Tag: eggs

All The Z’s – Part 2 – Zakusi, My Way

For today’s venture into the world of food that starts with the letter z, we are travelling both to Russia and back to one of the first books I  ever featured on this blog – the totally bonkers Food For Lovers by Kellly Brodsky.

 The Zakusi were the perfect option as I have been waiting for an opportunity to use a gorgeous deviled egg dish given to me by my gorgeous friend Ali! 

Zakusi1

How adorable is this? But you know what’s really weird?  Sometimes I look at this photo and the eggs are concave (as they should be) and sometimes they look convex…

Zakusi2

But first, let’s talk about Food For Lovers. You can get the whole crazy by clicking the link above.  But for a tiny dose, read on.

The Zakusi recipe comes from the Freddy Finikin chapter.  The what you ask?  

Well, each chapter in Food For Lovers is named for a specific type of potential suitor – and provides the dishes to woo them – the way to a man’s heart being through his stomach and all…

Zakusi3

Here is part of the description of the Freddy Finikin:

Picky eaters make lousy lovers, so they say, and perhaps abstinence from gastronomic delights goes naturally hand in hand with lack of enthusiasm for amorous pursuits…The woman who falls for such a man is either unaware of his finickiness, or trapped,  or mad, or maybe she prefers to read in bed.

Brodsky then goes on to suggest that food to tempt a Freddy might include:

“Erotic cookery, the subtle use of aphrodisiacal dishes….eggs, caviar and roe”

Zakusi5

And in specific relation to the Zakusi 

“If his romantic inclinations are antiseptically bleak, stuff him with some potent Russian caviar, and before you know it he will be flinging himself into some exciting Cossack high kicks on the kitchen table, and perhaps in the boudoir”

So, if you want your fussy eater cavorting like this guy in the bedroom (and who wouldn’t?) then Zakusi is for you! And him. 

The original recipe reads like this:

“Take as many boiled eggs as you like, cut in half lengthwise and remove the yolks. Now fill the whites liberally with Russian caviar, sprinkled with lemon juice.  Arrange eggs on your brightest platter and decorate with a little bit of chopped dill, white onion and chopped tomato.  Top with a dab of mayonnaise, a sprinkle of egg yolk an paprika.   Now bring on lashings of chilled vodka in those crazy little glasses and lots of richly buttered black bread.

Well, we’re not doing that because do you have any idea how much Russian caviar costs?  

Zakusi4

But we’re going to take the elements and make something equally delish!

Zakusi
A delicious version of a classic Russian hors doeuvre
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Ingredients
  1. 5 large eggs, boiled
  2. 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  3. 1/2 chopped tomato
  4. 1/4 finely chopped red onion
  5. 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  6. 2 tsp chopped dill
  7. 3 tsp salmon roe
  8. Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Halve the eggs legnthwise and carefully scoop out the yolks.
  2. Place in a bowl with the mayo, tomato, onion, paprika and half of the dill.
  3. Season to taste.
  4. Scoop this mixture back into the egg whites.
  5. Top with salmon roe and the remaining dill.
  6. For an authentic Russian feel, serve with vodka and black bread!
  7. хороший аппетит*
  8. *Enoy your meal in Russian
Adapted from Food For Friends by Kelly Brodsky (1973)
Adapted from Food For Friends by Kelly Brodsky (1973)
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
Zakusi7

So tell me?  Do you see the egg holes on that dish as concave or convex?

And what’s your favourite food starting with a Z?

Have a great week!  

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Anne’s Poetical Egg Salad Sandwiches

One of the absolute delights of my childhood was discovering the Anne of Green Gables set of books by Lucy Maud Montgomery.  They were my favourite books for years!  And to be honest, although I haven’t read one in forever, I still have the entire series and it wouldn’t take much for me to be again drawn into the world of Matthew and Marilla, Diana Barry and Gilbert Blythe and the adorable red-haired, high-spirited feisty girl known as Anne of Green Gables.  And that’s Anne with an E and don’t you forget it!

Anne Books

These books taught me so much about the world – about love, about friendship and family, about how it’s okay to be different (and how to embrace that difference).  Oh, and how I wasn’t the only person in the world who constantly had to spell their name to people to ensure that they got it right!   

So I was overjoyed to find out that there is an Anne of Green Gables Cookbook.  And beside myself to be given a free ARC from NetGalley and Race Point Publishing to review!  Thank you so much!

First up, this book is gorgeous!  The illustrations and the photos are beautiful.  And all of the recipes are referenced to the exact place in the books where they occurred..which a pedant like me totally loves!

I choose to make Anne’s Poetical Egg Salad sandwiches.  And they were delicious. 

Anne's Poetical Egg Salad SandwichesOMG…these were so good!

I think sometimes it’s hard when blogging to present something as simple as these sandwiches because…..well…it’s egg salad right and everyone knows how to make that.  so why bother?  But this is also real food, the kind of food I want to make. Eat. Repeat. 

Recipe?  Here.

And you can also fancy these up.  The version you are looking at has some chives in the mix.  It’s great with lettuce in the sandwich.  To make it really fancy, a slice of smoked salmon is divine!

Poetical Egg Salad Sandwich5

I adored this book almost as much as the novels that inspired it!  

Poetical Egg Salad Sandwich7

And as we head into the new year, some rules for living from Miss Anne Shirley:

ON FRIENDS

 

ON MAKING MISTAKES

1985AnneGreenHair

ON MAKING AN EFFORT

Anne effort

ON ATTITUDE

Anne and Marilla (1)

ON LOVE

Gilbert

THE FUTURE

Anne2

And on that note sweet people, I’m going to bid you adieu for 2017. 

Thank you for reading, commenting, liking, sharing.  You’re the best and most wonderful kindred spirits ever!

And for all of you, all my very, very best for a joyful 2018!  May it bring it everything you wish for!

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Eggs With Spinach and Fashion Tips From Dinah Shore

Eggs and Spinach are a classic combo. Think Eggs Florentine, Spinach Quiche or Spinach Soufflé.  Well today we are using eggs and spinach to create a twist on the dish The A -Z of Cooking calls Eggs With Spinach.  Uh huh.  What it lacks in imagination, it makes up for in precision.  But it’s also from a chapter called Watching Your Weight and, to be honest, the original recipe was a little meh….So, whilst staying in the spirit of Eggs with Spinach here’s my version.  What it lacks in weight watching, it makes up for in flavour. 

Given that choice, always make flavour the winner.  Just go for a run the next day!

Eggs withspinach6My eggs and spinach recipe contains spinach lightly sauteed in garlic, mixed with a little cream, sprinkled with nutmeg, topped with cheese and baked with an egg until the white is set and the yolk is runny perfection!

Eggs with Spinach1Did anyone say brunch?  These eggs with spinach scale up really well for a group at brunch or make a great quick and easy supper for one!

Eggs with Spinach2

I used fresh baby spinach in my Eggs with Spinach, however you could use frozen.  Below is a great vintage ad for frozen spinach.  Note the awesome striped t-shirt being worn by Dinah Shore and the perfectly coordinated polka dot apron.  She’s rocking my favourite patterns and showing that the rule of “blue and green should never be seen” is as dumb AF.   Go Dinah. Vintage Spinach2OMG, I only just noticed her gorgeous green shoes with the bows.  I want that entire outfit!  I wonder if  back in the day women everywhere were also exclaiming “Glory be….fuck the spinach, get me that t-shirt and those shoes…” 

Does anyone say “Glory be” anymore? 

Did anyone ever?

Before we travel down that etymological rabbit hole here’s the recipe:

Eggs with Spinach
Serves 2
A delicious quick and easy dish for brunch, lunch or supper!
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Ingredients
  1. 500g baby spinach
  2. 1 garlic clove, crushed
  3. 25g butter
  4. salt and pepper
  5. 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  6. 2 tbsp cream
  7. 4 tbsp grated cheddar cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced.
  2. Lightly grease four 3/4 cup-capacity ovenproof dishes.
  3. Wash the baby spinach.
  4. Melt the butter in a frying pan over medium heat and add the garlic.
  5. Saute for a minute or two until the garlic softens but does not change colour.
  6. Add the spinach and stir until just wilted, about 2 minutes.
  7. Take off the heat and stir in the cream and nutmeg.
  8. Divide the spinach into two and place in two ramekin dishes.
  9. Make an indent in the middle and break and egg into each.
  10. Sprinkle the cheese over the top.
  11. Season with salt and pepper.
  12. Bake for around 15 minutes or until the egg white is just set but yolk is still runny.
  13. Remove from oven. Stand for 2 minutes.
  14. Serve with toast.
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
If you would also like to rock Dinah’s look here is my take on it:

The Dinah CollectionTop:

Scarf (Replaces Apron)   or add a bit of green with something like this

Skirt

Shoes     And more shoes

That was awesome fun!  Now I gotta go do it in real life.  Have a good one!

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A Not So Speedy Omelette – A RFFMT Recipe Revamp

The  original recipe for a Speedy Omelette comes from the “Unexpected Guest” Chapter of The A-Z of Cooking. Two things, first I’m not a fan of the unexpected guest and would more than likely not feed them at all.  It would be Deliveroo at best. Second, we, me, all of us are up to U…the end of the A-Z is nigh.  Not long to go now….let’s celebrate with an omelette.

In many ways, the chapter on how to feed your  Unexpected Guest is actually a primer on how to punish your unexpected guest because the recipes are almost singularly yecchhhh!!!!  The speedy omelette is by far the best recipe in the chapter but then again the chapter contains these delightful titbits so that’s not saying much.

Appetizer – Chilled Ten Minute Potato Soup

Made from dehydrated onions and Smash.  Served chilled.  Did someone say runny, cold fake mashed potatoes?

Talk about revenge being a dish best served cold.  This is quite clearly a dish for the passive aggressive host.  “Oh, I do so like surprises.  And I hope you do too.  Have some soup”.

I always find ads where something is encouraging you to eat itself kind of  creepy.  Is anthrophomorphic-cannibalism-phobia a thing?  Because I think I have it.  As off-putting as this is, I would still much rather eat Potato Pete’s soup than the ten minute chilled variety.

Main – Storecupboard Casserole

Yippee – more Smash! This time a revolting combination of spaghetti sauce mix, tinned tomatoes, canned ham, canned corn and green pepper. So the only fresh thing is the worst vegetable ever.

The recipe also contains the following sentences:

“Add the ham with some of the jelly from the can.  Don’t add too much jelly or the sauce will be too thin”.

No shit don’t add too much.  You know how much canned ham jelly is too much? 

Any. 

Those three words should not even exist together.  Urgghhhhhh!!!! 

This lady advertising this canned ham looks as miserable as hell. Probably because she’s’ thinking “Not only is “If it were a tomato you could squeeze it” about the dumbest advertising slogan in the entire  world but that can better be sealed correctly.  Because they are not paying me enough to get leaked on with canned ham jelly”.

Then there is:

Make up the mashed potato according to the directions on the packet, but add a little milk so that it will be soft enough to spread.

What texture is it normally?  Rock?  I honestly don’t know.  I had a proper mother who only ever made mashed potatoes out of potatoes.  Let’s just be thankful they didn’t tell you to thin out your fake mashed potatoes with some canned ham jelly.

Wow right?  That’s casserole is not even passive aggressive. It’s had a few too Stellas and is just flat out SCREAMING in the street,  “Don’t ever fucking come to my house without an invitation again.  Because I have canned ham jelly and I’m not afraid to use it”.

 

Dessert – Ice Cream with Jam Sauce.

The first time I typed this I wrote Ice cream with ham sauce.  That is how traumatised I am by the preceding recipe. 

This is actually ok.  Hot jam with a bit of oj.  On ice cream. 

Boring.

But not disgusting. 

Which given the rest of the meal is a huge bonus.

The Original Speedy Omelette

Speedy Omelette recipe

Admittedly, even in it’s original state, this is not as vile as the above recipes.  It probably won’t send your unexpected guests screaming from the building and unfriending you on Facebook.  On the downside, it may also not teach them that turning up unannounced is totally obnoxious. 

he Speedy Omelette Revamp

However, let’s drift into the realm of fantasy and suppose that your uninvited guest is actually someone that doesn’t have you gritting your teeth and wondering if you can put ground glass into their drink.  Maybe it’s that cute guy, you know the one from the bar / cafe / work / gym.  The one with the eyes / smile / butt / six pack.  And you want to do a bit better than the speedy omelette?  Why not try my non-speedy omelette?

Cut a potato into a small dice, heat some oil in a pan and panfry until golden. 

Speedy Omelette2Meantime, lightly steam some asparagus and grate some cheese.

Make your omelette and pile in your filings, reserving the asparagus spears for the garnish.  Warm through so the cheese goes melty, flip and serve!

Speedy Omelette5This will take a little longer to make than the Speedy Omelette above but hey, if he’s that cute why would you not want him hanging around for as long as poss?  Hell, crack open a bottle of wine, Elizabeth David style and make a night of it!

Speedy Omelette6

Not So Speedy Omelette with Potatoes and Asparagus
A delicious modern spin on a 1970's recipe
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Ingredients
  1. 1 large potato peeled and diced into 1cm cubes
  2. 1 bunch asparagus
  3. 3 eggs
  4. 1 tbsp water
  5. 50g Cheddar cheese, grated
  6. butter or oil for pan
Instructions
  1. Cook the potatoes in boiling water for 4-5 minutes.
  2. Drain in a colander and allow to dry completely.
  3. Heat oil or butter in a non-stick pan.
  4. Add the potatoes.
  5. Stir and toss occasionally as they cook.
  6. When they are golden brown on all sides, place on kitchen paper to drain.
  7. Chop the tips of the asparagus off and then slice lengthwise.
  8. Steam over boiling water for 2 minutes
  9. Plunge into cold water and then place on kitchen paper to drain.
  10. Whisk the eggs with the water,salt and pepper.
  11. Melt more butter into the pan the potatoes were cooked in. Cook until it sizzles.
  12. Pour in the egg mixture and tilt the pan so the mixture covers the base.
  13. As the omelette starts to set, loosen the mixture from around the edges and tilt the pan so the liquid egg flows underneath.
  14. Spoon the filling onto the omelette whilst the top is still a bit runny (it will continue to cook after you fold it).
  15. Fold and serve garnished with the asparagus tips.
Notes
  1. If you don't have or don’t like asparagus, sub in mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes, ham, rocket or crabmeat. You can also swap out the Cheddar for Gruyere, feta, goat's cheese, mozzarella or your favourite cheese!
Adapted from The A-Z of Cooking (1977)
Adapted from The A-Z of Cooking (1977)
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/

Have a fabulous week.

And remember, if this blog was a tomato, you could squeeze it. 

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Neapolitan Easter Bread

Looking for something different to make this Easter?  This Neapolitan Easter Bread  aka Casatiello Napoletano could be just the thing!  Who can resist the smell of freshly baked bread?  And when that bread is stuffed with salami, bacon, cheese eggs and olives it becomes even more irresistible!  

Neapolitan Easter Bread1

Meantime though, who can believe it’s already Easter?  Where has this year gone?  March is always super busy for me at work and this year has been no exception.  I’ve been working into the early hours of the morning some days!  So, despite my best intentions of blogging MORE this year, it has actually turned into less. It’s also been hard to settle into a routine; with my step father’s passing earlier in the year I am living part of the week at my mum’s house and part of the week at home so my usual routines have had to change.  It has been a hard time in many respects but also has been great spending more time with mum from catching a movie to a manicure to painting classes and most importantly cooking and eating together. 

Neapolitan Easter Bread4

However, March madness is over at work, it all should be smooth sailing from here, right?   Maybe not…I have a crazy May coming up but that is filled with travels and fun rather than work.  Can’t wait.    However, let’s get back to the bread!  I used the Food 52 recipe for Neapolitan Easter Bread except I swapped out the ham for salami. Another difference between this recipe and more traditional versions is that chopped hard boiled eggs are included in the filling whereas traditional versions have them whole on the top of the loaf:

Traditional Neapolitan Easter Bread

I thought having the  eggs on top like that would make it quite difficult to eat!  And believe me, you will want to eat this, it is soooo good!

Neapolitan Easter BreadAnd the good news is that, if you don’t eat it all at once, it keeps really well. I’ve had it in my fridge for nearly a week now and it is still great when you place it under the grill to toast. 

The bread dough was easy to make and  turned out perfectly. 

 

Neapolitan Easter Bread2Then it was simply to put on the filing, roll it up and pop it in the oven. 

The Neapolitan Easter Bread is lovely warm just as it comes!  Food 52 suggest pesto or chimichurri as n accompaniment.  Warm with butter is superb!  Warm with a little bit of guac is also pretty damn special.!!!!

We ALL wanted a slice of it!

Neapolitan Easter Bread3Speaking of Easter, how cute is this little vintage bunny vase of my mum’s?

Bunny VaseHave a wonderful Easter everyone.  I hope the bunny brings you all the chocolate (Or Neapolitan Easter Bread) you wish for! 

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