Šaltibarščiai – cold pink soup

by Eva Felis on June 30, 2015

red beet soup

 

We got to shake things up once in a while. Let’s beat the heat of the summer. Let’s cook cold soup. Let’s eat something pink.

Šaltibarščiai, it was the name that caught my attention in the first place and no, I am not able to pronounce it either. Red beet, cold kefir and dill sealed the deal. This soup is as good as I anticipated it to be and it feels as good as I needed it to be. Around here in the Southeast summer has us in its grip and I don’t think we will be able to shake it off for awhile. Salads are already coming out of my ears and cold soup strikes me as a nice change of pace.

Are you a kefir-newbie? Kefir is like cultured buttermilk, a fermented milk drink full of protein and vitamins. However kefir is rather different in preparation than buttermilk and is for sure more tangy and thicker. It’s called the drink of the hundred year olds, because it is said that the people in Caucasus, who enjoy and love drinking plentiful kefir, are getting as old as Methuselah. Unfortunately kefir is not available everywhere, although it’s my first choice for this soup, buttermilk with a little bit more lemon juice is a good alternative.

Another goody of this soup is that you can make it ahead, you should actually because as most cold stirred dishes, it needs a few hours to develop more flavor. Enjoy!

 

cold red beet soup red beet soup  red beet soup

Šaltibarščiai – cold pink soup
 
Author:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1 liter/quart kefir
  • 2 small red beets, cooked, cooled and coarsely grated
  • 2-3 green onions, chopped
  • 1 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and cut into ½-inch pieces
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • fresh dill (about 6 springs), finely chopped
  • 4 hard cooked eggs
  • 4 medium potatoes, cooked and peeled
Instructions
  1. Stir kefir, beets, green onions, cucumber and ¾ of the dill. Season to taste with lemon juice, sugar, salt and pepper.
  2. Place the soup in your refrigerator for a few hours (but if you are hungry go for it).
  3. Serve in individual bowls with an egg and sprinkled with the remaining dill. Originally you would eat the boiled potato on the side, I prefer them cooked in the skin, cooled and chopped in the soup.
Notes
Alternative to the kefir you can also use buttermilk or any mix of yoghurt, buttermilk and sour cream if you like. Add more lemon juice if you prefer your soup tangy, it also brightens up the flavor.

You can also use pickled red beets, but start with less lemon juice or you might want to skip it.
I also tried a version where I pureed kefir and red beets, although I prefer to have more texture with this soup, it was still very good.

 

red beet soup

red beet soup


 

BBQ Sauce

by Eva Felis on June 16, 2015

bbq sauce

 

In the last couple of weeks I had a fair share of grilled food, insanely much more than usually. Obviously one of the reasons is (needless to mention reasons, but just for the sake of it), it’s the time of the year where you try anything not to heat up the house.  Although cakes and cookies are a reasonable exemption of this rule, I tried to avoid cranking up the oven and cooking outside makes very much more sense and for sure extra fun. However the main reason is the food is always better no matter, if you fire up some veggies or meats or even fruits. If you put some BBQ sauce on it, it’s even more amazing (doesn’t go well with fruit through).
A couple of weeks ago I already mentioned that BBQ was not my area of expertise. Until recently Mr. F would take care of business and spoil me with his outdoor cooking.  Can you imagine his surprise when I just nailed this BBQ sauce (and he didn’t) after only a few trial runs? Every time I would mix up a sauce he would say something like: too much tomato or missing the kick. He  wouldn’t winkle his nose over it, but it just wasn’t perfect. After all he is a BBQ judge and knows this things. Yet he had to admit, this one is just right, spicy and flavorful, sweet and hot and a little tangy. I am sure you will like it, everyone did so far and I test drove this sauce a couple of times now. On the other hand even a dummy can cook up a sauce and did you ever read the back of a store bought bottle? Yes right?!
 bbq sauce

BBQ Sauce
 
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Author:
Ingredients
  • 170 g / 6 oz. tomato paste
  • 240 ml / 1 cup hard apple cider
  • 120 ml / ½ cup cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. molasses
  • 4 Tbsp. granulated sugar (or about 5 Tbsp. honey)
  • 1 Tbsp. instant espresso powder
  • ¼ tsp. ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp. ground cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp. Spanish smoked hot paprika powder (Pimentón de la Vera)
  • 1 tsp. smoked salt
  • ½ tsp. minced garlic
Instructions
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients. Adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook until the flavors come together, stirring frequently, for about 30 minutes.
Notes
If you don’t have smoked salt on hand, you can swop for sea salt, it will be fine but it won’t be the same.

bbq sauce

 

 

 

 


 

quickly pickled radishes

by Eva Felis on May 29, 2015

pickled radishes

I am jump-starting today’s post with a disclaimer, pickled radishes evolve from all white with a red rim into bright raspberry pink. They get prettier hour by hour.

There is always a jar with pickled food in my fridge. This jar is dedicated for vinegary food solely, because if you use it once for this, it’s exclusive and there is no way back. So I had filled it up with quickly pickled red onions on a regular basis, occasionally rotated with pickly pickles if in season. It was about time for something new. I was in need for a new pickling idea, something you just pull out of the refrigerator and bring on the table with grilled meat. I found it on the farmers market: radishes are perfect for quick pickling and also for smoky food. Serve them with burgers, salads and brats and wherever you would put a pickle on. But also think about roasted potatoes, one heaping of cottage cheese or sour cream, some pickled radishes and sprinkles of chives and coarse sea salt.

I have to admit the smell is not very pleasant, a rather funky kind of cabbage smell with a nose-biting effect from the vinegar, but that’s fine you’ll get over it. You get rewarded by the taste: tangy, a little spicy and a well-balanced sweetness.

pickled radishes

quickly pickled radishes
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 450 g / 1 pound red radishes
  • 235 ml / 1 cup rice vinegar
  • 180 ml / ¾ cup water
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed
  • 50 g / ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • ½ tsp. ground fennel seeds
Instructions
  1. Wash and trim the radishes. Slice them thinly, works best using a food processor. Transfer to a clean jar and set aside.
  2. In a small, non-reactive saucepan add vinegar, water, garlic, sugar and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer just until the sugar is dissolved.
  3. Pour the hot vinegar mix into the jar with the radishes and cover tightly with a lid. Let cool until room temperature, store in your refrigerator.

 

 


 

spicy grilled chicken drumsticks

by Eva Felis on May 22, 2015

grilled spicy chicken drumsticks

If it comes right down to barbecuing, I am out. Through I don’t believe in traditional assignment of roles, I didn’t even light this grill outside once. One part is I am happy to entrust this duty to Mr. F and the other is, he even loves it. I also assume his concern is, if I ever get a saying about his grill business, he sees fish and veggies more often than steaks on his plate.

So for the last years it has always been him massaging those ribs with spices and roasting these piles of bratwurst. Usually I contributed a salad, enjoyed a glass of red wine and watched him grilling. This changed last weekend when I stepped into his territory with my pinky toe and mixed my own spice blend. Through Mr. F was not welcoming me in front of the grill yet, still his job, he loved my contribution.

spicy chicken rub

 

grilled spicy chicken drumsticks

It’s always tricky with spicy food, because everyone experiences the sensation of pungency different. I had dinner guests asking for hot sauce, while I had been on my upper tolerant level and vise versa. Did you ever get asked by a waiter, how hot you like your food on a scale of 5? Doesn’t really makes any sense to me, as my 5 is a different 5 than his. So judge yourself, only if you are very sensitive to spicy food, reduce or skip the cayenne pepper, you can always add more later. But actually I think most of you should be fine, these chicken drumsticks have a nice heat, but the spices are very well balanced and it’s more about the flavors.

grilled spicy chicken drumsticks

spicy grilled chicken drumsticks
 
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Author:
Serves: 5
Ingredients
  • 3 pound chicken drumsticks (about 10)
  • 1 Tbsp. Spanish smoked hot paprika powder (Pimentón de la Vera)
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. mustard powder
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp. fine sea salt
  • ½ Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • ½ Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
Instructions
  1. Pat the chicken drumsticks dry with clean paper towels.
  2. Mix all the spices together and cover the chicken drumsticks evenly. The easiest way is to add everything into a freezer bag. Seal it and shake it up. Preferable let it sit in your refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Remove from the fridge 30 minutes before you want to start to grill.
  3. Prepare the grill for indirect cooking over medium-high heat 190 C -230 C / 375 F-450 F. Grill chicken on a well oiled grill, rotating them frequently with a pair of tongs to ensure even cooking. This takes about 35 minutes. An instant thermometer inserted on the thickest part should show 80 C / 180 and there should be no pink meat left and juices should run out clear.
Notes
Mr. F's pro tip: cook the chicken drumsticks until 80 C / 180 F on the thickest part (always measure away from the bone). This is not just for safety reasons, they are more fall of the bone, juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside at this temperature.

 

grilled spicy chicken drumsticks

 

grilled spicy chicken drumsticks


 

rosy strawberry cooler

by Eva Felis on May 12, 2015

rosy strawberry cooler - 1 Big Bite
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For the last month my life’s motto would be this quote from Erich Kästner: “You can build something beautiful from stones that are put in your way.” He was one of my favorite authors growing up and still is – still growing up. I wrote down his quote on a slip of paper and put it in my purse. Whenever I needed a reminder to don’t give up, I just check back on this note, because it’s too easy to not withstand or fight back. The last couple of weeks had been a whirlwind and the main reason why I wasn’t able to post something is: I moved again. And a crazy me announced prior to that: I love moving, everything is different and exciting and… I guess no one is ever quoting me. This move changed my mind about this kind of adventure: it is horrible, be prepared for the worst. But I made it and it became just another stone.  I am still looking for my stuff but the kitchen is up and running now and there are some interesting recipes coming your way.
For today I am inviting you to a strawberry cooler with a rosy note from rose water and let’s make it bubbly with French apple wine. I also added grenadine syrup initially for a rose color, but it also added a bit of sweetness. You might have wondered how to make homemade grenadine syrup from scratch!? It’s quite simple. In a perfect world I would have brought some organic rose peddles to this game, but there are still unpacked boxes and the traffic is the worst. Sorry for that.

Although summer is here the roses in the snow sound very good and it’s a great way to incorporate more rose water into my life! Hop over to Elana’s stir and strain for more mind blowing cocktails and drinks.

And here we go! Get yourself some sweet strawberries.

rosy strawberry cooler - 1 Big Bite

Remove the green stuff and chop them.

rosy strawberry cooler - 1 Big Bite

Yes this is a cookie jar but it’s all I found yet, due to the unpacked boxes. I actually like the lid for keeping the bees away, we don’t want drunken bees in our rosy strawberry cooler!

rosy strawberry cooler - 1 Big Bite

Let it foam!

rosy strawberry cooler - 1 Big Bite

This color!

rosy strawberry cooler - 1 Big Bite

rosy strawberry cool
 
Author:
Recipe type: Drinks
Ingredients
  • 1 pound fresh strawberries, hulled and chopped
  • 750 ml French cider or other hard cider
  • ¾ tsp. rose water
  • approx. 3 tsp. grenadine syrup
  • ice cubes for serving
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to a large bowl, stir briefly.
  2. Serve with ice cubes if needed and enjoy!
Notes
Make sure all ingredients are well chilled!

 

 

rosy strawberry cooler - 1 Big Bite

rosy strawberry cooler - 1 Big Bite


 

Turkish turkey meatballs

by Eva Felis on April 14, 2015

turkish turkey meatballs

I have never been to Turkey but always wanted to visit. Istanbul is on top of my list. My affection for this country started with my best friend growing up, because her parents were from Turkey. The day she waltzed into my life was the day of my 2nd grade class’ field trip to a farm. I looked out of the bus window and there she stood on the parking lot with her dad. It was her first day on my school and she was wearing sandals. And I felt connected. She made my day so much easier. Stay with me, I’ll explain.
This was just after the summer break and my mom was in the hospital and I was promised to receive a little brother or sister at her return. That’s why my grandaunt took care of me for a couple of days. The note from my teacher concerning this trip to the farm said among other things, I should wear water-resistant shoes. I don’t know what my aunt was thinking, she definitive misinterpret my teacher’s note. However she sent me off with rubber sandals. Not so much water-proof more a ‘they don’t get soggy’ choice.  Think farm, animals and muddy fields, one of the big mistakes of my life. Kids can be mean and by the time I spotted my future best friend, I had my fair share of not so funny comments from class mates in rubber boots. That’s why I liked her for wearing sandals. I saved her a seat next to mine and even shared my snickers bars because my grandaunt luckily took also liberties with how to feed me. You can’t be mad with someone because of silly pink rubber sandals with your mouth full of chocolate, caramel and peanuts.
Since that day I grew up with a small insider view into Turkish culture and it’s naturally the food that left the biggest impression on me. I loved to visit her house for more than one reasons. Her cool older sister was one of them, but I also hoped instantly (truth be told…) someone would ask me to stay for dinner. I used to be greeted with a wonderful exotic smell from all the spices at her house. When we passed by the kitchen door on the way to her room, on the table usually sat a pot of hot tea or Turkish coffee was brewing on the stove in a small copper ibrik and perfumed the room.
These Turkish turkey meatballs remind me of her home: mint, cinnamon and cumin. Although it’s rather my version of Turkish flavors and may not be authentic, it’s always a good idea to change things up a little bit and invite new flavors in your kitchen.
jj
turkish turkey meatballs (4 of 5)

Turkish turkey meatballs
 
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This mini meatballs are very versatile: let them hide in salads, dive in your soup or cover with a blanket of sauce... They need no eggs and are super tender.
Author:
Cuisine: Turkish
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 1 pound ground turkey (preferable dark meat)
  • 50 g / ½ cup breadcrumbs (I used pako gluten free)
  • 100 ml / ⅓ cup + 4 tsp. water
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 205 C / 400 degrees F and line your baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl combine all ingredients and mix well using your hands.
  3. Shape the meat into little balls, I use a cookie scoop but you can also just roll into 1½ inch (about 1½ Tbsp.) balls. It's a good idea to wet or oil your hands slightly to keep the meat from sticking to your fingers.
  4. Place them on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.
Notes
Add red pepper flakes if you like.

turkish turkey meatballs


 

luscious chocolate covered marzipan cake

by Eva Felis on April 3, 2015

mazipan cake_gluten free

Yes another marzipan recipe. Marzipan is my favorite fruit. Sounds nuts? It’s basically made of sugar and almonds and because almonds are the seed of drupes… According to this is marzipan a fruit, at least in my little world. That’s settled!
Easter is around the corner! Lent is over! We are going to spoil our loved ones, as much as we can. And I plan to do this with sweet treats. Well the worst thing about posting recipes is, you got to test them, and I “had” to test this one a couple of times lately. All this marzipan cakes I baked just to test and taste…  all trials, no error! It’s a burden.  I am going to take a few more test runs, just to make sure… Did I tell you marzipan is my favorite fruit? Happy Easter and Passover everyone!
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mazipan cake_gluten free
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If you like marzipan take also a look at this recipes:

Very cool! Sweet Maki With Marzipan And Melon

Adorable! How to Make Marzipan Carrots

One of my favorite puddings: marzipan budino with caramelized applesauce

And don’t forget about this one: orange marzipan cake

33 mazipan cake_gluten free (4 of 4)

luscious chocolate covered marzipan cake
 
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Usually I can’t get enough marzipan into my desserts to satisfy my craving. This recipe is just fine, decadent, rich and a nicely balanced sweetness. You might get away without the chocolate cover but you shouldn’t skip it.
Author:
Ingredients
  • 200 g / 7 oz. almond flour
  • 200 g / 7 oz. marzipan, chopped
  • 110 g / ½ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 100 g / 3.5 oz. granulated sugar (I used turbinado sugar)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 Tbsp. amaretto liqueur or 1 tsp. almond extract
  • ¼ tsp. fine sea salt
  • 50 g / 1.7 oz. semisweet chocolate
  • 2 tsp. coconut oil
  • 3 Tbsp. roughly chopped almonds
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 180 C / 355 F and grease your 18 cm / 7 inch springform pan (a standard loaf pan works too).
  2. In a large bowl, mix almond flour, marzipan, butter (melted and cooled!), sugar, eggs, amaretto liqueur or almond extract and salt and mix just until well combined.
  3. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 30-35 minutes. Cover with aluminum foil, if the cake becomes too brown.
  4. Let the cake cool for 10 minutes, then transfer from the pan onto the cooling rack to cool completely.
  5. Melt the chocolate and the coconut oil, brush evenly over the cake, and sprinkle with the chopped almonds. This marzipan cake tastes even better the next day and can be stored for 5 days.

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mazipan cake_gluten free

 

 

 


 

I need to tell you…

by Eva Felis on March 18, 2015

Eva @ 1BigBite-
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Hey friends! I need to tell you something and I should have done this much earlier. I announced in the 2015 blog post, that things are going to change, but also stay the same. No, I am not trying to be mysterious here.
It’s time to come clean for me. You might have already sensed it: 1BigBite.com is gluten free now because I need to eat gluten free. Not just recently, already for a couple of months. This is why it’s staying as it is, yet also changing. I am not going to bore you with a whole rigmarole of my past medical history, just a tiny insight to explain what made me change the way I eat.
Years ago I consulted my doctor with a couple of symptoms, which are as I know now, on the A-list for gluten intolerance. A blood test later I was told to be healthy and I should eat more whole grain bread to help balance my digestion, but no advice for my other symptoms.  Nice! Thanks for nothing. I am still kicking my butt for not being more insistent back then.
Prior to that I had been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, this is an autoimmune disease and the easiest way to describe this, is that my body is attacking my thyroid until it’s gone. All I can do is taking pills to manage my hormones as the thyroid won’t be able to do this sufficient or at all at some point in my life. This was all my doctors told me and I went with it until last summer, when I was told that a gluten free diet is known to be helpful with Hashimoto’s disease and I thought it is worth a try. What I didn’t know, there is a strong link between Hashimoto’s and gluten intolerance, so it’s not uncommon to have both. I felt so much better after the first weeks of eating gluten free, that I already decided to go on with this. I got my thyroid checked again recently and the results proofed me right: a huge improvement for the first time in my life. But even now my doctor is skeptical and told me she wouldn’t recommend a gluten free diet as it’s too expensive. I have no words for that.
Long story short, I am feeling so much better and healthy and my energy level improved with my blood results and…  Yeah!
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collard greens, black eyed peas and ham hock gratin

by Eva Felis on March 8, 2015

beans, collard greens and ham hocks-2175

My mum never insisted on me eating my vegetables. Although she made sure that I eat something at all, it was always up to me what I put on my plate. This might give you the idea I grew up on chocolate and spaghetti, but it wasn’t like that at least most of the time. She made me want to eat healthy. She tricked me into eating vegetable loaded meals, which were luring with some sort of meat or melted cheese. My mum is good in hiding healthy under irresistible stuff, like broccoli with a Hollandaise sauce or cauliflower with browned butter and roasted seasoned breadcrumbs.

 

beans, collard greens and ham hocks-2163

 

Her approach is that a meal doesn’t have to be healthy by all means. No, she brings on the heavy cream, bacon bites and she knows how to play with flavors and how to cover up even boring vegetables under garlic or herbs. For her it’s all about the balance and that is the theme for this collard greens recipe.

 

beans, collard greens and ham hocks-2142

 

This dish came together unintentionally but nevertheless even more badly needed for comforting. The other day I came across fresh smoked ham hock and I bought some home for the first time in my life with the plan to figure out, what to do with it along the way (read no plan at all). The next ingredient I came across was the collard greens, piled up tremendously by a business savvy vendor on the farmers market. I brought as much as I was willing to carry, knowing that I might have to eat collard greens for the rest of the month, just because I felt sorry for him to clear away this hill of greens at the end of the day.

collard greens_Collage

On my way home a recipe already started to take shape in my mind, this is how my brain works, it’s almost useless for doing math in my head but boy I know exactly what’s in my pantry and how to combine those ingredients.

I needed something warming and filling, and easy to heat up the next day, I chose goat cheese for it’s capability to oppose with the smoked ham, a mozzarella would not be able to do such a good job in this gratin. Everything came together very well and I have the feeling it’s going to be keeper and I am waiting for the next smoked ham hock coming my way.

 

beans, collard greens and ham hocks-2164

 

collard greens, black eyed peas and ham hock gratin
 
Author:
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 2 bunches collard greens, washed, center ribs and stems removed
  • 200 g / 7 oz. cooked black eyed peas
  • 1 pound smoked ham hock, diced
  • 130 g / 4.5 oz. breadcrumbs (I used panko gluten free) about 1 ¼ cups
  • 475 ml / 2 cups milk (2%)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 140 g / 5 oz. chèvre, fresh goat cheese
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ¼ - ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • go easy on the salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 200 C / 400 F and grease a medium size baking dish
  2. Roast the breadcrumbs in a dry pan (without fat) until golden brown, set aside.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile roll the collard green leafs like a big cigar and slice thinly. Cook for 4 minutes in the boiling water, drain and immediately transfer to a bowl with ice water. Drain well and squeeze out excess water.
  4. Fry the diced smoked ham hock in a heavy bottom pan over high heat until browned.
  5. In a blender combine the milk, eggs, goat cheese, garlic clove, cayenne pepper and salt, blend until smooth.
  6. Transfer the ham hock, beans and collard greens into the baking dish and pour over the milk-mix. Cover evenly with the breadcrumbs and bake for 20 minutes.
  7. This gratin reheats very well and it also makes a great leftover dish.
Notes
You can also use half of the breadcrumbs and add one cup of Parmesan cheese.

 

beans, collard greens and ham hocks-2169

 


 

St. Simons Island is for lovers

by Eva Felis on February 27, 2015

St. Simons Iland-7217

St. Simons Iland-7221

Hello friends! I would like to send you into your weekend with some pictures of my days on St. Simons Island earlier this month. But even if your precious free days are already over and you are sitting at your desk over a cup of almost tolerable coffee… Stay tuned the next weekend is certain to come and help is on the way.

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