Saturday, June 21, 2014

Classic French cherry clafoutis... recipe by Nigel Slater

I made clafoutis before, but I remember being disappointed with the result. This time I've been looking for a recipe, a recipe that might actually work for me. There are so many clafoutis! Who knew!? Each and every "celebrity chef" has their own version. Then you'll have many more from numerous books about French cuisine... Tough job to pick just one! I went with my instincts and decided to trust a person who I would always trust when it comes to food. No, he's not French, but I like the way he sees foo and cooks - Mr Nigel Slater. "The Kitchen dairies" are my favourite bedtime stories :) and to watch Nigel's programs on TV is pure joy! But back to our today's star - the result was just fantastic. Something between thick pancake and set custard - delicious! I didn't have to add any more sugar than originally in the recipe, as my cherries were quite sweet. Had a slice almost straight from the oven -I just couldn't wait any longer with that tasty aroma all around my kitchen ;) and I also had some the next day - leftovers, cold from the fridge with my coffee. I liked it both ways, I actually liked it so much that I'm already thinking what other fruit and taste combinations to use next time! :)





How to make it...

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Mini focaccia... recipe by Paul Hollywood

It was my VERY FIRST time making focaccia and as for a very first time I think I gave it a good go! The recipe I based my efforts on was one by Paul Hollywood from his book "How to bake" (which is very good book by the way!). The dough was easy to work with - using my stand mixer ;) because I can't imagine working with it by hand,. It's quite wet and soft dough, but one that rises very well and you can easily shape it the way you want it. I divided the dough in half and made one big, square focaccia and few small round ones (which disappeared in little mouths of my two little angels, perfect size for their little hands!).
They didn't sire as high as I would hoped for when baking, but I think that was my own fault - flatten them too much with my fingers... Well, lesson learned! ;) The taste was great, I made few different "toppings": black olives, salt & chopped fresh rosemary (which my girls were calling sprinkles! ;) ) and last one - just coarse ground sea salt. Will be making focaccia again soon - this time going not so "tough" on the dough before baking it ;)


"Focaccia is a flat oven-baked Italian bread product similar in style and texture to pizza doughs. It may be topped with herbs or other ingredients. Focaccia is popular in Italy and is usually seasoned with olive oil and salt, and sometimes herbs, and may be topped with onion, cheese and meat, or flavored with a number of vegetables. Focaccia can be used as a side to many meals, as a base for pizza, or as sandwich bread." - by wikipedia.org



How to make it...

Friday, June 13, 2014

BBQ sticky ribs... the best ever!

I love BBQ sticky ribs! I can't think of a more comforting food :) Doesn't matter time of the year or time of the day actually too - I just love them! On their own, plain and simple. Sometimes with a bit of salad on the side, but usually nothing at all. Well, maybe a bit of bread to soak up all the leftover sauce ;)
The below recipe, or more of a way of doing it, was completely my invention. I'm giving you a list of all the ingredients that I always use, it was hard to give exact quantities, as I always do it "as I go" and I taste on the way, but I tired my best to give you some kind of guidance.
This is the ultimate, my secret recipe for the best BBQ sticky spare ribs ever! Well, maybe not that secret anymore after this post ;) Please do, do, do make them! You won't regret it!





How to make it...

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Pain d’épices - French spice bread...

If you're reading my blog for a while now, you know I'm a fan of all things French - French cheeses, French wine, French cuisine, French movies & music, French language. I'm also a keen reader of David Lebovitz's blog and when I came across this recipe I had to give it a go! And of course - it didn't disappoint :) You could probably say it is a kind of gingerbread, but I found it not as spicy as gingerbread and slightly dryer (that's a result of using different kind of flour and not a plain one, which would normally go into a gingerbread cake). The taste definitely improved within time and the cake/bread(?) kept well for over a week! I hope you'll give it a go and will pop over to David's website too - it's very well written, with beautiful photos, great recipes, some interesting stories and it's quite "inspiring" when it comes to cooking :)


"Pain d'épices or pain d'épice (French for: "spice bread", sometimes loosely translated as "gingerbread") is a French cake or quick bread whose ingredients, according to Le Dictionnaire de l'Académie françoise (1694), are "rye flourhoney and spices", today including aniseed but not traditionally ginger. In Alsace, a considerable tradition incorporates a pinch of cinnamon." - by wikipedia.org






How to make it...

Sunday, June 01, 2014

What to do with hard pears -> apple & pear butter!...

You know I like putting things in jars - being it fruits or vegetables, or both at the same time! :) On this occasion I had a big bowl of apples and some very stubborn pears that were very hard and didn't want to ripen and become soft and juicy - even after a week in the same bowl as apples, which usualy does the trick...
So if you - like me - happen to have very hard, but still delicious, pears and don't know what to do with them - soften them up in some sugar, in a company of some apples and you'll have one tasty apple & pear butter for your toast! :)





How to make it...