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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Pavlova with chocolate and fruit

Pavlova was my obvious choice for one of Christmas dinners I’ve enjoyed this week. It’s easy to make (well, if you know how to make it right), it doesn’t require million of ingredients and it looks incredibly stylish. Of course, summer choice of fruit and berries gives you more options of what to add to the topping of your Pavlova, but we still have plenty of fresh fruit even in winter, so it’s pretty easy to make your cake beautiful.
( 🇸🇰 slovenský preklad nájdete za anglickým textom)

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Last minute Christmas baking: dried fruit and ginger biscotti

This recipe has caused a lot of questions from my facebook friends, so I’m glad to share it here. Biscotti are obviously not Slovak Christmas classics, but I think that it’s a nice addition to the variety of cookies. They also remind German Christmas stollen, they are just quicker to make. A lot of biscotti recipes include nuts and almonds, I’ve made “nut free version” as I can’t say that I like an idea of hard nuts in dry biscotti.
( 🇸🇰 slovenský preklad nájdete za anglickým textom)

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Last minute Christmas baking: spelt crinkle cookies

I have always been  amazed by a big amount of Christmas cookies varieties baked in Slovakia since I came to study to Bratislava. There is nothing close to this tradition in that part of Ukraine, where I grew up.

Every December my Slovak and Czech friends post beautiful pictures of their Christmas baking  on Facebook and this year I’ve decided to make a baking marathon and to make some cookies too. I’ve spent almost a week in the kitchen and made 11 kinds of cookies. Due to popular demand on my Instagram (btw, you are welcome to follow me, I’m @my.ko.la there) I will post two of them, crinkles and biscotti.

Here is a recipe for crinkle cookies.
( 🇸🇰 slovenský preklad nájdete za anglickým textom)

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Outdoor Paris food markets tour

I will be away from home the 4th weekend in a row, so not so many new recipes will appear here in December. However, I’m working on my “Christmas cookies” top and will hopefully share them next week.
This post will be about a lovely Sunday morning I spent on November, 24 in my ever so favourite Paris. My goal for this day was to visit Pari fermier market that took place on Rue Saint Charles. Pari fermier markets are organized several times a year to present original gourmet products to Paris foodies. I was very excited about this event. I have to say that all world known French products were really presented there. So I was not disappointed with offers but was surprised with amount of stands. There was not so many of them as I had expected.
Let’s take a look to the offers.
🇸🇰 Slovenská verzia pre časopis Dobré Jedlo

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Vegetarian borscht with red lentils

Oh, I can write a lot about borscht.It is better to say: it’ll be hard to write about the most famous Ukrainian soup briefly 🙂 May be it is borscht that comes first to my mind when I think about Ukrainian cuisine. It’s like kapustnica for Slovaks and it has both gastronomical and cultural values. There are sayings like “you can’t cook borsht with him” which means “this person is not good to have a deal with” or “you can cook a good borscht, so you can get married”. Borscht recipes show a wide range, the one I’m going to share is my favorite, I’ve tested it last year and it was success from the first try.
(🇸🇰 slovenský preklad nájdete za anglickým textom)

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Roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon and walnuts

We had “an autumn feast dinner” with friends last Saturday and roasted duck was the main star of the menu. There are 2 classic side dishes for roasted duck here in Slovakia: braised cabbage and “lokše” thin pancakes made of potato dough. As a “cabbage freak” I decided to add one more side dish to the menu: roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon and walnuts. Well, it’s Thanksgiving classics, but this recipe is not known here. The most popular comment about this dish was “oh, I’ve hated Brussels sprouts since school times, but you made it really delicious”. So mind this recipe if you also have “cabbage haters” among your friends.
( 🇸🇰 slovenský preklad nájdete za anglickým textom)
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Roasted chicken thighs with fennel and orange

2 cool things have happened this week. First: short interviews with Slovak food bloggers about their favourite fall and winter dishes were published in the latest edition of Dobré Jedlo magazine.  So, I’m proud to be featured in the magazine that I like among a company of inspired people. Second: Oslavujeme s Teleránom cookbook has been on sale in book stores since this week and I can finally add it to my portfolio. And now back to the kitchen. Today I will share the recipe of a roasted chicken with fennel which I have been trying to test for the last 3 or 4 weeks. Why has it taken so long?   The reason  is I couldn’t find fennel anywhere: neither on farmer’s market nor in all grocery shops. Fennel had just disappeared and I was even thinking that it’s out of the season (but who cares about seasons when we have fresh grapes from Argentina in January). I found a few small fennel bulbs on last Saturday farmer’s market and, of course, bought it. Before I share the recipe, I want to say that it has been one of the best chicken dishes I’ve ever tried.
( 🇸🇰 slovenský preklad  nájdete za anglickým textom)

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Pumpkin gnocchi with sage sauce

It’s time to finish the pumpkin marathon. I enjoyed it pretty much, but there are so many new products that I want to try that pumpkin can wait till next fall. Farewell recipe is pumpkin gnocchi with sage and cream sauce.  I think this dish is a kind of comfort food: it’s easy to cook and, most important, it can be frozen. It’s a nice feeling to know that some proper portions of gnocchi are waiting for me in the fridge. Gnocchi are relatives to one of Slovak staple dishes “halušky” with the difference in shape and the fact that raw potatoes are used in most of halušky recipes.
( 🇸🇰 slovenský preklad  nájdete za anglickým textom)

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Spelt galette with sweet potato, beet and caramelized shallots

I wanted to try this recipe not only because of the filling, that is of course delicious, but also because of the dough. It’s choux pastry variation and as I haven’t had any experience with it, I was excited to try it. I can’t describe how pleasant is to work with this dough. I made it ‘half spelt’ and even despite it the dough was amazingly elastic.
( 🇸🇰 slovenský preklad  nájdete za anglickým textom)
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Pumpkin and apple puff pastry spirals (aka vertuta)

One day I will write “The Bessarabian cookbook”. Do you know where Bessarabia is? It’s a historical region in Eastern Europe between the Danube and the Dniester rivers, located both in the South of modern Ukraine and Moldova. Bessarabia was a kind of melting pot of many nations and in  their culinary traditions, you can see and taste influence of not only Ukrainian and Moldavian cuisines but also  Turkish, Balkan and Greek cuisines there. My native Odessa is not located directly in Bessarabia (well, it’s just around 40km from the place where the Dniester meets the Black sea) but being the biggest city in Ukrainian South it has a lot of Bessarabian people living there. That’s why you can find many  Bessarabian staple dishes in Odessa restaurants and that’s why I know how to cook them – I’ve just got used to them since my childhood.
Here is one of classical autumn dishes from that region, it’s called vertuta and it’s phyllo pasty roll of spiral with different fillings. I will share  a recipe with a  pumpkin and apple filling. I baked it with “ready to use” puff pastry which is closest to phyllo pasty.

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Spaghetti squash with chicken, leeks and mushrooms

It’s just amazing, how many new things I can discover in the “Food Universe”. Last year I could  barely name 3 pumpkin varieties and this fall I have realized there are so much more varieties to know and to try. Spaghetti squash was one of such new discoveries. None of my friends (even those who are “into food”) have ever heard about it. So I was excited to be the first who can share experience about this pumpkin. Here it is 🙂
(🇸🇰 slovenský preklad nájdete za anglickým textom)

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Pumpkin risotto with oyster mushrooms

It’s already the 6th pumpkin recipe here, but as I claimed that this autumn will be about pumpkin “I just can’t get enough”.

I’ve made pumpkin risotto for a cooking book I started doing not so long ago and it was so nice that I got inspired and created my own version of this comfort warming autumn dish.

Food and culture story. I’ve used oyster mushrooms in this recipe and I have to say  that these mushrooms are very popular in Slovakia, both in cooking and in medicine: you can find a huge number of different dietary supplements with beta-glucans extracted from them.  Oyster mushrooms are used like meat supplements in many dishes, I’ve even seen “fake tripe soup” made of them.
( 🇸🇰 slovenský preklad  nájdete za anglickým textom)

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Marinated Swiss chard and beef soup

I’ve wanted to cook a sorrel soup (which is called in Ukraine ‘green borsht’) for a long but I never saw sorrel on sale in Slovakia. My Slovak friends told me that, of course, they knew what sorrel is but most of them had never heard that it could be used in soup. Sorrel soup should be a little bit sour, it makes this soup special and that is why it was difficult to find a good substitution. Sometimes spinach is used together with sorrel in green borsht, but I never liked it because boiled spinach leaves remind me wet toilet paper (sorry!), so combination of spinach and lemon juice was not an option. Last Saturday I discovered that it’s an autumn season of Swiss chard and decided to use it in the soup. It worked perfectly 🙂

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Pumpkin-ricotta-bryndza-sage stuffed shells

I wanted to try stuffed shells long ago, but the only found suitable pasta was Conchiglioni and the price was 3.90euro for 500g packing. I am not frequent pasta eater so I preferred to spend this money on something that I will eat quicker. And then came classical story: сonchiglioni was on sale and I decided “now or never”.
Going through US pumpkin recipes I’ve noticed interesting “food and culture” fact: although sage and pumpkin combination is often called “traditional” it is unknown in my part of Europe. Of course I wanted to try it immediately. I was even lucky to find fresh sage in my friend’s garden. And as it’s fall and I have “pumpkin marathon” here in the blog. So shells stuffed with pumpkin, sage and ricotta were my pick of the recipes this time. A lot of authors add neither parmigiano reggiano nor pecorino romano to the filling, but as “wanna be” locavore I’ve made substitution and add Slovak bryndza. And I didn’t regret.

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