Saturday, August 25, 2012

Wild Blackberry Cobbler

I got a ton of blackberries form my coworker the other day.  I was looking for ideas what to make with them.  I don't often make deserts so I was looking for something easy.  Cobbler!  It is the easiest desert to make and it is delicious.

  • 2 cups blackberries
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 cup milk

Wash the blackberries and drain.
Mix the dry ingredients together.  Use only 1 cup of sugar for this and leave the 1/4 cup for later.
Melt the buter in the microwave and stir in.  Stir in the milk as well.

Grease the pan (you can use the leftover butter on the wrapper for this), and pour in the mix.  
Sprinkle blackberries on top, evenly. 
Poor the remaining sugar on top.
Preheat the oven to 350F and bake for one hour.
This delicions desert is goot hot or cold and if you eat it hot, you may also add some ice cream on top.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Chick Pea Stew

Did you know that India is the top producer of chick peas?  It makes more than half of all the chick peas on the world!  Amazing.


  • 1lb can chick peas
  • 5 Tbsp oil
  • 1 hot pepper, sliced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 medium/ large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 can tomato paste
  • 2 cups water or broth
  • 1.2 Tbsp salt
  • 1.5 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 Tbsp coriander
  • 1/2 Tbsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 Tbsp ginger paste
  • cilantro to garnish

Chop up all the ingredients.  

Dry roast cumin and turmeric in the frying pan then add oil.  Saute the onions and the hot pepper for a couple of minutes. Stir in garlic.  

Add chopped tomatoes and cook for 3-4 minutes.  Season with the rest of te spices.  

Stir in the tomato paste and water or broth.  If you are using water, you can add more seasoning.

Add canned chick peas.  If you are using dried chick peas, they will have to be cooked first.  

Cook all together for 20-30 minutes.  Serve over rice.  Garnish with cilantro. 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Serbian Beans/ Čorbast Pasulj

Growing up, beans were my least favorite food.  It was quite a sad story actually.  My daycare served beans for lunch on Mondays and for this very reason I disliked Mondays too.  I could never finish my meal, and as a punishment I would be sent to the kitchen to try to finish it there while other kids were playing.  

Now that I am all grown up, I eat almost anything.  The other day I ate Korean sea weed with dried fish that still had eyeballs.  But that's another story.  The point is, not only do I willingly eat beans now, but I also make them!  Did you see that coming?  

This recipe is what we call "Čorbast pasulj", meaning "soupy beans".  These pictures were taken last time I visited home.  My mom actually made these beans.

  • 250-300g white beans
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-2 carrots, sliced
  • 2-3 slices smoked bacon, chopped
  • 1-2 pieces of smoked hog feet
  • 3 bay leaves
  • salt, pepper and paprika
  • optional ingredients: bell peppers and tomato

Soak beans over night in water.  You can add bay leaves in this water as all.  When you are ready to cook them, decant the leftover water and pour new water to cover the beans about 1in.  

Cook on the stove.  When the beans boil, replace the water again.  Then add the rest of the ingredients.  Now cook this covered over low heat for 3-4 hours.  Look occasionally if you have enough water- you never want the beans to be exposed above water level.  If you are running out of water, don't be afraid to add more.  If you think you have too much water, uncover the pot and let it evaporate.  There is really no right or wrong way here- you can make the consistency to your own taste.  

If you'd like to thicken the consistency, you can heat 1-2 Tbsp of oil in a small pan, and stir in 1 Tbsp of flour and 1 Tbsp of paprika.  Stir together to achieve a homogeneous mixture, then turn off the burner and add it to your beans.  


Saturday, June 23, 2012

Salmon with Shitake Mushrooms

Usually when I am hungry and don't have the time to indulge in cooking,  I make fish.  It cooks very fast, almost faster than you have put a simple sandwich together, and it's healthy.  I cooked this on one such occasion and I also took some snap shots so that I could share. 

  • salmon fillet
  • 304 shitake mushrooms sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 asparagus stalks, sliced
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1 tsp ginger, minced
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • a pinch of salt
  • a pinch of sugar
  • 1 cup white long grain rice

This dish is good to eat with plain white rice, so if you plan to make the rice too, its best to start that first because that will take the longest time to cook.  

Then chop all the veggies and heat the olive oil in the frying pan.  


When the oil is hot, combine mushrooms and carrots in the frying pan with frequent stirring so that they dont burn.  

Mushrooms will soak up the oil.  Once the pan feels dry again add the sesame oil.  This will give it tons of flavor.  Sesame oil is good to add to dishes even after they've been cooked.  If you make fried rice and stir frys, it's a must have.

After about 5 minutes of frying, the mushrooms will start to get some color.  At this point add asparagus and garlic.  The reason for adding these later on is because asparagus cooks very fast and it would get mushy if cooked for a long time.  As for the garlic, it can burn easily if cooked this long.

Fry with constant stirring for a couple of more minutes.  Add salt, sugar, rice vinegar and soy sauce.  Stir one more time and transfer onto a plate.  
 Add more olive oil if the frying pan seems too dry.  When the oil becomes hot, add salmon to the frying pan.  You might want to prepare a cover for it if you dont want it to spray all over your stove.  Fry for 2-3 mintues on each side, but make sure the burner is on high.  Salmon is pretty tasty by itself and doesn't require much seasoning.  I usually just salt it lightly and add just a tiny bit of soy sauce over it.  

Monday, June 11, 2012

Strawberry Yogurt

Like fruit yogurt?  Why not make your own.  Its simple.  

Here is what you need:
  • 1/2 cup strawberries
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp honey

Cut up the strawberries in the food processor, or mash them with a fork.

Mix with yogurt and honey.


Stuffed Pepper Craze

How about another batch of stuffed peppers?  You can never have enough of these.

I saw some good looking peppers at the store and couldn't pass them up.  To make things more interesting, I made this batch in a non conventional way.  I added a lot more veggies in the stuffing, replaced ground beef with ground bison, and melted some shredded parmesan on top.  

Here are the ingredients:
  • 6 medium bell peppers
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 slices od bacon, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 lb ground bison meat
  • 1/2 eggplant, chopped
  • 1 small pack of mushrooms, chopped
  • 3 spears of asparagus
  • 1 can diced tomatoes or 3 chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup rice (mixed wild and white rice)
  • seasoning salt, paprika, chili powder, black pepper

Prepare all the ingredients.  Wash the peppers and core them.  Chop bacon, onions, garlic, asparagus, eggplant, mushrooms and tomatoes.  Do not mix all these ingredients yet.


Start with cooking the bacon on a medium heat.  

Place the eggplant in a microwave safe container inside a paper towel.  Sprinkle some walk on it and mix with your hand.  Microwave for 2-4 minutes.  You want to precook eggplant in this way in order to avoid it absorbing all the oil if cooked with other ingredients.  

While the eggplant is cooking in the microwave, add chopped onions and garlic to the bacon in the pan.  When the onions become translucent, add minced bison meat.  Add more oil if necessary.  The amount of oil will depend on the type of pan you are using.  Stir well and make sure you break up all the clumps of meat.  You gotta work up that appetite.

By the time you break up all the clumps, the meat will be cooked and hopefully look like the picture below.  

Add eggplant.

Add mushrooms.

In a separate pan heat 2 Tbsp oil and fry raw rice over medium heat.  Stir occasionally so that it would brown evenly.  Fry for about 5 minutes.  The rice should be visibly brown.

Going back to the main meat/ veggie mixture- the eggplant and the mushrooms you just put in should cook down.

Find a baking dish that can facilitate your peppers.  You don't want them to be too loose in the dish because they may fall over while cooking and spill. 

Combine rice and meat/ veggie mixture together.  Turn off the burner and allow the mixture to cool a little bit before stuffing it into the peppers.

Finally, add shopped asparagus and tomatoes.  

Using a spoon, stuff the peppers with the ultimate mixture you just prepared.  Add about 1 inch of water into the dish.

Cover and dish and bake at 450F for about 1.5 hours.  You do not have to time this exactly.  If your dish does not have a cover, use Aluminum foil.

After 1.5 hours of cooking, take the lid off and and continue to bake them for another hour.

Grate some Parmesan cheese onto the hot peppers.