Sunday, March 31, 2013

Gogosi

For the fourth instalment of L'Abbecedario Culinario della Comunità Europea we head to Romania where our host is Cristina from La Cucina di Cristina.

I am a complete novice when it comes to Romanian food but in my research I've discovered that it's a cuisine that has through its history absorbed influences from many different cultures - dating back to the Roman empire and more recently the Ottoman. Its location sees it taking on board Germanic, Hungarian and Balkan flavours. It's been fascinating to see this evolution and has left me wanting to discover more.

The dish I've made is Gogosi - which is pretty much like a donut. It's simply served with a generous dusting of icing sugar.

Gogosi© by Haalo

Gogosi

1 teaspoon dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
½ cup tepid milk
15 grams butter, diced
150 grams plain flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon caster sugar
zest of 1 orange
1 egg yolk, light whisked

In a small bowl, place the yeast and 1 teaspoon of sugar, pour over a little of the tepid milk and stir. Put in a warm spot for a few minutes to allow the yeast to activate.

Place the diced butter into the remaining tepid milk and stir until the butter has melted.

Sift the flour, salt and caster sugar together into a bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in the beaten egg yolk, activated yeast, orange zest and milk - stir until it comes together to form a soft dough. Turn out onto a floured board and knead until smooth and elastic - about 5 minutes should do.

Roll into a ball and place into an oiled bowl - cover with plastic wrap and put in a warm spot to rise (it should double in size).

When ready, remove from the bowl and flatten into a disc. Roll the dough out until it's about ¾cm thick. Cut into rounds - I used a 4cm cutter, you can make them larger if you desire. At this size, you'll get about 25 gogosi.

Deep fry the balls in a neutral oil until golden - for donuts this size they should take about a minute - larger gogosi will take longer. Once goden brown, remove from the pan and place on paper towels to remove any excess oil. Finally, when they are still warm, dredge with icing sugar and serve immediately.


Saturday, March 30, 2013

Zhoug

I'm a great fan of Ottolenghi's cookbooks and his latest, Jerusalem, doesn't disappoint. I'm hard pressed to find a recipe I don't want to make but I selected one that seems perfect for Weekend Herb Blogging. A vibrant condiment called Zhoug - you might also see it called "green harissa" but I think it is more like a hot chermoula.

While harissa gets its heat from dried red chillies, the warmth in Zhoug comes from fresh long green chillies and just like chermoula, there's lots of fresh coriander and parsley. If you're cooking lamb this Easter, then you should probably serve a little Zhoug on the side.

Like most pastes of this type, you really can experiment with the quantities to suit your own specific tastes - I've added a lot more parsley and a little more chilli.

Zhoug© by Haalo

Friday, March 29, 2013

Hot Cross Buns

You can't fully celebrate Easter without some Hot Cross Buns and this year I'd thought I'd make my own. For this batch, I've tinkered around a little with this recipe by Paul Hollywood.

Hot Cross Buns© by Haalo

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Black & White Wednesday #77 Hosting

chive flower© by Haalo

I'm very happy to be hosting Black and White Wednesday this week.

If you'll like to join in please send me your black & white/sepia/cyanotype culinary photos (maximum width 500px, height is open) to haalo AT cookalmostanything.com

Please include your Name, Blog Name and Photo Title in the email - I'll be accepting entries right through to midday on the 3rd.

I look forward to receiving your creations!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Weekend Herb Blogging #377 Hosting


In the run up to Easter, I will be hosting Weekend Herb Blogging.

If you're new to Weekend Herb Blogging or haven't joined in for a while, here's a quick recap of the rules.

You have the week to post about any herb, fruit, vegetable, seed, nut, flower - in fact if it is plant based then we'll love to hear more. Your post can be informative, spotlight a particular ingredient and/or include a recipe where your chosen ingredient is one of the primary ingredients in the recipe.

Entries should be submitted by:
  • 3pm Sunday - Utah Time
  • 10pm Sunday - London Time
  • 11pm Sunday - Rome Time
  • 8am Monday - Melbourne (Aus) Time
Due to easter I'll extend the deadline to 3pm (my time)

Send your posts to whb AT cookalmostanything.com
with WHB#377 in the subject line and the following details:
  • Your name
  • Your Blog/URL
  • Your Post URL
  • Attach a photo: 400px wide
You can also keep in touch with the Italian version - this week it will be hosted by Brii from Briggishome


Saturday, March 23, 2013

Flapjacks with Seeds and Sultanas

Simona from Simona's Kitchen is hosting the English and Italian editions of Weekend Herb Blogging and this week I've sought comfort in an english classic - Flapjacks.

While I have made flapjacks in the past I thought I'd try a recipe from Mary Berry's Baking Bible - I couldn't really go wrong using a recipe from an English baking doyen. I have made a slight adjustment to the original recipe - it is sugar and butter rich so to add a little "goodness" I've used rolled spelt instead of rolled oats and added in sultanas, sunflower seeds and pepitas.

flapjacks© by Haalo

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Black and White Wednesday #76

I'm just going to blame the early Easter on my poor scheduling skills but I have managed to redeem myself slightly by getting a photo ready for this week's Black and White Wednesday hosted by the talented Susan from The Well-Seasoned Cook.

borlotti beans© by Haalo
Borlotti Beans
I cannot wait for this never-ending daylight saving to end (yes, six months is too long) - to finally say goodbye to summer and hello to much cooler weather which will see the return of certain delicious things I've missed - like these lovely fresh borlotti beans.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Weekend Herb Blogging #376 Hosting


It's lovely to welcome back Simona from Simona's Kitchen as the host of both the English and Italian versions of Weekend Herb Blogging.

While it's called Weekend Herb Blogging we don't limit ourselves to just posts dealing with herbs - we celebrate all vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, flowers, grains - in fact if it is plant based, then we'll love to hear more.

Your posts can either be informative and/or include a recipe where your featured ingredient is the main ingredient of the dish. If you've found a new way to cook an old ingredient or discovered a new ingredient, you're more than welcome to share it with WHB.

Posts can be written anytime during the week but need to be sent to the host by the appropriate deadlines. You can find more information by checking out the WHB rules or if you seek inspiration, then a stroll through the archives is a great place to start.

Send your entries to info AT simonaskitchen.com
with WHB#376 in subject line and the following details:
  • Your Name
  • Your Blog Name/URL
  • Your Post URL
  • A photo: 400px wide

Your entries need to be received by:
  • 3pm Sunday - Utah Time
  • 9pm Sunday - London Time
  • 10pm Sunday - Rome Time
  • 8am Monday - Melbourne DS Time

Monday, March 11, 2013

Weekend Herb Blogging #375 Hosting



This week Brii from Briggishome is hosting Weekend Herb Blogging.

If you'd like to join in, it couldn't be easier. While it's called Weekend Herb Blogging we don't limit ourselves to just posts dealing with herbs - we celebrate vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, flowers, grains - in fact if it is plant based, then we'll love to hear more.

Your posts can either be informative and/or include a recipe where your featured ingredient is the main ingredient of the dish. If you've found a new way to cook an old ingredient or discovered a new ingredient, you're more than welcome to share it with WHB.

Posts can be written anytime during the week but need to be sent to the host by the appropriate deadlines.

Entries should be submitted by:
  • 3pm Sunday - Utah Time
  • 10pm Sunday - London Time
  • 11pm Sunday - Rome Time
  • 9am Monday - Melbourne (Aus) DS Time

Send your posts to briiblog at gmail.com
with WHB#375 in the subject line and the following details:
  • Your name
  • Your Blog/URL
  • Your Post URL
  • Please include a photo sized: 300px wide
Don't forget that the Kris from Tutto a Occhio will be hosting the Italian edition.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Rabanadas

We started in the Netherlands, then moved to Slovakia and in this edition of L'Abbecedario Culinario della Comunità Europea we head to Portugal where our host is Patrizia from La Melagranata.

I've got a couple of Portugese cookbooks in my collection - I've previously used Flavours of Portugal by Tania Gomes to make an egg custard tart called Queijadas - so this time I'm using Tessa Kiros' Pirri Pirri Starfish.

The dish I've selected is called Rabanadas or Tipsy Slices - I suppose you could say it is related to French Toast but the major difference is in the syrup - a blend of cinnamon, citrus peel and port wine - now you know why it's called Tipsy Slices!

rabanadas© by Haalo

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Chilled Cucumber and Yoghurt Soup

Simona from Briciole is hosting Weekend Herb Blogging and this week my focus has been on trying to keep cool. I'm recreating a lovely soup I enjoyed over the summer at one my favourite spots - a Greek inspired Chilled Cucumber and Yoghurt Soup.

Chilled Cucumber and Yoghurt Soup© by Haalo

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Silver Needle Tea

My journey through teas-day has lead me to a white tea called Silver Needle.

silver needle tea© by Haalo

Up close, I can't help but think that they look like left-over legs off a huntsman but from a distance they look a bit more like silvery rosemary needles.

White tea is sourced from only the young unopened buds - they are dried and undergo only a light fermentation which gives it that silvery appearance. In comparison, Black teas are fully fermented - oolong is partially fermented and green teas are unfermented.

Dosage is a teaspoon to 1 cup hot water (80°C) and it should be brewed for about 5 minutes. If you've been careful with the water temperature you should get 3 re-steepings - if the water is too hot you can end up with a bitter taste.

It has a pale colour and soft, subtle flavours - a good choice if you're winding down for the day.

Monday, March 04, 2013

Weekend Herb Blogging #374 Hosting


This week Simona from Briciole is hosting both the English and Italian editions of Weekend Herb Blogging.

If you're new to Weekend Herb Blogging or haven't joined in for a while, here's a quick recap of the rules.

You have the week to post about any herb, fruit, vegetable, seed, nut, flower - in fact if it is plant based then we'll love to hear more. Your post can be informative, spotlight a particular ingredient and/or include a recipe where your chosen ingredient is one of the primary ingredients in the recipe.

Entries should be submitted by:
  • 3pm Sunday - Utah Time
  • 10pm Sunday - London Time
  • 11pm Sunday - Rome Time
  • 9am Monday - Melbourne (Aus) DS Time

Send your posts to simosite AT mac DOT com
with WHB#374 in the subject line and the following details:
  • Your name
  • Your Blog/URL
  • Your Post URL
  • Attach a Photo: 400px wide

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