Saturday, September 20, 2014

Blintzes from Russia

 
Today on in the Mega Marathon which has been christened as “Around the World in 30 Days” let us visit Russia!

If you are about my age you will remember the Span and the “Adventures of Misha.” How I used to wait to see what she came up with next.

Apeksha, my elder daughter has been always after me for pancakes. And as I was researching Russia for some reason she borrowed the laptop, the rest is history this was the page that I was on. If that was not enough after that she was trying to convince me to do crêpes as a Sub-category in street food….

On the day I made these Blintzes it was pouring and we had a lot of guests. The idea was to remake the dish for better pics. Never got down to it. Hope to remake these delicious Blintzes again soon!

According to Wikipedia, “A blin (pl. blini), blintchik (pl. blintchiki) or blintz is a type of thin pancake.  Blintzes are thin pancakes that typically lack a leavening agent and are similar to crêpes, whereas blini are typically thicker and include a leavening agent.

Traditionally Russian blini are made with yeasted batter, which is left to rise and then diluted with cold or boiling water/ milk. When diluted with boiling water, they are referred to as zavarniye blini and were baked in a Russian oven. Though the blini are pan fried they are cooking of blini is still referred to as baking in Russian.

 French crêpes made from unyeasted batter (usually made of flour, milk, and eggs) are also common in Russia.  Flours used for making blini range from wheat and buckwheat to oatmeal and millet, although wheat is currently the most popular.

Blintzes are made in Jewish cuisine too; blintzes that are stuffed with a cheese filling and then fried in oil are served on holidays such as Chanukah (as oil played a pivotal role in the miracle of the Chanukah story) and Shavuot (when dairy dishes are traditionally served within the Ashkenazi minhag). Blintzes are called "blinchiki" in Russian, and are ordinarily stuffed before frying a second time. Fillings include chocolate, mushrooms, meat, rice, mashed potatoes, and cheese.

Blintzes are the traditional meal in Lithuania during Fat Tuesday.

Buckwheat blini are part of traditional Russian cuisine. They are also widespread in Ukraine, where they are sometimes known as hrechanyky (Ukrainian: гречаники), and Lithuania’s Dzūkija   region, the only region in the country where buckwheat is grown, where they are called Grikių blynai.”



Blintz

Recipe Source: Tony Avey
Ingredients:
  For The Blintzes:

  • 2 cup Maida or APF
  • 2 cup milk
  • 2 tblspn sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tblspn oil
  • 2 tblspn baking powder

Ingredients for the Filling:

  • 1 cup fresh paneer, crumbled
  • ¼ cup cream
  • 1/8 cup sugar
  • 1 egg yolk (optional)
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Pinch of salt
Method:

  • Blend all of the blintz ingredients together using a blender or electric hand mixer. You can blend with a fork too but remember that the batter should not have any lumps.
  • Warm up a non-stick tava/skillet until hot.
  • The tava/skillet is ready check the heat . Sprinkle a drop of water and if it sizzles on the surface of the of the tava , your tava is ready. If the water pops or jumps out of the pan, the skillet it too hot—let it cool slightly before starting.  
  • Grease the tava/skillet generously with cooking oil.
  • Pour the pancake batter using a 1/3 cup into the pan.
  • Tilt the pan in a circular motion till the batter coats the entire bottom of the pan in a large, thin circular shape.
  • Cook for 60-75 seconds until the edges of the blintz brown and the bottom of the blintz is lightly golden. The pancake is done when the centre of the pancake's surface is dry and slightly tacky to the touch.
  • Remove the pancake with a spatula and place it on a plate.
  • Keep the blintzes separated by pieces of butter paper or paper towels to prevent the blintzes from sticking together.
  • Similarly cook all the blintzes.
Now make the filling:
  • Put all of the filling ingredients into a chutney bowl of the blender and pulse it. The filling should not be smooth. But should be well blended.
  • Now let’s assemble the blintzes
  •  Put about 3 tblspn of filling on the lower part of the blintz, about an inch from the edge.
  • Now fold the lower edge of the blintz covering up the filling, say about till the centre.
  • Now fold the sides of the blintz inward, as though you’re folding an envelope.
  • Roll the blintz up and over the filling like a burrito, tucking the edges in as you roll.
  • Finish them all. Then let’s fry them…
  • Heat about ¼ cup of oil in a non-stick pan over medium until hot.
  •  Cook the blintzes in batches see that you have enough space to turn them easily in the pan. Gently lay the flapside down in the oil (take care the oil is hot).
  • The oil will sizzle after 1 ½ to 2 minutes flip carefully the blintzes. They will be brown and crispy.
  • Fry the flipped side again for a 1 ½ - 2 minutes till they are browned evenly.
  • Serve blintzes warm as they are or topped with fruit topping, sour cream, applesauce, whipped cream or maple syrup.


Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 44




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Friday, September 19, 2014

Vegetarian Shawarma Recipe for Quatar



Vegetarian Shawarma
We love Shawarma now !
It was introduced to me by my elder daughter as I was constantly complaining that she does not eat at home. “What do you eat at Miramar that I cannot make?”   Now throw this challenge to a teenager and be prepared to face the consequences.
She took me to Miramar and fed me Shawarma.  She was shocked that I did not like it. It was bland and I felt not something as good as she described.  
Somewhere around that time it was Wine Festival better known as Grape Escapade  and after our visit there   all of us , we are about 20 of us here ,wanted something to eat.  Most places were closed so we went for Shawarma.  Me grumbling that what muck we have to eat, and imagine 18 of them pouncing on you telling you are you crazy….
This time the place was better and the Shawarma was awesome. Both my husband and I liked it.   

Thursday, September 18, 2014

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Vegetarian Anticucheras or Anticuchos from Peru

Anticucheras or Anticuchos
 According to Wikipedia,” Peruvian cuisine reflects local practices and ingredients—including influences from the indigenous population including the Inca and cuisines brought in with immigrants from Europe (Spanish cuisine, Italian cuisine, German cuisine), Asia (Chinese cuisine and Japanese cuisine) and West Africa. Without the familiar ingredients from their home countries, immigrants modified their traditional cuisines by using ingredients available in Peru.
The four traditional staples of Peruvian cuisine are corn, potatoes and other  tubers, Amaranthaceaes  (Quinoa, Kañiwa and kiwicha) and legumes (beans and lupins). Staples brought by the Spanish include rice, wheat and meats (beef, pork and chicken).
The US food critic Eric Asimov has described it as one of the world's most important cuisines and as an exemplar of fusion cuisine, due to its long multicultural history. “
But I was interested in Street Food…. My chosen theme for the Mega Marathon that we have going for this month at Blogging Marathon which is named “Around the World In 30 Days” where we are blogging international cuisine alphabetically.  So toady for P I have chosen Peru.
In Peru, anticuchos, a type of kebab, are often sold by street vendors called anticucheras. Also, cuy, a species of Guinea Pig is served as a delicacy on religious holidays.
So I made anticucheras, okay you are right I did not use any meat I used potatoes….
Anticucheras or Anticuchos

Vegetarian Anticucheras or Anticuchos

Recipe Source: Food.com.com

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg /4-5 big potatoes cut into wedges of about 2 inches long
  • 8-10 small onions
  • 2 cucumbers cut in thick roundels
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tblspn jeera/cumin powder
  • 1 tsp kali mirchi/ pepper corns  ground
  • salt  to taste
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 tblspn fresh parsley, finely minced
  • 2 tblspn dhania/ coriander leaves, finely minced
  • 4 dried chillies
  • ¼   cup oil plus 1 or 2 tblspn as needed
  • 4-5 ears corn on the cob, cooked (save some of the husk)



Method:

  • Par -boil the potatoes with a little salt.
  • Soak the red chillies in hot water until they are soft. You could remove the seeds if you feel like. That will make the chillies less spicy. 
  • Blend the vinegar, garlic, dried chilli, cumin powder, pepper powder, parsley and coriander leaves with ¼ cup of the oil until you have a soft paste. 
  • Pour it on the pieces of potato and onions distribute evenly so all pieces are well covered and can absorb the marinade. Adjust the seasonings.
  • Cover and let sit in the refrigerator. I marinated the pieces in the morning and cooked them in the afternoon.   
  • I added the cucumber just before the grilling but that was a bad idea. They should have gone in before at least 1 hour before the actual grilling.
  • In the meantime, place thick bamboo skewers to soak in water so they don't burn when they go on the grill if you are using bamboo skewers. I used the stainless steel ones. 
  • In case you plan to use a charcoal grill and make sure the coals are very hot before you start.  I grilled them on the gas.
  • Arrange the potatoes, cucumber and onions on the skewer.
  • Save the rest of the marinade in a cup or small bowl and add the1 tblspn of the oil to it, mix well. This will be used for basting the potatoes on the grill.
  • Tie some pieces of fresh corn husk with a string made out of some more husk and shred them half the way to make a kind of brush and use it for basting. 
Anticucheras or Anticuchos
  •  If like me you are grilling over the gas stove then place the potatoes on the stove and baste them generously with the leftover marinade and oil mix. But be careful as this will drip and  cause the coals/gas to flame.  Make sure it flames over because this is what gives the anticuchos their distinctive flavour.
Anticucheras or Anticuchos
  • Cook them well basting and flaming until they are done.
  • In case you are cooking on coal fire then at the same time, place the pieces of corn and potatoes on a corner of the grill, baste them with the same marinade and allow them to be flamed too.
  • Serve the skewers in each plate.
  • Serve hot, right out of the grill, don't let it get cold! ENJOY! 











Hi! First time here? Well then you are Most Welcome! I hope you keep coming back for more here. If you are my regular visitor then Thanks, for you encourage me to experiment more!! I would like you to please click on my link below and like my Facebook Page. I will be happy if you can follow me on on Twitter too!

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