Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Do try these at home: some dishes from other food bloggers

What would I do without you, other foodbloggers?? You are a constant source of fantastic inspiration, and here's just a snapshot of dishes I've tried lately.

David Lebovitz's fantastic Fresh Apricot Ice Cream (especially if you've got some lovely French apricots from the market). MattBites kindly provides the recipe. I had no almond extract at home, so used 2 tsp of Amaretto instead. Lovely..

David Lebovitzi aprikoosijäätis

Oh, and while you're at it - his Strawberry Sour Cream Ice Cream is pretty delicious as well (Dagmar has the recipe). I made it quite a few times this summer, and my Estonian friends say the recipe works with bilberries, too:


Elise's Tuscan Scrambled Eggs made a great light supper, and we'll be making it again soon:

Toskaana munahüüve

I really enjoyed Patricia's Crash-Hot Potatoes (see also Wendy's version):

Krõbedad purustatud kartulid

And while we're at it, here are couple of really-really-really tasty dishes Ximena made us when we were visiting her and her husband J. in Madrid in April. First off, Ferrán Adrià´s bag-of-chips tortilla was both genius and tasty:

Ximena kartulikrõpsutortilja

Similarly, Ximena's salmorejo is so worth making with some ripe summer tomatoes:

Salmorejo - Hispaania tomatidipp

And last, but by no means least, my friend Alanna in St Louis makes a great Classic Seven-Layer Salad:

Thank you, everybody!!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Have you ever tried golden raspberries?

They're just as pretty as the 'regular' red ones (I've mentioned yellow ones before). K. took these lovely close-ups for me. (And no, these are not salmonberries or cloudberries).

Friday, July 25, 2008

Oven-baked Chicken with Feta Cheese

I'm not doing much cooking these days. It's too hot, I'm not in the mood, and I'm taking it easy on my summer vacation. Of course I do cook - and I've already made quite a few nice jams for the winter - but it's mostly tried-and-tested old favourites of mine, so there's not much to blog about. However, here is one of those old favourites that I do need to tell you about. The recipe is based on this Swedish Arla recipe. I remember making it quite regularly about a decade ago, and was happy to rediscover this dish again. A whole chicken breast with cheese topping is a bit too much for us, so we've split the fillet sideways (?). If you've got a mightier appetite, then feel free to use a whole chicken breast per person and extending the baking time by 10 minutes.

Oven-baked Chicken with Feta Cheese
(Ahjus küpsetatud kanafilee fetaga)
Serves 4

2 large or 4 small chicken breast filets (ca 600 g)
100 g feta cheese, crumbled
200 ml sour cream or creme fraiche or plain yogurt
a pinch of dried oregano
freshly ground black pepper
a pinch of salt

If using large chicken breasts, then cut them into two layers and gently pat and form into filets again (or simply use four small chicken breasts and pat thinner).
Season with pepper and just a little bit of salt. Place into a oiled oven-proof dish.
Mix feta cheese with sour cream, season with oregano. Divide the mixture on top of chicken fillets.
Bake in the middle of 200 C oven for about 30 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and feta topping is golden.

Serve either with baked potatoes and vegetables, or a light summer salad.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Things to do with wild strawberries: Wild Strawberries and Cream

In every person's life there comes a time when they've got almost 1,5 kilograms freshly picked wild strawberries (Fragaria vesca, see a gorgeous photo by a talented Estonian photographer here) at hand. I'm no different. It happened to me in 2006, in 2007, and again about a fortnight ago. K. and I spent just under 2 hours on our secret wild strawberry field, we barely covered a plot larger than a large kitchen, and we had a 3 litre jar of wild strawberries between us. What can you do??!

Well, one of the easiest things to do (and one of my favourite childhood memories) is following. I've given a 'recipe' below, but you really do not need one. It's healthy, summery, quick, and oh-so-very Estonian (unless you pick 'smultron' in Sweden, or 'ahomansikkoita' in Finland, or 'Walderdbeere' in Germany, or 'fraises des bois' in France, and so on, in which case this dessert would be very Swedish or Finnish or German or French, and so on, of course.)

PS It is especially nice when done with wild strawberries that you've picked yourself. But if that's tricky, then use the ones from a friendly market vendor instead..

Wild strawberries with milk or cream
(Metsmaasikad rõõsa koore või piimaga)
Serves 1

half a cup of wild strawberries
half a cup of single cream or whole milk
2 to 3 tsp sugar

Place the wild strawberries into a glass and sprinkle with sugar. Crush slightly with a wooden spoon.
Pour over milk or cream and eat with a small spoon, stirring as you go.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Eton Mess Recipe

Suddenly, in the midst of summer (when all sane people should be relaxing either on the beach or at their summer cottage on the countryside), I'm too busy to even blog properly. I'd love to tell you all about my trip to the USA (in May/June!), our fabulous meal at El Bulli (in April!!) or about those 1,5 kilos of wild strawberries we picked and turned into jam (last weekend). But not yet..

However.. Tonight we had some very dear friends visiting from Sweden. Eva and Arne are a couple in their early 70s, and we have known each other since 1990. Every few years they take their small motorboat to Estonia to visit my parents and the country they've come to love. As we hadn't seen for a few years, I invited them, my parents and my sister's family over for dinner tonight. I needed a quick and non-elaborate dessert idea, and as strawberries are still very much in season here, I decided to make Eton Mess.

I know you don't need a recipe, but just in case you do, here it is :)

Eton Mess
(Eton Mess e. inglise maasikadessert beseeküpsistega)
Serves 4, can be easily doubled

200 ml whipping cream
1 Tbsp sugar
250 grams strawberries
50 grams small meringue cookies
fresh mint, to garnish

Whip the cream and sugar until soft peaks form.
Clean the strawberries and cut into smaller pieces, if necessary.
Layer strawberries, meringues and whipped cream into a large serving bowl or into individual glasses.
Garnish with chopped fresh mint and serve.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Strawberries and Brie and a Little Bit of Mint

That's all you need for a sweet summer mouthful (plus it's a dessert and cheese course in one). I used Finnish Valio Brie - my current favourite.

Eestikeelne 'retsept' siin.