Category Archives: Breakfast

Egg Molee (Boiled Eggs in Coconut Masala)

eggmoleepHooray!!!! A new egg dish! If you are an egg addict and love Indian cuisine, you will be as excited as I was to discover this super easy, quick and easy-to-remember recipe. (If you cook Indian at least from time to time, you understand how rarely “easy-to-remember” can by used…). It looks messy and maybe not that appetising (ot looks better in R.Stein’s book), but, believe me, it’s unique.

This recipe is another jewel found in Rick Stein’s India, which, once more, I strongly advise to all the Indian cuisine lovers. Faced with an exceptional number of luscious-looking seafood and fish dishes this wonderful book contains, I simply kept on putting this recipe aside. Moreover, given the big amount of coconut milk and few spices, I expected a rather bland fatty result. Of course,  now I wonder why I have waited so long! Of course, if I decided to share it with you, it means it’s not bland at all and the fat content… well, I simply diluted coconut milk with water, the thing I do quite often. I treated the amounts of every ingredient very liberally and slightly changed the cooking process, so make sure you check the original recipe (and buy Rick Stein’s book!).

TIPS: Don’t use other onions here. Contrary to most Indian dishes I cooked, the onion is only simmered (not fried) and not added at the beginning of the frying process, so very finely sliced red onion is the only option (I have used mandolin).

Some other ideas for egg fans:

Bread Tartlet with Asparagus and Egg

Bread Tartlet with Asparagus and Egg

Chawan Mushi with Grilled Enringi

Chawan Mushi with Grilled Enringi

Omurice (Japanese Omelette and Rice)

Omurice (Japanese Omelette and Rice)

Indian Egg Curry (Ande ki kari)

Indian Egg Curry (Ande ki kari)

Preparation: about 20 minutes

Ingredients (serves one):

two hard-boiled eggs, shelled

1 teaspoon mustard oil (or any cooking oil, if you cannot get it)

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1 heaped teaspoon Kashmiri chilli powder (or other medium hot chilli powder)

50 ml coconut milk+50 ml water (or 100 ml coconut milk)

1 medium red onion, very finely sliced (use a mandolin, if you have it)

1 cm very finely shredded fresh ginger

about two heaped tablespoons sliced fresh green chilli (medium hot; don’t use for ex. bird’s-eye chillies, unless you know what you are doing…)

salt

1/2 teaspoon garam masala

fresh coriander

Heat the oil at medium heat in a small pan. Put the eggs and, off the heat, add the turmeric and the chilli powder.

Stir for about 10-20 seconds (the pan will still be hot, so make sure the spices don’t burn), coating the eggs in spices.

Add the coconut milk, the water (if using), the ginger, the onion, the green chilli and let the whole lot simmer for about ten minutes or more (until the onion softens).

Add salt to taste, slice the eggs in two, sprinkle with garam masala, give it a stir and serve with fresh coriander leaves.

Greek Yogurt (or Quark) Spread with Caramelised Red Onion

onionspreadpI discovered this wonderful spread in an overpriced, but otherwise average restaurant I’d certainly try to forget if it hadn’t been for quark with caramelised red onion, the highlight of their welcome snacks (and of the whole evening really). Visually unappealing, it proved surprisingly complex in taste and absolutely delicious. It has quickly become my staple light snack and favourite winter breakfast. I prepare a batch and, as soon as it’s finished, I prepare a new one. It’s been going on like this for several weeks and I don’t get tired of all these fantastic flavours.

TIPS: The restaurant I’ve mentioned used quark (aka fresh cheese or fromage frais), which is not available everywhere. Greek yogurt has a similar consistency and is also perfect here (I’ve tested both and even made it with normal natural yogurt and all these three options work perfectly). (Though if you have choice, do try it with quark first). You can also try it with thick sour cream; it will no longer be light, but the slight tanginess will be there.

US cream cheese is not an option here:  it doesn’t have the tanginess and freshness yogurts or quark have, so I don’t advise it; moreover the spread would no longer be healthy or light….

The condiments’ amount given below should be treated as a vague proposition. Taste the onion (when cooled) and adjust according to your taste.

If you skip soy sauce, the onions will retain their purple colour. (Soy sauce is my recent improvement idea).

SERVING IDEAS: My absolute number one is a canapé with thin Finnish wholemeal crisp bread, but it goes as spread/dip on any bread, chips, nachos, etc.. You can serve it as a side dish with grilled chicken or as heat taming sauce with Mexican or even Indian dishes. I’m sure it tastes fantastic with baked potatoes.

Preparation: about 30 minutes + at least 2 hours in the fridge.

Ingredients:

200 ml (about 6 oz) Greek yogurt or Quark (see the TIPS above)

1 big red onion (which has a size of a medium white onion)

1 tablespoon oil

2 tablespoons vinegar (the best would be balsamic; if you use a stronger one, put only 1 tablespoon)

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon soy sauce

ground black pepper

(salt, if needed)

Cut the peeled onion in half and slice more or less finely.

Heat the oil in a pan and constantly stirring, fry the onion at medium heat until it loses about half of its volume.

Add the vinegar, the soy sauce and the sugar and continue stir-frying.

After about 5 minutes, put aside, let it chill and taste. Adjust the flavours, adding more salt, sugar or vinegar and fry for a minute to heat once more. (Don’t taste the onion when it’s warm because the taste changes a lot). At the end add ground pepper and give the onions the last stir.

Combine with the yogurt or quark, add more freshly ground black pepper,  and refrigerate for at least two hours. It improves greatly overnight.

 

Tzatziki with Fennel (Greek Yogurt, Cucumber and Fennel Dip)

tzatziki_fennel_I know most of us have been looking for warming, filling autumn dishes, but maybe, just like me, from time to time you need something fresh, something bringing back sunny summer memories… What about a new version of tzatziki? I found it while reading my latest buy: Food of the Greek Islands by Aglaia Kremezi and as a relatively recent fennel convert, I was thrilled to add it to my recipes’ list. It’s light, refreshing, crunchy and if you slice the fennel very finely (with a mandolin for example), I bet your fennel-hating guests will love it and some won’t even guess what they are eating. Serve it with grilled skewers, meats and vegetables, as a party dip or as a healthy bread spread. Most of all, hurry up before the fennel season ends!

As usually, I have modified the ingredients’ amounts and their ratio, so check Aglaia Kremezi’s original recipe. If you are interested in Greek food, I strongly advise her fascinating book, written with passion and deep knowledge of the culinary heritage and traditions of Greek islands, but most of all full of luscious-looking recipes.

TIP: If you use chilli pepper, black pepper is not necessary in my opinion.

Preparation: 10 minutes + cooling time

Ingredients:

250 g (about 1/2 cup) Greek yogurt or any natural yogurt you have

1 small cucumber or 1/3 long cucumber

1 small fennel

salt, (ground black pepper)

juice from 1/2 lemon

1 garlic clove

(1 fresh small chilli pepper)

3 heaped tablespoons fresh chopped dill or fennel fronds

olive oil

Grate the cucumber (you can peel it or not, I prefer it unpeeled) and squash well to remove the juices.

Place in a bowl.

Slice the fennel very finely (the easiest way to obtain it is with a mandolin).

Place the fennel in the same bowl, add the crushed or grated garlic, the salt, the pepper (if using), the finely sliced chilli (if using), the lemon juice, the dill or fennel fronds and mix well. Refrigerate for at least two hours.

Sprinkle with olive oil just before serving.

Roasted Green Chilli Spread with Greek Yogurt and Walnuts

chillispreadAfter Filo Rolls with Chilli and Feta it seems strange to write once more about chilli as the protagonist, but I really couldn’t resist sharing it while I’m still in the middle of chilli roasting frenzy. This Europeanised version of MJ’s Green Chile Pecan Cheese Spread, containing Greek yogurt and walnuts instead of cream cheese and pecans, is a fantastic treat for a fiery food lover and the quickest thing one can do with roasted chilli at the same time.

Actually this spread was the first thing I did with my very first batch of roasted chilli (before the previously posted Filo Rolls). The choice of Mj’s Kitchen as the source of inspiration for this first roasted chilli dish was obvious, since, as a highly experienced specialist of chilli roasting and cooking, MJ has a huge choice of related luscious looking recipes. Thanks to MJ’s encouragement I discovered how this simple process creates an utterly delicious product, incredibly easy to experiment with and will always be grateful for that. I have not only replaced some products, but I have also changed the ingredients’ ratio, so check MJ’s original Chile Spread Recipe.

If you have never roasted chilli peppers, check MJ’s tips and detailed instructions, many more roasted chilli dishes and myriads of other delightful New Mexican – and not only – treats.

TIPS: Make sure you use chilled chilli peppers and Greek yogurt straight from the fridge (though the best is to refrigerate the paste for several hours in the fridge because the flavours improve with time).

Try to add some grilled bacon bits next tim, as MJ recommends (I certainly will!).

Preparation: 5-10 minutes

Ingredients:

1 cup (250 ml) chopped roasted (and skinned) medium hot green chilli, chilled

125 g (about 4 oz) very cold Greek yogurt or any other rich, thick natural yogurt

2-3 tablespoons chopped walnuts

juice from 1/2 medium lime

salt

1 teaspoon crushed dried oregano

Combine everything, taste to check the seasoning, refrigerate for several hours (or use very cold ingredients, straight from the fridge).

Filo Rolls with Roasted Green Chilli Pepper and Feta

filorollschilliThanks to my dear blogging friend MJ and one of her numerous extremely tempting posts praising green chilli (or rather “chile” as they say in New Mexico), I finally embarked on the roasting adventure too. The process is quick, easy (even without a proper grill) and the ways of using roasted peppers seem countless. After the utterly delicious Chile Spread (see the recipe at MJ’s Kitchen), I decided to create something on my own and experiment with filo pastry rolls. Greek cuisine is not famous for its fiery dishes, nonetheless boldly flavoured feta cheese proved excellent company for roasted chilli! The mixture of the two ingredients is so satisfying, dried oregano was the only seasoning to make this chilli lovers’ treat perfect.

With their three-ingredient filling this filo pastry rolls are ridiculously easy to prepare, but most of you have probably never roasted chilli peppers, so I’ll share some of my impressions of the first batches. As I have mentioned above, roasting chilli is really quite effortless, even if one doesn’t have a grill, the oven broiler being a sufficient tool. As for the peeling, it is much quicker than expected and since, as MJ confirms, roasted chilli freezes very well, it’s a good idea to work with big batches and save some of the summer flavours for cold winter months.

The only problem (if you don’t live in New Mexico or other fiery food-loving regions) might be to find a medium hot chilli variety (even as a big fiery food fan I wouldn’t advise bird’s-eye-chillie or similar super hot varieties here). The only medium hot chilli I can buy here is aci sivri, a highly aromatic Turkish long green variety and it roasts and peels perfectly, so I guess any medium hot chilli will do.

For the detailed instructions and very useful chilli roasting tips, check MJ’s fascinating blog. I bet you will be tempted to try, just like me, lots of her inspiring recipes, most often influenced by New Mexican culinary heritage.

Some of you might have noticed I am a big filo/phyllo pastry fan and try to experiment with it as often as I can. Here are some ideas, in case you wonder what to do with the rest of the package:

Filo Rolls with Black Pudding

Filo Rolls with Black Pudding

Feather-Light Filo Tart with Plums

Feather-Light Filo Tart with Plums

Filo Rolls with Chanterelle and Goat Cheese

Filo Rolls with Chanterelle and Goat Cheese

Filo Rolls with Asparagus, Chorizo and Parmesan

Filo Rolls with Asparagus, Chorizo and Parmesan

Filo Rolls with Feta and Leek

Filo Rolls with Feta and Leek

Filo Triangles with indian-Style Beef

Filo Triangles with Indian-Style Beef

Spanakopita (Greek Feta and Spinach Pie)

Spanakopita (Greek Feta and Spinach Pie)

Mock Spanakopita Rolls with Wild Garlic

Mock Spanakopita Rolls with Wild Garlic

Preparation: about 1 hour

Ingredients (makes 6 filo rolls):

6 sheets of filo/phyllo pastry

2 cups (about 500 ml) roughly chopped roasted, peeled chilli peppers

150 g feta cheese

1 tablespoon cracked wheat; this is the TIP I learnt from Katerina (Culinary Flavors), the specialist of Greek cuisine; this tiny amount of cracked wheat absorbs the excessive humidity, but doesn’t change the taste or texture; you can use for example semolina instead

1 tablespoon dried oregano

(1 tablespoon oil)

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Crumble the feta cheese in a bowl.

Add the chopped chilli and the oregano.

Mix delicately the filling, divide into six equal parts and fill the rolls (one sheet per roll; see the instructions here).

Place the rolls on a baking tray/sheet or a baking dish.

Brush with oil (this is not obligatory) and bake until slightly golden.