Friday, September 20, 2013

Whipped semolina pudding with apples and black aronia berries

Aroonia-õunamannavaht & arooniasmuuti / Black aronia smoothie and black aronia and apple pudding
Recipe by Pille @ Nami-NamiAbove photo by Juta Kübarsepp for the October 2012 issue of Kodu ja Aed ("Home and Garden", an Estonian monthly magazine. I've been their food writer since October 2012)

Back in July, The Wall Street Journal touted the slightly astringent and tart black aronia as possibly the next superberry. While WSJ listed it alongside other health-giving berries, Fox News wrote more directly: Aronia: The North American super berry with cancer-fighting properties., calling aronia the "King Kong of antioxidant berries" (other than that, it's actually a pretty good and informative article). In a word - it's a great berry that's very good to you!

Black aronia berry has been popular here in Estonia for decades - it makes a beautiful hedge plant, especially in the autumn:

Black aronia / Must aroonia

See what I mean? The aronia plant has most beautiful dark red leaves in the autumn!

Usually the berries are used to make cordial, though they can be used in so many other ways. I often throw a handful of berries into my smoothie, and I've provided links to various recipes below. Here's a simple autumnal pudding, using apples, aronia berries and cream of wheat/semolina.

Black aronia and apple whipped semolina pudding
Serves 4 to 6

1 l (4 cups) water
500 ml (2 cups) a mix of cleaned black aronia berries and chopped apples
100 g caster sugar
a pinch of salt
200 ml semolina (wholewheat or spelt semolina is fine, too)

Put the aronia berries and chopped apples into a saucepan, pour over the water. Bring into a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, until the aronia berries have softened.

Take a bowl (or another saucepan) and cover with a sieve. Pour the cooked apples and black aronias - and their boiling liquid - onto the sieve and using the back of a wooden spoon, press as much of the fruit through the sieve. Season the mixture with sugar and a pinch of salt. Bring into a boil.

Pour semolina quickly into the boiling mixture, stirring vigorously to avoid any lumps. Then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 10-15 minutes, stirring every now and then, until semolina - and the pudding - thickens. Remove the pan from the heat and leave to cool for about half an hour. Whisk until fluffy and light - this is best done with an electric mixer.

Serve with milk.

More recipes using black aronia berries aka chokeberries:
Black aronia muffins @ Nami-Nami
Black aronia and kefir smoothie @ Nami-Nami
Aronia jam @ Blooms 'n' Food
6 recipes @ Deep Roots
Aronia jam @ Sto kolorow kuchni (recipe in Polish)
Black aronia soda @ ferdakost
Vispipuuro omenasta ja marja-aroniasta by Riikka @ (recipe in Finnish)
Vispipuuro marja-aroniasta @ Omenaminttu (recipe in Finnish)
Vispipuuro marja-aroniasta ja mustaherukasta by MariMaalla @ Lily (recipe in Finnish)
Aroniaglögi @ Omenaminttu (recipe in Finnish)
Aronia-omenakisselli @ Omenaminttu (recipe in Finnish)
Aronia and rye foam by Malitsu @ Mämmi

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Green smoothie recipe

SeptembriRetsept13 _04

Recipe by Pille @ Nami-NamiAbove photo by Juta Kübarsepp for the September 2013 issue of Kodu ja Aed ("Home and Garden", an Estonian monthly magazine. I've been their food writer since October 2012)

Here's a recipe for a healthy and delicious pick-me-up smoothie for those days that kids have been driving you crazy, the to-do-list doesn't seem to get any shorter however hard you try, and you simply have no time to cook anything decent for yourself. It's the matter of peeling three fruits and throwing them into the blender (and rinsing the blender afterwards). I'll find time for that any day :)

The green smoothie - if the name didn't give it away already - is the one third from the left on the above photo. Feel free to guess what the other three are ;)

Green smoothie
(Roheline smuuti)
Serves 2

2 kiwis
1 banana
1 avocado
200 ml orange juice*

Peel the banana, kiwis and avocado. Place the flesh into your blender. Add the orange juice and process till smooth. Serve at once.

If you want your smoothie thinner, then add more orange juice, ice or ice-cold water.

* Ideally freshly squeezed, but any good-quality bottled juice will work as well.

Monday, September 02, 2013

Recipe for Beef Stroganoff with Chantarelle Mushrooms

Kukeseentega böfstrooganov. Boeuf Stroganoff with chanterelle mushrooms.
Recipe by Nami-Nami. Above photo by Juta Kübarsepp for the September 2013 issue of Kodu ja Aed ("Home and Garden", an Estonian monthly magazine. I've been their food writer since October 2012)

Boeuf Stroganoff, a popular family classic, gets an seasonal-autumnal touch here from fresh chanterelle mushrooms. As I've mentioned in another post, stroganoff doesn't usually include mushrooms over here. Yet I can see why mushrooms are often paired with beef in this classic Russian dish. While cultivated mushrooms are all right during the winter season, it'd be silly to use the pale and rather bland-tasting white button (or even small brown cremini) mushrooms when the local forests are full of wonderful wild mushrooms. Hence the use of chanterelle mushrooms here instead.

Small chantarelles / Väikesed kukeseened

Beef Stroganoff with Chanterelle Mushrooms
(Kukeseentega böfstrooganov)
Serves 4

vegetable oil for frying
300 g beef sirloin or tenderloin or "stroganoff" or stir-fry strips
salt and black pepper
1 Tbsp mild paprika powder
1 onion, finely chopped
300 g fresh chanterelle mushrooms
3 Tbsp concentrated tomato purée
200 ml fresh cream*
fresh parsley, finely chopped

If you're using sirloin or tenderloin, then cut the meat into thin stirps about 1 cm wide and 5 cm long (1/2 inch wide by 2 inch long). Clean the mushrooms thoroughly, cut into smaller pieces, if necessary.

Heat oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add the beef strips and brown quickly on all sides (in batches, if necessary). Transfer the meat onto a plate, sprinkle with salt, pepper and paprika pwider.

Add a little more oil to the pan, reduce the heat to medium. Add the onion and fry gently until softened.

Increase the heat to medium-high again, add the chanterelle mushrooms and fry for 4-5 minutes, until mushrooms are cooked.

Add the tomato concentrate, cook for a minute. Return the seasoned beef strips to the pan, alongside any liquid that's dripped into the plate. Add the cream and cook gently until heated through, the sauce has thickened and the meat is tender.

Taste for seasoning, add more salt and/or pepper, if necessary. Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately.

We like to eat our stroganoff with mashed potatoes, but buttered wide egg noodles would also work well.

* You can use single cream, double cream, pouring cream, whipping cream, even half-and-half. Any of those would work well, giving you a lighter or richer stroganoff.

More Stroganoff recipes:
Kurzeme stroganoff aka Latvian pork stroganoff with pickles @ Nami-Nami
Oven-baked pork stroganoff with mayonnaise @ Nami-Nami
Mushroom stroganoff (vegetarian recipe) @ Nami-Nami
Classic beef stroganoff @ The Cook Who Knew Nothing
Mushroom stroganoff (vegetarian recipe) @ Cook Sister
Skinny mushroom stroganoff (vegetarian recipe) @ Skinny Taste
Ribeye and mushroom stroganoff @ Farmhouse Delivery Blog
Beef stroganoff @ Simply Recipes
Beef strogranoff @ My Baking Addiction
Beef stroganoff with gnocchi @ Eat, Live, Run
Chicken stroganoff @ Kayotic Kitchen
Venison stroganoff @ Hunter. Angler. Gardener. Cook
Maria's Russian beef stroganoff @ Natasha's Kitchen
Stroganoff (recipe in Finnish) @ Pastanjauhantaa
Savumakkara-stroganoff (recipe in Finnish) @ Hellapoliisi
Böfstrooganov (recipe in Estonian) @ Da Vahtra Residence
Böfstrooganov (recipe in Estonian) @ Ise tehtud, hästi tehtud
Böfstrooganov sinepi ja kartulipüreega (recipe in Estonian) @ Puhas rõõm