Archive for ‘Uncategorized’

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 18, 2011

Recipe: Chili and orange cookies

 

Who doesnt like cookies? As they can come in many sizes, packages,  not to even mention the taste. Wel just like a cupcake or a muffin, the flavour can be changed just the way we want. There are plenty of good quality cookies available in stores, especially nice gourmet ones are getting popular too.

But making them is so damn easy. Although I think everyone should find a basic recipe, that works for them. After all sort of ingredients can be added, pretty much anything from chocolate chips, to caramel, to chili and coconut..you name it! 🙂 There`s plenty of dough recipes on the internet, some are a bit complicated some are easy as ABC, the outcome will always be planty of delicious cookies.

So here is the basic cookie recipe I use, with the baking it will b ready in about 20-25 minutes, makes about 20 pieces.

Ingredients

250g butter, softened

140g caster sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 egg yolk

300g plain white flour

2 thai chilies, seeds removed, chopped finely (you can use more or less chilies, depending on how strong are the ones you have)

100g candied orange zest, ready or home made.

Preheat the oven to 180C. Beat the butter in a bowl with a whisk, until soft and white. Beat in sugar.

Add egg yolk, beat in well, add vanilla extract.

Add chili and orange zest. Mix in well with a wooden spatula.

Fold in flour, don`t add to much at a time.

Lay down baking sheets on a trey.

Spoon in dough mixure, one should be a bit smaller then a golf ball. Make sure you leave some space between the cookies, as they will spread while baking.

Bake for about 12-15 minutes. Don`t worry when you take them out, the dough still going to be soft! Leave them to cool for a couple of minutes. Transfer later to a wire rack, to cool completely!

Enjoy!

July 5, 2011

A bit of Hungarian: Cold fruit soup recipe!

 

The reason I`m saying it`s Hungarian is, I never saw cold fruit soup in other countries, but I might be wrong. Well summer is here and it`s always nice to have something refreshing and new, so I thought I give this one a go and see how people like the idea. In my country its very popular, easy to make even thou the recipe changes pretty much in every household. I don`t think I ever made one with the exact same ingredients, so here I`ll just give you a general guide and ideas to how to prepare the soup. Yes we are talking about a sweet dish, but it’s not a dessert, well it can be, it’s up to you really, ones with the sweet tooth going to fall in love with  that`s for sure.

To start cooking: For the base I always use the juices of canned fruits, the general base is the juice and brine of sour cherries, the fruits I’ll keep aside for the finish. Basically you can make a pretty good mix out of whatever you got at home: pineapple juice, apple, peaches..don`t use orange juice thou. My favourite mixes are from berries anyway, frozen or fresh it’s up to you. But note the fruits only go into the soup, when its ready, those you don`t need to cook. Sometimes when I use lemons, oranges etc for cooking I keep the skin and free it for later, those can be added to the sop base as well. Here is a basic recipe for approx. 4 people… but this one you’ll always need to taste while cooking, as of course quality of the juices or the wine can differ, sometimes you need more sugar or etc. Basically you need to taste a sweet, aromatic flavour, and of course the taste of the wine as well. Trust me it`s worth experimenting! Once you find the right ingredients you will see its very very easy to make!

Ingredients

0,5kg of fresh or frozen fruits, sour cherries, berries..

4 spoons of sugar

pinch of salt

2-3 cinnamon sticks

5 cloves

1 liter of fruit juice from canned fruits – especially from sour cherries

2-2 lemons and oranges cut in half

0,5 liter of dry red wine

0,5 liter of water

For thickening: 3 spoons of white flour, 2 dl of sour creme, of creme fraiche

Put the water, the juices, wine cinnamon, cloves, lemons, oranges, sugar, salt into a pot and bring it to boil. Taste, if you find it a bit tasteless or not sweet enough add some more sugar, or wine or juices. Mix the flour with the sour creme in a separate bowl, mix in a couple of spoons of the hot soup base, and whisk it in the boiling soup to thicken it. Bring it to boil again. Transfer trough a colander into a serving bowl, getting rod of the cinnamon, etc, add the fruits, and let it cool. Keep in fridge until serving!

Enjoy!

May 11, 2011

so the thing is….

I wrote a blog entry…I loved it…Wordpress deleted it..and all my drafts Ive been working on…. Im not happy..tomorrow new post!

April 25, 2011

Update…

Well it`s been 2 weeks since my last post, I’m not really proud of it though! Plenty of things going on here, work and work and work, which is not bad, so I`m not complaining, just wish I had some more time (or energy)  for blogging. But, of course I`ve been cooking, and taking pictures, so soon plenty of new recipes coming your way! Thank you for the visits and comments, and hopefully you`ll all be back for more!

xxx

The Wonderingchef

Ps: Here are some pictures about the future recipes!

Brie and Ruccola Spring rolls with blueberry jam!

I`ll see you after eight cupcake!

Feta Cheese pockets

Feta Cheese Pockets!

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 17, 2011

Recipe: Butternut bread puffs

Here is an other vegetarian treat for you, and an other easy and yummi way to cook butternut. The idea came from a mexican corn puff my father used to make when I was a child. It was soooo easy and so tasty, as a child I loved it, and still, when I make a party at home it frequently comes up as a treat for my guests.

Again, the recipe is very easy. The fried dough is somewhere between a doughnut and fresh bread, it`s very easy to eat it without stopping it`s so delicious! You can also serve it with several dips, I found that some fresh greek yoghurt with dill and shallots are the perfect companions. Or you can try some pesto dip, or pretty much whatever you like! Ps…serve it with some crunchy fresh vegetables!

Ingredients

(As a starter or a snack for 5-6 people)

  • Half of a butternut, skin off, chopped i medium cubes
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • salt, pepper,sumac,curry
  • 1kg of flour
  • 2 packs of dried yeast
  • 3 eggs

yoghurt dressing

  • 1 cup greek, thick yoghurt
  • 2 red shallots, finely chopped
  • handful of chopped fresh dill
  • 1 spoon white vine vinegar
  • salt, white pepper

 

First roast the butternut with the garlic, some olive oil and the spices in the oven, for about 20 minutes (or untill soft and easy to mash) on 180C.

Meanwhile mix the flour, egg, and the yeast. Set it aside and wait for the butternut to be ready. When soft, mash it and mix it together with the dough. If it’s too soft add some more flour. Set aside for about 30 minutes or until it starts to rise.

Chop some red shallots, fresh dill and mix with the yoghurt and the vinegar. Season. Keep in fridge.

When dough is ready, for small balls with your hands. About half a size of a golf ball. Deep fry. Make sure your oil isn`t too hot, as the dough rises for the double while frying, and the middle might end up raw.

Serve with the yoghurt and some fresh vegetables!

Enjoy!

 

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!

 


February 6, 2011

Recipe: Spicy butternut Arancini balls!

Well, if there`s one thing I really like, is fried food. It`s a bad habit and I should eat much MUCH less from it, as a hungarian it regularly comes back into my “diet”. For a while I thought we are the only nation who obsessed with it. And I mean seriously, we deep fry anything! Cheese, chicken, cauliflower, pumpkin, anything, and sometimes it seems to me this it the only food we really sell in food court`s or in take aways. Other thing I really like is italian food, dunno why I always did enjoy my pasta and fresh vegetables, and antipasto buffets. When I realised italians also love dipping their food into hot oil. Such like arancini, or the other name suppli.

Arancini, are very easy to make, and they are very filling. We are talking about a bit al dante risotto base mixed with some egg, mozzarella cheese, and butter, rolled into balls, batter, and deep fried. One can be a snack between meals, or 3 of them with some salad can make a complete lunch, as they are very filling.  Also, they are a good way to reycle some leftover risotto from last nights dinner, into a snack which the whole family enjoys. And as much as you can make risotto from pretty much anything, so you can make arancini balls from about anything.

We are coming close to butternut season, and now the kitchen I`m currently working in, has it`s hands on a very big delivery of butternut, so we are trying to put various things on the menu that people might still and enjoy, and can be a bit of change after butternut soup for example. So came the idea of butternut arancini!

Ingredients (for about 10 medium sized balls)

2 cups of cooked risotto rise, dry, not overcooked, not seasoned

1 half of a medium butternut, no skin, no seeds

spices sumac, white pepper, kurkuma, cajun pepper, salt

3 cloves of garlic chopped

olive oil

1 big mozzarella-chopped

1 egg

3 spoons of butter

flour, egg wash, and breadcrumbs for the batter

Cut medium big cubes out of the butternut, season it with the spices, add some olive oil and the garlic, put it on a baking tray, and roast it for about 25 minutes on 180C in the oven. It might take longer time, It`s ready when you can easily mash the butternut with a fork.

Cook the risotto rise, on some butter, gradually adding the stock, and reducing the liquid. It`s ready when the rice is only a littlebit hard in the middle. Take it off the heat but don`t cool!

To the medium warm risotto base add the butter-it has to melt inside, the egg- make sure you whisk it very fast, or you going to end up with scrambled eggs in your rise, and the mashed butternut, and the chopped mozzarella. The mozzarella also has to melt in your mix. If doesn`t put it back on the heat, make sure it doesn`t burn!

Form medium sized balls… well, the size is somewhere between a tennis ball and a table tennis ball. It`s a good handful. Start battering, as dipping it first to the flour, and egg, and breadcrumbs. Now here the egg and breadcrumb part you need to do twice, so the batter will hold, and won`t fall off during frying.  Fry in hot oil..make sure you have enough oil to cover the balls completely!

Enjoy! As it is really!:)

 

February 5, 2011

Recipe: Pizza Rustica with spinach, mozzarella and ham!

Pizza Rustica is fun and easy, you need a good dough, some fillings and you are ready! If you have guests coming over it`s a bit more interesting than a normal pizza nd you can gather many many nice compliments from your friends and family. I first noticed them in Puglia, where the cheese and ham filing is the most common. To be honest i wasn`t really impressed with the one I had there as it was a bit dry for my taste. But I liked the general idea and wanted to come up with my own version.

The dough is a basic bread and foccacia dough, which is very very easy to make. Note to self when you choose the filling for pizza rustica is that the dough needs a very warm 230C oven, so if you pick same raw ingredients like meat etc., most likely not going to cook within 10 minutes. So make sure the stuffing is already ready to eat. Besamel sauce -not a lot just a little- can prevent the dough getting too dry, and even a day after making it will be nice and soft.

Ingredients

Dough

  • 1,5 Kg. bread flour
  • 4 tbs dried yeast
  • 2tbs sugar
  • 3tbs salt
  • 600ml luke warm water

Filling

  • 10 slices of ham
  • 1kg of fresh spinach
  • 2 cloves of garlic chopped
  • bit of oil
  • 1 big mozzarella sliced
  • bechamel sauce – butter, milk, flour, nutmeg, salt,white pepper

Sift the flour in a big bowl, make a hole in the middle, add the yeast, the sugar and the salt, and mix it together. gradually add the water, and mix it with a wooden spoon, make sure your dough isn`t too wet, otherwise you`ll need to add more flour. Take it out from the bowl, to a clean lightly floured surface, and mix it well together. Add more flour or water if needed. Put it in a clean bowl with some oil, and cover it with a clean cloth. Leave it at a warm place, so it can rise.

Note: Usually the dough doubles its size in about 1 hour. Depending on your flour or yeast it can take up to a little more time so don`t worry. Don`t touch it or start making it if the dough didn`t rise!

Meanwhile, if you use fresh spinach, wash it at least 2-3 times, and make sure its clean. Chop it up a little, and saute it with some oil, garlic, salt and pepper. If you use frozen spinach leafs, make sure you get rid of as much excess water as possible. Make some bechamel, not much, if you don`t want to mess around with it, as you need only a little, you can use sour creme or creme fraische as a substitute. Get the rest of the ingredient`s ready, and heat up your oven to 230C.

When your dough is ready, take it out of the bowl, and mix it a little bit more. Cut in half. Knead the first half to the shape of your baking tray. Make sure your tray is well oiled. Put the dough in and add the ingredients. First some bechamel (not much just lightly, to cover, the ham, spinach, and the cheese on top. Knead the rest of the dough and cover. With a fork make some holes on the top, and put it in your oven. It usually needs not more than 15 minutes to be ready! Put it on a wire rack to cool. And enjoy the heavenly pizza!