Cooking Archive

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Seasons Greetings! – Angelica’s recipes – Beetroot Tarte Tatin

23.12.2016 Posted in Cooking, Writing No Comments

TO celebrate Chistmas I decided to make a Beetroot Tarte Tatin and dedicate it to Angelica!* For obvious reasons Angelica had never tried a Beetroot Tarte Tatin – which simply did not exist during her times. However, I thought that this recipe would perfectly correspond to her: it is vegetarian and contains a beetroot, one of the traditonal ingredients of the Russian cuisine.  Beautiful glazed beets, crisp buttery pastry and creamy goat’s cheese: this delicious dish will brighten up any winter table. Perfect as a light lunch or served with pink roast venison. Serves 4 75g golden caster sugar 40g butter A splash of sherry vinegar 1 tbsp honey 7 thyme sprigs 4 fresh beetroot, cooked 250g puff pastry 4 slices of goat’s cheese Salt and black pepper 1 Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Place a smallish, heavy, oven-safe frying pan over a medium heat. Add the sugar to the pan and stir until it dissolves, then add a big pinch of salt, all the butter and a splash of sherry vinegar. Keep stirring until it has turned mahogany brown. It’s a good idea to use oven gloves to protect your hands. Take care not to let the sugar burn. 2 Add 1 tbsp honey to the pan. Pick the thyme leaves from 6 stalks and add them too. Remove from the heat and stir. Place a long sprig of thyme on top of the caramel for decoration. 3 Cut the cooked beetroot into nice fat slices and carefully (so […]

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Angelica’s recipes – Beetroot keftedes

25.11.2016 Posted in Cooking, Writing No Comments

As you know my biography of Angelica Balabanoff ‘The Strange Comrade Balabanoof: The Life of a Communist Rebel‘ has been published in June 2016 by McFarland Publishers. To celebrate the launch of the book I decided to devote my blog to Angelica’s lifestyle, friends, recipes and places where she lived during her long and interesting life. I decided to try today’s recipe beetroot keftedes because it is vegetarian and red.  Vegetrain is to honor Angelica and red is to honor my website. These Greek-influenced beetroot fritters can be served hot or cold, accompanied by beetroot tzatziki. Serves 4. Ingredients: 200g fresh beetroot, cooked, peeled and coarsely grated 2 spring onions, finely chopped 3 tbsp parmesan, grated 240g feta cheese, crumbled 1 egg, beaten 2 tbsp dill, finely chopped 2 tbsp mint or parsley, finely chopped 220g breadcrumbs 60g plain flour Peanut or vegetable oil, for frying 1 lemon Salt and black pepper 1 Mix the beetroot, spring onions, cheese, egg and herbs together. Season, then mix in enough breadcrumbs to bind the mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. 2 Shape the mixture into golfball-size pieces, adding a little flour if the mixture is too wet. 3 Season the flour and coat the balls in it. Heat the oil until hot, but not smoking, and fry the pieces in batches for 2-3 minutes until golden all over. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Serve hot with a squeeze of lemon. It is delicious!!!! Recipe from The Modern Vegetarian by Maria Elia […]

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How Slavic Became the Flavor of the Moment

11.11.2016 Posted in Cooking, Food No Comments

Fermented, foraged, whole-grain and invigoratingly herbal, the flavors of the moment are straight out of Central and Eastern Europe. Why does this old-world food seem so right-now? (published in The Wall Street Journal http://www.wsj.com/articles/how-slavic-became-the-flavor-of-the-moment-1478110466) SUPER BOWL | Silesian dumplings in carrot broth (kluski slaskie), served at Apteka in Pittsburgh. PHOTO: F. MARTIN RAMIN/THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, FOOD STYLING BY SARAH KARNASIEWICZ, PROP STYLING BY CARLA GONZALEZ-HART By SARAH KARNASIEWICZ Updated Nov. 2, 2016 3:48 p.m. ET 30 COMMENTS STICK-TO-YOUR RIBS stews, vegetables simmered into submission, doughy dumplings as chubby and pale as a child’s fist: Mention Eastern European food to most Americans, and these are the images they’ll conjure. Never mind that at its largest, the U.S.S.R. covered one-sixth of the earth’s land, swallowing spice routes and diverse empires that were sustained by much more than pork and potatoes. Twenty-five years after the dissolution of the Soviet Union—and with more than 14 million Russian, Ukrainian and Polish Americans among us—popular notions of Slavic food have remained largely frozen in amber. SEE THE RECIPES Blame it on cultural baggage: The Slavic penchant for hospitality has always been most vigorously practiced at home, and the privations of life behind the Iron Curtain during most of the last century hardly made for a robust restaurant culture. Nevertheless, a new generation of stateside chefs is embracing Central and Eastern European ingredients and techniques, putting fresh—dare I say hip?—spins on a colorful cuisine that ranges far beyond stereotypical babushka cooking. At Apteka, a modern Polish restaurant […]

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Angelica’s recipes – Red Salad

21.10.2016 Posted in Cooking, Writing No Comments

As you know my biography of Angelica Balabanoff ‘The Strange Comrade Balabanoof: The Life of a Communist Rebel‘ has been published in June by McFarland Publishers. To celebrate the launch of the book I decided to devote my blog to Angelica’s lifestyle, friends, recipes and places where she lived during her long and interesting life. I was looking for a new recipe for dinner to mark the beautiful sunny days we are enjoying in Paris in October. As usually I wanted to find a recipe which corresponded to Angelica’s taste and would be reddish if possible. I came across this salad recipe while flipping through one of the fashion magazines in the bookstore ‘Drugstore’ on the Champs Elysees, Paris, while waiting to go to see a movie. I’m sorry I do not remember exactly the name of the magazine or the details of the recipe. The main ingredients: beetroot, potatoes and hareng reminded me of my childhood and my grandmother so I decided to improvise and make it at home. To make the Red Salad for two you will need: 1 beetroot (I took a precooked beetroot),  4 medium potatoes,  ½ apple, 1 small onion, 1 filet of hareng, and a few brines of cilantro (optional). For a dressing: olive oil, vinegar and mustard. To make the salad: Peel the potatoes with a vegetable peeler. Remove any sprouts and any green areas with the tip of a potato peeler. Place the potatoes in a large saucepan or pot. Add enough cold water to cover […]

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Angelica’s favorite dish – a vegeterian risotto

23.09.2016 Posted in Cooking, Writing No Comments

Creamy Tomato Risotto As you know my biography of Angelica Balabanoff ‘The Strange Comrade Balabanoof: The Life of a Communist Rebel‘ has been published in June by McFarland Publishers. To celebrate the launch of the book I decided to devote my blog to Angelica’s lifestyle, friends and recipes. Angelica was not much of a cook. In fact food was of little interest to her. She was also a vegeterian. I will devote today’s blog to Angelica’s favorite dish – a vegeterian risotto which her Italian friends Maria and Ivan Matteo Lombardo cooked for her when she visited them in Milan. Risotto is a popular versatile dish easy to make. No wonder that Angelica loved it. The creamy tomato risotto, which I tried to make yesterday, brings together the favorite Mediterranean ingredients. Adding the liquid from the tomatoes to the vegetarian stock underscores the flavor of the fresh tomatoes added at the very end. This is delicious made with any ripe red (or orange) tomatoes. Ingredients 400g can chopped tomato 1l vegetable stock knob of butter 1 tbsp olive oil 1 onion, finely chopped 2 garlic clove, finely chopped 1 rosemary  sprig, finely chopped 250g risotto rice 300g cherry tomato, halved small pack basil, roughly torn 4 tbsp grated Parmesan Serves 4 / Preparation time 10 mins / cooking time 40 min Tip the chopped tomatoes and half the stock into a food processor and pulse until smooth. Pour into a saucepan with the remaining stock, bring to a gentle simmer and keep over a low heat. Meanwhile, place the butter and […]

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Angelica’s recipes – Beetroot halva

12.08.2016 Posted in Cooking, Writing No Comments

As you know my biography of Angelica Balabanoff ‘The Strange Comrade Balabanoof: The Life of a Communist Rebel‘ has been published in June by McFarland Publishers. To celebrate the launch of the book I decided to make the Beetroot Halva. I chose this recipe for two reasons. Firstly Angelica was very fond of sweets, secondly I collect ‘reddish’ recipes which always make an interesting entry for my blog. Halva is one of the most delicious dishes you can make with beetroot. Serves 4 2 large, fresh beetroot 1 litre milk 3 tbsp caster sugar 5 tbsp unsalted butter 3 tbsp raisins A small handful of chopped cashew nuts A pinch of ground cardamom 1 Coarsely grate the beetroot. Place in a large, non-stick saucepan with the milk and cook, stirring occasionally, until the milk has dried off. It will take more than an hour. 2 Add the caster sugar and 4 tbsp of butter and cook, stirring, for another 15-20 minutes to help the beetroot caramelise. It will turn a lovely, deep red colour. 3 Meanwhile, gently heat 1 tsp of unsalted butter in a pan, then fry all the raisins with the cashews and a pinch of ground cardamom until the nuts are lightly golden. 4 Stir into the halva. Taste, adjust the sugar and serve hot. Anjum’s Indian Vegetarian Feast by Anjum Anand (Quadrille). To learn more about Angelica read About Angelica.

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Angelica’s recipes – Beetroot and ginger chocolate brownies

8.07.2016 Posted in Cooking, Writing No Comments

As you know my biography of Angelica Balabanoff ‘The Strange Comrade Balabanoof: The Life of a Communist Rebel‘ has been published in June by McFarland Publishers. To celebrate the launch of the book I decided to make the Beetroot and ginger chocolate brownies. I chose this recipe for two reasons. Firstly Angelica was very fond of sweets and chocolate, secondly I collect ‘reddish’ recipes which always make an interesting entry for my blog. Beetroot and ginger chocolate brownies These purple-hued brownies have an earthy taste and are a little fiery, giving you one of your five a day in a very wicked way. There is debate as to whether a brownie should be cakey or fudgy: these are definitely on the gooey side. Ingredients Makes 24 500g fresh beetroot 200 plain chocolate (70% cocoa) 100g unsalted butter, plus extra for the tin 1 tsp vanilla extract 250g golden caster sugar 3 eggs 100g plain flour 25g cocoa powder 3 balls of stem ginger  1 Line a 20cm x 30cm tray with greaseproof paper. Simmer the beetroot in hot water until soft, then, wearing rubber gloves, slip off the skins. (I used precooked beetroots). Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. 2 In a food processor, mix together the chocolate, hot beetroot, butter and vanilla extract until the mix is as smooth as you can get it. (As I used precooked beetroots which were cold, I first melted butter and chocolate for 3-4 minutes on a low heat, mixing it then in a […]

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Dinner with Mussolini – part II

8.04.2016 Posted in Cooking, Writing No Comments

Those who have been following my blog know that I have a book coming out about Angelica Balabanoff at McFarland Publishers in April, The Strange Comrade Balabanoff: The Life of a Communist Rebel. To celebrate the book launch, for the time being I will dedicate my blog to various themes about Angelica and amongst others her favorite recipes. In point of fact, Angelica did not cook. She was not even interested in food. For the majority of her life she was a vegetarian. Nonetheless, food played an important role in her existence. She used food to fight bourgeois traditions, which was the main battle of her life. My first blog post about Angelica’s recipes was devoted to her favorite food – cheese sandwiches. This one is about the only dish she could make – an omelet. This article is devoted to Angelica dinner with Mussolini, and the dish they ordered “Pastasciutta”. In her book “The Traitor” Angelica described their dinner “… delicious macaroni with cheese, past’asciutta, house wine [for Mussolini] and water” for Angelica. Trying to put myself in Angelica’s shoes, even though I did not have anyone in front of me to act as Mussolini, I decided make both dishes. I have already cooked in one of the previous articles, Dinner with Mussolini – Part I – the first dish “Macaroni with Cheese”. Here is Pastasciutta. First of all – what is it? Pastasciutta (pastashoota) is the Italian word for any pasta and sauce dishe in Italy. If you are going […]

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Angelica’s recipes – Pink pancakes

11.03.2016 Posted in Cooking No Comments

Those who have been following my blog know that I have a book coming out about Angelica Balabanoff at McFarland Publishers in April, The Strange Comrade Balabanoff: The Life of a Communist Rebel. To celebrate the book launch, for the time being I will dedicate my blog to various themes about Angelica and amongst others her favorite recipes. In point of fact, Angelica did not cook. She was not even interested in food. For the majority of her life she was a vegetarian. Nonetheless, food played an important role in her existence. She used food to fight bourgeois traditions, which was the main battle of her life. My first blog post about Angelica’s recipes was devoted to her favorite food – cheese sandwiches. This one is about the only dish she could make – an omelet. I will be honest. I’m cheating in this article about the Pink Pancakes . I do not know if Angelica has ever tired to make pancakes in her life, not to mention the beetroot ones. However I had two good reasons to make them. Firstly, it is a vegeterian and simple recipe, which is also RED because of the beetroot. Grated beetroot makes these pretty-in-pink pancakes a talking point at breakfast (or not, if you’re slipping vegetables into a fussy eater’s diet on the quiet). Secondly, it is also a week of Maslenitsa in Russia or crepe week – the last week before Great Lent, the week when Russian people make crepes, so I really wanted […]

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Angelica’s recipes – Ideal Meal on a Budget

12.02.2016 Posted in Cooking, Writing No Comments

Those who have been following my blog know that I have a book coming out about Angelica Balabanoff at McFarland Publishers in September, The Strange Comrade Balabanoff: The Life of a Communist Rebel. To celebrate the book launch, for the time being I will dedicate my blog to various themes about Angelica and amongst others her favorite recipes. In point of fact, Angelica did not cook. She was not even interested in food. For the majority of her life she was a vegetarian. Nonetheless, food played an important role in her existence. She used food to fight bourgeois traditions, which was the main battle of her life. My first blog post about Angelica’s recipes was devoted to her favorite food – cheese sandwiches. This one is about the only dish she could make – an omelet. All her life Angelica rented small rooms, moving every two years to a new place. And if the rooms had cooking facilities (which was not always the case), she had a pan to make omelets. I have already made an omelet to honor Angelica in my blog of July 10, 2015. Today’s omelet is not an ordinary one. It is an omelet she used to make when she lived on a low budget in Paris in the 1920s-1930s and when ” An omelet of two eggs beaten with a bit of bread soaked in milk was a royal and rare meal.” To make it I got: 2 free-range eggs, salt, freshly ground black pepper, 2 […]