Mmmm, finally, polenta appears on my blog! The bag of real Italian polenta I was chanceuse to buy in that Stockman store is almost empty, so I need to go to Caterina the Famous Belluno Girl to replenish my stocks, haha =) I made polenta according to classic instructions (from the pack) and today we fried it in such small sticks and it was great! We also steamed some broccoli. This is all cause I’m still unemployed, people =)
I have an idea to write about 90s in Russia, a dark and crazy period which not all of us survived (not kidding) and just exactly the period corresponding to my most precious childhood years. We watched half a movie from 1986 (USSR) yesterday and the times were already daaaark then. Especially if you compare the films from 80s to even 10 years earlier, or 60s. Ok, this will come, and I will finally return to my USSR saga!
Savoury Oat Crackers made as seen umaskitchenexperiments.blogspot.com will make salty crusty crackers without that much of oaty flavour
- 1/2 cup rolled oats – I used our Russian variety called Hercules (quite large and hard oats)
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 3 Tbs all purpose flour – I had to add a bit more
- 1/2 tsp salt – I guess I added a bit too much… or perhaps my butter was salted, I just didn’t mind it
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 3 Tbs walnuts / cashew nuts, finely chopped – I opted for walnuts
- 1 egg, well beaten – I used less than 1, as the mixture got already quite sticky
- sesame seeds – I guess black sesame will be nice here to, or a mixture of both
Method (copied from the original recipe)
1) Preheat the oven to 180 ‘C. Grease the baking tray with butter or line it with baking parchment (which I did). Spread out the sesame seeds in a wide plate.
2) Mix rolled oats, unsalted butter, plain flour, salt, dried thyme and cashew nuts in a mixing bowl. Lightly rub them using your finger tip.
3) Add beaten egg little by little till you get the soft dough. It is not required to use the full egg here.
4) Once the dough is ready, make a gooseberry size balls and roll them in sesame seeds to coat lightly and evenly.
5) Place the balls in the prepared baking trays. Make sure to leave enough space between dough balls (mine did not spread much).
6) With the help of a rolling pin or hand, roll over the balls to flatten them as much as possible (I used my good ol’ hand=).
7) Keep inside the oven and bake it for 12- 15 minutes or until it is pale golden (mine took 15 min.).
8) Cool the baking trays for 3-4 minutes, then transfer it to a wire rock to finish cooling.
The recipe is for just a small stack of crackers, so if you want to feed a crowd, double/ triple the recipe for your needs.
I also tried making some pesto today, I guess, Italians will never call this pesto though…
My small food processor worked hard but it managed with the task =) So here is a basic recipe, but you can can alter it to your taste, which I – as is impossible to avoid in my case – did.
Parsley Pesto adapted from thishomemadelife.com – will make an anti-flu appetizer spread (with all those cloves and mustard)
- 1/2 cup fresh, flat-leaf parsley – I also added some basil and dill, what I had on hand
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 tablespoon dried, rubbed sage– for the lack of sage (we usually use it to prepare gargle solutions when you have a sore throat) I used dried mint, you can see quite distinctly ‘logs’ from it=) I had no idea there were such hard dried sticks
- 1 clove garlic – I added three tiny cloves + French grain mustard which haha expired some time ago, but we still try to finish it
- 1/4 tsp table salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 5 Tbs olive oil – I added less, but I guess it’s better to stick to 5 Tbs
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese – I added some grated cheese but much less
Place all ingredients, except cheese, in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in cheese.
It’s as simple as that!
We used it as spread for the crackers and bread, and I also tried it with polenta and broccoli. I guess it will also be nice for spaghetti and as an extra flavour for pie fillings (this is exactly what I am about to do tonight).
Our winter is lingering stilllllllllll, just doesn’t want to let spring enter our gris world here. But we’re patient.
Tssss! I have some prospects for my future employment… We’ll see!