Monday, January 31, 2011

spring rolls

this saturday...attempt number one...they turned out time i'll learn from my mistakes :)

this is what i used:

chinese vegetable mix (it contains mostly ginger, carrots, onions and cabbage) (i also used some ham and corn because i didn't have enough vegetables)
phyllo dough
spices (i used salt, chili, sesame seeds and cinnamon)

vegetable oil

in the wok, i sauted the vegetables...

added the spices and put the mixture in a small bowl.

i prepared a beaten egg and the dough for the rolls.

i took one piece of the dough and placed a spoon of the vegetable mixture on it...

and started to roll...

it goes quickly...i brushed the end of every roll with the beaten egg to make the dough stick together...

then i fried them in a hot vegetable oil...they only need few seconds on each side...i was not quick enough and they started to time i will fry them one by one.

when ready, i served them with sweet and spicy sauce :) delicious :)

PS: my computer died :(...had to get a new one

Sunday, January 23, 2011

cap, computer and something more

friday night...we were driving home and the moon was just gorgeous...big and red...we stopped the car and i tried to take a picture of the moon...but i did not succeed...without the tripod it is almost impossible...we took off and drove home.

when we arrived i noticed my cap is missing...i realized i must have dropped it while taking the photo of the moon :(

to make things worse, my computer started to give me a headache. it wouldn't turn on properly. i have checked it and saw that the graphic driver is broken. i reinstalled it...everything seemed to be OK, but it was not...on saturday morning i decided it's time to clean the computer and reinstall everything - both operating systems...i saved my docs on an external hard drive and started the installation process...

nothing was working as expected...i could not install windows at all. unfortunately there were no problems with linux...linux never fails :). i was happy that the computer is working again. when copying my folders back to the computer i got few errors. that was not a good sign...some of my documents got damaged...i lost many of my pictures :( my treasure...the good thing is that i still have could have been a loooooot worse ;)

while trying to bring my computer back to life, i baked few phyllo dough is the recipe :)

1 cup of lentils
2 sausages
shredded cheese
1 package of phyllo dough
1 table spoon of butter
barbecue sauce
chili powder
caraway seed

i got the inspiration for the lentils from this recipe (paratha with lentils). when prepared like this, the lentils are simply delicious. i poured water over the lentils and let is sit for about an hour. after that, i rinsed them and cooked in water until they were soft.

in a small pan i melted the butter and put in the spices (caraway seed, chili and kurkuma).

i added the cooked lentils a pinch of salt and cooked until the mixture got dry. i let it cool down in a bowl.

meanwhile i cut the sausages...

fried them in a pan and added the barbecue sauce (i used sauce with chipotle).

i cut the dough in squares...

...took two sheets and put them in the muffin tin.

Then i spooned in some lentils and sausages...

and sprinkled with shredded cheese... (i also filled some with frozen veggies and sprinkled with cheese).

I closed the dough with the help of the egg...

and baked them in the preheated oven (170  degrees centigrades) for about 30 minutes.

They turned out delicious :) I also made a poppy seed dessert :)

today when we were driving back to the place we work i had a crazy idea to go back to the place where i lost my cap...i thought...maybe no one saw and took it...maybe it is still there...and believe or not...IT WAS THERE...after two days lying close to the road...nobody took it :) i was happy as a small child :)

good night world :)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

the knife

i won a knife...not an ordinary knife but a black chefs' ceramic knife :) thanks to my recipe for the tortilla soup i was chosen as one of the winners...just to explain things a little bit, i am a registered user of a slovak recipe page where you can win different kitchen utensils from time to time...if you are lucky...of better said if the editors like your recipe :) and this time i was :)

and this is what i am talking about :)

yupiiiiiiiii :)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

evening walk

as i already mentioned today, last night we took a short walk through the old part of the town...

 it was calm, almost nobody on the streets, nothing like the summer nights which are noisy and full of life...

i took few pictures and we had an italian style dinner in one of the small bar/restaurants...tomato soup with cheese pizza sticks and spaghetti frutti di mare...

good night...

what to do when you have nothing to do...

tuesday...a normal working day...but today, unlike on other tuesdays, i have nothing to do...i am pressing the refresh button like new emails...i have already all new blogs that sounded more less interesting and found out few things i could think about...
tonight i will be home alone. my significant half has an evening "xbox session" with one of his colleagues. again it will be just me, my computer and my photos :). i took some new ones last night while walking through the streets of the old town...maybe i will share some of them even though i didn't like they way they looked...definitely need to save some money for the tripod :)

Monday, January 17, 2011

tortilla soup

the weekend is's been too short to relax and to get some rest. i spent all saturday cooking...i roasted a chicken, prepared one of my favorite mexican soups and baked vanilla and coconut cookies...
i think, that anywhere in mexico, you can get a good tortilla is simply many different flavors come together to create a perfect is my recipe:

2     liters of chicken broth
4     tomatoes
1/2  onion
1     garlic clove
1     avocado
100 g of panela cheese
4     spoons of sour cream
12   corn tortillas
1     chile pasilla
epazote (dry or fresh)
vegetable oil

as a first thing, i cooked the chicken broth. you can use any part of the chicken (i used a wing and a piece of chicken breast because i wanted to put the cooked chicken meat to the soup).

i have boiled some water and poured it over the tomatoes...that way i could easily peel off the skin...

i finely chopped the onion and garlic.

in a frying pan, i heated a spoon of oil, parted the peeled tomatoes in half, added the onion and garlic and cooked for about 5 minutes.

after that it's time to add two biiiiiiiig spoons of chicken broth and cook it for another 10 minutes or until it looks like this...

then i mixed it and got a smooth beautifully smelling tomato mixture.

and the soup was almost done. i just poured the tomatoes in the rest of the chicken broth, flavored it with salt, pepper and epazote and left it to boil. meanwhile i prepared the garnishes.

i cut the tortillas into noodles...

fried them and left on a paper towel to get rid of the extra oil

i did the same thing with the chile...

while it was frying, i cut the avocado and cheese into cubes and the soup was ready...

just great...with a scoop of sour cream :) i was missing only one thing to make it perfect...crunchy time i go to mexico, i should definitely get some :)

buen provecho :)

Monday, January 10, 2011

rosca de reyes

last thursday we celebrated epiphany (el dia de reyes magos in spanish). in mexico, the families gather in the evening to cut "rosca de reyes" (a big sweet donut-shaped bread). there are tiny plastic dolls hidden in the, two, three or all depends on the size of the bread. each member of the family cuts a piece hoping not to find the doll. whoever finds it, has to prepare "tamales" for dinner on february 2nd...
i like this tradition a is a family time, time of sharing and caring...time with hot chocolate or tea and a piece of delicious cake...

this year i tried to prepare my own rosca for the first time...i didn't have to do it before, because in mexico, you can buy it in every bakery...

this was a real challenge for make it to look and taste right :)

here are the ingredients:

800 grams of wheat flour
250 grams of unsalted butter
150 grams of white sugar
3     whole eggs
7     egg yolks
2     tablespoons of vanilla extract
2     tablespoons of orange zest
35 grams of yeast (not the dry one)
and a pinch of salt

to decorate the cake i used:

1 beaten egg
candied fruit
melted unsalted butter

first i prepared the yeast from about half of cup of lukewarm water, two tablespoons of flour and the yeast. and i waited till it doubled its size :)

after that, in a large bowl i prepared the flour, eggs, yolks, vanilla, orange zest, butter, salt and the yeast...

and mixed in all took me at least 40 minutes to get the dough just right (of course if you have a kitchen robot or a bread maker you can prepare the dough there). after that i left the dough in a warm place covered with a cloth...after one hour it doubled its size. i mixed it again, covered it and left it growing for another hour...

then i finally could start shaping my rosca. it looked like this... (this is the perfect time to insert the plastic dolls to the bread)
i left it covered in a warm place for another 30 minutes. then i decorated it :)

i brushed it with the beaten egg and put the candied fruit on the top in stripes...the white stripes that you can see on the rosca are made of sugar. just cut in the dough and sprinkle the cut with it :)

it is baked at the temperature of 150 degrees centigrades (app. 300 degrees fahrenheit) for 40 minutes. still warm, i brushed it with melted butter...

and how it tasted? like was light and buttery, it smelled like vanilla and oranges...
next year i'll have to bake two :)
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