In my cooking I very often mix and match different styles, tastes and techniques, mainly because I love experimenting, but also because the results can be absolutely stunning. This is one of those adventures – Aussie lamb shanks, seasoned with a wonderful “Three Little Pigs Touch of Cherry” BBQ rub, one of the best commercially available rubs I’ve tried, and then roasted with a pint of Guinness stout (“The black stuff”, as they call it in Ireland).
Today’s recipe is for a dish I remember since I was about 4 years old. Something very similar was an all times favorite of all the school and kindergarden kitchens in ex-USSR – yeah, I happened to be born in Moldova, one of the republics. This is one of those things you are either crazy about, or consider it your worst culinary nightmare, and I admit, I belong to the former. Yesterday I got 2 kg of fresh ricotta from my local deli – the DeliHub in St Ives, NSW (big shoutout to these guys – there’s no week I am not there!), hence this old times relic was brought back to life by my wife and here we go!
It’s been a long while, as I’ve been busy with my other projects, which I will be delighted to share with you quite soon. My wood workshop has been made fully operational and I am trying my luck as a hobbyist woodworker.
However, my barbie was not given any days off! So here is a quick and very easy to make pork fillet roll, grilled, needless to mention. And with some extra bacon reinforcement it really is a treat!
Grilling or smoking for me is by far the most preferred way to cook fish. There’s something utterly primal in the combination of fish and fire, since, mind you, this is just the way our great great ancestors used to cook it, right after pulling the fish out of the waters… The sea was the taste, the smoke was the spice and the fire was the soul.
Salmon is one of the most noble creatures of the sea and it deserves the noble and most traditional treatment – open fire!
Despite its simplicity, this dish has a history of thousands of years. Pilaf, or palov, osh-palov, biryani, pulão… It has known countless variations in India, Balkan, Caucasian, central and south Asian countries, and it’s basis is rice, cooked in a seasoned broth. The usual meat of choice is lamb, but here’s a version of the same dish, but with chicken.
Last two weeks the weather was, how shall I put this, not smoke friendly. So I pulled out my dutch oven, or, to be precise, a bigger brother of a wok, made of cast iron, which can be used on a gas stove top, and… well, there was a cubed beef, potatoes, carrots, onions…. so here we go – braised beef with potatoes, the way my granny used to make it 30 years ago.
It is quite an interesting fact that marinated mushrooms are most known as classic Russian dish, regardless of the fact many world kitchens make an extensive use of this wonderful ingredient. Marinated mushrooms – be it champignons or any other – were mostly considered either as pickles or, more popular, as the bite following a shot of an ice chilled vodka. So, as a tribute to this wonderful dish, here’s my version of it – quick, easy and very tasty!