Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Grilled Flank Steak with Parsley Pesto

Dinner tonight was flank steak with parsley pesto. And it came out superb! I love steak cooked rare and parsley pesto made with jalapenos and garlic complements it well. Here is how to make this dish.


1 lb of flank steak
1-2 red jalapenos
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup of parsley leaves
1 1/2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons of olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste


1. Make parsley pesto. Start by chopping parsley leaves very finely. Transfer to a small bowl. Next, clean and chop jalapenos finely. Add to a bowl with parsley. Be careful of chili oil, wash your hands thoroughly with soap afterward and avoid touching your eyes and face.

2. To a bowl with parsley and jalapenos add minced garlic, red wine vinegar, olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste. Mix all ingredients together with a fork and set aside. Pesto can be made few hours in advance and chilled in a fridge.

3. Preheat grill to hot, I use 500F. Wash steak with cold water and pat dry. Salt and pepper steak on both sides. Once grill is hot, grill steak 2 minutes per side for rare or more if want less rare.

4. Once steak is cooked, slice it into 1/2 inch slices against the grain. Assemble on a plate and put parsley pesto on top. Tonight I served it with grilled zucchini. You can also serve it with roasted potatoes. Bon Appetite!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sunday Breakfast Waffles with Strawberries and Raspberries

Oh, how much I missed waffles for breakfast. So today was the day when I made waffles again. I used waffle mix from Trader Joe's and served them with fresh organic Strawberries, Raspberries, butter and maple syrup. I also had bacon on a side. Delicious!

Herring under Fur Coat (Selyodka pod Shuboj)

Last week my friend gave me some beets and I just had an idea what to do with them. I decided to make a salad that is very common in Russia. It is literally translated Herring under Fur Coat. The basic idea is putting layers of herring, potatoes, carrots, eggs and beets together. The dressing is mayonnaise. We usually use regular mayo for this recipe. But this time I used light canola mayonnaise made without eggs. It is a good calorie saver - 35 calories per tablespoon versus 100 calories in regular mayonnaise. The salad did taste lighter this time but it is a good alternative for those who watch cholesterol and calories. Below are the steps on how to make this herring beet salad.


3 beets, boiled and peeled
3 carrots, boiled and peeled
2 potatoes, boiled and peeled
2 eggs, hard-boiled
1 package of salted herring, usually sold in European (Russian) food stores
10-15 tablespoons of mayonnaise (light or regular), more if needed
parsley for decoration


1. Take herring out of a package, rinse with cold water and pat dry. Remove skin if needed. Chop herring into small cubes and spread in a bowl in a round layer.

2. Next, using a shredder shred potatoes on top of the herring layer and spread 3 tablespoons of mayo on top.

3. Third layer is eggs. Again shred eggs on top of potatoes and put 2 tablespoons of mayo on top.

4. Fourth layer is carrots. Again shred carrots on top of eggs. Spread another tablespoon of mayo on top.

5. The last layer is beets. Shred beets on top of carrots and form a dome. Spread the rest of the mayo on top of beets.

6. Decorate the top with some chopped parsley. Keep salad in a fridge for several hours before serving. Tonight I served it with another Russian/Uzbek dish called Manti, the recipe for which I will post in few weeks. Note that you can use more mayonnaise. I try and save on calories by using less of it.

Monday, September 5, 2011

My Favorite Bakery in Seattle

My favorite bakery in Seattle is Bakery Nouveau. It is full of tasty desserts and pastries. I like to combine going there with a walk on Alki Beach, either before or after stopping by the bakery. Bakery is located in West Seattle and for me it is probably a blessing. Otherwise, I would gain 20 lbs by eating all those delicious and decadent desserts. I usually go to this bakery 1-2 times per year.

Bakery is usually full on weekends but it is worth the wait. Below are few pictures of goodies I took today while waiting to order.

My all time favorite dessert is praline dream. Rich chocolate mousse with crunchy praline. I had it today again.

I also tried another seasonal dessert Strawberry Pistachio, which was lighter than chocolate mousse. If you have not yet, visit this place and you will enjoy it.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Risotto with Chanterelles and Porcinis

I love this time of a year when fresh chanterelles become available and price per pound drops to about $10. One of my favorite dishes to make in the fall is a mushroom risotto. I adopted this recipe from a PCC cooking class I took almost a decade ago. Here is my recipe.


1 lb of chanterelles
1 large shallot
4 cups of mushroom stock
1 1/2 cups of arborio rice
1 oz of dried porcini
1 tablespoon of butter
Olive Oil for cooking

Salt and Pepper

For serving:

Parmesan Cheese
Fresh Basil/Italian Parsley


1. Separate chanterelle caps from stems and chop each into bite size pieces. Caps cook faster than stems. Pour hot water over dried porcini (about 1 cup) and set aside. Finely chop the shallot.

2. You will need two large soup pots for making a risotto. One will be used to keep the stock warm and another to actually cook the risotto. Pour mushroom stock in a large soup pot, bring to boil and then lower heat to low or simmer, just enough to keep it warm. Stock must be warm when cooking a risotto.

3. To another large pot add olive oil (about 1-2 tablespoons), 1/2 of chopped shallot, and chanterelle caps and on medium heat saute until mushrooms are cooked and shallots are translucent. This should take about 15 minutes. Stir often and adjust heat as needed to prevent burning. Once caps are cooked, transfer them into a separate bowl, salt and pepper to taste and set aside.

4. To the same pot add a little bit more olive oil, the rest of a shallot and chanterelle stems. Salt and pepper to taste. Cook on medium heat and stir. Let cook for about 10 minutes, then add arborio rice and stir to make sure all rice kernels are covered with liquid. Depending on your stove you may need to reduce the heat to medium low. Next, add warm stock from another pot with a ladle just enough so that the rice is covered. The rice will start boiling, stir lightly. Once you see that rice has absorbed all the stock, add more, again just enough to cover the rice. Repeat the process until you see that rice kernels are almost cooked but have still a small white eye in the middle.

5. At this time, add cooked mushroom caps, chopped reconstituted porcini mushrooms with the water they have been soaking in. Stir and bring to a boil and simmer. This will be the last liquid you will add. Once the rest of the liquid has been absorbed add butter to the risotto to hold it together and stir gently. I usually close the lid and let risotto sit for another 5-10 minutes before serving.

6. I usually serve risotto with Parmesan cheese and fresh basil or parsley.