Baked white polenta with cheese and red radicchio - Polenta bianca pasticciata con fontina e radicchio rosso - Zapečena bijela palenta sa sirom i crvenim radićem

I love to prepare tasty dishes with poor ingredients or leftovers, because “less is more”, more attention, more care, more pure flavours…and at the end more inventiveness and satisfaction!
This dish is one of my “empty fridge” recipe. When I cook a lot and leftovers are overflowing the fridge I need to invent something new to use all these small pieces of cheese, or little quantities of fresh or cooked vegetables, or other stuff that are waiting patiently to get of from the fridge.
With just a few ingredients I have prepared this really flavourful dish, I don’t even use a lot of spices, I just leave it as natural as possible. And most of all I have prepared a perfect meal in very short time.
Last week I have cooked some braised meat with white polenta, of course you can’t do the exact quantity of polenta, I never do it. No worries, to recycle the leftovers you just need some cheese, or sauce and vegetables and that’s it! Assemble all together the way you like it most!
Try to do it yourself, I’m sure you will love it!


Soft pumpkin cake with marron glacé - Torta morbida di zucca con marron glacé - Mekani kolač od buče s marron glacé

Last weekend I made this cake with the pumpkin puree and some marron glacé crumbles that remained in sugar syrup after I've finished to caramelise last fresh chestnuts (I have deep frozen some too, but I don't want to scare Mr.M!!!). The combination of these two flavours is really perfect. I'm already thinking about an new recipe without "white flour", because I'd like to get more rustic texture and flavour. One medium size kabocha pumpkin is enough for tasty and dense soup for four people and for one small cakeThis cake remains fresh and soft for few days and it's perfect with a cup of coffee!
Lately I've started to prepare all cakes and cookies using half of the ingredients, otherwise half of the cake get often eaten unwillingly. I never trow away food, because I really hate wasting food. As already said several times, it is too precious and there is too many people still starving in the world. We are very fortunate, food even become our hobby!
So cook what you can eat and if it's too much anyway, recycle your meals, I always do it! And you can also give it to someone and make other people happy too!


Quince compote - Compote di mele cotogne - Kompot od dunja

The air is full of misty rain. It's cold and wet, but there are still nice colours all around that are feeding my imagination. But in these days I feel I need to stop myself, I need to be lazy to recover from the chaos in my head....then all will start again, slowly and decisive. In simple terms: I need a break from the routine. It happen sometime, it's natural. I feel I need to rediscover things I've left behind for some reason. It's time to do it...I need space for new inspirations.


Marron Glacé

Once upon a time chestnuts were food for poor people during long and cold winter months...who could have imagined that we would eat chestnuts as a delicacies nowadays?! It is even very fashionable to prepare and consume each kind of special ingredients, seeds and grains, gluten free and vegan stuff.
I eat everything, I'm lucky, because I have no food allergy and I like practically all food. There are very few things that I don't eat, because I don't like it, but there are also a lot of things that I never tasted and I even never heard about them. But I still have time to discover them…I like to be fascinated by new flavours and tastes.
Every autumn Mr.M. and I, we like to go harvesting chestnuts in the forest. We wait all year long the right moment, when chestnuts are ripe and ready to be consumed. We collect them from the ground, they are neat and wet under the leaves. Sometime they fall directly from the tree and they are so perfect and they smell so good.
It’s strange that I started to prepare marron glacé only few years ago. Since I was a child my mother always prepared so many different cakes with chestnuts, but never marron glacé. So I’ve learned how to do it, also because Mr. M. adore it and I was very curious to discover how these rustic fruits become so charming candies.
Now I prepare them every year, it’s not the easiest thing to do, but the result is so tremendously good and their flavour is the pure concentrate of chestnuts.
Mr. M. is always helping peeling chestnuts, so we chat, we peel chestnuts, we eat some hmmmm ….. a lot of chestnuts and we spend nice and pleasant moments together. This is what I call pure and easy happiness!

Now I have almost finished all chestnuts, I have just few left for another tasty recipe and it will be over for this year. I think I will roast the very last ones, it will be quicker and much easier to do!


Mix salad with red radicchio, walnuts and grilled chicken breast - Insalata mista con radicchio rosso, noci e petto di pollo grigliato - Miješana salata s crvenim radićem, orasima i pilećim prsima s roštilja

Another “red radicchio” idea for this month: tasty, healthy and nutritious. I discovered this dish in a restaurant and I found it immediately very, very interesting. So I couldn’t wait to prepare it myself, but as usually I have changed a bit the original recipe and prepared it my way! It’s quick, easy to do and full of flavours that match so good together.
And if you are missing vibrant colours in this season, here you are. The dark violet red, the ocher and golden brown and the touch of white! You don't need more, you have good flavours and nice colours!
But what is happening with the autumn this year, the weather is beautiful, the sun is shining every day and it is warm. I could "almost" say that I miss rainy and foggy november days. Or it is just the excuse to start cooking typical autumnal specialties like some dense and rich soups for example or a stew meat with polenta... Instead I still offer you the recipe for salad, but very special salad. The recipe is not the real recipe, just the combination of ingredients you like to add most to your dish. This one is my proposal for better start of another messy and chaotic working week!


Risotto with red radicchio and provolone cheese - Risotto al radicchio rosso e provolone - Rižoto s crvenim radićem i sirom provolone

In the beginning I couldn't believe that you can cook and bake red radicchio and that its slightly bitter taste get soften during cooking. I was used to eat only raw and fresh radicchio, I only prepared the salad with it. But then I convinced myself that I must try to prepare it in a different way. And this was one of those brilliant discoveries that make me very satisfied of myself.
In this season I find so many varieties of radicchio in the market and there are so many inviting recipes all around in the blogosphere that must, really must be cooked.
But the best way to fall in love with radicchio flavour is to prepare the risotto, simple and creamy risotto full of autumn flavours.


Ajme, koliko nas je! - tema za novembar

Jako sam sretna i ponosna, jer sam nova domaćica u igri "ajme, koliko nas je!" za mjesec novembar 2015. godine i nadam se da ću dobiti puno zanimljivih novih recepata. Kada sam dobila poziv od Kristine odmah su mi se počele vrtiti ideje u glavi, ali nije bilo lako odabrati samo jednu namirnicu. Jesen nam nudi različite boje i okuse, pa mi je prvi zadatak bio odabrati najpopularniju namirnicu koja će se lako uklopiti u bilo koje jelo. Htjela sam odbrati namirnicu koja će upaliti vašu kreativnost, obavezno sezonsku, ali ne previše kompliciranu za obradu. Nadam se da sam u tome uspjela. Željela bih da uživate u pripremi jela i da jedva čekate da mi pošaljete vaše recepte. . . to će biti još jedna lijepa inspiracija i avantura!
Imate vremena novembar za reckanje, kuhanje, pa i za pečenje crvenog radića! Ako ste kao ja u stalnom trku, slobodno šaljite recepte iz vaše arhive.

Vaša remekdjela šaljite na alex(dot)gorek(at)gmail(dot)com

Što nas više ima, to će nam biti zabavnije!

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I’m so happy and honoured I will be hosting the contest "ajme, koliko nas je!" for the month of November 2015 and I hope I will receive plenty of interesting new recipes. When I've received the invitation from Kristina the ideas started instantly bursting in my head, but it was not easy to choose only one ingredient. Autumn is offering the variety of colours and flavours, so the very first task was to identify the most popular and versatile ingredient. The one that will turn on your creativity, very seasonal, but not too difficult to be cooked. I hope I did a good choice. I want you to enjoy preparing and sharing your recipes. . .it will be another beautiful inspiration and adventure!
You have time whole November for cutting, cooking and also baking red radicchio! If you are running as I do, send me recipes from your archives. 

Send your masterpieces to alex(dot)gorek(at)gmail(dot)com

More people - bigger fun!