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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

  • 5 small apples
  • 5 stick - long bamboo skewers, popsicle skewers or whatever your creative side came up with
  • Candy coating

  • 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)

  • 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.

    3

    Greek salad

    What is the last time you had Greek salad? Personally, I have forgotten about it for a while, probably in an unconscious attempt to block out the memories of many bad Greek salads I was served in the 90's. There was always too much lettuce, well, it was mainly lettuce, cleverly covered up with a layer of diced tomatoes and cucumbers, bad olives and poor quality feta. The original version does not include lettuce and it's beauty comes from simplicity and great quality of ingredients. Use ripe heirloom tomatoes, good olives and authentic Greek feta and you no longer need to top everything with vinaigrette. The only adjustment I made was adding crushed chili instead or oregano.

    Recipe: Greek salad

    Serves: 2
  • a handful of good, ripe tomatoes, you can use different types
  • 1/2 of cucumber
  • a handful of Greek olives
  • 1/3 of red onion
  • thick slice of Greek feta
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. of crushed chillies
  • Cut tomatoes into slices or quarters, depending on their sizes. Slice cucumber and onion.
    Arrange all the ingredients on a platter, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with chili.
    You can serve it as a meal with grilled pita or as a side salad.

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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
  • 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

  • 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.

    7

    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

    Recipe by Witold Iwański
    Serves: 4
  • 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
  • To serve

  • 150 ml of thick yoghurt
  • 80 g of almond flakes, roasted

  • 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.

    8

    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
  • 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

  • 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.

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