Wednesday, 2 May 2007
Frankly speaking, it was a great pleasure and fun for me. However, at the beginning I was very frightened because I had never had any contact with creating weblogs in the past. The worst thing was to edit and put any kind of multimedia on my weblog. I still think that I am a complete novice in that field. Beyond any shadow of a doubt, I learnt how to create a weblog. WOW!!! For me, a complete untalented person as far as any technology is concerned, it was quite a large-scale-undertaking... I only hope that my recipies are clear and helpful, and my comments and observations have not hurt anybody...
One day, I may add some new posts, but it does not have to be in English, it also might be in Polish, so do not be surprised... See you later folks ... Bon appétit!!!
Saturday, 21 April 2007
My grandma used to be a cook in the kindergarten and I think she is great because she is able to prepare something delicious from "nothing". As a child, I used to visit her and watch her cooking. I loved tasting eveything. Some people even said that they had never seen such an eager child in eating:) I am not fussy about any food, I love trying new cuisines. I have my favourites of course.
For BREAKFAST I love eating sandwiches, e.g. with cured meat, cheese and vegetables or with jam. Sometimes I eat corn flakes with milk and jam. I love drinking tea, I am addicted to earl grey.
For LUNCH (in Poland called DINNER) I eat something hot. I love varieties of pasta, with different sauces, herbs and vegetables. I love also rice (the best one is Uncle Bens -http://www.unclebens.com/) with fish, grilled chicken with potatoes, different salads with tuna, meat, cheese and sauces. I also love soups: tomato, cucumber, beetroot. Most of them are typical Polish one. I like Romanian, Turkish, Italian (pastas and pizza), Indian (tikka masala) and Greek (olives, variety of meat and salads) cuisines the most.
I like also fruits (watermelon, apples, banana especially), juices, still and sparkling water, chocolate and cheese cakes, scones and sometimes cheese and onion/sour cream crisps.
I like eating and experimenting with new flavours. I hope that I will taste in June Portugese cuisine and in July the French one... We will see:)
Preliminary, there is no big deal in meeting standards for this dish. You just need to prepare ingredients (more later on), and be hungry. There is however a bit of subtlety in the final stroke.
Having assured yourself by ongoing protests of own stomach that you really need something to eat, gather:
- bread of good quality
- ham, or sliced sausage (poultry, fish allowed)
- fresh tomatoes, onions, garlic, olives,
- tomato sauce
- herbs (later on)
The first thing I would like to skip, leaving it till the end, so we will start from the moment your bread is nicely spread with tomato sauce mixed with herbs. You need now to chop garlic very finely, ideally if you use a squeezing machine, and put it onto the bread. Note that amount of garlic is of your individual preference. The only clue I can give is to use it more generously, as you dine closer to Transylvania. Unless you are a vampire, werewolf or you have a date after the meal.
Pick 2-3 olives for each slice of bread and cut them in fine pieces. Put them on the sandwich, and decide what kind of meat you would like. I have not tried this with the fish instead of beef or pork, but it seems to me that it would not cause any horrid diarrhoeas. Poultry works fine – the fact that my semi-vegetarian friend, is still alive after eating one with chicken, justifies that. The next step is to put tomatoes, or if you prefer your dish without them, cheese. As for the cheese don't be mean. You will find it nice, once you find that your dish is covered by a cheesy tablecloth. Afterwards turn an oven on 200°C for about 7 minutes. Add ketchup, mayo, and mustard in line with your taste.
2. A hint of unspeakable
The secret lies in herbs you add to tomato sauce which you then use to spread the bread with. Grounded garlic, basil, Provancal herbs, chives are the main one I use, but the hardest thing to tackle is to measure them properly, to create the core ingredient. It is a matter of proportion, just like the beauty of a female body which, both of which come with experience.
Today, now I feel like on TV cooking-programme:-), we will learn how to prepare tasty meat and fish and how to fry them properly.
Let's start from MEAT.
1. When you buy a piece of it, you have to remove fat and clean it with water.
2. Then you take herbs (marjoram, curry, mild or hot pepper, oregano, basil, thyme, garlic, onion, parsley, salt). Use those herbs you like and the amount which is ok for you and people who will eat this meat with you. Take into account that children and elderly people prefer eating milder meat to spicier one. I noticed that the best way is to coat a piece of meat in herbs and leave it in the fridge for a day or even two, because the meat will become saturated with herbs and will be simply tastier.
3. Now, when the meat is ready to be fried, take a frying pan and oil (or any kind of fat you like). Take a big spoon of oil and pour it onto a frying pan, let it be hot. Having read my post with spaghetti and preparation of a sauce, now you should know how we check whether the frying pan is ready for putting some meat there... I am only reminding You now.
You have to pour some water on your fingers and then to flick your fingers on the pan, so that water could touch the oil. If the oil starts to sizzle, it means that you can put meat into it. Be careful because it is very easy to burn the piece of meat, so remember to check when it is "gold" to turn it over. Sometimes is happens that it will start burning, add some water then. When you are sure that it is gold on both sides, you may take a pot and put there your meat, cover it with a lid, pour 2 spoons of water and leave on the cooker you used but turn it off, it is still warm enough. Why I am advising you to do that? It is very simple, because the meat will have some time to get softer, it is like a kind of boiling and steaming at the same time. It should take about 20 minutes.
As far as FISH is concerned:
1. Clean it with water as well.
2. Take similar herbs I advised you to use with meat. I do not like coating fish with flour, breadcrumbs or a special kind of coating. It is more caloric and not as tasty as with herbs only.
3. When you have the fish is coated with herbs, take some ordinary or olive oil and DO NOT POUR IT ONTO A FRYING PAN, but spread it onto a fish. WHY??? Once, in December 2006, I watched a cooking programme, they said that when you do it in such a way, you not smell fish in the whole house. I was sure they were bluffing because I did not believe them... But I tried and they were right. When You spread fat onto a fish not pour onto a frying pan it is simply better.
4. It is also very easy to burn the fish so watch out and in a good moment put it over (when it is slightly gold).
I hope You will succeed!!! I am sure about that:)
It was in October 2006 when we, I lived that time in one of the dormitories on the campus, spoke about Christmas tradition and meals. They asked me what we eat in Poland that time. Believe me, I have never seen so disgusted people with anything. Yeah, according to many Brits Poland is a third-world country, with constant snow. Some Brits also think that we do not have mobile phones, the Internet, similar products in shops etc. PATHETIC!!!
Coming back to my story, I told them that during Christmas Eve we are not allowed to eat meat, because it is our tradition. Of course, they asked what we eat instead. I said that mostly fish, e.g. I love herrings and carp:) Every family prepare different salads, depends on what kind they like. For instance, in my family we eat also a beetroot soup with some kind of raviollis called "uszka" or "small pierogi". We have also cabbage with mushrooms, dumlings with poppy seeds and raisins, herring salads (one is a Ukrainian one, because my grandfather was born there).
However, everything depends on the region. My mum used to eat a fish soup at home, my boyfriend has a mushroom one during Christmas Eve. After the main meal, people eat poppy-seed cakes, cheese cakes,
boiled wheat with poppy seeds and honey etc. The next two days of Christmas, we eat different kinds of meat, salads and cakes.
Could you imagine that my BRITish colleagues almost vomited when I told them about typical Christmas meals?!?!?! How narrow-minded they are... My Gosh.
I am not jealous that they eat for Christmas, let's say similar things they eat usually, because then they cannot feel the special character of the time. I am only horrified that they are so closed in a pejorative sense to other cultures and cuisines....
Friday, 20 April 2007
Everybody, who has ever watched her cooking on TV, wants Nigella to cook for him/her.
I agree with her way of cooking because it is not only about cooking as such but the way ‘how to eat’, which in my opinion is even more important.
Nigella Lawson's Food Philosophy
You know what is so great about her? That she simply cooks, not celebrates. She says: ‘Take a shallot, but if you do not have one, an onion is also ok’. I love her because of that. She keeps herbs in the drawer in bags and not on the shelf in the perfect order. When she says to add any herb, she simply takes the handful of it, instead of taking only a bit from the jar. When she talks about stirring the salad, she does it with her hands, like EVERYBODY, who cooks at home – and not using elegant spoons... and then she licks her fingers:) and I do not have to feel guilty that I do the same...
She does not cook a particular cuisine. She also does not think that time consuming meals can give you pleasure, because not many people have time to do that or even want. She prefers a cuisine which is less effective and absorbing, adapted to the age we live in now...
New York Times wrote that 'watching her is like the prelude to orgy' (I have read it on http://kobieta.gazeta.pl/wysokie-obcasy/1,53662,4041265.html?as=6&ias=7&startsz=x).
I am a heterosexual, but even I wait until she licks her fingers because is is so passionate...
‘Nigella Bites’ is the best cooking programme I have ever seen because she is so charming, natural and not fake.
My favourite one is a GREEK SALAD.
In order to prepare it you need (depends how much you would like to eat:):) and how many people are going to eat that): some lettuce, an onion (preferably a red one), 2-3 cloves of garlic, tomatoes, a cucumber, feta cheese, pepper and oil of olives. Some people also add some red/orange/green pepper, but it depends on you...
Chop or slice vegetables and feta cheese into a bowl, add some oil and pepper and squezzed garlic. Stir and relish!!!
I think, however, that the best way to prepare a great salad is to use whatever you have or want to use, do not be afraid of experimenting. As a student, I have to save money so sometimes I do not have every ingredient I want to use in my salad.
Lettuce or cabbage, peppers (no matter what colour they are, but in my opinion red and orange ones are the best), tomatoes, cucumber, fresh herbs (e.g. basil), onions, garlic, olives, different kind of cheese and sauces, corn, tuna, meat, prawns, pasta, rice, pickled cucumbers, peas etc.
Pasta is great with prawns/chicken, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, onion and some mayonaise.
Rice is great with pickled cucumbers, peas, corn and mayo.
Lettuce (like a greek salad), but You may add some corn, pepper, cheese, meat etc.
As far as sauces are concerned:
- a yoghurt/sour cream with herbs
- olive oil with herbs (you may add some vinegar or lemon juice)
JUST EXPERIMENT, believe me it is great. Good luck!!!