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Autumnal overnight oats

My boyfriend, let's call him Jacek (because that's his name) gets breakfast at work and therefore totally ignores my offers to eat the morning meal together. He then sends me pictures of waffles, pancakes and/or avocado baked with eggs and chorizo, thinking that it makes me green with envy. Well, I'm only slightly jealous. I prepare oats in the evening and soak them overnight in the fridge. They're ready to eat in the morning, so I feel as if I had a breakfast catering myslef.

Recipe: Autumnal Overnight Oats

Serves: 1 (not sad at all!)
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 3 tbsp oat bran
  • 1 tbsp desiccated coconut
  • 1 tbsp flax seeds
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp date syrup
  • a handful grapes, to serve
  • coconut flakes, to serve
Method
  • Mix all the ingredients, apart from grapes and coconut flakes.
  • Transfer to a jar and refrigerate overnight.
  • Voila! Serve with grapes and coconut flakes.

Vegan ramen

Is there anything better than a bowl of steaming soup on a cold evening? The only thing I can think of is a long sauna session. But I have always thought that eating Asian soups is a bit similar to visiting sauna, so ramen remains my first choice for rainy days. Also, I have bowls and pots at home, but I don't have a sauna.

Ramen is a Japanese noodle soup dish, containing Chinese-style wheat noodles, broth and various toppings. It's been extremely popular with foodies all over the world for the last few years. You can easily enjoy a great ramen in New York, London or Warsaw.

There are numerous version of the dish, starting with nearly every region in Japan taking pride in its own variation. My recipe is simple and vegan - with fried tofu, shiitake mushrooom and green chillies.

Recipe: Vegan ramen

Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 1 l oriental broth (recipe below)
  • 200 g ramen noodles
  • 200 g firm tofu, pressed
  • tbsp soy sauce
  • tbsp runny honey
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • one carrot
  • 100 g fresh shiitake mushrooms (or dried and soaked)
  • one green chilli pepper
  • a few branches of fresh mint
Method
  • Cut the tofu into thick slices.
  • Whisk soy sauce with honey and chilli flakes.
  • Cover each tofu slice in the marinade and set aside for at least 30 minutes.
  • Pan-fry tofu slices, about 1 minute per side.
  • Peel and julienne the carrot.
  • Slice green chilli.
  • Prepare the noodles according to the instructions on the packet.
  • Cut larger mushrooms into smaller pieces.
  • Pan-fry for a few minutes.
  • Divide noodles between two bowls.
  • Top with hot broth.
  • Add fried tofu and shiitakes, carrot, chilli and mint.

Recipe: Oriental broth

Ingredients
  • 3-4 carrots, peeled
  • 2-3 parsnips, peeled
  • 1/2 celery root, peeled
  • one leek, sliced
  • 2 l water
  • 5-6 slices of peeled ginger
  • one green chilli pepper
  • a few branches of fresh coriander
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp miso paste
Method
  • Place all the vegetables, ginger, chilli and coriander in a large pot
  • Top with cold water and bring to boil.
  • Reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 1/2 - 2 hours.
  • Strain the broth through a colander.
  • Season with soy sauce, fish sauce and miso paste.

Roasted fig salad

Light salad with rosemary-roasted figs, watercress and feta. Simple, easy and delicious. Perfect with a glass of dry white wine for autumn dinner.

I hope for many sunny, relatively warm days before winter. Maybe this fall wan't be all warming soups and mulled wine. Just maybe.

Recipe: Roasted fig salad

Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 5-6 ripe figs
  • 2 cups watercress
  • 100 g feta cheese
  • one tsp brown sugar
  • a handful of rosemary springs
  • 2 tbsp good quality balsamic vinegar
Method
  • Preheat the oven to 190C.
  • Cut the figs into quarters and place them in a baking dish.
  • Sprinkle with brown sugar and chopped rosemary.
  • Roast for about 30 minutes.
  • Divide the watercress between two plates and top with slightly cooled figs.
  • Top with crumbled feta and sprinkle with balsamic vinegar.

Candy apples

Candy apples! They're gorgeous, they can be as red as blood and the're also relatively easy to make. Be sure to use a candy thermometer. It might work without it, but the thermometer make everything so much easier and less stressful. Have an autumn festival in your kitchen!

Recipe: Candy apples

Ingredients
  • 5 small apples
  • 5 stick - long bamboo skewers, popsicle skewers or whatever your creative side came up with
  • 300 g of sugar
  • 100 ml of water
  • 2 tbsp. of liquid glucose
  • a few drops of red food colouring (if you want red apples, that is)
Method
  • Carefully wash and dry your apples, push a stick into the stalk end of each apple.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and grease it with oil. This is where you will place your apples when they're ready.
  • Get yourself a small, deep, heavy-based saucepan.
  • It is important it's not too big, so that you can have a high level of candy coating, which makes your work coating the apples so much easier.
  • Put sugar, water, glucose and food colouring in your perfect saucepan.
  • Heat over medium heat, stirring continuously - the sugar has to dissolve completely.
  • Bring to boil, set a sugar thermometer in the pan and boil to 140C. Do not stir the mixture when it's boiling.
  • Remove the saucepan from heat.
  • Working quickly and carefully, dip each apple in the hot mixture until covered and let any excess drip away.
  • Place apples on the parchment paper to harden.

Short ribs curry with whisky

I am not a whisky connaisseur. Nevertheless, I was more than happy to join The Glenlivet for a culinary cooperation. You know, cooking is great in general, but cooking with booze is even better. Not only because you can freely consume the part of the bottle you don't use for cooking and not feel guilty about it. The right amount of alcohol enhances flavours and adds a warming quality, which shouldn't be overlooked when winter is coming. I always make French onion soup with a generous portion of wine, I love Crêpes Suzette with orange liquer and I think that a dash of vodka in marinara sauce brings out an amazing tomato aroma. The idea of using a 15 year old single malt for cooking was pretty exciting.

The Glenlivet provided fresh ingredients (including the most important one - a bottle of The Glenlivet 15YO) and a recipe for Rogan Josh curry with short ribs and (of course) whisky. The recipe was created by Witold Iwański, a very talented Polish chef, who works at Aruana restaurant.

The dish was rather quick and uncomplicated to make and, unsurprisingly, delicious . The smoky aroma of whisky nicely complimented ribs and pumpkin. The addition of sesame oil, roasted almonds and fresh cilantro created an interesting combination of textures and flavours. I probably don't need to convince you that it's a perfect treat for a cold evening (especially when accompanied by a glass of whisky)?

Recipe: Rogan Josh curry with short ribs and whisky

Witold Iwański
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 kg of short ribs, cooked in broth, meat separated form the bones and cut into smaller chunks
  • 80 ml of olive oil
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. of Rogan Josh or curry paste
  • 1/3 of medium pumpkin, peeled and diced
  • one can of chickpeas
  • 1/2 cup of The Glenlivet 15YO
  • 25 ml of sesame oil
  • a bunch of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 150 ml of thick yoghurt
  • 80 g of almond flakes, roasted
Method
  • Heat olive oil in a large pot, add garlic, onion and pumpkin, cook for a few minutes.
  • Add meat, chickpeas and Rogan or curry paste.
  • Add whisky and some water, cook for about 20 minutes for the ingredients and flavours to combine.
  • By the end of cooking time, add chopped cilantro and drizzle your curry with sesame oil.
  • Before serving, top each portion with yoghurt and almond flakes. Serve with bread, eg. pita.

The post was created in cooperation with The Glenlivet.

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