Sunday, December 9, 2012

Balsamic Orange Ginger Sablefish

Balsamic Orange Ginger Glazed Sablefish.I got this recipe from the back of Trader Joe’s sablefish label. I am very glad that I tried it, because it tasted really good and was so easy to make. I had too much glaze left over, so I added more ginger and soy souse to it and used it for a stir-fry broccoli. Will definitely cook again!
  • 1 sablefish fillet (8-12 oz)
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp orange juice
  • 1 tbsp orange zest
  • 1 inch of ginger, peeled and minced
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • salt, pepper

Preheat the broiler and wrap a broiler pan with foil. Season sable to taste with salt and pepper on all sides. Combine honey, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, orange juice, orange zest, ginger, and oil. Mix well and coat fish with the mixture. The fish should be only lightly coated, as too much of the glaze can burn under the broiler.

Broil sablefish 4 inches away from the flame just until browned, 3-5 minutes. Finish off in a 450F oven until done. Sablefish is done when it flakes easily with a fork. Total cooking time is approximately 10 minutes per inch of thickness of fish.
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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Chicken with Artichokes

Chicken with artichokes and tomatoes in creamy sauce.I saw this recipe on Dinner: A Love Story food blog back in March. I cooked it ones before, and again today. It is easy and delicious.

The recipe was taken down from the webpage, so my guess is that it was included in the book which Jenny Rosenstrach has recently published. I am actually thinking about getting the book, since a few recipes that I’ve used from DALS blog turned out to be nice.

I’ll just write my recollection of this chicken meal here. I know that in another half year I probably won’t remember it well, and I want to keep it in my repertoire. So I used:
  • 1.5 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 0.5 large sweet onion
  • 1 bag (12 oz) frozen artichoke hearts
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1/2 glass water (or white wine)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/3 glass half-and-half
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • salt, pepper

Season chicken and fry it in a few tablespoons of oil, a couple of minutes on each side. Take chicken from the pan, put aside. Add chopped onion to the pan, fry for a few minutes. Add tomatoes and artichokes (I ran them under cold water for 2-3 minutes to defrost), fry for another few minutes. Add chicken, water or wine, lemon zest, salt and pepper to taste. Wait until water starts to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Mix mustard and half-and-half, add to the pan. When it starts boiling, turn down the heat. Voila!

P.S. I think original recipe had double the mustard, but on account of Arosha I’ve decided to be on a conservative side. Danya added some hot sause to his chicken to make it spicier.
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Friday, October 26, 2012

Apples and Fish Pie

Apples and fish pie.This fish pie is a bit unconventionally tasting because it has apples and vinegary onions, but it’s nice to have something different ones in a while.

I planned cooking this ahead, so I made a my own puff pastry dough one day before baking a pie. I tried a new recipe this time, and I think it’s a keeper. I usually use a store bought version, but it’s made from shortening and that stuff is not exactly healthy. Homemade dough is not just healthier, but is also easier to work with and tastes better.

For the dough:
Dought 1:
  • 200 grams butter
  • 2/3 cup flour
Dough 2:
  • 1 egg
  • cold water
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
  • pinch of salt

Dough 1. Shred cold butter, mixing it with flour in the process of shredding so it won’t clump too much together. After the butter is shredded and mixed with flour, make a ball with it and put aside.

Dough 2. Mix flour, salt and lemon juice in a bowl. In a cup, beat an egg and add water so that total there are 2/3 cup of liquid. Pour water with egg into the flour and knead the dough.

Roll dough 2 into the square and put dough 1 on top (it should be close to the center, but a bit to the side). Then make an envelope around dough 1 with dough 2 (left side on top, upper and bottom parts on top, cover with the right side). Put the envelope in the fridge for 30 minutes. Take the envelope out of the refrigerator, carefully roll, fold it again, put in the fridge for another 30 minutes. Repeat.

For the filling:
  • 1-1.5 lb white fish fillets (we used wild Alaskan cod)
  • 2/3 sweet onion
  • 1.5 large apple, peeled
  • semolina (манка)
  • apple vinegar
  • lemon juice
  • salt, sugar, pepper

Thinly slice sweet onion and put in the mixture of vinegar, water, salt and sugar (I just used my taste for the proportions). Thinly slice apple and squeeze a bit of lemon juice on top. Dry fish fillets with paper towels, add salt, pepper and any other spices to taste.

To assemble the pie roll half the dough and put on greased baking sheet. Put filling in layers: semolina, apples, fish, onions (dry them with paper towels first). Roll the second half of the dough and cover the pie, sealing the edges by pressing together. Brush with beaten egg and make 1 inch long horizontal slashes.

Bake in 380 F preheated oven for 45 minutes. Enjoy!

P.S. Danya was not a fan of apples, but I actually enjoyed them. I think the combination of sweet apples, fish and sour onions was interesting.
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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Chicken with Black Beans

Chicken with Black BeansThe idea for this dinner actually came from Danya. He was checking some photography blog and this meal looked good to him, so he forwarded me the recipe. I cooked it the next day, and it turned out very nice. We did not take any good pictures right away, but I asked Danya to take a snapshot with his new iPhone when we were finishing leftovers for lunch today, so at least we’ll have something for the post.

I’ll write down the original recipe here for the future reference.

BBQ Chicken and Black Bean Burritos


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3⁄4 pound skinless, boneless organic chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces 1⁄2 cup onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup low-sodium barbeque sauce
  • 15 ounces of low-sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1⁄2 cup (2 ounces) organic reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4 Ezekiel 4:9 sprouted grain tortillas
  • 1⁄4 cup organic nonfat plain Greek yogurt

1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken, onion, and garlic; cook 8 minutes or until chicken is done, stirring constantly.

2. Stir in barbeque sauce and beans. Sprinkle with cheese; cook 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Warm tortillas in skillet until lightly brown. Spoon about 1⁄2 cup chicken mixture down the center of each tortilla; top each with 1 tablespoon Greek yogurt, and roll up.

I used a bit more chicken, garlic and barbeque sauce, but mostly followed the recipe. There were no fancy tortillas in our local supermarket, so I bought the plain regular kind. They were pretty small, so we served them on the side instead of making actual burritos. I also boiled some rice (spicy Spanish rice for us and plain white for Aroshka) and made an avocado-tomato-lime juice salad.
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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed Peppers.When I was buying spinach for Spanakopita last week, one of the managers in our local supermarket expressed her love of this plant and made a few spinach-y meal suggestions. It turned out that I bought more spinach than I needed for my Greek pie, so I’ve decided to utilize her advice and stuffed some peppers for dinner last night.

I did not follow any specific recipe, but used bits of wisdom from a few resources. Here is what I came up with: Continue Reading
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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Lazy Nachos

Lazy nachos.I got this recipe on one of the blogs that I stumbled upon by accident, but keep coming back to. Here is the original post by Kara.

I’ve made a few minor changes due to the ingredients that I had on hand, so here is my version of this simple and for the most part healthy meal. Continue Reading
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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Pork Chops with Cranberries

I planned to cook pork with ginger and apples for today’s dinner, but the store was out of ginger. So I bought a bag of fresh cranberries instead (they were conveniently located underneath an empty ginger box) and figured that there must be some pork-apples-and-cranberries recipe on the net.

Not surprisingly, there are many. I picked this one, but enhanced it to my taste. It came out better than I expected. I will cook it again (hence the post)! So here is what I used: Continue Reading
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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Spinach Stuffed Flank Steak

Spinach and feta stuffed flank steak.This was a nice break from my regular repertoire, and it took under an hour to cook. I am not sure I’ll do it again any time soon, but I thought that it was worth posting here just in case.

For stuffing I mixed some feta cheese with a pack of frozen spinach (defrosted the spinach fist of course), then added minced garlic clove, some lemon juice and lemon zest. I also boiled two eggs.

I butterflied a flank steak, rubbed it with salt and pepper, put spinach mixture and eggs on top, rolled the whole thing up and tied with the twine. Then I brushed the meat with some olive oil and put under broiler for 20 minutes.

I served it with baked corn (brushed with butter, rolled in foil and baked in the oven), whole wheat pasta and sauteed spinach with green beans. For the saute I steamed the beans first for a few minutes; then heated a tablespoon of olive oil in the frying pan, added 2 cloves of garlic and fried until fragrant; added beans, sauteed for a few minutes; then added spinach, salt and lemon juice and sauteed for 1-2 additional minutes.

As I said, it was a nice break from my regular stuff. My favorite part was a lemony-garlicky saute, although the steak was Ok too.
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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Beautiful Zucchini Carbonara

Beautiful Zucchini Carbonara.I cooked this pasta a few days ago. Uncomplicated and delicious enough for a week day meal — I love that about Jamie Oliver’s recipes. I’m not going to repost the recipe itself — it’s available on Food Network.
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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Mango Chicken Brased in Wine

Mango chicken braised in white wine.So what do you do when you have a pack of frozen chicken thighs, a few random things in your refrigerator (such as ridiculously unripened mango and a tablespoon of leftover mandarin preserves) and a very limited time to spend by the stove due to a very active 8.5 month old who recently learned how to crawl? You throw all the stuff together in a pan, add some spices and give it a fancy name! At least, that’s what I did, and Danya asked for seconds!

To be more precise, I used:
  • 3 boneless skinless chicken thighs (thawed them first)
  • 1 mango (it was super sour)
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1/2 large onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup of white cooking wine
  • Continue Reading
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Sunday, April 3, 2011

Cooking Together

Alёna and Arosha cooking.Aroshka and I cooked lagman today. Well, he was mostly observing, but I am sure he would have gladly participated if I only let him!

Still cooking.His presence made the cooking process more fun for me — I was narrating all my actions and singing songs along the way (Danya was watching him when I was cooking meat and onions though, since I did not want to accidentally touch the baby with dirty hands).

Lagman.Lagman came out well — the last time I cooked it, it was a bit too bland, so this time around I added lots of red pepper flakes, garlic and cumin. It was yum-yum spicy! I used a combination of Tatiana’s recipe which I previously posted on our blog and Mrs. Mansurov’s recipe which she posted on her blog with great pictures illustrating the process as always. I did not bother with hand-made noodles, but substituted with store-bought egg ones, and they were almost as good.

Local Toys "Я" Us.Yesterday we finally went to Toys “Я” Us and got a safety gate to separate the kitchen. Aroshka is not trying to get there yet, but I wanted to have everything in place by the time that he does. For some reason, we bought an extra-tall gate, so after Danya has installed it, we got slightly worried if Shublik will be able to get in and out of the kitchen.

Our new kitchen gates.Luckily, our cat is very agile and can jump over it with minimum effort. We keep the door open for now though — no point to go through the hustle of opening it every time we visit the kitchen. And yes — I go there pretty often, since I am one hungry breastfeeding woman! I just hope that when I am done nursing, my appetite will go back to normal. There is no way I can eat like that and not get fat (while not being Aroshka’s field kitchen at the same time).
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Friday, April 1, 2011

Sweet Potatoes Stew

Sweet Potatoes Stew.Last night I cooked African Potato Stew with Red Beans. The idea for this easy and quite delicious meal came from Jen Loves Kev blog. The funny thing is that I was drooling over Aroshka’s baked yams puree for a few days now, but did not know any good adult sweet potato recipes which both Danya and I can enjoy. ) So when I saw this stew, I jumped on it right away. )

Since neither one of us is vegetarian, I’ve added a chicken breast to the stew. I also added some cilantro which I think gave it a nice touch. I forgot to buy peanuts, so I skipped them.

Danya liked this stew too — I was afraid that he would not, since he is not a fan of sweet potatoes. I also offered some to d. Borya, who said it was not terrible, but probably not something he would want to eat again. ) To each his own I guess. Continue Reading
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Monday, March 21, 2011

BBQ Pork Ribs & Other Good Stuff

BBQ ribs.Last weekend was quite nice!

On Saturday, I’ve decided to try out a super-easy barbecue pork ribs recipe from Allrecipes.com. I thought — it sounds so simple and will be cheaper than going to the restaurant, plus we can invite Maruks over, get some beer, watch KVN and have lots of fun! ) Since it was on such a short notice, Maruks weren’t able to come, but Danya and I decided to proceed with the plan anyway. )

Preparing the ribs.So on Saturday afternoon, while Danya’s mom went for a walk with Aroshka, we went grocery shopping. By the way, our local Pathmark will be out of business in less than a month. We don’t shop there often, but it’s still nice to have an option. I am holding fingers for the Whole Foods, although it is probably not very likely.

I am slightly annoyed by the Pathmark — they declared a store-wide 10%-40% sale, but they canceled all regular sales, so a lot of stuff that we buy comes out more expensive after this discount (for example, they always used to have some bread “on sale” for $2.99, but now they only give you 10% off the full price of $4.49, which brings the price down to $4.04 only).

BBQ ribs with french fires and corn. And beer.When cooking the ribs, I slightly modified the “just rub them in barbecue sauce” recipe. I rubbed them with paprika, onion and garlic powders and used half pork marinade and half barbecue sauce for rubbing. No extra salt was necessary. I marinated the ribs for 1.5 hours only, but baked them an hour longer than the original recipe calls for (3.5 hours total) in 300F oven. For the side, we used half-made stuff, which still comes out less expensive than the restaurant would have been (especially if you consider gas, tax and tip) — frozen french fries, pre-cut coleslaw (I just added some mayo, vinegar and sugar to it) and fresh corn (rubbed it with salt and butter, wrapped in foil and baked in the oven along with the french fries).

It all came out really nice, and was complemented greatly by the Blue Point blueberry ale. ) I drank probably half a bottle, so there was no need to discard any milk due to alcohol consumption. ) And KVN of course was as funny as ever! Too bad they only let 2 teams pass with each round of the 1/8 game.

Blueberry beer.The weather got much colder again, by the way. Truth to be told, I am relieved by this. I like springs and falls in NYC, but summers get really nasty really fast. So thank you, but no thank you — let me enjoy the cooler days for a short while longer. )

On Sunday Danya and I went for a walk with Aroshka — I properly enjoyed it. ) Later in the day we celebrated Sasha’s 30th birthday at his parents. His mom prepared a delicious dinner and made a collage of Sasha’s pictures at different ages (the guests were supposed to guess how old he was on each one). It was a nice, nice celebration. Originally we planned to take Aroshka with us, but he was a bit fussy, so we left him at home with Danya’s mom. I half regret not taking him (since I like showing him off to people, ha-ha), but I realize that I was able to relax much better without a fussy, wiggly infant on my lap. )

Alena near Sheepshead Bay Canal.And in the evening we got a short visit from Maruks. We just drank some beer and tea (I recently ordered a whole bunch of nice teas from DavidsTea Company), and chatted about little stuff. Just like old times — well, maybe with the exception of some topics like baby poop, baby sleep, traveling with babies, etc. )

And I want to finish my post on an unrelated topic. We are all very sad about what is happening in Japan. As a person who grew up in a country which got about 60% of Chernobyl fall out, I am much more scared of radiation than of earthquakes and tsunamis (although those are very devastating too). ( Please donate if you can (all major consumer sites have donation links) — every little bit counts!

Sheepshead Bay canal.
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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Meat and Potatoes Pie

Meat and Potatoes Pie.I made this pie yesterday, and it would have been gone yesterday, have I not wisely preserved part of it for tonight’s dinner. ) It came out delicious!

I used beef since lamb is not easy to find in our neighborhood. I also used young potatoes (I think they add a touch of sweetness to the filling) and a bit more spices than the recipe calls for. I will definitely make this again! Mrs. Mansurov published an excellent set of photographs illustrating the process, which made it even easier for me.
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