Bolognese sauce

   Bolognese sauce

What are the main ingredients for the perfect Bolognese sauce or Ragu alla Bolognese? Ground meat ( Beef or veal and sometimes pork),the classic soffritto (brounise of celery, carrots and onions), tomato paste and wine. In my recipe I use minced beef and I avoid wine. I prepare this recipe twice a month and freeze whatever is left after making lasagna that get freeze as well.  Let’s get started then. Follow this step by step recipe and prepare the best Bolognese sauce ever.  For full list of ingredients visit Basic recipes .

Heat oil and add cloves, cinnamon stick and bay leaves.

Add brunoise of onion, carrots and celery. Saute till  vegetables are half way cooked.

Add meat to the vegetables. Make sure that the pan is very hot and that all the moist from the vegetables has been evaporated.

Braise for another 10 minutes. Keep stirring the sauce.

Add tomato paste. Mix well to the minced meat.

Add tomatoes.

Add water.

Reduce the heat to minimum and cover with a lead. Simmer for 2 hours.

Adjust seasoning and here is your Bolognese sauce ready to be used for pasta or lasagne.

Vegan banana dark chocolate bread

  Vegan banana dark chocolate bread

 

One word to describe this bread DELICIOUS…..

Find detail recipe under Desserts page

Rice salad or insalata di riso

Rice salad
Do you want to know the secret for an easy, fast and healthy rice salad ready in no time? And I am not talking about opening the jar of Condiriso to add to your rice.
Super easy…I usually have prep days…..what I do is peel and slice cucumbers do the same for carrots, wash and slice bell peppers, clean and saute bottom mushrooms, boil edamame, wash cherry tomatoes, etc….pack everything in containers and keep in the fridge till need it.  The only thing left to do at this point is to boil rice in salted water for 16 minutes rinse it under cold water and toss all ingredients together and lunch or dinner is on the table in no time.
Find detail recipe under Vegetarian page

Canestrelli cookies

Canestrelli are deliciously buttery soft melt in your mouth cookies.
Canestrelli Cookies
A little bit of history of Canestrelli; this cookie is originally from Liguria in Italy and has the shape of the Daisy flower.
Canestrelli were already famous during Medieval time, people use to gift this cookies during weddings and religious ceremony.
The recipe for this cookie is very simple. Basic ingredients that we all have at home, flour, icing sugar, butter or margarine, lemon zest, vanilla and eggs. 
If you find yourself in Liguria more precisely in Torriglia Val Trebbia during May you will be able to attend the festival of the Canestrelli, where on the main road of Torriglia all the historical bakeries will make you try this delicious cookie.
   Canestrelli with jam
My kids have decided that our Canestrelli will have the shape of heart to show me how much they love me….so sweeeeeeeet.
What they also asked me to do was to spread dairy free hazelnut cream and jam between cookies….according to them they taste even better than the simple one…..I have to agree with them….absolutely divine.
Find detail recipe under Desserts page

Deep fried Okra

Deep fried Okra
Okra is one of this vegetables that took me time to appreciate and like. The first time I went to India I didn’t really like it because of is sliminess, but magic happen when my mother in law started frying some spices and then sliced okra went inside and caramelized so well that I fell in love with the taste of this vegetable.  Today I wanted to deep fry okra and decide for a chickpeas batter and the result was incredible. Super crispy coated okra that even my son enjoyed it.
Here are few tips to buy the freshest okra.
1 Bright green color.
2 If you bend the tip of okra it should snap.
3 To the touch should be firm.
4 No brown spots on the pods
Hope you will enjoy okra here is a link to another of my okra recipe.
Find this recipe under Snacks page.

happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day

To all the amazing Mothers out there remember…To the world you are a Mother, but to your family you are the world. Happy Mother’s Day.

Alternative Eggs Benedict

Alternative Eggs Benedict

Not ready to make an Hollandaise sauce early in the morning? Don’t worry here is your perfect almost vegetarian Alternative Eggs Benedict..…and it is the perfect Mother’s Day breakfast.

Do you want to be surprised on Mother’s Day by your kids cooking? Mine are still to young to prepare this recipe on their own. Then make sure that all the basics are ready for them to prepare the most amazing breakfast for you.  This dish is a bit long to prepare in the morning; so what I usually do is make everything in advance and the only thing left for the kids and hubby to do in the morning is toast the bread add the poached egg top it with sauce and bake it for 8-10 minutes. Kids will feel like 5 stars chefs and your kitchen will still be in one piece when you wake up.

Follow this almost step by step recipe and enjoy your Mother’s Day breakfast in bed.

Cut your 2 slices of bread with a  cookie cutter.

Brush with EVO oil and bake it in the oven for few minutes. Keep it aside.

   

Bring to a simmer water with 1 bay leave and 1 teaspoon of vinegar. Drop egg in it. Poached for few minutes for a running one or 8 minutes for a well done one.

  

Prepare Mornay sauce. Melt butter, add flour and cook for few minutes. Add hot water and cream, keep stirring with spoon till thicken.

 

Add saute mushrooms, egg yolk and marjoram. Keep cooking for another 5 minutes at low heat.

 

Put poached egg on toasted bread, add sauce on top and bake for 5-8 minutes.

Enjoy your perfect Alternative Eggs Benedict...and Happy Mother’s Day

Here is the full recipe.

Alternative Eggs Benedict

Ingredients 6pax
06nos eggs
12nos round slices of bread
01nos teaspoon vinegar
01nos bay leaves
05ml EVO oil
For the sauce
200gr saute champignon mushrooms
300ml hot water
100ml cream
30gr butter
30gr flour
01nos egg yolk
10gr chopped fresh marjoram
Salt & pepper
Poach one egg at a time in simmering water with vinegar and bay leave.
Keep eggs on the side.
With a cookie cutter cut circles out of bread slices.
Put 2 slices on top of each other.
Press the center to make space for the egg.
Brush with EVO oil
Bake at 190C for 5 minutes.
Take it out of the oven and keep it on the side.
For the sauce
Melt butter and add flour.
Whisk together.
Add hot water and cream.
Keep whisking, add mushrooms, yolk and marjoram.
Keep cooking till the sauce thicken.
Adjust seasoning.
Assemble
Put on each toasted bread one poached egg and cover it with the sauce.
Bake at 190C for 5-8 minutes.
Serve hot.

 

Udon noodles soup

Udon noodles in a chicken drumstick stock with carrots, boiled egg, baby corn, pea snaps and scallion
Japanese delight

Looks like somebody forgot to close the tap in the sky in Nairobi. It is been raining every day and this Udon soup is the perfect comfy food for a cold evening. A delicious asian scented chicken stock brings the flavors together for an excellent soup.

Find detail recipe under Pasta, Gnocchi and Co.

How to make fresh ravioli

Do you think is difficult to make homemade ravioli? I do not think so… here what you need, a pasta machine, flour and eggs nothing more nothing less. Would you like to try?

Then follow this step by step pictures and you will end up with the best ravioli you ever made. The ingredients are: 400gr white flour, 04nos whole eggs. As you see for every 100gr of flour you will need an egg. Let’s start….

Make a well with flour and add eggs.

Start working the eggs by adding flour and when flour is fully incorporate start to work the dough with both hands.

Keep kneading the dough for 10 minutes, excellent arm workout, when ready should look smooth and firm. Let the dough rest (well covered) for 30 minutes in the fridge before using.

Let the fun begin. Most pasta machine numbers go from 01 been the thickest to 6 or 7 to the thinnest. Start by dividing the dough in half, keep the other half wrap till you need it, press the dough with your hands to a 1/2cm thick. Sprinkle some flour on the rolls of pasta machine and let’s start passing the dough trough it. After you pass the pasta sheet the first time fold pasta in half and pass it again on number 01. Do this 2-3 times.

Pasta will start to stretch. Pass pasta sheet on each number 2 times, don’t fold it in half anymore, till you get the thickness that you need. For my ravioli I like to stop at number 5 and a pull the pasta 4 times to the same number. I like to feel the bite when I eat fresh homemade pasta and realized that number 5 it’s perfect for my taste.

Here is the really long pasta sheet that you will have when done.

With the help of a cup make rounds.

What you see here is simple plain Pesto sauce, will have more complex filling coming soon. Wet with water the edge of the ravioli. Fold in half and press to seal.

Take your half ravioli and bring together the two corners and press.

This is how it should look like.

Finish to make your ravioli.

Perfect recipe for the perfect meringue

 

My husband has a huge sweet tooth and guess what, both kids took after him… One of the easiest dessert that I usually prepare are meringues

simple meringues, chocolate one, filled with whipped cream and the Pavlova…now you understand the love for meringues in our house. Here are few ideas for you to try.

Fantastic berries Pavlova drizzled with dark chocolate

Mini Pavlova for a great tea time

Crushed to cover a cake.

This was my daughter 2nd birthday Fairy Castle cake….most of the decorations are made out pink meringue.

 

When we lived in Addis Ababa I used to have cooking classes once a week and one of the recipes that all my friends were not convinced to make on their own was the meringue one. I think there is a lot of confusion when it comes to meringue recipes.
If I look online for recipes I will find so many different ones and will feel pretty confused. My recipe is very basic you only need 2 ingredients egg whites and superfine sugar….never fail me.
I know many recipes will tell you to use cream of tartar to stabilize eggs and to make meringue harder and easier to pipe in different shape.
There are few tips that I suggest you to use
1 Use a clean and dry bowl, preferably made out of glass, ceramic or stainless steel.
2 Egg whites should be room temperature.
3 Add sugar 1 tbsp at a time (I know it takes forever but the end result will be perfect).
The biggest enemy for meringue is humidity so try to pick a day that is not too humid to try this recipe.
Lets enjoy a nice easy meringue recipe.
Follow my step by step recipe here.
Let’s start with the ingredients
200gr superfine sugar
02nos medium size egg whites
Start to beat the whites to a medium speed.
At this point the whites are soft peaks.
Let’s start to add one tablespoon of sugar at a time.
At this point increase speed to high.
Keep beating whites and adding sugar till you finish the sugar.
Insert a star nozzle in piping bag and fill it with meringue mix.
Make meringues
My meringues are ready for the oven.
Bake for 2 hours at 100C.
Keep the oven door slightly open.
Have fun making your meringues.

 

 

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