Poached eggs with Serrano ham and arugula, with or without champagne.

 

poached egg with Serrano ham

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Save Put a bottle of champagne in the freezer, while you reading this (optional, but recommended)

This little recipe is good for a lazy Sunday when you had “la grasse matinée” and woke up in that strange time – too late for breakfast, too early for lunch. That’s when the concept of brunch comes handy! And, personally, I am always trying to find an excuse to eat early.

Poached eggs for me always have been a realm of professional cooks and was related to buffet breakfasts in hotels and brunches at the restaurants. At home, I couldn’t be bothered with making them. It’s a pain in the butt and I was avoiding it, in spite of my love of poached eggs. That is until I have bought The Poaching Pods. Now I can cheat. Continue reading

Banana and walnut cake

banana and walnut cake

I can never catch up with the bananas in my house. Whenever I buy them it is either not enough or too much, and they quickly go dark on me. I don’t like eating them when they are not firm anymore and have this soft mushy texture, but that is when they are perfect to make a lovely simple cake.

So, do you have those overripe ones laying around in your fruit bowl and 10-15 min time for the preparation? Here is the recipe! Continue reading

Food zen (aka Silken tofu with spring onion and ginger)

Bowl with tofu and chopstiksAs a non-vegetarian, I always thought that simple tofu, without some rich sauce or interesting ingredients added to it could be quite a bland affair.

And I continued thinking so until my last trip to Kyoto, where, in one small local restaurant, I had a tofu revelation!

This simple cube of silken tofu was served in beautiful raku bowl and had nothing added to it except a little bit of minutely chopped green onion and grated fresh ginger on top. And soy sauce, which you carefully pour over it. That’s it. Simple, but heavenly. And it melted in the mouth like butter.

So, I stole the recipe (which was not much of a recipe) and recreated it a home.

The only thing you have to remember is that tofu has to be really good quality and extra-extra silken (soft). Other types just won’t do.

Silken tofu

I cube of extra silken (soft) tofu (100gr)
I small piece of ginger about 3 cm, peeled and grated (or minutely chopped)
I spring onion or chives(also minutely chopped)
Soy sauce (I love Kikkoman)

Place the tofu in your most beautiful bowl in the house, sprinkle ginger and green onion on top and serve with soy sauce on the side to gently pour over it.  Itadakimasu!

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Oranges and Brazilian nuts cake

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I am not a big sweet tooth person, and the Dessert sections of the cooking books and websites  often get much less attention from me than other pages. But when I see an interesting recipe, I want to try it out. (And there are always friends who would enjoy it).

Here is one of those cases-Boiled oranges and Brazilian nut cake. It’s a recipe from Peter Gordon of Sugar Club. Recipe stated serving the cake with or without chocolate ganache. I found it better without, or, even better, with some Crème Fresh on top instead, as well as a few toasted and sliced Brazilian nuts.

I used  28 cm  cake pan, which I though will be too big for the amount, but ended up being just perfect.

It took longer than 50 min, maybe because my oranges were bigger and juicier! All together about 1 hour and 15 min.
But anyway, check it after 40 min (see the instructions in the recipe).

Below is the original recipe.

Cake
3 medium oranges
1 lemon
250gr(9 oz) caster sugar
300gr(11 oz) finely ground, lightly toasted Brazil nuts(first toasted, then ground in a food processor)
6 eggs
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

Chocolate Ganache
1 1/2 cups grated bitter chocolate
1 1/2 cups double cream, straight form the fridge.

Wipe the fruit well and place in a pot with enough cold water to cover. Bring to the boil and simmer briskly with the lid on for 20 min, topping up with hot water if the fruit isn’t floating. Remove from the pan and cool for 20 min.
Preheat oven to 170°C/340°F/Gas 3-4. Cut the boiled fruit in half, remove seeds,then place in the food processor, skin and all.Add the remaining ingredients and puree for 30 seconds;wipe the sides of the bowl back into the mix and puree for another 20 seconds. Pour the thick batter into a spring form cake tin and bake for about 50 min. Check after 40 min by inserting a thin knife into the cake.It may come out with a tiny bit of batter, but so long as it cooked batter you are all right-remember, this is a moist cake! Remove from the oven and, when cool, take from the cake tin and leave to sit for a few hours before eating.
This cake is delicious enrobed with chocolate ganache. Gently melt the grated bitter chocolate in heatproof bowl over the pot of boiling water. Stir in the double cream and spread on the cold cake.