Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breast with Saffron Rice I made up this recipe some time ago, inspired by Ottoman cooking and Mediterranean tastes. Ottoman cuisine uses the combination of nuts, spices, meat and rice a lot, together with addition of dried fruits. I replaced the dried fruits with parmezan cheese for a savory combination. We loved [...]
I made up this recipe some time ago, inspired by Ottoman cooking and Mediterranean tastes. Ottoman cuisine uses the combination of nuts, spices, meat and rice a lot, together with addition of dried fruits. I replaced the dried fruits with parmezan cheese for a savory combination. We loved this dish as it is now and I made it several times. It could serve well at a dinner party and left overs taste still nice when warmed up again. If you wish, you can double the spinach filling and use the half as a bed under chicken when you make up the plates.
- 6 chicken breasts
- 400 gr. spinach
- 1 onion
- 1 tablespoon pinenut
- 1/3 cup grated parmezan cheese
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- salt and pepper
- 3 teaspoons of cornstarch
- 300 gr. rice to your choice
- a pinch of saffron
Cut onion in small cubes. Wash spinach well and cut into big chunks. In a pan, sautee onions and pinenuts in olive oil until pinenuts turn brown. Add spinach and stir fry until cooked. Turn off the heat and add parmezan cheese, salt and pepper. Stir to combine everything. Cut the chicken breasts in half horizontally, but not all the way through and sprinkle them with salt. In the meanwhile, preheat your oven to 200 C. Place 1/6 of the spinach filling on one side, turn the other side over the filling and secure with two toothpicks. Continue until all chicken breasts are filled. Melt butter in a pan and sear chicken breasts on both sides shortly for a nice color. Afterwards place them in a shallow baking dish, grate some parmezan cheese on top and bake in oven for about 20-25 minutes. Put cornstarch in a small bowl, pour 200 ml. cold water on it and mix until well combined. Pour this mixture in the pan you used for searing the chicken breasts and continously stirring bring to cook . Add salt and pepper and your gravy is ready. In order to make saffron rice, put a pinch of saffron in a clean glass and pour hot water over it. Let this rest for about 15 minutes. Then, you can cook your choice of rice like you always do, adding saffron water to your cooking water. I would advise to use absorption method, which avoids throwing away nice flavors of the cooking water. You can follow the instructions on the package for this. Remember that rice is more airy when you let it rest aout 15 minutes before serving so make sure that it is ready soon after you place chicken breasts in the oven.
Muhallabia with Rose Water and Strawberry Sauce Again, for a while I could not add any new recipes. It is not that I do not try new things but sometimes I do not have the opportunity to make photos or I think that the recipes need much more improvements. Nowadays, I also started to bake [...]
Again, for a while I could not add any new recipes. It is not that I do not try new things but sometimes I do not have the opportunity to make photos or I think that the recipes need much more improvements. Nowadays, I also started to bake bread at home, without a bread machine, which is surprisingly easy and gives good results. When I am more experienced in bread making, I will also add some bread recipes. But now, I would like to introduce you to a great desert which is very suitable for summer evenings and winter days on which you need summer memories to warm you up. For this recipe, I was inspired by a desert I had in a Lebanese restaurant in Bodrum during summer holiday last year. This very light, refreshing desert was our favourite from the desert platter we ordered. Yes, a desert platter full with baklavas, fruit and other sweets which make you feel that you are eating in a palace, a small piece of heaven for a sweet tooth like me. After we came back home, my husband has been craving for it so I had to try making it. Muhallabia is a sort of milk puding which is common throughout whole Middle East. In Turkey, we use mastic gum, vanilla or almond for aroma for our milk pudings but this Lebanese version uses rose water and fresh strawberry sauce. Because of the cornstarch it has a very soft texture, melting in the mouth and it is very low in fat, which makes it suitable for special diets. You can replace the sugar with healthier sugar substitudes, if you prefer to. I could make three portions with below quantities but depending on your cups you could get more or less servings. I would advise to double the recipe, if you plan to make it for 4 people.
- 2 ½ cups milk
- ½ cup water
- 4 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon rice flour
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon rose water
- 100 gr strawberries (about 7-8 large ones)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon water
- ground pistachio
Put all the puding ingredients together and cook continously stirring at medium heat until it becomes thick. When ready take the puding from heat and add rose water to it stirring well. Sieve the puding in order to ensure a silky texture. On the other side, in a food processor puree strawberries, sugar and water together. Combine puding and strawberry sauce in a glass cup designing as you wish. It could be topped with fresh strawberries or ground pistachio.
Chicken Kofte Kofte refers to flat meatballs in Turkish. Chicken kofte is a good alternative to meatballs made from beef or lamb. I made up this recipe when I was bored of eating beef meatballs once –and I am not a big fan of lamb- so since then I make it time to time with [...]
Kofte refers to flat meatballs in Turkish. Chicken kofte is a good alternative to meatballs made from beef or lamb. I made up this recipe when I was bored of eating beef meatballs once –and I am not a big fan of lamb- so since then I make it time to time with different side dishes. In the photo, I served chicken koftes with oven fried potatoes but they go well with many other things such as rice, pita bread and garlic-mint yoghurt, bread buns and salad or even spaghetti. It is up to your own imagination what to serve with them. If you have guests who do not eat red meat or you look for alternatives to red meat, then you should try this recipe. It calls for ground chicken but if you can’t find it you can make it yourself by grounding boneless chicken pieces in a food processor.
- 500 gr. ground chicken
- 1 small egg
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- 1 cup chopped spring onions
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
- olive oil
Put all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and knead them together until well combined. Take a handful of the mixture and form it like a burger. Heat up some oil in a frying pan and fry until golden brown on both sides or grill the koftes.
Rich, Creamy Mushroom Soup Once more, cold winter days are approaching in the Netherlands. Last week, when I was thinking what to make for lunch, I came up with this recipe. I was actually inspired by Mushroom Velute for this recipe. However, instead of making a mushroom boullion, I pureed mushrooms in the soup in [...]
Once more, cold winter days are approaching in the Netherlands. Last week, when I was thinking what to make for lunch, I came up with this recipe. I was actually inspired by Mushroom Velute for this recipe. However, instead of making a mushroom boullion, I pureed mushrooms in the soup in order to have a very rich taste. Also with the addition of milk, I had a thick and creamy soup, which is quite suitable for this time of the year or cold winter days. My trials on Velute will go on in the future, with new ingredients.
In this soup, I used a mixture of brown, shiitake and oyster mushrooms but any kind of mushrooms would do. By sieving your soup, you will have a creamy, silky texture which is combined with chewy big chunks of mushrooms you will add at the end. All in all, we liked the rich taste of the soup and the combination of textures which ensured a place for it in bonabites.
- 200gr mushrooms
- ½ onion
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 750 ml.water
- 100 ml. milk
- a handful of parsley
- salt and pepper
Slice 150 gr. of mushrooms and onions and sautee them in half tablespoon of butter. Remove them from the pan into a plate. Add two tablespoons of butter and flour in the pan and make a roux by stirring them until well combined. Then slowly add water, continously stirring with a whisk in order to ensure all the roux is dissolved in water. Add the sauteed onions and mushrooms and bring it to cook, stirring ocassionally. In the meanwhile, slice the rest of mushrooms in big pieces and sautee until softened. When the soup is boiling, set it aside and mash with a handmixer. Sieve the soup, add salt, pepper and milk. Let the soup cook, stirring from time to time until it starts cooking again. Add the big mushroom pieces and the soup is ready to serve. Garnish with chopped parsley just before serving.
Rolled Baklava with Walnuts Baklava is a very famous dish from Middle Eastern Cuisine. Although it is not known exactly what the origin of this desert is, many people say it is from Turkic origin. However, in many countries several varieties exist. Traditional Turkish baklava requires sugar syrup, nuts and at least 45 layers of [...]
Baklava is a very famous dish from Middle Eastern Cuisine. Although it is not known exactly what the origin of this desert is, many people say it is from Turkic origin. However, in many countries several varieties exist. Traditional Turkish baklava requires sugar syrup, nuts and at least 45 layers of very thin dough, so thin that you can even read a newspaper through. Therefore, it is very difficult to make from scratch if you are not very advanced in using a thin rolling pin. I usually use a store-bought dough since I am not a star with rolling pin and it is way more practical to make baklava this way. You can use regular filo dough from supermarkets or special baklava dough which is widely available in Turkish shops. I hear often from friends that they would like to learn making this desert and receive requests to share my recipe. That is why I decided to place this baklava recipe. In this recipe baklava is rolled on a rolling pin which is also more practical than making a whole tray and cutting in special shapes. Enjoy!!!
- 400 gr baklava dough or thin filo dough
- 150-200 gr. butter
- 2 cups chopped walnuts
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 3 cups sugar
- 3 ½ cups water
- ½ teaspoon lemon juice
- a pinch of cinnamon (optional)
A few hours prior to preparing your baklava, put sugar and water together in a cooking pan and let it boil until all the sugar is dissolved, without stirring. Add the lemon juice, stir a bit, cook for 5 more minutes on low heat and set aside to cool. You can add cinnamon at this stage, if you wish to use it.
Put the chopped walnuts in a pan together with sugar and water. Put this mixture on medium heat and stir occassionally until the sugar is totally melted. Set aside to cool. Then start preparing clarified butter. Therefore, you need to melt the butter and let it rest for a minute. Clear the white foam on the top with a spoon. Carefully transfer the yellow, clear butter in another bowl avoiding the white part at the bottom of the pan. When you use them, you would have black spots on your baklava.
Brush a baking tray with butter. Open the baklava dough package, transfer the dough layers on a clean kitchen towel and cover again with a kitchen towel to avoid your dough from drying out. Take one dough layer and spread it with clarified butter. Then sprinkle some of the walnut mixture on top. Starting from the short side of the dough, roll the dough on a thin rolling pin. While still on the rolling pin, hold the dough from both edges and press towards the center.
Then take out the rolling pin and place this baklava on your tray. Go on like this until all the dough is used. Then cut the baklavas into 3 cm long pieces. Pour the rest of the butter carefully on top of the baklava, making sure it is distributed equally. You can use a spoon for this. Bake in 180 C preheated oven until golden brown, approximately 30 minutes. Let aside for 5 minutes and then pour the syrup you prepared carefully on the baklava. At this point baklava should still be warm but the syrup should be cold. After cooled down cover the baklava with a kitchen towel and let it rest until serving. Best is to make one day ahead. When serving you can sprinkle with finely ground pistachio or some other nuts, if you wish to.
Thai Fish Red Curry Nowadays, I am home more often and I have a bit more time to explore new tastes. I am trying to learn more especially about Asian cuisine, like Chinese and Thai. Especially Thai cuisine is becoming more and more popular between Dutch people and seems very nice with surprising combinations of [...]
Nowadays, I am home more often and I have a bit more time to explore new tastes. I am trying to learn more especially about Asian cuisine, like Chinese and Thai. Especially Thai cuisine is becoming more and more popular between Dutch people and seems very nice with surprising combinations of sweet, sour, hot and salty ingredients. Some time ago, I read in a paper that dishes which combine all these tastes would stimulate all the nerves in the mouth and would enhance the good taste of the dish. One of my Thai trials resulted in this fish curry that became one of my favourite fish dishes. You first feel nice, mild taste of coconut cream and just within a second a burn from the hot red curry. Amazing combination that makes you want to eat more. I don’t have this often with spicy dishes…
In this recipe, one of the main ingredients is red curry paste. You can make your own but I chose to use a store bought one because I am not the biggest fan of processing exteremely hot red peppers. Different from many other recipes, my recipe calls for coconut cream and cornstarch to create a rich taste and a nice consistency. I also used parsley to garnish, for no special reason, just because I was too lazy to go to the supermarket You can use coriander or other Asian herbs, which would also fit very well with this recipe. Another white, firm fish with a mild taste could be used instead of tilapia as well.
- 400 gr. tilapia
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- ½ red pepper
- ½ green pepper
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- ½ onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon curry
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- 1 ½ tablespoon red curry paste
- ¼ cup coconut cream
- ¾ cup water
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 4-5 baby corns (from jar)
- a handful of parsley leaves
Cut your fish in big, square pieces, add some salt and fry shortly in the sesame oil. It should take only 2-3 minutes and the fish should be still rare inside when you place them in a bowl to rest. Cut the peppers in long, thin pieces. In a deep pan, sautee peppers with vegetable oil. When softened, add onions and sautee until the onions are softened as well. Add crushed garlic, curry and cumin, give it a good stir and add red curry paste. Stir shortly and add the coconut cream. Stir everything well together. Add cornstarch in the water, make sure all the cornstarch is dissolved in water and pour this mixture in the pan. Keep stirring until it starts to simmer. Add brown sugar, soy sauce, lemon juice and some salt. Stir well until the sugar is dissolved for about a minute. Then add the fish gently and carefully in the red curry sauce, making sure that all the fish is covered by the curry sauce. Cut baby corns to two and add them in the pan without breaking the fish pieces. Cover the pan and let it simmer for about 5 minutes. Before serving, stir in chopped parsley and serve with rice.
White Lemon Cake This cake is a good way to use left over egg whites from creme brulee or other dishes for which you need only egg yolks. I think it is a waste to throw away the egg whites. Instead you can try to make use of them too. I made up this recipe [...]
White Lemon Cake
This cake is a good way to use left over egg whites from creme brulee or other dishes for which you need only egg yolks. I think it is a waste to throw away the egg whites. Instead you can try to make use of them too. I made up this recipe once when I had egg whites waiting to be used in the fridge. I was inspired by the angels food cake for this recipe for a white, fluffy cake. I saw on tv that a tv chef was serving a nice angels food cake with fresh fruit after dinner. At that time, I decided that I had to try making such nice looking white cake once too. However, I have to admit, that this recipe is not like angels food cake if you don’t count using egg whites.
My husband and I both loved the refreshing smell and taste of lemon in this cake and the nice airy texture of the cake. I served my white cake as small lemon cake squares with a lemon drizzle on top. Even without the drizzle, the cake has a nice smell and lemon aroma. So if you are on a diet, you can skip the lemon drizzle. I know many people would not eat cakes when they are dieting, but this cake is also very innocent compared to a regular butter based cake. This recipe makes a low layer and in a square cake tin, you will have 9 white lemon cake squares. If you prefer a thicker cake, I would advise to double the recipe.
- 3 egg whites
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons yoghurt
- zest of a lemon
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 cup flour
- ½ vanilla sugar
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ cup icing sugar (powder sugar)
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon cold water
Start heating your oven at 180 degrees. Whisk the egg whites with sugar until well combined and fluffy. Then add the oil and yoghurt and whisk them slightly in the egg mixture. Rasp the lemon zest in the mixture. Then add the lemon juice, flour, vanilla sugar and baking powder. Mix everything to a homogenous cake batter. Grease your cake tin with butter and a little bit a flour. I used a 20×20 pyrex for this recipe. Pour the cake mixture in the tin. Make sure that the batter is evenly poured. Bake until golden brown and well enough that a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the cake. After baking, remove the sides of the cake from the cake tin. Let it rest until cooled down, about an hour. Your cake must be completely cooled down, when you pour the drizzle. To make the lemon drizzle, put all the ingredients together and whisk until all the sugar melts in the lemon juice cold water mixture. Then pour the lemon drizzle on the cake, using a spoon. I make round movements in order to create some shapes on my cakes.
Vanilla Creme Brulee Creme Brulee is one of the favourite desserts at our place. I especially love the crack the caramalized sugar layer makes when it breaks. I wanted to share my Creme Brulee recipe for some while, but it needed some improvement. Finally, I have found the perfect combination I have been looking for. [...]
Creme Brulee is one of the favourite desserts at our place. I especially love the crack the caramalized sugar layer makes when it breaks. I wanted to share my Creme Brulee recipe for some while, but it needed some improvement. Finally, I have found the perfect combination I have been looking for. This Creme Brulee melts in your mouth and it has just the right consistency. I hope you will enjoy it too. This recipe makes 4 ramekins.
- 1 ¼ cup (300 ml.) whipping cream
- 3 eggs
- 3 ½ tablespoons sugar
- half of a vanilla bean
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar for the top
Preheat your oven to 160 C degrees. Split the vanilla bean in two and scrap the vanilla seads. Put the whipping cream, vanilla seeds and the splitted vanilla bean. Bring this mixture to cook, stirring ocassionally. After the cream has cooked, split the eggs and put the egg yolks in a mixing bowl. Add sugar to the egg yolks and mix until just combined. Make sure that you don’t whisk the egg yolks and sugar too much. This allows too much air in the custard, which changes the texture of it. Strain the cream with vanilla beans in a bowl, using a sieve. Then pour the cream slowly on the egg mixture, stirring continiously. After everything is well combined, there are usually some foam on the top of the mixture. Using a blow torch, you can blow the foam away. After this step, the mixture is ready. Pour the cream in ramekins. Put the ramekins in a deep oven tin, then pour some cooking water in the tray. The water should reach halfway to the ramekins. Place the oven tin in the oven and bake for 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, the creme brulees should be still wobbling in the middle, but softly set on the sides. It will set further when cooling down. Take the creme brulees out of the oven tin and let cool in the room temperature for about an hour. After that, place them in the fridge and keep in the fridge until the you serve them, for at least two hours. Before serving, cover the top of the creme brulee with brown sugar and caramelize it with a blow torch. Serve immediately.
Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce It has again been a while before I could share a new recipe. Of course, I still cook every day ans sometimes try new things. But I do not get the opportunity to share my recipes because I forget to make photos. I could finally manage to make a photo of [...]
It has again been a while before I could share a new recipe. Of course, I still cook every day ans sometimes try new things. But I do not get the opportunity to share my recipes because I forget to make photos. I could finally manage to make a photo of my asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce, right on its way to the dinner table. Ok, I admit that it is not the best photo, but at least I did make the photo, so I decided to share this traditional recipe on bonabites. Hollandaise Sauce is a good company to the asparagus with its mild, but a little lemony taste. Although it is called Hollandaise sauce, this sauce is one of the main sauces of the French cuisine. It has very common ingredients such as eggs, butter and lemon juice but the taste is exceptional. It is quite quick to make this delicious sauce however it requires to proceed carefully. The sauce is prepared au bain marie, which means that you need to place a bowl on a pan of cooking water and prepare the sauce in the bowl. Another point is to clarify the butter and let it cool a little. It should not be boiling when added in the sauce but also not too cold. The most important things is, to keep stirring all the time, otherwise you might have scrambled eggs instead of a hollandaise sauce .
- 300 gr. asparagus
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon cold water
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 60 gr. butter
- a pinch of salt and pepper
Steam, cook or grill the asparagus to your preference. I like them steamed and I use my steamoven for this. You can use a steamer basket instead. Place it on cooking water with asparagus for 10 minutes. When steamed 10 minutes, the asparagus is still a little crisp but it is also tender. If you like your asparagus more crispy, just steam to your taste about 5-7 minutes. For the Hollandaise Sauce, put some water in a pan and let cook. Put butter in a small pan as well and let it melt. When it has melt, let the butter aside to use in the sauce. Place a mixing bowl on the cooking water. Whisk the egg yolk, lemon juice and water together until it changes in color and doubles in volume. While doing that make sure that the water does not touch the bottom of the mixing bowl and that you keep stirring. Otherwise the eggs would scramble. When the volume of eggs double, slowly drizzle the melted butter in the eggs, keeping on stirring. Be careful that you dont use the white milk solids in the butter, which sinks to the bottom of the melted butter. Keep stirring until the sauce is thickened and add the salt and pepper to season. Use the sauce when its warm but not too hot. I poured it on the asparagus this time, but it can also be used with other vegetables or eggs benedict.