Posts tagged ‘snack’

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:) 



Gorgonzola cheese

plain unsalted spread, or even Philadelphia creme cheese is nice


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!



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, 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!


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 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.


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!


August 17, 2011

Recipe: Gorgonzola toasts with poached figs



How about a little snack? Dinner party, wine tasting, bbq, birthday party..these little toasts will serve you well. Easy and will be ready in no-time. Especially now, when figs are in season, you can easily replace the poached figs to some fresh ones with balsamic glaze. For this one I used ciabata bread, but any thick crust dough will be nice, especially french baguettes!

To prepare the poached figs will take some time, depending of course how many you are making, to me 40 pieces were 20 minutes, it also cools fast, and in case you wont be using all, it can be stored up until a month in the fridge!

Ingredients for 10 toasts

10 slices of ciabata bread, or any other bread

50 g of Gorgonzola cheese

20 figs, dried..or fresh ones, which don`t need to be poached

100ml of red wine

100ml of water

2 spoons of sugar

1 spoon of white wine vinegar

little bit of salt

Combine the water, wine, vinegar, sugar and salt in a small sauce pan, add figs, and bring it to boil. Cook until liquid is reduced, and you end up with a thick caramelized. Put it aside to cool.

Spread the gorgonzola on the bread slices, add as thick as you like, depending how much you like the taste of the cheese. Some prefer a bit less, some a bit more. Put it in the oven to 180C for a couple of minutes, until golden brown.

When toasts are ready, add 2-3 figs each, spread some of the caramelized wine jam, on the serving plate!


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!


1 sheet of ready made rolled up puff pastry

1 ball of mozzarella cheese

3 spoons of pesto

1 tomato


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 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!:)


August 28, 2010

Recipe: Rosemary addiction

Polenta is fun. It can be used as a side dish or a starter or as a snack. It goes well with almost anything. It`s cheap and easy to make.  If you ran out of food at home and u find a cup of polenta you can easily make a nice dish within no time.  Also it doesn`t need any hardcore cooking knowledge and with a bit of creativity you have the snack for the next wine tasting night.

In this recipe you can learn how to make crunchy olive polenta fingers with garlic aioli. You will see, the rosemary is just as dominating in this dish as the polenta. The herb goes well with it and with the aioli to. I learned this combination from the tapas bar I used to work in Sydney. Since then I always mix the herb in, it gives the aioli a fresher taste.


3 cups of chicken stock

50g unsalted butter

1 cup polenta

a handful of chopped kalamata olives

a bit of extra polenta for brushing

a handful of rosemary leaves

garlic-rosemary aioli

1/2 cups egg mayonnaise

1 clove garlic crushed

1 teaspoon lemon juice

sea salt

a bit of fresh rosemary leaves

To make the aioli, place the mayo, garlic, lemon juice, rosemary and the sea salt in a small bowl and stir to combine. set aside.

Preheat the oven for 200C.

Place the stock and butter in a medium saucepan over high heat and bring to boil. Reduce the heat to medium and gradually add the polenta. Cook, stirring for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the olives. Spoon the mixture into a well-greased 6-cup capacity ceramic dish and allow to cool completely. Turn the polenta out onto a flat surface lightly dusted with the extra polenta and cut into pieces.Place the polenta fingers and rosemary onto a lightly greased baking tray and bake for 25 minutes or until crunchy. Sprinkle with salt and serve it with the aioli.

Rosemary on Foodista