Thursday, January 20, 2011

Another Soup and Salad Night

And our second dish from our new cookbook, Gordon Ramsay's 'Cooking for Friends' is the Italian-style Turnip Soup which is really quick, healthy and warming.. 

Turnips and bacon frying...

We started with frying with a knob of butter and a tablespoon of olive oil...first the chopped bacon (3 slices of streaky bacon) for 3-4 minutes...then the chopped onion (1 medium), chopped turnips (2 medium) and some salt and pepper joined for another 8 minutes until the vegetables are soft and golden. We added the vegetable stock (1 cube) and partially covered the pan. The soup was simmered for 15 minutes before we added a handful of macaroni (the recipe is with risotto rice to be added before putting the stock but we preferred macaroni) and then another 5-6 minutes. Before serving, we stirred 2 tbsp of grated parmesan. And added more parmesan with some chopped parsley leaves while serving. 

Turnip Soup
And of course we had our usual mixed salad with herbs and feta cheese accompanying the soup...and a glass of red...very heartwarming...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Get N_K_D

We ordered our first NKDPizza on their first opening day here in Dubai on 17th January Monday. It was the Mediterranean with feta cheese, artichokes and sun-dried tomatoes. The crispiness and the taste of the custard which is made from 10 grains plus prebiotic fibre (read all about it on their website) what really impressed us as the pizza doesn't get soggy and one doesn't feel bloated even after eating around midnight (as we did on Monday night).

We will definitely try all NKDPizzas in the menu!

The Lazyburger

I don't know why we delayed putting one of our favorite foods on LazyCook for so long. There is nothing like a juicy burger with some cold beer in front of TV. Sounds sad but true! Anyway, the key to a great burger is obviously the patty. We used our recent favorite from Waitrose, the low fat, grain fed Irish minced beef. We started by working the beef with hands until slightly sticky with 1 chopped medium onion and 1 clove of garlic. We added some chopped fresh thyme leaves and few drops of Worcestershire sauce for some tanginess. We formed the patties and let them chill in the fridge for half an hour.

the divine ingredients!
While patties are resting, we caramelized one sliced large onion in the pan. For this we simply fried the onion in a splash of olive oil on low to medium heat without burning. You can accelerate the process by adding some sugar.

After the onions we sauteed some sliced mushrooms in butter, salt and pepper.

For cooking the burgers nothing beats the flame grilled barbecue. We opted for the second best choice, our heavy stove top grill pan. 5-6 minutes on each side was just enough to get them cooked through.

sizzling sizzling...
Once done, we layered the patties on soft buns crisped on the pan with caramelized onions, sauteed mushrooms and all the other usual suspects; crispy bacon, mature cheddar cheese, lettuce, drops of chili sauce, mustard and mayo.

It was simple and absolutely delicious!!
can't wait to eat this burger!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Seriously Purple Salad with some Green Pasta

We started the year with the immortality elixir i.e. salad with roasted beetroots! We have a new cookbook of Gordon Ramsay's, 'Cooking for Friends' (as a good bye gift from a colleague) and it looks like we will have lots of favorites from it. Accompanying this colorful salad we cooked a very simple pasta with broccoli, garlic and chili from the same book. 

Beetroots roasted in the oven
First we roasted three medium beetroots for 30 minutes, as told in the recipe (see below), in the foil on top of salt crust and scattered fresh thyme leaves. We peeled the beetroots while they were still warm (we used food storage bag as we didn't have gloves to prevent red stains on the hands while peeling!). In the meantime we cooked the lentils, bacon, carrot and celery stalks with a few thyme sprigs until the lentils are tender. The smell around the kitchen was very appealing at this moment! We discarded the bacon, vegetables and thyme. Divided the lentils and sliced beetroots between the plates with mixed greens, herbs and crumbled goat cheese. The salad was super tasty but next time we will try to add the marinated beetroot option and also pomegranate syrup would add some wonders to this salad if you have it.

Purple Salad with goat cheese on top
And for the pasta (for 4), we simply put a pack of spaghetti to be cooked until al dente and a few minutes before the pasta is ready, we heated a large pan with 4tbsp olive oil (low-to-med heat). Added 5 large sliced garlic cloves, 1 red chili (deseeded and chopped) and a pinch of salt and sauteed for a minute. When the garlic turned a bit golden, we added  broccoli florets from 1 large broccoli head and a splash of water, covered the pan with a lid and left it for 2 minutes. We then squeezed over the lemon juice and tossed the broccoli with more salt and pepper.

Broccolis with garlic and chili.
After draining the pasta (don't forget to reserve a little of its boiling water), we put it into the saute pan (adding a little of its reserved water). Drizzled over a little olive oil and served immediately. 

the Green Pasta 

We really loved our first trial from our new book and so did our usual guest (Ari)!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Another Seafood Pasta out in the Balcony

(Supposed to be posted sometime in December!)

January will be our supposedly last month in Dubai and now we are trying to enjoy the beautiful weather and the garden as much as possible (in between the chaos at work and home). For dinner last night we went with the impulse of buying whatever we found in the organic supermarket next to my office and it turned out to be a delicious romantic dinner out in our balcony overlooking the lush green and Chrysler buildings! (not in NY but in Dubai Media City).

While buying Asli’s favorite salmon fish, the giant shrimps and the scallops looked very tempting to me and I thought we can cook a seafood pasta (very similar to our seafood pasta extravaganza). We scanned through and there was a perfect recipe - ‘Fettuccini with Shrimps, Scallops and Mussels’ (but ours is without the mussels). We did couple of modifications i.e. we couldn’t find the yellow squash but used more zucchini instead, we didn’t have mussels but we used fish stock (not the cubes but real stock)..

Breadcrumbs being sauteed with herbs
Vegetables being stirred
Shrimps and scallops in pan
Vegetables and seafood combined
It was very fulfilling with tasty seafood sautéed with vegetables; and the breadcrumbs sautéed with herbs added a nice flavor to it but be careful with the amount of breadcrumbs as I think they suck the moisture of the sauce and leaves the pasta a bit dry.

And the pasta in our usual pasta plates!
Bon appetit!

See recipe in

Steak Salad with an Amazing Sauce

End of last year, one of the Lazycooks was coming back from his long long trip just at dinner time and I thought a light meal with a glass of wine would be just suitable for that night.

I went ahead with “The Flank Steak with Chimichurri Dressing” (apparently the famous Argentine herb sauce) from and we were very happy with the result. The crispiness of the mixed greens and the fresh flavors of the dressing on top of our tenderloin fillets (which were grilled to our liking and sliced thinly) made this meal wonderful. I also added some slices of potatoes (first boiled and then grilled) as a side dish.

Chimichurri Dressing
Steaks grilling
Steak Salad