Romantic Rose Water

Cardamom and rose water kulfi
Cardamom and rose water kulfi

This week , I’m sort of revisiting my Iranian roots by discussing the ¬†origin and different uses of Rose water. Nowadays it is more and more fashionable to use it , in perfumes , cooking , baking and different beautifying regimes.

My first encounter with rose water was many years ago in Turkey on a family holiday. Then I found it weird and it tasted like soap…oops! Ah, children! ūüôā

But¬†now as I’m older I can feel the true aroma better and enjoy it as it meant to be.

Rose bath
Rose bath

Rose water was first produced by Muslim chemists in the medieval Islamic world through the distillation of roses, for use in the drinking and perfumery industries.

Since ancient times, roses have been used medicinally, nutritionally, and as a source of perfume. The ancient Greeks, Romans and Phoenicians considered large public rose gardens to be as important as crop lands such as orchards and wheat fields.

Rose perfumes are made from rose oil, also called attar of roses, which is a mixture of volatile essential oils obtained by steam-distilling the crushed petals of roses, a process first developed in Iran (Persia). Rose water is a by-product of this process. It has been suggested that the Persian polymath Avicenna discovered how to make rose water in the tenth century.

Rose tea
Rose tea

Edible versions

Rose water has a very distinctive flavour and is used heavily in Persian and Middle east cuisine‚ÄĒespecially in sweets such as nougat, raahat and baklava. For example, rose water is used to give some types of Turkish delight their distinctive flavours.

In Iran, it is also added to tea, ice cream, cookies and other sweets in small quantities, and in the Arab world, Pakistan and India it is used to flavour milk and dairy-based dishes such as rice pudding. It is also a key ingredient in sweet lassi, a drink made from yogurt, sugar and various fruit juices, and is also used to make jallab. In Malaysia and Singapore, rose water is mixed with milk, sugar and pink food colouring to make a sweet drink called bandung. Rose water is frequently used as a halal substitute for red wine and other alcohols in cooking.

Rose bath-salts
Rose bath-salts

Marzipan has long been flavoured with rose water. Marzipan originated in the Middle East and arrived in Western Europe by the Middle Ages; it continues to be served as a snack. American and European bakers enjoyed the floral flavouring of rose water in their baking until the 19th century when vanilla flavouring became popular.

In parts of the Middle East, rose water is commonly added to lemonade with mint.

Cosmetic and medicinal use

Rose water is a usual component of perfume. A rose water ointment is occasionally used as an emollient, and rose water is sometimes used in cosmetics such as cold creams.

Medicinal use , Ayurveda: In India, rose water is used as eye drops to clear them. Some people in India also use rose water as spray applied directly to the face for natural fragrance and moisturizer, especially during winters. It is also used in Indian sweets and other food preparations (particularly gulab jamun). Rose water is often sprinkled in Indian weddings to welcome guests.

Rose petals
Rose petals

Religious uses

Rose water is used as a perfume in religious ceremonies (Hindu, Muslim and Zoroastrian). Water used to clean the Kaaba, the Qibla for Muslims located in Mecca, combines Zamzam water with rose water as an additive.
Rose water is used in some Hindu rituals as well. Rose water also figures in Christianity, particularly in the Eastern Orthodox Church.

I think we can all agree on the fact that Rose water has endless uses… use it inside and out it will benefit you.

For some of us , it might take time to get use to the taste, but I think if we use the right amount and we got the right recipe , simply cannot go wrong.

Lemonade with mint and rose water
Lemonade with mint and rose water

I experimented with rose water , by adding sugar to it and pouring it on ice cream and panna cotta, it was fantastic.

I will look for other alternatives to try with Rose water… maybe adding it to my bath water! ūüėÄ

I hope you will all try it!

Bye now!

Hanna

Charming Chia (seeds)

 

Chia Seed Pudding , with pomegranate and pistachios...Perfect!
Chia Seed Pudding , with pomegranate and kiwi…Perfect!

As you all know it by now, I’m not a huge fan of veggies. I know , they are important to have my health in order, so that’s why I always try to find new ways to add some fiber and nutrition to my diet, but in the way it won’t taste or feels like I’m eating grass or something too green! ūüôā

In my previous post , I wrote about kale and its wonderful properties. Now I’ve found Chia Seeds.

Slowly, but summer is here , so we an experiment with salads, puddings and smoothies . The great thing is that we can ALL , add Chia Seeds to ALL of the above  mentioned. YAY!

Raw Black Chia
Raw Black Chia

Ohh, little wonders! It is the perfect way of eating healthy , but still enjoying it.

Nowadays, chia is becoming better known as a great source of healthy omega-3 fats and fiber, and it’s an easy food to add to your diet.

Chia seeds come from a flowering plant in the mint family that’s native to Mexico and Guatemala, and history suggests it was a very important food crop for the Aztecs. It’s remained in regular use in its native countries, but was largely unknown in North America until researcher Wayne Coates began studying chia as an alternative crop for farmers in northern Argentina about 29 years ago.

Benefits
Benefits

Coates started his work on chia in 1991, and since then has become an advocate of the tiny seed’s health benefits. The human trials are limited ‚ÄĒas is often the case with food research‚ÄĒ but the anecdotal evidence of chia’s positive health effects include boosting energy, stabilizing blood sugar, aiding digestion, and lowering cholesterol.

 

Coconut-Chia Pudding
Coconut-Chia Pudding

The little seed ‚ÄĒ which comes in either white or a dark brown and black colour ‚ÄĒ also has a huge nutritional profile. It contains calcium, manganese, and phosphorus, and is a great source of healthy omega-3 fats. As an added benefit, chia seeds can be eaten whole or milled, while flax seeds have to be ground before consumption in order to access their health benefits for example.
When you’re buying chia, both the white and black seeds are good choices, but Coates warns to make sure you’re getting a good quality product by avoiding either red seeds (immature chia seeds), or black seeds that are smaller than regular chia seeds (weed seeds). Coates sells the seeds himself, but they are available from many different health food stores and supermarkets.

So once you’ve got your seeds, how to you add them to your diet? “The easiest way is to add it to everything and anything,” Coates says.

The seeds are tasteless so they won’t affect the flavor profile of your food, which makes them easy to integrate into your meals. They can be sprinkled whole on top of salads or toast or added milled to smoothies, and even add them to ice cream.

Very good reasons to add Chia Seeds to your diet ASAP:
What is Chia?
What is Chia?

Antioxidants

Chia seeds are rich in antioxidants that help protect the body from free radicals, aging and cancer. The high antioxidant profile also helps them have a long shelf life. They last almost two years without refrigeration.

Minerals

Two tablespoons of chia seeds contain 18 percent of the DRI for calcium, 35 percent for phosphorus, 24 percent for magnesium and about 50 percent for manganese. These nutrients help you prevent hypertension and maintain a healthy weight, and are important for energy metabolism and a part of DNA synthesis.

Satiety

Satiety is the feeling of being full and satisfied, which helps lower food cravings between meals. The combination of protein, fiber and the gelling action of chia seeds when mixed with liquids all contribute to their satiating effects.

Gluten-Free

Chia seeds contain no gluten or grains. Therefore, all of the nutritional benefits of chia seeds can be obtained on a gluten-free diet.

Amazingly filling!
Amazingly filling!

Egg Replacer

The outer layer of chia seeds swells when mixed with liquids to form a gel. This can used in place of eggs to lower cholesterol and increase the nutrient content of foods and baked goods. To make the egg replacement, mix 1 tablespoon of chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water and let sit for 15 minutes.

Can Be Digested Whole

Unlike flax-seed, which are also high in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and minerals, chia seeds do not need to be ground in order to obtain their nutrient or egg- replacement benefits.

Dyslipidemia

A study published in the “British Journal of Nutrition” showed that chia seeds as a dietary fat source can lower triglycerides and cholesterol levels while increasing HDL or “good” cholesterol. The study also found that when substituting chia seeds for other fat sources, such as corn oil, the ALA was able to prevent high triglyceride levels and reduce central obesity.

Blood Sugar Regulation

Chia seeds can play an important role in regulating insulin levels. They can reduce insulin resistance and decrease abnormally high levels of insulin in the blood.

 

Easy and “Must-Try” recipes with Chia¬†Seeds:

31 easy and delicious recipes:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/rachelysanders/healthy-and-delicious-chia-seed-recipes

Kid-friendly ways to add more fibers to our little-one’s diet:

http://wellnessmama.com/4981/10-uses-for-chia-seeds/

And one more website for luck :

http://noshon.it/blog/2013/08/10-must-make-recipes-using-chia-seeds/

Blueberry and Chia Combo
Blueberry and Chia Combo

There you have it! If you are still in the group of “non-believers” , try to add it to a smoothie at first… you won’t regret it for sure!

If anyone finds new recipes and more info, please let me know!

Please try my Charming new friend Chia! ūüôā

Till next time everyone! ūüôā

Hanna

 

 

Magnificent Macaron – “Gluten-free and delicious since the 700’s”

Pink Peace....
Pink Peace….

Well after a looong break I’m here again with some interesting facts ¬†now on everybody’s favorite, fancy and fashionable friend – Macaron

I have to tell you the truth , my opinion of homemade Macarons are quite low. ¬†– Swing and a miss if you ask me… They look sad, bit shabby , crooked and just a general mess… I know what I’m talking about I had my own experiences with it and some of “Gastro-guru” friends of mine were experimenting ¬†as well.

Results  ,leave Macarons to the experts , pastry chefs !

But since everyone is still hooked on them , I had the urge to find out more about these cute little things. We all heard about Laudr√©e and other famous houses making Magnificent , Colourful and Delicious ¬†Macarons , but does anyone know where are they from or how are they made into perfection…

The Macaron cookie was born in Italy, introduced by the chef of Catherine de Medicis in 1533 at the time of her marriage to the Duc d’Orleans who became king of France in 1547 as Henry II.¬†The name is derived from the¬†Italian¬†word¬†macarone,¬†maccarone¬†or¬†maccherone, the¬†Italian¬†meringue.

Rainbow
Rainbow

The¬†macaroon¬†is often mistaken as the macaron; many have adopted the French spelling of macaron to distinguish the two items in the English language. However, this has caused confusion over the correct spelling. Some recipes exclude the use of¬†macaroon¬†to refer to this French confection while others think that they are synonymous.In a Slate article on the topic, Stanford Professor of Food Cultures, Dan Jurafsky, indicates that ‘macaron’ (also, “macaron parisien”, or “le macaron Gerbet”) is the correct spelling for the confection.

Although the macaron is predominantly a French confection, there has been much debate about its origins.¬†Larousse Gastronomique¬†cites the macaron as being created in 791 in a convent near¬†Cormery. Some have traced its French debut back to the arrival of¬†Catherine de’ Medici’s Italian pastry chefs whom she brought with her in 1533 upon marrying¬†Henry II of France.In 1792, macarons began to gain fame when two Carmelite nuns, seeking asylum in Nancy during the French Revolution, baked and sold the macaron cookies in order to pay for their housing. These nuns became known as the “Macaron Sisters”. In these early stages, the macaron was served were served without special flavors or fillings.

It was not until the 1830s that macarons began to be served two-by-

In all colors...
In all colors…

two with the addition of jams, liqueurs, and spices. The macaron as it is known today, composed of two almond meringue discs filled with a layer of buttercream, jam, or¬†ganache¬†filling, was originally called the “Gerbet” or the “Paris macaron.” Pierre Desfontaines of the French p√Ętisserie¬†Ladur√©e¬†has sometimes been credited with its creation in the early part of the 20th century, but another baker, Claude Gerbet, also claims to have invented it.

Since then, French Macaron cookies have been nationally acclaimed in France and remain the best-selling cookie in pastry retail stores.

In Paris, the¬†Ladur√©e¬†chain of pastry shops has been known for its macarons for about 150 years.¬†In France,¬†McDonald’s¬†sells macarons in theirMcCaf√©s¬†(sometimes using advertising that likens the shape of a macaron to that of a hamburger).McCaf√© macarons are produced by¬†Ch√Ęteau Blanc, which, like Ladur√©e, is a subsidiary of¬†Groupe Holder, though they do not use the same macaron recipe.

Rustic ...
Rustic …

Outside of Europe, the French-style macaron can be found in Canada and the United States.

In¬†Australia,¬†Adriano Zumbo¬†along with the TV series¬†MasterChef¬†have seen the macaron become a popular sweet treat, and it is now sold by McDonald’s in its McCafe outlets.

On an global level, March 20 marks “Macaron Day”. Created in 2005 in Paris by la Maison¬†Pierre Herm√©, it is a tradition that spread across the world. On this day, participating bakeries and macaron shops around the world offer customers one free sample macaron. A percentage of all additional macaron sales is donated to a local charity.

And in addition the Macaron’s recipe!¬†

Afternoon tea...
Afternoon tea…

To create even-sized macarons, it is best to either create a template on greaseproof paper or buy a specially designed silicon macaron mat. My favourite mat comes from Lakeland in the UK.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 16 minutes

Total Time: 26 minutes

Yield: Approx 10 Р15

Ingredents:

  • 100g / 1 cup icing sugar / ground almonds
  • 2 medium, free-range egg whites
  • Small pinch salt
  • 55g / ¬ľ cup caster / fine sugar
  • For the filling:
  • 150g / 1 ¬Ĺ cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 75 g / 2/3 cup icing / powder sugar

 

  • Preparation :
This is the basic recipe for macarons. You can make coloured macarons by (sparingly) using a food colouring paste rather than liquid food colouring. The colour should be added to the egg whites before whisking. However, If you would like chocolate macarons –¬† Chocolate Macaron RecipeMacarons need a steady, lowish temperature to cook properly, too high and they easily burn, too low and they don’t cook through. These temperatures are a guideline, adjust to suit your oven.Preheat the oven to 140¬įC/300 ¬įF/Gas for fan oven, 160 ¬įC/ 325¬įF/gas 3 regular oven

  • Sieve the icing sugar, followed by the ground almonds, into a large mixing bowl and carefully mix together.
  • In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites and salt until they form soft peaks. Add the caster / fine sugar, a little at a time and continue to whisk until the whites are very thick and glossy (ideally, you should be able to hold the bowl upside down without the whites falling out – go on, I dare you !) Gently stir in the icing sugar and almond mix. The mixture will lose some air and become quite loose, don’t worry, this is the way it should be.
  • Using a piping bag with a 1cm / 1/3″ nozzle, fill with the macaron mixture. Place the silicon mat (see note in the introduction) or paper template onto a baking sheet. Pipe small blobs onto the sheet remembering that less is more at this stage because the mixture will settle and form into the allotted spaces.
  • Gently tap the baking sheet a few times on the work surface to help the macaron mixture to settle and to break any air bubbles, then leave to dry for 20 minutes – the surface of the macaron will become smooth and shiny
  • Bake the macarons in the preheated for 7 – 8 minutes minutes, open the door to release any steam, close the oven door and cook for a further 7 – 8 minutes. The macarons are cooked when they feel firm and are slightly risen.
  • Slide the mat or greaseproof paper onto a wire cooling rack and leave to cool completely Do not be tempted to remove the macarons from the mat until they are cold or you will break them.
  • Make the Filling
  • Beat the softened butter until it is fluffy, then gradually beat in the icing sugar. At this point you can beat in any flavourings you may choose. See examples below.
  • Place approx 1/2 a tsp of the filling to the flat side of one macaroon and sandwich together with another then twist ever so slightly to create a bond. Continue with the remaining macaroons.
  • The macarons can be eaten immediately but will benefit from being refrigerated for 24 hours (that’s if you can resist them for that long) as this will make them even more chewy and tasty.

Perfect for an Afternoon Tea , or perfect for your festive cooking.

Seasons
Seasons

Filling variations :

  1. For pink macarons: raspberry, strawberry are good matches, or for contrast add a little vanilla flavouring to the buttercream.
  2. Green macarons work very well with a pistachio flavoured cream, use either food flavouring or finely ground, pistachio nuts. Alternatively, add a little coconut flavouring, fresh lime zest and a tiny squeeze of the juice for a zingy filling.
  3. Purple, blueberry flavour is perfect.
  4. Cream coloured, use vanilla extract for an extra creamy flavour.
  • Yellow, lemon works really well.

I think we can all agree they are hard to make , but since nothing is impossible, have a go , you might surprise everyone! ūüôā

Till next time Everyone! ūüôā

Hanna

Financier aka. Friand

Fancy-shmancy
Fancy-shmancy

Hi there!

Well, I’m here again… sorry for the delay , I’ve been experiencing troubles with my connections, but all is sorted and ready.

Last week during my “coffee and magazine time”, I came across an interesting article about a nice little cake called Financier.

The article contained a recipe and it was quite easy , so I prepared it , just to try how it will taste and go with fresh fruit and all sorts of things I eat on a regular basis.

Everything was fine, cake butter done , baking time finished … and out of the oven came a familiar fragrance…

That was the moment when I realized , I was baking friands….

With fresh fruit
With fresh fruit

During my life I’ve lived in many places, but my second home is always be Australia. There I encountered many culinary experiences , many different tastes and methods, but after all these years I just found out that Financier and Friand are the same.

A financier is a small French cake, often mistaken for a pastry. The financier is light and moist, similar to sponge cake, and usually contains almond flour, crushed or ground almonds, or almond flavoring. The distinctive feature of the recipe is beurre noisette (brown butter). Other ingredients include egg whites, flour, and powdered sugar. Financiers are baked in shaped molds, usually small rectangular loaves similar in size to petits fours  , often topped with fruit jam or dark chocolate squares. .

The name financier is said to derive from the traditional rectangular

Easy , yet amazing!
Easy , yet amazing!

mold, which resembles a bar of gold. Another theory says that the cake became popular in the financial district of Paris surrounding the Paris stock exchange.

The French word friand, which means dainty or a gourmet who delights in delicate tastes, refers as well to minced meat and herbs in puff pastry, a food item unrelated to the baked items called friand or financier.

Friand is very popular across Australia and New-Zealand.

I hope you found my words interesting.

Now , I’ll write down the recipe so you can all try it at home!

Endless possibilities
Endless possibilities

Financier recipe:

Makes 30

50g butter plus extra for greasing

50g plain flour plus extra for dusting

140g ground almonds

160g icing sugar, plus extra for dusting

6 egg whites, at room temperature

50g blueberries, washed and dried

Butter 30 x 6cm (21/2 in) financier tins, dust lightly with flour and chill in the fridge until needed.

Gently heat the butter in a small pan over a medium heat until it turns a dark golden brown, then immediately remove from the heat.

Mix together all the dry ingredients in a large bowl then stir in the egg whites.

Gradually stir in the hot butter until you have a smooth batter. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 180¬įC (350¬įF/gas mark 4).

Spoon the batter into the chilled tins until they are three quarters full, then pop a few blueberries into each one. Bake for 10‚Äď12 minutes until firm and golden brown.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tins for a few minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and dust with icing sugar to serve.

In every season...
In every season…

Good luck! ūüôā

Till next time!

Hanna

Mochi Mochi!

Traditional Mochi
Traditional Mochi

Another week passed by, and I found something interesting to share with you All.

I was strolling up-down on the High Street not far from my place and I thought I’ll try something different and eat Japanese for a change.

I had my favorite Takoyaki and some Katsu Curry…but while I was choosing and having a look around I found Mochi…

This wasn’t my first encounter with it but I completely forgot about it. It was like seeing an old friend…

Let me tell you all about Mochi!

Mochi  is Japanese rice cake  , made of a short-grain japonica glutinous rice. The rice is pounded into paste and molded into the desired shape. In Japan it is traditionally made in a ceremony called mochitsuki.

Hmm...
Hmm…

Mochi is a multicomponent food consisting of polysaccharides, lipids, protein and water. Mochi has a heterogeneous structure of amylopectin gel, starch grains and air bubbles.This rice is characterized by its lack of amylose in starch and is derived from short or medium japonica rices. The protein concentration of the rice is a bit higher than normal short-grain rice and the two also differ in amylose content. In mochi rice, the amylose content is negligible which results in the soft gel consistency of mochi.

Okay… enough of the science , let’s continue with how Mochi is actually made:

Cuties
Cuties

Traditionally, mochi was made from whole rice, in a labor-intensive process.

The traditional mochi-pounding ceremony in Japan is Mochitsuki:

  1. Polished glutinous rice is soaked overnight and cooked.
  2. The cooked rice is pounded with wooden mallets (kine) in a traditional mortar (called usu).Two people will alternate the work, one pounding and the other turning and wetting the mochi. They must keep a steady rhythm or they may accidentally injure one another with the heavy kine.
  3. The sticky mass is then formed into various shapes.
Ichigo daifuku - with a whole strawberry inside
Ichigo daifuku – with a whole strawberry inside

Mochi can also be prepared from a flour of sweet rice (mochiko). The flour is mixed with water to a sticky opaque white mass that is cooked on the stove-top or in the microwave until it becomes elastic and slightly transparent.

Many types of traditional wagashi and mochigashi (Japanese traditional sweets) are made with mochi. For example, daifuku is a soft round mochi stuffed with sweet filling, such as sweetened red bean paste (an) or white bean paste (shiro an). Ichigo daifuku is a version containing a whole strawberry inside.

Kusa mochi
Kusa mochi

Kusa mochi is a green variety of mochi flavored with yomogi (mugwort). When daifuku is made with kusa mochi, it is called yomogi daifuku.

Mochi not only used for cakes , it can be also made into an ice cream and soup as well.

I hope you enjoyed your meeting with my old friend Mochi.

I promise we will meet more often! ūüôā

Till next time everyone!

Hanna

The Black Beauty – Squid Ink Pasta

Black on Black
Black on Black

Last week I discussed the difference between Chowder and Bisque… Now , it’s time to talk Pasta! But not just any kind of ordinary pasta … This week the spotlight is on Squid Ink Pasta…

Only a few days ago , I when I was out having dinner with my friends , I had my first encounter with this cool looking black pasta. I was a bit apprehensive at first ,but now I’m 100% sold on it.

I ordered Spaghetti neri all’aragosta , which is black ink pasta , diced whole lobster, bisque ,garlic , fresh tomatoes and chilli.

It was a great surprise…

That amazingly weird looking black pasta is made from eggs, flour, a little salt and ink from squid bottoms. You’ve probably seen squid ink pasta on menus at your favorite italian restaurants, or sold in gourmet food stores. You may have even seen it in a cookbook or a cooking blog, but you will never have seen it prepared on the Today Show (hmmm, why is that?).

Gastronomy above and beyond
Gastronomy above and beyond

Like me, you have never probably thought  about squid ink and making squid ink-infused fresh pasta.

¬†‚ÄúIs this gonna stain my hands?‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúWhat about my kitchen countertops?‚ÄĚ and, ‚ÄúWhat does it taste like?‚ÄĚ Well, fear not ¬†my lovely pasta enthusiasts. The top ¬†most important concerns an tips of squid ink pasta are revealed here …

Squid ink can be purchased at a cool supermarkets, specialty food stores or decent fish mongers. If you still can’t locate it, you should find it online somewhere. It is usually around 4-5 pounds for a small container of squid ink that was imported from Italy. Italian squid ink, much like their pasta , is far better.

Squid are not the only sea creatures to emit black ink as a defense mechanism. Cuttlefish also produce black ink which is harvested for food coloring and flavoring. Be mindful of this when asking your fishmonger for black ink. They are hyper-sensitive about it and you can easily end up thrown out from their shop…

The ink actually won’t stain your hands…permanently. I mean, it will dirty your hands, and it will make you look like a coal miner, but it will wash off with soap and water. I’m pretty sure it will. Ditto for staining your counter-tops, work spaces or pasta rolling equipment.

Delightful dinner
Delightful dinner

Squid ink pasta has a distinctive iodine, briny flavor that pairs well with seafood, ideally squid. This is probably the most surprising aspect of squid ink pasta. I thought it was merely a coloring agent, but it has its own unique flavor profile. It’s worth the effort if you love seafood .

Squid ink pasta will take the same time to cook as regular fresh pasta. About 3-6 minutes.
Squid ink pasta is arguably the coolest looking pasta to make, serve, eat, take photos of, discuss . Make sure you tell people about it at any available opportunity. It makes for scintillating conversation and ego boosting.
Squid ink can be used in other regional specialties such as risotto or paella.

The "How to" on squid ink pasta
The “How to” on squid ink pasta

The perfect recipe :

2 cups flour

  • 3 eggs
  • ¬Ĺ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon squid ink
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil (optional)
  1. Mound the flour on a clean work surface. Hollow out the center using your fingers making a well in the middle of the flour with steep sides.
  2. Break the eggs into a bowl and add the salt, squid ink and olive oil.  Beat it well and add it to the well, gently mixing together with a fork. Gradually start incorporating the flour by pulling in the flour from the sides of the well. As you incorporate more of the flour, the dough will start to take shape.
  3. Discard the fork and using your hands, continue working the dough until it comes together. If the dough is too dry, add a little water; if too wet or sticky, add a little more flour.
  4. Begin kneading the dough and keep kneading until it becomes smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes. Don’t skimp on the kneading time. It will pay-off in the end.

    Different sides of Black
    Different sides of Black
  5.  Set the dough aside, cover it with plastic, and let it rest for 20 minutes in the fridge. You can store the dough in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours, but allow it to return to room temperature before rolling it out.
  6. Divide the pasta dough into 4 even sections. Keep each section covered with plastic wrap or a clean towel while you work with each one. Flour the dough, the pasta roller (or your rolling pin), your hands, and the work surface.
  7. If using a pasta machine: Flatten one of the of the dough pieces between your hands or with a floured rolling pin until it forms a thick oval disk. Dust the disk, the roller, and your hands with additional flour. Flour a baking sheet to hold the rolled out finished pasta.
  8. With the roller on the widest setting, pass the pasta through the machine a few times until it is smooth. Fold the dough over into thirds, and continue to pass through a few more times until the pasta is smooth again. Begin adjusting the pasta machine settings to become thinner, passing the dough through a few times at each setting.

    Endless possibilites
    Endless possibilites
  9. If rolling the pasta by hand: Flatten a dough piece into a thick oval disk with your hands. Flour a baking sheet for the rolled out finished pasta. Place the oval dough disk on a floured work surface, and sprinkle with additional flour. Begin rolling out the dough with a floured rolling pin working from the center of the dough outwards, constantly moving the dough and lifting it to make sure it’s not sticking.
Amazing when paired with seafood or veggies
Amazing when paired with seafood or veggies

Well, ¬†that’s all there is on Squid Ink Pasta . I hope some of you will try and make the pasta at home or at least try it at the restaurant when you next see it on the menu.

Till next time everyone! ūüôā

Hanna

Chowder vs. Bisque – Demystified

Amazing lobster bisque
Amazing lobster bisque

Another week passed by so I’m here again to discuss something new with you All.

Chowder or Bisque – Bisque or Chowder? Are they the same? Similar? Or completely different?

To tell you the truth I was confused and lost in this subject, but I noticed I wasn’t the only one.

How can you tell the difference between a bisque and a chowder?

The origins of the word bisque in relation to soup are debated. Some food historians believe that the word refers to the fact that the soup is cooked twice” ,bis ¬†cuites”, while others suspect that it is related to the Bay of Biscay. Cuisine from Biscay often includes spicy ingredients similar to those used in bisque, and another type of soup, called Biscay, involves the use of heavily spiced game birds in a recipe very similar to that used for bisque.

Creamy veggie bisque
Creamy veggie bisque

Traditional bisque begins with sauteeing seafood in a heavy pan. If crustaceans are being used, the shells are left on. Next, a broth is made in the pan by combining wine and soup stock with aromatic spices, and the seafood is simmered until it is cooked through. The entire mixture is pureed, including the shells of the crustaceans. After being pureed, cream is added and the soup is cooked and allowed to thicken even more before being served, usually sprinkled with parsley and freshly cracked pepper on top.

Traditional serving of Bisque
Traditional serving of Clam Chowder

Bisque is also a close relative of chowder, another creamy seafood soup.

Another possible (and maybe more probable) source could be the French dish called chaudrée (sometimes spelt chauderée) which is a sort of thick fish soup from the coastal regions of Charente-Maritime and Vendée.
The term comes from the French word “chaudiere” the pot in which the chowder was cooked.

The broad range of soups that use flour as a thickening agent are called chowders. To most Americans it means clam chowder, either New England with a cream base, or the tomato based Manhattan style. The main ingredient of a chowder can range widely, from corn to clams.

Chowder and stew have thick chunks of ingredients in the rich creamy base, while bisque has a uniform creamy texture. Bisque is served at fancy events because of the even texture, complex flavor, and beautiful color. Chowder is usually considered a dish of lower class, and therefore rarely appears at formal ,posh dinners.

Clam chowder and white wine
Clam chowder and white wine

The word “bisque” is also used to refer to any sort of creamy, pureed soup, and thus menus often feature tomato and squash bisques.

So just to summarize :
Bisque is a thick, creamy soup that traditionally is made from puréed shell fish.
Chowder is a  soup that uses flour as a thickening agent.

The picture is clear now on Chowder and Bisque, altough in gastronomy there are more types of soups and sauces like  consommé ,cream soups , gravy, stews and broth.

But let’s take it step by step…

I hope, I helped to understand the difference and the relations between our beloved soups.

Since tomorrow is Sunday, I’ll try one of them , I’m not saying I will cook one from scratch, I rather have one made by a professional chef at the nearby pub ūüôā

Have a nice weekend everyone ’till next time!

Hanna