I didn’t use to like goat cheese at all. I couldn’t stand the smell and I got genuinely upset when it appeared in my food. But then a few years ago I did Rachel Khoo’s salty cake that had goat cheese in it among other things and my perception of goat cheese changed overnight!
I love simple tastes and the pleasure that comes from them. Preparing a tartine, aka open sandwich, is a very easy task – even when there is a variety of ingredients involved. And the result, particularly with a good quality bread, is exquisite.
I love salty cakes and I always think of new ingredient combinations for salty cakes. The first time I heard of the idea of a salty cake was when I watched Rachel Khoo’s Little Paris Kitchen programme. Until then, the idea of a cake was always very sweet for me. But… not anymore!
On April 24th, 2016, I went to Helsinki Coffee Festival with my friend Helena. While Helena is utterly a coffee person, I am a tea person, however I wanted to go to the festival and check what’s going on in coffee world and taste some things. In the end I just drank a very bitter espresso and ate frrrrresh churros, and I bought a brand new cookbook in Finnish: “Kahvin Kanssa”, meaning “With Coffee”. This crispbread is an adaption of one from that book.
The smell of butter inside a warm and cosy bakery in the middle of winter.. It reminds me so much of my childhood. When I was a kid, I didn’t like having breakfast at home before the school. So my mother would buy me one “pogaca”, a kind of flaky pastry that is similar brioche and I would eat that as breakfast, accompanied by that lovely butter smell all around me. Later on when I was a teenager, during high school years, we would go to the bakery behind the school building every morning with my friends sharing the same school bus. The bus would leave us outside the building, so we would first go to the bakery and eat a pogaca fresh out of the oven and then go inside the building..
I know, I know… My blog is turning into a “50 shades of hummus” book.. But as I wrote in last week’s gluten free thursday recipe when I published “black-eyed pea hummus”, nowadays I like trying new ingredients for hummus, other than traditional chickpeas. Well, this week’s hummus is made with edamame beans, and it is spread on a loaf of delicious, yellowish chickpea bread.
Throughout 2016, I made kilos and kilos of different kinds of hummus for my catering gigs. I don’t think I had seen so many chickpeas in my whole life prior to that. Finns love hummus! But since I am tired of chickpeas now, I started to search for different options when it comes to hummus – and I started experimentations starting with 2017. The first experiment, I made with black-eyed peas (nope, not the band, I’m talking about the legume!) and I must say that I liked it much more than chickpea hummus!
I have been planning to make a nice gluten free plate for a long time – not one, not two dishes but a full plate that consists of a variety of tastes. Finally I made it! And it is incredibly easy to make!
A couple of weeks ago, I had a catering order and we were trying to make the perfect menu with my client Tiina to fit all the dietary requirements, as much as possible. Perhaps you don’t know it, but I do catering for events in Helsinki and I also make my own eating events. Anyway, we had an “almost perfect” menu but there was just one gluten free baked good missing. So I worked on this recipe after watching a video of Farinata in Food Wishes blog and I served variations of this bread – after the event, Tiina said that it was one of the big hits in the menu!
As I grow older, I feel closer to Black Sea than Istanbul, even though I lived in Istanbul for most of my life. It is the people, the stories, the food and the nature that affect me. Most of my father’s family live in Sinop, my real home by the Black Sea coast, and my childhood is filled with stories about Circassians, Laz people and Georgians; I am half Circassian through my father, and I always loved those stories. So it felt only natural and familiar when I prepared this dish from Georgian cuisine today; Georgia, our next door neighbour. I ate this dish only once more than a decade ago in Istanbul when a Georgian friend made it for me. This one is a very “expat” version, as I cannot find the real cheese that should be used with it, but I tried to get as close as possible to the real thing. We can at least think that it is a delicious inspiration from Georgian cuisine if not 100% real thing!