Tag Archives: international cuisine
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Gnocchi with courgette and gorgonzola

14 Oct

Gnocchi with courgettes and gorgonzola

Ingredients

For the gnocchi (from La Cucina Italiana):

  • 2½ pounds baking potatoes, scrubbed and unpeeled
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour, plus extra
  • Salt
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons Grana Padano, grated

For the sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin  olive oil
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 3 courgettes, thinly sliced
  • Salt
  • 9 ounces Gorgonzola cheese
  • Freshly ground pepper

 

Instructions

I used this recipe to make the gnocchi. Make the gnocchi according to instructions.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil to cook the gnocchi.  This will take about 3 minutes – they’re ready once they float to the top.

In a large pot, warm the olive oil and add the shallots, and the courgettes. Cook for 5 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the Gorgonzola to the pan and once it’s melted add the cooked gnocchi. Let the ingredients combine for 1-2 minutes and then serve. Enjoy!

 

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Edible mouse

1 Feb

IMG_4135This used to be my favourite chocolate cake when I was a kid. I always buy one (or two) when I visit my parents in Greece. Not only it’s cute but it’s delicious! Can be a bit overwhelming if you’re not a chocoholic though!

Even its ears and tail are edible and made of… chocolate!

Halloumi, Baby Spinach Pita Wrap

21 Jan

 

halloumi pita

Not sure if this qualifies as a “recipe”. It’s really easy and very tasty. All you need is some greek style pita bread, some halloumi cheese, fresh baby spinach and vegetable oil for frying. I prefer olive oil but avoid if you find it too strong.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the halloumi slices over a medium heat for about 2-3 minutes on each side, until golden and slightly soft inside. Warm up the pita bread. You can do it in the oven or over medium heat in a frying pan.

Add the sliced halloumi and some spinach leaves in the pita bread, wrap, and enjoy!

Loukoumades (Greek Doughnuts)

18 Jan

2012-12-28 16.19.10

Loukoumades is a classic greek dessert. Even though their name might sound weird, they’re nothing but fried dough balls in honey syrup spiced with cinnamon. You may have already noticed that honey and cinnamon are the main ingredients in many greek desserts!

If you want to try loukoumades, here’s a simple recipe by Maria Benardis:

 

Melomakarona (Greek Christmas Cookies)

22 Dec

Melomakarona are probably my favourite Christmas desserts. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to find them anywhere outside Greece.

I thought that making them would be very difficult and I’d never tried to even look at a recipe before. This year, however, I decided to give it a go after watching a youtube “how to” video by accident. The recipe didn’t seem as complex as I expected.

A great thing about those cookies is the fact that they’re made using olive oil instead of butter. Also, they don’t have eggs.   You should only use GOOD quality olive oil though.

Ingredients

for the cookies:

2 cups olive oil
1 1/2 cup orange juice
3 cups of flour
1/4 tbs cinnamon
1/4 tbs nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
peel one clementine

for syrup:

1 cup honey
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups water
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup of walnuts (for sprinkling)

Instructions

MelomakaronaMix the orange juice and the olive oil in a big bowl. Add nutmeg, cinnamon, and the clementine peel and mix well. It’s probably best if you use your hands to do this. In a separate bowl, sift the flour with the baking soda. Slowly incorporate the flour until the mixture forms a dough that is not too loose but not quite firm either. Use a handful of dough to make each cookie, forming into a log shape. Place the cookies on a cooking sheet and flatten them by pressing them with a fork.  Bake them for 25 – 30 minutes until lightly browned. Don’t worry if they don’t look as dark as in the photos! They will darken when you submerge them in syrup.

Wait until the cookies are cool. Then prepare the syrup by combining the honey, sugar, water and cinnamon in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil then lower the heat and simmer over the lowest heat possible during dipping. Put in cookies in the syrup and allow the cookies to absorb syrup on both sides. Hold them down for 30 seconds and then place on a large serving plate and sprinkle them with finely chopped walnuts.

Do not refrigerate the melomakarona. Cover them well with plastic wrap or store in air tight containers. Enjoy!

Cake ‘R’ Us

22 Dec
tea & cake

tea & cake

Cake ‘R’ Us is an Asian coffee shop and bakery in Sheffield. They currently have 2 shops. I’ve only visited the one in Division Street. It’s one of my favourite places! It has great herbal teas and really nice cakes. They are much lighter than the ones you find in western bakeries and really cheap. We’re talking about less than £2 for a piece of cake, which is tasty and fresh! Teas are great too. They’re served in a pot which makes about 4 cups!!! The one I usually order costs only £1.50. A bargain! Also, they have a quiet room downstairs with free wifi. Not a bad place to write an essay or a new blog post.

They offer lots of savoury and sweet Asian products – most of them freshly baked. Some of them are a bit too exotic for me, but trying new things is always nice.

If you ever visit Sheffield and you’re looking for a place for tea and cake, give Cake ‘R’ Us a go! They stay open until 21:00 every day, even on Sundays. Here’s their website.

I should give credit to the Courgette Co-op for discovering this place while she was in Sheffield!

Here are some pics from my last visit:

IMG_3962

oreo cake

jasmine tea! Look at the jasmine buds!

jasmine tea! Look at the jasmine buds!

Dinner with International Friends: Curries & Pudding!

14 Dec

A friend from Singapore invited me and a few friends for dinner tonight. The food and the company were great. Even though I was very tired from running experiments all day I had a really good time. Since I moved to the UK I rarely get the chance to have proper homemade dinner with friends.

We had 4 different dishes served with rice. Two chicken based curries, a dhal curry, and a tomato-onion side dish. I was very surprised by the last one. Tomatoes in England taste terrible, or to be more precise, have no taste at all! This dish, however, was extremely tasty! My friend said that the secret is in the onions that should be cooked in really low heat for a long period of time. And here’s a pic of the food:

curries

curries

Lovely colours!

The dessert was a bread and butter pudding, a traditional british recipe. I’ve never heard of it before and I didn’t expect to like it as it has raisins. I rarely enjoy food with raisins as I find their texture disgusting. The pudding served with ice cream was delicious though! I might try making it at home soon. The recipe looks easy and simple. It smells great too!

Here’s a bad pic of the pudding:

bread and butter pudding

bread and butter pudding