Sunday, January 30, 2011

SLICE OF CHOCOLATE

tomorrow is my lover's birthday =)) so i made him a chocolate-sherry cake. a unique recipe for my unique lover...
it turned out moist, rich,delicious and pretty  ... YAY!
let's start


INGREDIENTS

chocolate cake:
4 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup corn oil
1 cup milk
2 tbsp nutella
2 tbsp sherry
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp vanilla
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup flour

chocolate ganache:
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp sherry
1tbsp unsweetened butter
1/4 cup powder sugar
1 tbsp cocoa
1 ghirardelli dark chocolate bar
1 ghirardelli milk chocolate bar


DIRECTIONS

chocolate cake:
In a medium mixing bowl, beat eggs until smooth,
add sugar and beat until sugar dissolves.
add corn oil,sherry,vanilla and milk Stir cocoa powder and nutella Whisk them well
add chocolate chips , gradually add sifted flour and baking powder to the mixture.
Bake in a greased cake pan 30- 40 minutes at 350°F until cake cook through 
let cool to room temperature. Slice into medium squares and  pour the chocolate ganache over the cake evenly. Decorate with strawberries and shaved chocolate

chocolate ganache:
Place the chopped chocolate in a medium sized stainless steel bowl. Set aside. Heat the milk ,cream and butter in a small saucepan  add  Bring just to a boil. Immediately pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Stir with a whisk until smooth stir cocoa and powder sugar let it cool and pour over the cake..

accompany it with a glass of Champagne .. cheers

ENJOY


happy birthday lover...

listen to some FRANK  SINATRA

Friday, January 28, 2011

MEATBALL SPAGHETTI WITH RED SAUCE

this recipe is from my grandmother.. who was a Greek and a great cook.. so it is a little different than the Italian version..
let's start..

meatballs:
16 oz. extra lean ground beef(96/4)
1 large onion (grated!!)
1 cup of bead crumb
1/2 cup of water
1/4 cup of parsley(chopped)
black pepper,salt
1/4 cup flour
2 cups vegetable oil(to deep fry)
red sauce:
4-5 fresh tomatoes(peeled and grated)
2-3 cloves garlic(minced)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp grape vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 tsp white sugar
1/2 cup mushroom(sliced) it's optional.. i had some  from yesterday so used it
salt, pepper,oregano
spaghetti:
1 pack spaghetti
water
2 tbsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
DIRECTION
meatballs:
in a bowl mix  ground beef, onion,breadcrumbs,water,parsley,salt an pepper
roll up  medium sized balls
lightly flour the meatbalss
Heat 2 cups oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat
add the meatballs,brown on all side
transfer to a plate with a slotted spoon.
red sauce:
heat oil in a sauce pan  cook garlic and mushroom until soft
add tomatoes,tomato paste,vinegar,sugar,salt and cook for 5 minutes.
add water ,cover, and simmer until cooked through, about 15-20 minutes
add  meatballs, black pepper and oregano  cook for 5 minutes
spaghetti:
Meanwhile, in a large pot bring the water in a boil .
add oil and salt
cook spaghetti according to package direction until al dente. Drain; return to pot. stir with butter
serve meatballs and red sauce on top
accompany it with a glass of SYRAH


ENJOY

listen to some PEARL JAM














SHIRAZ / SYRAH WINE

The Shiraz / Syrah grape is called Syrah in the US, France and many countries.
In Australia it is called Shiraz, where it is considered the finest red wine grown there.
Shiraz is certainly the most widely planted red grape in Australia.
Shiraz is known for its spicy blackberry, plum, and peppery flavors.
Often there are additional notes of licorice, bitter chocolate and mocha.
Shiraz can be made in a fruity style, which many "sweet" wine drinkers enjoy.
It can also be made in a dry style.
Shiraz goes very well with beef and other hearty foods.
It also goes well with Indian, Mexican, and other spicy foods.
well my favorite choice of  syrah is Kendall-Jackson..
tasty, affordable and easy to find...


ENJOY


listen to some JIM MORRISON

Thursday, January 27, 2011

SPICEY SHRIMP AND MUSHROOM CASSEROLE

one of the best way to eat shrimp..  very yummy

INGREDIENTS
1 pack raw , peeled shrimp
3-4 cloves of garlic (minced)
10 oz. fresh white mushroom(1/2 inch slices)
1 Anaheim pepper(chopped)
1 jalapeno pepper(chopped)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup of water
2-3 tomatoes (diced)
1 cup of mozzarella  cheese (grated)
salt ,black pepper, dry oregano leaves

DIRECTIONS
heat oil in a broad pot. 
cook garlic and peppers
add mushroom cook for 5 minutes
add tomato cook for 5-8 minutes until tomato is cooked
stir in shrimps and add water
add salt , black pepper and oregano leaves
cook for 3 minutes
divide it into individual oven safe soup bowls or put the whole stew in a big dish 
bake at 350 °F 15-20 minutes
after 20 minutes cover each with grated mozzarella cheese and bake until golden brown
sprinkle with parsley
serve with rice
don't forget to drink glass of zinfandel =)

ENJOY 

listen to some PORTISHEAD

CELERY ROOT WITH ORANGE JUICE

Celery Root (a.k.a celeriac) is a great substitute for potatoes. It can be cooked in many of the same ways as potatoes, but is a far healthier alternative. It is is a great source of dietary fiber, vitamin B6, magnesium, potassium and manganese, and a very good source of vitamin C and phosphorus... celery root has  the best flavor when it's cooked with orange...


INGREDIENTS

2-3 medium size salary roots( peeled, cut into cubes)
1-2 medium size onion (chopped)
2 medium size potato(peeled, cut into cubes )
2 medium size carrot(peeled, sliced)
2 cups of orange juice, preferably freshly squeezed
juice from 1 lemon
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tsp sugar
salt and black pepper

  DIRECTIONS
saute onions in olive oil
add carrots,potatoes and celery roots                                                                                    
add orange juice and lemon juice,salt and sugar
cook on high heat for 5 minutes 
lower the heat and cook for another 20-30 minutes
check one carrot slice with a fork, if it is tender, remove the pot from the heat. 
add black pepper 
sprinkle with celery leaves
cool before serving


ENJOY


listen to some BOB MARLEY











Tuesday, January 25, 2011

PROFITEROLES (CHOUX PASTRY)

profiteroles are must have in my kitchen and for my family..
Sweet Profiteroles  are small, crisp, hollow rounds of Choux Pastry that are split in half and filled with sweet whipped cream, ice cream, or pastry cream.
Cream puff is the American term for profiteroles. The difference between profiterole and ├ęclairs is simply shape. Classically they are both filled with pastry cream and then drizzled with chocolate.. i prefer the classic way... No matter if you are making a profiterole or a cream puff, they both start with a baked puffed shell of choux pastry. 

INGREDIENTS (choux pastry)

1/2 cup (65 grams) all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon granulated white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) (57 grams) unsalted butter
1/2 cup (120 ml) water
2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Chocolate Ganache:

4 ounces (115 gr)bitter chocolate (cut into small pieces) 
1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoons (14 grams) unsalted butter

Filling:

1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar
3 large egg yolks
1/8 cup (20 grams) all-purpose flour
scant 3 tbsp (20 grams) cornstarch
1 1/4 cups (300 ml) milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


DIRECTIONS
filling: (classic pastry cream)
In a medium-sized  bawl, mix the sugar and egg yolks. (Do not let this mixture sit too long or you will get pieces of egg forming.) sift the flour and cornstarch together and then add to the egg mixture, mixing until you get a smooth paste. Set aside.
Meanwhile in a small saucepan, bring the milk just to a boil over medium heat. (Watch carefully and remove from heat just as the milk starts to foam up.) Pour the milk slowly into the egg mixture, whisking constantly to prevent curdling.
Place the egg mixture into a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until boiling, whisking constantly. When it boils, continue to whisk constantly for another 30 - 60 seconds until it becomes thick.
Remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla extract. Pour into a clean bowl and immediately cover the surface with plastic wrap to prevent a crust from forming. Let the cream cool in the refrigerator for a few hours.

choux pastry:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
In a bowl sift together the flour,sugar and salt. Set aside. 
Place the butter and water in a heavy saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and, with a wooden spoon or spatula, quickly add the flour mixture. Return to heat and stir constantly until the dough comes away from the sides of the pan and forms a thick smooth ball (about a minute or two). Transfer the dough to your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, and beat on low speed a minute or two to release the steam from the dough. Once the dough is lukewarm start adding the lightly beaten eggs and continue to mix until you have a smooth thick sticky paste. Spoon or pipe 12 mounds of dough onto the baking sheet, spacing them a couple of inches apart. Beat together the egg and salt for the glaze. With a pastry brush, gently brush the glaze on the tops of the dough. 
Bake for 15 minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). Bake for a further 30 to 40 minutes or until the shells are a nice amber color and when split, are dry inside. Turn the oven off and, with the oven door slightly ajar, let the shells dry out for a further 10 - 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.(cool before filling with cream)

Chocolate Ganache:
 Place the chopped chocolate in a medium sized stainless steel bowl. Set aside. Heat the cream and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil. Immediately pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Stir with a whisk until smooth

To Assemble: 
Split the pastry shells in half, fill the bottom halves of the shells with classic pastry cream or  vanilla ice cream, and replace the top. Drizzle each profiterole liberally with warm chocolate ganache. Serve immediately.

ENJOY

listen to some RUFUS WAINWRIGHT








GREEN LENTIL DISH


today a ''green lentil dish'' on the menu... this is my daughter's favorite way to eat green lentil =)
Lentils
are very nutritious and readily available in dried form. Lentils are a great addition to many recipes and a staple for vegetarians... this recipe is from the Turkish Cuisine .. very easy to make for a heavenly taste...

INGREDIENTS

1 cup dried green lentils( rinsed)
1 onion (chopped)
1 heaping tbsp tomato paste
4 tbsp olive or vegetable oil
2-3 tbsp rice or bulgur
a quarter bunch of dill leaves (chopped)
half tbsp mint flakes
salt,black pepper
1/2 cup ground beef( optional for the meat lovers)
2 cups hot water


DIRECTIONS

add water to a saucepan bring water to a boil and add the lentils boil for 5 minutes  then rinse and drain
in another pot saute onions with olive oil over medium heat till onions are tender
add tomato paste
add 1/2 cup ground beef if desired
stir and cook for 3 minutes
add green lentil and rice and stir
add water, and salt
Cover the lid and simmer over low heat till the lentils are cooked (20-30 minutes).
add black pepper
sprinkle mint flakes and dill leaves before serving

serve green lentil dish with fresh bread and pickled vegetables

ENJOY

listen to some JANIS JOPLIN