joi, 27 decembrie 2012

Merry Sweet Christmas !

             Merry Christmas everybody !! My blog writting is kinda intrerrupted at the moment since i am very busy and also i got camera problems .... meaning yes i have no camera anymore for making photos of my dishes but i hope this problem will soon be solved ( hope so since Santa still exists )  .

           Anyway i was thinking that since it's Christmas we should all lay back , have a snack , eat some sweets , dance on many beats ... keep the Christmas Spirit funky and yummy .
           The recipe i am about to share with you guys is ... Brownies baby !!!! Ohhh Yeahhhh the spirit of Christmas in one touch ! Chocolate with wallnuts , orange zest , sour cherries yummyyyyyy Christmas baby ... their fluffy texture and extremly chocolate yumminess makes it perfect for a Christmas evening , serving your fammily or girlfriend or maybe guests you want to impresss .
 
            This dessert is so easy to make and it only demands just a little bit of your personal energy .
            So let's go on with the recipe !
            The ingredients you require are :
                                  -   200 g of dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids )
                                  -   250 g of unsaltted butter with 82% fat or more
                                  -    a pinch of salt
                                  -    6 tablespoons of cocoa powder
                                  -    4 eggs
                                  -    4 tablespoons of flour mixed with 1 teaspoon of baking powder
                                  -    300 g of caster sugar
                                  -    100 g of wallnuts
                                  -     100 g of sour cherries
                                  -     1 orange
           
           You start off by preparing the bain marie ( that means waterbath ) so you need a pot of water and a bowl to cover the pot but you should be making sure that the bowl on top doesn't touch the water in the pot.
           You then add 200 g of chocolate , 250 g of butter , a pinch of salt , 6 tablespoons of cocoa powder and mix them gently untill fully melted.
           When fully melted add 4 whisked eggs step by step and keep stiring so the chocolate doesn't seize up.
            Add then then the 300g of sugar and mix well . Add the 4 tablespoons of flour mixed with 1 tablepoons of baking powder , step by step and mix well untill fully incorporated .
             Take a baking tray and baking sheet . Put the baking sheet paper and soak it in water so it becomes pliable . Add it to the baking tray and rub a  bit of butter on it , then add the mixture of chocolate .
              Sprinkle some toasted wallnuts on top , sour cherries , and some orange zest and put then the tray in the preheated oven for 17 min max 20 , the temperature should be on medium , about 170 , 180 degrees .
              Do not cook the brownies full , otherwise you will experience dry brownies and that is so uncool !

              The perfect brownies should be still a bit wet in the center and when they chill out  they should be just perfect . It really is simple just don't cook the brownies 2 much .
                Serve the brownies with some orange wedges and that's it guys !

               You can pimp your own brownies it isn't necesarry to do them with wallnuts and orange zest , you can add bits of white chooclate and cinammon for example and that can be surprinsigly good aswell , try your own style of brownie !!

                I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and let's hope we shall have a new and more wonderfull year . So keep on baking guys cause this is the season to be jolly , this is the season full of sweets !

               I'll see you guys on my next post ! Au revoir ! :D

               P.S.                                        Bon Appetit !

luni, 19 noiembrie 2012

Panna Cotta with blueberry jam

          Buna dragi cititori , aceasta e prima postare in limba romana . E foarte ciudat sa scriu in limba romana pe blog , nu stiu de ce haha fiindca e limba mea materna dar poate si dupa atatea postari in engleza mi-a devenit a doua natura si nu sunt atat de obisnuit sa scriu in romana .

          Dar nu e nimic pentru orice exista un inceput nu? ! :D
          As vrea sa va impartasesc azi o reteta cu , care m-am luptat sa o perfectionez . si am stricat atatea ingredienteeeeeeeee , vai Doamne dar nu am ce sa fac asta e riscul ca vreau sa fac pe Dexter in bucatarie !

        Prima data cand am inceput sa fac Panna Cotta a fost ... a fost ... a fostttt extraordi.... a pe cine mint ! A fost haos , pulbere , nici pe departe Panna Cotta ,
        Cred ca tocmai am reusit sa dau de reteta pentru silicon folosit la femei ( haha ) ... avea o textura foarte gelatinoasa si amuzanta :))) ( amuzant acum , nervi si lacrimi au curs in acea zi :)) ) .

        Dar dupa o ploaie torentiala trebuia sa iasa si soarele nu ? In Sfarsit am reusit sa ii creez textura perfecta si gustul perfect .. nu prea tare si nu gelatinoasa !

       Panna Cotta ( in italiana inseamna smantana coapta sau gatita ) este o budinca defapt , baza ei fiind laptele si frisca lichida , desigur pe vremuri se facea doar cu lapte dar erau alte vremuri si alt lapte ( laptele pe atunci era foarte gras si nu era nevoie de frisca lichida ) , dar daca doriti o Panna Cotta mai consistenta puteti sa renuntati la lapte si sa o faceti doar cu frisca lichida dar , sincer eu personal prefer mixul !

    E foarte simplu si daca ascultati de sfaturile mele pas cu pas veti servi o Panna Cotta delicioasa

   Ingrediente :    5 serviri

- 500 ml lapte
- 500 ml frisca lichida
- 2 pliculete jumate de gelatina pudra ( puteti folosi si foite dar aveti grija sa le baga-ti in apa mai intai sa se umfle )   ATENTIE ! gelatina alba !
- 1 baton de vanilie sau extract de vanilie sau puteti folosi zahar vanilat cu seminte de baton de vanilie incorporat au aparut de ceva timp prin supermarketuri , oricare sunt bune doar esenta sa nu folositi , e o prostie si nu are nici cea mai vaga asemanare cu vanilia la aroma !
- zahar dupa gust ( aveti grija sa nu indulciti prea tare fiindca panna cotta de obicei se serveste cu topping , iar toppingul este si el dulce )
- 3 bobite de sare de mare
- ulei
- gem de afine

 Haideti sa incepem sa o preparam !

 Intr-o oala medie adauga-ti laptele impreuna cu frisca lichida zaharul , semintele de la batonul de vanilie si batonul in sine  ( daca folositi extract adaugati-l abia la final dupa fierbere ) , sau zaharul vanilat .
 Aprinde-ti focul la aragaz si sa fie mediu spre mic flacara si asteptati amestecand usor din cand in cand pana da in clocot compozitia .
 Odata ce a  dat in clocot lua-ti de pe foc imediat si adaugati gelatina si amestecati sa sa imbine cum trebuie ( dar nu prea tare ) si adaugati cele 3 bobite de sare de mare ( are efect de a balansa gustul , panna cotta sa nu fie prea dulce si aroma de la vanilie sa fie intensificata ) .
 
  Acoperiti compozitia cu o folie de plastic dar asezati-o chiar pe compozitia in sine ca sa nu faca crusta , coaja , pielita cum doriti sa ii spuneti , odata cu racirea ei .

  Odata ce s-a racit putin turnati-o in recipiente tapetate cu f putin ulei si asezati-le in frigider .
  Acum vine partea nasoala , le trebuie cam 4 ore sa stea in frigider pana la servire .

  Partea buna e ca ve-ti aprecia faptul ca a-ti asteptat atata odata ce a-ti gustat din ele !!
  Dupa ce au trecut 4 ore le scoate-ti din frigider si cu ajutorul unui cutit subtire frecati marginile sa desprinde-ti panna cotta de recipient ( lama cutitului cat mai aproape de marginile interioare a recipientului si cat mai departe de marginile de la panna cotta ) , va dati dumneavoastra seama cam , cum ar veni nu e mare filozofie !!

 Serviti cu gem de afine bun sau topping de oricare doriti , sos de ciocolata sau caramel .
 Panna Cotta nu e neaparat sa o faceti cu vanilie se poate face cu tot felul de arome gen cafea , rom , fructul pasiunii , etc .

 Odata ce va obisnuiti cu , compozitia puteti sa va personaliza-ti propriile arome


           Sper sa va placa , si va garantez , daca ve-ti face dupa instructiuni pas cu pas nu aveti cum sa dati gres ....
           Asa ca spor si daca aveti intrebari sau nelamuriri puteti lasa un e-mail sau comment si va voi raspunde
 
          Bon Apettit guys ! :D

A MasterChef Day

                 Hey guys , lovely dear readers , i've missed you all ... i know i've been absent quite a while these months and days , but at the moment my life is so busy and each and every day i am tested both phisycally and mentally , but the important thing is that i am a fighter and i am not giving up on what i am trying to achieve .

             Last time i gave you a recipe on how to prepare a fish fillet , ... today no recipes just a little chit chat with what happened at the MasterChef pre selections .

           Yes it was an amazing day , full of excitement in the air , emotions , intense feelings and intense cooking .
           It all started with my departure from my home town Arad here in Romanie , we had to go over to Bucharest our capital here in Romania and there the pre selections were held .
       
         Me and a friend drove about 10 hours to get there , and it was quite an exciting journey and i learned a lot about responsabilities and about what can happen if you fight for your future .

       There were so many candidates and all of them were so passionate and presentable it was amazing just to watch them and you got so inspired .
       That amazing day was long and short at the same time ... i had to give a lot of interviews and i also had the problem with the camera haha , i just couldn't focus at the camera and the person who was interviewing me at the same time . It was really hard but after the first interview it became second nature to me:D !!

     It was a special day and it will always be in my heart ... i got mega inspired and i am ready to create and to get ready for the competition . These days are work work work and getting ready for the competition .

    If God allows it i will go in january to Bucharest again , and this time on A.I.R. and fight my way in this culinary world so i can achieve my dream and go to Paris to study the culinary arts .

    Here are some pictures from the MasterChef pre selections :

      This was taken by the masterchef community and was posted on the hotel's facebook page where the pre selections took place ... Howard Johnson Bucharest .

     And this one was taken by my friend with his phone camera haha i was getting ready for an interview and pressenting my tomato soup . ( you cand find the recipe on my blog '' my mom's amazing tomato soup with a twist of my own '' )   . It was a lovely day !

       I wish all of the people would feel in their heart what i felt that day .... It was amazing !

      Thank you guys and farewell ! Pancakes for breakfast ! :X

      Au revoir !

duminică, 4 noiembrie 2012

Pan fried fillet of fish with a french touch !

           Dear readers first of all i apologize again for my long abssence , but in the last few weeks a lot has happened . First of all i would like to tell you all i haven't given up on my dream to go to a cooking school in Paris .
           I still need loads of money for this project ... but i had an ideea of participating at the hugest cooking comprtition in the world , and that is MasterChef . I've been to the pre selections and with a bit of luck and if God allows it i will surerly join in the second tour of the pre selections which is cooking for the jury on AIR .
            Anyway being there with the other MasterChef participants was so lovely and magical . A lot of people , with lots of different types of preps . , different cuisines ... from french , to italian , mexican  , indian , even our own romanian cuisine , it was so lovely to see so many passionate people and some of them were really charming , it was the best day of my life :D !
         
           Anyway i'll be talking about my trips and myself on my next post , since on this post i wanna talk to you about Fish !
           Fish ... i love fish ( if cooked properly ) , but unfortunately a lot of people when they hear of fish they go ... yuckkkkkkk , grosss , smells fishy , piyukkkkk ! Right , well ... ladies and gentlemen allow me to explain to you why your fish smells fishy !         Simple it ain't Fresh ! Fresh fish does not smell fishy ! They smell of sea .
     
        And now your telling yourself  '' Ok but how am i supposed to know which fish is fresh and which one it ain't  ''  .... It's simple first of all as i said the smell then the eye must be clear not blank  , and the skin oily a bit ... not 2 much though ... it's quite easy remember these things and you'll be just fine .

      If you go buy a fish that does not meet the standards i just told you ... then sir or ma'am
                                                                  DO NOT BUY THAT FISH !


So the ingredients you need for this prep are :

           - 4 fillet of fish ( any kind , to your liking )
           - 2 parsnips
           - garlic
           - thyme
           - 1 red pepper
           - 100 ml of white wine
           - 1 shallot
           - 1 lemon
           - 200 g of butter
           - olive oil
           - sea salt
           - pepper

      So the preparation is really simple if you stick to what i am telling you .
      First of all peel the parsnip and boil it with a bit of sal
      Cook the red pepper and peel it of it's skin so it will release those smoky flavours .
      Make small cuts in the fish skin but be carefull not to pierce the meat and fill them with thyme , and garlic or any herb to your liking .
       Rub the fillet of fish with salt and pepper
       Place a non-stick pan on the stove , get it real hot and i mean screaming hot .Place the fillet of fish skinside down and press it a bit with a spatula .
       Cook the fish 4 and half minutes skin side down ( that is about 90% of the time ) and the turn it and cook it 30 to 40 seconds skin side up .
        When the parsnip is cooked and you can pierce it easily with a fork pour almost all the water from it but leave a  bit , and the red pepper and use a blender to mix them well , add 70g of butter and mix again until it forms a piure .
     
        Now your left only with the beurre blanc sauce . Beurre blanc in french means white butter , this sauce is one of the greatest acompliments for any fish , it's amazing , tasty and yummy .
     
       The first thing you need to do it order to prepare it is : chop the shallot finely add 100 ml of white wine and let them reduce .
        When the wine is reduced and the flavours are really intense and pop out add slowly the butter piece by piece ( the butter must be chopped , medium sized cubes ) , so add them one by one and keep styring .
        At the end sprinkle a bit of lemon juice and next you can pass it through a sive if you want it really fine or you can leave it like this it's kinda optional .
     
      Serve it hot , since when it get's cold it can splitt .  I hope you'll enjoy this repice .

      And have fun , trust me this sauce will change the perception you'll have on boring fish sauces and will elevate your dish and take it to the a new dimension of tastes !

      French yummyness on a plate  ! :D
 



       So guys untill my next post :  


                                                                           Au revoir et Bon Appetit  ! :D


   

   

       

luni, 17 septembrie 2012

French pastry day … A classic , Profiteroles


I love baking so much … It’s so terapeutic and fun , you can’t imagine . I love baking as much as I love any cuisine , cooking is not all about salads and meat , it’s also about baking , pastries , patisserie .

I am a sweets fan and of course ultimately  a pastry fan , but of course when we talk about pastry we talk about a different aspect of the culinary world , a much more difficult part .

Why is baking a difficult part of the culinary world ? Because it’s all about mathematics and chemistry , discipline and measurement .

You can’t go freestyle on it , like in the cuisine part for example where sometimes even ingredients that don’t go togheter , sometimes they can with enough experience and cooking skill .

But in the patisserie world we have to be acurrate , from measurement , to degrees , almost in every aspect . You have to be  really experienced in the pastry world as a chef to produce pastry recipes , or to get a bit funky with the ingredients .

As a begginer I personally advice you not to get funky , and stick to the recepy , otherwise you’ll have the surprise that the dough hasn’t risen enough or maybe the cream ain’t thick enough , the taste is  horrible or if we go into the profiterole world , the first bunch that I made , without measurement and degrees control , were hard as a rock .

You could literally break your head with them ( haha ) ! 

 But on my second attempt , thanks to the guidance of my mentor in the culinary arts ( mom ) , I finnaly achieved some awesome results , the choux pastry was perfect , the profiteroles have risen perfectly and they were really tasty .

The first mistake that I made was to open the oven doors and the heat from the oven was not enough to prepare the choux pastry , thus resulting in rock hard profiteroles .

And another mistake was not measuring the ingredients such as flour and adding 2 much eggs perhaps , also not working the choux pastry enough .

Anyway the most important aspect when you are baking Is to actually find out what your mistakes were  , and keep those on track … trust me you’ll learn more from your mistakes than from your achievments .

Keep a note on all your mistakes and also a note on how to fix those mistakes . This is trully an important aspect as a pastry chef  or ‘’ at home chef ‘’ .

So guys , I ran you through some of my mistakes , take a note  , clear your head and let’s start baking !

The ingredients you need for this recepy are :

      For the choux pastry :

-          200 g of unsalted butter
-          200 g of flour
-          500 ml of milk ( or water , whatever you like )
-          A pinch of salt
-          5 eggs

      For the chantilly cream :

-          400 ml of heavy cream
-          1 vanilla pod or you could use vanilla extract or something new I’ve seen on the market sugar with vanilla seeds … just don’t use any of that vanilla essence , it’s not good and doesen’t even come close to vanilla aroma .
-          if you are using a vanilla pod , or vanilla extract add 2 table spoons of sugar to convince it it’s a dessert , if you add sugar with vanilla seeds do not add any sugar at all

      For the chocolate sauce :

-          200 g of dark chocolate ( 75% cocoa solids )
-          2 tablespoons of honey ( you could add more if you like it more sweet )
-          60 g of butter
-          A pinch of salt
-          1 huge cup of milk

 Preheat your oven  ( to max degrees ) , Use a sauce pan or a pot whatever you preffer , add the 500 ml of milk , bring it up to a boil and add the butter , let it melt , then add the flour and styr vigorously , untill it forms a dough like consistency .

Take it off the heat and cover it with cling film and let it chill . After it chilled add 1 egg and keep styring until it bonds . Do the same with all the eggs but just remember to add them 1 by 1 .

After that put some baking paper on your baking tray , rubb some butter on it , then using a pipping bag just pipe shapes of little profiteroles . As you pipe they also form some pointy shapes at the top . Put your finger in a bit of warm water and press it down gently , otherwise that pointy shape will cook a lot faster than the whole profiterol and it will surerly burn , and no one likes burnt pastry ( bleax :D )

 After you've arranged them on your tray , change the temperature of the oven to 180 degrees and bake them for aprox.  25 to 30 minutes .

 For the chantilly cream just pour the heavy cream into a bowl then add your vanilla beans or vanilla sugar or extract and just whipp it with a whisk untill it gets hard .

 As for the chocolate sauce .... on a bain marie just add your chopped chocolate , with a pinch of salt  , 2 tablespoons of honey and 60 g of butter . Let it melt gently and styr it once in a while , then take it off the bain marie and add your milk and styr it again until it formes a sauce consistency .

When your profiteroles are ready take them out of the oven , let them chill a bit , then using a piping bag fill them inside with the chantilly cream .


                                Serve this little fellas with some chocolate sauce and icing sugar , they are just plainly amazing .... i just love profiteroles i could eat a thousand !!! You cand fill them with anything you like or top them with anything you like ... it's up to your prefference and style ... this is the way i like to eat them !

   So here they are i hope you'll enjoy these profiteroles , what can i say the french kick ass when it comes to cooking and especially pastry !
Cute little fellas ! and they taste amazing !!

So guys until my next post i hope you enjoyed this recipe and give it a go , trust me as long as you respect everything i've wrote you nothing can go wrong , and if you don't get it right the first time ... who cares it's not the end of the world you'll get it right next time .

The importance is to try and see what you can achieve . And if you get them right , trust me you won't regret putting the effort of making them :D


Bon Appetit !






joi, 30 august 2012

Classic , elegant music …. Just screams out Let’s Cook !

          Dear bloggie readers , I did not mention this but I am a lover of classic  music , elegant  types , just brings out the passion of cooking in me :D …. Plus it’s fun and let me tell you this it trully works .


Just let yourself carried away by the sounds , and let your imagination do the job for you .

Try this one day … go to the market , buy yourself some herbs , some vegetables , any protein ( meat ) , turn on your music and let yourself embraced by the sound waves and the ingredients in front of you .

Ideeas in the kitchen in my opinnion come from the heart , what you feel is what you cook , that is why I consider that cooking Is the art of expressing yourself .

You should be having fun , and freedom of all bad thoughts is neccesary otherwise you will never be sattisfied with your work .

I’m gonna give you guys a few links of what I usually listen when I do ‘’ my thing ‘’ in the kitchen and I find it helpful and fun :D but you can select your own list of songs … this I repeat is  to my prefference and style!

So here are a few links to one of my favorite artists ... Kenny G : 

Maybe you guys will find yourselves in this style and will give an aid to your culinary imagination …

We do not lack ingredients my friends we just lack the spices of our imagination .

So infuse your heart and soul with wonderfull sounds and release them in your cooking .

Trust me you won’t regret doing so !

Have fun all , and untill my next post I hope you guys find your soundwaves for the little chef that resides in all of you :D … Feed him with elegance and style as you feed yourself with good and proper food and who knows maybe he will grow in you someday as it happened to me  !

Au revoir ! :D 

duminică, 26 august 2012

My mom’s amazing tomato soup with a little twist of my own


I don’t know where to start from…. In fact i kinda do !

I just love a good tomato soup on a sunny day . Vibrant colors , amazing earthy flavours , light and once you start making it the flavours will pop and the entire room will smell of fresh sunny days .

This recepy is so easy , fast and once you get the hang of it you will do it over and over again , it’s amazing and you don’t need fancy ingredients , expensive oils , herbs or spices .

You just need a bit of love , care , passion and just some few ingredients I’m about to write them down , after of course I run you guys through some lovely experiences I’ve had … YES , you are right …  , at the farm !

After the post about the barbeq I’ve had loads of new experiences here , besides cookin’ all day on a barbeq grill , I’ve had the blessing and luck to assist at the birth of a viel !

It was amazing , to pull life out of something , it felt weird but in a good way ! And of course after a hard day’s work I had to make something fast , light and of course appealing to the eye .

 And as I sat on a pile of straws and looked at the sun I got inspired and I thaught why not make a tomato soup …. And the best one there is , I can proudly say my mom’s !

It is so tasy and appealing to the eye … I can proudly say it looks romantic and it trully infuses you with a warmth in your hearth you’ve never felt before .

Ok so enough with the chit chat let’s get on with the recepy !
Here are the ingredients you need for this recepy : For 4 servings !

  • 1 and a half L of tomato juice ( and 1 L of water )
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 big yellow onion or 2 small ones
  • 1 bunch of lovage
  • 1 bunch of dill
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • Salt
  • A mix of green pepper and black pepper seeds
  • 4 eggs

So let’s get on with the preps for the soup . As I told you this recepy is fast and easy and should take 30 min max to make it .
Get a pot and pour the tomato juice with the water in it .
Wash the red pepper , peel the onion and wash it aswell … we don’t want dirt in our soup then cut them both in half and add them with the juice in the pot . Oh and by the way keep the seeds and all the bitts … that’s how my mom does and it truly makes a difference in it’s taste .

Add some salt not 2 much though … and the 2 tablespoons of sugar and in a pestle and mortar crush the pepper seeds and add them aswell . Bring the soup to the boil and leave it that way for 20 to 30 minutes max … depending how powerfull your stove flame is !

When it is almost finished crack 4 eggs and drop them in the soup while it  is boilling … leave them for about 5 minutes . Due to the acidity from the tomato juice the egg white wraps the egg yolk and its shape is kinda like a mozzarela ball , real appetizing and it looks elegant !

Finnaly season the soup with salt or sugar if it needs more … I repeat to your prefference , and taste of course … season only if neccesary … 2 much seasoning cuts the flavours and It will just taste of nothing !


And when it’s serving time I just add the special mix !
Chop some fresh lovage and dill mix them togheter while you chop them and they realease amazing earthy flavours , and 1 egg ( it is amazing , melts in your mouth ) it just crowds your mouth with romantism and lightness , warms your heart and it also get’s you out of depressive status .




A perfect soup fir for a romantic evening , with the person you care at your side enjoying the fruits of your labour and to give it that extra Kick hit it lightly with some extra virgin olive oil and you take the soup to a whole different level .

So take your loved one or any other person you love or care for and hit them hard with this amazing soup … I am telling you it trully gives you that extra kick you need in every aspect :D !

So good luck , and give it a go it’s so easy and light you just can’t believe !
Untill my next post guys , as the french proudly say !

Bon Appetit !



duminică, 12 august 2012

Barbeque day baby !

        And yes ... Barbeque day , the love of a chef's life , and my outmost challenge so far :D !
 
 Since most of my time was spent at the farm , i've basically did not have the luxury to cook on a stove , but had the privilege in learning a few tricks about barbecuing , and since everyday was a clear sunny day i've taken every opportunity to cook on a barbeque grill .

    It is trully divine , i mean from my point of view a chef's dream and relaxation point .
    The smell of the coal , wood ... it is pure gold !
 
   Barbecuing is quite tricky and you need a bit of time to learn how to barbeque properly and the most important aspect is ... Controlling the Fire !!
   I've had a lot of trouble at the beggining with that but thanks to Jamie and his book : '' At Home With Jamie '' , and also to the countless fails i've had :D , i've sort of captured a bit of the controlling part .

   Of course i still need to learn loads , but truthfully i felt this was a good start !
   
   So on the menu today ?

   Grilled musrooms with grilled chicken drumsticks and skewers of course .
 The ingredients for the skewers are :
- mushrooms
- chillis
- red peppers
- pork meat
- onions







And the ingredients for the drumsticks are  : - 12 drumsticks                   ( marinade )
                                                                   - pepperoncino
                                                                   - 2 table spoons of honey
                                                                   - 7 sprigs of fresh thyme
                                                                   - 4 to 5 cloves of garlic , depending on your prefference
                                                                   - 4 table spoons of paprika
                                                                   - 4 cloves
                                                                   - olive oil
                                                                   - salt
                                                                   - pepper
                                                                   - mushrooms
                                                                   - lemon
                                                                   - parsley

   
    So let us begin . The first thing you need to do is obviously start the fire and here comes the tricky part .
    In order to control , maintain a steady fire you need to first have a solid base and a well built fire that will heaten up the cole and also insure you that you will benefit from this fire untill your food is cooked and ready to serve ,
   
    The technique i've used to start the fire was arranging the wood as a piramid ( this will make sure the flames will go up and not sideways and also it will make it easier for you to distribute the fire ) .
    After that you place the coles on the fire and wait for them to heat up .

    Use a plank or a board , something flat to make a bit of wind so the coles heat up faster .
    If the heat seems a bit too high just sprinkle a bit of water ( not 2 much though ) . Also be sure to rub some pork fat over the grill so the meat won't stick  .

    I've marinated my drumsticks in paprika , olive oil aprox 6 table spoons  , garlic , thyme about 7 sprigs , 4 cloves , 2 table spoons of honey  , lemon zest , pepperoncino  for about 3 hours . Also i've used a bit of the marinade juices on the mushrooms .

    As for the skewers just place them on the stick : pork meat , mushrooms , chillis , red peppers , onions  and the only secret to it is to start on the stick with meat and end with meat .
     That way all the ingredients are secured and won't fall off the skewer stick . Add some salt and pepper and add it to the grill !!


    It is important to control the fire , for example if you see little sparks of flame rise up to the meat just splash some water over them otherwise your meat will burn .

    After you are done with the skewers add the marinated drumsticks and mushrooms .



When the meat is finally cooked just sprinkle some lemon juice on it and let it rest a bit so the natural juices travel thru it .
Plate it up and serve !
Here are the skewers plated and ready to be eaten :X
And as for the drumsticks just plate them up with a bit of mushrooms and sprinkle some freshly chopped parsley over them .



Spicy barbeque drumsticks , with muhrooms , parsley , lemon ... it's an amazing combination . And to be sure you finished the job properly you can always add a beer and will defenetly change your world ! 

Great summer flavours exploding in your mouth !

Well anyway i'm done , have fun and barbeque your summer while you can . See you guys in my next post !

                                                          Bon Appetit !

Life at the farm ! :D

           Dear readers , please pardon my absence throughout this month , since i've been away , busy helping my friend at the farm and had no internet service during this period .

    This weeks that i spent there were quite spectacular , with its ups and downs .
    I've learnt so much about cows , milking , and also the difference beetween cows that are raised specially for their meat and cows raised specially for producing milk . You can't imagine how diverse they are , it's kinda the same as cocoa beans or wine , or coffee !

    After what i've been thru , i've seen that leading a farm is challenging , nonetheless it requires all your available time . The fact that my friend at the age of 22 runs it with such passion , dignity and pride it only marked me as an aspiring chef to be the same as he is and one day run a restaurant and kitchen of my own as he runs his farm .

   Of course there were a lot of special moments . I've seen ill cows being treated and sometimes we were summoned at late hours to treat them .

  Just to make things clear to you the cows are being fed well , treated with respect and because of that theyr
reward is so priceless you just can't regret spending all of your time in treating them good .

So this is the farm

And down here is the milking room  :

    The place is well equipped with every neccesary tool you need , and everything is arranged according to E.U. standards .

   Honestly i've never seen such pure , warm , dense , white milk in all my life . It is trully divine , and the taste is out of this world .

  The next few days i want to use this milk in creating amazing desserts and all sorts of refreshing drinks for these hot summer days .


It's a lovely place to be and learn a thing or two about responsabillity !

So guys untill my next post which will be about Barbecuing !             Au revoir ! :D

miercuri, 18 iulie 2012

Back home from the farm , with a bag full of knowledge and goodies !

      Dear blogie , and readers of course , i was not able to write these days since i've been gone from home ... more specifically at a farm that produces milk . A friend of mine is the manager , boss , whatever you wanna call him there ... or probably you can call him the cowboy chief .

     It was an amazing experience , i've learned so much being just 5 days there , and probably in the future i'll go back again and learn even more about cows , producing milk and all .

     So many standards , and this guy's passion for cows and his farm is limitless , he is pretty much like myself with the cooking and we got along in just a matter of seconds . Personally i think this is the start of something great , a huge friendship and i also think there is something stored for the both of us , and surerly our paths will cross again in the world of great restaurants and farms .

      So basically i was there for a few days not just to learn about producing milk , cows but also advertising , and also to cook for them since they lacked behind all that hard work some good propper and healthy food .

    At first he told me his grandmother used to make all the meals for them , but unfortunately his gramma sucks in preparing food and it was extremly disgusting , bland and unedible . At first i thaught this was a joke since usually grammas make such good food sometimes even better than the ones you eat in our restaurants , it was really hard for me to believe she just couldn't cook untill one day ....

    It was about 8 o' clock in the morning his gramma woke up early chopped a chicken and wanted to make a chicken soup . After a while his mother came to me and said '' Please can you do something with this soup it's gross and unedible , and it's the same every sunday , is it possible to fix it ? ''

     In that moment i thaught about my mentor in the culinary world Dori and she always used to say '' Anything can be fixed in a kitchen , that's the beauty of being a chef , you can create and repair at the same time '' , so i got motivated ... gave a stroll in the garden , picked up a ton of herbs ... such as carrots , celery , parsley , onions , potatoes ... every good and fresh thing you can find ... at the end that soup turned out an amazing Yumminess ! It tasted so fresh and the room was full of lovely aromas from the vegetables ... it was pure art for me .

        The people from the farm ate it so fast and so passionate :)) that in just minutes there was nothing left .
        I felt more or less as Ratattouile , you know the little rat that went to Paris and became a chef ... haha i just love that movie one of my favorites , but anyway that was a great succes and mostly the days that came along where also full of different recepies , full of flavour and excitement .

     
  As a thank you my friend the cowboy , also helpped me in advertising and promoting myself , he kinda told me that i needed a logo to identify and separate myself from the other chefs , a logo that i will carry with me all the time .  And after hours and hours of work we came up with something and i hope you guys like it aswell .... I for one am extremly happy and pleassed with this logo .

Anyway here it is , hope you enjoyed my post , and yeah i know i promissed i would write about the bechamel sauce but i will get to that aswell later on .


Thank you guys again , and see you in my next post                    Have fun cooking  !







joi, 12 iulie 2012

Just another normal typical day

           Hey guys , i think this will probably the shortest post i've ever written but like i said i am not posting only recepies on this blog , but also usefull tips , informations and also notes on my whereabouts and my position on the culinary path .

         This will surerly be a short summer since i have a lot to do untill i reach the culinary school in Paris .
          I've started in going deeper and deeper in the french cuisine and patisery , but also into their language   which i find it really beautifull and amazing .

         It truly is a difficult language but it's worth giving it all in learning it , trust me  . I mean the sounds , the accent ... pure romance , i advise you dear readers to give it a try  .

        Anyway  talking about french , i am off doing my homework since in about 20 minutes i got french classes and i haven't done anything  , except watching the brioche dough rise on youtube .... that truly looked yummy .


So no more chit - chat , i'm off !

See you guys on my next post , which will probably be about the bechamel sauce , also known as the white sauce , and it is one of the mother sauces of French cuisine .                                

Bye Bye :D !

marți, 10 iulie 2012

Mille Feuille with summer berries and lemon curd

            I am telling you guys this recipe will blow you away ..... full of sunshine flavours , the moment you take the first bite you taste summer ... an amazing recipe fit for a King  !

  Before i go on and give you the recipe i want you to know a bit about mille feuille .

 Basically mille feuille means " a thousand layers" , it is one of the french classics as it dates back from the 19th century . You can also find it in the cookbooks and internet as "Napoleon" ( do not ask me why it is called napoleon aswell but i promise the next time i make another one i'll be sure to find out ) . Basically the classic recipe uses a vanilla custard in the middle and topped with icing sugar , caramel or chocolate glaze and the dough is either puff pastry or fillo pastry .

   This dessert is light , crunchy ....  a really elegant and fast desert to make . The nicest thing about this desert you can style it in so many ways you can't imagine .

   The way i've chosen to style it this time is with fresh berries and lemon curd , which i think is a good ideea since we require something fresh during this hot summer days . And men trust me the ladies will go ''MAD'' for this one .

     So the ingredients that you need calculated for about 4 persons are :

                      - 3 eggs
                      - 2 lemons
                      -  200 g of normal sugar
                      -  160 g of unsaltted butter
                      - 300 gr of raspberries , 300 g of blueberries , 300 g of red currants (coacaze rosii ) ,
                                                              you can also add strawberries aswell if you find any ,
                                                              unfortunatelly i didn't.
                      - 1 package of fillo pastry ( you can buy from the supermarket , or you can make it yourself
                                                                up to you , personally i think it's best to buy it since it takes a lot
                                                                 of time to make it yourself , and it's kinda the same result , but
                                                                 do as you wish :D )
                      - icing sugar


Before i start in telling you how to make it i will show you how the classic mille feuille looks like and after that i'll  go on with the recipe and at the end give you some pictures with a different version of a mille feuille but the ideea of it is the same , it's roots are there  ! :D

 

Here is the classical made with a vanilla custard and on top a chocolate glaze .
 
 
      Now back to my version  .   First off let's wash those dirty hands  , get your pan ready , your pot and of courses your washed and dried fruit .

      Let's first of all make the lemon curd . In a pot add 2 eggs , 200 g of sugar , the zest of 1 lemon , the juice of 2 lemons and 60 g of butter (taste it and see if it needs more sugar , if it does add more if not then go with it )  . place the pot on a low heat and keep whisking until the mixture thickens .

      When it did pass the lemon curd through a sieve , cover it with cling film (folie de plastic) , and put it in the fridge untill it cools down completly .

     Next take the fillo pastry , beat 1 egg and brush 1 sheet of fillo pastry with the egg wash and add another sheet of fillo pastry over it brush it again with egg wash and add another fillo pastry over it .

    Use a round cutter or glass to cut your pastry .
    Dust a plate with icing sugar and place your cut fillo pastry on it and dust icing sugar on top of them aswell.
 
    Next in a sauce pan melt the 100 g of butter on a very low heat untill it forms a foam on top . Let it cool down and take the foam out with a spoon ( this process is also known as clariffying the butter , which means taking the water and the  fat out of the butter , so the butter does not reach high temperatures that fast and does not burn that easy  ) .

   Pour the clarrified butter in a pan on a medium heat and when the butter is hot add the cut pastries .
   It literally takes seconds on each side to cook , up to 8 , 10 seconds .
   Place your cooked pastry either on a wooden chopping boards ( just not on a napkin it will stick ) .
   Take your lemon curd out of the fridge and as you can see it thickened even more ( a real yummies from the pastry world ) .

   Add a bit of lemon curd on the plate , and place the first sheet of pastry on it so it won't move .
   Then add some berries on the pastry sheet and top them with lemon curd.
   Add the second pastry sheet and top it with lemon curd , add berries on it then lemon curd on the berries.
   Add the third pastry sheet and top it with icing sugar .

   Add some additional berries on the plate for decorating and top them with icing sugar .
 
                                                   And that's it , a nice fresh summer version of mille feuille :




   Enjoy guys and girls :D



   Bon Apettit !

marți, 3 iulie 2012

An amazing way on how to prepare chicken breast !

   Hey guys , i am back again , i hope you are still reading my blog .... i have been quite busy these days so i barerly had time to breath let alone to write in my blogg .

  So now i just realized i got a glimpse of spare time and i thaught why not write for my dear readers , since i have a mega recipe i really want to share with you guys .

 First of all i am no longer in Cluj , yeah the city i went to university .... i kinda miss it since i was really used to it , it became more or less my home and the place i learnt how to become a proper man . The people there helped me a lot in the process and i thank them .

 This blog post is ment for my friends in Cluj and i since i respect them a lot , i think i was the luckiest person to get such friends and mentors in my life .... some people never get that lucky , but i did ... and they inspired me not only in becoming a man but persuing my dream no matter what .

 At first i thaught Jamie Oliver s culinary school was the choice for my future but aparently not ... i was sent in
the other side of the road and that is the culinary school in Paris called "Le Cordon Bleu" . Thing is i always was attracted to french cooking , theyr lovely wines , cheeses , patiserrie , cuisine it is pure love to me .

So this winter i am heading to the culinary school in Paris and at the moment i am in Arad and raising with each passing day money for my culinary path and once i get there i ll make sure i will be the best in what i do and make first of all myself proud . Food is everything to me and i think Paris will become my personal culinary playground .  Memory of Julia Child ... watch out Cause Here I Come !!!

      Anyway let us go back on track and get on with the recipe. I am telling you this recipe will blow your mind and once you have tried it  you will do it over and over again  , it really is a recipe you can rely on anytime you have a guest or someone you really want to impress . This recepy delivers that effect .

   The ingredients you need are : - 1 pack of chicken breast deboned and no skin
                                                 - 1 bunch of rosemary sticks
                                                 - 1 lemon
                                                 - parmesan
                                                 - some proschiutto crudo (2 packs , you can buy from the supermarket)
                                                 - pepper
                                                 - olive oil




 The first thing you need to do is obviously wash your hands . Then get the filetted breats and as you look at them you can see that they are not even the meat is somehow tick at another end and thinner at the other end .What you need to do is make them even before we even start in doing something with them .

  Use some cling film ( folie de plastic ) on a table and another cling film over the chicken breast and use something flat and heavy to pound the chicken breast , it is important to be flat since we do not want to bruise the chicken we just want to make it even a bit .

  After that take some rosemary sticks , take off the leaves and chop them finely . add them over the chicken breast , not much just a bit , then grate some parmesan it is important you grate enough parmesan to cover the whole chicken breast , then grate a bit of lemon zest ( not much just a tiny bit , trust me it will make a huge difference ) .

   Then just sprinkle some freshly ground pepper and cover with proschiutto ( it is important you cover the whole chicken breast so feel free to use 2 slices or 3 slices of proschiutto on one chicken breast as much as you need to cover the whole breast ) .

  Preheat the pan on a medium heat , then add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and place the chicken breast with the proschiutto upside down ( you need a lot of confidence in doing this , do not worry if you can not get this right on the first attempt i can assure you the second will be a succes ) . You need about 6 minutes cooking time per breast , 3 minutes on each side .


                  Just serve it with some mashed potatoes and some green salad , and if you want to take this to a whole new level just drizzle 2 3 drops of balsamic vinegar and trust me by doing that you will not regret it .


      This dish will save you over and over again when the time comes to either impress or crave a nice juice piece of chicken breast , no salt needed at all on the meat since the proschiutto and parmesan gives the chicken enough salt ... perfect seasoning  . !

                                  Have fun with this dish and good luck ! Remember confidence is the key to succes.
                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                             Bon Appetit
                                     

miercuri, 6 iunie 2012

Chocolate Mousse with Strawberries

              Dear readers , first of all i apologize for my abssence during this period , since i've been quite busy with school and all , got loads of trouble with the exams and well i'm trying to hang on mentally to this since for me it's kinda difficult because i lack total interest into this faculty .

I am not a quiter type i actually am a fighter and hard worker but every time i set foot into this university i feel strange as if i do not belong there . When i attend classes i feel strange again and always lost as if i shouldn't be there , i can't find my way through this university .

But i sure am relaxed i found my way in this world through cooking and restaurants , and even though i got sad news about my school performance i have really exciting news and super duper good news about my future in the culinary world .

I've received an important message from the culinary school in Paris called ''Le Cordon Bleu'' and they asked me to set a date for when i want to start this highly performant courses . And of course i would have wanted to tell them now , but i told them the 1st of september so i can get the money for the road to Paris and other needs  .
 To tell you the truth i can't wait , i am so excited and the thaught of it just fire drivens me , i really want to achieve greatness in the culinary world , i want to show people where passion can get you and a high amount of   hard work .

                                                     Anyway since it's kinda a late hour i decided to write this post i'll be   leaving  this conversation for another time and get on with the recepy i wanted to post :D .


  This recepy was kinda a request from a friend since he saw my home made dishes on facebook and so i decided to post it for him .

This is an improved chocolate mousse . It's silky , it's colorfull , it's full of flavour , romantic , it's chocolate !

So the ingredients you need are : - 200 g of dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
                                - 300 g heavy cream , or liquid whipping cream ( Hulala )
                                                 - 50 g of butter
                                                 - 2 eggs
                                                 - salt
                                                 - 2 tablespoons of sugar
                                                 - 1 vanilla pod                                                                                                                      - 1 orange
                                                 - strawberries
                                                 - 50 g of dark chocolate for decorating (optional)
For this recepy you need 3 bowls

So let's get on with preparing it . First of all let's get melting the chocolate using the Bain Marie method which means water bath in french check for the method in my other chocolate dessert posts . So break the 200 g of chocolate into little pieces place them in a bowl and the bowl over a pot with simmering water be carefull the water doesen't touch the bowl and also add to the chocolate 50 g of butter and a pinch of salt .



You probably now think i'm crazy for telling you to add a bit of salt , i know it sounds weird but it actually brings the flavour of the chocolate out and makes it more chocolatier :D !

 As it melts keep styring it from time to time .
 Meanwhile in  another bowl add the heavy cream or liquid whipping cream and to it add 2 tablespoons of sugar , and the seeds of 1 vanilla pod or you could use vanilla extract instead just don't use that fake and cheap vanilla essence it's not good ! I made the mistake once of using it , and it was horrible , doesen't deliver the true flavour of the vanilla , so it's kinda a plastic ingredient for me ! .

Use a whisk and mix it untill it gets a bit thick , the right texture is thick but a bit runny also so it's still a bit liquid , more of a creamy texture .
Sepparate 2 eggs add the yolks to the cream and the whites in another bowl ( By the Way do not forget about your chocolate ) . Mix the egg yolks with the cream .

Add your chocolate at first slowly , meaning you add a spoon of chocolate into the cream , you gently fold it , and another spoon , and another ... it's crucial you add the chocolate step by step so the chocolate won't seize up and have a different texture than the one you expect it to have .

After you've done that whisk your egg whites untill fluffy ( you know they are whisked enough when you can hold them above your head and they do not fall ) . Gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture and cream and set it in the frige for 30 to 40 minutes .

                   Serve it with some strawberries and some shaved chocolate . Chocolate mousse is quite romantic and a dessert fit for any type of person :D , and you can personalize it and make your own you can add a bit of bouzze if you're into the bit of the bouzze :D or maybe some liquers , anything you prefer

                                        Have fun making it and see you guys in my next post  ...   Bon Appetit !
     


luni, 14 mai 2012

Romance and a refreshing dessert for a hot summer's day

   Good day to you dear readers , wait more like good evening since it's kinda late , i usually love writing at late hours , i don't know why it's something about the dark lovely night that gets me inspired . The shape of the moon like a huge cheese waiting for me to eat it :D .

        I've always thaught of the moon as a huge cheese on my plate next to some cherry tomatoes , some fried bacon , ooooohh and some toast yummm :D . The moon can be an inspiration to cooking as much as the sun .
      Think the best combination for a lovely romantic evening , chocolate , wine , meat , and a full moon and next to it as a garnish some lovely flashy stars .... sounds amazing.

     Tonight i want to describe you the perfect dessert fit for a perfect summer sunny day . I know i've been talking about the moon and stars , romance and after that i've just switched to the sun . Because for me the perfect romantic day was not held in summer but in winter on a full moon evening .


           It was last year , and i remember it perfectly ... the most perfect day of my life and i guess that was and is a huge source for my passion , what you experience in your heart and soul is what you and the others experience on the plate . Food in order to be tasty , beautifull and exciting needs passion and passion derives from love  , so the next time you feel you wanna go eat in a fast food restaurant or buy frozen food think again , remember your most romantic day and treat your stomach as you treat your partner on a date ... with love , care and excitement .

      Well anyway what i've experienced in the past was for me a major point , and it inspires me every day... i can freely say she inspires me every day even though she doesn't know it but thats the lovely thing about romance , it's all a mistery ...


              Summer has it's hot days and we passionate people need some refreshments and since we cannot call upon the '' Almighty Winter '' to come in our time of need , we can replace it with this refreshing dessert i'm about to share with you guys .


             Sooo ... Sorbets ! are exquisite , fancy , elegant , refreshing and look outstandingly beautifull ! I can go on forever in describing them , i just love a good sorbet it not only cleanses your palate but it energizes you on a hot summer's day .

   The first sorbet i'm about to  share with you is a lemon sorbet . Basically you need :
                             - 1 cup of sugar
                             - 1 cup of water
                             - 4 lemons
                             - (optional) mint for decorating

The preparation is quite easy so basically at first we need to make the syrup , so to a cup of sugar you need a cup of water . Bring it to the boil and leave it there for 3 minutes . Take it off the heat and put it in the fridge so when the syrup touches the lemon juice it won't go jamy .Squeeze the juice of 4 lemons in a bowl and add the zest of 1 lemon ( just the give it that extra lemony kick ) . Add the cold syrup to the lemon juice and put it in the freezer for about 40 minutes or untill it sets a bit at the top , you can tell by it's white colour like snow .
         
    Take it out and with a fork keep moving the composition , and by doing so you give air to the sorbet and it gets more creamy and much more fluffy ... it's amazing :D . Place it in the freezer again for another hour . I recommend doing this dessert a day in advance , so you make it today and serve it tommorow ... it's not necesary but it's best to do so ... it will be a lot tastier :D

 Here is another picture :

Pomegranate sorbet !!!

Another sorbet would be the pomegranate sorbet with sour cherry liquer . You do it exactly the same way only you use 2 pomegranates (rodii) , squeeze their juice out , add only half of the syrup as the sour cherry liquer is kinda sweet and also add a bit of lemon juice about half a lemon juice for a bit of a kick . (Keep some of the pomegranate seeds not all but some for a bit of crunch ) . Same way freezer 40 minutes , take it out , fork it , and again in the freezer .

        The lovely thing about sorbets is that you can personalize and make it your own , you can try all sorts of fruits for the sorbet and the ones that have no acid just use some lemon juice or experiment with different types of alcohol and find the suitable one for your sorbet .
       
    Be creative , be original , be yourself ... reflect your own personality in the dishes you make .

                                                                                                  Look at it , it has delicious written all over it :D


                                                   Bon Appetit guys and until next time ! :D