Sunday, January 24, 2010

Moscow 1950's

Last year purely by accident I stumbled upon a fantastic book by John Steinbeck called a Russian journal. I would imagine it is not his most widely known work though it is absolutely worth reading if you are interested in Russia or Soviet Union. Him and a brilliant photographer of that time Robert Capa were the first reporters to be allowed to come to the Soviet Union (1948) to document the life of Russian people. And so this book is a sort of their diary. Brilliant and funny for me it also contained very many little details from the past about things that are dear to me now. I was under the spell of this book for a long time.
I remembered about it today because I found these amazing photographs of Moscow in 1954. The author is a French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson -the father of modern photojournalism. He published them later as "People of Moscow". I hope you would agree with me that the women of Moscow were stunningly beautiful! Well they still are:)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Trout with salad

You can see I am feeling fishy nowadays, he-he
Here is another fish recipe that I absolutely love. This is how we eat fish every time we go to Turkey. It is all about traditions. Every time we would (OK, I would) ask for this fish for dinner it will be served with this particular salad. And you start to understand that its like a perfect couple. You can't have one without another. You are simply looking forward this absolutely delicious and light meal.
For this dish you need to buy a whole trout. If you are not intimidated to butterfly it yourself -great. Otherwise ask the person at the counter in your store to do it for you. But remember to keep the skin on. Consider buying a fish per person. If we were to cook for 4 then we would need:

4 whole trouts
corn meal for dredging
oil for frying
2 boiled eggs cut into small pieces
2-3 scallions
olive oil
3 lemons

Let's start with a salad...
Cut your lettuce rather thin. Add your chpped scallions, parsley and eggs. Now drizzle with olive oil and squeeze some lemon juice on top (about half of a lemon). Season with salt and pepper. Give it a gentle toss and voila your simple but very delicious salad is ready.

Now for the fish...Season your trouts with salt and pepper then dredge it into corn meal. Off it goes to the frying pan. (My mother -in-law is not shy about the amount of oil she uses. At home I am trying to scale it down. So you decide it for yourself here but still you want to have enough oil for the fish to develop a nice crust.) One fish at a time. You want to put it skin down first. Cook it for about 3-4 minutes. Then flip on the other side and let it cook for another 2-3 minutes. Keep the cooked fish warm until you finish frying the other 3 .
Serve immediately with lemon wedges on the side.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Gorgeous flowers

Everyone makes resolution at this time of the year. Some even update their life lists.

If I were to dream big I would wish to have flowers from Saipua every single day of my life. I do not know how possible it is. They all say dream big, right! So what the heck!

But I know for sure that it will be my absolute priority to visit her store in Brooklyn, NY any time I happend to be in NY City. Check out her website and see it for yourself! See if her flower arrangments would give you the absolute joy the way they give it to me.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Fish with carrots

I am sorry for being away for so long. Holidays in December and then my sister's visit did not leave me much time to write in the blog. But I am back and cannot wait to share my next dish with you.
I do not really know what took me so long to make this dish. It was one of my favorite dishes growing up but I've never cooked it since I have moved to the US. Recently I've been looking through my Russian cuisine cookbook and discovered this recipe under 'Cuisine on the Volga'. So when Omur bought white fish this week-end I knew exactly what I would do with it.
I just love the wonderful sweetness the carrots give to the fish. My mom would normally serve it with some boiled potato and a salad on the side. But honestly I can eat this fish as is. And did I tell you it tastes even better the next day. So think about a perfect lunch having it wrapped in a wheat tortilla. Hope you will love it as much as I do.

2 fillets of haddock or cod fish
salt and pepper
oil for frying
3-4 carrots
1-2 onions
1 tbsp sour cream
1 tbsp Mayonnaise
1/2 cup of broth
1-2 bay leaves

Start by cutting your fish into small pieces, say 1-2 inches long . Season it with salt and pepper, dredge into flour and then fry in a small amount of oil. Remove the fish from the pan.
To the same pan add thinly sliced onions and saute for about 5 minutes until translucent. Now you can add grated carrots. Pour half of the broth over the mixture, cover with a lid and let it cook on med low for another 5 minutes. Now mix together sour cream and mayonnaise, spread it over the carrot mixture, place your cooked fish on top,and pour the rest of the broth plus bay leaves over it. Now cover with the lid again and cook on low for about 20 minutes.