dinsdag 13 maart 2012

Dutch "Boterkoek" for my 2nd blogiversary!

Dutch butter cake/cookie "boterkoek" is an easy recipe made with real Butter. It's a real rich, dense and buttery cake ofcourse, and is traditionally baked in a 20-24cm(8-9,5 inch)  round pan. This is the classic version but there are more version, this varieties are filled with almond paste, apricot or ginger. This cookie is mosthly eaten during coffee or thea- time in the netherlands.

Dutch butter cake"boterkoek"

Makes 10-12 portions

250G( +8 oz) Soft real butter
250G All-purpose flour
250G Sugar
2 Eggs
50G Almond flakes
Pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 180C (355F). Butter or grease your cake pan and line with parchment paper, if you don't have a round cake pan you can use a square brownie pan instead.

Whisk the butter and sugar together in the mixer (or by hand), put in 1 egg and the pinch of salt. Add in the flour and mix untill the dough forms a soft ball. Spread the dough ball equaly in your lined baking pan. Cover the douch with some eggwash of the other egg and sprinkle with the almond flakes.
Bake for about 25 minutes untill its golden brown.

zaterdag 10 maart 2012

March meze Madness! Keftedes with fresh pita, tzatziki and cucumber meze

This week its March Meze Madness! over at I Heart Cooking Clubs.
So i made ourselves a little meze party for dinner, when my boyfriend came home from his work he almost couldn't wait to get started. I'm glad whe both like tzatziki. Whe ate the hole bowl so that will keep colds and the vampires away;-)

Keftedes (fried meatballs)

Tessa says,"These are very popular in Greece. They are lovely as a meze with a dish of feta and a few other bits and pieces. Of course they are also great with french fries. Many Greeks roll their keftedes in a little flour before frying."

Serves 35 balls

10½ ounces unpeeled potatoes [about 2]
1 pound 2 ounces ground beef
1 red onion, grated
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped Italian parsley
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried mint
good pinch of ground cinnamon
1 egg, lightly beaten
salt and freshly ground black pepper
all-purpose flour, for dusting
olive oil for frying
lemon quarters, for serving

Boil the potatoes, covered, in plenty of water until they are soft when pierced with a fork.

Meanwhile, put the beef, onion, parsley, oregano, mint, cinnamon and egg into a bowl and mix. Drain the cooked potatoes and when they are cool enough to handle, peel and break up into the bowl. Season well with salt and pepper, then mash everything together with a potato masher. Knead again with your hands to make a compact mix. Form walnut-size balls of about 1 ounce each, but you can make them smaller or bigger if you like. Scatter some flour onto a flat plate and roll the balls lightly in the flour, keeping them in compact balls.

Heat olive oil to a depth of about 1/4 inch in a large nonstick skillet. Add as many balls as will fit to the skillet and fry until they are golden on all sides, flicking them gently to roll over. You will probably have to fry in two batches. Remove carefully with tongs and drain on a plate lined with paper towels. Add a little salt (as fried things are always good with a last sprinkling of salt). Serve hot, with a few drops of lemon juice.

Pita bread

Makes 8 pitas

Tessa says,"Generally in Greece pita is found at a souvlaki house and some grill spaces. But it is also wonderful served plain instead of bread at your table with dips etc.
In Greece, the pita are more often wrapped than stuffed for souvlaki and kebabs, so they need to be a bit softer. They are then heated up at the barbecue, or in the oven or chargrill pan before filling. If you will be eating them straight away. However, cook them a little longer, until they just start to colour. These can be frozen once cooked and then just pulled out to thaw."

2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon honey
450G (2 cups) bread flour
6 tablespoons olive oil

Sprinkle the yeast in a large bowl. Add the honey and 3 tablespoons warm water and mix to dissolve. Leave it till it starts to activate and get frothy. Add salt, flour, oil, and 7 oz water to the dough and mix until a rough dough slumps around your spoon. Change to your hands and knead until you have a soft springy dough, 8-10 minutes. It will seem sticky at first, but that is good, so only add more flour if the dough clings to your hands.

Wipe out the bowl with an oiled paper towel. Put the dough in, cover with plastic wrap, then a heavy cloth, and leave in a warm place to puff up until about double in size (1 1/2-2 hours).

Preheat the oven to 400. Punch down the dough and divide into 8 balls. Press each ball into a flat disk with your hands and leave for 5 minutes for them to relax.
Roll out the disks into a circle about 1/6" thick. Brush lightly with olive oil and put onto unfloured baking sheets. Bake one sheet at a time util they are firmed on the first side, 5 minutes or so, then turn them over amd bake for another 3 minutes, or until the top surface is dry. You will finish cooking them under the broiler or in the oven when you are about to serve, so they should be a little underdone.
Remove and immeaditely stack them on top of each other and wrap in plastic wrap to keep them pliable. To serve, brush each side lightly with olive oil and put under the broiler to warm both sides.

Tzatziki(Yogurt, Cucumber, Garlic)
Serves a nice bowlful
Tessa says, "This is a subtle amount of garlic comparred with some versions that you might come across. So you can add more if you like. If the garlic bothers you, you can leave it out completely, but it's not really tzatziki then. Tzatziki is a beauty as it takes just about anything to a different level. wonderful with chips, lamb chops, bread and many other dishes."

2 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small cucumber
1 teaspoon salt
250g Greek yogurt
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped mint

Using the flat of your knife, crush the garlic with a pinch of salt into a paste. Put into a small bowl with the oil, and leave to marinate while you prepare the rest.

Top and tail the cucumber and peel it. I like it striped, with one strip peeled and the next left unpeeled. Using the large holes of the grater, grate the cucumber into a sieve. Scatter with the salt and leave it for 30 minutes or so to drain, turning it over a couple of times and even pressing it down with your hands or a wooden spoon.

Put the yogurt into a bowl for serving. Add the garlic and oil, the mint and a couple of grinds of black pepper. Fold the cucumber through and taste for salt. This can be stored in the fridge, covered, for a couple of days. The cucumber will give up a little water, but stir it through to loosen the tzatziki.

Cucumber meze

Serves 2

Tessa says,"This is extremely instant and extremely simple. The kind of thing you could eat a bucket of in summer. The recipe is easy to double; just reduce the olive oil slightly-about 1½ tablespoons.

Serves 2
1 cucumber, about 200g peeled and sliced
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 teaspoon dried mint
about 1 Tablebspoon olive oil

Mix the cumcumber, lemon juice, and mint together in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper and toss again. Just before serving, drizzle the cucumber slices with olive oil.

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zondag 4 maart 2012

Cabbage salad with oranges & lemons

Fight Scurvy - Eat More Citrus! Is this week s cooking theme over at I Heart Cooking Clubs.
They say'"I find it somewhat amazing that encased in thick, pebbly skins you can find such bright, juicy, glorious bursting fruit! It's like a hit of sunshine for those of us stuck in cold, blustery parts of the world this time of year."
And This salad really whas a hit of sunshine combined with the best of winter produce: cabbage. I bought this lovely Savoy cabbage as Tessa suggested. I added in some extra walnuts.I can't hardly wait for summer to come....
Last friday they also announced our new featured chef for the comming six months. It is Rick Bayless Who's comfort zone is MEXICAN. That surely isn't mine, but i'll just dive in with the rest of the club and maybe after six months i will love it.

Tessa Kiros says, " A soft cabbage like savoy is best here, as the dressing will happily cling to it. You can easily add other ingredients - sometimes i sprinkle in some crushed dried mint or freshly chopped parsley, ground coriander seeds or caraway seeds(although not for my childeren, who say they look like 'gogos'- a word we used in South Africa for something small and insecty). Finely sliced fennel and coarsely grated carrots are also good, and you could use some beautiful purple cabbage for extra colour. It is also lovely with a peeled, cored and chopped apple tossed trough.
Walnuts are great, too. I normally use blood oranges, but, when they are out of season, orange oranges are fine- just make sure that they are bright, sweet and at their very best."

Cabbage salad with oranges & Lemons
Tessa Kiros, Apples for jam

Serves 6

400G (14Oz) finely sliced cabbage
2 smallish leafy celery stalks, finely sliced
2 whole oranges
Ground chili, to serve

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
½teaspoon dried oregano, crushed through your fingers

Put the cabbage in a large bowl, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of salt and cover with cold water. Leave to soak for an hour or so. This will help draw away any acid from the cabbage. Drain, rinse and put it in your serving bowl with the celery. Cut the skin and all the pith from the oranges. Slice the oranges into fine wheels(picking out any seeds) and add to the cabbage.
For the dressing, lightly whisk the oil, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar and oregano together. Season with salt and pepper and pour over the cabbage. Mix trough well. Let it settle, then mix trough a few more times so that the cabbage is completely coated. Toss trough a sprinkling of groung chilli just before serving, or pass it around separately for those who want it.
Serve in winter(when cabbage is at its best) with roast pork or chicken, or in summer with barbecued meats.

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