(Cottage)Cheese Straws

As the title suggest, these are not your usual loaded with Cheddar cheese straws, these are a much lighter version, made with the Cottage Curd Cheese /Twarog

You can snack on them, serve instead of bread with soups and dips, or even with tea and coffee, if you don’t have a sweet tooth. They are very addictive though.

Also there is no limit to toppings. Traditionally, they are sprinkled with caraway or poppy seeds, but  you can sprinkle with whatever takes your fancy: paprika, linseeds, sesame seeds, curry powder, chopped nuts or as a sweet option with sugar and cinnamon.

COTTAGE CHEESE STRAWS

Ingredients:

250g twarog cheese (available at Tesco or other Polish supermarkets)
250g butter, at room temperature
350g plain flour
2 eggs  (1 — for a dough, 1 for the topping)
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder

Options for topping:

Caraway seeds
poppy seeds
linseeds
paprika, etc.

Method:

  1. Beat the cheese with butter until smooth.
  2. Add the egg and sugar, beat again. Add the flour, salt and baking powder. Knead lightly until the dough comes together and is quite soft.
  3.  On floured surface roll out to a of 7-8 mm thick and cut into sticks with a width and a length of about a finger.
  4. Place the cut out strips on a baking sheet, brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with caraway seeds, sesame seeds or anything else of your choice.
  5. Bake in a preheated to 180C oven about 13-15 minters or until the straws are tender and golden brown.

 

 

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Sweet & Savoury Cheese & Apple Muffins

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It was love at first bite! Once you’ve made them, I’m sure you’ll be making them again and again. The combination of apple and cheese will satisfy your sweet and savoury cravings in the same bite with these easy snacks. Serve these Cheddar Apple Muffins warm from the oven for a morning treat, however, they are equally good when are cold.

CHEESY APPLE MUFFINS

Ingredients:

(Please note, this will make 6-7 muffins only. Use double portion of everything for bigger quantity)

1 egg
60 g butter, room temperature
pinch salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

130 g plain flour
80-100 g Cheddar cheese, grated
50 g sugar
1 large apple, grated
1-2 tablespoons of milk (if needed)

2-3 teaspoons poppy seeds for decoration (optional)

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180C.

2. Beat butter with sugar, add the egg and beat well until smooth.

3. In separate bowl mix together flour, salt, baking powder, add the butter mixture, mix. Then add the grated cheese and apple.  Stir the batter carefully with a spoon, do not over-mix. If the batter is too thick you can add 1-2 tablespoons of milk to achieve desired thickness.

4. Fill the muffin moulds with the paper liners. Spoon the mixture in the prepared muffin moulds filling them about 2/3 . You can decorate with the slice of apple on top, if desired or, in my case, I prefer sprinkle them with some poppy seeds.

5. Bake the muffins for about 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Carefully remove from the pan, cool on the rack, serve hot or slightly cold!

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Anchovy & Chickpea Crostini

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Following on from my previous entry, I’d like to continue the ‘Chickpea’ topic. I have this gorgeous book I got from Mark on Venetian Cuisine, called Polpo which not only contents most amazing recipes but it looks absolutely wonderful from design point of you. I have to confess I haven’t cooked many recipes from it yet, purely because it is hard to get an access to such ingredients like cod cheeks or squid’s ink, or cotechino sausage. But one recipe from this book I used so many times, for many occasions and as humble as it is, it always causes a hit because of its tasty combination.

ANCHOVY AND CHICKPEA CROSTINI

Ingredients:

1 tin of chickpeas (about 400g)

10 anchovy fillets, plus some of their oil

juice of 1/2 lemon

1 tablespoon tahini

handful chopped parsley

pepper

about 4 tablespoons good quality olive oil

1/2 French stick (or other bread), sliced and lightly toasted

Method:

1. Place everything but extra olive oil in a food processor and pulse few times until chunky paste. Add a bit more anchovy or olive oil if you need, adjust the seasoning, but please note, there is no need for salt as anchovy and its oil should be plenty).

2. You can serve it straight away or put it in a covered container and keep it in the fridge for up to a week (if you do so, do bring it to room temperature before serving). To eat, spread roughly onto lightly toasted slices of French stick. Garnish with parsley. Drizzle generously with olive oil to finish.

Beetroot Hummus

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I, probably, won’t surprise you with something you never heard about before. Hummus and its variations are very popular food these days. Let it be just a reminder to eat more of it.  It is one of the simplest, healthiest and most delicious summer food!

BEETROOT HUMMUS

Ingredients:

1 can chickpeas (about 400g)

300g cooked beetroot

2 cloves garlic

1 teaspoon tahini

juice of half lemon

2 tablespoons olive oil

salt & pepper to season

chopped parsley to garnish

Method:

Place all ingredient but parsley into food processor and pulse  few times to a coarse paste. Adjust the seasoning and add more olive oil, if you wish, to desired consistency. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve it with the warm toasted pittas or as a sandwich filler, or as a topping to anything you want 🙂