La Viña

I was getting many video recommendations about this type of cheesecake. So I gave it a go:

Ingredients:

  • 4 big eggs
  • 500g cream cheese
  • 250g double cream
  • 200g sugar (I used 150g)
  • 1 tsp plain flour

Process:

  • Pre-heat oven at 200C
  • Mix cream cheese and sugar.
  • Add eggs and mix
  • Add double cream and mix
  • Add flour and mix
  • Use two wet pieces of baking paper into a round mold.
  • Pour the mix into the mold
  • Bake for 40 minutes or until quite brown on top.
  • Let it cool down for a bit and then put into the fridge for a couple of hours.

The recipe is quite easy and quick. To be honest, it tastes good, even better the next day. Best cheesecake ever? Don’t care, but I need to compare with the cheesecake I used to bake.

Turkish Veggie Pizza

To be honest, I dont know how to translate it, but I found the video randomly and gave it a go. Quite happy with the result.

Ingredients:

  • 4 potatoes
  • 1 leek
  • 2 carrots
  • 100 grams of spinach
  • 1 red pepper
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil,
  • 4 tablespoons of milk
  • 4 tablespoons of flour
  • 1/2 pack of baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt, peppe
  • 50 grams of grated cheese
  • Sesame seeds

Process:

  • 1) Slice the leeks, red pepper and spinach. The add the potatoes and carrots grated. Mix all together.
  • 2) In a bowl, whisk the eggs with the oil. Add the flour and whisk. Add the milk and whisk. Add the baking powder and whisk. Add the salt and pepper and whisk.
  • 3) Pour the butter into the veggie try. Mix everything. Try to flat out the mix as much as you can.
  • 4) Put the try in a pre-heat oven at 180C for 25 minutes.
  • 5) Remove from the oven and add the cheese and sesame seeds. Put back in the oven until cheese forms a crust.
  • 6) Remove from oven and let is cool down for a bit. Then cut in squares.

Mine was a bit thick, but nonetheless, very good!

Gnocchi

I wanted to make a gnocchi dish for some time. I had a recipe at hand so I went for it. I used this video as a based for the gnocchi

Gnocchi in mushroom and asparagus sauce.

Gnocchi:

  • 1kg of boiled potatoes
  • 2 medium eggs
  • salt/pepper
  • 20g Parmesan cheese
  • 150g plain flour plus dusting

Mushroom and asparagus sauce:

  • a couple of garlic cloves
  • 200g mushrooms
  • 150g asparagus
  • 1/2 cup of white wine
  • 1 cup of chicken stock
  • Parmesan cheese
  • optional: lemon zest

Gnocchi Process:

  • 1) You can boil or bake the potatoes. Let it cool down a bit until you can manage with your hands. Keep the water for next steps.
  • 2) Put in a bowl, use a potato smasher to break them a bit.
  • 3) Add the eggs, salt, pepper and cheese. Mix a bit .and then
  • 4) Add the flour. You should get a ball. Be sure everything is properly combined.
  • 5) Get a saucepan with boiling water and salt from the first step.
  • 6) In your work surface, dust it with flour, device your dough in several parts. Roll each one until you have a flaute form. Add flour if it sticks too much. Cut them in small pieces
  • 7) Boil the gnocchi until the float. Remove from water and let them cool down in a try (put some olive oil so they dont stick to it)

Sauce Process:

  • 1) Fry the garlic in a sauce pan
  • 2) Add chopped mushrooms and asparagus. Salt and pepper. And other herbs you fancy
  • 3) Once the veggies are fried (medium-high heat), add the wine. It should evaporate quickly and form some brown bits in the pan.
  • 4) reduce heat, add the chicken stock. Stir from time to time until thickens a bit.
  • 5) Add the gnocchi to the sauce, with some pasta water. Be sure they are fully coated.
  • 6) You can fry a bit the gnocchi, be sure there is sauce left!
  • 7) Optional, add a bit of lemon zest.
  • 7) Remove pan from the heat, and let cool down for a bit. Ready to eat!

I was surprised by the gnocchi, they were much better than the ones you buy. It was like small dumplings balls! Very tasty.

Lamingtons

It seems this is a typical Australian desert.

Sponge:

  • 250g golden caster sugar
  • 250g self raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 125g butter softened
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 3 tsb milk

Filling:

  • 2 tsp icing sugar
  • 250g double cream
  • 200g jam (any red berries are nice)

Coating:

  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 80g butter melted
  • 200g milk
  • 200g desiccated coconut

Process:

  • 1) Pre-heat oven at 200C. Grease a baking try
  • 2) In a bowl, cream the butter and sugar.
  • 3) Add the eggs, one at each time. Only add the next one when is everything is properly combined
  • 4) Add the flour, milk and salt until fully combined. Pour the mix into the baking try.
  • 5) Bake for 20 minutes or until golden. Use a knife and be sure it comes up clean. Set aside to cool down
  • 6) Filling: In a bowl, sift the icing sugar and add the double cream. Mix with a hand blender until thick.
  • 7) Once the sponge is cold, slice it horizontally. In one side, pour the filling (use a spoon through boiling water to help you to spread it easier).
  • 8) On top of the filling, pour the jam, use again the spoon through boiling water.
  • 9) Sandwich the sponge back together. Let is chill in the fridge while preparing the coating.
  • 10) Whisk together the melted butter and milk in a bowl. In other bowl, sieve the cocoa powder and icing sugar. Bit by bit, add the cocoa/sugar mix to the butter mix. Whisk until no lumps.
  • 11) Cut the sponge in squares, dip each square in the cocoa mix until properly coated. Then roll in the desiccated coconut. Put aside.
  • 12) Once all squares are done, sprinkle some more coconut.
  • 13) Let the cocoa coating to settle for 1h. But next day are even better!

Cornbread

This is something I wanted to try from sometime. It is not my typical bread. I think I tried first time in a BBQ restaurant. I followed this recipe.

Ingredients

  • 120g butter
  • 1/2 bunch fresh sage + 1/2 bunch fresh thyme ( I used dried herbs I didnt have fresh)
  • 180g plain flour
  • 50g sugar
  • 3 heap tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 6g fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 180g yellow fine corn meal
  • 2 eggs
  • 350ml buttermilk ( I used milk + 2 tsp of white wine vinegar as I didnt have this)

Process

1- Brown the butter in a hot pan. Retire add the herbs.

Preheat the oven at 200C

2- Mix all dry ingredients.

3- Whisk the eggs, add the buttermilk, then add the butter.

4- Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture. Combine until there are no lumps.

5- Pour the mix in a dish oven (add a bit of butter to the surface so it doesnt stick)

6- Put in the oven for 25 minutes, top a bit brown. Be sure if you use a knife, it comes out clean. Then it is read.

7- Let it cool down and ready to eat!

Canelones de espinacas

Pasta bolognesa was my favourite dish as a kid. We had it I think once every week. Canelones was another big one but my mum didnt cook it that often as it was more time consuming assembling the canelones and preparing the white sauce.

Anyway, I wanted to try the spinach version so I found this recipe that looked nice. I used lasagna sheets cut in two for the canelones and worked nicely.

Ingredients for filling

  • 12 lasagna sheets
  • 250g frozen spinach (put in boiling water to unfreeze)
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 piece of garlic
  • 1 boiled egg
  • 20g of pine nuts
  • a bit of grated parmesan cheese (or similar hard cheese)

Ingredients for bechamel sauce:

  • 2-3 big tsp of plain flour
  • 25g of butter
  • nutmeg
  • salt and pepper
  • 200ml milk
  • grated parmesan cheese

Process

  • Boil 1l water in a pan, with salt and a bit of olive oil. Once boiling, put lasagna sheet in 2-3 at each time. They should be ready in a couple of minutes (they should float). Remove and leave it rest.
  • In a sauce pan, heat some oil, add the onion and garlic. Until soft
  • Add the unfrozen spinach, keep stirring.
  • Add the pine nuts and the boiled egg (cut in small pieces). Salt and pepper.
  • Add a bit of cheese.
  • Retire from the heat.
  • In a saucepan, melt the butter, add the flour little by little until forming a paste.
  • Start adding the milk, again little by little stirring without stopping. This is at low-medium heat. Add nutmet, salt and pepper. Taste from time to time. Add the cheese at the end.
  • Once you have a sauce that is not very liquid neither thick, we are ready to assemble everything.
  • Pre-heat oven at 200C
  • Put some of the bechamel in the spinach mix and stir.
  • Prepare an oven dish. Put some butter or bechamel sauce in the dish to avoid stickiness.
  • Take the cold lasagne sheets, cut in two squares. In each square put a spoon of the spinach mix and roll like a canelone. Put in the oven dish in lines.
  • Once you the oven dish covered with canelones, pour the bechamel soauce on top of them. Add some grated cheese. I had some tomato sauce left over and I add it too.
  • Put the oven dish in the oven. 30m or until the top is grilled.
  • Let it cool down a bit and ready to eat!

Kombucha

I read this book in 2019 about fermentation as I was already doing sourdough and wanted to learn more things. It is a great about anything related to fermentation. From there I started doing sauerkraut (still haven’t achieved the required results though). Another thing I wanted to try was kombucha, a fermented fizzy drink. I thought it was difficult to develop the scoby until I watched this video and learned that I can buy it! So I got my scobby and started the process:

1- Boil 900ml filtered water. Then add 50-60g sugar, stir well.

2- Add two bags of black tea for 10 minutes, then remove the bags.

3- Let it cool down to room temperature

4- Add the mixture to a 1 litre jar, add the scoby with its liquid.

5- Cover the jar with a cloth and leave it somewhere warm for 5 days without direct sunlight (I put it under the sink)

6- Remove the scoby and 100ml of the mix into a small jar, keep it in the fridge for the next batch.

7- Put the rest of the mix into a airtight glass 1l bottle at room temperature for 3-7 days until fizzy. I put it under the sink again. You may release a bit of gas after a couple of days if you dont want to see the bottle explode when opening…

8- Put the bottle in the fridge, and afterwards you can enjoy a refreshing fizzy homemade drink!!!

It is a slow process but it is easy. In my first bottle, I was surprised because it was actually quite fizzy!!! The taste was a kind of cider, redbull , etc without the after taste of dead by sugar.

I am doing my second bottle and at some point I would like to add flavours, like ginger… I need to check if this is consider ginger beer. Although no idea if it generates any alcohol… (there is a fermentation process involved and breakdown of sugars….)

Happy with it, and hopefully adding to my routine.

Roscon-de-Reyes

It is never too late. I have never tried “Roscon de Reyes” before. But this year (although over a week later) I wanted to make it as it is the only thing I miss from (my child time) Christmas (Sorry Santa, you dont belong to my culture)

So I used as inspiration this video.

Ingredients for dough:

  • 580g Strong white flour (I guess you can use plain too)
  • 180 ml milk (I use semi-skim)
  • 100g sugar
  • 2 egg
  • 7g instant yeast (1 sacket – I can’t get fresh yeast)
  • 80g butter (room temperature)
  • zest of 1 orange
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp of vanilla paste (I dont have “agua de azahar”)

Decoration:

  • Cherry glacier
  • Italian mixed peel (orange and lemon glacier peel)
  • almond flakes
  • Egg wash

Ingredients for the filling / cream:

  • 500ml of double cream (cold from the fridge)
  • 50g sugar
  • 20ml milk

Process:

In a bowl, put the flour, sugar, yest, zest of lemon, zest of orange, pinch of salt, vanilla paste. Mix everything.

Make a whole in the middle, add the milk, eggs. Mix everything until nearly combine. Finally the butter. Mix again, you will reach a point it is not possible in the bowl.

Put the dough in a work surface. Start knelling a bit. Once your hands are quite sticky with the dough. Stop for a couple of minutes while you scrap the dough from your hands into the main ball. Start knelling again, it should be much easier now and you should get a soft dough after 5-7 minutes.

Put a couple of oil drops in the bowl and spread it so we are going to put the dough in it. Cover with plastic film and let it rest until double in size. It can be over a couple of hours as it is winter.

Once the dough is double in size, remove it from the bowl. Remove the air bubbles knelling a bit, let it rest of a couple of minutes in the bowl.

Take the dough and make a whole in the middle. Spin the dough so you create a “wheel”. Put it in a try with baking paper. Let it rest until double in size again (this time will be quicker)

Now, start preparing the filling. Put in a bowl the double cream, sugar and milk. I used a hand blender and it was perfectly fine. The cream became solid quite quickly to be honest. Give it a taste, you can add more sugar if you want. Let it rest in the fridge.

Once the ring-dough has double up. Pre-heat the oven at 180C. Egg wash the dough very well, this will make it golden. Then add as much Italian mixed peel, glacier cherries and almond flakes as you can. The egg should help to stick it.

Once the oven is hot. Put the “roscon” in until golden. My case was nearly 30 minutes.

Once it is golden, remove from the oven. Let it cool down. With a bread knife, cut it in two slices. Be careful dont break the top, put it aside. Now spread all your cream / “nata” in the base. Put back the top over the cream. And that’s it.

It brought me very good memories (and it is tasty!!!)

Before getting into the oven

Test passed !!!

Chilli-no-carne

I cooked a vegan dish last night for a friend. It is a mix of something similar I did some time ago but now with mushrooms and red wine.

Ingredients:

  • 300g mushrooms shredded via food processor
  • 1 small potato cut in small slides + olive oil
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 can of passata (tomate sauce)
  • oregano + salt + pepper + splash red wine vinegar
  • 1 can of mix beans
  • red wine (100ml)
  • 2 small pieces of dark chocolate (85%)

Process:

1- In a saucepan, heat some oil, add the potatoes and red pepper. Fry them. Keep stirring so they dont stick in the bottom.

2- Add the tomate sauce, stir for a couple of minutes, adding the oregano, salt, pepper.

3- Add the mushrooms.

4- Add the can of beans, keep stirring. And add the red wine

5- At no low-medium heat, keep stirring form time to time. Sauce should thicken up and not stick in the bottom. Taste, add salt/pepper if needed.

6- 10-15 minutes later, taste. Check pepper and beans are soft. Add chocolate, it should melt quickly and darken the sauce.

7- Remove from the heat, and serve in bowls!

To be honest, it was tasty, not difficult and quick.

Patatas-con-ajo

“Patatas con ajo” was a typical side dish I had with a beef steak when I was a kid. I remember that acid/strong flavour of the potatoes. I have tried a couple of time lately and I couldn’t find the flavour. So I check a couple of videos, and this one gave me the clue, vinager! And then I realised that very likely in each household, this recipe has a different name like “patatas a la vinagreta”.

In my case, the potatoes are fried with much less olive oil so they dont get that crispy. Once they are cooked, removed from the pan, and put chopped garlic, parsly and vinager (I used white wine one). Cooked for 30 sec and then add again the potatoes. Be sure everything gets mixed. Then remove from the heat.

I found that childhood taste! And the day after, they were even better!