Thursday, January 22, 2015

Shakshuka




Shakshuka is a traditional Middle Eastern egg dish baked in spicy tomato sauce, chilly peppers and onions. There are so many recipes of shakshuka, that I decided to combine some recipes that I found online and add my favorite spices, as well as my favorite cheese Feta.

I first tried shakshuka dish in France many years ago, I remember that it reminded me of Azerbaijani traditional dish "pomidor cigirtmasi" which is very popular dish that we eat for breakfast back home.

I get super excited when I see Shakshuka in the menu of restaurants in Los Angeles, because it is not very popular in US and not many people are familiar with exotic name and delicious flavor of this dish.

This is my first time making it at home, it turned out absolutely delicious and beautiful! it is very easy to make, most of us have all the ingredients in the fridge and it never fails to impress someone with Middle Eastern flavors. In this recipe I used Mina Harissa sauce. That was my first time cooking with it and I loved it. They only use simple and all natural ingredients, it is a great way to spice up your food and increase the flavor. Definitely check them out.

For this recipe that serves 2 people, you will need:

2 eggs
2 tsp of olive oil
1 onion, peeled and diced
1 clove of garlic, diced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
Harissa sauce
5 ounces of crumble feta cheese
1 tsp of cumin
1 tsp of paprika
1 tsp of cayenne pepper
Salt and black pepper to taste

Preparation:

Heat a large skillet over medium. Add olive oil and diced onions. Saute the onion, until softened. Add diced garlic. Cook together for 6 minutes. Add chopped peppers. Saute for 5-7 minutes, until softened. Add harissa sauce, mix well till blended, add all the spices, stir well. Allow the mixture to simmer for about 6 minutes. Stir in crumbled feta. Gently crack eggs into the skillet over tomato sauce. Then bake it in the oven, until eggs are done, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro.

Easy and delicious, voila!





Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Nobu. Malibu

I was very excited when I heard, that my husband made a reservation for our anniversary at NOBU, Malibu. I've been to NOBU restaurant in many other places around the world, so I've been wanting to try this one for a while, especially that it is located right by Pacific Ocean in Malibu.

Let's start off by talking about the famous Nobuyuki Matsuhisa – known to the world simply as “Nobu” – the highly influential chef proprietor of Nobu and Matsuhisa restaurants. NOBU is probably the worlds most famous Japanese restaurant, known for its fashionable interior, delicious food and celebrity crowd.

The Matsuhisa Nobu Restaurants are privately owned by the Matsuhisa family, however the NOBU Restaurants are co-owned by Nobu Matsuhisa and his partner, famous actor Robert De Niro. The chain of NOBU Restaurants you can find in London, Milan, Greece, Dallas, Tokyo, Moscow, Honolulu, Dubai, Budapest and Honk Kong.

Let's move on to my own experience. We came a little earlier and sat at the bar and got couple of delicious cocktails. The bar area is as gorgeous as the restaurant and the outdoor patio. There are huge windows inside of the restaurant looking out over gorgeous ocean view. Honestly, the view here alone is worth driving all the way from LA to Malibu.

Service was very attentive, friendly and polite. They only give tables for 2,5 hours, so it is important to come on time. There is a valet parking, as street parking is very rare.

Please do not expect massive American portions, but the quality is so good, that makes Japanese meal so special that leaves you satisfy and not heavy. Everything that we ordered was delicious! Black code miso, yellowtail jalapeno sashimi and mochi ice cream are my personal favorites.

Definitely worth trying!






























Friday, November 14, 2014

Turkey with dry fruits and walnuts stuffing



I have hosted Thanksgiving at my house for the past three years, mostly because I love having people over for such a warm family holiday for a delicious home made turkey. This year we are spending Thanksgiving at my friends house, that is why I will share with you my turkey recipe that I made last year. I stuffed it with dry fruits, nuts and it was divine. I only buy organic turkey, because I truly believe that organic poultry is healthier, tastier and more nutritious. This beautiful turkey looks as good as it tastes.



Ingredients:

1 whole turkey
1/2 cup of melted butter
1 cup of white wine
1 cup of turkey stock
1 big apple, chopped
Dry fruits (apricots, cranberries etc)
1/2 cup of chopped walnuts
Salt, pepper and herbs

Start by rinsing the turkey with cold water and dry with paper towels. Don't forget to remove the neck and the giblets out of the cavity. Season inside and out with salt and pepper. Let it stand for 2 hours at room temperature. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Fill the turkey with dry apricots, cranberries, apples, walnuts and herbs, then place it on the roasting pan and brush with melted butter. Pour 1 cup of white wine and 1 cup of turkey stock into the bottom of the pan. Fold wing tips under turkey. Cover with aluminum foil and roast it for 3 hours.
Baste all over every 30 minutes with the juices on the bottom of the pan. After these three hours of cooking, insert the thermometer into the thigh. Then remove the foil and roast it until the thermometer will reach 180 degrees.
When fully cooked, transfer turkey to a serving platter and let rest for about 30 minutes.
I hope you will enjoy my recipe and I wish you all a happy holiday season!

День Благодарения в Америке - один из главных праздников, который справляется в последний четверг ноября. По традиции семья собирается на праздничный обед, где каждый, прежде, чем приступить к трапезе, произносит слова благодарения за все хорошее, что с ним случилось за этот год. Часто этот праздник является единственным событием в году, когда собираются все родственники разных поколений. Очень теплый и семейный праздник.

Рецептов приготовления индейки множество. Ее делают как с начинкой, так и без нее. Можно ее запечь с пряными травами или апельсинами, а так же с сухофруктами и яблоками, как это сделала я. Было очень вкусно! И так, вам понадобятся:

1 индейка
1 яблоко
сухофрукты на ваш вкус
сливочное масло 100 гр.
½ пучка свежего розмарина
½ пучка свежего тимьяна
Соль, белый и черный перец

Индейку хорошо помыть, выпотрошить и вытереть насухо бумажным полотенцем. Начинить ее сухофруктами и яблоками.
Натереть птицу маслом доведенным до комнатной температуры и смешанным с пряностями и солью. Очень важно равномерно смазать индейку под кожей. Дать ей постоять 2 часа при комнатной темпрературе. Крылышки можно спрятать под грудку, чтоб они не подгорали.
Индейка готова при внутренней температуре 180 градусов. Очень удобно измерять температуру кухонным термометром. Для того, чтобы индейка не была сухая, время от времени поливаем ее, ее же соком. Если видите, что кожица сверху начинает подгорать, прикройте ее фольгой.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Creamy Pumpkin Soup



Yes, it is this time of the year, where pumpkin gets so popular...pumpkin spice latte, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, you name it! This was my first time making pumpkin soup and it came out so delicious. When I was looking for the recipe, I noticed that most of the pumpkin soups are loaded with cream, so I decided to modify the traditional way of making this seasonal soup and make it healthier. I, personally like rustic soups, rich enough to have them as a individual meal, especially when it is cold and you want something warm and comforting for your soul.



For this recipe you will need:

2 big pumpkins or butternut squash, halved and seeded
1 chopped onion
1 chopped garlic clove
5 cups of homemade vegetable stock
Olive oil
Cumin
Oregano
Salt and pepper
Parsley



Directions:

Preheat the oven for 450 degrees, Cut the pumpkin into 2 inch pieces. Put pumpkin pieces on the baking sheets, add olive oil and salt, toss to coat. Roast until the pumpkin is tender. Let it cool, then remove the skin. Puree it with the blender until smooth.

Place a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add olive oil, chopped onion and garlic. Saute until soft for about 5 minutes. Add cumin, salt, pepper and oregano. Stir well and saute all together for 5 more minutes. Add the vegetable stock, pumpkin puree and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Voila, easy and delicious!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Raspberry Parfait

As you may already know parfait is my favorite type of breakfast. It is like having a dessert in the morning, how cool is that? You can make it in advance, so it is ideal to grab-and-go in the morning, when you are in the rush.

Nutritionally speaking, your favorite yoghurt and some vitamin-rich fruit are perfect for starting the day right. Sometimes, I add granola, but I did not have any this time, so I just put honey on the bottom, followed by Greek yoghurt and sweet organic raspberries on top, sprinkled with sugar powder to make my breakfast even prettier, voila!


Saturday, August 23, 2014

Azerbaijani Farmer's Market - Teze Bazaar

Whenever I travel to a new place, I try to visit the local farmers market. Farmers markets are all about good quality food, big variety of products and locally grown produce. It is a great place to buy seasonal products, as well as to find many other useful things, directly from the farmers themselves.  Also, it is a great way to understand different culture of the new country.

When I was in my hometown Baku, Azerbaijan, first time in my life I visited the biggest and the oldest Farmer's Market in the city, which is called "Teze Bazaar". That place is amazing, so many organic fruits and vegetables and honestly it is a paradise for the food photographers.
Teze Bazaar is 80 years old and it is well known for its wonderful black caviar, sturgeon from the Caspian sea, fresh meat and big variety of fruits, vegetables and spices.  I was truly impressed with the great selections of goods.



















Sunday, August 3, 2014

Fig and Olive - Los Angeles

It was my first time in "Fig and Olive" LA and honestly, when I entered the restaurant, I did not expect it to be that beautiful. Me and my husband visited Fig and Olive in New York and it was average, however, this new location in Los Angeles is very different, it is trendy, elegant, vibrant, energetic and delicious!

Our experience started with complimentary fresh rosemary bread and three signature olive oils from Spain and Italy. DIVINE! Then, my husband had fig and olive salad, which was nice and refreshing and I had a lobster bisque soup, that was to die for! For main we had Chicken Tajine and Salmon tartar. The chicken tajine came with the cous cous on the side, which was a good touch and my salmon tartar was very fresh and flavorful! For dessert we had the chocolate pot the creme and waffles with seasonal fruits. Both were spectacular.

The service was very attentive. The lady was very knowledgeable and she made a good suggestions with the drinks. I even met the chef of the restaurant, David Gussin. Great chef and a very nice person!

We would definitely return again and try some new things on the menu. My suggestion to you, wear your best outfit and rock that place on Saturday!

























 

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