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Clams steamed with cider

A steamy pot of mussels or clams is a rather effective, yet extremely simple and easy dish. It takes so little time to prepare it that it almost seems unfair. Anyway, if you're looking for a spectacular main for a date, a family dinner or a larger party, go for shellfish. They're great with white wine, but beer and cider make delicious alternatives.

Recipe: Clams steamed with cider

Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 1 kg of clams, cleaned
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • one tbsp. of butter
  • 300 ml of dry cider
  • 2 tbsp. of freshly chopped parsley
Method
  • Melt butter in a large pot.
  • Add garlic and shallots and cook until tender.
  • Add clams and wine, increase the heat and cover the pot.
  • Cook for about 5 minutes, until shells has opened.
  • Top with fresh parsley. Serve with fresh baguette and a glass of chilled cider.

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.

Chorizo and chickpea stew

If you keep dreaming about hearty, warming dishes (l do), this recipe will help you follow your dreams. These might not be the most audacious desires you have, but, let's face it - they're not that time consuming either. The preparation is 15 minutes tops and having done that, all you need to do is sit and enjoy the rich aroma that fills the kitchen. You could even devote that time to some other dreams you have - to rule the world or to bake a chocolate fudge cake. A warming, slightly spicy stew with chorizo, chickpeas, kale and red wine is a perfect start to a cold Thursday afternoon.

Recipe: Chorizo and chickpea stew

Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • one large onion, diced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 red chili pepper, sliced
  • one tbsp. of butter
  • one cup of cooked chickpeas
  • 2-3 Spanish chorizos (300 g), thickly sliced
  • 2 cups of peeled and chopped tomatoes
  • one cup of dry red wine
  • 250 g of kale, sliced
  • one tsp. of coriander seeds
  • one tsp. of cumin seeds
  • one tsp. of brown sugar
  • 2-3 bay leaves
Method
  • Roast coriander and cumin seeds and grind them using a mortar.
  • In a large pot, melt the butter, add garlic, onion and chili and cook through. Add chorizo, cumin and coriander, cook for another minute.
  • Add chickpeas, tomatoes, bay leaves, sugar and wine. Simmer to thicken, for about 30 minutes.
  • Add kale 5 minutes before the end of cooking.
  • Check the seasoning and serve.

Warm tuna steak salad

This recipe falls into quick weeknight dinner that is not frozen pizza or Chinese takeaway category. All you have to do is to steam the vegetables, prepare dressing and pan-sear tuna steaks. It takes 15 minutes tops, but you can feel almost like a professional chef when serving dinner.

Recipe: Warm tuna steak salad

Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • one cup of broad beans
  • one cup of snow peas
  • 2 tuna steaks
Method
  • Marinade tuna steaks for abou 30 minutes (it can be longer or a little shorter, if you don't have time).
  • Steam snow peas and broad beans for a few minutes, so that they soften, but are not overly cooked.
  • Combine dressing with peas and beans. Transfer vegetables into two plates.
  • Pan-sear tuna steaks for one or two minutes each side.
  • Slice the steaks and place on top of the vegetables. Top with freshly ground pepper.

Recipe: Marinade

Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp. of olive oil
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • one tsp. of chopped parsley
Method
  • Combine the ingredients

Recipe: Lemon dressing

Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp. of olive oil
  • juice of one lemon
  • one tsp. of chopped mint
  • one tsp. of chopped parsely
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Method
  • Whisk ingredients

Herby feta pasta rotolo

Rotolo di pasta - pasta roll, in my case cut into small pieces and baked with tangy tomato sauce. Hearty casseroles make you think of chilly autumn evenings, but the filling of ewe feta with freshly chopped cilantro and mint definitely tastes like summer.

I used Scotch bonnet pepper to make the sauce. It's fairly hot - according to Scoville scale, which compares the capsaicin concentration in chili peppers, it's on a par with habanero. Those who can sense more than just a fire in their moth claim that its taste is very deep and distinctive. This time I didn't want a very pungent and overpowering sauce, so instead of chopping the pepper, I added the whole thing to the simmering sauce. It resulted in nice, slightly smoky flavour. Give it a try!

Recipe: Herby feta pasta rotolo

Serves: 2 rather hungry people
Ingredients
  • 5 fresh lasagne sheets
  • one tbsp. of olive oil
  • ground parmesan, to taste
Method
  • Place the filling on lasagne sheets, roll and cut into small pieces.
  • You might need to slightly cook lasagne sheets first, depending on how soft they are.
  • Spread the sauce on the bottom of an oiled baking dish. Top with pasta rolls.
  • Bake at 180C for about 35-40 minutes.
  • Before serving, top with grated parmesan.

Recipe: Filling

Ingredients
  • 400 g of ewe feta
  • one tbsp. of crème fraîche
  • 2 tbsp. of chopped cilantro
  • 2 tbsp. of chopped mint
Method
  • Combine all the ingredients of the filling. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Recipe: Tomato sauce

Ingredients
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • one small onion, diced
  • Scotch bonnet pepper, whole
  • 5 large tomatoes - scalded, peeled and diced
  • one tsp. of sugar
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • one tbsp. of olive oil
Method
  • In a saucepan heat the olive oil, add onion and garlic and cook until soft and golden.
  • Add tomatoes and whole Scotch bonnet pepper, season with sugar, salt.
  • Simmer over low heat for about 20 minutes, until the sauce slightly thickens.
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