Starter: WARM CHICKEN SALAD
Sad to say, this didn't turn out so well, and it was mainly my fault. Long story short, I added lime juice where I should not have, and refused to add sugar where I should have, resulting in an ultra sour sauce. Still, the idea is pretty cool, and I should like to give it another try.
Chicken fillets [breasts, thighs, whatever]
Salad greens, whatever you want
Orange juice [juice of 1 - 2 orange should be sufficient]
Oil [a few tablespoon]
Herbs [I used rosemary]
Heat up the oil, and panfry the chicken fillets with herbs until cooked through. Set aside.
Pour the orange juice into the pan [the one used to fry the chicken], and cook until reduced and syrupy. Taste and season.
Toss the sauce with the greens, then place fillet [either sliced or whole] on top of the greens and serve.
Main course: Creamy mushroom baked pasta
Recipe adapted from Nigella's recipe. I don't know how that woman lives with herself after eating so much butter, but I just can't do it. For the bechamel, I followed the recipe exactly, and I have to say it turned out fantastic. For the mushrooms, I simply stir fried them up in a little olive oil and left it at that. Mom was totally crazy over this dish, but I find it much too rich. So if rich, creamy cheesy baked pasta sounds like your thing, go ahead and make this, because it really is pretty good =)
A fantastic middle-eastern/Turkish/Greek dessert, chosen because my mom loves nuts, and this dessert is full of it. The phyllo pastry can get a little tricky to work with, and I only used a few sheets, which still leaves me with much of the box of pastry, but mom loved the dessert, so it's ok.
Ingredients [yields 6 squares]:
250g of finely chopped nuts [walnuts/almonds/pistachos, mixed or individually]
2 tablespoon cinnamon powder
75g castor sugar
Phyllo pastry; roughly 9 sheets
100g melted butter
100g honey, warmed.
* recipe by no means authentic; authentic baklava calls for the whole dessert to be soaked in sugar syrup, which I find more than a little frightening.
Pre-heat oven to a hot 200 degree celcius.
Combine the nuts, cinnamon and sugar, mixing well.
Brush the baking pan liberally with the melted butter and place the first sheet of pastry in it. Simply tuck in the excess. Brush with butter again, and repeat with 2 more pieces of pastry.
Pour in half the nut mixture and spread evenly across the pan. Press down firmly.
Place another sheet of pastry over the nuts and brush with butter. Repeat with 2 more sheets of pastry.
Pour in the rest of the nut mixture and press in firmly. Top off with the rest of the pastry, brushing each sheet with plenty of butter. Slice up the unbaked pastry the way you like it [traditionally in diamonds]. The wet pastry can be tricky, just smooth it out if it gets wrinkled.
Bake in the over until pastry is golden and puffed.
Immediately after the baklava is removed from the oven, pour over with the warmed honey. Let cool for a while before serving.