26 March 2007

Dessert king

The dessert most often made by me? Tiramisu, no doubt about it. There is something temptating even about the sound of the word that already makes me go and look if there is any whipping cream in the fridge to use.

Because in fact, heavy cream is the only thing I never swap in the recipe. Providing, there is "the recipe" - one and original, as I have already seen so many versions of this Italian classic.

Apart from cream, I may use mascarpone, but not necesssarily - sometimes I opt for lighter cream cheeses or even chantilly itself, enriched only by some gelatin, to make the consistence dense enough.

As a base I might use ladyfingers, amaretti or very soft Polish little sponge cakes. Or even leftovers from some kind of not too moist cake that found no fans. I would never give up on fruit but they may come as fresh strawberries (like here), peaches or raspberries as well as canned and preserved fruit. The one on the pictures is all about canned pineapple. This year I will experiment with water melon, I think...

22 March 2007

Paste to Copy :)

feta, garlic and parsley paste

No matter how much fun there is with crunching and chewing, with all the crispiness and cracking, I have always adored above all the velvety and smoothness in my foods. That's why I'm so fond of pastes which deliciously melt on hot toasts and can be eaten away straight from the jar just by dipping your finger...

What is more, pastes give you wonderful opportunity for unrestrained creativity development since all it takes is just to put everything you fancy into a blender and add enough liquid to get THE texture. I prefer to add olive oil though other oils, ketchup, mustard and butter are attractive as well.

chick peas, hot paprika and almonds

Being a vegetarian it's really nice to find out that you can actually make soya beans quite edible by blending them with all sorts of spices and herbs.

roasted trout, tomato paste, basil and carrots

As a bold girl, I do not even hestitate to use the humble trout for my pastes. In fact, fish like mackerel and tuna, with all their sumptuous fat, are very inspiring and efficient for a paste artist, even though the blender needs heavy washing before you decide on a strawberry smoothie...

09 March 2007

when plums are scarce...

...you can't make plum knedle, sorry. I don't believe in putting frozen purple stones in your potato dough. After all, if it was no difference why one would wait so much for August???

Instead, I experiment with other fillings - more winter-like. I have tried mushrooms, spinach and meat but the best one turned out to be well treated cottage cheese.

I'm sure Italians would say ricotta with basil but I'd rather stay with our humble Polish "twaróg" - which has no resemblance to Philadelphia or other soft packed cheeses from supermarket shelves. It's fatty, quite dense and tastes gorgeous with chives and radish.

For my knedle, I fork it down with some crushed garlic, lots of dill and parsley, chilli, pepper and salt. It must be rahter hot as boiling takes off much of the spice. The process of making dough is the same as with plum knedle. So is boiling. And tasting?

Well, quite different but equally interesting! Best with tomato and hot paprika yoghurt dip. And so, I can patiently wait for the plum trees to blossom...