended:) 

Ingredients

crackers

Gorgonzola cheese

plain unsalted spread, or even Philadelphia creme cheese is nice

figs

dried apricots.

Mix the cheese with the spread, slice  dried apricot in half. lay it down on the cracker with the sticky side down. Add a small spoon of cheese spread on top, and finish it with a thin slice of fig!

Enjoy!

 

March 23, 2011

Recipe: deep fried Mars bars!

Well, I remember when I moved to Sydney and entered to one of Bondi`s infamous chip shops, and noticed this Mars bar treat on the menu, I wasn`t convinced. Back then, I wasn`t really adventurous. Also I wasn`t convinced after 1 year as well, I thought I try and try and try later later later… Never happened.  And I was finishing college and finishing with Australian living and thought I must try this once, this and gambling.

The fried Mars bar was surprisingly good, before I tried to imagine how it might taste, I was close,but my imaginary version wasn`t nearly as good. Let me start, the dessert doesn`t taste as bad as it sounds. Actually it`s kinda delicious. The chocolate melts well with the batter, which still holds the whole thing together, it`s almoust like a chocolate filled doughnut, but much better! Anyway, you must try!

Of course the Aussies say it`s their invention, but I’ve been noted by a few people, that it`s oridinated to Scotland, and it`s a popular part of the chip shops “healthy diet”. Wikipedia says the same thing. Anyway I never been, and the Aussies and the Scots can argue on this as much as they want.  Today it`s been tested on 30 sweet loving people, who were very satisfied.


Ingredients

4 Mars bars

150 g self raising flour

150g dry coconut

2 eggs

1 cup milk

pinch of salt

plenty oil for frying.

Keep Mars bars in fridge before frying.

Make batter, with flour, coconut, milk, egg and salt in a bowl. It needs to b a bit thicker then a pancake mix. Just like any other batter.

Heat oil.

Take mars bars out of the fridge,, (remove packaging of course..) roll into flour, then dip into batter, make sure it covers the whole bar.

Gently put it in the hot oil. It has to cover the whole bar. It fries in approx. 1 minute, so make sure don`t burn.

It it straight up, maybe with some vanilla ice cream!

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 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 27, 2011

Recipe: Sunday Brunch treat, poached egg with lemon spinach and fried bacon.

It`s sunday morning, maybe you just woke up, and a brunch would be just amazing? Too lazy to go out and spend your lunch with the noisy crowd? Brunch at home could just be as much fun, especially if you invite some guests. You really don`t need to do anything over the edge, some eggs, grilled vegetables, and maybe a fruit salad with yoghurt and you are done.

This recipe is one of the last stops of my spinach addiction. The idea came almost a year ago when I visited London`s “Bocca di lupo`s” where one of the side dishes was cold spinach with some lemons…that time it came with lentils and sausage, and i thought well, it could be amazing with poached eggs. From all the eggs, poached is my favourite, first of all they just look cool, and i do love the “traditional” asparagus and hollandaise combination, but I wanted to create something different.


When you go shopping for the bacon make sure you buy whole and not sliced ones, so you can slice it up yourself, into medium big cubes. And leave a bit of time for the spinach to cool. Also don`t worry if your poached egg doesn`t turn out to be perfect straight away, it needs some practice, also be patient with it, and follow the steps written.

Ingredients (2 person)

0.5 kgs of fresh spinach leafs

1 big ciabatta bread, cut 4 four triangles

8medium b cube slices of bacon

1 lemon

bit of chopped garlic

salt

white pepper

white vinegar

2 eggs(you can have more with bigger appetite of course)

Fry the well washed clean, and chopped spinach leafs over a little oil, and when almost ready add the juice from the lemon.  Add salt, and white pepper. Set aside in a colinder to cool and reduce the liquid.

Bring water to boil in a small saucepan. Add vinegar, and salt. Break the egg in, carefully, not far from the water and don`t drop it in too fast…be easy with it! With a wooden spoon start folding the whites over the yolk, untill it covers. Cook a little bit more until it gets a bit harder. Take it out carefully with a spoon.

Fry the bacon until crispy. Toast the ciabatta breads.

Serve the spinach on top of the bread, then the bacon and the egg. Enjoy your brunch!


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 13, 2011

Recipe: Caramel and Amaretto Cupcakes recipe!

 

Now I started experimenting with cupcake frosting, and finally found a good oven at my workplace which doesn`t have a strong ventilation, so my cakes turn out to be decent nowadays.

Experimenting with the frosting is nice..not as much in colour but in taste. Adding some flavoured alcoholic drink like amaretto or triple sec, can really make some wonders. For the cakes, I found the most amazing basic vanilla cake recipe on Australias taste.com.au. The recipe is perfect, and it`s higly recommended to be used. Just follow the steps one by one!

Basic vanilla cupcake recipe ingredients by taste.com.au

200g butter, softened

  • 1 3/4 cups (370g) caster sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 3/4 cups (405g) self-raising flour
  • 1 cup (250ml) milk
  • Butter frosting

  • 200g butter, softened
  • 6 cups (900g) icing sugar mixture
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) milk

Extras for taste: Ready made caramel topping, 3 shots of amaretto, and 4 tbs of cocoa powder!

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 24 1/3 cup (80ml) muffin pans with patty cases.
  2. Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla bean paste with an electric mixer. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until just combined. Add the flour and milk in alternate batches and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined.
  3. Spoon mixture evenly among the patty cases. In the middle add some caramel topping and cover with dough. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. For the frosting, use an electric mixer to beat the butter until very pale. Gradually add the icing sugar while beating. Add the milk and beat until well combined. Add cocoa powder and amaretto
  5. Divide frosting into small bowls and colour. Use a small palette knife or round-bladed knife to spread the icing

 

February 7, 2011

Recipe: Poppy seed cupcakes with orange/triple sec frosting.

After visiting New York, I couldn`t wait to go home and start making my own cupcakes. I had so many ideas, but lack of time to make all of them. Now when I have some time at work, I try to sneak some cakes in the oven, and try experimenting. unfortunately the oven at work isn`t really cupcake friendly. The problem is with the ventilation. First of all it`s waaaaay too hot, and the ventilation is so strong the cakes become a bit well”funny shaped” The taste is good, it just looks a bit funny, but doesn’t matter as people still like them, so im happy.


From a party I had plenty of icing leftover, it was for a cake and it`s a bit runnier then the usual butter cream frosting, so it was just good to dip the cakes in it. I was a bit worried, but they turned out just fin, and the taste was still rich and enjoyable.

Ingredients (for 24 cupcakes)

• 2 cups all purpose flour
• 1 1/2 cups sugar
• 3 teaspoons baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 4 egg whites from large eggs
• 1/2 cup shortening
• 1 cup 2% milk

  • • 2 large eggs• 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup ground poppy seed

Icing

250g butter

2 cups icing sugar

1 cup milk

juice of one orange

handful of orange zest

1 shot of triple sec

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Line the cupcake pans with paper liners. Combine flour, baking powder, sugar salt, shortening milk, vanilla in a mixing bowl. Mix on low speed untill combined. Add egg whites and mix untill fluffy and smooth, on high speed. Mix in the poppy seed.

Using 2 spoons, or an ice cream scoop, fill the liners, but don`t over fill, your cupcakes are going to rise. Bake for about 20-25 minutes. Leave it on a wire rack to cool when ready.

Icing- Beat the butter with the icing sugar until smooth, add the milk, the juice, zest, and the triple sec.

Ice your cupcakes, and decorate them as you like!

Enjoy!

 


January 23, 2011

New York: Billys Bakery

Billy’s Bakery

184 9th Avenue
Between 21st and 22nd Streets

Website

If you are visiting New York, and if you have this thing for cupcakes, Magnolia Bakery isn`t the only place worth visiting. In fact the city is the heaven for cupcake lovers, offering fresh delights almost on every street or corner. I found “Billy’s Bakery” in Chelsea, and the fresh cakes being frosted and decorated in the huge window just attracted me in. They were so cute, colourful, and pretty, we had o try one. Red Velvet cake is of course the favourite, the only other place beside the states was London`s “Hummingbird Bakery” where I could find them, they were delicious.


The shop in Chelsea, is tiny, but plenty to choose from. I loved the rustic interior design, Everything is so colourful, like you were in a fairy tale. Here you could also have a small look on the cake making process, to be honest I have this thing for open kitchens. Chefs, bakers etc shouldnt be hidden, this way you can bring the costumers a bit closer.


The cakes were delicious, the price usually is about 3 dollars per cake. If you are either in Chelsea or Tribeca I would recommend treating yourself with a cupcake!

January 17, 2011

New York: Chelsea Market in words and pictures

Chelsea Market

75 9th Avenue (Between 15th and 16th streets), New York

Chelsea Market Website

Chelsea Market building New York

Chelsea Market building New York

This enclosed shopping center and food court was once home of the famous Oreos, and is now one of the No.1 meeting point of the city’s gourmet food lovers. Naturally I had to visit it. If you want a piece of advise, you won`t have breakfast before you go there. The market has plenty to offer! From cupcakes to foccacia, from risotto to sushi, even if you are picky, you`ll want to try them all.

Chelsea Market, New York, Amys Bakery

Chelsea market Amy`s Bakery

Gourmet food tours, should be the best way to visit the area. The tours are available on the markets website. Unfortunately I didn’t know about these, and only discovered them when we arrived to the market, they seemed fun and interesting, and surely You can try, and taste more products this way, also you can learn some insight stories about the establishments. Next time I visit I`ll surely join one of them, but not only the market`s but whole a whole Chelsea tour.

Chelsea Market- Amy`s Bakery, Lobster`s place

Amy`s Bakery, Lobsters place, Chelsea Market New York

2 of my favourite businesses were “Amy`s Bakery” and “Lobster`s Place”- even thou I dont` eat seafood. If you are a sushi lover I would strongly recommend to pick up 1 or 2 plates of freshly made rolls there, or just look at the making process from the window. And of course fresh lobsters and plenty other seafood is available. What I liked the most, is the presentation of different products, from all around the market, everything is so organized, colourful and creative! And most of the time, open, so you can look at the production process of several bakery, or restaurants, or pretty much anything.

Chelsea Market, New York, Buon Italia

Chelsea market, New York, Buon Italia


Chelsea and it`s market should be a foodies dream destination when visiting New York Ci, it`s a nice walk from Times Square for the more adventurous tourists!

 

Chelsea market, New york- Buon Italia

Buon Italia, Chelsea market, New York