Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Garlic Butter and Herb Rolls

Fresh hot bread rolls infused in a garlic butter sauce plus herbs: parsley, oregano, dillSalt and a dash of pepper go without saying. The only urge: EAT THEM HOT (or you won't find them ;) sitting on the table).

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Rosemary Infused Fried Potatoes

Just a few drops of rosemary oil imparts a delicate flavour to these pan fried potatoes. Love them, with ketchup, garlic sauce or anything else that tickles your taste buds!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Banana and Walnut Bread

When there are more than two overripe bananas in the banana basket, which usually happens in our home,  they usually get eaten (reluctantly) as is, frozen (indefinitely), or made into delightful baked goodies.

Here: Glazed Banana and Walnut Bread. Must have taken the recipe from somewhere, am sure ;).

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Curried Summer Soup

Of course soups are good as they are, "naked", but a bit of seasoning only enhances the flavour of fresh summer vegetables, since they go from raw to cooked. The base of this soup is cooked dry peas, so it does not go far from being a sambar type stew! Yellow and green bell peppers, onions, tomatoes are stewed and simmered in enough water to produce this appetizing and light soup. Seasoned with a dash of curry, garnished with splattered black mustard and parsley- YUM!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Herb and Spice Marinated Cheese- Wait till It Meets Your Taste Buds!

Fresh cow cheese is left to cure in a salt marinade for a couple of days, then infused for another couple of days in olive oil, crushed parsley, ground coriander, paprika, cumin and mustard.

This way of preparing cheese is unknown in Moldova, and it was received with reluctance. Until it met the taste buds!!!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

More Corn- Spiced the Grand Indian Way

Cooked corn, simmered in sour cream and a tantalizing array of freshly ground spices: coriander, cumin, black pepper, cayenne, ginger, yellow mustard, turmeric, seasoned with splattered black mustard, mild paprika and ground cilantro.

The verdict: The BEST corn we've ever eaten. Had no doubts at all.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Corn on the Cob- Butter and Chutney Powder

Most people in Moldova enjoy this fresh crop cooked and seasoned with salt alone.  Some would bake it and season it with salt. However, I find it way tastier (of course) when it's smudged with butter AND spiced up. Here: Chutney Powder. No, you can't go wrong with it.

Japchae- Korean Stir Fried Noodles

Stir fried tofu, broccoli, yellow and red bell pepper, bamboo shoots and cellophane noodles, or starch noodles in sesame oil, soy sauce, spiced with ginger and garlic. No leftovers this time.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Bellpepper and Tomato Sambar- It Gets Even Better with Garlic

The only people claiming they don't like South Indian food are those who never tried it. Intense, yet subtle, excessive, yet balanced. A South Indian vegetarian repertoire  is rich and overwhelming, yet one never gets too much of it. I remember our trip to Thirupati, we did stop to eat at a restaurant where garlic sambar was served, and though some of my husband's family do not like garlic and could care less for it, the rest of us just devoured that dish!
So now I miss my favourites, but I did bring Amma's sambar powder with me...  and VOILA!
Garden fresh bellpepper, tomatoes and garlic- oh, how they make a difference!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Celebrating Four Years of Blogging, and the 200th Blog Post

I may not be a successful blogger, and it is not my intention, but I certainly know how to make a piece of cake! It's been four years since I started writing my food blog, at the suggestion of a friend and ex co-worker, and I barely finished posting 200 of them, posts! I do enjoy however recording my culinary journey, and if you find it captivating, THANK YOU.

Here: Chocolate Swiss Roll. I do not have enough stars to tell you how delicious it turned out!


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Gooseberry and Currant Preserve

I confess our family is not big on jams and preserves as we prefer fresh fruit and freshly squeezed  juices to processed stuff, but I still love making them for that every now and then tea party.
Gooseberry and currant- in their pure state as nature intended, harvested here in Moldova- I beg forgiveness, but this preserve came out too good not to indulge a craving!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Falafel- the Glorious Deep Fried Ball

Falafel has been on my to do list for a long time, and though I have made patties and burgers using garbanzo beans, this is the first time I tried the deep fried ball. It was a hit! I made about 40 and they all got gobbled up in no time!
I did mix cilantro and black pepper for flavor, and of course, garlic and onion is a must!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Garlic Bread Rolls- AKA Balabushka in Mujdei

These are delightful little rolls that usually take shape from the big bread dough batch. Soaked in mujdei- a garlic sauce made of crushed garlic, salt and water (sometimes oil as well), they do not last long. Crisp from outside and soft inside, infused with garlic- this roll is always a winner!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

From Spaghetti Upma to Spaghetti Egg Nests

Leftovers are a blessing. Because they beget creativity. And it rarely happens in our kitchen that cooking is not teamwork. Since early age my little Cinderella has been giving me a hand (sigh...). But hey- looking back- it was fun! and this fun continues, and as she gets older, my load gets lighter! (sigh again!).
Here- yesterday's spaghetti upma, mixed with egg and pan baked to form an egg nest!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Spaghetti Upma- a la Semiya Upma


I know it has been done before (sigh), but was it done with spaghetti cut squash and carrot? Ha? - teasing. The idea came after I made that spaghetti dish the other day. The usual and unusual went in here: carrot, peas and squash, cumin, mustard and ginger, asafoetida and turmeric, chili for bite and peanuts for crunch!!!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Tomato, Zucchini and Herb Risotto

Risotto is a versatile Italian dish made with rice that absorbs water and oozes the starch, yielding a creamy, translucent grain. There are many types of risotto, and each region in Italy has its own specialty.

Some tips on achieving a perfect texture can be found here. It does take a bit of practice and even more patience to achieve the right texture.
Here I have a risotto made with garden fresh tomatoes, zucchini and flavoured with parsley and dill. Chopped onion is fried till translucent- that gives the dish a pleasant, sweet contrast. Butter is the fat of choice for risotto, but I did opt for sunflower oil.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Spicy Chickpeas with Toasted Seeds and Herbs

I admit I am hooked on chickpeas. Toasted, roasted, stewed, baked, fried, whole or ground- sky is the limit! Love the flour made out of them- so versatile, and gluten free. Here: Garam masala spiced chickpeas in a tomato sauce, garnished with toasted mustard, cumin and parsley. With a side of rice, or flat bread- it can't get any better!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Spaghetti with Spaghetti Cut Carrot and Squash a rich tomato sauce. Bounty of fresh vegetables in our garden, and sometimes we eat them cooked too :). A tad of black pepper and fresh parsley crown the delicate flavour of these veggies. No more, no less.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Egg Drop Soup AKA Egg Flower Soup

Now that tomatoes are in season, and they sell ginger at the local market, and happy eggs are fresh every day, and so are scallions...Soothing and comforting- this soup is really a breeze to make. And it will get finished in the same manner.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Baking Time- Round Challah

Round challah, 6 braided sprinkled with white and black sesame seeds.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Summer Squash, Green Beans and Cauliflower Stew

One of the best things that usually happens when we visit Moldova in summer is the garden fresh, better than organic grown berries, fruits and vegetables. You can somewhat trust the old farmer sitting with a pail of tomatoes at the local market, but you cannot trust the bulk sellers. Poor does not mean no access to pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. In fact, poor and uneducated often translates into overuse and misuse of those. It is unfortunate, but bitter true.

Well, since we are talking of vegetables, and staying vegan for the most part (oh, we love raw milk ;), how about tantalizing the palate with this flavourful trio stew: summer squash, green beans and cauliflower! Spiced with just a tad of curry spice, garnished with toasted cumin seeds and cilantro, this dish can be perfect company to any cooked grains, pulses or pasta!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th of July! Freedom is Not Free!


Remember it, celebrate it, and honor the day with dignity and gratitude.
On the culinary level, I know how big bbq, burgers, grill and all that are on this day.

Here is some vegetarian variety made in our kitchen:

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