Friday, July 23, 2010

Berry Desert- Kisel

You an use any berry that you like the most

2 cup of blackberry
2 liters of water
About 3 table spoons of potato starch
About 2 cups of sugar or to taste

Let’s take 2 cups of berries and press them through the metal sieve. Set the juice a side and add the left over pulp to the pot and add 2 litters of water. Bring to boil and let simmer for about 10 minutes.

Strain the liquid and discard the berry leftovers. Set about 1 cup of liquid aside and put the rest back in the pot and bring to boil. Then lower the heat. Add sugar and mix. Take the cup of liquid that was set a side once it cooled down and mix with potato starch. Make sure that the mix is smooth and there are no lumps of starch.

Add the juice that was reserved and the starch mix. Let simmer for a minute or too for the liquid to thicken.

Garbanzo Beans in Spicy Gravy

1 cup of garbanzo beans soaked for about 2 hours
3 cups of vegetable stock

1 table spoon of olive oil
About 2 cups of multi color bell pepper
2 tea spoons of harissa
2 tablespoons of pomegranate molasses
3 garlic cloves
1/2 tea spoon ground cumin
1/2 tea spoon ground coriander

Place soaked beans in the heavy pot. Add vegetable stock, cover with the lid and cook for about 1 hour or until beans are very soft on a small fire. Alternatively you could use a pressure cooker. In that case reduce the amount of stock to 2 cups and cook for 15 minutes once the pressure builds. Allow the pot to cool down till the pressure gets released.

In a separate pot heat olive oil and add cumin, coriander, harissa and garlic and sauté until fragrant. Add bell peppers and sauté until you can sense pepper aroma in the air. Add pomegranate molasses and beans with the liquid. Bring to boil and simmer for about 5 to 7 minutes for flavors to melt into each other.

Enjoy with some steamed rice and a cup of green tea.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Milk tea biscuts - Молочные коржики.

These biscuits were a common treat in Soviet Russia at the school buffets. They cost 8 kopees (equivalent of 8 cents) and were quite popular. Currently it is one of the most nostalgic requests of Russian people leaving abroad. The recipe is quite simple. Here is what you'll need:

110 ml of milk
200 gr sugar
Vanilla extract
Coffee extract
100 gr of butter
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
400 gr flour

Egg yolk for glaze

Mix milk and sugar in a heat proof bowl, bring to a boil and let sugar dissolve. Pour syrup over butter and let butter melt and dissolve in syrup. Add vanilla and coffee extract, egg, baking soda and flour. Mix gently until soft dough forms. Roll out to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut the biscuits out with about 5 inch biscuit cutter, brush with egg yolk and let stand while the oven is heating up to 400 F. Bake about 12 minutes or until golden.
Can keep for 2 to 3 days in an air tight container.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Lemon "Muffin Top" Cake

I got this recipe from and the cake is absolutely fragrant and has wonderful texture to it. The recipe is based on olive oil that provides for great crust and great earthy flavor.
Here is what you'll need:
1/2 cup olive oil, plus more for pan
1/2 cup milk
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
About 1 1/2 cups of chopped dry fruit- I have tried it with dates, raisins and dry apples- all good, raisins is significantly sweeter then other options
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest (from 1 lemon)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare 9 inch tart pan or cake pan oiled with a tea spoon of olive oil.

In a bowl whisk together oil, milk, and egg; set aside. Add flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt and stir with a rubber spatula just until smooth (do not overmix). Gently fold in dry fruit and lemon zest.
Spread batter in prepared pan; set pan on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes.
Cool in pan 15 minutes before unmolding cake onto a wire rack to cool completely. Keep, wrapped in plastic, at room temperature up to 1 day. To serve, cut into wedges.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Chocolate Chip ( Or Rum Raisin) Oatmeal Cookies

I am not a very big fan of American food and Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookes to me are very American. May be it is that way just for me... Any way, when my daugher came from her school cooking class and brought this recipe for us to make at home together, I can't say that I was full of enthusiasm deep inside. I expected it to be too sweet and just too much of all tastes that define cookies. But I figured that we'll be baking it together and it just would be fun because of that. Well, I have to admit that I was wrongand that the cookies are absolutely out of this world! They are just right and now on my favourite cookie list. We made two types: chocolate chip for little girls and rum raisin for big girls. Every one was happy!

Here is what you'll need:

1/2 cup butter or 110 gr
1 egg
1 cup of flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tea spoon vanilla
1/2 tea spoon baking soda
1 cup quick cooking oats
3/4 cup chocolate chip ( if you would like to make it with raisins substitute the amount desired and soak it about 1 tablespoon of rum or coffee liquire)

Remove butter from refrigirato 30 minutes before cooking. Preheat oven to 375F. Place butter in mixing bowl and beat for 30 seconds. Add egg, sugar, brown surag, vanilla and baking soda to butter. Beat for about 2 minutes. Slowly add oat and mix well. Use a wooden spoon to fold in chips and raisins.

This cookies bake the best if you make them small. We used a small icecream scoop or you can use 2 teaspoons. Leave about 2 inches between the cookes. bake for 8-10 minues. Alow to cool and enjoy!

Green Gram Lentil with Spinach (Moong Dal with Palak)

One of my colleagues is from India and we frequently exchange recipes and overall really enjoy cooking and sharing. She gave me this recipe to try and it came out quite delicious. It is a wonderful dish for dinner and a small cup of it can be part of lunch.

Here is what you'll need:

1 cup of split Green Gram Lentil (Moong Dal)

2 to 3 cups chopped Spinach

1 tea spoon chili Powder

1/2 tea spoon turmeric powder
1 tsp hing (Asafetida)

2 table spoons of butter

1 tea spoon chopped garlic

1 tea spoon graded ginger

salt to taste

Wash and soak lentils for 30 min to and hour. Cook lentils and turmeric, chili powder and salt in presser cooker for about 20 minutes after the presser build or about 40- 45 minutes using regular method. Lentils should be very soft. Mash lentils with the spoon. Add the spinach, mix thoroughly and cook for about 4 minutes.

Melt butter in the pan, add garlic and saute till fragrant, add ginger and hing. pour over lentils. Mix thoroughly.

Enjoy with balsamati rice.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Lemon Bars

This is one of my most favorite combinations: buttery crust and sweet and bitter lemony filling.

My romance with this recipe started in the local natural foods market- I have tried their lemon bar and liked it so much that went to their chief to ask for a recipe. They told me that it is proprietary information and they can not give it to me. So I have started experimenting and trying different combinations until I have archived very comparable result.

Here is what you'll need:

For the dough:

1 3/4 sticks of butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp lemon extract
2 1/4 cup all- purpose flour

For the filling:

1 large lemon, graded with zest
1 large , preferably green, apple
1/2 cup sugar or to taste
1 tsp of lemon extract

The rest is quite easy. Beat the butter with sugar and salt together until soft and fluffy. Add lemon extract. Add in the flower and mix in carefully until the dough forms.

At this step I have tried few different ways of assembling the bars and my favorite ended up being to divide the dough in 2 part- one of them about 3/4 and the other about 1/4. Then refrigerate for about 30 min so that it is still soft but hard enough to grade.

While the dough if chilling, prepare the filling. Grade lemon and peeled apple on the grader, add the sugar and lemon extract.

I recommend using fluted tart pan and place in on the baking pan in the oven.. Butter it up some and grade the bigger part of the dough. Press in in lightly. Spread the filling, take care of the edges. Then grade the smaller part of the dough. don't worry if you can see the filling. It would come out fine.

Bake at 350F ( about 175C) until it is golden on top. Cool down before cutting.