Thai inspired coconut soup

INGREDIENTS

1L of good quality chicken stock (I have home-made here)

200gr Shitaki mushrooms.(not in a photo)

A handfull of spinach.(not in a photo)

2-3 Kaffir lime leaves

1 red chilli (de-seeded and chopped)

2 garlic cloves (grated)

3 shallots (finely chopped)

2 lemongrass sticks

a thumb size piece of galangal (or ginger )

3 limes (zest of 1 lime is need in the recipe)

3 tbs fish sauce

1 tps of sugar

1 can (400ml) of coconut milk (light)

Seafood: 1 big cod filet and 6 large Indonesian prawns(can be substituted with large prawns)

 

PREPARATION:

Add chicken stock to the pot and keep it on medium heat. Add Kaffir lime leaves, 1 chopped chilli, grate 2 garlic cloves. Add the shallots with lemongrass sticks (Make sure to pound lemongrass with a back of the knife to release its juices). Grate galangal root. Pour 2 cans of coconut milk. Add zest of 1 lime to the pot. Add shitaki mushrooms. Leave it to simmer on a low heat for 10-15 min.

Now for the most important part. The balance of flavours: sweet, sour, salty & hot. Add 1 tbs of sugar into the pot, 2 tbs of fish sauce and squeeze juice of 2 limes. Mix all together. If needed add juice of 1 lime. Leave it to simmer on a low heat for 10-15 min

In the meantime prepare the seafood: cut fish into bite size pieces. Clean the prawns (peel and devein if necessary).

Add the seafood and mushrooms at the very end of cooking and simmer on low heat for 3-5 min until seafood is fully cooked and prawns are nice pink colour and fish is just about to flake.

Garnish with a little bit of parsley and it goes very well with nice toasted ciabatta bread.

Bon appetit.:)

Lithuanian potato pie “Kugelis”

INGREDIENTS (4-6 people):

2.5kg of potatoes.

6 chicken thighs (de-boned with no skin)

150 ml of milk

1 large onion (or 2 small)

salt & pepper & olive oil

FOR THE SAUCE:

Smoked pancetta or bacon

1 onion (chopped)

3 tbs of creme fraiche

handful of parsley (chopped)

 

PREPARATION:

Heat the pan with the olive oil. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper to taste. Cook them on medium heat for 2-3 min on each side or until almost cooked and move them to the baking dish and place evenly.

Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Peel potatoes & onions and grate them with a fine grater or use food processor with the grater attached to it (or you can use juicer to separate potato juice from the potato itself. Mix them together afterwards. This way you can avoid long and tiring grating procedure). Add some salt & pepper to the potato mixture then some lemon juice which will stop your potato mixture to become brown . Heat a small pot with milk until its almost boiling and add to the potatoes. It helps to keep the potato pie soft when cooked. Mix well and transfer mixture into the baking dish with the chicken. Just pour over the chicken and put the dish into the oven for 1 hour. After 1 hour in the oven start checking if  mixture is fully cooked. Take the toothpick and if toothpick comes out clean that means it’s done and the crust has to be dark brown colour.Remove from the oven and let it sit for about 10 min. Then slice into portions.

While potatoes are cooking and almost done , prepare the sauce to go with it. Chop some pancetta or bacon slices in cubes. The same has to be done with the onion. Add pancetta to the pan on medium heat and let all the fat to come out, add onions and cook it on low to medium heat for about 10 min or until onions are transparent and pancetta is crispy. Take the pan off the stove and add creme fraiche and chopped parsley.

Add a portion of “Kugelis” to the plate and pour over the sauce.

Bon appetit.:)

Seafood soup

 

 

INGREDIENTS:

4 slices of Italian pancetta (smoked) or bacon (chopped)

1 carrot chopped

2 small onions chopped (or 1 large)

2 potatoes (chopped into bite size pieces)

1 l. of Chicken stock

3-4 cherry tomatoes

200ml of single cream

1 red chilli pepper (chopped)

100ml of white wine

1 tbs of flour

1 tbs of tomato paste

Olive oil, salt & pepper to taste.

Parsley to garnish

Seafood – 200gr. of trout filet, 8 scallops, 150gr of king prawns (cleaned and deveined).

Ciabatta bread & garlic clove.

 

PREPARATION:

Start with preparation of seafood. Cut trout in bite size pieces. Clean & devein prawns if necessary. Set aside ( I leave all my seafood in the fridge until the last minute).

Put your soup pot on medium heat. (Remember we will cook all our ingredients in one pot). Start with cooking pancetta until it releases its fat and brown up a little(drizzle some oil if there is not enough bacon fat to cook the onions). Add the onions, carrot & chilli pepper and cook for further 5-6 min until onions get translucent.Add a tablespoon of tomato paste and incorporate into the mixture. Add tablespoon of flour and cook it off for 3 mins constantly mixing the mixture so it doesn’t burn (make sure you don’t see any floury bits after 3 min of cooking). Add white wine and cook for 1 minute. Add chicken stock and bring it to the boil. Add potatoes and cherry tomatoes and cook on medium heat for 15-20 min or until potatoes are tender and fully cooked. When potatoes are cooked add 200ml of single cream. Take the seafood out of the fridge and add to the soup and simmer for 2-3 min, make sure you don’t overcook the scallops because the tend to become like rubber and not pleasant to eat. Garnish with chopped parsley

It goes perfectly with Ciabatta bread, you can add ciabatta bread slices into pre-heated 200C oven and cook until the surface becomes golden and crispy, take it out and smear with garlic clove both sides while they are hot.

Bon appetit:)

 

Stuffed chicken thighs with spinach & walnuts.

INGREDIENTS (for 4 people):

CHICKEN STUFFING:

  • 8 chicken thighs
  • 8 slices of prosciutto
  • 8 slices of Swiss cheese .
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 100gr. of walnuts
  • 200gr. of spinach.
  • salt&pepper
  • 1 spring of thyme.

SALAD:

  • 1 cucumber
  • a bunch of mint and dill
  • fresh radishes.
  • red wine vinegar 30ml.

FONDANT POTATOES:

  • 4 potatoes
  • 150ml of chicken stock.
  • 50 gr of butter
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper

PREPARATION:

1) Prepare the garlic first. Cut the tops of the garlic bulb, drizzle with olive oil, add thyme spring. Wrap in foil and bake in the oven pre-heated to 180C for about 40-45 minutes (Don’t let them burn!). When cooked while hot squeeze them and chop it up to a fine paste.

2)De-bone chicken thighs (you can buy them already prepared ) and remove the skin. Slightly even them up with the meat mallet for even cooking.

3) Prepare walnuts. Just grind them in pestle and mortar, but not too fine.

4) Heat the pan on medium heat. Add a little drizzle of olive oil. Add spinach and cook them until they shrink down ( approx. 2min). Add salt & pepper.

5) Let’s start doing chicken rolls. Place ingredients in the following order: Prosciutto – chicken thigh – salt & pepper – garlic paste – spinach – walnuts – cheese. Make 8 rolls in total.

6) Prepare the potatoes – if you have potato cutter that is even better. Just cut two equal pieces of 1 big potato. Make top & bottom surface flat so you have a nice crust on the potato when cooked. If you don’t have it just work with a knife as I did (as shown the in the picture below). Heat the pan on medium-high heat. Add olive oil to the pan. When hot add potatoes presentation side down. Make sure you get nice dark golden colour. Then turn them on the other side, add butter, chicken stock and 2 springs of thyme. Salt & pepper the potatoes. After 5 min move the pan in a hot oven(180C) for about 30min or until potatoes are fully cooked and the tops are crispy.

7) While potatoes are in the oven, move your chicken rolls into a baking dish and add  to the oven with potatoes for 20-25 min or until chicken is fully cooked (I sometimes take out 1 chicken roll and cut it in half to check it).

8) While potatoes and chicken are cooking let’s make a salad. Take a potato peeler and peel the cucumber length-wise so we have nice long and thin strips. Cut the radishes , chop mint leaves with dill. Add to the bowl and mix with red wine vinegar. Let them sit for 10-20 min to slightly pickle the vegetables. Just before serving chop some fresh mint and dill to garnish.

9) Plating – each to their own. I happened to have a nice long plate, cut chicken roll pieces in half, add the potatoes & cucumber salad in between (first photo).

10) Bon apetit everyone.:)