I came up with this recipe by myself and everyone admitted that this is an outstanding one. BBQ shrimps are pretty easy to mess up by overcooking and wrong marination. Check it out-this recipe won't let you down.
- Wild shrimps (I don't use farmed ones)
- Garlic pepper
- Olive oil
1) Please DO clean the shrimps. If you don't know how, check the " How To" section. Find below a quick reminder. The green/black vein has to be removed. I also prefer removing the head however many restaurants keep it.
2) Add garlic pepper spice into the cut of every shrimp.
3) Squeeze a couple of lemons, mix well. Add olive oil generously and mix well again. Leave in the fridge for 2-5 hours.
4) Grill the shrimps over high heat but not over the open fire for not more than 10 minutes. Keep turning them from side to side. Serve with mayo ketchup sauce (2 table spoons of ketchup mixed with 2 table spoons of mayo) or garlic sauce.
Middle Eastern mezza is something I am truly obsessed with. There is a legend (I wouldn't be surprised if it's true) that there are 101 types of mezza in Lebanese cuisine. For someone who isn't that familiar with cooking it may look so difficult to make , for example, moutabbal at home. Well... not anymore as I keep saying. Your moutabbal will not only beat any of the restaurant's moutabbals, but it will earn your mother-in-law's heart :) (well, if she is Middle Eastern)
- 3 medium size eggplants (not thick, longer ones are better)
- 2-2.5 table spoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice
- tahini (you can find it in any Middle Eastern supermarket)
- 2-3 cloves of garlic (depends on your "garlicy" preference)
- pomegranate seeds
- olive oil
1) We need to burn our eggplants on an open fire (either gas stove or bbq). Some people prefer to bake it, but I am not a fan of "baked" moutabbal as it is way to plain for me in taste. The smokiness from the fire does the trick. From the photos below you will see how to place them on the cooker. After one side looks burnt, turn the eggplant and keep burning it. It is not going to take 5 minutes, so be patient.
2) After you see that eggplant is quite burnt, touch it carefully and if it's soft-remove it from the fire. Dip it in ice cold water and remove the burnt skin same like in my photos below. Make sure no pieces of burnt skin is left. Then start squashing it with either a fork or special metallic utensil for mashing potatoes. Please do NOT use blender as it is not hummus, the principal here is different. We do want to see and feel texture.
3) After you see it became smooth, add 2 table spoons of lemon juice, 3 table spoons of tahini, squeeze garlic and add some salt. Mix it well. Take a look- does it look like moutabbal (haha.. I know it sounds strange but this is one of the best ways to figure out whether you are on the right track). Let's say if your eggplants were bigger than the ones I used, you may need extra lemon juice and an extra spoon of tahini.
p4) Taste should be slightly lemony with a nice kick of garlic. Oh yummm...
So now you simply need to place it in the plate same as in the photo below, make space for olive oil and pomegranate. By the way, remember that we add olive oil right before the serving. Serve it chilled.
I am sure you tried smoked salmon (cold smoked) in restaurants, how delicious.. To be very honest I prefer salted salmon as it is lighter in taste. What if I tell you that you don't have to buy such salmon anymore and spend an arm and a leg? You don't believe me? Follow my recipe to make state of the art salted salmon at home which is absolutely perfect as an appetizer, for tartines and salads. When guests come- it's a life saver! You will laugh how easy it is...
- 1 salmon fillet (I do fillet a salmon by myself as you can see in the photos below as price wise it is much better because you can make salmon soup etc from head, tail and bones- recipes to follow of course)
- 1 cup of sea salt
- 1-1.5 table spoons of sugar
- 10 bay leaves
- freshly ground black pepper
- dill (if you have.. not fennel!!!)
- wax paper
- white piece of cloth (I buy cheap white bed sheets, cut them into pieces) or aluminium foil
Mix in a bowl rock or sea salt, sugar, freshly ground black pepper (I used around 2 table spoons as it gives outstanding flavor), crush bay leaves in your hand and add to the mix. Pay attention to the photo below: I did the fillet myself (Will show you how to do it in one of my next posts). We need to cut the fillet into halves. Preferably do not scale the salmon. Rub generously from all sides including skin the mix. Don't worry about over salting it as salmon won't take more than required if you follow given timeframe. Look at the main photo next to the ingredients: thicker side in the back, and thinner side is the stomach. After you rubbed salmon generously, turn one piece upside down and put on top of each other. This is done in order to fill the gap of the stomach with the thick part. Now wrap it in the wax paper first, then wrap it in the white cloth or aluminum foil, put it in a deep container (it will give lots of juice) and keep it in the fridge for 24 hours. After 24 hours flip it.
You can start trying it after 24 hours, but it will be really lightly salted so if you are sure about the source of this salmon you can eat it now but I would keep it for another 24 hours in the fridge.
So, after 48 hours your salmon is ready for sure!
Rinse it well under cold clean water, use kitchen towel to dry it.
Note: if your fish wasn't thick, you may feel that it is too salty. Here we have 2 options:
Option 1: Put salmon in a cold water for 30 minutes, unnecessary salt should be gone
Option 2: Do try to slice it-likely in the middle it wont be as salty, so you can slice it thinner to have one piece slightly saltier and other less salty.
Ohhh those Russian pancakes! If you ever been to Russia or got Russian friends- for sure you tried those. We even have a full week dedicated to them (Maslenitsa). So many ways of serving them: caviar, meat, curd, jams, sour cream- you name it). There are so many recipes, but today I will tell you of one of my favorite and easiest ways of making delicious blinis, stuffed with minced meat.
Ingredients for pancakes:
- 1 liter of milk
- 2.5 cups of white flour
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of soda bicarbonate
- cooking oil
- spring onions
- 3 eggs
Ingredients for stuffing:
- 250 gr of minced beef
- 1 egg
1) Warm up the milk but don't make it hot. Add eggs, sugar, salt and soda bicarbonate and mix it well with either a hand mixer or electric one. Slowly add flour and mix it well. The mixture should remind of a thick cream.
2) Lets prepare the stuffing: fry minced meat, add salt, pepper and onions (not spring onion), add water, leave it covered on a low fire for 15-20 minutes. After that beat one egg with a little bit of water and add to the minced meat, leave it to cook for another 5 minutes. Turn the fire off.
3) Time to make the pancakes: Make sure your frying pan is super hot. Brush the cooking oil on the frying pan, pour some of the pancake mix into it and keep rotating the pan so it spreads evenly. After 3-4 minutes flip your pancake (when the color turns golden- keep checking). Fry it for another couple of minutes and transfer it to a regular plate.
TIP 1: Use one onion on a fork instead of a brush. Dip it in oil and brush with it your cooking pan. Aroma of the pancakes will be incredible
4) Put in the middle of the pancake a bit of butter, add minced meat, gather the sides of the pancake with your hand like you are making a cute bag:) Use spring onion to tie it up.
TIP 2: Pour hot water over spring onions before making a "ribbon" on your pancake bag. By doing it, spring onions are less likely to break.
Serve your pancakes with sour cream. If they turned cold, you can always warm them up on the frying pan with some butter.
Enjoy my Glamorous Chefs!