2011 has been a year of knowledge, decision and achievements. It has been a really difficult year, but beautiful. In 2011 :
I started a wonderful collaboration with Romanian magazine Atelierul.
I started photography classes and took photography as a daily assignment of practice.
I decided to create and publish my first photographic cookbook. This process has been a statement of my creative side and passion for photography and graphic design.
I went even further and create a bi-annual home made edition of a delightful magazine. I had the honor to have my magazine reviewed by Decor8.
I met a few wonderful people and took important decision about life and future perspectives.
I created a few wonderful custom designs for creative people.
I extended my official IBM certifications and information management knowledge and took successfully several technical exams.
I started testing delicious childhood and traditional Romanian recipes and discovered the wonderful Czech recipes.
New York Style Bagels with pork crumbles, caramelized onion, spicy sauce, micro greens and cheese
Ingredients for bagels – recipe from Sophisticated Gourmet (for 8 medium bagels) :
2 teaspoons of active dry yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons of crystal sugar
1 1/4 cups of warm water
1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
1. In 1/2 cup of the warm water, pour in the sugar and yeast. Do not stir. Let it sit for five minutes, and then stir the yeast and sugar mixture, until it all dissolves in the water.
2. Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle and pour in the yeast and sugar mixture.
3. Pour half of the remaining warm water into the well. Mix and stir in the rest of the water as needed. Add about 1/4 cup of water. You want to result in a moist and firm dough after you have mixed it.
4. On a floured countertop, knead the dough for about 10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. Try working in as much flour as possible to form a firm and stiff dough.
5. Lightly brush a large bowl with oil and turn the dough to coat. Cover the bowl with a damp dish towel. Let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in size. Punch the dough down, and let it rest for another 10 minutes.
6. Carefully divide the dough into 8 pieces. Shape each piece into a round. Now, take a dough ball, and press it gently against the countertop moving your hand and the ball in a circular motion pulling the dough into itself while reducing the pressure on top of the dough slightly until a perfect dough ball forms. Repeat with 7 other dough rounds.
7. Coat a finger in flour, and gently press your finger into the center of each dough ball to form a ring. Stretch the ring to about 1/2 the diameter of the bagel and place on a lightly oiled cookie sheet. Repeat the same step with the remaining dough.
8. After shaping the dough rounds and placing them on the cookie sheet, cover with a damp kitchen towel and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 220ºC.
9. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Reduce the heat. Use a slotted spoon or skimmer to lower the bagels into the water. Boil as many as you are comfortable with boiling. Once the bagels are in, it shouldn’t take too long for them to float to the top (a couple seconds). Let them sit there for 1 minute, and them flip them over to boil for another minute. Extend the boiling times to 2 minutes each, if you’d prefer a chewier bagel (results will give you a more New York Style bagel with this option).
10. Use an egg wash to brush your bagels and sprinkle with your favorite topping (salt, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, etc.). Once all the bagels have boiled, bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown.
Ingredients for the caramelized onion:
1 medium onion, finely sliced
2 tablespoons of soya sauce
2 tablespoons of red sweet wine
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
Pinch of salt and thyme
1. Preheat the oil in a skillet and lightly sauté the onion. Add the soya sauce and cook for 1 minute more. Add the red sweet wine and cook until the liquid has evaporated. Season the onion and cook for 1 minute more until is soft.
Ingredients for the spicy sauce:
1 tablespoon of sweet ketchup
3 tablespoons of good tomato purée
2 tablespoons of spicy sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1. Mix all ingredients and cook for 2-3 minutes until the flavors are blending and the texture is thick.
Assembling the bagels:
1. Cut the bagels cross-wise. Top the bottom of the bagel with micro greens, tender pork crumbles, caramelized onion, spicy sauce, cheese (your choice) and chive.