Friday, May 28, 2010

Old posts, new photos

Most of the dishes that make it to Nami-Nami are true favourites, not just one-off cooking experiments. The recipes I share are ones that I make regularly at home (like the rhubarb muffins below - I've made them FOUR times this month alone!). Nami-Nami will be five years in a few weeks, and during that time my picture-taking skills have improved (well, at least I'd like to think so!). While remaking old favourites, I've also been taking new photos. I've recently replaced the photos in many old posts, and here are links to just four of them. Enjoy!

Roasted peppers with cumin-scented halloumi cubes
Peppers with halloumi / Halloumi-täidisega paprikad

Chickpea (Garbanzo) and Tuna Salad
Chickpea & tuna salad / Kikerherne-tuunikalasalat

Small tuna omelettes
Tuna omelets /Tuunikalaomletikesed

The best rhubarb muffins ever
The best rhubarb muffins ever / Maailma parimad rabarberimuffinid

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Estonian Eurovision Party

Yes. I've got a whopping three email requests during the last week from people across the world who have accepted a task to provide some Estonian food for the Eurovision party this weekend. Instead of writing individual responses to all three of them, I've decided to suggest some dishes in a blog post. So here's a selection of Estonian appetizers and fingerfood that would be easy to recreate elsewhere in the world, as well as couple of salads.

Devilled eggs, Estonian style:

Small ham rolls with garlicky cheese filling (finely grated cheese, crushed garlic, some mayonnaise to bind). You could cut them diagonally into half, if you wish:
Ham rolls stuffed with cheese / Singirullid

Pork liver paté canapés (form shop-bought pork paté into small balls and then roll them in grated cheese):

Estonian soda bread:

Oven-baked chips with caraway:

Estonian oatcakes:

You could always make a large bowl of potato salad (sorry, I haven't blogged about it, but it's not so different from what's known as "Russian salad" in many parts of the world. Here's an excellent photo of the salad by a brilliant Estonian food blogger, Mari-Liis). But you could make one of these two salads:

a layered beetroot salad:

beetroot and potato salad:

For more recipe ideas, either browse the Cuisine: Estonian category or check out the Estonian Food photo pool over @ Flickr.

Have fun this weekend!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Quail Eggs with Smoked Paprika (Pimentón de la Vera)

Quail eggs with Pimentón / Vutimunad suitsupaprikaga

I love quail eggs in all their disguises - whole quail eggs served with Egyptian dukkah-dip, as a component in a "mushroom canapé", as topping on an Estonian wild mushroom crostini, Swedish-inspired quail egg topped with whitefish roe, as a filling inside salmon kulebyaka, or as a garnish on top of Estonian seven-layer salad or smoked salmon and spinach salad.

Here's a neat idea for a tasty morsel from Jill Dupleix - boiled quail eggs are dipped in smoked paprika powder, Pimentón de la Vera, and then sprinkled with Maldon sea salt flakes.

(Vutimunad suitsupaprikaga)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Chickpea and Tuna Salad

Chickpea & tuna salad / Kikerherne-tuunikalasalat

My maternal grandmother celebrated her 90th birthday yesterday with a large party. All her 5 children, most of her 11 grand-children (I say most, as some of my 11 cousins are scattered around the world - one in India, one in Cyprus and one in Costa Rica; they didn't make it to the party), 8 of her 9 great-grandchildren (one lives on Cyprus) gathered around the large table and feasted on the food. One of my aunties is a trained chef, so she prepared most of the food for the party. However, I was asked to bring " an interesting salad" along :) I thought about it long and hard, and decided to make a tuna and chickpea salad (or tuna and garbanzo salad :)) that I've made couple of times before.

The original recipe is from a British foodblogger, Pertelote (unfortunately she no longer blogs), though I've adapted it over the years. It's a great mix of colours and textures and flavours.

Chickpea and Tuna Salad
Serves 10-12

Garbanzo & tuna salad / Tuunikala-kikerhernesalat

500 g dried chickpeas/garbanzo beans
one jar of roasted peppers in oil
6 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp sherry vinegar
2 large red onions
1 tsp cumin seeds
0.5 tsp fennel seeds
0.5 tsp chilli flakes
2 tsp pimentón dulce (Spanish smoked mild paprika powder)
2 cans of tuna chunks in oil
1 onion
1 lemon, juiced
a bunch of (flat-leaf) parsley, finely chopped
black pepper

Soak the chickpeas overnight in cold water.
Next day, drain and rinse the chickpeas. Place in a large saucepan with fresh cold water, season generously with salt. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 1 to 1,5 hours, until the chickpeas/garbanzos are soft, but not mushy. Drain.
Dress the hot chickpeas with olive oil and sherry vinegar.
Cut the roasted peppers into smaller slices, add to the chickpeas.
Peel the onions, cut into quarters. Fry gently in some oil for 5-7 minutes, until they start to soften.
Crush cumin and fennel seeds slightly in the pestle and mortar. Add the spices (cumin, fennel, chilli ja pimentón) to the onions and fry for a minute or two (do not burn!). Add the onions to the chickpeas.
(This can be done until 24 hours in advance).
Drain the tuna chunks, cut into smaller pieces with a fork. Chop parsley finely. Stir into the chickpea salad.
Season generously with lemon juice, and with some salt and pepper.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Wild garlic tzatziki aka Ramson tzatziki

Wild garlic tzatziki / Karulaugu tzatziki

I decided to give the ever-popular Greek condiment/salad, tzatziki, a seasonal makeover, using the wild garlic that grows just about 7 minutes from our house. I love the basic tzatziki - yogurt, fresh cucumber and finely chopped garlic. However, when trying to think of new ways of using my wild garlic bounty, it suddenly occured to me that it would make an excellent tzatziki. By simply substituting finely chopped wild garlic for garlic, you'll still get the garlic flavour, but with a twist and lots of extra colour.

Use as you would the regular tzatziki - for dipping, as a condiment or simply as one of the dishes on a spring-time Greek mezze platter. Healthy and really delicious!!!

Note that wild garlic = ramson = bear's garlic (Allium ursinum). If you live in Tallinn, you'll find bunches of wild garlic in all of the three markets (Keskturg, Balti jaama turg, Nõmme turg).

Wild garlic tzatziki
(Karulaugu tzatziki)
Serves 4

Wild garlic & cucumber tzatziki / Külm kaste (e. eestipärane karulaugu-tzatziki)

2 long or 6-8 short cucumbers
1 tsp salt
a large bunch of wild garlic
250 g plain (Greek) yogurt

Wash the cucumber and grate coarsely. Put on a colander, sprinkle with salt and let stand for 30 minutes.
Finely chop the wild garlic.
Mix wild garlic, drained cucumber and yogurt in a bowl, season with salt, if necessary.

You can vary the thickness of your tzatziki by using either a strained Greek yogurt (first photo) or ordinary plain yogurt (second photo).

Monday, May 03, 2010

Gnocchi Puttanesca

Gnocchi puttanesca / Gnocchi-klimbid puttanesca-kastmega

I've been eating quite a lot of gnocchi dishes recently. There's a nice deli at our neighbourhood that now stocks decent ready-made gnocchi, and it's been a convenient lunch or dinner option ever since. As you know, the classic potato gnocchi are rather bland on their own, so it's the sauce that makes (or not) the dish.

The bold Puttanesca sauce proved to be an excellent accompaniment to the gnocchi.

Gnocchi Puttanesca
(Gnocchi-klimbid Puttanesca-kastmega)
Serves 2 as a light meal

500 g gnocchi (store-bought)

Puttanesca sauce:
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion
2 garlic cloves
2 anchovy fillets (in oil)
2 tsp salted capers
large handful of pitted black olives
a generous pinch of dried chilli flakes
400 g can chopped tomatoes
salt and freshly ground black pepper
a generous handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
grated parmesan, for serving

Chop onions, garlic and anchovy fillets. Stone the olives, cut the olives into slices. Rinse the capers, drain.
Heat oil in a saucepan, add onions and fry for about 5 minutes over moderate heat.
Add garlic, anchovies, olives, capers, chilli flakes. Give it a good stir, then add the chopped tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Simmer over moderate heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring every now and then, until the sauce thickens slightly.
Meanwhile bring salted water into boil in another saucepan. Add the gnocchi and boil for 2-3 minutes (or whatever time is given on the packet), until the gnocchi float to the surface.
Drain the gnocchi and stir into the Puttanesca sauce.
Serve at once, sprinkling some grated Parmesan on top.