Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Proper French onion soup


I always loved the French onion soup and for some reason couple of day ago I got obsessed with making it myself. I mean that full blown version where you start from making brown stock (which cooks for 5 hours), then you caramelize onions for 40 minutes etc. There was something so fascinating about this whole process of making it slowly and properly. The result tasted better to me that what I got to try in restaurants so far. I must have got really biased during those 5 hours.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Sticky toffee pudding

Couple of weeks ago I entered a phase of heavy craving for dates. It's hard to explain, but I just can't help eating them. Some days - for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Weird, but those dates which look the most messy and jammed, as if a bear stepped on them, seem to be the tastiest. Anyhow, that day I woke up determined to make a proper sticky toffee pudding - soft and moist with gooey butterscotch sauce and melting ice-cream on top. Another idea was to give a class at Pinch about it, it didn't work. But the pudding itself! I can't find words strong enough to describe its beauty.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Lunch & dinner at Ragout cafe (Moscow)


Some food is lovely just because it is simple, but the food at Ragout cafe is so good because it is sophisticated. It is not that often when I can't tell what exactly there is in the soup or the sauce I am eating. Even more rarely I do enjoy it...

Monday, February 20, 2012

Buckwheat galette with an egg


This galette is one of addictions I got while living in Fontainebleau. At first I had certain trouble eating French there with my vegetarian preferences. So very fast I switched from bistrots (common casual dining French restaurants, which were mainly meat dominated) to creperies. These were a true paradise with their menus filled with both sweet white crepes and savory buckwheat galettes. The galette with an egg was apparently the most sexy and always managed to beat everything else.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Kovrizhka, grandma's spice cake (vegan version)

I was thinking about the menu for a Russian food cooking class and this kovrizhka came to mind. Kovrizhka is a kind of spice cake, baked in Russia and Ukraine, which I loved to make when I was in my teens. Since then I somehow forgot about it, which is unjustified given how tasty and simple it is. It fit really well into the class menu, so I went to search for the recipe.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Tom yam kung. Home made.

In a certain way I was really proud when I got this tom yam at home. I had many doubts that it was at all possible in Moscow. But after certain reading effort, couple of visits to an Asian store and some time around the stove I tasted it and (!) it was good. While in Thailand and Singapore I had so much tom yam everywhere possible that I got very clear - the right tom yam is pure red liquid magic that impresses you forever once you try it. However even in Asia you very often get served a very ordinary prawn "soup" instead of it. This home made one is among the two or three best tom yam's I tasted.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Gnocchi with basil and tomato sauce (vegan version)

Gnocchi is one of my beloved comfort foods I picked up last year. It turned out that in Moscow you still can't get them ready made in most of the supermarkets. It makes me complain before I make them, but it also makes me note each and every time how delicious they are when freshly made at home.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Homemade Italian dinner with Leo and Natalia: pasta fagioli, spinach lasagna and peperonata


Leo is an Australian, living in Moscow for several years. We've been friends for a while but only recently I found that he loves cooking. I'm still wondering how I deserved such a present, but last week Leo and his lovely wife Natalia invited me for a home made dinner. It turned out that Leo's grandmother was Italian from Naples region and she taught him many Italian recipes.