Beet-chard soup

This is my take on the beet-chard soup. There’s minimum chopping involved and the taste is just delicious. Some may be surprised by the presence of the egg, but that’s how my mum served a traditional Polish soup made with baby beetroot tops, which is similar in taste to the beet-chard soup here.

Ingredients:

  • 150-200 g piece of beef, bone-in or boneless
  • 200 g chard leaves – ideally it should be a variety with red stalks and veins
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 3 potatoes, peeled and roughly diced
  • 4  carrots, peeled and roughly diced
  • 2 onions, peeled and roughly chopped
  • Optional: piece of celeriac or small fennel, peeled and roughly diced
  • Handful of finely chopped fresh dill,
  • Herbs and spices: thyme, ground caraway, ground ginger, salt, lemon juice, turmeric, marjoram, black pepper

Method:

  • In a 5-litre pot bring 2 litres of water to boil. Sprinkle in 1/4 tsp of thyme,
  • 1/2 tsp of ground caraway and put in the meat. Cover with a lid and cook on a medium heat for about 1 hour.
  • In the meantime finely chop the chard, leaves and stalks. Melt a tablespoon of butter in a frying pan and wilt the chard, set aside.
  • To cooking stock throw in roughly chopped potatoes, carrots, onions and seleriac or fennel.
  • Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp of ground ginger. Cover with a lid and cook for another 1.5 hour.
  • Remove the meat and blend the soup until smooth. Add salt to taste.
  • Add in a handful of chopped dill and chard. Pour in 1/2 tbsp of lemon juice.
  • Sprinkle in 1 tsp of marjoram, 1/4 tsp of turmeric and a pinch of ground caraway.
  • Finish off with a dash of black pepper. Bring to boil and cook for another 5 minutes. Serve with a hard-boiled egg.
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Courgette in soy sauce

A quick and simple summer dinner.

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 long leek, sliced into half-moons
  • 1 medium courgette, diced
  • handful of frozen peas
  • 1 tbsp of oil
  • 1-2 tbsp of soy sauce
  • 1 tsp of rice vinegar (or lemon juice) 
  • Herbs and spices: ginger, chilli flakes, turmeric, black pepper

Method:

  • Heat the oil in a frying pan, throw in sliced leeks and fry on low flame until the leek wilts.
  • Add in diced courgette, 
  • sprinkle with 1/4 tsp ginger and some chilli flakes or powder, to taste.
  • Pour in 1-2 tbsp of soy sauce or to taste, cover with a lid and simmer until courgettes get soft. 5-10 minutes.
  • Pour in 1 tsp of rice vinegar or lemon juice,
  • sprinkle with some turmeric,
  • mix in frozen peas,
  • sprinkle with black pepper to taste. Cover with lid and simmer until peas get soft. No more than 5 minutes. Serve with rice.
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Aromatic red cabbage

Red cabbage is often forgotten and overlooked among other vegetables from the cabbage family. However, this recipe makes it truly stand out for all the good reasons. It’s aromatic with cinnamon and ground gloves, sweat and sour and a little bit salty. It makes a great side dish especially with grilled or fried meats and patties.  I think, it is festive enough to be served along side of roast turkey on the Christmas Day.

Origin: Anna Ciesielska “Filozofia Smaku”

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium sized head of red cabbage – about 1 kg – finely shredded, a mandoline is best here.
  • 50 g of butter
  • 4-5 tbsp of honey
  • 1 large onion – finely chopped
  • 2-3 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
  • juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • flour for thickening
  • Herbs and spices: thyme, cinnamon, ground cloves, ground ginger, salt

Method:

  • In a large (about 3 litres), deep pan with lid bring to boil about 500 ml of water. Sprinkle in a pinch of turmeric.
  • Melt in 50 g of butter and 4 tbsp of honey. Add 1 level tsp of cinnamon,
  • 1/4 tsp of ground cloves and a tsp of ground ginger. Throw in chopped onion and cook for few minutes. Add in shredded cabbage and stir.
  • Add 2 tsp of salt, mix everything well and cook for 10-15 minutes until cabbage is half cooked. Check saltiness, it should be distinct, you may need another teaspoon of salt.
  • Pour in juice from half a lemon – stir. Pour in 2-3 tbsp of balsamic vinegar. Stir and check acidity after each tablespoon, it should add fruitiness to the cabbage but not be too overpowering. When the seasoning is right you can thicken the cabbage with some flour. Just sprinkle teaspoon by teaspoon on the cabbage and stir after each teaspoon remembering to give the flour time to cook and thicken. You may need to add another tablespoon or so of honey. Bubble the cabbage away for another 5 minutes.
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Turkey breast in creamy sauce

One of my go to recipes for turkey. I like it with rice best, but potatoes would be good too. 

Origin: Anna Ciesielska “Filozofia Smaku”

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg turkey breast – diced
  • 2 large carrots – diced
  • 250 g mushrooms – sliced or cut into 4 pieces if they are small button mushrooms.
  • 2 large onions – chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves – crushed
  • 1/4 cup single or double cream
  • Oil for frying
  • Herbs and spices: ground black pepper, chilli, ground ginger, salt, ground caraway, ground coriander, lemon juice, turmeric, thyme

Method:

  • Sprinkle the turkey with 1 tsp of ground black peeper and 1 tsp of salt. Mix so that spices cover the meat. Set aside. This can be done some time ahead before cooking, even a night before but then the meat should be kept in the fridge.
  • Prepare vegetables. In a frying pan heat up 1 tbsp of oil and fry mushrooms until they loose their water, you may want to fry them a little longer, until they are golden. Remove mushrooms with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add in onions for sweating. Add some more oil if necessary.
  • Put a kettle on to boil some water.
  • In a casserole dish heat up 1-2 tbsp of cooking oil and fry the meat until it turns golden here and there. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp of basil.
  • Pour in enough boiling water to almost cover up coloured meat. Add 1 tsp of turmeric.
  • Add diced carrots, fried mushrooms and onions. Sprinkle with 1 tsp of ground caraway.
  • Add crushed garlic, 1 tsp of ground ginger, 1 tsp of ground coriander and chilli to taste.
  • Mix in 1 tsp of salt, or to taste. Cook for about 20-30 minutes, until vegetables are cooked. Adjust salt if necessary.
  • Add 2 tsp of balsamic vinegar or lemon juice.
  • Sprinkle with a pinch of dried thyme.
  • Pour in the cream. If the sauce is too watery thicken with 1-2 tsp of potato/corn starch mixed with 1/2 cup of cold water.
  • Finish of with a pinch of ground black pepper. Bring to a gentle boil and turn the heat off.
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Beef, carrot and fennel stew

Beef_carrot_fennel-1

A very nice spring/summer stew. It’s tasty and light and also simple to make. It can be served with rice, pasta or buckwheat. Boiled potatoes would be good too. Enjoy!

Inspiration: Anna Ciesielska “Philosophy of Flavour”

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg stewing beef, diced
  • 2 large carrots, coarsely grated
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 1 medium fennel, finely diced
  • 3 tbsp red split lentils
  • 2 heaped tsp of potato/corn starch
  • Herbs and spices: ground caraway, ground ginger, ground coriander, ground chilli, ground black pepper, salt, balsamic vinegar, ground turmeric, thyme,

Method:

  • First of, the night before cooking, season the meat. Put diced beef into a large bowl and sprinkle with the following spices: 1 tsp ground caraway, 1 tsp ground ginger, 1 tsp coriander, pinch of chilli, 1 tsp ground black pepper, 2 tsp salt, 1 tsp balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp turmeric. Mix everything well, cover with a foil and leave in the fridge overnight.
  • In a casserole dish heat up 2-3 tbsp of oil and fry the meat on a high heat until all moisture has evaporated and meat has started browning. It will take about 10-15 minutes.
  • In the meantime put a kettle on and boil some water. Once meat is ready pour boiling water over to almost cover the meat.
  • Then add grated carrots,
  • chopped onions and diced fennel.
  • Add 2-3 tbsp of split red lentils. Stirr everything well and check for salt. Bring to boil, cover with a lid, turn the heat down to low and cook the stew for about 2.5 hours, or until the meat is tender and falling apart under the fork.
  • Season with salt if necessary.
  • Add 1 tsp of balsamic vinegar,
  • 1/2 tsp of thyme,
  • pinch of ground caraway. If the sauce is too watery/runny thicken with 2 heaped tsp potato or corn starch dissolved in 1/2 cup of water.
  • Finish of with a pinch of black pepper. Mix the stew well and bring to boil for the last time.
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Stewed aubergines

Stewed aubergines-1

Lovely dish to accompany eggs at breakfast. It’s also great with grilled meats or on its own, served with a piece of bread.

Origin: Anna Ciesielska “Philosophy of Taste”

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium aubergines, roughly diced
  • 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • A handful of green pitted olives, chopped/sliced
  • Can of chopped tomatoes or passata
  • 2 tbsp of toasted almond flakes
  • Oil for frying
  • Herbs and spices: dried oregano, ground ginger, ground black pepper, salt, dried thyme, ground caraway, sugar (optional)

Method:

  • In a small pan with lid braise tomatoes with some olive oil on a low heat for about 7-10 minutes.
  • In a larger, non-stick pan pre-heat about 4 tbsp of oil on a medium flame and fry and stirr diced aubergines for about 10 – 15 minutes until aubergines have wilted and some have browned.
  • Add chopped onion, 1 tsp of oregano, crushed garlic, 1 tsp of ground ginger, 1 tsp of ground black pepper. Give everything a good stir and fry for another couple of minutes.
  • Add olives, salt to taste (about 2 tsp),
  • Tomatoes,
  • 1 tsp dried thyme,
  • 1 tsp ground caraway and almond flakes. Mix everything. Add some sugar if the sauce is too sour from tomatoes.
  • Finish off with some ground black pepper. Cover with lid and cook on a medium/low heat for about 20-30 minutes stirring occasionally. If there’s not enough liquid add some cold water to prevent the stew from burning.
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Home made burrito

Home made burrito

This is our favourite weekend dinner. Perhaps it’s not an original Mexican recipe, but it’s yummy none the less.

Ingredients:

  • 1kg minced beef
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 1 can of pinto beans
  • optional: 1 small can of refried beans (275 g)
  • 200 g tomato passata (or half a can of chopped tomatoes)
  • Herbs and spices: ground cumin, oregano, chilli, ginger, salt, turmeric, ground black pepper
  • Tortilla wraps,
  • To garnish: natural yoghurt, grated cheese, cooked rice, pickled jalapeno peppers, shredded salad leaves

Method:

  • Fry meat in batches, in a non stick deep pan, until well browned. Remove the meat and add diced onions. You may need to add some oil for frying at this point. Sweat the onions then return meat back to the pan. Sprinkle with a heaped teaspoon of ground cumin.
  • Add 1 tsp of dried oregano, 1 tsp of ground ginger and chilli to taste. Mix the sauce.
  • Add refried beans, if using, and a can of pinto beans together with water from the can. Mix again and add salt to taste, about 1 tsp.
  • Add tomatoes and 1 tsp of turmeric. Mix everything well, cover with a lid and simmer on a low heat for about 1 hour. You may need to add some boiling water if the sauce is too dry.
  • Finish off with a sprinkling of ground cumin and some black pepper at the end. Keep it cooking for another couple of minutes.

To make a burrito spread the sauce and garnishes on a tortilla wrap, fold the wrap in from two sides and then roll from one end to the other.

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Turkey roasted with veg

Turkey roasted with veg

I love one pot roasts like this one here. Meat and vegetables together, to save time and effort. There is some simple prep work involved, some time in the oven and the Sunday dinner is ready. The dish can be served with boiled potatoes with addition of some gherkins or beetroot salad.

Origin: Anna Ciesielska “Philosophy of Life”

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg turkey breast, a whole breast or cut into portion-size pieces
  • 8 medium carrots, peeled and cut into batons
  • 3 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into batons
  • Oil for frying
  • Butter
  • Herbs and spices: ground black pepper, salt, chilli, lemon juice, turmeric, sage, 1 tsp green peppercorns grounded in pestle and mortar

Method:

  • Sprinkle turkey with 1 tsp of ground black pepper and 1 tsp of salt. Mix well so that all meat is covered in seasoning. Leave to rest for 30 minutes or overnight in the fridge.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 150C
  • Pre-heat 2-3 tbsp of oil in a frying pan and fry the meat on high heat until coloured. Remove turkey to a casserole dish with lid.
  • Place vegetables around the meat or among meat pieces. I personally like to char parsnips a little on a high heat in a frying pan before putting them into the casserole.
  • Sprinkle everything with some chilli,
  • salt to taste,
  • lemon juice (about half a lemon),
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric and 1 tsp of sage.
  • Dot lumps of butter among vegetables and on meat.
  • Sprinkle with ground green peppercorns or black pepper. Pour some water to the bottom of the baking dish, a couple of splashes here and there.
  • Cover with lid and roast for up to 1.5 hr.
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Nourishing soup

Nourishing soup

The autumn is upon us. It’s a good time to load batteries with some nourishing soup. This one here is filling but light on the stomach. You can use different kinds of rice and instead of red lentils and green beans use other kinds of pulses (if using dry beans those need to be soaked overnight and rinsed before cooking).

Ingredients:

  • 2 l broth or beef stock
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
  • 1 small sweet potato, peeled and coarsely grated
  • 1 large leek, white part only, finely chopped
  • 2-3 celery sticks, veins removed and finely chopped
  •  1/2 cup of brown basmati rice
  • handful of green beans, chopped into 0.5-1 cm pieces
  • 3 tbsp red lentils
  • some boiling water
  • 1/2 tbsp butter
  • Herbs and spices: ground caraway seeds, ground ginger, ground coriander, salt, lemon juice, ground turmeric, ground black pepper

Method:

  • In a large pot bring broth to boil, add grated carrots and sweet potato.
  • Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp ground caraway. Stirr.
  • Add chopped leeks, celery and brown rice.
  • Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp ground ginger and 1/2 tsp ground coriander. Stirr.
  • Add green beans and lentils. Add salt to taste.
  • Cover with a lid and simmer on a low heat for 1.5-2 hours, stirring from time to time to pre vent rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Check saltiness and add a bit more salt if the soup will need thinning with some boiling water.
  • Add 1 tbsp of lemon juice.
  • Add some boiling water. Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp of turmeric. Stirr.
  • Add 1/2 tbsp butter, ground caraway and black pepper to taste.
  • Simmer for another 10 minutes.
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Beef and veg crepes

Beef and veg crepes

It’s a tasty way to use up meat and vegetables from cooking broth.

Origin: Anna Ciesielska “Philosophy of Health”

Ingredients for the filling:

  • Oil for frying
  • 2 onions – chopped
  • Leftover vegetables from broth: carrots, parsnips, fennel, celery stick – diced
  • Leftover meat from broth, here beef – diced
  • Herbs and spices: ground caraway, ground coriander, ground ginger, salt, basil, marjoram, black pepper

In a deep frying pan heat up 2-3 tbsp of oil, fry onions until golden. Add vegetables, meat, 1 tsp ground caraway, 1 tsp ground coriander, 1/2 tsp ground ginger, salt to taste, 1 tsp basil, 1 tsp marjoram, pinch of caraywa and black pepper to taste. Mix everything thoroughly and until the filing is piping hot.

Ingredients for crepes:

  • 1 and 1/2 cup of flour
  • pinch of turmeric
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • pinch of ginger and nutmeg
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 and 1/4 cup of water

Put all ingredients in to a mixing bowl and mix with a hand mixer or an electric balloon whisk for about 5 minutes, or until the batter is smooth. Put aside for about 10 minutes. Pre-heat a shallow frying pan (24-26 cm diameter) with a little bit of oil. Pour batter on to the frying pan, just enough to cover the base. Fry for about 3-5 minutes on each side. Remove on to a plate. Spread a little oil on the frying pan before each crepe.

Spread some filling on a crepe, fold in sides and roll the crepe up. Serve crepes with tomato sauce or tomato ketchup.

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