Homemade Jufka with dried porcini mushrooms

Share

One of the perks of being a food blogger is that all your friends share their thoughts and experiences on food and special food products with you.

The latest wonderful gift I got were homemade Jufka. Jufka are Albanian traditional pasta, cooked especially on Diber, made with fresh eggs, milk and wheat flour. Dried Jufka keep well for months and are traditionally prepared with meat, chicken or lamb in the oven.

Since I do not eat meat recently, I had to find a creative way to prepare Jufka. And since they are a traditional Albanian product I thought I should combine them with another Albanian delicacy, dried porcini mushrooms from Puka. Porcini mushrooms are one of the best you could use, with a deep earthy flavor and full on proteins and potassium. The result was amazing. I can’t wait to make them again. If you are curious to try other traditional recipes, you may find many of them in the blog.

Jufka

Continue reading

Healthy strawberry chia jam that is ready in few minutes

Share

Strawberry chia jamI confess, I am a jam addicted person.

For many, many years (until I discovered oatmeal) my breakfast was bread, butter, jam and a glass of milk. Being conscious of the dangers of sugar I ended up looking for a healthy way to cook jam and after some research here we have the fruit & chia jam. Using the gelling power of these tiny little seeds, you can transform a few cups of ripe fruit into a naturally sweetened, delicious jam, in few minutes. As you see, chia is not only the secret ingredient to a healthy pudding, but also to healthy jam.

All we have to do is mash up, or blend some fruit, add maple syrup or honey and stir in a few tablespoons of chia seeds. Within a few hours, the chia seeds will absorb the fruit juices and thicken it to a jammy consistency and you’ll have this amazing chia jam ready for you to enjoy.

I make chia jam two ways cooked & not-cooked and below I’m gonna show you how to make strawberry chia jam in both ways.

The non-cooked version is easier, but tastes more like raw fruit and it should be consumed quickly since the fruits are raw and it can get spoiled.

The cooked version tastes almost the same as the traditional jam, and has a slightly lower life shelf.

I always use the ratio 1 cup fruit pure to 1 tbs of chia seeds, but you may add some more chia if you prefer a thicker consistency. I choose strawberry because they’re in season and because I love them, but you may prepare chia jams with other berries also like blackberries, blueberries and raspberries.

Continue reading

Stuffed zucchini flowers with ricotta and sunflower seeds

Share

Stuffed zucchini flowersZucchini flowers are a season favorite, especially filled with ricotta, lemon zest and sunflower seeds. They are so beautiful and so tasty. Have you tried cooking them?

Stuffed zucchini flowers make the perfect appetizer or party food. You may prepare zucchini flowers fried or baked. They’re both wholesome and delicious. The only issue is zucchini flowers are rare to find, so in case you see some of these beauties in the farmers market, don’t lose the chance to buy and cook them.

My better half calls the fried zucchini flowers vegetarian “chicken wings”. There are some months now that we don’t eat any meat (we’re still eating seafood though) and are trying to get proteins from other sources. Zucchini flowers filled with fresh ricotta are a great substitute.

Stuffed zucchini flowers

Continue reading

Tart with pie crust and pastry cream – a great summer dessert

Share

Tart with pie crust and pastry creamIf you’re looking for a simple and delicious recipe to satisfy your sweet tooth on summer days this tart with pie crust and pastry cream is the one. I’ve used two of my basic recipes to assemble this dessert, and then I added some fruits on top.

The tart with pie crust and pastry cream is perfect when you have friends over, or as a birthday dessert. Just imagine how pretty a candle would look over this tart.

To prepare the tart with pie crust and pastry cream start by preparing the pie crust following the basic pie crust recipe. Then, prepare the pastry cream following the instructions to prepare the basic pastry cream.

Pour the pastry cream on the pie crust, top with fresh fruits and let it sit in the fridge for at least 2 hours. I chose strawberries, since they are in season, taste amazing and look so pretty. Enjoy the tart with pie crust and pastry cream straight from the fridge and in good company.

Tart with pie crust and pastry cream

Get Mandarina recipes via e-mail

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

 

How to make dark chocolate cake pops at home

Share

Cake pops are so cute, and taste so good. They are fun to make and easy to decorate. I loveeee cake pops very much and never get tired of making them.

Cake pops are perfect for any occasion, from birthday parties to weddings or why not afternoon tea. Despite that, cake pops are a great way to use leftover cake. My favourite combination of cake pops is cake + jam covered in black chocolate.

I usually prepare the cake pops using my cardamom cake as a base, but any cake will work. All you have to do is crumble the cake. Add some jam and form bite-sized balls with the mix. Then put them in sticks and freeze for few minutes. Cover the balls in chocolate and voila they’re ready.

Dark chocolate cake pops

Continue reading

Sweet potato, millet and greens salad

Share

Sweet potato and greens saladMe and my salad obsession are back. This time I’m sharing with you an old love of mine “sweet potato, millet and greens salad”. This wholesome salad with earthy flavors was an “empty the fridge creation”. I had some leftover spinach and lettuce and a single sweet potato that was sleeping in my pantry for quiet some days, so I had to invent something.

I stirred fried the sweet potato, hand chopped the spinach and lettuce and added some leftover cooked millet and voila, the salad base was ready.

Than it was “play with seeds and dressing, time”. I added some pepita and sesame seeds and prepared a simple dressing with lemon juice, fig balsamic vinegar, olive oil and tahini. It was so good, I couldn’t stop eating. Anyway, a salad a day keeps the doctor away, so who could blame me.

If you’re looking for other healthy and wholesome salads you may find many recipes in the blog.

Sweet potato and greens salad

Continue reading

Cauliflower pizza – a must try pizza recipe

Share

Cauliflower pizzaCauliflower pizza is such a nice alternative to regular pizza, and a great way to consume more vegetables.

The crust recipe I use is slightly adapted from my foodie friend Assorted Bites. The recipe is very easy to follow and is ready in few minutes. All you have to do is blend cauliflower until it reaches a rice consistency, add eggs, flour, olive oil and cheese, mix and it’s ready to bake.

Regarding the toppings anything that works on a regular pizza works also on cauliflower pizza, so unleash your fantasy and enjoy.

 tart with pie crust and pastry cream

Continue reading

Bulgur salad – a summer favorite

Share

Bulgur salad is one of my favourite summer plates, because it is fresh, tasty, colorful and ready in few minutes. I usually prepare bulgur salad in the morning and take it to work.

It is full of the best summer ingredients and one of my favorite grains, bulgur. Bulgur is wheat that’s been parboiled, dried, and cracked into small bits. It cooks fast and tastes sooooo good. Bulgur is most common in European, Middle Eastern and Indian cuisine. I usually use it into salads, for extra taste, crunchiness and fiber intake.

This is my version of bulgur salad that I usually cook in summer, but you may play endlessly with it by adding different vegetables, nuts and spices.

In case you are curious and want to try other easy savory recipes there are plenty of options in the blog.
Continue reading

Buttery, flaky, all-purpose pie crust (pate brisee) – basic recipes

Share

Pie crust is the second recipe in “Basic recipe section” in this blog. It is an amazing recipe that can be used for sweet and savory dishes. I love pie crust because the dough can be prepared in advance and kept in fridge for some days or freezer for some months.

You may use pie crust for quiches, savory pies, vegetable galettes, fruit pies, fruit galettes, tarts etc. You may adopt pie crust in version of mini-pies, mini-tarts or mini-galettes and have portion size treats that can be adapted to everyone taste.

This is my basic recipe for pie crust, which produces an amazing, flaky and buttery dough. I sometimes play with it by flavouring the dough with spices or lemon zest which makes my dishes even more flavourful. I also like to replace part of the flour in my basic pie crust recipe with different flours like whole wheat flour, oatmeal flour or almond flour, the result is a little more dense, but still buttery and delicious.

Continue reading