White Bean, Cevapcici and Tomato Salad

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

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White bean, cevapcici and tomato salad is a simple but tasty food that is very quick and easy to prepare and bursting with flavours. It is perfect for a lunch or supper with your family. Cevapcici (aka Cevapi) is a type of casing-less, finger-sized sausage from the Balkans and southeastern Europe. I made white beans from the scratch with Instant Pot. It's cheaper, healthier and more flavourful, but a canned variety works just fine too. The cooking time can vary depending on the variety of white bean and quantity you're using. Instead of cevapcici, you can use shrimp or tuna for the salad too.

DressingSalad
  • 1 tbsp Red wine vinegar
  • 1 Garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Pink salt and black pepper
  • 60 ml Extra virgin olive oil
  • 250 g Dried white beans
  • 750 ml Water
  • 1/2 tsp Sea salt
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 Garlic clove
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 200 g Cooked cevapcici leftover, sliced
  • 125 g Grape tomatoes, halved
  • A handful of baby salad leaves or mixed herbs (such as tarragon, parsley and arugula)
  1. Whisk vinegar with garlic, mustard and sugar, then season with pink salt and black pepper. Gradually whisk in olive oil until emulsified and thick.
  2. Combine white beans, water, salt, 1/2 tablespoon olive oil, garlic and bay leaf in your instant pot. Lock the lid, and turn the valve to sealing. Select 'pressure cook' and cook for 12 minutes. Once cooking is complete, let the pressure release naturally on its own. Strain and set aside.
  3. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add in the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of oil and brown the sliced cevapcici on both sides. Turn off the heat and add beans to the skillet with half the dressing, gently toss to warm through, then transfer to a large serving platter.
  4. Add in tomatoes and herbs and gently toss to combine. Serve with remaining dressing.

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Browned Butter Coffee Friands

Sunday, April 11, 2021

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Friands are small almond cakes, which are also known as financiers in France. They are moist, chewy, rich and perfectly dense. You don't need a special oval Friand pan to bake these, a standard muffin tin would work just fine. This recipe makes about 10 standard muffins or 6 rectangles (10x6.5x4cm). Coffee friands are the perfect accompaniment to your mid-morning or afternoon break. The remaining friands can be kept in an airtight container for up to 3 days or frozen for a month.

  • 185 g Butter, chopped
  • 125 g Almond meal
  • 220 g Confectioners' sugar
  • 75 g White spelt flour
  • 1 tbsp Ground coffee powder
  • 6 Egg whites, lightly beaten until frothy
  • Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Brush six 140ml capacity non-stick mini loaf pans (or 10 regular muffin cups) with melted butter to lightly grease.
  2. Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium-low heat, then simmer for 5 minutes until golden brown (take care not to burn). Cool slightly.
  3. Combine the almond meal, confectioners' sugar, white spelt flour and coffee powder. Whisk the egg whites until frothy. Add to the dry ingredients, with the butter. Stir until just combined.
  4. Divide the batter among prepared pans. Bake for 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  5. Set aside in the pans for 5 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool. Serve dusted with a little extra sifted confectioners' sugar, if desired.

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Marinated Labneh

Thursday, April 08, 2021

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Labneh (lob-nay), aka labne, lebna, or labaneh, is made from strained yoghurt and has a rich, creamy texture similar to whipped cream cheese and tangy like sour cream. The longer you let it strain, the thicker the labneh becomes. It's a common ingredient in Middle Eastern cuisine and can be used as the base of a dip and spread, a swap for sour cream, stir-in ingredient or use it in place of the cream cheese to bake a cheesecake.
You can buy labnen in Middle Eastern food markets or stores, but it's actually quite easy and less expensive to make at home with just a couple of ingredients and a few common kitchen tools.

  • 500 g Thick full-fat Greek-style yoghurt
  • 1/2 tsp Sea salt
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 10 g Parsley, chopped, to coat
  • 10 g Chives, chopped, to coat
  • 2 tbsp Sumac, to coat (or za'atar)
  • 2 tbsp Poppy seeds, to coat
  • 2 tbsp Black seeds, to coat
  • 2 tbsp Pink peppercorns, to coat
  • 2 tbsp Pistachios, chopped, to coat
  • 2 tbsp Hazelnuts, chopped, to coat
  • 2 Garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin seeds, crushed
  • Salt and black pepper
  1. Line a large sieve with cheesecloth or a nut milk bag. Combine yoghurt and sea salt in the sieve, then set sieve over a deep bowl. Place in refrigerator and let drain for 2-3 days.
  2. Gently squeeze out any excess liquid and discard the whey in the bowl or use it to bake bread. Yoghurt will be very thick and resemble soft goat cheese.
  3. Dip your fingers in oil and roll the strained yoghurt into balls about the size of a cherry tomato. Coat in desired seasoning.
  4. Place them in a serving plate or a jar filled with some olive oil. Add in sliced garlic, crushed cumin, some pink peppercorns if desired. Season with a little bit salt and pepper.
  5. Cover and chill at least 2 hours or up to 2 months. Bring back to room temperature before serving as you don’t want them to be fridge-cold.

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Tomato Salad with Kiwi and Crunchy Capers

Wednesday, April 07, 2021

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The combination of tomatoes, kiwi and crisp fried capers might sound odd, but it worked like a charm. I use a mix of dark coloured heirloom tomato and regular grape and cherry tomatoes, but any quality tomatoes will work just as fine. Feel free to throw in some avocado for an extra boost of potassium. The salad is light, fresh and full of flavour. Serve it as an appetizer or as an accompaniment to meat.

  • 50 g Capers, rinsed and patted dry
  • 3 tbsp Avocado oil for frying
  • 300 g Dark coloured tomatoes, sliced (or heirloom tomato of your choice)
  • 100 g Grape tomatoes, halved
  • 100 g Cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 Kiwi, ripe yet firm, peeled and sliced
  • 1 Fresh lime, zested and juiced
  • Celtic grey sea salt
  • Freshly milled black pepper
  • 2 tbsp Tarragon, chopped
  • 2 tbsp Eextra virgin olive oil
  1. Drain the brined capers, rinse and pat dry with a paper towel. Heat avocado oil in a small saucepan or skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add in capers and fry, swirling the pan gently, until golden brown. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the capers to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Set aside to cool briefly before using.
  2. Place the sliced tomato, lime juice, sea salt and black pepper in a large bowl and gently toss to combine. Arrange tomatoes and kiwi on a large patter and divide into two plates.
  3. Sprinkle crispy capers over the salad. Top with chopped tarragon and drizzle with olive oil to serve.

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Fruity Carrot Soup Spelt Bread

Monday, April 05, 2021

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This healthy carrot soup spelt loaf is a super simple and easy quick bread recipe featuring leftover orange carrot soup, desiccated coconut flakes and cream nougat Baumstamm (a type of German Christmas candy with nougat and dark chocolate). It comes together in no time and the result is a perfectly tender, super moist and flavourful carrot bread. It is the perfect treat to enjoy with your morning coffee or as a a quick snack.

  • 200 g White spelt flour (Dinkel #630)
  • 50 g Desiccated coconut flakes, lightly toasted
  • 7 g Baking powder
  • 4 g Baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp Ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp Ground cardamom
  • A pinch of salt
  • 480 g Leftover orange carrot soup
  • 50 g Egg
  • 100 g Cream Nougat Baumstamm (Nougat with dark chocolate coating)
  • Carrot tops for topping
  • 1 tbsp Butter, softened
  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Line a 22x10x7cm loaf pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Whisk together spelt flour, coconut flakes, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt in a bowl.
  3. In another mixing bowl, stir together the carrot soup and egg until well combined. Stir dry ingredients into wet until just combined. The batter will be thick.
  4. Spoon half of the batter into prepared pan and place the cream nougat candy in the center. Cover with the remaining half batter. Smooth the surface and top with a few of carrot tops.
  5. Bake in the middle of oven until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 45-55 minutes. Remove and brush the top with softened butter. Let cool slightly in pan, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

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