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Stuffed vine leaves – with yoghurt sauce and warm!

The Smallest Kitchen

Stuffed vine leaves - with yoghurt sauce and warm!

Here’s a new recipe for stuffed vine leaves! They are one of my favorites and yes, it requires patience but the result is priceless!

Serves 4 people

30 vine leaves parboiled and cooled
1 glass of white or brown rice, half glass of bulgur wheat
a bunch of dill, chopped finely
salt and pepper
grated onion
spicy red pepper paste
pine nuts – optional for the warm version
olive oil

for the sauce:
olive oil, yoghurt, garlic and mint

Ok, this is not your usual stuffed vine leaves, it is more wintery and warming! Because it is served warm and with a nice yoghurt sauce.

How to make it?

1.Mix the grated onion, finely chopped dill, rice and bulgur. Add some salt and pepper.
2. Fill each of the vine leaves, by placing a spoonful of the stuffing first then closing from the bottom ends slowly. Place some of the…

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How to make your own Sourdough bread?

sourdoughbread

I think cooking sourdough bread should be considered an art form. Cooking any bread is an amazing experience but using your own sourdough starter and getting it right is such a happy moment:)

HOW TO MAKE SOURDOUGH BREAD?

1 table spoon olive oil

1 tbsp sugar (levelled)

1 tbsp salt (levelled)

240 ml lukewarm water

240g sourdough starter (Here’s a link on how to make it)

3 glasses of white strong flour ( You can experiment with any type of flour but I wanted to try this one first)

A wooden spoon

A large bowl

If possible, a French banneton proofing basket

A shallow baking tray for the bread

A deep baking tray for water

Baking paper

Knife

Preparation

1 – Put the water in a bowl and then add your starter. Some people say that if it doesn’t sink, then your starter is correct but I didn’t notice.

2 – Add the flour and then, olive oil, sugar and salt. Stir and mix well with a wooden spoon but not knead too long just shape it. My mom’s suggestion: Always use a wooden spoon and never put it in a dishwasher.

3 – Sprinkle flour all over the dough, place in a bowl then cover it with clingfilm. Rest it aside for a couple of hours. Once it has risen a little, put the bowl in the fridge and keep there for at least 15 hours. I prepared the dough one afternoon and took it outside on the following morning.

4 – In the morning, take it outside the fridge, cover the Banneton with some flour then place the dough in it. Rest it for a couple of more hours. Your dough is ready to cook!

Cooking

Put the tray with water inside the oven on a lower rung. Heat the oven to 230 C. This will create a moist climate.

Place baking paper in the shallow tray, and place the bread on top. 

Make a cross or a shape on top of the bread with a knife.

Cook for about 10 minutes or so until the cut points start opening up slightly.

Then lower the heat to 200 C and continue baking for 20-25 minutes more. 

Check occasionally and never open the oven. But if you think the top is getting too crusty, you can lower it a little after 10-15 mins. 

You will know that it is cooked:) Once out, rest on a rack. 

Enjoy! You’ve made your first sourdough bread, which has the yeast from wherever you live on Earth:) None of them will taste the same:)

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How to make your own Sourdough starter?

sourdoughstarterHi all,

I have to say, we managed to get this right at our fourth attempt! So it takes a while, but after trying this or that recipe, I finally managed to combine the knowledge from all of them to this. 

My first intention was to get a San Fransiscan sourdough starter as everyone was saying that is the best, but whilst I was there, I couldn’t get hold of one, so decided to look into other ways of finding it. Then, I realised that sourdough is sourdough, it gets everything it needs, the secret from the air that you breathe, from the flour you use. In order words, each sourdough will taste different depending on where you are. So mine is a Blackheathen sourdough and tastes very very nice : )

You will need:

200 grams white organic flour ( try to get the best you can)

200 ml lukewarm water

7- 8 dried raisins

a wooden spoon (definitely wooden, don’t ask me why, but the previous ones did not work so I stick with it)

a glass jar with a sealed top ( you will need a sealed top once it is ready, as you will put it in the fridge after a week)

a muslin 

a kitchen cloth

plastic band x  2

a measuring cup ( I used the measure which comes with my bread machine)

jar

But how?

Pick a time in the day that you can feed your starter. I chose the mornings but a couple of hours before or after does not matter too much in my experience. 

DAY 1

Pour 200 grams of flour and 200 ml lukewarm water into a glass jar. Add raisins and stir well with a wooden spoon. Don’t leave any flour balls inside. I stirred quite a lot, even though many recipes say the reverse. Cover it with muslin and attach a plastic band on top so it stays secure. Then cover it with a kitchen cloth and a plastic band again so it does not get any sunlight. I did not close the lid of the jar, it was wide open (apart from the cloth).

DAY 2 – 4

Feed 60-80g of flour and 60-90ml of lukewarm water to keep it up. Again, stir well with a wooden spoon and see the bubbles. If it starts going pink or weird colour and has very bad smell, it might be off possibly so start over. But don’t get disheartened and try adding flour and water first as sometimes it picks up. I felt like mine was about to go off as the water and the flour were separating, but apparently this is not a bad thing. As long as you have bubbles appearing once you mix well, it will be fine.

DAY 5 – 7 

It should be consistent by now and you can start taking enough out of the jar to bake your own bread around these days. 

Once your yeast is ready, feed it for a couple more days, then keep it in the fridge. Whenever you need to bake, take it out, feed flour and water then rest for a couple of hours outside. It will be ready again.

Here’s the recipe to make your own sourdough bread!

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Stuffed vine leaves – with yoghurt sauce and warm!

Stuffed vine leaves - with yoghurt sauce and warm!

Here’s a new recipe for stuffed vine leaves! They are one of my favorites and yes, it requires patience but the result is priceless!

Serves 4 people

30 vine leaves parboiled and cooled
1 glass of white or brown rice, half glass of bulgur wheat
a bunch of dill, chopped finely
salt and pepper
grated onion
spicy red pepper paste
pine nuts – optional for the warm version
olive oil

for the sauce:
olive oil, yoghurt, garlic and mint

Ok, this is not your usual stuffed vine leaves, it is more wintery and warming! Because it is served warm and with a nice yoghurt sauce.

How to make it?

1.Mix the grated onion, finely chopped dill, rice and bulgur. Add some salt and pepper.
2. Fill each of the vine leaves, by placing a spoonful of the stuffing first then closing from the bottom ends slowly. Place some of the torn leaves at the bottom of your pan. Then put each wrapped leaf tightly, next to each other.
3. Put a big spoonful of spicy rep pepper paste, in the a bowl of lukewarm water (suppose 4 glassses of water, enough to go on top of the piled, stuffed leaves in the pan) Also cover the food with a porcelain plate then put the lid on.
4. Start with high heat, once the water is boiled, simmer it down for until the leaves get softer. It takes about 20 – 25 minutes usually.
5. Crush one or two garlic to your taste and mix it well with a bowl full of yoghurt. Add some salt, mint and olive oil.
6. Once the food has cooled enough to eat, serve immediately with the sauce.
Enjoy : )

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Brown lentils, courgettes and bulgur wheat

brown lentil

I made this light lunch couple of days ago and since I made so much, it lasted for the following day as well. So, it serves 4. I forgot to take a picture but will replace the one above soon.
I suggest trying it with fine bulgur or even brown rice instead, it tastes good. Serve with any type of grilled meat or like I do, with halloumi. And a bit of salad.

What do I need?
1½ glasses of coarse bulgur wheat
2 or 2½ glasses of boiled water
1 large onion, chopped

2 or 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1½ green or red chilli peppers
1 finely chopped large courgette
1 tin of brown or green lentils, or soak your own
½ a bunch of fresh parsley, chopped (or use ¼ bunch of mint)
Black pepper and salt to taste
Olive oil

1. Fry the chopped onions and garlic until brown, then add the chopped chilli. But do not touch your eyes, like I did!

2. Whilst the onions and chillis are cooking, chop the courgettes in cubes then add them, stir well, over a medium hob.

3. Boil water in another sauce pan. Always boil more than you need and always have a sizing glass or cup. Mine is an old Nutella jar.  This will be kept to one side, and added to the other mixture as you go.

4. Mix the bulgur wheat into the courgette mixture.  Stir well, then add 2 cups of warm or boiling water. The water level should be just higher than the mixed veg and bulgur in the pan. Add the salt and pepper. Close the lid, bring it to boil.

5. Once boiled, turn the hob down to its lowest setting. Let it soak for about 5- 10 minutes.

6. Taste whether the bulgur is cooked.  If it is soft enough, then switch the hob off, and let the food rest for ten minutes.

Enjoy!

Celeriac soup with croutons and parsley

It has been a long year I have not updated this blog but back again with new and nice recipes.

Celeriac is a vegetable I quite often eat as marinated with olive oil but this time, I did a very British hearty version a soup!

It worked quite well with parsley.

Here is the recipe:

1 medium size celeriac, cut into cubes
1 medium size onion, chopped
1 medium size potato (grated)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2-3 spoonful of olive oil, butter makes it heavier for my taste

For the croutons:

1 spoonful of truffle oil
a big piece of rye bread, cut in cubes
And if you really want, single cream or yoghurt to top

The recipe is very easy, if you boil the celeriac cubes about 5 minutes separately, makes a difference.

Fry the onions and garlic then add the potatoes and a glass of warm water. Stir, then add the celeriac cubes. Cook about 5 minutes then add 4 – 5 glasses of warm water. It should cover the celeriac just about not too much, not less.

Bring it up to boil then simmer, close the lid. 20 minutes later, check the celeriac cubes, if they are almost melting, then it is time to blender. If not, cook a little bit more.

Once you blendered, you can add some single cream in. Or instead, when you are serving, add a dollop of yoghurt in the soup bowls.

For the croutons,

Get a small non stick pan, warm it up then add the bread cubes. You have to watch it carefully otherwise it burns. Add some truffle oil – you can use walnut oil as well – then add some mint and red pepper flakes, stir well.

Chop some parsley and use for decorating the soup.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Halwa – Helva- Semolina for weddings and funerals

halwa

Here we are with a very special recipe indeed… For weddings and funerals… to sweeten our mouths…

500 gr semolina
250 gr butter
1 pint (568 ml) semi skimmed milk
500 gr sugar (may be less)
pine nuts (as much as you like)
ground cinnamon

1. Heat the pan (I used an iron casserole) at maximum level, add the butter, once it is melted, add the pinenuts and roast them until they turn brownish.
2. Lower the heat on the hob, add the semolina and begin stirring it. Now this will take 35 – 40 minutes so you better have a good podcast on or some nice music or a book on the other hand!
3.  Once the colour of the semolina begins turning yellowish, switch the hob off.
4. Add the whole milk and continue stirring, because it is too hot, the semolina will absorb all of it.
5. Then add the sugar, switch the hob on (make sure it is the smallest one) continue stirring, it will look slurry, do not get disheartened it will taste delicious! Stir until the sugar melts and is absorbed by the semolina, it takes about 5 minutes so do not go anywhere otherwise you might burn it!
6. Switch the hob off, put a kitchen towel in between then close the lid, let it cool down a little bit.
7. Place the desert on a glass serving plate with the help of a big spoon. Serve with cinnamon!

Enjoy!