July 4, 2010

Tarragon cake

Blaž's mother got this simple recipe of cake with tarragon herb from a colleague of hers and we thought it as an interesting idea to try. It is light and non-creamy. The sweet vanilla flavored golden cake studded with tiny green leaves is tempting. The tarragon, delicacy of French cooking, adds a subtle but extraordinary hint of spice and aroma. This complex blend of flavors and aromas is however the yield of a simple recipe. It gives an interesting idea to experiment with herbs in cakes!


250g flour
200g sugar powder
8g vanilla sugar
8-9g baking powder
100ml oil
100ml milk
5 eggs
1-2 bunch of tarragon


1. Beat egg white until it is stiff and keep in the fridge.
2. Mix egg yolk with sugar powder and vanilla sugar until creamy.
3. Add oil to it and mix.
4. Next add milk and mix.
5. Add flour and mix well.
6. Add chopped tarragon to the mixture.
7. Finally add egg white and gently fold such that it does not drop in volume.
8. Put it in a greased baking dish (round ridged baking dish with hole in middle).
9. Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for 30 minutes.
10. Check with a needle, and when baked let it cool.
11. Turn it on the serving plate and dust with vanilla sugar powder.

Spinach lasagna

I like lasagna and decided to make some variations from the classic one with meat sauce. Making a spinach sauce was good idea. A search over the internet displayed many recipes most of which use mushrooms along with spinach. I, however, decided to use only spinach. Sour cream gave a nice creamy taste and texture. It was creamy, juicy and cheesy crunchy.


1 pack lasagna sheets (500g)
500g spinach
500g sour cream
250g cheese (Parmesan or Gouda or any other light cheese)
1/2cup breadcrumbs
125g butter
150g four
1lt milk


1. Cook the lasagna as per instructions on the packet if required.
2. Heat oil in a wok and add the breadcrumbs.
3. Let it brown a bit with constant stirring.
4. Add the spinach, salt and pepper.
5. Cook until the spinach is dry and it wilts to form a mass.
6. Remove from heat and set aside.
7. In the mean time, heat butter in a separate pan.
8. Add the flour and let it brown stirring continuously.
9. When it starts frothing, add the milk slowly stirring continuously. Take care so that no lumps are formed.
10. Add freshly ground pepper, salt, and nutmeg when it starts boiling.
11. Cook for 10 minutes more or until it reaches a creamy consistency.
12. Now mix uniformly the sour cream with the spinach when the later is a bit colder.
13. Grate the cheese.
14. Make a deep baking tray ready with baking paper.
15. Arrange a layer of lasagna sheets.
16. Add a layer of the creamy spinach and the white sauce. The amount of creamy spinach should be more than the white sauce.
17. Make several layers (3-4 with these quantities).
18. Cover it with another layer of lasagna sheets. Smear it with white sauce and sprinkle cheese generously.
19. Bake it in preheated oven at 180˙C for 45 minutes.
20. Take out from oven and let it stand for a few minutes before serving.

Do not add too much of the white sauce in each layer so that the taste is not too floury.


Panner (Chana) is an acid-set cheese common in Indian subcontinent cuisine. It is not matured unlike other cheeses and it doesn’t melt, making it a good ingredient in cooking and for stuffing. In India, at home we would always buy it. Only when I was little, it was made fresh at home. I would eat it fresh, warm, without pressing in its crumbled form, with a little sugar. And I still remember its creamy fresh taste. After coming to Slovenia, getting paneer and substituting it with any other cheese was a problem. Many Indian dishes call for it as an ingredient and substituting with cottage cheese was not an option as it melts. Therefore, I decided to try making it on my own. And after a few trials and errors, I can make it perfectly. It is fresh, tasty and easy to make. Great to eat warm with little sugar, or ready for the tasty paneer dishes.


1lt milk
3sp lime/lemon juice OR 2tbsp vinegar
1/2cup warm water


1. Boil the milk.
2. In the mean time, prepare the limejuice (vinegar) by diluting it with water.
3. Also, make the strainer ready with cheesecloth on it.
4. When the milk starts to boil, lower the heat to minimum.
5. Add slowly the limejuice (vinegar) with constant stirring.
6. The milk will start to curdle. Stir gently until the greenish transparent whey separates out.
7. Strain the paneer and wash it with cold water to remove sourish flavor if any.
8. Drain the paneer completely.
9. Wrap it in cloth in the desired shape and keep it pressed under something heavy for a couple of hour to make a slab of the paneer that can be cut into pieces for cooking.

Add a little more of limejuice or vinegar if this amount is not enough.
Save the whey, it is a healthy drink and good for making dough, lentils, cooking etc.

Potato moussaka

I read the recipe of Moussaka in some Sunday magazine and thought of making it someday. However, I lost magazine by the time I decided to make. Therefore, instead of looking up in the internet for a recipe, I checked some books and decided to try making a modified version of potato moussaka instead of the classic Greek one with aubergines (eggplants). The layered potato and meat had a rich juicy flavor with the pepper adding a crunchy taste. In the end, it was a real savory dish.


500g minced meat
1kg potato
1 small onion
2 bell peppers
2 big tomatoes
Fresh thyme
Fresh rosemary
2 eggs
2 tbsp flour
2-4 tbsp cream
250ml milk


1. Chop the onion finely.
2. Dice the tomatoes and bell peppers into small pieces.
3. Heat oil in a pan and add the chopped onion.
4. Fry until the onion is soft and transparent.
5. Add the minced meat.
6. The meat will leave water and loose its pinkish red color.
7. Cook with occasional stirring until the water dries.
8. Then add the chopped bell peppers, tomatoes, salt, black pepper powder, thyme and rosemary.
9. Let it cook on medium heat until the meat is cooked and it is not too watery and remove from heat.
10. Remove the shoots of thyme and rosemary from the meat sauce.
11. When the meat is cooking, boil potatoes in a pot. Take care that the potatoes are a bit undercooked.
12. Peel the potatoes and slice them.
13. In the mean time, make the sauce. Beat together eggs, flour, sour cream and milk. Season it with pepper, salt and nutmeg powder.
14. Now grease a deep tray.
15. Put a layer of potato slices, and then a layer of meat. Make alternate layers of potato and meat, with potato as the bottom and topmost layer.
16. Spread the sauce evenly over it.
17. Bake it in preheated oven at 200˙C for 45minutes.

One can use sliced raw potato instead of boiled potatoes. In that case, bake it for a hour and half.
Add a bit more milk, sour cream and flour to increase the amount of sauce.

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