Bruschetta

bruschetta

bruschetta

 

Bruschetta is one of my favorite summer appetizers.It’s one of the  freshest,simplest, and healthiest appetizers out there(no frying or mayo).

The combination of sweet tomatoes and aromatic basil with tangy sweet balsamic and olive oil is simply divine.Great thing about bruschetta… that it can be served as an appetizer,snack,salad or lunch.Whatever you’re in the mood for.And at parties they’re are gone in a zoom!

Ingredients:

3 roma tomatoes diced

4 thick slices fresh mozzarella cheese

5-6 fresh basil leaves sliced

2 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes chopped(optional)

2 tablespoons fire roasted peppers chopped (optional)

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil(good quality)

2 tablespoons black or white balsamic vinegar

salt and fresh ground pepper

1/2 french baguette or any Italian bread sliced diagonally (I used whole wheat french baguette)

2 cloves garlic

olive oil for drizzling

Heat oven on broil.

Arrange bread slices on a lined baking sheet.

Drizzle some olive oil and sprinkle a little salt and black pepper.

Toast in the oven for 3-5 minutes or until  bread is slightly browned.Let cool.

In a bowl, combine tomatoes,mozzarella cheese,basil,sun-dried tomatoes,fire roasted peppers,salt,balsamic vinegar,and olive oil.Set aside.

Rub each piece of bread with garlic.

Spoon tomato mix on top of each slice of bread.

 

 

Bruschetta

Ingredients

  • 3 roma tomatoes diced (liquid removed)
  • 4 thick slices fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 5-6 fresh basil leaves sliced
  • 2 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes chopped(optional)
  • 2 tablespoons fire roasted peppers chopped (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil(good quality)
  • 2 tablespoons black or white balsamic vinegar
  • salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 french baguette or any Italian bread sliced diagonally (I used whole wheat french baguette)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • olive oil for drizzling

Instructions

  1. Heat oven on broil.
  2. Arrange bread slices on a lined baking sheet.
  3. Drizzle some olive oil and sprinkle a little salt and black pepper.
  4. Toast in the oven for 3-5 minutes or until bread is slightly browned.Let cool.
  5. In a bowl, combine tomatoes,mozzarella cheese,basil,sun-dried tomatoes,fire roasted peppers,salt,balsamic vinegar,and olive oil.Set aside.
  6. Rub each piece of bread with garlic.
  7. Spoon tomato mix on top of each slice of bread.
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Shrimp Spring Salad

Spring Salad with Shrimp

 


shrimp spring salad

 Spring and summer are my favorite seasons.Everything around you looks amazingly beautiful, fresh and full of life.This shrimp spring salad consists of leafy romaine lettuce, radish, sweet peas and shrimp.All the ingredients are tossed with creamy garlicky dill dressing.It’s very tasty and easy to make for any occasion.Even though the dressing is creamy, salad feels very light but filling.

Serves 2-4

Ingredients:

1 bunch romaine lettuce torn or chopped

3-4 radishes sliced

2/3 cup  frozen peas (thawed)

1 lb cooked shrimp

Other optional ingredients:

avocado,chives,cherry tomatoes

Dressing:

2 heaping tablespoons mayonnaise

2 heaping spoons plain greek yoghurt or sour cream

2 tablespoons fresh finely chopped dill

2-3 crushed garlic cloves

Salt and fresh ground black pepper

 

Directions:

In a small bowl,whisk all dressing ingredients and set aside.

Place romaine lettuce,radis,pesa,and shrimp in mixing bowl.

Toss salad with garlic dill dressing.

 

Spring Salad with Shrimp

Spring Salad with Shrimp

Ingredients

  • Ingredients:
  • 1 bunch romaine lettuce torn or chopped
  • 3-4 radishes sliced
  • 2/3 cup frozen peas (thawed)
  • 1 lb cooked shrimp
  • Other optional ingredients:
  • avocado,chives,cherry tomatoes
  • Dressing:
  • 2 heaping tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 heaping spoons plain greek yoghurt or sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons fresh finely chopped dill
  • 2-3 crushed garlic cloves
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Directions:
  2. In a small bowl,whisk all dressing ingredients and set aside.
  3. Place romaine lettuce,radis,pesa,and shrimp in mixing bowl.
  4. Toss salad with garlic dill dressing.
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Baked Chicken Drumsticks

Baked Chicken Drumsticks-2

Baked Chicken Drumsticks-2

These baked chicken drumsticks are fuss free and delish. Marinated in soy,garlic and ginger with fragrant cilantro herb marinade and baked until golden brown.The best part about this chicken drumstick recipe, that it can be made in advance and stored in a fridge covered for few days.You can also grill them if weather permits.

Ingredients:

For 4-5 lbs chicken drumsticks

1/4 cup fresh ginger minced

8 garlic cloves

1/3 cup soy sauce,shoyu,or tamari.

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1 teaspoon black pepper

*You may want to add a little salt depending on your taste.

 

Directions:

Combine soy sauce,garlic,ginger,black pepper,cilantro and oil using a blender or food processor.

In a mixing bowl or large ziplock bag mix chicken drumsticks with marinade mixture.

Marinade for at least 30 minutes.

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Arrange drumsticks in a large baking pan.Pour marinade over chicken.Cover with foil.Bake for 1 hour covered.

Remove foil and continue to bake for another 30-40 minutes or until they are well browned.

Remove from oven,and using a spoon pour the sauce on the bottom of the baking pan over each drumstick.Sprinkle with green scallions if desired.

 

Baked Chicken Drumsticks

Baked Chicken Drumsticks

Ingredients

  • Ingredients:
  • For 4-5 lbs chicken drumsticks
  • 1/4 cup fresh ginger minced
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce,shoyu,or tamari.
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • *You may want to add a little salt depending on your taste.

Instructions

  1. Combine soy sauce,garlic,ginger,black pepper,cilantro and oil using a blender or food processor.
  2. In a mixing bowl or large ziplock bag mix chicken drumsticks with marinade mixture.
  3. Marinade for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
  5. Arrange drumsticks in a large baking pan.Pour marinade over chicken.Cover with foil.Bake for 1 hour covered.
  6. Remove foil and continue to bake for another 30-40 minutes or until they are well browned.
  7. Remove from oven,and using a spoon pour the sauce on the bottom of the baking pan over each drumstick.Sprinkle with green scallions if desired.
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Korean Carrot Salad

korean carrot salad

 

korean carrot salad

Well flavored,slightly spicy, and vibrant Korean carrot salad.This salad was popularized  by ethnic Koreans all over Russia,Ukraine,and Central Asia.It always been a staple salad at all Slavic weddings,parties,and holidays.

This recipe came from my mother who was selling this salad along with Kim Chi salad at a local farmers market back in Tajikistan.Korean ladies tought her how to make it the authentic way. Adding sugar is optional. My mom doesn’t add sugar.

Ingredients:

8 carrots peeled

1/2 onion

1/2 carrot sliced in half

1 cup oil *

2 tbs white sugar (optional)

1 tbs salt or +/- to taste

6-8  cloves garlic crushed

1 teaspoon ground or coarsly ground coriander seeds.

1/4 cup white vinegar

1 dry red chili pepper

1 teaspoon black pepper

red chili pepper flakes or cayenne pepper (optional)

Chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

 

* Use non flavored oil such as canola,vegetable,corn,grape seed or light olive oil.

Directions-

Shred carrots using a thin julienne slicer.

Add salt and sugar. Mix well using your hands .

Pour oil in to a small pan (preferably deep one).

Place chili pepper,sliced carrot and onion in the oil ( sliced side down).

Heat it well on medium-high heat until 1/4 of  onion is black and the oil is boiling *

Meanwhile,add garlic,vinegar,black pepper,coriander,and hot peppers (if you prefer your salad to be spicy) to carrots.

Carefully Pour hot oil allover carrots making sure to pour some over garlic.

Quickly and carefully remove and discard onion and chili pepper.

Mix with your hands.

Adjust seasonings if needed.

This salad has to be refrigerated at least 12 hours before serving.

Add fresh cilantro to the salad if desired.

Can be stored in a well covered container up to 10 days.

Korean Carrot Salad

Ingredients

  • 8 carrots peeled
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1/2 carrot sliced in half
  • 1 cup oil *
  • 2 tbs white sugar (optional)
  • 1 tbs salt or +/- to taste
  • 6-8 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 teaspoon ground or coarsly ground coriander seeds.
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1 dry red chili pepper
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • red chili pepper flakes or cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
  • * Use non flavored oil such as canola,vegetable,corn,grape seed or light olive oil.

Instructions

  1. Shred carrots using a thin julienne slicer.
  2. Add salt and sugar. Mix well using your hands .
  3. Pour oil in to a small pan (preferably deep one).
  4. Place chili pepper,sliced carrot and onion in the oil ( sliced side down).
  5. Heat it well on medium-high heat until 1/4 of onion is black and the oil is boiling *
  6. Meanwhile,add garlic,vinegar,black pepper,coriander,and hot peppers (if you prefer your salad to be spicy) to carrots.
  7. Carefully Pour hot oil allover carrots making sure to pour some over garlic.
  8. Quickly and carefully remove and discard onion and chili pepper.
  9. Mix with your hands.
  10. Adjust seasonings if needed.
  11. This salad has to be refrigerated at least 12 hours before serving.
  12. Add fresh cilantro to the salad if desired.
  13. Can be stored in a well covered container up to 10 days.
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Roasted Turkey

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Roasted turkey

Thanksgiving is a planned-ahead holiday dinner with a turkey being the superstar.The first recipe came from my mother-in-law that has been used for many many years.Turkey always comes out tender,moist,and full of flavor.It requires minimum ingredients and very easy roasting method.I like to make this turkey stuffed with Buckwheat(grechka) or rice and mushrooms.My personal pick is buckwheat.

Second recipe is adapted from Anne Burrell (tastebook.com).The turkey is brined in a herby salty solution for 3 days.Then the turkey is rubbed with herby butter and left uncovered in the fridge for another day/night.So it requires 4 days in advance to prepare.It is roasted uncovered and requires basting every 30 minutes.The skin comes out very browned and crispy.The pan juices are used to make a delicious gravy.

Recipe #1-

1 turkey (12-15 lbs)

2-3 garlic bulbs peeled and crushed through garlic press + 1 peeled(not crushed)

1 1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons salt

2 tablespoons black pepper

1 oven bag(recommended) or foil.

Stuffing-

2 cups rice or buckwheat

1 onion finely chopped

1 carrot grated

1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms

oil for sautéing

salt and pepper.

 

DIRECTIONS:

Rinse and pat dry turkey with paper towel.

Combine mayonaisse,garlic,salt and pepper  a bowl.

Carefully separate the skin on breast and thighs.Make little slits in the turkey breast (going under  the skin)Insert garlic cloves from one garlic into the breast.

Apply garlic-mayo mixture under the skin,inside and all over the turkey.

Prepare stuffing-

Cook rice or buckwheat halfway with 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Heat oil in a skillet or sauté pan.Add onions and carrots.Sauté until onions are soft.Transfer onions and carrots from skillet to rice/buckwheat.

Add a little oil to the skillet.Throw in mushrooms.Saute them until all liquid is absorbed.Transfer  mushrooms to rice/buckwheat.

Mix rice/buckwheat with mushrooms,onions,carrots and black pepper.

Stuff turkey with rice/buckwheat stuffing inside including filling in the space on the leg/thigh.

Tie the turkey legs together with cooking twine.

Place the turkey in a oven bag ,then on the roasting pan.

Refrigerate for 3 days.

Heat oven to 425 degrees.Roast the turkey for 30-40 minutes then reduce heat to 350 degrees.

Roast turkey for approximately 3 – 3 1/2 hours. Pour pan juices all over the turkey and stuffing.Strain pan juices,separate the fat and use the juices to make gravy if

desired.

*In case you need to expedite marinating process,cut little slits all over turkey.Marinate 24-48 hours.

 

Recipe #2-

FOR THE BRINE
3/4 cup kosher salt

1/3 cup sugar

2 onions, cut into 1/2-inch dice

2 carrots, cut into 1/2-inch dice

3 celery ribs, cut into 1/2-inch dice

1 whole garlic bulb, cut in half equatorially

1/2 bunch of fresh rosemary

1/2 bunch of fresh sage

2 tablespoons coriander seed

2 tablespoons fennel seed

6 bay leaves

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

FOR THE HERB BUTTER

1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 bunch of fresh rosemary, leaves finely chopped

1/2 bunch of fresh sage, leaves finely chopped

Kosher salt

FOR THE GRAVY
2 onions, cut into 1/2-inch dice

2 carrots, cut into 1/2-inch dice

2 celery ribs, cut into 1/2-inch dice

4 cloves garlic, smashed

1 thyme bundle

3 bay leaves

2 quarts chicken stock

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 cups dry white wine

PREPARATION

TO BRINE THE TURKEY

  1. In a container large enough to accommodate all the ingredients including the turkey, combine 2 gallons water with the salt, sugar, onions, carrots, celery,garlic, rosemary, sage, coriander seed, fennel seed, bay leaves, and crushed red pepper. Stir to combine.
  2. Submerge the turkey in the brine. Cover and refrigerate for 3 days.

TO PREPARE THE TURKEY FOR ROASTING

  1. The night before you are planning to roast the bird, remove it from the brine and pat it dry with paper towels.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the butter, rosemary, sage, and some salt. Using your fingers, carefully work your way under the skin of the turkey to separate it from the breasts and legs.
  3. Massage the herb butter under the skin of the breast and legs, then all over the outside of the bird as well.
  4. Tie the turkey’s legs together with cooking twine.
  5. In the bottom of your roasting pan, for the gravy, combine the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, thyme bundle, and bay leaves. Season with salt.
  6. Place the turkey on top of the veggies and put in the fridge overnight uncovered.This allows the skin of the turkey to dry out and creates a gorgeous, brown, crispy skin.
  7. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  8. Pour 2 cups of the chicken stock into the roasting pan and put the turkey in the hot oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the turkey becomes beautifully browned.
  9. Reduce the heat to 350°F. Baste the turkey with the pan juices and rotate the pan every 30 minutes for the remainder of the cooking time. Think 17 minutes per pound .(About 3 – 3 1/2 hours for 15 lbs.)
  10. If the turkey starts to get too brown, tent it loosely with aluminum foil. . Transfer turkey  to a rimmed baking sheet, cover it loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest for at least 30 minutes.

TO MAKE THE GRAVY

  1. Using a mesh strainer, strain the veggies out of the cooking liquid over a large bowl and allow the fat to rise to the top of the cooking liquid. Discard the veggies. Save the roasting pan, but don’t wash it — you still need it.
  2. Skim the fat off the surface of the cooking liquid. Place the roasting pan directly on a burner, add the skimmed fat to the pan, and bring it to medium heat.
  3. Whisk in the flour and cook the mixture until it has the consistency of wet sand. Whisk in the wine and cook for 4 to 5 minutes.
  4. Add the reserved cooking juices and the remaining chicken stock to the flour mixture. Bring the liquid to a boil and reduce to a simmer . Cook until the mixture is the consistency of thick gravy, about 10 minutes. Taste and season with salt if needed.
  5. Carve the turkey and serve with the gravy and mashed potatoes.

 

 

Balsamic Chicken Drumsticks

balsamic chicken drumsticks

balsamic chicken drumsticks

Chicken drumsticks are perfect finger food and great for any occasion.These drumsticks are glazed with tangy, slightly sweet and perfectly salty sauce.The recipe is so simple and can be marinaded in advance.Just throw them in the oven when ever your ready.It’s quick,easy and delicious!

 

Balsamic Chicken Drusticks

Ingredients

  • 12 drumsticks
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • about 2-21/2 tablespoons salt
  • 10-12 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon chopped sage
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • Basting Sauce:
  • leftover marinade
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar (dark will do also)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. In a blender,combine balsamic vinegar,ketchup,thyme,sage,salt,pepper,garlic powder,honeyand garlic.
  3. Place chicken in a large ziplock bag or bowl.Add marinade to chicken drumsticks and place the chicken in the fridge for 2 hours or more.
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment or aluminum foil.
  5. Arrange drumsticks on the lined baking sheet.( DO NOT discard marinade)
  6. Bake for 35-40 minutes basting with sauce and rotating back to front,front to back every 10-13 minutes.
  7. Sauce:
  8. Pour leftover marinade in a small sauce pan.
  9. bring to boil on medium heat.
  10. Add 2 tablespoon light brown sugar.
  11. cook marinade for 2-3 minutes.
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Tamari-Garlic Glazed Salmon on Cedar Plank

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DSC_3720

Summer days have been really warm for us,with slightly cool evenings.Perfect weather to grill something and enjoy your dinner with family or friends.There is several recipe blogs I always follow, and one of them is tatyanaseverydayfood.com where I got this recipe for delicious and moist cedar plank salmon.It’s one of the best salmon recipes I tried and can’t pass with out sharing it .

Tamari-Garlic Glazed Salmon on Cedar Plank

Ingredients

  • 1 or 2, 3-pound salmon fillets, skinned and de-boned
  • 1 or 2 cedar planks
  • 1/2 cup tamari
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 to 6 garlic cloves, finely minced

Instructions

  1. Cedar planks need to be soaked at least 2 hours before using.
  2. Whisk together in small bowl the tamari, honey, oil and garlic.
  3. Place salmon fillets in large tray and pour marinade over the top.
  4. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  5. When ready to grill, remove salmon from marinade; pour marinade off into a small saucepan.
  6. Season salmon with ground black pepper.
  7. Prepare your grill.
  8. Remove cedar planks from water and place onto grill until one side starts to smoke lightly.
  9. Turn plank over and place prepared fillet on top.
  10. Keep grill closed, checking periodically to make sure planks are not on fire and grill salmon for 20 to 25 (depending on thickness), just until salmon flesh loses its translucency.
  11. Place remaining marinade into small saucepan and heat over medium heat.
  12. Bring to a simmer and whisk for 5 to 6 minutes until slightly thickened.
  13. Use to top salmon when serving.
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  Credit :http://www.tatyanaseverydayfood.com/Recipe_Page/Main_Entry/Cedar_Plank_Salmon/Recipe_Page.html

Pickled Tomatoes

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DSC_3746

Pickling tomatoes and cucumbers is very well-known in Russia and Ukraine. It’s a great way of preserving tomatoes in a brine and makes it enjoyable during winter months.These pickled tomatoes go well with famous Ukrainian fried potatoes and Uzbek plov. My dearest friend Nellya that lives in Ukraine shared this recipe with me,so the recipe is straight from Ukraine with Ukrainian method of pickling. Sterilizing jars for this recipe is not needed, but you will need a blanket or a thick towel.

DSC_3541

Pickled Tomatoes

Ingredients

  • Per 1 quart jar or 1 liter-
  • Tomatoes
  • 1-2 whole onion round
  • 5-6 carrot rounds
  • 3 bell pepper slices
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • one sprig of parsley
  • one sprig of dill
  • 10 black peppercorns.
  • 1.5 heaping tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • water
  • For 3 liter jars-
  • 1.5 tablespoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons sugar

Instructions

  1. Place onion,carrots,garlic,black peppercorns,dill,parsley,bay leaf on the bottom of the jar.
  2. Place tomatoes in a jar.preferably small, but slice in half or quarters if large.
  3. In a pot or sauce pan bring water to a boil.
  4. Fill jars(with tomatoes)with boiling water and let them sit for 15-20 minutes.
  5. Pour out the water from jars back into the pot and bring it to a boil again.
  6. Add sugar,salt and vinegar to the jar with tomatoes and fill it back with the boiling water that was poured out in to the pot.
  7. Close the lid tightly.Cover a table with blanket or towel, and place the jar upside down. cover it with blanket or a towel.
  8. Keep them covered with a blanket or a towel for 24 hours.
  9. Ready in a week or two.The longer, the better.
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Cedar Plank Grilled Salmon with Lemon and Garlic

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This is one of my all time favorite recipe for plank grilled wild salmon.The fillet is so tender,moist,seasoned and infused with smoky aroma.If you haven’t tried plank grilling salmon,I highly recommend to try it and experience the difference from plain grilled salmon.This recipe is very simple and the taste is amazing.

Cedar Plank Grilled Salmon with Lemon and Garlic

Ingredients

  • 1 (3-4 lbs) whole filet of salmon
  • 1 lemon squeezed
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 6-8 garlic cloves crushed
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped dill
  • salt and black pepper

Instructions

  1. Soak cedar planks in water with a pot or bowl filled with water on top of the planks.Soak at least 2 hours.
  2. In a bowl,whisk oil,lemon juice,garlic,dill,black pepper and salt together.
  3. Place fish on a large tray and pour marinade over the fish.
  4. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
  5. Prepare your grill with charcoal fire or gas.
  6. Place the plank on hot grill grate and cover with lid for about 5 minutes.
  7. Turn it over and place salmon fillet on the hot side of the plank.
  8. Cover the grill with lid and cook for about 20-25 minutes depending on the thickness.
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Tomato and Eggplant salad

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DSC_3163Combination of tomatoes and eggplants is very popular in russian and Italian cuisine.They go perfectly together.This salad is delicious and simple to make consisting of  few ingredients.

Tomato and Eggplant salad

Ingredients

  • 1 eggplant diced (large)
  • 2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella or colby jack cheese
  • 4-5 cloves garlic crushed
  • 2-3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • salt
  • fresh dill chopped
  • oil for frying or baking

Instructions

  1. Sprinkle eggplants with salt and set aside for 30 minutes.
  2. Fry or bake eggplants until you get a nice golden brown color.
  3. Let them completely cool down.
  4. In a bowl,combine eggplants,tomatoes,cheese,garlic and mayonnaise.
  5. Transfer to a salad bowl and sprinkle with dill.
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Southwestern Spaghetti Casserole

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This comforting pasta dish is very delicious,flavorful and satisfying.This dish can be vegetarian using mushrooms instead of meat or ground beef,chicken or turkey for meat lovers.If you’ll be using chicken broth,I highly recommend to make it from scratch.In my opinion it’s really more flavorful then store bought.

Southwestern Spaghetti Casserole

Ingredients

  • 16ozs. spaghetti cooked al dente and drained.
  • 3 cups sliced mushrooms (for vegetarians)
  • 1 1/2 -2 lbs ground meat (for meat lovers)
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 green bell pepper diced
  • 1-2 roma tomatoes diced
  • 1 bunch green onion (green parts only)
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups broth (chicken or vegetable)
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • red pepper flakes (amount depending on your taste)
  • salt & pepper
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large skillet or saute pan heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil.
  3. Throw in mushrooms* and continue to cook until all liquid is absorbed.
  4. Add garlic to mushrooms.Stir.
  5. Add cream.Bring to simmer.
  6. In a another skillet; heat olive oil and throw in onion,green onion and bell pepper.
  7. Saute until vegetables are soft.
  8. Using a hand blender or food processor,pulse mushrooms with cream until nice and smooth.
  9. Transfer back to the pan.
  10. Add broth,sour cream,both cheeses and sautéed vegetables.
  11. Season with salt,pepper,cumin,and red pepper flakes.
  12. Add tomatoes.
  13. Mix the sauce with spaghetti and transfer to a casserole dish.
  14. Bake it in the oven for 30 minutes.
  15. Sprinkle some cheddar cheese on top and return to oven for another 3-5 minutes.
  16. * If using ground meat,brown the meat instead of mushrooms.(skip the step to use blender)
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Korean Noodle Salad “Funchoza”

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This is very delicious Korean noodle salad that is well known in Central Asia of Korean origin.There is many varieties of this salad,but I like the vegetarian style.You can add pan-fried strips of chicken,beef,or ground meat if desired.To get nice thin strips of vegetables I use this thin julienne slicer.

Korean Salad “Funchoza” – Фунчоза по-корейски

Ingredients

  • 6 0zs Bean Vermicelli
  • 4-5 carrots peeled and julienned (very thin)
  • 1 red bell pepper julienned(very thin)
  • 1 cucumber or 1/2 English cucumber julienned(very thin)
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
  • Dressing-
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 4 garlic cloves crushed
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes(depending how spicy you like it)
  • 2 tablespoons white or black sesame seeds.

Instructions

  1. Cover noodles with hot boiling water and let it soak for about 5-7 minutes.Drain the water.
  2. Whisk all the ingredients together for the dressing.Cut the bean noodles if too long.Add the dressing to noodles and vegetables.Mix well.Refrigerate for 1 hour and serve.
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Adapted from chekalova-recepty.ru

Grilled Portobello Mushrooms

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Portobello mushrooms can be called “vegetarian meat”. They are very juicy and meaty.They can be grilled sliced as a side to your steak or chicken or you can make a veggie burger if grilled as whole.

Grilled Portobello Mushrooms

Ingredients

  • 4 Portobello mushrooms sliced about 3/4''-1''
  • 5 garlic cloves minced
  • 4 basil leaves finely chopped
  • 2/3 cups olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper.

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients.
  2. Marinade for 30 minutes.*
  3. Grill and serve.
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Pan-Fried Garlic Prawns

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This is one of the easiest pan-fried prawn/shrimp recipes that is remarkably delicious.Well seasoned prawns/shrimp  are fried with onions then tossed with more fresh onion and jalapenos.The result is sweet,juicy,garlicky,and slightly spicy.Yum!It’s all time favorite in my family.

Pan-Fried Garlic Prawns

Ingredients

  • 2lbs prawns or wild shrimp shell on*
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon old bay seasoning (optional)
  • 1 onion sliced in to thick slices
  • 1-2 jalapenos sliced
  • 2/3 cup corn starch
  • 1/2 cup + more if needed high heat oil (I used avocado oil)
  • Optional-
  • chili powder or chili flakes to add more heat.
  • chopped scallions.
  • * You can use shell-off kind too

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl,combine prawns/shrimp,salt,pepper,onion powder,garlic powder,(optional;chili powder or flakes,old bay seasoning.)1/2 of sliced onion,1/2 of sliced jalapenos and corn starch.Set a side.
  2. In a another bowl, combine the rest of the onion and jalapeno. Or scallions with jalapeno or even both.
  3. Heat a wok or frying pan on high heat.Add oil and let it heat up.When the oil is really hot,fry prawns in batches on both sides. (about 3-4 batches).
  4. Place fried batch of prawns in to the bowl with onion and jalapeno and mix. Mix prawns every time when adding another batch.
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Roasted Garlic Chicken Breasts

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This elegant chicken recipe is very flavorful,moist,light and simple to make.It has a burst of roasted garlic flavor in combination of fresh herbs like thyme,oregano and rosemary.Adding Water or stock to the bottom of the pan makes chicken breasts moist and not dry.
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                        In a blender,pulse 4 garlic cloves and shallot.Add lemon juice,salt,pepper,parsley,thyme,mayo,and olive oil.Mix mixture with chicken.

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Place chicken in a baking pan.Add garlic cloves and herbs.

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Add water or stock around the chicken.Drizzle some olive oil.Bake for 50-60 min. in 425 degree oven.

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Discard herbs.Take out garlic cloves from baking pan, and smash them in a small bowl.

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Spread garlic on top of chicken.Slice the chicken in the baking pan.Pour more liquid on top. Transfer to a serving plate and serve.

 

Roasted Garlic Chicken Breasts

Ingredients

  • 6-8 Chicken breasts
  • 2 heads garlic peeled
  • 1 shallot chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dry parsley
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 lemon squeezed
  • 8 -10 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2-3 sprigs rosemary (optional)
  • 6 sprigs fresh oregano
  • 1/2 cup olive oil plus more to drizzle
  • Salt and black pepper(I used 1 tablespoon him.pink salt)

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Place garlic and shallot in a blender, and pulse few times.
  3. Add 4 garlic cloves,lemon juice,mayonnaise,onion powder,parsley,4 sprigs thyme(stem removed),salt,pepper,and olive oil.Pulse a few times until well combined.
  4. Spread the mixture on both sides of chicken.
  5. Place chicken in a casserole dish or baking pan.
  6. Add garlic cloves and herbs.
  7. Pour water around the chicken so it covers the chicken half way.(you can also use vegetable stock or chicken stock instead of water)
  8. Drizzle some olive oil over the chicken.
  9. Bake uncovered for 25 min.then take it out and using a spoon, pour water that's on the bottom of the pan over the chicken.Repeat one more time in 20 min.
  10. Continue roasting for another 10-15 minutes. Total time 50-60min.
  11. When chicken is done,discard herbs.
  12. Take out garlic cloves and mash them with fork.
  13. Spread mashed garlic on top of chicken.
  14. Slice chicken in the pan and pour the liquid over chicken.
  15. Serve with your favorite side dish. (I served with sauteed spinach and onion)
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