Patty pan summer squash with cous cous and camembert

Here is a really delicious comforting dish, If I am honest! First of all, I was wondering what to do with patty pan summer squash I bought from the farmers market and I decided to cook something similar to this recipe but this is totally my invention depending on what I found in the fridge and luckily worked out well! Although camembert is a heavy cheese, I think it gives a nice, creamy texture to squash!

A little note from Wikipedia, made me smile: The name “pattypan” derives from “a pan for baking a patty.” Its French name, “pâtisson,” derives from a Provençal word for a cake made in a scalloped mould.

What do I need to buy?

2 medium or big size patty pan summer squash
a glass of cous cous
left over half a pack of camembert (feta cheese or brie may be?)
two or three cloves of chrushed garlic
parmesan shavings
red pepper flakes or any spicy red pepper sauce
tomato or spicy pepper paste
dry mint (or fresh parsley)
olive oil

How to cook patty pan summer squash?

1. Put the squash into a pan full of water, bring it up to boil and keep until it is soft to let a fork go in.
2. Take them out, cut the tops with a knife and remove the seeds out.
3. Whilst the squash are cooling down, boil some water and pour it on cous cous (just over)
4. In another bowl, mix the camembert, red pepper flakes, one spoonful of tomato or red pepper paste, dry mint, crushed garlic and use a spoonful of watered yoghurt to mix them nicely.
5. Fill your squash with this stuffing then put some parmesan over. Grill them until the top part gets brownish.
6. Serve with some rocket salad and yoghurt!

Delicious!

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Red lentil soup

lentil soup

Irresistible, indispensable, irrevocable.. Red lentil it is.. Previously you might have seen another recipe with them. Actually I think I love green lentils too! But red lentil soup is definitely a classic; winter, summer, morning, dinner, anytime..  There aree  many ways of cooking this soup but try this one and let me know if you like it or not!

Serves 4 – 6

What to buy?

1 glass of red lentil (Washed and soaked half an hour in hot water)
1 onion
1 potato
1 carrot
2 garlic cloves
tomato or pepper paste (preferably spicy)
olive oil
half a teaspoonful of turmeric (optional not in the classic recipe)
1 teaspoonful of red pepper flakes or paprika (optional for people who does not like spice)
black pepper
lemon juice
fresh parsley or mint (you can use dry mint as well, gives a nice taste)

1. Chop the onions, garlic cloves, grate the potato and the carrot, sautee for 5 minutes with a little bit of water or oil. (Water is good, you add your oil at anytime, but it is not good to burn olive oil!)

2.Add one spoonful of pepper or tomato paste in the pan, stir well.

3. Heat 5 – 6 glasses of water, add the lentils then pour the hot water slowly then mix nicely.

4. Bring it up to boil then simmer it down and collect the bubbly layer at the top of your soup. This is completely unnecessary, happens usually if you do not soak the lentils in hot water enough, and causes flatulence.

5. In my iron casserole, it takes not more than 15 minutes to cook but with other pans I would say give it a good 25 – 30 minutes to cook. Whilst simmering, do not forget to check, if the vegetables and the lentils are soft enough use your hand blender to perfect it!

6. Simmer a little bit more, chop some parsley or mint add it, then your soup is ready to serve! (with a big slice of lemon next to it!)

Pirohu – Piruhi or MANTI ?

pirohu, piruhi

This is a delicious Cypriot dish, but the way people call it differs as far as I know, It is Pirohi in Cyprus, Piruhi in Turkey, if anyone knows another name please let me know! The reason I added the word MANTI is simply because it is a Turkish dish which is cooked similarly but with minced meat and onions as stuffing. Since it is meat, it is heavier but it has a lot of fans!

Now, here are the ingredients you will need:
Serves 4

For preparing the dough:
500g of flour
salt
water

For the filling:
fresh chopped mint
200g anari “nor” cheese – can be found in Turkish, Greek or Middle Eastern shops
1 medium size egg

or alternatively
1 medium size egg
500 gr chopped spinach

(Whichever filling you use, simply mix egg and the ingredients in a bowl, keep it nearby with a spoon)

When serving
Halloumi – hellim cheese (can be found almost everywhere even in Sainsbury’s or Tesco)
Plain yoghurt
Crushed garlic cloves (two or three depending on how much you love garlic: )
Red pepper flakes or hot pepper sauce like tabasco
Olive oil

How will I cook it?
First of all, do not get frightened by too many ingredients, it is quite fun to do if you have something to listen to or watch or have someone at home chatting, I used to help my mum when I was little. Also, since it is made of dough it, takes time to digest so it was usually a Sunday lunch for us! But It’s worth it!

How to make dough?
Not as hard as it seems. Simply put half of your flour in a big bowl and slowly
pour some water in it, whilst mixing it by hand. Place some flour to the sides of your now-a-bit-sticky dough, then gently draw in flour from the sides. Let the dough have a shape whilst kneading and get harder, now you need to have a bit of sense of what dough is, but do not forget: Pirohu dough does not have to be “soft like your earlobe” as said, it has to be hard! It will be sort of a filo pastry in the end once you open it with a rolling pin.

how to open a dough

When it is opened, take some flour in your hands and spread over and under your filo pastry, it might get sticky otherwise. Best place to put your filo pastry is a flat surface, like a table.

Then, start slicing your filo pastry as shown here:

filo pastry slices

Then slice horizontally as well so you will have many cube shaped pastries!

Now place each cube a little bit of the filling you prepared earlier as shown on the left. After that, you can close them nicely but make sure they are well sealed.

topped with cheese

(There is another way of making these actually quicker but it needs a bit experience, once you open the filo pastry keep half of the pastry over your rolling pin, place pieces of cheese next to each other, cover them with the filo pastry over the rolling pin, seal them nicely then cut them into pieces with a knife)

Ok, if you are still not bored and willing to cook Pirohu, you achieved a lot until now, so congratulations! Now, with the baby filo pastries, simply make triangles, and do not forget to seal the corners well!

Place all of them into a flat tray and put some flour so they won’t stick to each other. If you are not eating all of it , simply put half of it for instance (like I did) into a box and freeze, impress your guests after a hard days work 🙂

Now we are at the easy part, simply boil water in a pan, add your pirohu pieces and cook them about 10 – 15 minutes until soft. Whilst cooking, fry some red pepper flakes and if you like dried mint in a pan with a bit of olive oil. Then, add the crushed garlic into some yoghurt (for 4 people I would use 5- 6 spoonful of yoghurt and water it a bit)

Once all is ready, serve your pirohu in yoghurt and red pepper sauces topped with halloumi cheese!

De- li-ci-ous! Believe me: )

Shiitake and chestnut mushroom soup

mushroom

Yummy!

One could think why I would waste those lovely shiitake and chestnut mushrooms in a soup. Well here`s the answer, because this soup is delicious! It is amazing if you add a little bit of spice too! Normally I would have made a pasta dish but this time I had time and said why not try it?

10 – 12 pieces of chestnut mushrooms
10  pieces of shiitake mushrooms
1 medium size onion
single cream or yoghurt
parsley
black pepper
pinenuts

1. Chop the onion and cook it with some oil till it gets brown.
2. Chop the mushrooms then add them into the stirfry.
3. Pour some warm water to soften them, just to the top of the mushrooms then let them relax.
4. After 4 – 5 minutes, pour 4 – 5 glasses of warm water, bring it to boil then simmer it up.
5. Add some black pepper and if you like it some red pepper flakes and chopped parsley in.
6. Blender the soup then let it cook slowly for about 4 –  5minutes.
7. Fry the pinenuts and put them in before serving. Add a little bit of parsley to decorate.

Marvellous!