Category Archives: Easy

Eggplant Salad with Mayo and Yogurt Dressing

Hi everybody!

Sometimes you just want to make something new, different. Here in North America, eggplants are not that popular, but back home, in Armenia they are essential part of the diet and we have lots of good recipes for making eggplants.  For those who had not read my previous post, here is the link The Eggplant Story. That was the prelude story for the recipe which I will share with you in this post.

First off all, here is a list what you need:

  1. 3-4 eggplants (Chinese or baby eggplants (5-6, in this case) are better than big ones).
  2. Any of your favorite vegetable oil for frying, I am using Sunflower oil.
  3. 2 gloves of garlic
  4. Mayonnaise and plain yogurt – about 1 cup total, 50/50 each (you also can use just mayo)
  5. Dill (2-3 strings)
  6. Walnuts (the more, the yummier)
  7. Salt, black pepper to taste

Wash your vegetables, and partially peel them as shown on the picture. Some people don’t like the taste of skin, but I think that leaving some of it on adds some texture to the dish. So it is totally up to you, leave it or no.

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When your eggplants are ready, put them in a bowl and add salt. Cover and leave for 10-15 minutes. This way a little bitterness of eggplants will wash out. Put your pan on medium-high your, add oil and wait little bit for the oil get hot (but not so hot). Start adding eggplant pieces, squeezing them first, to let juices go. At this stage, you have to be very careful, because the oil is very hot and you can easily burn yourself. Keep for 3-4 minutes each side until golden-brown.

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Next step is preparing your dressing. Chop your dill very fine, walnuts you can chop medium size, so that you can still feel their crunchiness in the salad. Garlic you can put in a squeezer or chop also by hand. Mix together yogurt and mayonnaise in a separate bowl, add a pinch of black pepper and rest (dill, walnuts and garlic).

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As you noticed I didn’t add any salt in this point, because mayo is salty and we put salt in the beginning. After everything is done you can try and see, if salad needs additional salt.

Cover your fried eggplants with the dressing and give it a good stir, trying not to break the pieces. Cover and let stand at least 30 minutes, to absorb all the flavors.

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How easy was that? And when you serve this salad with the dinner, your friends will think you spent whole day, making this sophisticating and yummy antipasto.

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If you like this recipe and interested in more eggplants recipes, let me know. I will be happy to share with you.

Bon appetite!

Nune

Small Sweet Indulgence – Puff Pastry Cream Horns

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I love working with puff pastry dough. Nowadays it’s easily available in every supermarket’s frozen food section, ready to use.

In this post I want to share with you how to make cream horns. In our family it was a tradition to make them around the holidays. Sweet times…

The molds I am using are very old and almost antique. My grandma was using them and I think she got them from her mother-in-law. So imagine how old they must be now!

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OK, enough of history, here we go:

  • Preheat oven to 410 F. Prepare your baking sheets by putting parchment paper or silicone sheets. You don’t have to grease them.
  • If you are using ready-to-bake puff pastry dough, read the instructions on the label. Usually, you have to keep it in the refrigerator overnight to thaw, or in room temperature for couple of hours. Dough should still be cold when you touch it. Roll the dough into a rectangle form and ¼ of an inch thick.
  • Cut the dough into 1 inch stripes. I normally use a pizza cutter.

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  • Gently wrap the dough stripes around the molds, overlapping the edges.

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  • Put on the baking sheet, leaving enough distance between them. It is puff pastry, remember?

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  • Bake in the preheated oven (very important for puff pastry!) for about 15 -17 min. You can decrease the temperature after 10 min to 400 F.
  • The shells are ready, when they turn golden.

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  • Remove them from the oven, let cool for a little bit, then move to the cooling rack. When completely cool, remove the shells from the molds by gently (!) twisting them off.

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  • Now you can fill them with whipped cream or your favorite icing.
  • Final touch – dust your pastries with icing sugar.

Now it’s time for a coffee!!!

Enjoy!

Nune

P.S. About the molds, if you don’t have any available, you can find them online, just Google cream horn molds.

Easy-breezy coffee cake

Not every day is a special occasion, but sometimes you just want to eat something sweet, but not so heavy – without any icing on it. And in that case usually you have everything in your fridge, without any special shopping.

I have a very easy recipe for you to try.

All you need is:

-3 eggs

-3/4 cup of sugar

-1 cup of plain yogurt, or sour cream (or even just cream, whatever you have in the fridge)

-50gr (or less than ½ stick) of butter

-1 ½ cup of any flour (all purpose or cake flour)

-1/2 tsp of baking soda

-pinch of salt

-1/2 tsp of vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C), and grease your spring form (9 inch diameter). You can bake in any form you want, it doesn’t have to be a spring form.

Beat together butter and sugar on a low speed, add eggs, one at the time, add the dairy ingredient (yogurt, sour cream or cream), mix until the batter looks smooth (doesn’t have any lumps in it).

In a separate bowl mix together flour, soda and salt. Add flour to your batter in two parts mixing with a spoon until smooth. Here comes the fun part! To give a special flavour to your cake you can add lemon zest (plus little bit of juice), orange zest, chocolate chips, even raisins, any dried fruit and vanilla to the batter. It is totally your imagination or preference.

Bake for 20-25 min in the oven until it’s golden brown. You can check by inserting a toothpick in the cake if it’s cooked through. If toothpick comes out clear, it’s done.

Leave on a cooling rack for 10 min, after which you can remove your cake from the form.

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Enjoy with tea, milk or coffee!

ilivingwell

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