Exotic Shrimps on a Zucchini and Pasta Bed

Exotic Shrimps on a Zucchini and Pasta Bed

The marinating time is the secret of this tasty, beautiful and light dish!

The ingredients were fast assembled and the cooking time were very short.

You need

o    4 garlic cloves

o    2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger

o    1 teaspoon turmeric

o    2 tablespoon light soya sauce

o    Pepper to taste

o    400 g shrimps, uncooked peeled and tail on

o    400 g Zucchini

o    2 teaspoons salt

o    8 tablespoons olive oil

o    400 g Spaghetti

o    2 tablespoons brandy, alternative 4 tablespoon coconut milk

o    1 tablespoon fresh coriander chopped

Procedure

  1. Combine in a bowl garlic, ginger, turmeric, soya sauce and pepper.
  2. Add shrimps and let marinate for about one hours.
  3. Cut zucchini in long strips, place in bowl and toss with salt. Let soak water for 30 minutes.
  4. Rinse zucchini under current water and place on a sieve to drop down.
  5. Bring salted water with the addition of two tablespoon olive oil (you don’t need to use olive oil for this step) and cook pasta according instructions. When it’s ready add zucchini to the water and drain immediately. Place on a bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil.
  6. During cooking (ore after the pasta is ready if it’s for you easier) time heat remaining oil in a skillet. Stir fry shrimps until they change their color on both sides.  Add 2 tablespoons water, bandy and coriander.
  7. Serve springs over pasta-zucchini mix.

Zucchini Baba Ganoush

Zucchini Baba Ganoush

This is my third dish of my set from the past weekend. The Zucchini baba ganoush prepared with zucchini instead of eggplants arrange on a plate with the roasted zucchini made a great effects. For decoration I used chili flakes instead of roosted sesame seed for a different and more spiced taste.

We were lucky with the weather, we enjoyed all dishes on the balcony. Almost summer yet!

You need

o    3 large zucchini, sliced in lengthwise

o    5 tablespoons olive oil

o    1 tablespoon salt

o    2 garlic cloves

o    2 tablespoons lemon juice

o    2 tablespoon tahini

o    2 tablespoon Greek yogurt

o    1 tablespoon breadcrumbs

o    Olive oil, for garnish

o    ½ tablespoon roasted sesame seed or dried chili strips for topping

Procedure

  1. Toss zucchini with 2 tablespoons olive oil and broil cut-side up in the oven until golden brown and tender.
  2. Cut zucchini in pieces. Add half of zucchini and remaining ingredients except those for the topping to a blender and process until smooth.
  3. Arrange zucchini pieces with baba ganoush on a plate.

Top with little olive oil and garnish with sesame seed or chili strips.

Orange Carrot Salad

Orange and Carrot Salad

 

Tone in tone colors for this refreshing sweet and sour salad.

Add more sugar if your orange are too tangy.

Don’t add more salt, as this would soak too much juice from the carrots.

Serve as side dish to grilled meat or simply with a combination of different salads and fresh bread.

You need

o    3 cups shredded carrots

o    2 medium sweet oranges, peeled and diced

o    2-3 tablespoons lemon juice

o    1 teaspoon sugar

o    2 tablespoons olive oil

o    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

o    1 dash salt

o    1/4 cup roasted pine nuts

Procedure

  1. Combine all ingredients except salt and pine nuts in a big bowl.
  2. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours before serving.
  3. Fold under salt and pine nuts. Serve chilled.

Red Couscous Salad with Beets and Walnuts

Red Couscous Salad with Beets and Walnuts

Playing with colors we had this impressive red velvet couscous with some contrasting fresh green herbs and walnuts.

Lemon, parsley and mint are the traditional condiments for couscous salads; in this recipe you will find the addition of za’atar. If you cannot find it you can mix the ingredients suggested below. In Middle Eastern shops you can find these ingredients, if not, it works without sumac too.

This gives a big bowls and serves 4-6 persons!

You need

o    1 cup uncooked couscous (fast cooking)

o    2 medium beets

o    1 tablespoon za’atar spice mix (you can also mix 2 teaspoons sesame seeds, 1/2 teaspoon thyme and 1/2 teaspoon sumac)

o    1/4 cup olive oil

o    1 lemon, juice of

o    salt and pepper to taste

o    1/2 cup walnuts roughly chopped

o    2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves chopped

o    2 tablespoons mint leaves chopped

Procedure

Peel and cook the beet roots in little water until tender but not mush. Don’t discard cooking water

Chop the beets into a small dice while they are still warm.

Measure 1 ½ cups cooking water (or add some water to this volume), boil it and pour over couscous, combine with diced roots. Cover and let soak. After 30 minutes it should be ready.

Toss couscous with za’atar, olive oil, lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Let cool down to room temperature.

Spread on a tray and let cool down completely

Fold under herbs and walnuts.  Toss well.  Refrigerate for at least an hour until completely chilled.

Check the seasonings and serve garnished with a few more nuts and herbs and sprinkle with extra za’atar.

Artichokes with Tomatoes and Fresh Herbs

Artichokes with Tomatoes and Fresh Herbs

Fresh artichokes would be the best choice for this dish, but with canned artichokes it works as well and it is really very fast to prepare.

Serve this as tapas, over pasta or as side dish, but don’t forget to use a lot of fresh herbs like thyme, marjoram, savory or oregano.

If have fresh artichokes, you should trim and clean before and place them in a bowl with water and little lemon juice.

Arrange and serve still warm or at room temperature on a plate for serving.

You need

o    2 tablespoon olive oil

o    5 garlic cloves, minced

o    300 g fresh baby artichokes or 300 g canned artichoke hearts

o    300 g fresh tomatoes, seeds removed, diced

o    Chili flakes, to taste

o    1/2 cup white wine

o    salt and pepper to taste

o    3 tablespoon fresh herbs, as thyme, marjoram, savory or oregano.

Preparation

  1. First of all prepare all your ingredients including the artichokes.
  2. In a large skillet heat the oil and fry garlic until fragrant.
  3. If using fresh artichokes add them to the skilled with the water, cover and simmer until tender. If using canned fry them 2 minutes with the garlic.
  4. Add tomatoes, chili flakes and wine.
  5. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Add herbs, stir ones and simmer for 2 minutes.
  7. Arrange on a plate or simply serve them on pasta

Apricot Blossom and Butterfly

The winter is gone and it’s spring now. It’s a pleasure looking at the bees and the butterflies in the garden collecting the nectar from the flowers. 

Sometimes I would hold the time, feel the sun warming us again, smell the perfume of the flowers and sit quite for a long time looking at what is going around.

Here some pics of these moments.

 

Soft Walnut Chocolate Cake

Soft Walnut Chocolate Cake

I found this recipe on a German site and I adapted to my taste. The result is a soft moist walnut cake with orange flavor and an attractive chocolate topping.

The quantities correspond to a big rectangular cake (serves 20-24 persons) or two 9 inch round cakes.

You need:

Base:

o    225 g butter (1 cup)

o    250 g sugar (1 cup + 2 tablespoons)

o    1 orange, only zest grated

o    7 egg yolks

o    100 g plain Greek yogurt (6 tablespoons)

o    225 g plain flour (1 3/4 cups)

o    2 teaspoon baking powder

o    2 teaspoons vanilla powder

Topping:

o    7 egg whites

o    150 g powdered sugar (1 1/2 cups)

o    2 teaspoons lemon juice

o    2 tablespoon cornstarch

o    200 walnuts, peeled and roughly chopped (1 1/2 cups)

o    200 g dark chocolate, roughly chopped (1 1/2 cups)

Procedure:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F
  2. Mix butter with sugar until soft.
  3. Add orange zest and while beating one by one the egg yolks.
  4. Add yogurt, mix well again.
  5. Sieve in a bowl flour, baking powder and vanilla. Add this mixture to the creamy mixture.
  6. Spread the dough with a spatula in the cake form.
  7. In a fat free clean bowl beat egg whites until stiff.
  8. Slowly incorporate the powdered sugar in portions and mix until thick.
  9. Add lemon juice and cornstarch. Mix until well incorporated.
  10. Add walnuts and 100 g chopped chocolate. Fold under the mousse.
  11. Spread the mousse over the dough base.
  12. Reduce the heat of the oven at 180°C/350°F and bake for 30-35 minutes or until through (tooth stick test).
  13. Let cool dry on a grid.
  14. Place the remaining chocolate in a small plastic bag and make a knot.
  15. Place the bag in a bowl of hot water keeping the knot out of the water.
  16. When the chocolate is melted take out the bag. Knead the bag lightly with your fingers until you are sure the whole chocolate is melted. Cut an edge of the bag and drizzle the chocolate over the cake.

Spring in the Air

After two very mild  winter days we really feel the spring in the air. In the garden mostly white and violet or purple flower are appearing everywhere and we almost think it’s already spring. The rhubarb is ready to come out … the countdown already begun  !

4 Weeks Australia in Pictures: Coorong National Park (from Kingston to Adelaide)

We left Kinston early in the morning as we knew we would have a long day and we will reach Adelaide only in the evening.

The first stop was the Coorong National Park where we spent some hours wondering the flora and the animal life.

Stretching more than 130 kilometers, the Coorong National Park includes sand dunes, backwater, salty lakes and is a refuge for pelicans, ducks, swans, cormorants, terns, grebes and numerous species of migratory birds.

We were glad we hat the possibility to see a shingleback lizard (Tiliqua rugosa) and take some picture of it.

Coorong National Park  (The Coorong National Park and Camping Guide)

Coorong National Park (National Parks South Australia)

Coorong National Park (Wikipedia)

Shingleback Lizard

Coorong (NATURALLY SOUTH AUSTRALIA Blog)

Melbourne-Lakes Entrance_Wangaratta_Lorne_Warranbool____KingstonKlick here for related posts about “4 Weeks Australia in Pictures”

Coconut Crust Tart

Coconut Crust Tart 1

The spring is approaching and I would like to use some of the fruits I still have in the freezer.

Frozen fruits release lot of juice while thawing. For this reason I tried to create a crust that would adsorb the liquid produced.

I prepared my ingredients and I supposed to have in my hand a package of almonds. I opened and poured it into the other ingredients. Too late, I realized that mixed in a portion of coconut flakes.

But why not? I will proceed with the tart and this came out delicious and beautiful.

“Creation by accident” said my husband!

For my recipe I used some frozen Indian blood peaches, but many other fruits could be delicious with it as well.

You need:

  • 2 cups unsweetened dried coconut flakes
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2-3/4 cup sugar (to taste and depending on the fruits used)
  • 1/3 cup vegetal oil (not olive oil)
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons bread crumbs (or coconut flakes)
  • 3 cups frozen fruits

Procedure:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F
  2. With the food processor combine coconut flakes, four, salt, vanilla, baking powder, sugar.
  3. Add oil and one egg, work until crumbles are formed.
  4. Set aside 1/2 cup of the crumbles for the topping.
  5. In the bowl all the other 2 additional eggs.
  6. Work shortly until dough assembles.
  7. Grease a 32 cm (12-2.14 inches) tart mold. Coat with breadcrumbs.
  8. Press the dough into the mold form lightly elevated borders.
  9. Place the still frozen fruits on the uncooked crust.
  10. Spread the crumbles on the fruits.
  11. Bake at 180°C/350°F for about 50 minutes or until borders are gold-brown and liquid of the fruits is adsorbed

Coconut Crust Tart 2

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