Posts tagged ‘Cooking’

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!

 

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September 29, 2011

Recipe: Raspberry and coconut cupcakes…again!

Hey there! I know it`s been a while, and I have no other excuse apart from working working and working. I know, we all do, but reading some fellow bloggers updates and recipes, made want to come back and write some more (again). I didn`t even check wordpress for a while .. I was trying to turn my head, and try to forget I became a bit lazy with the writing, as well as taking pictures. So to be honest i have no new recipes yet..there`s plenty on my mind, but it looks like I`m about to have a bit of a time and get back o clicking that camera again. 🙂 And! I have tons and tons of comments I need to reply to, so if you were wondering why im ignoring you… I`m sorry, it`s really just me and not you!

I`m also a bit excited, just been asked to make some bites and finger food for an up coming hip gin and cocktail tasting night, and I`m sooooo happy! But! What does one cook for a gin night? Well I came up with 6 ideas, will post the pictures, recipes and the feedback as soon as I got them! Also! Halloween is, well almost here. Me needs Halloween recipes, ideas etc..so if you have a favorite and if you wanna share them with me..you are very welcome!

But, don`t think I`m going to leave you without a recipe! Even thou I do admit it`s going to be one of those “copy and paste” ones. At least it`s mine thou:) The reason for the copy and paste is as I mentioned, I don`t really have pictures of my new recipes, but I have a new picture of an old favorite.. The Raspberry and coconut cupcake. Turns out from the statistics it`s one of the most popular posts on my blog, and I have to admit I HATE the old photo. It`s from the time I started experimenting with backgrounds and came and all that jazz, and it`s just soooooooo bad! I`m not saying the picture is great now, but it does look better ( I hope). Also, the cupcake is great, and if you bake it, you will know I`m right! So enjoy, I hope you like the photos, I hope you will still come back for more recipes. Love you all! Me The Wonderingchef!

Raspberry and Coconut cupcakes

I found the perfect cupcake base on taste.com.au, but soon I realised it is exactly the same as the ones in my Australian Women`s weekly magazines. The recipe is PERFECT! If you follow the steps, you going to end up with an amazing moist cake. I use this for the basics, and flavour the dough after. With whatever I got really:) I can`t describe how much I love this recipe!

The basic cupcake recipe as on 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
  • I added 5 spoons of home made raspberry jam and beetroot powder for colouring.
  • Butter frosting

  • 200g butter, softened
  • 6 cups (900g) icing sugar mixture
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) milk
  • Instead of milk i used cocnut milk, and dry coconut sprinkles!  The taste was just amazing!

 

  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 beetroot powder, stir until combined. Add the flour and milk in alternate batches and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined. Stir in the raspberry jam.
  3. Spoon mixture evenly among the patty cases. 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  coconut milk and beat until well combined. Stir in the dry coconut flakes.
  5. Divide frosting into small bowls and colour. Use a small palette knife or round-bladed knife to spread the icing.
July 11, 2011

Recipe: Simple meal for 2

 

I always say simple meals are the best. Yes of course I like eating out, and have something fancy, but after spending most of my time in the kitchen,nothing beats home-made.

Now its summer, fresh vegetables are just over the roof, its hot and we need fruits and greens. Again Im not vegetarian, but I much prefer meatless dishes. One of my new favourite ingredients and greens are the romanesco broccoli. Why? Cos they just look fun, and the taste is somewhere between a broccoli and a cauliflower, cooks really fast, and goes well with most of the meats, especially steak. But this time “We” are not frying steaks, we making pasta.

Pasta always comes in handy, when you have not much time, or want to create something simple. However you make it, it`s going to be good. Sometimes I just look around what I have hidden at home, and a new recipe gets born every time..true story! :)So, last time I`ve been to the market, and spotted the romanesco I thought I come up with a pasta dish. It goes well with cream and garlic, so this was pretty much set. I had some spinach stuffed ravioli, and some mozzarella balls, so one part of the meal was covered.

With all of this I wanted something fresh and light. Bruschetta works all the time as well. I mean it`s one of the best meals ever. Just chop up some tomatoes with garlic and basil, and salt, put it over olive oil toast, and you have the perfect appetizer or party food. To make it look even better, try and pick up various cherry and regular tomatoes, red, yellow, green you name it, its going to look fantastic!

I also wanted to make some simple salad. I had some red wine seeded mustard at home, which I didn`t have the chance to try yet. My favourite lettuce is romaine lettuce, so most of the time I use that, and I juts love fresh cress. especially onion cress. So the salad was set as well.

When you get a meal ready, dont over think it. Just look around what you have at home, hiding in your fridge, pick up some things from the market or grocer which you fancy, and want to try, and even the smallest efforts go a long way.

Ingredients

Tortelloni with romanesco cream and mozzarella

A pack of fresh stuffed tortelloni for 2

half of a romanesco

100g of small mozzarella balls

100ml of creme

2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced

salt, white pepper

small slice of butter

Cook the tortelloni in hot boiling water, it gets ready just in a couple of minutes. Meanwhile, divide the romanesco in small roses, put it in boiling water, and cook just for a couple of minutes until soft. Don`t over cook it, when ready leave it under cold running water for a bit. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter, add the garlic and creme, bring it to boil and watch not to burn it.  Add the romanesco, salt and pepper to taste, stir and add the pasta, make sure it all warms trough. Put it in a serving plate and put the mozzarella balls on top. Just let it melt a little over.

Ingredients

“Rainbow” bruscetta

2 ciabatta breads

a selection of fresh colourful tomatoes yellow, zebra, green, cherry, and red

3-4 cloves of garlic

pinch of pink Himalayan salt

4-5 leafs of fresh basil

Toast the bread slices in a frying pan over olive oil. Set aside. Slice and mix all ingredients together. Spread it over bread. YUM!!!!

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 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 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!

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 27, 2011

Recipe: Hungarian “Csoroge” doughnut recipe

 

Well, when I started this blog, I wanted to include plenty of Hungarian or Eastern European recipes. Sadly it`s not happening much, first of all, I dont get around to cook them much, and seconds these recipes are so well known for me, I always forget they would be more interesting for people reading this blog from outside Hungary. So now I`m putting my foot down, and yes more Hungarian recipes are coming! Yes `Im not going to be lazy about them! Hungarian cooking is delicious, and very different from what I experienced in my travels. Most of the time, the recipes are very easy, also cheap, and most of the time not vegetarian friendly. We love our lard, or just fat, fat and fat, even with bread if you wish!


And baking, we love baking, frying, not caring too much about our health and cholesterols.

So “Csoroge” “Doughnut”, I guess you are asking yourself WTF?? is “Csoroge”. Well in case you are in Hungary once, you are blinking at the menu and feeling confused, lost, and about to start to panic, just relax. Plenty of time the name of the dish represents where, from which region of Hungary its originated to. So “Csoroge”, is most likely from the historical region of “Csorog” or lets say “Hortobagyi pankaces” or “Bugaci salad” or “Vecsesi pickles”

This dish cheap, fast and easy dish, we call as a doughnut, but it`s more like a crisp to be honest. It`s perfect with all kinds of jam, my favourite at the moment is blueberry , but as soon the summer arrives, I`m getting my hands on some raspberry jam..yumm yummy!

Ingredients

  • 6 Egg yolks
  • 1 pinch of  Salt
  • 2 spoons of sugar Sugar
  • 1 spoon of brandy
  • 1 spoon of  white Vinegar
  • 1 cup  flour
  • half a cup of  Sour cream

1. In a big bowl, mix the flour with the sour cream and the egg yolks. Create a nice and soft dough. Add the sugar, vinegar, and brandy. Mix well, and kneed until smooth. I would say for a good 10-15 minutes.

Roll the dough out, for a clean, bit floury surface, a bit thin, not thicker then your finger.
Cut diamond shapes. Make a whole in the middle, and pull a loop through the middle.
Deep fry, in plenty of oil. Serve with cinamon sugar and jam.
Enjoy!