Posts tagged ‘vegetarian’

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!

 

 

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!

Enjoy!

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!

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 : https://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

May 16, 2011

The 90 day diet-Vol2-starchy foods

Well there`s no recipe here this time. 2 reasons, I had no time taking pictures today about the meal, also It was pretty simple and not at all interesting.

So day 2 should be starchy foods, meaning: vegetables cooked, steamed or fried, or fresh, rice, potatoes. Very much vegan to be honest with you. I was planning on an asparagus “risotto”, of course no butter or cream version, but I promise Ill make it, and post it most likely on Friday (if I am lucky enough with work).

It`s the day of the diet when you can get pretty creative if you got the time. Also my favourite sushi is allowed. Of course strictly vegetarian one, even have to watch out for tofu or omelet.

Breakfast of course fruit, nothing else is allowed till lunchtime. I had one apple and 1 banana..by lunch, I was starving!

So my lunch, and as well dinner was: Rice with corn, fresh cut salad (lettuce, onion, tomato, olive oil) and a handful of potato chips. Yes this diet allows chips, within reason of course 🙂 Hopefully on the next starchy day I`ll be back with a more interesting food combination!

Tomorrow is carb day…. my favourite day 🙂

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!