Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Crispy chicken fillets

I have been busy with my assignments and other stuff, my health seems to take unexpected turns, but there is always something nice to make up for all the not-so-nice things.
I have given up on TV long time ago, and probably will give up on the newspapers too (although I'll be still buying them, Fluffy seems to like tinkling on them).
I was in the pet shop few days ago, buying treats for Fluffy and talking to the birds and bunnies in the shop. And then, hubby saw this little bugger in the budgies cage, and I just knew that I had to take him home :)
So, my bird cages are all occupied now and their occupants happy and chirpy.
Another thing that makes me feel better is cooking. From simple things for quick bite, to things that take hours on the stove or in the oven.
However, since I don't have the luxury of time these days, it is mostly quick bites that are being prepared.
I am not a fan of fish, but every now and then I get the craving, but again, I didn't go to the fish shop to buy me some fish and the next logical thing was to dig in the freezer.
I came out with 2 nice thick chicken fillets and defrosted them. But I wasn't going to cook them the 'traditional' way in egg and flour, so improvisation was in order.
The original fish recipe I wanted to make is found here, but mine is in completely different species, so I will type it out how I made it.

For 2 people you will need:

2 chicken fillets (each cut into 2, like butterflying them, but cut all the way through)
1 egg, beaten
1 cup instant potato mash flakes
1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano
1/3 cup grated Parmesan
Salt and pepper t taste
Oil for frying


Mix the potato flakes with oregano and the Parmesan.
Pat dry the chicken fillets after cutting them up and season them with some salt and pepper.
Heat some oil in a frying pan.
Dip each piece into the beaten egg and then into the mash/cheese mixture and place it gently into the frying pan.
Cook for 5-6 minutes on each side and after taking them out, put them on kitchen paper to drain from the excess oil.


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Sütlaç (or that's rice pudding for you and me, darlin')

For the past week I got craving for anything dairy. I like dairy, mind you, but I just couldn't get enough for the past 7 days.
And then it dawned on me that I don't have just to gulp all the milk, kefir and yogurt that I can lay my grubby paws on, so it was rice pudding time!
I believe that every household have their favorite recipe and method for making S
ütlaç, but I like mine the most :) Especially doused with some cinnamon and sometimes bitter cocoa powder. There are no strict rules for following in my recipe, it is really simple, heartwarming and really, really tasty. It is important however, to use the same cup for measuring the ingredients. ( E.g. You don't need 200 grams of rice, the cup capacity is 200 ml)

Here we go:

For 4 persons you will need:
1 cup (of 200 ml) uncooked sushi rice (or any starchy short grain rice will do)
1 1/2 cups (of 200 ml) water

3 cups (of 200 ml) milk
3 tablespoons caster sugar

1 teaspoon cooking oil, NOT olive oil.


Wash the rice under running water and put into pan. Add the water, milk, sugar and oil and start stirring. Cook on low/medium fire until the desired consistency is reached and about 3/4 of the liquid is absorbed.
I like my rice pudding a little bit on the runny side, so when I see that the rice is al dente, I turn off the fire and cover the pot. Enjoy sprinkled with some cinnamon, cocoa powder, or you can add teaspoon of rose water if you wish.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Stuffed Peppers

I simply love peppers. All shapes, colors and sizes, that is except the green bell peppers which have somewhat bitter taste and I'm not that fond of them.
While shopping in supermarket few days ago, I came across some real yellow and red beauties and it was love at first sight. I bought 2 of each color and armed with my 'prizes' came home and stashed them into the fridge with intention of roasting them and make salad with them.
However, the day was filled with other important things to do, so the roasting was to wait.
My husband doesn't open the fridge that often. First of all, he's completely clueless when it comes to preparing food and second, he has areas of the fridge which are 'no go zone' to his paws :)
He saw the peppers and stared like minute in them and asked when we'll be eating stuffed peppers.
So, my roasted pepper salad was not meant to be, and instead I made the stuffed peppers according to my mum's recipe.

For 4 people you will need:

4 medium colored peppers (about 250-300 grams each)
3 tablespoons cooking oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
500 grams grounded beef
2 handfuls of uncooked arborio or other starchy rice
2 teaspoons Knorr Aromat (or Vegeta, or zacin C, or Dafinka)
pinch of salt
VERY generous pinch of dried oregano
freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons tomato ketchup
pinch of chili flakes
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
2 whole tomatoes to serve as lids


Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the chopped onion. Stir well all the time, so the onion doesn't change color.
When the onion has softened, add the grounded beef and stir well breaking the meat into small pieces with the back of a wooden spoon.
When the meat has browned, add the raw rice, salt, black pepper, Knorr Aromat, chili flakes, oregano and ketchup and give good stir. At the very end, add the paprika, stir again and set aside.
Now it's good time to preheat the oven to 200 grades Celsius.
Wash and dry the peppers and with knife carve the upper part of the pepper (around the handle).
With the help of tablespoon put equal parts of the stuffing into each pepper and then halve the tomatoes and push into the opening to prevent the filling from falling out.
Arrange the peppers on baking dish and add about a glass of water.
Put in the oven and bake for about 30-40 minutes and then turn over, so they become charred on each side.
Bake for another 20-30 minutes until the peppers are soft to touch.
Serve with crusty bread and green salad and enjoy!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Speedy Lasagna

I don't like Mondays by default. It has nothing to do with the working week starting. Remember...I'm not into paid labor these days.
It has to do with people rushing like possessed, speeding like lunatics and the general feeling of anger.
However, since my classes are on Mondays, I use the opportunity to observe a lot and then vent with my friend Anna. Anna is one of those people that has calming effect on others. She has huge smile and endless patience. Oh...and she REALLY likes purple color :)
So, last Monday in one of the Supermarkets, there was special offer on storage boxes which incidentally were purple.
Anna needed to buy some and I decided to tag along for company and picking some bits and pieces to fill the fridge.
Usually my cupboards are stocked and bursting at the seams with the staples like pasta, tinned fruit and veg, canned fish and other imaginable groceries.
However, it is on few occasions that fresh, bronze drawn pasta is available (and dirt cheap) and since I was in the right place at the right time, I picked up 2 packs of lasagna sheets.
Hubby is not fan of lasagna, but I really do like it, so that means that I have leftovers frozen for another 3 meals for myself.
So, here's my speedy lasagna recipe which tastes absolutely delicious with some grated cheese on top.


Pack of 5 fresh lasagna sheets (250 grams)
250 grams grounded beef (or whichever you prefer, turkey, chicken, pork)
Jar of tomato sauce with spices (350 ml) + 100 ml water
1 pack of Béchamel
sauce (500 ml)
200 grams Asiago cheese (grated)
3 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese
some olive oil for frying the meat and greasing the dish


Preheat the oven to 200 grades Celsius.
Put the meat to brown on 1 tablespoon olive oil. When it is browned all over, pour the sauce and water and stir until it is heated through.
Grease lightly baking dish (30 x 20 centimeters) with some olive oil.
Put the first pasta sheet on the bottom, ladle some of the meat sauce over it, pour some of the
Béchamel sauce and sprinkle few tablespoons of the Asiago cheese.
Repeat the process with the next 3 sheets (by this time the meat sauce should be spent).
Cover with the last pasta sheet, pour some of the Béchamel and top with grated Asiago and Parmesan cheeses.
Put in the oven and bake for about 35-40 minutes or until golden on top.
After taking the lasagna out of the oven, let it rest for 10 minutes and then slowly cut the portions.

Monday, November 8, 2010


I came upon this falafel recipe about a year ago when searching for chickpea recipes. My husband is not very keen on trying new foods, but once he likes them, then he asks for them on regular basis. However, the falafel is not on his list of favorites, so I'm making it for myself as comfort food.
I won't be typing the recipe, as it is already available on the above mentioned place.
I haven't been 'creating' in the kitchen for the past week or so, it has been mostly convenience foods like ravioli (handmade, but not by me), quick bites of chicken in the oven (nothing to brag about), some steamed vegetables with garlic olive oil (my blood pressure is thankful) and pizza made using ready made bases.
The thing i, I'm getting in one of 'those' periods when things are piling up and cropping up unexpectedly and I'm stuck with my graduation thesis which causes some heart palpitations, nights of insomnia and generally mood associated with spoiled brat, but multiplied by several thousands.
My husband is silently worrying about my sanity, but dares not question my decisions, tantrums and all other trimmings. Bless his heart, he's trying his best to cheer me up and lift up my spirits and I am grateful for that.
I don't want to bore the readers with episodes of personal meltdowns, but I really need to vent sometimes. Thanks goodness for friends and family who are lending sympathetic ear and nod their heads in understanding.
Until next time, wishing you the best!