Asparagus cream soup

Last weekend we went to Trnava, a small city in 30 minutes by train from Bratislava. Now Trnava is known with  it’s new restaurants and food bars and it’s a popular destination for 1 day trip from Bratislava. It was my second visit to this city but I  have never really walked there before. So I can admit that this Slovak “hidden treasure” has very beautiful architecture and it’s… so cozy 🙂 Asparagus was on the season menu in the most Trnava restaurants, so I took green asparagus soup for my lunch. The soup was good, but I decided that I’d make it with white asparagus and less sour. I made it the next day and it was more than tasty. So happy to share this recipe 🙂 (🇸🇰 slovenský preklad nájdete za anglickým textom).
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Umami duck soup with pak choi

Duck stock is my new favourite stock. I discovered it 2 month ago and cook it almost every week since then like a base for different soups. The recipe I want to share is dedicated to my recent travel to Amsterdam where I visited China town and was amazed how wide they use pak choi cabbage. (P.S. also please mind spelt sour dough bread on the picture, I promise again to describe my sour dough experience). This soup is very “umami”. That’s what you can expect from the “meat and mushroom stock combination”. (🇸🇰 slovenský preklad nájdete za anglickým textom).

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Salted caramel tartlets with banana and dark chocolate

OMG, I  have so much to write and so little time to do it. For example, if you follow me on Instagram (  there) you might know about my newest love affair with sour dough baking. I should write a post a about it, because it’s just great and exciting experience that it deserves to be shared here.  Also both Catholic and Orthodox Easters passed and I can finaly take a deep breath and to look back at these 2 weeks long baking marathon that I enjoyed so much. At Catholic Easter we’ve finally visited Nova Bana cottage house for the first time this year. I baked there 3 goods:  a sweet sour dough cake with dried apricots and raisins, cacao tartlets with salted caramel cream and eclairs with chocolate and mascarpone cream. I’ve made all these dishes for the first time and I was a little bit nervous as salted caramel and  choux pasty have a naughty reputations. All went well and I’m excited to write the recipe of salted caramel tarts here. Funny fact: I didn’t find any adequate salted caramel tarts recipe in internet. Almost all recipes were like “take store bought mini tarts and fill them with store bought caramel cream”. So boring 🙂 Here is the recipe, hope you will like it. (🇸🇰 slovenský preklad nájdete za anglickým textom).

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Crunchy bulgur salad

The real spring is just behind the corner, first long awaited herbs and veggies will appear within a month, so it’s time to test some new recipes that could become my spring favorites. The first one is this crunchy bulgur salad that makes a great side dish or can be a quick vegetarian lunch itself. You can vary veggies I use for this salad, but the main point is to keep it crunchy. (🇸🇰 slovenský preklad nájdete za anglickým textom)
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White beans, mushrooms, sausage and kale soup

It is cold here in Slovakia (around -15C in the morning) thus a big bowl of a hot soup is something to dream about. So I decided to taste a new soup recipe and to use dried mushrooms we gathered in Nová Baňa in autumn. Once again, it was success from the first try (considering amount of the cooking f%ckups I usually have, 2 good recipes in a row is a very exciting result).
(🇸🇰 slovenský preklad nájdete za anglickým textom)
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Chicken terrine with spinach, sun-dried tomatoes and roasted peppers

Hello, Ferns and Cakes, it‘s been awhile.
Well, February was not the most exciting month so I’m happy that it‘s‚ almost over and I just hope that upcoming sping will bring much more courage to “cook and tell”. Today I want to share an easy recipe of chicken terrine. I was amazed with amount of different terrines I saw at Paris food markets and, of course, I wanted to cook it myself. Glad to say that it was “10 from 10” from the very first try and I am excited that I can cook another nice dish now.
(🇸🇰 slovenský preklad nájdete za anglickým textom)
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Breakfast ideas: thick cottage cheese pancakes “Syrniki”

Do you know the damnation of the simplest recipes? Like soufflé that is basically quite a simple dish to cook but I always doubt if I make everything right. Syrniki are the same kind of dish. Syrniki, which are thick cottage cheese pancakes, are traditional breakfast in Odessa. Simple yet delicious, it’s the dish that my mother cooks perfectly. Ingredients are quite simple too: cottage cheese, an egg, a few spoons of flour, a little bit of sugar, may be vanilla and raisins. Nothing more, but it took me a few unsuccessful attempts until I cooked it right. The key ingredient is cottage cheese (or it’s “tvaroh” variation in Central and Eastern Europe. Tvaroh is called “syr” in Ukrainian so name “syrniki” shows that the dish is made of syr), which should contain 9% of fat. Cottage cheese should not be too dry or too liquid, otherwise you will not be able to form pancakes. If cottage cheese is too liquid, press the liquid out using a sieve and a spoon. You can substitute cottage cheese with ricotta.
(🇸🇰 slovenský preklad nájdete za anglickým textom)
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Roasted and mashed cauliflower with sun-dried tomatoes salsa

It seems that I’ve already posted recipes with all possible varieties of cabbage and for unknown reasons cauliflower was an exception. It’s time to break this circle 🙂 The only dish with cauliflower I had known before was simply boiled cauliflower and then served with greens, garlic and cheese. I decided to extend my horizons and cook something more exciting this time.
A few notes before I share the recipe. I use tahini paste in this recipe because since I’ve often started to cook hummus, tahini can be always found in my kitchen. It’s already the third recipe with tahini I’m sharing here. The first was pumpkin bread and the second was beet hummus.
Here is the recipe for cauliflower “steaks” with mashed cauliflower and sun-dried tomatoes salsa.
(🇸🇰 slovenský preklad nájdete za anglickým textom)

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Turmeric ginger chicken soup with noodles

Chicken soup seems to be an important dish for many countries. In Odessa it was claimed to be a cure against all possible illnesses (no wonder, as Odessa has a big Jewish population and a rich chicken soup is a staple of East European Jewish cuisine). In Bratislava, chicken soup also plays the key role  on Sunday family dinner. I can cook  this soup both in Odessa and Bratislava styles but I’m always open to new ideas so I tried turmeric and ginger chicken soup and I’ve fallen in love with it now 🙂
(🇸🇰 slovenský preklad nájdete za anglickým textom)

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Pumpkin season is not over: roasted hasselback butternut squash

I noticed Hokkaido pumpkins and butternut squashes in a grocery store during my last time shopping and I asked myself a question “why don’t we cook pumpkin in the winter”? I have no logical explanation for it. Well, I was a little bit overdosed with pumpkin during autumn pumpkin marathon, but it’s already a middle of January so buying a pumpkin again seems to be a good idea. I bought  a small butternut squash and cooked it in a “hasselback” style. Small notice: word “hasselback” comes from restaurant Hasselbacken in Djurgården (Stockholm) whose chief first cooked hasselback potatoes in 1953.
( 🇸🇰 slovenský preklad nájdete za anglickým textom)

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Sausage and shrimp gumbo

I’ve first heard about gumbo from my very favourite BBC Food program podcast. It was clear that this is a special dish of American cuisine (I can compare it with borsht in Ukraine or kapustnica here in Slovakia), because it seems that hundreds of recipes exist and every family from Louisiana has its own way to cook gumbo.
I don’t want to claim that my gumbo recipe is a “true” one, however it contains all key ingredients: ” Louisiana trinity” of onion, green pepper and celery plus roux. A lot of recipes also include okra, but you can’t find okra in European grocery stores in the middle of January 🙂 I like the taste of this dish, it’s reach in taste and it’s perfectly warming.
( 🇸🇰 slovenský preklad nájdete za anglickým textom)
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Spelt flour focaccia with rosemary and olives

One of my New Year resolutions was to write down all the recipes I want to add to my upcoming book. So I’ve done it and now it’s time to test everything that was planned and to post the results here. Let me start with rosemary and olives focaccia.

A few notes. There are plenty of focaccia recipes that use baking powder, which seems “very wrong” to me as it’s only sour dough that gives focaccia that special taste. Then, there are a lot of people who are afraid of yeast and sour dough. Well, sour dough requires some more efforts  in comparison with baking powder or “self rising flour”, but commercial yeast makes its work so perfect that it’s hard to make a mistake. Hope I motivated you at least a little bit. And finally: I found that you can make focaccia with plain spelt flour which is in a way healthier choice than white wheat flour. Try it 🙂
( 🇸🇰 slovenský preklad nájdete za anglickým textom)

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