Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine's Day main course

Here is the Valentine's day main course I promised.

1 pound pork meat
1 cup onion, cut
1 cup green bell peppers, cut
1/3 cup sliced carrots
1/2 cup fire roasted red peppers, striped
1/2 cup beer ( lager)
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt, black pepper

Italian polenta, cut in heart shape
hot red pepper ( dry)
hard boiled eggs
1 carrot( sliced)
1 green pepper ( for the leaves)
pickeled beets ( for heart shape)

In a pan fry the pork meat( cut in small pieces)in olive oil, then add the onion, green pepper, carrots and red pepper. Sprinkle some salt and black pepper to taste and add the beer. Simmer until well cooked.

For the Italian polenta
6 cups water ( 4 to boil , 2 to mix with the corn meal)
2 cups corn meal
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter

Boil the 4 cups of water and add the tsp salt.

Mix the 2 cups of water with the corn meal and stir thoroughly, then add them to the boiling water.

Stir constantly and turn down the heat. You have to stir until the mixture gets tick and difficult to stir. In a greased pan place the polenta. Let it completely cool down and then cut to the desired shape.
I cut hearts and then rolled them in a mix of paprika and dry red hot pepper.

* If you still have problems with the exact way how to make polenta, you can see this short movie here.

Place the pork with vegetables in a plate and decorate with the polenta hearts, the boiled eggs, and the beet hearts. Cut couple of leaves from a green pepper with a cookie cutter.

You can check the recipe in Bulgarian here.

Valentine's Day salad

It has been a very difficult Valentine's day for us and I wanted to make something different and surprise my guys with an original, easy but effective diner. I had to really improvise, because I couldn't go to the store at the time and I worked with what I had at home.
First I am going to publish the salad, then the main course.

Valentine's day salad

1 lettuce
1 cup dry cranberries
1/2 cup cubed feta cheese
1 cup almonds

For the dressing
1 orange
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons olive oil

canned beets for the hearts

Wash, cut and mix together the salad ingredients. Serve in a plate and then sprinkle the dressing on top. Decorate with the beet hearts.

The recipe in Bulgarian here.

Rich blueberry muffins

Sorry guys I haven't posted in so long, I had so much on my mind, didn't have too much time for the blog. But today I have couple of awesome recipes, I hope you enjoy them!

The original recipe is from here, but I made couple of changes in it.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup chopped pecans
3 teaspoons Cinnamon
1 and 1/2 cup chocolate chips

For the crumb
1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 cup butter, cubed

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners.
Sift together flour, sugar, salt and baking powder.
Mix on slow vegetable oil with the egg and the milk. remember that everything has to be room temperature. Mix this with the flour mixture. Add the Cinnamon, pecans and then fold in blueberries. I used frozen, but be careful to choose small size ones. Do not over mix the batter, since it is going to color purple.
Fill muffin cups right to the top, and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture.

To Make Crumb Topping:
It took me some time to make this one right, but I think I got it.
Mix together the white and brown sugar, flour and butter. Mix with fork, make sure you can sprinke the topping, it doesn't have to be sticky! Do not melt the butter before adding it!
Sprinkle over muffins before baking.

Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done.

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