Tomato sauce and feta cheese – another fast pasta recipe for beginners

These couple of weeks were crazy. We finished our course, left Sweden, moved back to Hungary and I literally didn’t have time nor patience to write a post. There is still so much to do…write a thesis, go back to Sweden to defend it,  give back our apartment to the landlord, find a job… So yeah…my blog was the last thing I had time to care about.

Job hunting is a pain in the ass…truly…so I have to do something else in order to stay sane. I have to get out of the recruitment processes – which last for months…so annoying!!! – from time to time. I am not in the mood for cooking nor baking sadly,  however when I checked my laptop I realized that I still have photos of recipes I haven’t posted yet. So even though I am not in the mood for kitchen-time, I can post the ones I made back in Sweden.

pasta-feta-tomato sauce pasta-feta-tomato sauce

What we need:pasta-feta-tomato sauce

  • 400 g pasta (I chose colorful ones)
  • tomato sauce
  • feta cheese
  • 4 garlic slices – chopped
  • 1 big onion –  halved and tiny sliced
  • cherry tomatoes
  • 250 g – bacon
  • 2 spoons of olive oil
  • grated cheese
  • salt and bacon

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Frittata/Spanish omelette for friends

I like mixing recipes. This sounds really great and if you are a confident, good cook this is what makes cooking great. You are not simply following the recipe but make it a bit more interesting, however if you are a beginner it can cause some problems:) This is one of those mixed recipes when disaster didn’t happen. I first saw how to make Spanish omelette when our dear Spanish friends made it for us on a great-great night (thanks Cris and Juan)…and first made frittata out of Charlotte Pike’s cookbook which I love so much and mentioned it before in my Fancy name for a toast – Croque Madame post.

So we had so many friends who visited us in Sweden and I tried to make some welcome-dish to all of them. My boyfriend got bored with lasagna so I switched to this frittata/spanish omelette mix.  They  all liked it…or at least they were polite enough to tell me that:)

frittata-spanich omlette   frittata-spanish omlette

What we need:

  • 2 big potatoes – peeled and sliced into 0,5 cm thick
  •  1 spoon of olive oil
  • oil
  • 1 red bell pepper – tiny sliced
  • feta cheese
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1 medium onion –  halved and tiny sliced
  • 3 garlic slices – chopped
  • 250 gr bacon

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Learn Hungarian #1 – Layered potatoes

I like layered food because I think they look so great in a see-through dish and taste amazing when all the flavors spend some time together in the oven. Being away from home does not mean we should miss all things, and I am a little bit fed up with salmon ( I know it is a terrible thing to say, I know! – but I am a bit here in Sweden) so let me give some popularity to Hungarian food because it deserves it! This is a very easy dish, tastes really great, looks amazing and perfect for a friends-coming-over-night. I am sure you will like it once you try it! Just leave out the sausage and can serve it in a vegetarian way too.Layered-potatoes

Layered-potatoes

 

 

Let me know how did it work out for you once you tried it!

What we need:

  • 8 medium sized potatoes
  • sausage -thinly sliced
  • 6 eggs
  • 6 big spoons of sour creme
  •  2 spoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • grated cheese

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First sweet, finally – sour cherry sponge cake

In general I don’t have a sweet tooth, I prefer baking them than eating sweets (not like my boyfriend)  but I like cakes with fruits, especially with sour cherry. Plus this is the cake I first learned how to bake when I was around 15. I never cooked, but I remember baking this typical Hungarian cake several times.  I think there are so many steps where a sponge cake can be ruined (like my most obvious one in this case: forgetting the baking powder…I did…really.) so I will make an entire post about the most important rules of sponge cake,but more on that later. So this time I forgot to add the baking powder, as you can see they are flat, but still tasted great so I don’t care, I am still proud enough to post it:)

cherry-sponge-ckae

What we need:

  •  8 spoons of floursour-cherry-sponge-cake
  • 6 spoons of sugar
  • 6 spoons of water
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • sour cherry
  • baking powder!
  • 1 pack of vanilla sugar

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Hasselback potatoes – Swedish potatoes

If you are thinking about moving to Sweden let me give you an advice. Move at the end of spring, or during summer so you can enjoy the sunshine and have the memory of it through autumn and winter (and spring). Sweden didn’t welcome us with its nicest face but managed to set a new record with the darkest November. In Stockholm for the first 16 days in November the sun was shining all together for 2 whole hours. 16 days – 2 hours of sunshine... this was the time when I learned how much I depend on the sun! At the beginning of this year there was a lecture for foreigners held by Swedes how to deal with the lack of sunshine because it can cause problems. I was just smiling about this, didn’t attend the course, I mean why should I – I thought – I am a Hungarian we have winter, I can deal with grey autumns too…I wish I attended that damn class:)

But spring has finally arrived, and it feels so good to write this down. I am looking outside my window and the sun is shining!!! So the great weather (and vitamin D) brought back my optimistic side and I find Sweden beautiful again, so let me show you a pretty good and fast dinner/side dish called the Swedish potatoes.

swedish-potatoesswedish-potatoes

What we need: Continue reading

Lecture 101 – Do You speak kitchen?

The following is my biggest problem. I am a beginner chef, (funny that I call myself chef, but let’s be optimistic for the future) who decided that will teach herself how to cook. So simple Saturday afternoon…I am watching cooking channels. Oh those kitchens always look amazing…they all have kitchen islands in it…I love them and I want one, but right now my whole kitchen is as big as a smaller kitchen island. So I am watching the show. She is nice, explains easily what she is going to make and actually how easy it is (they always say it’s easy). She starts, I keep up….still keeping up, aaand I lost it. My general problem is not the usual one. I am not trying to follow her while she is making it and complaining that it is not 5 mins but rather 55. No. My problem is that I am not familiar with the expressions, definitions of culinary words, name of the different techniques, moves…etc. in English. So usually unknown words jumping here and there, but I am concentrating because the photos look so great, they make you think that if the photos look that good how awesome the food must taste.

So this post is to people whose first language is not English and to people whose first language is English but still not sure what is what in the culinary world. As a beginner I find it important, so several similar posts will follow. Let’s start from A-K:

  • Al dente: I like this phrase and already used it in my previous Three words that match: pasta, besamel and cherry tomato post . It’s Italian and means “to the tooth”. Means that you cook the foods (usually pasta) until it still has some resistance, tender but a bit chewy, not too soft. So pastas should be cooked al dente.
  • Baste: put fat or juices over (usually) meat while cooking or baking it. Especially essential when you cook with dry heat, for example oven roasting or grilling.
  • Batter: it is a mixture consisting mainly flour, egg and thin enough to pour…and tastes amazing:)

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Sour creme to Hungarians is what ketchup is to Americans – now with potatoes and mushroom

I will have several posts and recipes with sour-creme because I love it. Hungarians generally love sour-creme and use it quite often while cooking. I read a blog about an American who lives in Budapest and absolutely agrees with me. He is a teacher and one day the task for the kids was to rename the colors. Like orange turned out to be ‘rusty bicycle‘, pink ‘Mom’s lipstick’. So here comes a sweet darling Hungarian boy and renames the white to ‘tejföl’, which is sour-creme in Hungarian. I think this story gives an absolutely correct example of the relationship between us Hungarians and tejföl:)

potatoes-mushroom-sour cremepotato-mushroom-sour creme

The main character in this recipe is not the sour creme but a huge potato and fried mushroom (with a sour creme sauce)…my boyfriend loved it, and once again, easy to make it and looks amazing.

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