Archive for August, 2012

Salmon saves the day

A grilled salmon fillet is what I usually make when I want something fairly healthy, quick and easy.

Get a salmon fillet, grill it or pan fry it for about 10 minutes on each side and serve it with rice, potatoes or quinoa, and some veggies on the side – it takes about 20 mins to make and makes for a tasty meal – simples!

Grilled salmon, rice, coriander and asparagus

Risotto with parmesan and herbs

Herb risotto and salad

This is a great light meal, and this one is based on a recipe from the Czech Apetit food magazine, which I bought while I was hungry at the airport and I fantasied about the food I would make when I got home.

To make this risotto you need:

1,5l of  boiling vegetable stock

50g butter

2 handfuls of fresh herbs (parsley, basil, chives), half finely chopped

50g parmesan, half finely grated and half flakes

1 onion

300g risotto rice

2 tbl spoons of olive oil, out of which 1 spoon is mixed with 2 spoons of balsamic vinegar for serving

150ml white wine

salt and freshly grated black pepper

Serves 4 | Prep and cook time is 45 mins

Fry the onion on half of the butter, stir in the rice and coat it in oil. Add in the wine and let it evaporate. Then pour in the boiling stick one ladle full at a time, always letting the liquid evaporate, before adding the next one, until the rice is cooked. Then take off the fire, and stir in the grated parmesan, the chopped herbs and remaining butter, with a tbl spoon of oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix the rest of the herbs with the oil and balsamic and spoon this mixture on the top of the risotto along with the parmesan flakes to serve.

For the salad – get mixed leaves and toast a mix of pumpkin sunflower seends on a dry pan until golden. Toss in the salad, seasoning with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.

Bon apetit!

Last of the Czech food

My long holiday in the village has now finished and I am back in London, the time spent there already seeming like longer than the 2 days it actually was.

These are the last few meals we had during my stay there.

Pumpkin soup with potato and pasta with sour cream

Plum pie

Dad ordered duck with dumplings at Restaurant ‘Na Statku’ near Mirošov

Raspberry sorbet with vanilla cream also at Restaurant ‘Na Statku’ near Mirosov

Vegetarian Lasagna based on Delia’s recipe – the guests loved it!

The Lasagna recipe can be found here.

Fruit dumplings

Czech are one of the few nations that enjoy sweet food as a main meal – one of my favourites are these fruit dumplings. They are made with seasonal fruit and served with grated quark cheese, melted butter and sugar – these were eaten on  my last day – yummy!

My food highs and lows – holiday grub

I don’t know about you, but what I always get anxious about food on holidays and trips.

Because food is so central to my life – I need to eat well or I’m grumpy. Some say it’s psychological, but even in good restaurants my belly hurts after a meal, which it never does when I cook at home, probably I suspect, because the food in any restaurant is not as good quality as you would make for yourself at home and perhaps also because one tends to pick less healthy food in restaurants, because you want to ‘treat’ yourself to something you don’t make at home, or because there is simply not a healthy alternative. Also portions in restaurants tend to be bigger so you end up eating more. Often the food in restaurants sounds and looks good, but leaves you feeling sicky and heavy afterwards.

So if I’m fussy about good restaurant food, you can imagine how fussy I get about bad food. I hate when I’m starving and end up eating in a bad restaurant or have to eat junk food because there is nothing else available.

Recently while on holiday in a remote village in the Czech Republic, I was subjected to having to eat out in local pubs, which would leave you feeling ill, even though I would choose the blandest possible food like rice and veg. That’s why I haven’t even bothered posting on the blog, as there was no food worth writing about.

So I was relieved when I got back home and could again have my own home cooked meal – and this was it:

‘Lečo’ – Czech dish of light green peppers, tomatoes, onions and egg (salami optional)

It was a Czech dish called ‘Lečo’ with potatoes and some Camembert type cheese – it was what I found in the house, but it tasted yummy, although usually it’s served with white bread rolls.

The next day we went cycling for 3 hours and ended up having food in a good restaurant – the traditional Czech ‘Svíčková’ which is a cream sauce, with dumplings and beef (served with cranberry sauce). It was nice, but heavy and again I choose it because there wasn’t really a good healthier alternative.

Svíčková sauce

After that I managed an hour’s sloow ride back home and had a dinner of roast veg oven grilled with balkan cheese.

Roast tomatoes and peppers stuffed with balkan cheese

How about you are you fussy when it comes to eating out? Are you like me and research good restaurants when you go on a trip or do you just go with the flow and eat where you feel like?

Happy holiday eating 🙂

Here today, gone tomorrow

Since I got to the Czech Republic, I had a craving for the no 1 Czech vegetarian dish – a slab of fried eidam cheese in breadcrumbs, with potatoes and mayo. I ordered it once at the beginning of my trip in what turned out to be a dodgy restaurant and got a ready made low quality version, which still left me craving the real thing, so when I passed the deli in the village shop I couldn’t resist and bought some cheese to make at home myself. It doesn’t look very nice but it was darn tasty 🙂

Fried eidam cheese escalope, oven chips and sour cream

Having been given some pumpkins from a visiting friend, I made pumpkin pasta with cream, wine and rosemary sauce adapted from an online recipe.

Pumpkin pasta

Finally we also got some plums from my friend and made plum pie, using my friend’s recipe.

Plum pie

Food inspiration

I’ve been busy with having both big and little guests staying over, but while they were here I’ve learnt a few crafty cooking skills.

We ate a Czech dish – deep fried cauliflower in breadcrumbs, which was served with sour cream mixed with garlic and basil as a healthier alternative to mayonnaise. I love this summer dish.

Cauliflower in breadcrumbs with sour cream dip

We had potato wedges to go with the cauliflower. We just chopped the potatoes with skins on laid them out on baking paper and mixed them with oil. Simple, tastier and healthier than regular chips – will definitely be making those again.

Oven baked potato wedges

And we also had to have a colourful mixed salad to go with lunch.

Mixed salad

The verdict was one of all round satisfaction – event the kids enjoyed it which is a sure sign that the food was good 🙂

Yummy!

Dobrou chuť!

 

Waste not want not

Today was day of eating stuff from the fridge which was about to go off and it surprisingly made for a tasty meal. Personally I hate wasting food, but I have to admit that sometimes it’s hard to eat the older bread, when you’ve someone has bought fresh bread, or eating the fruit that is on its way out instead of the fresher alternative sitting next to it. So today when I was ready to chuck a stale iceberg and very tired looking red cabbage  in the bin, I felt a pang of guilt and so trimmed the bad bits to reveal a perfectly good vegetable underneath.

Lunch

Lunch was stir fried mushrooms and courgette, which was has been sitting on the table for longer than I can remember along with brown rice from a few days ago (as I always cook more rice than I need) and a salad of said red cabbage and iceberg with olive oil and balsamic. The result was a simple, but tasty lunch.

Plums

I’ve been snacking on plums which we bought from a granny selling them by the road. They are now in season and have to be eaten super fast as they tend to go off quite easily.

Dinner

I needed to use up the leftover balkan cheese from the fridge before it went off and so made a tasty ‘sopský salad’  for dinner again. This is one of my favourite salads – this one has tomatoes, pepper, cucumber, onion and cheese and was served with some toasted rye bread and butter.

So today was a day of leftovers, and it always feels strangely satisfying when you manage to make a good meal out of something, which you would throw away if leaving it one more day. Having looked through the fridge I discovered a Turkey escalope from a few days ago, which no one fancies, so the cat is in for a treat.

Here pussy pussy…