Saturday, February 26

Sushi


Rolled sushi Posted by Hello


First time I ever tried this 'japanese snack' was as an au-pair here in England.
I always thought that sushi was very expensive and mostly enjoyed by supermodels, actors or well-off people. However, it didn't stop me to try some myself. In fact, it could have prompted me to buy it and feel kind of sophisticated.
So, on my weekends off, I used to go to town with my friends. We had wonderful time shopping, then sitting in Starbucks or Costa sipping coffee and eating muffins. Then one day, it was very hot and sunny, we felt we didn't fancy a hot brunch but rather something refreshing and filling and nutritious at the same time. What else could it be than SUSHI?
We rushed to the shop, picked up two trays with all the little condiments laying inside in the separate compartments next to these beautiful, colourful rolls of rice, fish and veg. Outside in the street, we were just looking at it for a while and thinking loud that it's like an art piece. The contrast of the white rice and black nori sheet around it, with the colourful display of pink and orange fish and green cucumber in the middle made the whole tray look like a set of sea jewels. One of us might have said that it was a shame to eat it. Whilst we were deciding what to do with the condiments, the taste buds were calling for attention. So we squeezed few drops of soy sauce onto the rolls, spread a tiny dot of green wasabi paste on top and finished them with the pickled pink ginger. It makes you feel you are preparing your own meal, so it seems even fresher.
We really enjoyed it and decided on sushi being our weekend town summer lunch.

But it was only 2 days ago that I decided to make my own sushi at home. I have been passing the 'Starter kit sushi box' for quite some time in the local supermarket until now. I pulled it down from the shelf together with additional jar of pickled ginger, wasabi paste, nori sheets and sushi rice. I felt like on a quest. I moved to the fresh fish counter and bought enough mixed sea-food (the good fishmonger behind the counter decided to give me the left-over for free, so I had more than I could use) and smoked salmon trimmings.
Satisfied and proud of my choice, I went home to prepare it.
To my surprise, it was very easy and fast to make. Only the rice took 15-20 minutes to boil.
The rest was laying the bamboo mat with:
- one nori sheet
- dollop of cooled-down-rice in the middle, spreading nicely across the whole sheet(leaving 1cm from the rolling edges)
-seafood in the middle in a row
-thinly cut cucumber chips
- smoked salmon trimmings
I took one side of the bamboo mat and started rolling the sheet until it was complete. The nori sheet got nice and soft under warm rice and ready to be cut in slices.

I also found out that there are different types of sushi like rolled sushi, scattered sushi, pressed sushi, etc.
For those of you who would like to know more about it, take a look at:
http://www.sushilinks.com/
http://www.eatsushi.com/

Thursday, February 24

Mornings with a freshly baked bread


My sexi breadmaker. Posted by Hello


It's Sunday morning. You are slowly waking up tickled by the bright winter sun and Tony Bennet singing in the backround on a jazz radio station. You can smell the aroma of a strong espresso making its way up to your room and hear the beep of the breadmaker announcing -it's time to come downstairs (in your PJs) and enjoy a long morning with a freshly baked bread and a table laid with a nice tablecloth on top of which you can find boiled eggs, salami, ham, chorizo(klobaska), various cheeses, tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic, duck(or goose) fat and condiments.

At these moments, I have that childish feeling of carelesness when you don't have to worry about the world, your work or daily duties.

It takes me back to my childhood when my dad was the first to wake up and go to the shops early. He was also very proud of being in the shops amongst the first people, just after the shop opened. It all had to do with the socialistic era in Slovakia. People going to the shops late were thought of getting up late and therefore being lazy.
So, I used to wake up with a table laid with the food aforementioned and of course, fresh and still warm 2kg loaf of bread with a nice golden brown crispy crust.

As kids, we used to love thick slices of this soft but filling bread, spread with a duck fat, dipped in finely chopped onion and sprinkled with salt and red paprika spice. It was considered a peasant food. (it was so cheap! bread and onions)
Nowadays, I like to think of it as a fine delicacy.

When I found out about breadmakers and heard the heavenly choruses singing their praises, I decided to buy one. Another reason was that the bread resembling the one in Slovakia costs over £1.50 for a tiny little loaf(if you can call it a loaf at all!) here in England. It comes under a 'speciality(gourmet) bread' category.

It is not very chef-like of me to make the bread in a bread machine, but then, I will allow myself the excuse: 'Making hand-made bread is like going to a restaurant.' You do it occassionaly so that you don't loose that special time and enjoyment it brings you.

Here is a basic recipe from Anthony Worrall Thompson booklet(breadmaker booklet) - little bit amended with added flavourings by me:

Dark Chilli bread with herbs(gluten-free) - 1kg
490 ml of water(room temperature)
3 eggs
1&1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 cups strong white flour(gluten-free)
1 cup buckweat flour(makes the bread dark)
1 cup cornflour
2 tbsp of mixed&ground chilli seeds, flakes, flesh, pepper & mixed herbs
2 tsp dried yeast

Put in a breadmaker(must have a gluten-free option) in the order described above. Spread the flour, herbs and yeast evenly.
And choose the gluten-free option on your breadmaker. Remember to set it to dark crust colour, increase the mixing stage to 30 min.

The result is a wonderfully moist bread after baking with a nice warming chilli bite.

Dobru chut! (Bon Apetite!)

Tuesday, February 22

Music in the kitchen


Feeling popular! Posted by Hello

Yes!
- It was my 2 weeks blog anniversary on Sunday.
- I was asked to complete this bloggers' questionnaire about music on Monday by Aude http://epicesetcompagnie.blogspot.com/ (nice friend I met via www.chocolateandzucchini.com )
- My hubbie's bro approved of my blog (a gardener, loves food though).

So, yes, if somebody wants to know how I am, my answer is - 'Popular'(just like Pierce Brosnan in Thomas Crown Affair, hehe. Love his style!). Hope this feeling last...

So, here are my answers on 'Music in the kitchen' if anybody's interested:
What is the total number of music files on your computer?
-None at the moment. I have just rebuilt it and so listen to cd's.
What is the last CD you bought?
- Ellis Marsalis - Twelve's it (jazz piano)
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B000007QD3/qid=1109038193/sr=8-3/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i3_xgl15/102-2489246-4090538?v=glance&s=music&n=507846
What is the last song you last listened to before reading this message?
J.S.Bach - The Complete Partitas
Write down 5 songs you often listen to or that mean a lot to you.
1.I often listen to classical and jazz piano as I love piano(and teach piano).
2. Steve Vai - electric guitar god, http://www.vai.com/(his song 'You're here' with a beauiful solo at the beginning) and my first video experience of his music - I fell in love with him (hm, the charm of the Italians!), his music, his sense of humour.
3. Lionel Richie - all his songs(slow or up-beat), good drive-time music.
4.
5.
Who are you going to pass this stick to (3 persons) and why?
Lee Loreya - a girl that has a way with words and I admire that. I would be interested to hear from her on this subject.
Phil - my chef-friend, another obsessed person, who influenced me in the way of cooking.

Monday, February 21

Beauty in the kitchen?


Beauty in the kitchen Posted by Hello

As you already guessed from the picture title, today I would like to intrigue you with the subject of finding beauty in the kitchen.
I know that all of you, passionate cooks, could talk about this subject for hours - how and where 'You' see the beauty in the kitchen. But I am afraid, today, it's not going to be beauty under that metaphor veil. Today, we are going to get our hands 'real' dirty with getting 'real' beauty - live, you know!
Well, nobody said, it was easy getting beautiful, so roll your sleeves up and get cracking.
Stop! By cracking I didn't mean scrubbing the kitchen floor...!
I meant evaluating current affairs of your kitchen stock. Fruit, vegetables, seeds and nuts, yoghurt pots, etc.
And just before you might start thinking I am loosing the plot, here's the revelation:
We are about to venture into the secrets of beauty facial masks. Aaaaah, doesn't it sound so.......elegant, so posh.
Well, maybe not quite when your face is covered in mashed bananas with yoghurt and two cucumber circles on your eyes. But don't give in, don't give up! The beauty is just - few mixed ingredients, 5 minute dream and your partners' 'you-scared-the-hell-out-me' - away.

And that's not the only use the all-kitchen-favourites (think chocolate, honey, cream,..) can get....I am sure you get the picture, hehe.


It is fantastic and logical at the same time how the 'healthy' food - fruits, vegetables, pulses, oats, herbs, nuts, honey, etc. - that does miracles for your inner health, can do the same with your outer beauty too (e.g. face).
And in fact, they are very much connected - eating too much chocolate won't benefit your body circumference nor your complexion.

But since this is a food blog and not a weekly beauty guide, let's take a look at the actual recipes' whipping-up:
For all the beauty benefits of the mask ingredients - see http://www.angelfire.com/realm2/amethystbt/herbscosmeticapothecary.html
http://www.ballymoon.biz/articles/facialsteams.htm
and many more under 'facial masks' in Google search.

Quick guide
Tomato: astringent and a good blackhead remover. Pulp it up and mix with oatmeal, or slice and lay on the face on its own.
Apple: grate an apple and mix with honey to make a mask that soothes and heals acne, and makes your skin look great.
Strawberry: a good oily skin mask. Pulp it up, smear it on the face, wash off. Makes the skin look soft and fine. A good use for over-ripe or bruised berries.
Avocado: Moisturising. I find it's too oily for my skin, but I've heard good reports from others. Banana: Also a moisturiser.
Carrot: Grate a carrot, add honey, use as a facial for oily skin. Or you can mash up a cooked one. Peach: A nice, good-smelling mask for dry or normal skin.
Cucumber: On its own, is cleansing, astringent and cooling during hot weather. Juice a cucumber and wipe the juice over the face. It will reduce shine and the appearance of wrinkles.
Peppermint: Fantastic for acne, especially the itchy underground type. In fact, it soothes itchy skin in general.
Chamomile: Soothing and healing.
Lime Flower (linden): Soothing and softening, refines skin texture. Also supposed to remove wrinkles.

Papaya Mask (helps to remove dead skin)
¼-cup mashed (ripe) papaya
1-teaspoon plain yogurt
½-teaspoon of honey
Mix all ingredients until paste like. Put on face, leave on for 15 minutes and rinse with warm water.
Note: if you have oily skin – do not allow your mask to over dry. Your brain will register the loss of water in the over-drying process and produce more oil.
This oil will not show up on the skin until about 48 hours after the treatment.

Honey Mask
Honey is a lovely mask. Massage it into your skin, and keep adding more and patting it on till your face is very tacky. Rinse it off, and your skin will look fresh and glowing. Honey is antiseptic, hydrating and cleanses the pores. However, if you're prone to odd pimples, don't use this before a big night as it has the ability to bring impurities out of the skin.
Oatmeal and Honey Mask Mix oatmeal, either cooked or raw, with enough honey to make it sticky. Apply, leave for twenty minutes or so, and rinse off with plenty of water. It will tone oily skin, refine the texture of the pores, and gently lift a face that's in general poor condition, especially after illness or depression.

You can find much more recipes on the above web sites, for all kind of things like moisturizers, hand creams, conditioners; for all skin types.

So be a kitchen goddess in every sense!

Tuesday, February 15

Hello Moravia!


Moravian buns Posted by Hello


Have you heard of 'quark' before?
If not, it is a kind of soft cheese made of soured(curdled) milk by cooking and forming into cheese lumps, which after straining the liquid, comes into a soft ball. It has a soury taste, but is usually mixed with sugar and used in cakes, strudels, etc. as a filling.

In England, you can easily get it in larger supermarkets in dairy section in small tubs. They come in a very soft, smooth, creamy texture and they are virtually fat free too!

The reason why I so busily keep forcing this 'quark' on you is - it is an ancient ingredient newly discovered(so you'll be chic), it is virtually fat free (so you'll keep stream-lined), it is cheap and available in every supermarket (at least in England, so you won't break the bank) and it tastes fantastic (so that speaks for itself).

My mum and before my mum, my grandma had the most wonderful recipe to make this not so tasteful 'quark' into the most luscious, creamy, mascarpone-like filling with even better and refreshing taste.
Take a look at this:

Filling:
1 tub of quark
1 egg yolks
1 egg white (whipped with dash of fresh lemon juice and 1tbsp of sugar)
handful of raisins
lemon rind
1/2 a cup of brown sugar

In a small mixing bowl, combine quark, egg yolk, rasins, lemon rind and sugar. Mix well and set aside.
In a small glass bowl, whip the egg white as described above until it is firm.
Add the beaten egg white into the quark mixture and mix in lightly, making sure you mix gently right from the bottom up.
For extra taste, you can add chopped dried apricots.

Dough:
This type of dough is quite light.
It can be hand-made or put in a bread-maker(you must add the ingredients into your breadmaker in the following order):

3 dcl warm milk
1 egg
2 tbsp sunflower oil(or vegetable, or margarine)
1/2 tsp salt
2-3 tbsp sugar
500 g plain flour
1 1/2 tsp dried yeast (or 20g of fresh yeast)

If you decided for sticky fingers, here is the order for hand-made dough:

1. prepare the yeast
Place the yeast into a jug with warm milk, sugar and salt, mix in slightly and leave to rest in a
warm place until it bubbles and grows. It should look bubbly and fluffy when it is ready.
Give it about 20 min.
2. In a large bowl, sift in the flour, make a well in the middle and add the whole egg and yeast.
Start mixing the dough. After a while, it is easier to use your hands. Add the oil and work it
into the dough. It will be sticky for a while but keep working until it's smooth. If it is still very
sticky, sprinkle the dough with a little flour and repeat if necessary.
Once you have the dough ready and smooth, cover the bowl with a warm moist tea-towel and
leave to rest for nearly 45 min. in a warm place.
It should have grown in size. Take it out on a well floured surface and sprinkle the dough
with flour again before rolling.

Roll the dough to a 1 cm thickness, then cut into big squares(definitely bigger
then your palm if you have small hands, and no bigger than your palm if you have large
manly hands).
Spoon the quark filling into the middle and fold int two opposite corners of the square and join
on the top and do the same with the other two corners and join them all together. Then stick
together the sides, so that the filling does not come out when baking. Once done, turn the
ready cake up-side down onto an oily baking tray. Push it lightly in the middle to make a well
for a spoonful of jam.

Once you have done all the cakes, put jam in the middle and brush the cakes with a beaten
egg. Leave them to rest for 15 minutes whilst you are heating up the oven to 180 degrees.
After that, put in the oven and bake until golden brown.


Monday, February 14

Happy Valentine's Day!


Valentine roses by Dreska(in mspaint!) Posted by Hello

I know it's all too commercial nowadays, but I still LOVE it!(sad as some people might think it is, I take every opportunity to make my life as colourful as possible! Whether it is cooking colourful meals, buying colourful flowers or writing coloured text.) :) And that's not everything!
Strap yourself to your chairs now!
I even buy my own 'Valentine flowers'! And why not?!
Here are few good reasons in defence:
1. I love flowers
2. I love choosing the colours
3. My hubby can never say: Sorry darling, I forgot!

And since I have become a blog publisher, I have even read upon the Saint Valentine's history. I found it a little predictable, but nevertheless educating. http://www.historychannel.com/exhibits/valentine/

Something about Rome, fertility celebrations, marriages after 1 year's courting and much more...
Talking about which, if you fancy a celebration breakfast, light lunch or dinner, here's a recipe:

Breakfast, Light lunch:
Smoked Salmon, egg & oyster mushroom toast
thick toasted brown bread
smoked salmon (trimmings or slices)
6 (or 1 packet)oyster mushrooms(hliva ustricova)
3 eggs (beaten)
3 tbsp milk (or cream for a richer taste)
salt, pepper, red chilli (fresh if possible)
8 cherry tomatoes (halved)
1/4 of big red onion (sliced) - (or 2 shallots)
olive oil
fresh chives

Heat grill to a high temperature.
Heat olive oil in a pan, add onion and oyster mushrooms, salt, pepper and chilli. Fry a 2-3 minutes until the mushrooms let out some juice and slightly brown. Add cheery tomatoes. Meanwhile, beat the eggs with the milk. Add to the pan, stir 2-3 times and set aside uncooked.
Put the toasts onto a grill tray and spoon the uncooked egg mixture onto the toasts.(don't worry about the spills to the side of the bread, it will cook).
Put under grill and cook. Once cooked, spoon the cooked spills onto the bread too. Put the toasts on the plates and top with salmon trimmings(or salmon slices cut into strips). Finish off the topping with chives( cut the length in 1/2).



Dinner:
Green Thai King (prawn curry)

I must admit this was my hubbie's choice when I asked him what he would fancy as a special treat. (he even came to Tesco to choose the fresh prawns specially with me!)
Although, it is a fact that thai food is the every-celebration must these days.
It is considered as No.1 on the list of oriental cuisines and oriental cuisines equal romance, so what are you waiting for? Get cooking!


150 g King Prawns (ready to eat ) - £3.00
Green thai curry paste
100 g creamed coconut block
400 ml hot water
red chilli
(sliced and chopped - to give the meal a bit of a kick or your loved one too if you feel like it).
It looks good too - red & green.
white boiled rice

Put the coconut block in a small jug(500ml or 1 pint) and boil hot water in the kettle. Pour water over the block in the jug and stir until dissolved and formed into a milk of a sort.
Heat a non-stick pan and add 4 tbsp of green thai curry paste (careful as it starts sizzling and spitting, pardon me!), stir for 3 seconds and add the coconut milk (1/2 to start with). Stir and blend it in with the paste. I should start to thicken after few seconds. (if not, your hob is not turned on!)
Add as much milk as much sauce you want to have. The more milk you add, the thinner the sauce will get. (if you want it really thick, melt more of of the coconut block in hot water)
Once you are happy with your sauce, add the prawns and cook for 5-7 seconds and serve on the bed of white boiled rice.
Maybe few cherry tomatoes cut in halves to decorate around the plate.


Dessert:
Bannoffeelicious
For many people Valentine's dessert is represented by strawberries and champagne. But my favourite dessert (especially in winter) is banana with hot toffee & vanilla ice-cream on top of digestive biscuits.
So simple, soooo ..... ..............simple,............. so..............................simple?

2 bananas
1/2 can of condensed milk
2-3 tbsp of dark brown(molasses) sugar
vanilla ice-cream (or your favourite, not fruity though)
6 digestive biscuits

Chop the bananas into circles and lay in 2 dessert glasses. Crumble the biscuits on top of the bananas. Cook and constantly stir the condensed milk in a saucepan with the sugar until it thickens. Pour on top of bananas. Add ice-cream and enjoy!






Friday, February 11

Winter warmers

Today, as every other winter day in England, is a bit gloomy and grey.
It's morning and my darling dog(rescued ex-racer greyhound Blaze) is covered tail to snout with a thick, soft blanket. That means the weather is not good even for a dog(Slovak saying).
I look out and see my neighbour through a fine, misty rain shower pulling his collar up higher than it can go and think to myself: "Today, I definitely need something to warm my heart and body up." And I am not talking about a chunky Norwegian jumper and knitted socks either. I am talking about those traditional English 'winter warmer suppers' that are served steaming hot and stay hot whilst you eat them. Think of 'Sausage and mash', 'Chicken casserole', 'Sheperd's pie' or 'Lancashire hot pot'. Now, that's what I call few hearty meals that will make your body glow in seconds.
But before I start with 'be a good a girl and make hubby a lunch' magic, I will treat myself to a good old English strong breakfast tea with hot milk. That's how the English supposedly come to life.(do they? maybe with a few shots of rum in it, as we, Slovak people like it!)


Poached cod and spinach mash

500 ml milk (I use soy milk, it has a nice sweetness)
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp salt
1 medium carrot (sliced into circles)
1 bay leaf
350 g cod fish(or other white fish, or smoked fish if you like)

Put all ingredients into a saucepan and simmer over a very low heat until the carrots are soft. Fish will then be definetely ready and it will be easy to pull apart from the skin.

6 potatoes (peeled and cut into 1 cm thick circles)
salt
fresh spinach leaves (2 big handfuls)

1/2 onion (fried in butter)

Prepare the potatoes in a saucepan with salted water and spinach in a steamer above it. Cook over a medium heat until the potatoes are very soft.
(now you can prepare and cook the fish)
Once the potatoes and spinach are cooked, put the spinach in a steamer aside.
Drain the potatoes and mash with a wooden round spatula. Add 1 tbsp of butter, 1 tsp of salt, pepper, fried onions and mix well.
Add some of the fish milk stock and mix in. Add the spinach and mix in vigorously to get an even mixture of spinach and potatoes. It will look good too!

Presentation:
Put 2 dollops of the mash in the middle of a plate, take few small pieces of poached fish and stack on top of the mash. Take few carrot circles and stick them under the fish from both sides like cards(overlapping one another).
Vinaigrette:
Combine olive oil with balsamic vinegar = shake well(or just whisk in a bowl) and drizzle around the mash.

Beatiful hot mash with steaming hot poached fish and a bit of vinaigrette to complement the sweet taste.








Thursday, February 10

Chinese New Year of the Rooster

What can I say?
As a new blogger, trying to keep up with all the food traditions and celebrations, I missed one yesterday (9. February 2005 - Chinese New Year of the Rooster).
But never you mind. You can take a peek on www.visitliverpool.com and follow the Chinese New Year link to see how they celebrated Chinese New Year in Liverpool(one of the biggest known celebrations featuring dragons, lion dancing, fireworks and of course tasting chinese food delicacies).

For all of us who wished to attend, we can do so on the 13.February 2005 in London.
www.chinatownchinese.com

And once in the festive mood, don't forget the very special next day - Valentines' Day.


Wednesday, February 9

Pancake day

Yesterday was a pancake day (Shrove Tuesday). This is one of the days I love in England. Shops always get prepared and have lots of gooddies like delicious Canadian Maple Syrup.
I was reading how they make it in Canada. They drill holes in the tree trunks, insert a tube and the siphoned syrup trickles out to a bucket underneath. It comes up from the tree roots up to the bark in spring when it gets warm. Collected syrup is then taken to be heated above fire to 104 degrees and out of 40 litres - 1 litre of syrup is made. So it is a lengthy procedure.
I also got a fantastic recipe from our fellow foodie writer(www.chocolateandzucchini.com ) for real french crepes. They add mineral water to make them really light and thin and also flavourings like vanilla and rum(I tried whisky which worked beatifully).

French Crepes
www.chocolateandzucchini.com
Look for February 8, 2005.


Pancakes (Dolky)

This type of pancake is in the form of a smaller(the size of the palm of your hand), round, soft and fluffy shape.
200 self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg
300 ml milk
lump of butter


Mix the above ingredients with a handy mixer(if you have one, if not, use a whisker). Once nice and smooth, add:
raisins
Then heat 1 tsp of butter in a pan(preferably non-stick, otherwise use more butter). Once hot, pour one small ladle-size amount of the pancake batter on one side of the pan, leaving space for few more. When the first one is slightly set, pour another amount next to it, and so on.
Don't forget to check the first ones and turn them around.
Once you have finished, stack these small cute pancakes on top of each other on serving plates, pour maple syrup over them and serve.







Monday, February 7

Puy Lentils with caramelized veg & apricots

I keep reading these fantastic food blogs on the web and am thinking whether there is need for another one (i.e. my one!).
Most of them are excellent writers who combined two passions in their life (writing and cooking), so where do I stand?(I am thinking to myself)
I love cooking, but can't say that I am an excellent writer or that writing is my passion.
I'd rather call it - urge to let other people know about my little inventions and share theirs.
Hope that this will be enough to keep this food blog going.Even if it should only become my online 'Favourite recipes' index.

So here's one of my little fancies of today:

Puy Lentils with caramelized veg & apricots
(served on top of slimline turkey burgers)

4 tbsp puy lentils
2 bay leaves
2 cardamom pods(optional)
2 carrots(cut into circles)
2 garlic cloves(whole)
1 tsp thyme
salt
1 pint of water
Boil these ingredients in the pint of water until soft. Drain, take out cardamom pods, garlic and bay leaves.

Rinse the saucepan, heat and caramelize:
a lump of butter
2 tbsp of chopped onion
2 tbsp of honey
6 dried apricots(soften in advance in boiling water)

Add the puy lentils + 1 tbsp of white wine vinegar(or balsamic vinegar for more rich taste).

Turkey burgers:
250 g of minced turkey breasts
2 eggs
salt, pepper, mixed herbs
splash of worcester sauce
splash of red tabasco sauce

Mix all the ingredients, add 2tbsp of flour to bind the mixture.
Heat a nonstick pan, pat round burger shapes out of the mixture and fry from both sides.
The burgers will nicely fry in its own juice.


Sunday, February 6

Strudel (with juicy apple&poppyseed&cherry filling)

Attention those who like a challenge!
This is one of those grandma recipes that are nowadays nearly forgotten. A strudel dough that needs pulling out to a paper-thin layer, then filled with your favourite filling(only half way), rolled and baked.

Dough:
500 g flour(plain) + sweet warm milk = thin dough mixture.
Add 20 g of butter, 1 egg, pinch of salt.
Work the dough on a worktop so long until it stretches well but does not tear.
Make a loaf out of it and wrap it in a teatowel(sprinkled inside generously with flour, so that the dough doesn't stick). Put this parcel under a duvet cover in bed and leave to rest there for an hour.
Put a table cloth on the table and sprinkle generously with flour.
Unwrap the dough and put it in the middle of the table cloth on the table.
Flour the roller pin and roll the dough as thin as possible.
Then, flour your hands and very carefully start pulling the dough with your hands, fingers and elbows into a nearly transparent thin layer.

Once it is streched over the whole table, cut off the thicker corners.

Heat more butter and brush over the whole dough layer.
Sprinkle with breadcrumbs(fresh or dry).
Spread the filling over one half of the layer. Then, take two corners of the tablecloth from the side where the filling is, and start rolling the dough carefully off the table cloth(or with the help of the table cloth). If the strudel is too long , you can shape it into your tray, or cut it to few pieces. Brush with some butter and bake in the oven slowly.

Poppyseed & cherry filling:
100 g sugar(white or brown)
200 g poppyseeds
Mix these 2 ingredients in a food processor with a blade.
In a mixing bowl: poppyseed mixture + 100 ml very warm milk + 1 tbsp honey + 2-3 crushed cloves.
Add: drained black cheery compote(preserve)
OR
Add: grated apple mixture filling

Grated apple filling :
grated apples(same amount or less as the poppyseed mixture)
cinnamon + sugar
raisins
Cook(sweat) these ingredients in a saucepan with a small lump of butter until they are juicy. Add little water if necessary. Drain and use as a filling.

Quark (Tvaroh,Turo) filling:
egg whites
sugar (to your taste)
zest of 1 lemon
raisins
Mix all ingredients and leave to stand for 1/2 hour for rasins to soften. Then it is ready to use as a filling.

Little Fancies

Welcome to Little Fancies!
I created this blog for all who enjoy fantastic recipes and want to share their passion for food...
I hope your time here will be as colourful as this paragraph and that you will find recipes that will tantalize your taste buds.

And as every chef(want-to-be), food writer or other 'I-am-feeling-popular' person, I cannot leave out how I came across the love of my life(next to few others...) - cooking:
It all started with that first trip to England(as an au-pair) with the best intentions to broaden my knowledge of the English nation, culture and lifestyle.
Being an au-pair, I already possessed qualities like being able to prepare food and cook. And since my landlady was trained as a chef, I was sorrounded by cookery books of all kinds. To avoid the temptations of different quisines, you would have to be on a strict macrobiotic diet which I wasn't, so I bunjee-jumped into the world of cooking and haven't stopped ever since.

Just on the margin:
I've had one of the most memorable and influencing experiences of my life here in England, working alogside a highly experienced chef-friend (who promised to contribute with some recipes and maybe even an interview).

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