Spicy Hungarian Omelet

This is a wonderful, easy-to make hearty breakfast or early lunch.

·         2 tbs. olive oil
·         1 onion, sliced in rings
·         ½ red bell pepper, sliced
·         8 eggs
·         ½ c milk
·         salt and pepper
·         ½ c shredded cheddar
·         1 spicy sausage (i.e. salami, chorizo), sliced
·         6 black olives, pitted and chopped
·         1 tbs. fresh Oregano, chopped or ¼ tsp. dry Oregano

Preheat the oven to 325º F (150°C).
In an oven-proof frying pan heat half the oil. Sauté the onion rings and the bell pepper at medium heat until soft. Then remove the vegetables from the pan.
In a bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, salt and pepper.
Heat the remaining oil in the pan. Pour the egg mixture into the pan and tilt to coat evenly. Cook for 1 minute on high heat without stirring.
Remove the skillet from the heat.
Layer the omelet with the onions, bell pepper, cheese, sausage and olives. Sprinkle with oregano.
Put the skillet in the preheated oven and bake for a couple of minutes until the eggs are puffy and the cheese is bubbly.

Serves four

Little Banana Cakes from Mali

Mali, a former colony of France but independant since 1960, is one of the poorest countries in West Africa. Especially the North is suffering from an unfortunate climate with cold winters, few and short rain periods and droughts
This might explain the very few ingredients for those little cakes, which are so easy to make that you can prepare them still half asleep. 
This recipe is proof for the fact that tasty meals do not have to be complicated or include a long list of ingredients. 

  • 6 ripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • a dash of nutmeg
  • oil
Mash the bananas with a fork. 
Dissolve the sugar in the warm water. 
Combine the flour with the water and the bananas to get smooth batter. Season with a little bit of nutmeg.
Heat the oil in a pan and drop a spoonful of batter into the pan, about the size of a small fist. 
Bake on each side until the cakes are golden brown. 
And that's it!
You can serve them as they are, dust them with icing sugar or serve with some maple syrup. 

Serves four

Tip: if you have ripe bananas and don't need need them right away, mash and freeze them (for up to 3 months). You can use them for this recipe, but also for banana bread, muffins, cakes and so on!

Pains au chocolat

When I was little my family spent every summer in the South of France and my dad went every morning for fresh baguette and croissants, and sometimes for pains au chocolat, those little pastries filled with chocolate. Whenever I make these, I'm reminded of carefree summers, sun and swimming. 
The following version is made with a yeast dough, which is quite easy to prepare. You could also use the same pastry dough as for croissants, a recipe for which will follow soon! 
You could prepare the dough the evening before and let it rise overnight, saving you time in the morning! 

  • 9 oz. (250g) wheat flour
  • 1 pkg. dry yeast
  • 8 rips of semisweet chocolate
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup milk and water mixture
  • milk
and for the glaze a mixture of 2 tbsp. milk with 1 generous tsp. of sugar

Preheat the oven to 430°F (200°C)
Dissolve the yeast in the milk-water mixture and combine with the flour and salt to soft dough. 
Knead the dough for some minutes, with a mixer or by hand, then place it in a bowl, cover with clingfoil and let it rise at a warm spot until it has doubled in size (or overnight). 
Punch it down and knead it lightly once more. Divide the dough in 8 equal parts. 
Roll the pieces on a floured surface to rectangles (or something resembling a rectangle).

Place a rip of chocolate onto each rectangle, fold to small packages and tuck in the edges. 
Brush with milk, place on a floured baking sheet and set aside for 20 minutes. 

Bake for 20 minutes until lightly brown.  
Dissolve the sugar in the milk and brush the rolls with this mixture as soon as they come out of the oven. 
They are best served warm!

Makes eight pains.

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