Saturday, January 28, 2012

Roasted brussels sprouts

Children hate them. Parents claim they are wholesome and healthy and force children to eat them. One of the unending parents-children wars. 
If you are one of the brussels sprouts haters, blame sulfur for this. This is the ingredient that causes the typical smell and taste of these bite-size green balls. Along with cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and kale, brussels sprouts are part of the Brassica family of vegetables. And like their relatives they fill the kitchen with a controversial aroma while being cooked. But...they are really rich in beneficial ingredients, containing significant amount of Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamins from the B-complex group, Iron and Magnesium.

With little amount of calories (only 45 calories per 100 g) and high amount of fibers (which makes them an essential item for healthy digestion), brussels sprouts are a good part of any weight reduction program. They support the body detox systems and help in the battle with the free radicals.
Roasting is a healthy and tasty way to enjoy these so underestimated vegetables. I like this simple recipe and had a whole plate of crispy brussels sprouts. Mom will be pleased with me. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Steak tartare

Some years ago a friend of mine went to Paris with his family for two or three weeks . 
We met soon after he came back from his journey and he told me enthusiastically how much he and his wife liked the French cuisine. There was only one huge disappointment, he said. A kind of steak presented in the menu. 
'We ordered it and, Good Lord, the garçon brought us a heap of minced meat, some chopped onion, a raw egg yolk and some spices. We could not believe our eyes', my friend said, it was like somebody has stolen the ingredients from the chef before he was able to prepare the dish, even before he could mix them. 
So, in short, my friend and his wife sent the dish back to the kitchen angrily, asking the chef to prepare the tartare on the grill. 
Yes, this is a true story. I tried not to laugh when I heard it and I would have probably forget about it, but one of my colleagues came back from France this summer. He spent there some weeks with his friends and when they ordered Steak tartare…, well, you already know the end of the story.
So, the moral – if you don’t like the taste of raw meat, Steak Tartare should not be amongst your orders. But if you are a devoted meat lover like me and my three beloved ones, this is a good and easy to prepare dish which is best enjoyed with a glas of good red wine. 
It is not a good idea to prepare the mixture of the ingredients in advance and to put it in the fridge - everything should be mixed some minutes before serving or even like in the case of my friend - everybody should prepare their mixture in their own plate. Meat and eggs should be very, very fresh and from a trusted source in order to avoid any digestive complications. Classical recipe calls for hot pepper sauce as an ingredients, but we like it with fresh chopped hot peppers.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Whole fish baked into a salt crust

This is one of the simplest ways to prepare fish, but the results are amazing. Main ingredients are only two - fish and sea salt. Fish should be very fresh and with firm meat - sea bass, sea bream and red sea bream are very proper. Some recipes call for adding seasoning - bay leaves, thyme or lavender, but I like it simple, taste is good enough without additions. Skin prevents fish from getting salty. Salt seals the moisture inside the fish but it absorbs the moisture from the skin, so you get a roasted, but not steamed fish as a result. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Pumpkin soup

Everything I've cooked since the 1st of January was checked by Violet for calories. If suspiciously high in calories, dish is rejected. So she is our family weight-watcher and I know, that if something passes through her sieve, it is healthy without being dangerous for us both. When I suggested we try a roasted pumpkin soup, she made some investigation and said OK. I am not quite sure whether it is a proper part of a diet menu, but it is deffinitely worth to be tested. According to Internet, pumpkin is very healthy. It is packed with fiber and  contains lots of pro-vitamin A (five time more than in carrots), vitamin K and E and lots of minerals, including Magnesium and Iron. 
This is one of the most creamy and buttery soups I've ever tasted. It has velvety texture and sweet taste without any sugar added. It is nutritious and satisfies your sweet tooth, without making you guilty. The roasted flavour of the pumpkin gives the soup its unique taste. The strong flavours of onion, leek and garlic match well with the creamyness and the cayenne pepper burst your digestion.
Of course, if you are on a diet, it will be better to skip the croutons and heavy cream, but it will be tasty anyway.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Roasted pumpkin with honey and walnuts

This was the Saturday breakfast. My Daddy came to our place, we had to make a little photo session. So while discussing many things we enjoyed pieces of warm pumpkin with honey and walnuts. Coffee could not find a better partner in the cold winter morning.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Apple beet salad

Apple beat salad
This is one of my favorite autumn salads. It is very proper for diet times, because honey satisfies the craving for sweet and apple and red beet are good for the health.

Apple beat salad

Thursday, January 05, 2012

New Year's Resolutions 2012

I've been writing New Year's resolutions since years.
Frankly said, the lists look very similar to each other, which is not good, I know. Every time I write my new resolutions, I do not have a look at the old ones, but I know they are nearly the same. Well, there are some tasks accomplished in 2011, one of them more than 10 years old. I quit smoking in 2011. Twice. Second attempt more successful than the first one, I hope.

Now I am a confirmed non-smoker (three months and a half experience), which added a totally new resolution to my 2012 resolution list. To lose weight, which was gained as a side effect of feeling the real taste of food on one hand and beind a novice food-blogger on the other.  In fact, the high calory side of the food blogging caught me unprepared and now a have three kilos to get rid off.
So, first task for January - to wear again my favourite trousers, European size 38. 
In other words, I am announcing the official start of the fish and salads time in my kitchen.