29 July 2013

Bagel Snake

Bagel Snake and other Party Snacks :) Pretty amusing to serve at your house party instead of your boring old bowl of crisps and party sticks. Mind you, they're not exactly creme de la creme of neither my culinary nor artistic achievements, but I'm no Dr Lecter - can't be perfect all the time ;)

I feel like there's not much of a recipe to give you here. I cut bagels into quarters, arranged them into a 'snake', spread some soft cheese on them and drew the stripes with chilli sauce. I made the head from a leftover piece of bagel, I made the eyes out of a couple of capers and chilli sauce, and stuck them to the head with some mayo, and finally I made the tongue out of some chives. Et voila :)

The other sandwiches I made were the bog standard cheese and pickle, ham and mustard and pate with gherkins, but I used my dinosaur sandwich cutter which made all the difference :) I served them with some tomato roses and 'mushrooms' made out of hard-boiled eggs and cherry tomatoes. To make these all you need to do is cut the tip of the tomato off, scoop out the inside and put the tomato on top of the egg. You can use mayo or soft cheese to make the spots. Tip: Mayo will go transparent after a while when it dries out, so I would recommend soft cheese.


22 July 2013

Vodka Jelly Watermelon

The. Best. Party. Snack. EVER. :) I can guarantee that your guests will absolutely love it. A really funny and original way to make your cocktails a lot more entertaining!

  • 1 Watermelon
  • Red fruit jelly - like a cherry, strawberry or raspberry one. You can either use a powdered or concentrated jelly. I used Hartley's Jelly cubes.
  • Vodka (may I suggest cheap, low quality one, like Russian Standard or Grey Goose. I may be getting a little bit political here...)
  • Boiled Water 
  • Cold Water
  • a couple of gelatin sheets
  • chocolate chips

  1. Cut the watermelon in half. Use a spoon, a scoop or whatever else suits you to remove the red pulp from the watermelon, leaving just a thin layer in, so that the 2 watermelon shell bowls you get as a result still appear red on the inside. Use the pulp for another recipe, like a fruit salad, or just eat it alone - we won't need it for the vodka jelly recipe.
  2. Fill in each watermelon with water all the way to the rim, and then transfer all that water into a measuring jug. This way you'll know the volume of jelly you'll need to fill them.
  3. The watermelon will keep oozing a lot of liquids. Leave it for a bit to dry, preferably upside-down over a rack. It's hard to tell how long this will take, as it depends on the size of the watermelon, the ambient temperature and air humidity etc. You want to wait long enough for the liquids to stop oozing, but not so long that the shell will wither or overdry.

For the vodka jelly:

  1. The general rule of thumb is to only use 75% of the liquid recommended on the label. Based on this calculate how many jellies you'll need to fill in both halves of the watermelon - for example, if the capacity of your watermelon bowls is 1.5 litre and your jelly calls for 1 litre of water, use 2 packets of jelly.
  2. Out of the 75% of liquids 1 part should be hot water, 1 part cold water and 1 part vodka. So, for example, if it says on the box to use 1 litre of water, you should use 250ml of cold water, 250ml of hot water and 250ml of vodka. I'll use this example in my recipe:
  3. Boil 250ml of water and mix in the jelly in a bowl. 
  4. Soak 2 gelatin sheets in cool water and then transfer them to the hot water with the fruit jelly. Mix until they're dissolved. Let it cool a bit (to room temperature).
  5. In the meantime, mix 250ml of Vodka and 250ml of cold water.
  6. Mix the jelly solution with the water and vodka.
  7. Fill the watermelons with the vodka jelly mixture and leave them in the fridge just long enough for the jelly to start setting.
  8. Using a skewer or any other utensil, push the chocolate chips into the watermelon, so that they look like seeds. Return the watermelon to the fridge for a couple of hours or until the jelly is fully set.
  9. Slice up and eat responsibly. They are surprisingly strong! :)

15 July 2013

Leek and Potato Soup

One of the simplest recipes I've ever uploaded here, but I couldn't resist it :) There's something nice and homely about the leek and potato soup. I like it chunky and without milk or cream, which makes it even quicker and easier. Enjoy!

  • 2 large leeks, chopped into small chunks
  • 3 small or 2 large onions, chopped into small chunks
  • 2 carrots, chopped into small chunks
  • 4-5 medium white potatoes, peeled and chopped into chunks
  • 3l of chicken stock
  • 3 tbsp of salted butter
  • 5 allspice berries, or 1 tsb of ground allspice
  • 1 tsp of ground black pepper

  1. Boil potatoes in salty water, drain and set aside.
  2. Melt the butter in a pan, add the onion and leeks and fry on medium heat for 10-20 minutes until the leeks are soft and the onions are glossy.
  3. Place the carrots, leeks and onions in a large pot. Add the stock, allspice and pepper and boil until the carrots are soft.
  4. Add the potatoes and heat up for another minute or two.

8 July 2013

Proper Scrambled Eggs

Stand back children and watch how it's done. Scrambled eggs a la me - the only right way to make scrambled eggs. Ever.

Ingredients (for two):

  • 6 eggs (shock horror)
  • good quality smoked streaky bacon - either sliced or lardons (I prefer lardons). If you're using slices, pick thick-cut ones and chop them up into small chunks.
  • 1 large onion, chopped roughly
  • 5 chestnut mushrooms, chopped
  • a bunch of fresh chives... also chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp of butter (either salted or unsalted)
  • 1 tsp of sunflower oil
  1. Separate whites from yolks.
  2. Heat up the butter and the oil in a frying pan and let the butter melt. The butter will give the scrambled eggs the lovely traditional buttery taste, while the oil will keep it from browning and burning too quickly.
  3. Add in the bacon and fry it until it's nice and very crispy on the outside, but not dried out throughout. Mmmm :)
  4. Add in the onions and mushrooms and fry until the onions are glossed and the mushrooms are soft.
  5. Turn the heat all the way down. Add in the egg whites and stir them into the bacon, onions and mushrooms with a wooden spoon. Heat up until they start setting. When the whites are about half way cooked, add in the yolks. Season with salt and pepper. Be careful with salt, though, if the bacon you used is quite salty. Mix the yolks in roughly with the rest of the ingredients. You don't want to end up with an omelette - the eggs just need to be roughly stirred. Heat up, stirring frequently, until the egg whites are *just* cooked. Don't worry, they'll keep cooking with their own residual heat over the next couple of minutes, so they'll be perfect by the time you dig in to them. Also, don't let the eggs stick to the pan, as they will dry out very quickly. Now we wouldn't want that, would we?
  6. Just before transferring onto plates mix in some chopped up chives. Ta-dah! :) Best served with either some tomatoes or tomato ketchup, in my personal opinion. :) Enjoy.

1 July 2013

Potato, Onion and Chorizo Frittata

My other half's speciality :) Can't really claim this recipe as my own, but it's so delicious it had to make the blog. I really recommend this one - sounds very simple but is far from it. A very fulfilling, flavourful, interesting meal. 

  • 4 potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 6 eggs
  • 120g of chorizo sausage, sliced
  • 1 large onion, very finely sliced
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • A bunch of fresh basil leaves

  1. Preheat an oven to 250C. Boil the potatoes in salty water. Drain them and set them aside.
  2. In an oven-proof pan, fry the chorizo slices until it starts getting crispy.
  3. Beat the eggs with a fork, season with a pinch of salt and pepper and add them to the pan with chorizo. Add in the potatoes as well and heat for about 30 seconds and transfer the whole pan into the oven until the frittata is golden brown on the top and just cooked in the middle.
  4. Mix together the onions, lemon juice, a spoon of olive oil and a small pinch of salt and pepper in a bowl. Leave for a couple of minutes to soften a little bit in the salt.
  5. Serve the frittata with the onions on the side and fresh basil leaves sprinkled on top. I had a couple of sundried tomatoes on the side as well, just for a contrast.