Cauliflower & Leek soup

I believe in seasonal cooking. It’s easier, affordable and can be elegant too. So when it’s cauliflower time, I know I’ll be cooking it in many ways. I love it simply with butter and I think it’s best way for this vegetable. But why not try other ideas out?
Today simple and comfort soup. Thick, creamy – can be served as a single dish. Uncomplicated for sure.

3/4 of cauliflower (florets)
1 big potato, peeled and halved
1 leek (white part – green one is perfect for broccoli & leek soup)
1 onion
3 cloves of garlic + 1 additionally
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp of corriander seeds, crushed in the mortar
1 Tbs of fresh rosemary
1 cup of single cream (or full fat milk)
2 Tbs of olive oil
1 heaped Tbs of unsalted butter
1,5 L of water
Sea salt, freshly ground pepper

Put cauliflower and potato in the pot with water, add bay leaf & corriander seeds and start cooking. Slice garlic, leek and onion. Put olive oil in the hot pan and fry garlic for 10-15 sec. Add onion and leek, pour 1/2 cup of water in and mix gently from time to time. Veggies should be softer, but not caramelized or even gold. Do not overfried!
Put it in the pot and cook for about 30 mins. Cool down a little bit, add fresh rosemary and last clove of garlic – crushed. Take bay leaf out. Blend everything until smooth and creamy. Combine with cream, butter, salt and pepper. The more runny soup you want the more cream/milk/water you should add. Enjoy!
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Pure simplicity – roasted pumpkin

When I think about wasting lovely pumpkin for the Halloween decorations… to be honest with you, I am not really into Halloween anyway, so no harm at all. If you like simplicity which is super-fast and sophisticated at the same time – Roasted pumpkin is good consideration. All you need is wide kitchen board and a knife. And wide plate of course, because this proposition of pumpkin is dangerously delicious.

1 pumpkin
2-3 Tbs of butter (it’s enough!)
Fresh or dried rosemary – up to you how much
Sea salt

If you don’t know how to cut pumpkin properly (and safely!), put the knife into the top and carefully try to halve it, cutting around. Make quarters and smaller slices at the end. Cut off pluffy inside. I love eating fresh pumpkin seeds, they’re absolutely great for your digestive system. Peel it and cut into big chunks, season with salt (it’ll be softer) and put in the very big pot or bowl. Heat up butter in the small pot, just for a minute, to get runny liqid (not too much heating!). Pour butter in the pot with pumpkin and immediately start tossing, because we need it to cover up every chunk of the pumpkin. Add rosemary. Put on the very wide baking tray, and leave in the oven (200 C) for about 45 mins. After that time change for a 220 C for another 15 mins, to get crispy endings. This is what I really wait for… And you will be genuinely surprised, that the entire baking tray will be empty within minutes 🙂 It’s also perfect base for a winter, comfort soup, with cream and a bit of ginger. Enjoy!
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Pumpkin’s and pepper’s time!

We’ve finally had beautiful, sunny days recently. I like this time of the year especially for its extraordinary colours and also because it’s pumpkin’s & pepper’s season. I’ve never tried to match it before. Yesterday I realised that it could be interesting combination: pumpkin is very delicate, sweet and is a good base. Pepper is quite intensive, has great colour and could be either crispy or soft. Depends on you. And to be honest with you, guys, I think almost every vegetable goes great simply with butter, garlic and rosemary.
Today I’ll show you how to prepare a bit rustic, but still delicious and light meal, within 15-20 minutes.I am using rustic plate, too, which is my great love… I even think that one of the posts could be devoted to my collection of Churchill's porcelain which I’ve been buying on the Internet (quite big I must say – for 12! ) Maybe one of you also loves vintage style, just like me? When you like me to choose a new pair of shoes or nice antique piece, I wouldn't hesitate at all. Although I love booties too 🙂 Anyway, I thought that buckwheat is so rustic and deserves only one of Cottonwood Collection's piece.
Ingredients at least for 2.

150g of roasted buckwheat
300g of pumpkin ( I bought 1/4 of entire one)
1 red pepper
1/2 of small onion
3 cloves of garlic
2 Tbs of butter
Fresh rosemary – 2-3 Tbs
Salt, pepper to taste
untl
Cook buckwheat (1:2 proportions, buckwheat to boiling water). Cook for about 10 mins and then turn if off. Leave until water absorbed. In the meantime, peel and dice pumpkin. Slice pepper. Put 1 Tbs of butter on the hot pan, put chopped garlic in, and after 1 min – also finely chopped onion. Fry until nicely golden and flavoured. Add sliced pepper, chopped rosemary and fry until soft. It will go red a bit. Meanwhile, cook pumpkin, using steam pot. When it's soft, mix everything carefully. At the very end, add 1 Tbs of butter to the hot buchwkeat and serve immediately. Enjoy colours and flavours on you plate!
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Swordfish with rosemary and garlic

As simple way in preparing fish as possible. I did my supper within minutes and served swordfish with basmanti rice and vegetables. Swordfish is rather expensive but I think it’s worth to buy from time to time. First of all it’s not runny, soggy, you can marinate steaks properly and all the flavours won’t come out when frying. It’s also not that intensive with its smell as the other type of fishes. I’m always convincing myself that I don’t smoke, don’t drink, so sometimes I can afford such a luxurious meal. There’s no need to write more than that: it was very tasty.

1 swordfsh steak
Fresh rosemary, about a teaspoon for each steak
2 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon of olive oil
Sea salt, pepper to taste

+ basmanti rice cooked with lemon zest and vegetables with butter and a sprinkle of original unroasted curry. That’s all.

Best steaks need at least an hours of marinating , but today I did one superfast. Chop garlic and rosemary very finely, combine with olive oil. Season swordfish with sea salt and freshly ground pepper and rub olive mixture in the steak. Fry for a few minutes each side. Serve with rice – remember about 1:2 proportion, put zest from a half of lemon in the pan, pinch of salt and use boiling water from the kettle. Cook on the low heat. Turn the gas off after 13 mins and leave. Rice will absord rest of the water. Serve with fav veggies, just try not to overcook any. Drain off the water. Put butter at the very end. I hope you like it. Enjoy!
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Zucchini stew with chickpeas and harissa

Zucchini is one of my favourite vegetables. It’s like a canvas – you decide what you create. You can put whatever you like and always get surprising taste. Today I’ll show you what I eat very often these days, when zuccini time is in its best. It’s light but still full of flavour. Simple but not boring. And very fast – you need only about 30 mins to create comfort, tasty and thick stew. My combination is only a sample: you can use whatever wegetable you like: pepper, parsnip, fresh tomatoes, aubergine. Everything works beautifully as far as I’m concerned. Recipe is my own idea.
Portions for a 3 litres pot.
• 1 yellow medium zucchini
• 1 green medium zucchini
• 100g of dried chickpeas (soak over night and cook until soft. It’ll be 1 can of chickpeas)
• 2 carrots
• 1 medium onion
• 3-4 cloves of garlic
• 2 teaspoons of dried rosemary (you can use fresh of course, about 2 tablespoons)
• 200ml of tomato puree (you can also use fresh tomatoes, 2-3)
• A little bit of thyme
• 3 tablespoons of sunflower oil, for frying
• 1 tablespoon of harissa paste (I used homemade because I’ve got plenty of chili leaves, bought in Sri Lanka, so I had to do something with it… I’ll present my version of harissa one day)
• Fresh mint leaves
• Seal salt, pepper
• 1 tablespoon of smoked paprika
• 1,5 litres of water

Cook chickpeas or use canned one. Meanwhile chop garlic and onion. Put sunflower oil in the pot (thick bottom highlt required!) and fry it for 3-4 mins. Slice carrots rather finely and mix everything together. Add rosemary and fry, stirring time to time, until golden and caramelized a bit (about 10 mins). Slice zucchini into big chunks and add in the pan, as well as chickpeas. Pour water in, adding pinch of thyme and cook for about 30 mins or when chickpeas is soft. At the end, combine everything gently with tomato puree, harissa, salt and pepper. Serve with mint leaves on the top, with generous slice of wholegrain, rye bread. Lovely! Enjoy.
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Meatballs, penne and creamy rosemary sauce

Rosemary is absolutely wonderful. It suits meat, veggies, sauces… Sometimes I even spinkle my tomato sandwich with finely chopped fresh rosemary. Heavens. Today I’m going to show you very delicious, simple and elegant dish. Because I’m a huge easthete, I am doing my best not only for taste, but for the presentation on equal terms. I used penne but with spaghetti it’ll look even nicer. When you serve rosemary pasta with a beautifully red, ripe tomato chunks, you will find great relish on the plate. As you can see in the picture, rosemary sauce is quite loose – but as I was told in Italy (more than once), a geinuine, Italian sauce musn’t be sticky and heavy. It should be liquidy and light (simply flow down). Portion for 2.

For meatballs I used pork mince meat, about 150 g. It seems small amount but you will form plenty of meatballs later. If you prefer more- feel free to do so! Personally I found it a little bit heavy for summer, but it’s up to you. I added 1 heaped teaspoon of ordinary mustard, a pinch of salt and pepper and 1 nice tablespoon of wholegrain flour (for adding egg we should have had at least 400-500g mince meat to get proper texture so I skipped one and added flour). It’s my base for almost every kind of meatball – I usually modify spices. This time I also added a teaspoon of chopped rosemary, and 1 tablespoon of soft butter. Mix everything together and form thumb-size balls. Fry on the hot pan and set aside.

Rosemary sauce:

• 1 glass of milk (you can also use single cream if you like- it’ll be very creamy, you can skip flour later)
• 3 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh rosemary (about 3-4 strigs)
• 1 spring onion (whole one! White and green part)
• 4-5 cloves of garlic
• 1 tablespoon of wholegrain flour (you can use white)
• 2 tablespoons of sunflower oil (more delicate than olive oil)
• Seal salt, freshly ground pepper

Put oil into the pan. Chop garlic and spring onion. Fry for about 2-3 mins. Add rosemary and stir, approx. 1 minute. Meanwhile combine milk with flour and mix everything together, stirring time to time (about 10 mins.) Add meatballs and leave on the very small gas. Let it bubble for a while. Cook pasta (al dente is essential -it’s also better for our stomach and digestion) in salty water. It usually tooks about 8 mins for ‘al dente’. Drain, put into the sauce, and stir gently. Serve with ripe sliced tomato, cause it’s refreshing and suits perfectly to the meat and rosemary combination. Rocks for me! Enjoy.

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Rozmaryn jest cudowną rośliną. Pasuje do mięs, warzyw, sosów… Lubię go tak bardzo, że często zdarza mi się posypywać nim zwykłą kanapkę z pomidorem. Boskie. Dzisiaj mam dla Was propozycję na pyszne, proste i eleganckie danie. Jestem estetką, więc przywiązuję dużą wagę nie tylko do smaku, ale też prezentacji. Użyłam tym razem penne, ale z makaronem spaghetti będzie wyglądać jeszcze okazalej. Serwując tą pastę ze świeżym, dojrzałym pomidorem, znajdziesz na talerzu prawdziwą przyjemność dla podniebienia. Jak widać na zdjęciu, sos jest dość luźny – a to dlatego, że powiedziano mi kilka razy we Włoszech, że prawdziwy, włoski sos nie powinien być ciężki i klejący. Powinien być lekki, delikatny i w zasadzie lekko spływać po makaronie (nie dotyczy to mięsnego bolognese).

Do klopsików użyłam ok. 150 g mielonego mięsa od szynki. Wydaje się to bardzo małą ilością, ale bez obaw- później udaje się z tego uformować naprawdę sporo klopsików wielkości kciuka. Jeśli lubicie więcej- proszę bardzo, ja natomiast osobiście preferuję w lecie mniejszą ilość mięsa. Do mięsa dodajemy łyżeczkę zwykłej musztardy, szczyptę soli, pieprz. Dodajemy też łyżkę mąki pszennej pełnoziarnistej. Omijamy jajko, gdyż jest to zbyt mała ilość mięsa (potrzebowalibyśmy co najmniej 400-500g, by konsystencja była odpowiednia do formowania kulek). Jest to moja baza do klopsików, kombinuję natomiast z przyprawami. Tym razem dodałam także 1 łyżkę miękkiego masła i posiekany rozmaryn – 1 łyżkę. Mieszamy, formujemy kulki wielkości kciuka (im mniejsze, tym ładniejsze i łatwiejsze w podawaniu). Jeśli masa jest zbyt miękka, dodajmy więcej mąki. Smażymy kulki na odrobinie oleju, odstawiamy.

Sos rozmarynowy:
• 1 szklanka mleka (albo śmietany, sos będzie bardziej kremowy – opuszczamy później mąkę)
• 3 łyżki świeżego rozmarynu
• 1 młoda cebulka wraz ze szczypiorem
• 4-5 ząbków czosnku
• 1 łyżka mąki pszennej (używam pełnoziarnistej)
• 2 łyżki oleju
• Sól, świeżo zmielony pieprz

Rozgrzewamy olej, siekamy czosnek i cebulkę. Wrzucamy na patelnię i smażymy ok. 2-3 minut. Dodajemy rozmaryn i podsmażamy ok.1 min. W międzyczasie mieszamy mleko i mąkę. Wlewamy na patelnię, zostawiamy na około 10 minut, wrzucamy klopsiki, i zostawiamy, aż sos zgęstnieje. Dodajemy sól i pieprz do smaku. Ugotowamy al dente makaron (zazwyczaj gotuje się go w ten sposób ok. 8 min.- jest to zdrowsze dla naszego żołądka, zachęcam do takiego gotowania pasty) wrzucamy, mieszamy i od razu podajemy. Najlepiej z plastrami świeżego pomidora. Dla mnie wymiata! Smacznego.

Quiche with zucchini and dill filling

I love the simplest quiche so far – with smoked bacon, onion, cream and eggs, additionally served with spoonful of sour cream or Greek yogurt. Obviously hot, right from the oven. But honestly I like it in any other way –with broccoli, sliced sausage, red pepper, salmon, leek. The more tastes the more options. Not the fastest meal but I promise it’s worth to make. Nutritious, full of flavour, comfort dinner or supper… Zucchini version was very spontaneous, as most of my recipes. I’ve got many herbs i.a. dill, rosemary, from my Mom’s garden (thank you!) and I couldn’t bear to throw it away. I also got self grown zucchini, and gorgeous free range eggs. It just came out. I thought courgette with garlic, onion and fresh dill will make quite nice combination. And I wasn’t wrong ; ) It was still very hot when I was trying to eat but I couldn’t wait, it was sooo lovely… And not for the first time I basically seared my fingers!

Pastry: (depends on how wide and tall is baking tray)

  • 200 g of flour (I prefer wholegrain)
  • 70 g of unsalted butter, soft
  • about 3 tablespoons of fresh rosemary
  • ½ teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2-3 tablespoon of yogurt or buttermilk or cream; If needed to combine ingredients

Filling:

  • 5-6 eggs, beaten
  • 200 ml of single cream or full fat milk ( when using milk, we must put 1 tablespoon of plain flour in it)
  • Bunch of fresh dill
  • zucchini approx. 400-500 g
  • 2 big onions, chopper
  • 6 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons of sunflower oil
  • ½ teaspoon of sea salt
  • Freshly grounded pepper, to taste

To get crispy, light gatou we cannot overdo with kneading. It must be done superfast. Mix only as long as it needed to get smooth texture. Put into the fridge for approx. 1h 30 mins. Roll (4-5 mm thick), put on the baking tray (and its rims/edges) and bake for about 20 minutes. It should be golden.

Meanwhile fry finely chopped garlic and onions (I always put garlic first to get lovely flavoured oil). Slice finely courgette, season with salt to make it tender and leave for a few minutes. Chop dill, leave a 1-2 tablespoons for egg liquid. Put everything into the pan, add a bit of water and fry. After 15 mins should be soft, not too mushy.

Egg liquid: put beaten eggs into the bowl, add cream or milk+tablespoon of flour and chopped dill. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix well to get light, smooth consistency. Put fried veggies on the gatou, spread finely. Pour egg liquid on it (zucchini should be covered by liquid). Bake for about 45 mins ( 30 min if you used milk+flour). We can serve hot quiche with spoonful of Greek yogurt or sour cream on it. Enjoy!

Ps. you can swap dill for a fresh thyme. It’s wonderful as well.

Uwielbiam Quiche pod każdą postacią, jaką miałam okazję do tej pory spróbować. Z brokułami, kiełbasą, papryką, łososiem, porem…. Kombinacji jest tyle, ilu smakoszy, jednak chyba najbardziej odpowiada mi w swojej oryginalnej formie – placka z boczkiem, cebulą, śmietaną i jajkami, koniecznie na gorąco. Najlepiej z solidnym kleksem zimnej śmietany albo greckiego jogurtu. Może nie jest najszybsza, ale z powodzeniem sprawdzi się jako pyszny, sycący obiad czy kolacja. Wersja z cukinią powstała, jak to zwykle u mnie bywa – bardzo spontanicznie. Ponieważ niedawno zostałam hojnie odbarowana dobrociami z działki mojej Mamy (dziękuję!), miałam w lodówce mnóstwo świeżych ziół (melisa, mięta, szałwia, szalotka, rozmaryn, koperek…). Nie mogłam pozwolić, by je koniec końców wyrzucić, więc posiadając także domowe jajka i cukinię, stwierdziłam, że w takim zestawieniu – z dużą ilością czosnku i cebuli – może stanowić to ciekawe połączenie. Nie myliłam się. Zjadłam połowę placka, nie wyjmując go nawet z formy… niemiłosiernie parząc sobie przy tym palce. Wyszło wyśmienite!

Spód: ( zależy jaką mamy formę – moja ma 27cm i jest niewysoka)

  • 1,5 szklanki mąki pszennej (może być razowa)
  • 70 g masła w temp. pokojowej
  • około 3 łyżki świeżego rozmarynu
  • pół łyżeczki soli
  • 1 jajko
  • 2-3 łyżki kefiru/śmietany/jogurtu – wg potrzeby, by połaczyć składniki.

Nadzienie:

  • 5-6 jajek
  • 200 ml śmietany 18% albo mleka ( gdy używamy mleka, wtedy dodajemy do niego 1 płaską łyżkę mąki – inaczej masa jajeczna nie zetnie się)
  • 1 pęczek koperku zielonego
  • cukinia, ok. 400-500 g
  • 2 spore cebule
  • 6 ząbków czosnku
  • 3 łyżki oliwy lub oleju
  • 1/2 łyżeczki soli
  • świeżo zmielony pieprz – wg upodobań

Składniki na ciasto szybko zagniatamy, wstawiamy do lodówki do ochłodzenia ( min. 1h 30 min). Po tym czasie wyjmujemy, rozwałkowujemy tak, by pokryć dno i brzegi posiadanej formy. Pieczemy około 20 minut, w temp. 180 C. Wyjmujemy.

W czasie, gdy piecze się ciasto, drobno kroimy czosnek i cebulę. Wrzucamy na gorącą patelnię (najpierw czosnek, by olej nabrał aromatu). Cukinię drobno kroimy, lekko solimy, by puściła wodę. Siekamy drobno koper, zachowując kilka gałązek do masy jajecznej. Wrzucamy wszystko na patelnię, wlewamy 3-4 łyżki wody i przykrywamy, dusząc około 10 minut. Zdejmujemy pokrywę, i smażymy dotąd, aż woda wyparuje, a cukinia lekko się podsmaży. Ważne, by była możliwe najbardziej “sucha”, wtedy ciasto nie będzie rozmokłe.

Masa jajeczna: Do miski wbijamy jajka, lekko je roztrzepując. Dodajemy śmietanę/mleko i koperek. Następnie sól i pieprz. Na upieczony spód gładko nakładamy warzywa z patelni, a następnie równomiernie wlewamy masę jajeczną.

Wstawiamy do piekarnika, na okolo 45 – 55 minut (o 15 minut krócej, gdy używamy mleka+mąki w masie jajecznej), w temperaturze 180 C. Podajemy z łyżką śmietany lub greckiego, gęstego jogurtu. Smacznego!

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