tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-62908923503211746772012-12-12T22:55:54.593+01:00delicious ... deliciosoIsabelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16434612620438248162noreply@blogger.comBlogger230125tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6290892350321174677.post-37819427380010876472012-09-10T19:24:00.000+01:002012-09-10T19:24:01.865+01:00Mexico City restaurant crawl: Osaka<div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-7Efbz81MVBE/UE4oe5DpiaI/AAAAAAAAXFE/J9uDBW4VPLQ/s1600/Osaka.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="210" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-7Efbz81MVBE/UE4oe5DpiaI/AAAAAAAAXFE/J9uDBW4VPLQ/s400/Osaka.jpg" width="400" /></a></div><br />I've been in Mexico City two weeks and already have tried about 14 restaurants, so I thought it was about time I started a dining review series! &nbsp;This gem came highly recommended and while it is a chain (which I hate), it was absolutely delicious. &nbsp;<a href="http://www.osaka.com.pe/osaka.php?ubi=3&amp;idioma=e">Osaka</a>&nbsp;is a Peruvian-Japanese fusion place. &nbsp;It has restaurants all over Latin America, including Peru, Mexico City, and Sao Paulo. &nbsp;I thought it was creative and well-executed, and can't wait to go back. &nbsp;I also thought the price was spot on - about $35 bucks a head for a semi-filling meal and alcohol. <br /><br />The restaurant does fusion right - not some weird mash-up but taking the best of both cultures in taste and presentation. &nbsp;Japanese have a knack for food that resembles art and for fine balancing of elements in a dish. Peruvian food is fresh, un-fussy, and generally packs punch with lime acidity and mellowness of other flavors, like corn and sweet potato. &nbsp;For this dinner we ordered a trio of ceviches, which featured one with&nbsp;wasabi cream, another with toasted quinoa and picked carrot, and traditional ceviche with a spicy kick (added chiles). &nbsp;We also ordered a salmon coated in two types of sesame atop a sweet miso sauce - the salmon was melt in your mouth delicious. &nbsp;We also ordered a causa - which is like sushi but with a mashed potato base - we had this topped with octopus in a chipotle spicy sauce. &nbsp;For our one sushi fusion dish we ordered a roll that had breaded shrimp, avocado, and was topped with thinly-sliced clams with a parmesan sauce. &nbsp;Parmesan on sushi sounds weird, but guess what - it goes great in ceasar salad and guess what else is in Caesar salad ... anchovies! Which are fish. &nbsp;So full circle.<br /><br />To top off the delicious evening we had a lychee ice crumble. &nbsp;What is this, you ask? It's fresh lychees, a fine lychee granita, and some delicious buttery crumbs. &nbsp;The combo is so delicious - fresh from the cold granita, chewy juicy lychees, and then the right amount of salty, buttery crunch. <br /><br />In short, I was super impressed by Osaka and would go there again. The atmosphere was hip, and the price makes it worth it to experiment a little on the menu. &nbsp;Or maybe I'd just been in Tunis for too long and am easily impressed. &nbsp;Either way, 9 out of 10 for Osaka!</div>Isabelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16434612620438248162noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6290892350321174677.post-6031867905482339652012-09-01T19:13:00.000+01:002012-09-01T19:13:20.465+01:00pork tenderloin + fruits and nuts<div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">As I've blabbed about before a zillion times, pork tenderloin is one of my absolute favorite cuts of meat. &nbsp;More exciting than chicken but just as healthy, it lends itself well to all sorts of flavors. &nbsp;This particular recipe is an easy way to use up all those dried fruits in the pantry, and all you need is a little dessert wine on hand.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-mp5C1dgVT3M/UB68abD16fI/AAAAAAAAWzo/sTpGW3SB8Tk/s1600/DSC_0177+%25285%2529.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="267" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-mp5C1dgVT3M/UB68abD16fI/AAAAAAAAWzo/sTpGW3SB8Tk/s400/DSC_0177+%25285%2529.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><div style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em; text-align: center;">a great mix of sweet and savory</div><div style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-8EtXMINwLH0/UB68UlhMXlI/AAAAAAAAWzI/Wq5jOI3yKAI/s1600/DSC_0165+%25284%2529.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="266" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-8EtXMINwLH0/UB68UlhMXlI/AAAAAAAAWzI/Wq5jOI3yKAI/s400/DSC_0165+%25284%2529.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">An assortment of dried fruits, plus some sweet Tunisian wine</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-osSQPe34GnI/UB68TAtWpAI/AAAAAAAAWy8/I2T7j2FJXMM/s1600/DSC_0158+%25282%2529.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-osSQPe34GnI/UB68TAtWpAI/AAAAAAAAWy8/I2T7j2FJXMM/s640/DSC_0158+%25282%2529.JPG" width="425" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;">Roast your pine nuts by putting them in a hot pan with no oil</div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-keZUVGT7xKQ/UB68WDYxkFI/AAAAAAAAWzQ/FMCW4d9UgM4/s1600/DSC_0168+%25284%2529.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-keZUVGT7xKQ/UB68WDYxkFI/AAAAAAAAWzQ/FMCW4d9UgM4/s640/DSC_0168+%25284%2529.JPG" width="428" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;">cover your fruits in boiling water, let rest for 20 minutes</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-6dCafTV-uSw/UB68ZJ4XICI/AAAAAAAAWzg/MHB6DgmdV8k/s1600/DSC_0176+%25286%2529.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-6dCafTV-uSw/UB68ZJ4XICI/AAAAAAAAWzg/MHB6DgmdV8k/s640/DSC_0176+%25286%2529.JPG" width="428" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div style="text-align: center;">the sauce at full boil</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-7g_VOE2Fwy4/UB68dqQtfRI/AAAAAAAAWz4/aTmgV_PN-Sg/s1600/DSC_0184+%25282%2529.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-7g_VOE2Fwy4/UB68dqQtfRI/AAAAAAAAWz4/aTmgV_PN-Sg/s640/DSC_0184+%25282%2529.JPG" width="428" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;">savory and sweet!</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;"><b><i>Ingredients</i></b></div><div style="text-align: left;">2 pork tenderloin steaks</div><div style="text-align: left;">1 c mixed dried fruits (any combination prunes, raisins, currants, cranberries, cherries)</div><div style="text-align: left;">1/8 c pine nuts</div><div style="text-align: left;">1 c pork, beef, or chicken broth</div><div style="text-align: left;">sweet wine (any kind)</div><div style="text-align: left;">salt and pepper</div><div style="text-align: left;">butter</div><div style="text-align: left;">dried sage (optional)</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;"><b><i>Preparation</i></b></div><div style="text-align: left;">The best way to make this is in an ovenproof skillet. If you don't have one, just use a regular frying pan and then a baking pan to finish off the pork. &nbsp;First, soak your fruits. &nbsp;Put them in a bowl and cover with boiling water, then let sit for about 20 minutes. &nbsp;When they are plump, squeeze out the liquid and reserve the liquid.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">Next, toast your pine nuts! This is easy. &nbsp;Turn on the heat on, toss them in a pan, and toast them until they start getting brown and fragrant. &nbsp;Set aside.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">Preheat your oven to 350. &nbsp;For your pork, make sure the pieces are dry (pat them dry with a paper towel), and then sprinkle with salt, pepper, and sage. &nbsp;In your pan, heat up a little olive oil and butter and brown the pork on all sides. &nbsp;Once browned, put the skillet in the oven (or remove the pork and put into a greased baking pan) and bake for about 10-15 minutes. &nbsp;I know that doesn't seem like a lot, but you will pull it out of the oven and the pork will continue to cook on the counter while resting.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">Using the same pan you used for the pork, heat up a tiny bit of butter and add a swing of sweet wine, scraping up the brown bits with a wooden spoon. &nbsp;When the wine has cooked down a bit, add the broth and turn the heat to medium. &nbsp;Let it reduce a little bit and add the dried fruits and the juice they left behind. &nbsp;During all this your pork is resting and letting off juice. &nbsp;Add that juice back in with your sauce, which should be simmering and reducing.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">Reduce sauce until it is pretty thick (if this is taking too long or not working out for you, remove a little liquid and add in a tsp of cornstarch, then add that mix back into the sauce). &nbsp;While the sauce is finishing, slice the pork on a diagonal and arrange on a plate. &nbsp;If the pork is too rare, just stick back in the oven for 5-10 more minutes. &nbsp;Put the pork on a platter and top with sauce (which you have checked for salt), then sprinkle pine nuts on it and serve. &nbsp;If you happen to have fresh herbs, like parsley, they will look nice on top.&nbsp;</div></div>Isabelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16434612620438248162noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6290892350321174677.post-31265456322874029822012-08-21T19:30:00.001+01:002012-08-21T19:30:45.789+01:00have you ever tried dim sum?<div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">If you have never tried dim sum, please clear your Sunday morning calendar and go this weekend STAT. &nbsp;No excuses! &nbsp;Dim sum is the Chinese equivalent of brunch. &nbsp;You sit down, and (if the place is authentic) a ton of little carts will drive by your table offering various little portions of stuff, like the steamed pork buns shown below. &nbsp;The waitress will mark a paper at your table with what you got off the cart, and dishes normally range between $2-5 each.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">I highly recommend any kind of dumpling, the steamed buns, some vegetables (like Chinese mustard greens or bok choy) and whatever else looks interesting, such as chicken feet. &nbsp;Bon appetit (or the Chinese equivalent of that phrase).&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-GVqCiRah23Y/UC68Su8klJI/AAAAAAAAXCs/FDLaWUJEkFk/s1600/DSC_0391.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-GVqCiRah23Y/UC68Su8klJI/AAAAAAAAXCs/FDLaWUJEkFk/s640/DSC_0391.JPG" width="428" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;">Steamed pork buns</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-5IOOrpWeinw/UC68UKmBrCI/AAAAAAAAXC0/pNJ-jJuAp8w/s1600/DSC_0393.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-5IOOrpWeinw/UC68UKmBrCI/AAAAAAAAXC0/pNJ-jJuAp8w/s640/DSC_0393.JPG" width="428" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;">Shiumai (shrimp steamed dumplings - ask for vinegar to dip these in)</div></div>Isabelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16434612620438248162noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6290892350321174677.post-11091273881930729422012-08-19T05:35:00.000+01:002012-08-19T05:35:22.268+01:00chinese stir fried beef<div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div>My love affair with Chinese food is obvious to everyone. &nbsp;I spent a semester abroad in Hong Kong, and let me tell you some of my best memories include eating weird shit at street stalls at 4AM and then taking a light bus to the dorms. &nbsp;Alas, a decade later, here I am, making my own Chinese food. &nbsp;This recipe below is for stir-fried beef, which you can make with broccoli or peppers or whatever.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-jqvqkPWE7cU/UB69imrFK9I/AAAAAAAAW40/2IR9epOvm_Q/s1600/DSC_0638+%25283%2529.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-jqvqkPWE7cU/UB69imrFK9I/AAAAAAAAW40/2IR9epOvm_Q/s640/DSC_0638+%25283%2529.JPG" width="428" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;">Flank steak is the perfect cut, slice it thin</div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-aS3KbwD3zFI/UB69kIbiRKI/AAAAAAAAW5A/28OziwqcGBs/s1600/DSC_0644+%25283%2529.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-aS3KbwD3zFI/UB69kIbiRKI/AAAAAAAAW5A/28OziwqcGBs/s640/DSC_0644+%25283%2529.JPG" width="428" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;">Mix with cornstarch and seasonings, let sit for 30 minutes</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-_sIQV_m2ClQ/UB696RdOMZI/AAAAAAAAW6s/tA2yEqM1bMc/s1600/DSC_0716+%25283%2529.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="267" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-_sIQV_m2ClQ/UB696RdOMZI/AAAAAAAAW6s/tA2yEqM1bMc/s400/DSC_0716+%25283%2529.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;">stir fry in a hot wok</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-julWflmMZf4/UB697a5MOgI/AAAAAAAAW64/P-ie39_QH_w/s1600/DSC_0718+%25283%2529.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="267" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-julWflmMZf4/UB697a5MOgI/AAAAAAAAW64/P-ie39_QH_w/s400/DSC_0718+%25283%2529.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;">add your other cooked elements back in</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;"><b><i>Ingredients</i></b></div><div style="text-align: left;">1 lb flank steak</div><div style="text-align: left;">1 green pepper, cut into thin slices</div><div style="text-align: left;">1 clove garlic, minced</div><div style="text-align: left;">1 tsp minced ginger</div><div style="text-align: left;">1 onion, cut into thick slices</div><div style="text-align: left;">cornstarch</div><div style="text-align: left;">1 packet of seasoning from ramen noodles (or seasoned salt)</div><div style="text-align: left;">soy sauce</div><div style="text-align: left;">rice wine (or any cooking wine)</div><div style="text-align: left;">salt</div><div style="text-align: left;">pepper</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;"><b><i>Preparation</i></b></div><div style="text-align: left;">Cut your flank steak into thin strips, and put in a bowl. &nbsp;Sprinkle with cornstarch (1 tsp at most), then add the seasoning packet, a swig of wine, a swig of soy sauce, and a dash of salt and pepper. &nbsp;Let it sit for 30 minutes.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">In your wok, heat up some peanut or canola oil and fry the onions and peppers at the same time. &nbsp;When they are soft (you may need to add a bit of water as they are cooking), remove them from the heat. &nbsp;In the leftover oil, toss the garlic and ginger, and stir a little bit until fragrant. &nbsp;Add the beef and stir, until beef is nicely browned. &nbsp;Add the peppers and onions back in. &nbsp;Taste. Enjoy.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;"><i>Troubleshooting tips: If your sauce is too runny, it probably means your beef was frozen and let out a bunch of water, or you otherwise messed it up. &nbsp;The solution is to remove the excess liquid, take a bit of cornstarch and mix it into the liquid in a cup, then pour the contents back in the wok and reduce until desired consistency. &nbsp;If your dish is too salty, you can add a bit of lime juice to cut the saltiness.</i></div></div>Isabelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16434612620438248162noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6290892350321174677.post-38629693763043511192012-08-19T05:13:00.003+01:002012-08-19T05:13:53.974+01:00nutter butter at Avec<div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><div class="separator" style="clear: both;">To continue my food trip through Chicago, my friend Victoria and I went to <a href="http://avecrestaurant.com/">Avec</a>, a little restaurant that features a smattering of European influences but pretty much boils down to your basic foodie chef-centrist American nuveau cuisine restaurant. &nbsp;Of course, I was starving and trying to eat with an active small child, so I neglected to take pictures of our entrees. &nbsp;We had&nbsp;orecchiette with braised duck, olives, tomato, calabrian chiles, summer squash and asiago and roasted rainbow trout with donut peaches, fresh garbanzo, mustard greens and chili-preserved meyer lemon vinaigrette. &nbsp;Both were outstanding. &nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both;">My only qualm about the restaurant was the borderline surly waitress - she needs to go. There's nothing I hate more than someone who serves you but implies they are more refined and qualified to be there than you. &nbsp;Listen, no one is as much of a foodie nerd as I! Seriously, I may not be wearing my cooking prize badges, but I am a patron and should be treated nicely. Aside from this, I must also give special mention to the nutter butter dessert (pictured below). &nbsp;It was a great salty-caramel-toffee-fudge concoction. &nbsp;So, in sum, I give Avec a 7 out of 10, and it would have been a 9 or 10 were it not for the retarded service. &nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-2C335ngol9E/UC68kVKim-I/AAAAAAAAXC8/7RBcWo_mTQI/s1600/DSC_0421.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-2C335ngol9E/UC68kVKim-I/AAAAAAAAXC8/7RBcWo_mTQI/s640/DSC_0421.JPG" width="428" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-IiOV6cxAP_4/UC68mPgNV5I/AAAAAAAAXDE/bsT_A3wUyP0/s1600/DSC_0423.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="267" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-IiOV6cxAP_4/UC68mPgNV5I/AAAAAAAAXDE/bsT_A3wUyP0/s400/DSC_0423.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><br />For a similar recipe, check out these <a href="http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Chocolate-Peanut-Butter-Bars-with-Hot-Fudge-Sauce-230479">Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars</a> from Epicurious.&nbsp;</div>Isabelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16434612620438248162noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6290892350321174677.post-64365039617623057322012-08-19T05:05:00.000+01:002012-08-19T05:05:18.531+01:00raspberry egg sandwich<div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Last week I went to Chicago, which is a very good food town. &nbsp;I kept thinking of that <a href="http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&amp;rct=j&amp;q=&amp;esrc=s&amp;source=web&amp;cd=1&amp;cad=rja&amp;ved=0CEUQFjAA&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FBill_Swerski's_Superfans&amp;ei=vGMwUIzjEYqM2gWDwICYCw&amp;usg=AFQjCNFHcL94Dv3wbF48RvBBZvXlhemj9g">SNL skit </a>parodying Mike Ditka, the Chicago Bears coach, which always featured him eating loads of fried and unhealthy foods and drinking beer. &nbsp;No joke, you can eat like that in Chicago. &nbsp;Viva the midwest! &nbsp;I had my fill of various "traditional" foods like deep dish pizza, a Chicago dog, and an Italian beef sandwich (which was like a cheesesteak). &nbsp;We also ate a ton of other great food, including dim sum, brunch food (featured below), high-end fusion food, southern-style barbeque, Persian, and sushi. &nbsp;Anyway, the sandwich below was nothing to write home about, from&nbsp;<a href="http://orangerestaurantchicago.com/">Orange Restaurant</a>, a brunch place. &nbsp;HOWEVER, I did like the idea of including a sweet taste in what essentially was a savory sandwich. &nbsp;I guess I wasn't enthused because the description was so fancy "raspberry pink peppercorn sandwich" ... and then it just tasted like a sandwich with raspberry jam ... which is what is was. &nbsp;Here's a way to recreate this below:</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-kNX1m9uoD4U/UC686rzGYuI/AAAAAAAAXDQ/zbswZyrTVt4/s1600/DSC_0317.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-kNX1m9uoD4U/UC686rzGYuI/AAAAAAAAXDQ/zbswZyrTVt4/s640/DSC_0317.JPG" width="428" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;">raspberry-peppercorn egg sandwich on wheat bread</div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-TQDLNDVoh2E/UC689h_dyTI/AAAAAAAAXDg/EAFsu1dVN4k/s1600/DSC_0320.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="267" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-TQDLNDVoh2E/UC689h_dyTI/AAAAAAAAXDg/EAFsu1dVN4k/s400/DSC_0320.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-pdA8CbksLy4/UC688F1UO3I/AAAAAAAAXDY/ifU5BpokLAs/s1600/DSC_0319.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-pdA8CbksLy4/UC688F1UO3I/AAAAAAAAXDY/ifU5BpokLAs/s640/DSC_0319.JPG" width="428" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">Ellen had a vegetable omelet</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><b><i>Ingredients</i></b></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">2 slices wheat bread, toasted</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">1 egg, beaten</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">2 slices bacon</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">raspberry jam</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">pink peppercorns, grounded (or regular ground pepper)</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">arugula leaves</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><b><i>Preparation</i></b></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">To make a good omelet, use a nonstick pan or a ton of butter. &nbsp;Beat your egg. &nbsp;Some people add milk, yogurt, or a bit of sour cream to the egg. &nbsp;Heat up the pan on low-medium heat, add some butter, and pour your egg in. &nbsp;When the egg is beginning to set, take the pan handle and give it a violent shake away from you (following a horizontal line outward). &nbsp;The omelet should begin to turn on itself. &nbsp;If it doesn't, or it sticks, you should not shoot yourself - it's going into a sandwich and doesn't need to be pretty. &nbsp;Salt and pepper it.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Next, make your bacon. I like making bacon in a microwave ... trust! Just put down two paper towels, your bacon, and then cover with a paper towel. &nbsp;Heat for 1-2 minutes (depending on the strength of your microwave) or until bacon is done. &nbsp;This is way easier than juggling bacon in a pan during a busy brunch preparation.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Assemble the rest of your sandwich. Enjoy.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div></div>Isabelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16434612620438248162noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6290892350321174677.post-54152233578295517862012-08-17T23:25:00.000+01:002012-08-17T23:25:04.097+01:00upright roasted chicken<div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Throwing a bird in the oven is the easiest thing in the world to fix for a weeknight or weekend dinner. &nbsp;You should budget about an hour and a half start to finish, with 15 minutes more if you want to make a pan sauce. &nbsp; There are two ways to roast - vertical and horizontal. &nbsp;As you can see from the pic below, this is a vertical roasting strategy - I know, raping the bird like this seems weird, but the results are delicious. &nbsp;Vertical roasters will set you back about $12 (you can find this&nbsp;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/Norpro-Stainless-Vertical-Poultry-Roaster/dp/B00004UE87/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1345241381&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=upright+roaster">upright roaster</a>&nbsp;on Amazon), which is like the one in the picture. &nbsp;You can then put a spice rub or just salt and pepper on it. &nbsp;The other variation, if you don't have a roaster like this, is to put a giant half-empty beer can up the bird's ass.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ABtqr1qxcyA/UB68kBWamvI/AAAAAAAAW0k/qUJVBx6SNvc/s1600/DSC_0392+%25284%2529.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ABtqr1qxcyA/UB68kBWamvI/AAAAAAAAW0k/qUJVBx6SNvc/s640/DSC_0392+%25284%2529.JPG" width="428" /></a></div><br /><b><i>Ingredients</i></b><br />1 roasting chicken, remove giblets and any innards<br />prepared spice rub, or salt and pepper<br />butter<br /><br /><b><i>Preparation</i></b><br />Heat your oven to 375. &nbsp;Place your chicken in the roaster, and cover it with softened butter. &nbsp;Rub in the spice rub (or salt and pepper). &nbsp;If you want, put a little water in the drippings pan so the drippings don't burn at first. &nbsp;Roast for about an hour. &nbsp;How do you know if it's done? Cut a little slit in the thigh - if the juices run clear, it is done. &nbsp;Don't worry about <i>undercooking</i>, as that can be fixed later. &nbsp;Take bird out and carve it. &nbsp;If you don't know how you can watch this video:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&amp;rct=j&amp;q=&amp;esrc=s&amp;source=web&amp;cd=1&amp;cad=rja&amp;ved=0CFEQtwIwAA&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DIyrkjvr23Qc&amp;ei=2cEuUJLbJcfzygGmoIDoBA&amp;usg=AFQjCNGxn0yK_1iL4vPFCo4sQBD8m-0WvA">how to carve a chicken</a>. &nbsp;If you carve it and find out it's raw still, simply put the pieces and juices back in your pan, and roast for 15-20 more minutes at 375 until they are done.&nbsp;</div>Isabelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16434612620438248162noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6290892350321174677.post-65907743158802941562012-08-17T23:08:00.000+01:002012-08-17T23:08:33.896+01:00behold the sonoran hot dog<div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">If this is any indication of the type of food I'll be eating when I get to Mexico (we're moving to Mexico City next week), I'll probably be well on my way to a heart attack by age 45. &nbsp;Today, I sampled the one and only Sonoran hot dog, at the legendary&nbsp;<a href="http://elguerocanelo.com/">El Guero Canelo</a>&nbsp;(loosely translated to the light-skinned redhead, which I guess describes the owner, who is Mexican but whatever). &nbsp;The hot dog is on a buttery bun and consists of a weiner wrapped in bacon, topped with mayonnaise, mustard, jalapeno sauce, tomatoes, and beans. &nbsp;I thought I would be disgusted, but it was good. &nbsp;Please note you can get a "sammy" which has TWO weiners. &nbsp;It reminds me of that <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MT76KTpqpvI">scene in Blades of Glory</a> with the two hot dogs on a bun and the dude saying "does that look right to you??").&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-e5yjj9Oo1Nw/UC69jAlYKTI/AAAAAAAAXDo/m2yhg4AicA4/s1600/photo+(1).JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-e5yjj9Oo1Nw/UC69jAlYKTI/AAAAAAAAXDo/m2yhg4AicA4/s400/photo+(1).JPG" width="400" /></a></div><br /><br />I also found this is on the website describing the owner, which I think is interesting. &nbsp;<i>"In 1979, Daniel Contreras, Immigrated to Tucson, Arizona looking for the American Dream, and holding a dishwasher position as his first job in The Unites States. In October 20th, 1993 Daniel Contreras, Began selling carne asada and sonoran style Hot dogs, from a carreta on 12th avenue and Utah street, about a block and a half towards the north, in an empty lot. In 1997, The first El Guero Canelo Restaurant opened its doors for business on 5201 S. 12th avenue now known as EGC #1."</i></div>Isabelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16434612620438248162noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6290892350321174677.post-75385465760796316572012-08-17T01:11:00.002+01:002012-08-17T01:14:11.447+01:00quirky baked potatoes<div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">As is customary for me, I get involved in cooking these big complex dinners and then don't take adequate photographs of my hard work! Below are hasselback potatoes, or so I have learned from a nice cooking blog called <a href="http://www.seasaltwithfood.com/2009/05/hasselback-potatoes.html">Sea Salt with Food</a>. &nbsp;Hilariously, you can see the photos below are the very nice photography result, and the "real" thing with bad fluorescent lighting in my boss' house (where I cooked a dinner for 15 bankers). &nbsp;Anyway, this recipe is a fancy way to dress up any day potatoes for a dinner party. The final result (despite the bad lighting) did turn out more like the first picture - I promise!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://photo2.foodgawker.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/124016.jpeg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="400" src="http://photo2.foodgawker.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/124016.jpeg" width="400" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-bFGIipyu00U/UB69MYedGfI/AAAAAAAAW3A/DXw8XtfSYHQ/s1600/DSC_0517+%25283%2529.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-bFGIipyu00U/UB69MYedGfI/AAAAAAAAW3A/DXw8XtfSYHQ/s640/DSC_0517+%25283%2529.JPG" style="cursor: move;" width="427" /></a></div><br /><b><i>Ingredients</i></b><br />As many potatoes as you'd like<br />butter<br />olive oil<br />sea salt<br />a sharp knife<br /><br /><b><i>Preparation</i></b><br />Technique is everything with these potatoes. &nbsp;First, scrub them and make them look pretty. &nbsp;Second, slice thinly all the way down until the very end of the potato, being careful to not slice all the way through! Do it slowly, with a sharp knife, and make sure the slices are very very thin. <br /><br />Grease a baking sheet and heat oven to 350. &nbsp;Place potatoes in the oven, drizzle with olive oil, top with butter (as pictured), and cook for 45 min - 1 hour. &nbsp;To serve, sprinkle with sea salt and ground pepper. &nbsp;Make sure to make an extra one you can split apart and taste before serving - you want it to be cooked all the way. &nbsp;If the potatoes are browning too fast, just put foil over them and put back in the oven at 325.<br /><br />Enjoy!</div>Isabelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16434612620438248162noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6290892350321174677.post-51808418506054273512012-08-17T00:57:00.000+01:002012-08-17T00:57:44.435+01:00squash ravioli with butter sage sauce<div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">I'm a busy person. I have a crazy job, a 1yr old child, and lots of social obligations. &nbsp;However, since food is important to me I take time out to make special things every once in a while, and this includes some homemade ravioli from scratch. &nbsp;Granted, this does take a while and requires special equipment (a pasta maker, a ravioli cutter, and a ravioli tray) but man oh man the results are worth it. &nbsp;What I like to do is spend a few hours cooking on the weekend and then freeze some of this stuff for a quick dinner later. &nbsp;This particular ravioli is stuffed with squash and then tossed in a quick butter-sage sauce.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-8x_o1NfpuWo/UB6-kXCXhQI/AAAAAAAAW-Y/HjvP7ZGog80/s1600/DSC_1004+%25284%2529.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-8x_o1NfpuWo/UB6-kXCXhQI/AAAAAAAAW-Y/HjvP7ZGog80/s640/DSC_1004+%25284%2529.JPG" width="428" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;">This is the final product!</div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-iIyvVFKamLw/UB68pqIiNdI/AAAAAAAAW1I/j-xDyZSmrYA/s1600/DSC_0477+%25282%2529.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="267" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-iIyvVFKamLw/UB68pqIiNdI/AAAAAAAAW1I/j-xDyZSmrYA/s400/DSC_0477+%25282%2529.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">After cutting off the hard shell, dice and boil your squash</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-oCCxbX1pZh8/UB68onEPNPI/AAAAAAAAW08/S1l4OYTPmgc/s1600/DSC_0475+%25284%2529.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="267" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-oCCxbX1pZh8/UB68onEPNPI/AAAAAAAAW08/S1l4OYTPmgc/s400/DSC_0475+%25284%2529.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;">Try to get roughly even pieces</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-OQek0Wz3YbM/UB68rmKaDJI/AAAAAAAAW1Q/TOiSWyLMfXE/s1600/DSC_0478+%25282%2529.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-OQek0Wz3YbM/UB68rmKaDJI/AAAAAAAAW1Q/TOiSWyLMfXE/s640/DSC_0478+%25282%2529.JPG" width="427" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;">The basics of homemade pasta - flour, eggs, and olive oil</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-j6QNoekh6zY/UB68wIoXloI/AAAAAAAAW1Y/i8apkgTcvHw/s1600/DSC_0487.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-j6QNoekh6zY/UB68wIoXloI/AAAAAAAAW1Y/i8apkgTcvHw/s640/DSC_0487.JPG" width="427" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;">Make a nice dough</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-kg-KlX0S68o/UB68xamFrAI/AAAAAAAAW1g/r1NBoRR2hSM/s1600/DSC_0491.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-kg-KlX0S68o/UB68xamFrAI/AAAAAAAAW1g/r1NBoRR2hSM/s640/DSC_0491.JPG" width="428" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;">The let it sit wrapped in a cloth</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Qa4N3ZvEyhg/UB684GsgM5I/AAAAAAAAW18/S9nlUnAj2NA/s1600/DSC_0497+%25282%2529.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="267" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Qa4N3ZvEyhg/UB684GsgM5I/AAAAAAAAW18/S9nlUnAj2NA/s400/DSC_0497+%25282%2529.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;">Roll it through the pasta machine</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-1Zg8leyyc6g/UB69ApMLglI/AAAAAAAAW2c/ligr6ysTymA/s1600/DSC_0502+%25282%2529.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="267" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-1Zg8leyyc6g/UB69ApMLglI/AAAAAAAAW2c/ligr6ysTymA/s400/DSC_0502+%25282%2529.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">Lay the sheet on the ravioli maker pan, then put in the filling (I used a plastic bag with the corner cut off)</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-QUzG9g2jtAw/UB69LIL5feI/AAAAAAAAW24/uefQiRMUj60/s1600/DSC_0509+%25282%2529.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-QUzG9g2jtAw/UB69LIL5feI/AAAAAAAAW24/uefQiRMUj60/s640/DSC_0509+%25282%2529.JPG" width="428" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;">This is what they look like before boiling</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-AEqzBhl0pdU/UB6-irk5f7I/AAAAAAAAW-Q/TCae-1XNIbA/s1600/DSC_0998+%25284%2529.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="267" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-AEqzBhl0pdU/UB6-irk5f7I/AAAAAAAAW-Q/TCae-1XNIbA/s400/DSC_0998+%25284%2529.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;">and again on the plate</div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-cN0WUGU3B1k/UB6-mHePE5I/AAAAAAAAW-k/GGxDIJPk2C0/s1600/DSC_1009+%25283%2529.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-cN0WUGU3B1k/UB6-mHePE5I/AAAAAAAAW-k/GGxDIJPk2C0/s640/DSC_1009+%25283%2529.JPG" width="428" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;">with delicious filling!</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;"><b><i>Ingredients</i></b></div><div style="text-align: left;"><b><i><br /></i></b></div><div style="text-align: left;"><i>For pasta dough:</i></div><div style="text-align: left;">1 2/3 c flour</div><div style="text-align: left;">2 eggs</div><div style="text-align: left;">small swig of olive oil</div><div style="text-align: left;">pinch of salt</div><div style="text-align: left;"><i><br /></i></div><div style="text-align: left;"><i>For filling:</i></div><div style="text-align: left;">3 c uncooked squash, in chunks</div><div style="text-align: left;">1 tsp sugar</div><div style="text-align: left;">dash of cinnamon</div><div style="text-align: left;">dash of salt</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;"><i>For sauce:&nbsp;</i></div><div style="text-align: left;">1/4 c fresh sage leaves</div><div style="text-align: left;">butter</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;"><b><i>Preparation</i></b></div><div style="text-align: left;">To make the pasta, you can do it two ways: manually or with a food processor. &nbsp;If using a processor, just put all the ingredients in there, mix until it forms a dough ball, and then take out an knead for 5 minutes (if you don't know how to knead, just Youtube it). &nbsp;If you are doing it manually, make a "volcano" with your flour, break the eggs in the middle, and gently mix the flour with the egg from the outside edges in until it forms a dough. &nbsp;Knead as described. &nbsp;Wrap it up tightly in plastic wrap or a cloth, and let rest for 30 minutes. &nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">While your dough is sitting, make your filling. &nbsp;Boil the squash with salted water until it is tender. &nbsp;Place in food processor or blender with the other ingredients, tasting for salt and pepper. &nbsp;Consistency is key here. &nbsp;If your puree is too thick, you can add a little water. &nbsp;If' it's too runny, then you can put it all back in a saucepan and boil it until it reduces.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">After 30 minutes, remove dough from plastic wrap, knead a few times more (add flour if the pasta is too wet and a little olive oil if it's too dry). &nbsp;Using your pasta maker, ring half the ball through the settings, starting on 1 and rolling through each setting until it's the thinnest. &nbsp;I guess you could do this with a rolling pin if you really wanted to.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">Lay out your pasta sheet on the ravioli maker. &nbsp;Put your filling in a plastic ziplock bag and cut off a tiny corner - this will be your makeshift pastry filler! &nbsp;Carefully fill the raviolis, and then top with another pasta sheet, pressing down on the seams of the ravioli. &nbsp;With a ravioli cutter, cut the pieces on the seams, making sure they are sealed so that your filling doesn't ooze out and ruin the fruits of your painstaking labor.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">To cook, you should boil salted water and toss them in one at a time -- they are done when they float to the top (I like to take them out with a slotted spoon). &nbsp;If you want to freeze, I recommend parboiling them (boiling them for a few minutes) and then putting on a cookie sheet and freezing them individually, then tossing them into a bag.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">For the sage sauce, it's so simple your mind will be blown - melt butter, add sage leaves, cook until sage leaves are beginning to crisp (watch out your butter doesn't brown!).&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">Top cooked ravioli with butter sauce and gobble it down.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div></div>Isabelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16434612620438248162noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6290892350321174677.post-60022063356536323842012-08-16T07:41:00.000+01:002012-08-16T07:41:36.993+01:00paella ... in a can<div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on">Through Pinterest I came across the curious packaging of <a href="http://www.queridacarmen.com/">Querida Carmen</a>, a Spain-based prepared goods company. &nbsp;They make interesting basics, like broths, but also Spanish classics, like paella or its little-known cousin Fideuá, which is made with pasta instead of rice.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-DR75XyreD44/UCyVj-WHTRI/AAAAAAAAXBk/T2w9vQE1yMM/s1600/Canned+fideua.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-DR75XyreD44/UCyVj-WHTRI/AAAAAAAAXBk/T2w9vQE1yMM/s640/Canned+fideua.jpg" width="328" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-shBiFH1xbyk/UCyVkuLkNgI/AAAAAAAAXBs/_kicv-GFQDg/s1600/Querida+Carmen.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="283" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-shBiFH1xbyk/UCyVkuLkNgI/AAAAAAAAXBs/_kicv-GFQDg/s320/Querida+Carmen.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><br />I haven't actually sampled these flavors but though this might be an interesting thing to try if you hate cooking, have $$ to spare, and want to reward good graphic design. &nbsp;Their blog seems cool too.&nbsp;</div>Isabelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16434612620438248162noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6290892350321174677.post-11178602924297748492012-08-15T20:45:00.002+01:002012-08-15T20:45:46.855+01:00israeli couscous salad<div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Perhaps I am dumber than the average reader, and therefore confess to you that only until recently did I realize that couscous is pasta! WHAT? I know. I know. &nbsp;Shock. &nbsp;Israeli couscous is just little pasta balls. &nbsp;Normal couscous is just semolina flour in small bits. &nbsp;The shock. &nbsp;Anyway, I really like the size of Israeli couscous and made a simple salad/side dish the other day.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-SbH9lOwk2cQ/UB68XWj3OuI/AAAAAAAAWzY/aTUWv3ZJvtM/s1600/DSC_0170+%25285%2529.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="267" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-SbH9lOwk2cQ/UB68XWj3OuI/AAAAAAAAWzY/aTUWv3ZJvtM/s400/DSC_0170+%25285%2529.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><br /><br /><b><i>Ingredients</i></b><br />3 c cooked israeli couscous<br />1/2 c pine nuts<br />1/4 c chopped parsley<br />1 tsp butter<br />2 tbsp shredded parmesan<br /><br /><b><i>Preparation</i></b><br />Heat a frying pan with no oil and when it's hot, add the pine nuts. &nbsp;Toss the around in there until beginning to toast and they become fragrant. &nbsp;Remove from heat. &nbsp;In a bowl, add your hot pasta and butter, plus pine nuts and parmesan. &nbsp;Taste for salt, add pepper if needed. &nbsp;Top with parsley and serve.&nbsp;</div>Isabelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16434612620438248162noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6290892350321174677.post-75070836368519335362012-08-15T20:28:00.004+01:002012-08-15T20:28:40.352+01:00easy fruit puff pastry thing<div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Puff pastry is one of those things that's probably super hard to make but is easily bought in the store and just as good! I tried to make a tart one time with fruit I had on hand, and here is the result. &nbsp;I used a creme fraiche base (since you can get that very easily in Tunis). &nbsp;I guess in the U.S. you could buy creme fraiche or perhaps you just use cream cheese. &nbsp;This makes a nice little dish to bring to a dinner party or something.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Rn3QbKcwhHA/UB68l51yPJI/AAAAAAAAW0s/FZlSr8oLnA0/s1600/DSC_0422+%25283%2529.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Rn3QbKcwhHA/UB68l51yPJI/AAAAAAAAW0s/FZlSr8oLnA0/s640/DSC_0422+%25283%2529.JPG" width="428" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;">before hitting the oven</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Od46jN2QyIo/UB68nGMVI6I/AAAAAAAAW00/VIDvehRoe3o/s1600/DSC_0427+%25283%2529.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Od46jN2QyIo/UB68nGMVI6I/AAAAAAAAW00/VIDvehRoe3o/s640/DSC_0427+%25283%2529.JPG" width="428" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;">nice and golden edge!</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;"><b><i>Ingredients</i></b></div><div style="text-align: left;">1 ripe peach or apricot, sliced thin</div><div style="text-align: left;">2 ripe kiwis, sliced thin</div><div style="text-align: left;">1/2 c creme fraiche or cream cheese</div><div style="text-align: left;">1 tsp sugar</div><div style="text-align: left;">3 tsp heavy corn syrup</div><div style="text-align: left;">1 sheet prepared puff pastry</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;"><b><i>Preparation</i></b></div><div style="text-align: left;">Butter a cookie sheet and set your oven to 325. &nbsp;Lay out the puff pastry on the cookie sheet. &nbsp;Slice your fruit very thin as in the picture. &nbsp;I normally do this by trying to slice radially after cutting the apricot in half and getting the pit out. &nbsp;To make the cream base, add the sugar to the creme fraiche and then spread all over the dough, leaving a little room on the edges. &nbsp;Arrange your fruit on top of it in a nice pattern. &nbsp;Glaze the whole thing with corn syrup using a pastry brush. &nbsp;Put in the oven for 20 minutes or so (or however long it says on the pastry package), or until the edges are golden. &nbsp;Take out and serve hot or at room temperature. &nbsp;</div></div>Isabelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16434612620438248162noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6290892350321174677.post-76313170258509795462012-08-15T20:15:00.000+01:002012-08-16T07:42:35.308+01:00chinese dried mushroom salad<div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">I never think of Chinese food as having salads, until my Chinese friend Xia took a look at my pantry full of hoarded Chinese ingredients and said "let's make a salad with these dried mushrooms!" &nbsp;Behold the Chinese mushroom salad. &nbsp;As you can see, the enoki mushrooms (the long skinny ones), need to be trimmed before using, but all others are pretty easy - you just soak them and and then add them to a salad which has an asian dressing.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-qJP8lm-R5t4/UB6-YqvJN8I/AAAAAAAAW9g/cyknkPfoL4I/s1600/DSC_0987+%25284%2529.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="266" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-qJP8lm-R5t4/UB6-YqvJN8I/AAAAAAAAW9g/cyknkPfoL4I/s400/DSC_0987+%25284%2529.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-lagNv7yYgUU/UB69eHIgCiI/AAAAAAAAW4c/HY3bBy985S0/s1600/DSC_0632+%25284%2529.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><br /></a><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-lagNv7yYgUU/UB69eHIgCiI/AAAAAAAAW4c/HY3bBy985S0/s1600/DSC_0632+%25284%2529.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-lagNv7yYgUU/UB69eHIgCiI/AAAAAAAAW4c/HY3bBy985S0/s640/DSC_0632+%25284%2529.JPG" width="428" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">Cut the ends off the enoki mushrooms before soaking them</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-6biwhJwWbAA/UB69fFx6iMI/AAAAAAAAW4k/_19MjPjsJJ0/s1600/DSC_0633+%25284%2529.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-6biwhJwWbAA/UB69fFx6iMI/AAAAAAAAW4k/_19MjPjsJJ0/s640/DSC_0633+%25284%2529.JPG" width="428" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;">Some ear mushrooms (that is not what they are called, but I guess it doesn't really matter)</div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-p1UobJrn_K8/UB69gzC8YQI/AAAAAAAAW4s/21CDvLcRKbs/s1600/DSC_0635+%25284%2529.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-p1UobJrn_K8/UB69gzC8YQI/AAAAAAAAW4s/21CDvLcRKbs/s640/DSC_0635+%25284%2529.JPG" width="428" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">Xia hard at work in my kitchen</div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-LVh9_WptLXs/UB6-XfE9tGI/AAAAAAAAW9Y/43vKuPyd2nA/s1600/DSC_0985+%25285%2529.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="267" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-LVh9_WptLXs/UB6-XfE9tGI/AAAAAAAAW9Y/43vKuPyd2nA/s400/DSC_0985+%25285%2529.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;">These are sliced shiitakes</div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-YG3a3vioYhs/UB694-QZCjI/AAAAAAAAW6k/kNDFQVR60m8/s1600/DSC_0713+%25282%2529.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-YG3a3vioYhs/UB694-QZCjI/AAAAAAAAW6k/kNDFQVR60m8/s640/DSC_0713+%25282%2529.JPG" width="428" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;">top with cilantro and seasoning ... mmmm</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;"><b><i>Ingredients</i></b></div><div style="text-align: left;">2 c reconstituted dry mushrooms (any kind, shiitake, enoki, or just any dried fungus)</div><div style="text-align: left;">1 head lettuce, cut into pieces and ready for salad</div><div style="text-align: left;">1/2 c chopped cilantro</div><div style="text-align: left;">2 green onions, chopped</div><div style="text-align: left;">rice vinegar</div><div style="text-align: left;">peanut or canola oil</div><div style="text-align: left;">seasoned salt (from a ramen packet, for example) - you can use regular salt too</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;"><b><i>Preparation</i></b></div><div style="text-align: left;">To reconstitute the mushrooms, you should basically put them in a bowl and pour hot or boiling water on it (just cover it, no need for more water than that). &nbsp;Let rest for 30 minutes, then drain the mushrooms and squeeze the water out. &nbsp;If you're using enoki mushrooms or mushrooms with a hard stem, you can cut those off after the mushroom has reconstituted.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">Next, assemble your salad as usual - put lettuce in a bowl, add the onions, cilantro, and mushrooms. &nbsp;To make the dressing - sprinkle your whole salad with seasoned salt, add a large swig of oil and a small swig of vinegar. Taste - if it's too salty, add more oil and vinegar. If it's too vinegary, add more oil and salt. &nbsp;Enjoy!</div></div>Isabelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16434612620438248162noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6290892350321174677.post-76439229515588943782012-08-15T19:53:00.001+01:002012-08-15T19:53:18.191+01:00fish broth<div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">There are a few cooking axioms I hold true. &nbsp;One: waste not! Two: make your own broths when possible! The two go hand in hand actually - all your vegetable scraps (ends of onions, stems, carrot peels) can be tossed in a pan, browned, and then add some water and salt and voila ... broth. &nbsp;When you make your broth, you can also keep it in small batches so you always have it on hand. &nbsp;In short, broths will make your cooking so much better and they're easy to make - you can keep a broth on the stove while making other things, on a saturday or sunday morning, or just whenever you have a few hours where you're not leaving the house (like laundry day!). &nbsp;Here's a recipe for fish broth (I added Vietnamese flavors with ginger and charred onion, but I'll omit those in the recipe). &nbsp;You can use this as a base for soup or keep around for any sauce that has a seafood element (or for paella).&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Tc5ZvSYF8Tk/UB68e89PmjI/AAAAAAAAW0E/oo8MEN9WXrk/s1600/DSC_0344+%25283%2529.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="267" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Tc5ZvSYF8Tk/UB68e89PmjI/AAAAAAAAW0E/oo8MEN9WXrk/s400/DSC_0344+%25283%2529.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-2mKqju6UPpU/UB68gMz6PyI/AAAAAAAAW0M/APDvo60zud8/s1600/DSC_0347+%25282%2529.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-2mKqju6UPpU/UB68gMz6PyI/AAAAAAAAW0M/APDvo60zud8/s640/DSC_0347+%25282%2529.JPG" width="429" /></a></div><br /><b><i>Ingredients</i></b><br />3 c fish bones, little fish, or fish parts (bones can be leftovers from a previously-cooked fish)<br />1 onion, sliced in half<br />1 carrot, unpeeled<br />1 piece celery (optiona)<br />salt and pepper<br />olive oil<br /><br /><b><i>Preparation</i></b><br />In a pot, brown all your ingredients in a little oil. &nbsp;Yes, you cook it - don't put anything in there raw! &nbsp;Cook over medium heat until lightly browned. &nbsp;Add about 4 c water, a very generous pinch of salt, and some peppercorns or ground pepper. &nbsp;Bring to a boil over medium heat, and remove the scum with a spoon. &nbsp;After that, simmer on low for 1-2 hours. &nbsp;If the broth is lacking flavor, add salt or keep cooking until reduced by half. &nbsp;If it still doesn't have flavor, you can add a fish bullion or clam juice (if this happens, it's likely you didn't have enough fish bones or fish parts to begin with). &nbsp;After you get a nice broth, strain in a fine mesh sieve to get all the bits out. &nbsp;Enjoy! &nbsp;</div>Isabelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16434612620438248162noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6290892350321174677.post-81482079748389133692012-08-07T07:31:00.000+01:002012-08-07T17:46:37.072+01:00welcome new reader<div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-8u2gVwAWZpw/UB9hqZwpgyI/AAAAAAAAXAg/MP8sFZuVq5Q/s1600/DSC_0816.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="267" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-8u2gVwAWZpw/UB9hqZwpgyI/AAAAAAAAXAg/MP8sFZuVq5Q/s400/DSC_0816.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><br />Welcome! Under a dozen of you have been to this blog before ... but if my hunches prove me right, many of you are here for the first time thanks to awesome design website <a href="http://www.designsponge.com/">Design Sponge</a>. &nbsp;Since I now have an iota of your attention, let me just introduce this little corner of the interwebs for you. &nbsp;Once upon a time I had a plan to write a cookbook - let's just say that I am 90% done, but then it so happened that revolution struck twice in my life (one an <i>actual</i> revolution, the Arab Spring in Tunisia, where I was in early 2012), and the second, a baby! &nbsp;This website was my attempt to preview cookbook recipes but also sketch out new recipes as I made them. &nbsp;But since you probably don't care about my life or the process, and are here for the <i>food</i>, let's get cooking!<br /><br />Here's the basic premise - cooking is not hard, but people for some reason people believe it's "difficult" or "complicated" or requires "skillz." &nbsp;Well friends, I have a busy life, but that doesn't stop me from making my own pasta. &nbsp;I have also never professionally trained in any sort of culinary arts and before college, my main specialty was ramen. &nbsp;I taught myself all there is to know - and if I can do it, I have faith in you!! This site will give you recipes that I've tried myself - most of them don't take too long - and <i>all </i>of them are certainly not about perfectionism or measuring ingredients to the milliliter. In fact, you'll become a better cook if you learn how to "troubleshoot" and fix things - because many recipes have flaws anyway, or your oven sucks, or your pan heats up faster than others - there are too many variables and life is too short to be anal in the kitchen (if you are anal, you may wish to try baking). <br /><br />Remember, the best part about cooking is hard work where you can eat the results!<br /><br />Bon appetit!<br /><br /><i>ps - the photo above is me eating at a street market in Sapa,Vietnam. &nbsp;What was I eating? I don't know, some sort of internal organ soup, but it was delicious. &nbsp;Was I the only foreigner there? yes. &nbsp;Did it make me sick? no. &nbsp;Would I have cared if it made me sick? That's what Pepto Bismol is for!</i></div>Isabelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16434612620438248162noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6290892350321174677.post-89026352057810457522012-08-06T21:00:00.000+01:002012-08-07T17:45:48.617+01:00hefty chicken caesar salad<div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Every time I go to a restaurant and order something I say to myself: could I make this at home? The answer is mostly yes, so I usually pick the weirdest thing on there, such as internal organs or chinese dishes I can't pronounce. &nbsp;Until recently, Caesar Salad was one of those things that was a mystery until ... thanks to the internets I just looked up the recipe! &nbsp;I made this version more of a main dish salad by adding chicken, some bacon (or pancetta), and toasting a quick slice of baguette with some cheese on top.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-b1YDIHheAQ0/UB68hwtIb7I/AAAAAAAAW0U/s_564nylvQ8/s1600/DSC_0382+%25285%2529.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-b1YDIHheAQ0/UB68hwtIb7I/AAAAAAAAW0U/s_564nylvQ8/s640/DSC_0382+%25285%2529.JPG" width="427" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><b><i>Ingredients</i></b></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">4 servings of romaine lettuce, cut up into pieces</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">3/4 c cooked chicken</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">1 bacon slice, chopped</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">2 egg yolks</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">1 tsp anchovy paste (or 2 tsp fish sauce)</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">1 tsp garlic cloves, mashed or minced</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">1/4 c parmesan</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">olive oil</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><b><i>Preparation</i></b></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">First, make your bacon into bacon bits by simply putting the bacon in a hot pan and frying until crispy. &nbsp;Next, take the salad bowl you will serve the salad in and combine the egg yolks, the anchovy paste, and the garlic cloves, adding in olive oil while whisking. &nbsp;It should turn from clear into an emulsified liquid, but don't beat too long because you don't want it to get frothy - it should be salad dressing consistency. &nbsp;Add parmesan cheese. &nbsp;Add bacon bits (plus some of the grease from the pan). &nbsp;Add the lettuce and the chicken, stir and serve! you can top with additional parmesan or salt &amp; pepper.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-bvrnsthMihU/UB68i5WRfVI/AAAAAAAAW0c/cRTgZcztcu4/s1600/DSC_0385+%25283%2529.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-bvrnsthMihU/UB68i5WRfVI/AAAAAAAAW0c/cRTgZcztcu4/s640/DSC_0385+%25283%2529.JPG" width="428" /></a></div><br /></div>Isabelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16434612620438248162noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6290892350321174677.post-31240090502492717772012-08-05T20:57:00.000+01:002012-08-05T21:16:48.542+01:00shrimp and fresh tomato pasta<div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Although I love slaving away in a kitchen for eight hours (no really, I do), I also get hangry quite often, and need recipes that take under 30 minutes start to finish. &nbsp;Pasta is really the ticket then! &nbsp;This recipe I copied after eating a similar version out at a restaurant somewhere. &nbsp;It's easy to make, especially if you've been a good student and have been making and freezing your own stocks - if you have not, there is still hope for you in either bullion or prepared clam juice. &nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-kYhu_6Rdvsc/UB68QbHz09I/AAAAAAAAWys/x9hdqUsQ9K8/s1600/DSC_0132+%25286%2529.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em; text-align: center;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-kYhu_6Rdvsc/UB68QbHz09I/AAAAAAAAWys/x9hdqUsQ9K8/s640/DSC_0132+%25286%2529.JPG" width="427" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><b><i>Ingredients</i></b></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">4 servings cooked fettuccine (follow directions on the box)</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">2 garlic cloves, minced</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">4 ripe tomatoes, seeded and cut into thick, long strips (or cherry tomatoes, halved)</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">1 green onion (white part only), chopped</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">1 c spinach, chopped</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">2 c fresh shrimp (peeled or unpeeled, it depends on how much work you want to do)</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">1/2 c fish broth (can come from bullion cubes or can use clam juice)</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">swig of white wine</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">butter</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">olive oil</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><b><i>Preparation</i></b></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><b><i><br /></i></b></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">If you've been reading this blog (or taking impromptu cooking lessons which consist of drinking wine while watching me cook), you know that the elements of a good sauce are: &nbsp;an acid, a fat, and a broth. &nbsp;In this case, our acid will be tomatoes and white wine, our fats will be butter and olive oil, and our broth will be fish broth. &nbsp;Mmm. &nbsp;So hungry. &nbsp;Ok, to to the recipe. &nbsp;Cook your fettuccine and then strain and set it aside with a little cold water so it doesn't keep cooking.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">In a frying pan, turn heat to medium and melt a spoonful of butter and a swig of olive oil (you use both to get the taste of the butter, but the oil prevents it from browning). &nbsp;Add the shrimp and cook until just before done - if shell is on, they will turn pink and yellow; if they are shell off, they will just begin to turn white. &nbsp;Remove the shrimp to a plate. &nbsp;Add the garlic and the green onion to the leftover oil, and saute until soft. &nbsp;Add the tomatoes and keep on medium heat, stirring until the tomatoes begin to loosen up and get watery. &nbsp;(Tomato side note: &nbsp;if possible, keep your tomatoes at room temp! They don't get as mealy that way). &nbsp;Add spinach and continue cooking until just beginning to wilt.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Turn your heat up to high and add a swig of white wine. &nbsp;Cook on high until it reduces and starts to get syrupy. &nbsp;Add your broth and keep on medium heat until it also reduces to a syrupy consistency. &nbsp;Add your shrimp back in with any collected juices. &nbsp;If your sauce is too watery, you can do two things: wait longer, or separately, take a bit of the broth and mix it with some cornstarch in a separate container (less than 1 tsp cornstarch), then add that back into the sauce.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Taste the sauce for salt, and either add some or add a wee bit of butter. &nbsp;Toss fettuccine into the same pan, coating it all well. &nbsp;Since I'm sometimes bad at calculating proportions, I add the fettuccine gradually lest I have made too little sauce. &nbsp;Plate up and serve!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-4uZnhdkQzKM/UB68ITCUpWI/AAAAAAAAWyE/6UyWKp0xA2U/s1600/DSC_0114+%25284%2529.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="267" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-4uZnhdkQzKM/UB68ITCUpWI/AAAAAAAAWyE/6UyWKp0xA2U/s400/DSC_0114+%25284%2529.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">Your fish broth</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-bSmno8fpYAc/UB68J2TA9qI/AAAAAAAAWyM/y3r-17WxJus/s1600/DSC_0117+%25285%2529.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="266" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-bSmno8fpYAc/UB68J2TA9qI/AAAAAAAAWyM/y3r-17WxJus/s400/DSC_0117+%25285%2529.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;">Behold the&nbsp;majority&nbsp;of your ingredients&nbsp;</div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-OJXSlcLDYj4/UB68L323LSI/AAAAAAAAWyU/JXlSnKqk9q0/s1600/DSC_0119+%25284%2529.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-OJXSlcLDYj4/UB68L323LSI/AAAAAAAAWyU/JXlSnKqk9q0/s640/DSC_0119+%25284%2529.JPG" width="427" /></a></div><br /><div style="text-align: center;">onion, garlic, and tomatoes</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-c4p66TZg8rA/UB68PM9IBWI/AAAAAAAAWyk/C5kfBHNHloI/s1600/DSC_0127+%25286%2529.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-c4p66TZg8rA/UB68PM9IBWI/AAAAAAAAWyk/C5kfBHNHloI/s640/DSC_0127+%25286%2529.JPG" width="427" /></a></div><br /><div style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;your finished product</div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-SYNw7H8xaxI/UB68RxelYCI/AAAAAAAAWy0/f_wGwam4ob4/s1600/DSC_0136+%25283%2529.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="267" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-SYNw7H8xaxI/UB68RxelYCI/AAAAAAAAWy0/f_wGwam4ob4/s400/DSC_0136+%25283%2529.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><br /></div>Isabelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16434612620438248162noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6290892350321174677.post-11719510458669801252012-08-05T19:53:00.000+01:002012-08-05T21:16:27.555+01:00chinese fried rice<div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div>Making a delicious fried rice is the easiest thing in the world! It's a great catch-all for tidbits you have in the fridge and is best made with leftover white rice that has been in the fridge for a day (or more). &nbsp;Here's a quick version for you. If you want to make a non-vegetarian version just add some cooked ham in there.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-xfdR4XBdGvw/UB6-bt-3N2I/AAAAAAAAW94/mC-VgjX8wv0/s1600/DSC_0994+(5).JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="267" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-xfdR4XBdGvw/UB6-bt-3N2I/AAAAAAAAW94/mC-VgjX8wv0/s400/DSC_0994+(5).JPG" width="400" /></a></div><div style="text-align: left;"><b><i><br /></i></b></div><div style="text-align: left;"><b><i>Ingredients</i></b></div><div style="text-align: left;">2 cups white rice (preferable a day old and has been sitting in the fridge)</div><div style="text-align: left;">1 carrot, peeled and diced</div><div style="text-align: left;">1/2 onion, diced</div><div style="text-align: left;">1/4 c frozen peas</div><div style="text-align: left;">1 egg, beaten</div><div style="text-align: left;">soy or fish sauce</div><div style="text-align: left;">sugar</div><div style="text-align: left;">ground pepper</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;"><b><i>Preparation</i></b></div><div style="text-align: left;">The rule with Chinese food is to have all your ingredients prepped beforehand and also to cook one thing at a time and then mix it in all the end (seriously - this was news to me until very recently). &nbsp;So, begin by cooking first what takes the longest - the carrots! &nbsp;Add a little oil into a very hot wok and dump in your carrots, adding a little water as you cook to prevent them from burning. &nbsp;When they are done, remove from pan and add your onions, cook those down until soft, and remove from pan. &nbsp;Now add your beaten egg, stirring so that it stays in tiny pieces. &nbsp;Remove. &nbsp;Now cook your peas, which shouldn't take very long since the oil is hot and peas get done in a jiffy.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">When all of your vegetables are cooked, add them back into the wok and add your rice, stirring around. &nbsp;Sprinkle a little bit of sugar over everything and stir. &nbsp;Add a big swig of soy sauce, or fish sauce, or a little swig of both. &nbsp;Keep stirring, breaking up the clumps in the rice. &nbsp;Top with some ground pepper and voila - serve!</div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-b115SNe9h5Q/UB6-WEFx9JI/AAAAAAAAW9Q/L7uFeUpNltA/s1600/DSC_0984+(5).JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="267" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-b115SNe9h5Q/UB6-WEFx9JI/AAAAAAAAW9Q/L7uFeUpNltA/s400/DSC_0984+(5).JPG" width="400" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;">Saute your carrots with a little water to prevent burning</div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-8lDN-KFtGaI/UB6-Z5mTdQI/AAAAAAAAW9o/lBjk8r6zjAs/s1600/DSC_0991+(4).JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="267" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-8lDN-KFtGaI/UB6-Z5mTdQI/AAAAAAAAW9o/lBjk8r6zjAs/s400/DSC_0991+(4).JPG" width="400" /></a></div><br />&nbsp;<span style="text-align: center;">Plastic chopsticks are so much cooler than wooden ones, and you can buy them cheap at the Asian store</span><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/--Gv_mXYpevE/UB6-eomfdUI/AAAAAAAAW-I/cuXvXzg_DAQ/s1600/DSC_0997+(4).JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="267" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/--Gv_mXYpevE/UB6-eomfdUI/AAAAAAAAW-I/cuXvXzg_DAQ/s400/DSC_0997+(4).JPG" width="400" /></a><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-s2t5clMqdHc/UB6-czwHzaI/AAAAAAAAW-A/OLjE9xlFJQY/s1600/DSC_0996+(5).JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="267" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-s2t5clMqdHc/UB6-czwHzaI/AAAAAAAAW-A/OLjE9xlFJQY/s400/DSC_0996+(5).JPG" width="400" /></a></div></div>Isabelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16434612620438248162noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6290892350321174677.post-79668740180309290432012-01-12T11:23:00.002+01:002012-08-06T07:40:20.747+01:00oven-baked fish<div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><div align="left" style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: left;">First, a thousand apologies for letting this lag for so long. I blame Picasa, the program I have a love/hate relationship with that lets me upload pictures on to this blog all at once, not one by one. Anyway, it was not working, and hence the delay (plus life, baby, etc.) and yadah yadah, no recipes. You probably don't care about that, however, so here's a recipe for oven-baked fish instead! This one is for my friend Sean, who was lamenting the absence of fish filets here in Tunisia, and did not know how to cook a whole fish. This recipe below is for grouper (you can make a grouper face if you like), which is plentiful here. </div><br /><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-3fQDfa2g-n0/Tly6J1kg-4I/AAAAAAAAUDE/cdarQf33lZ8/s1600/DSC_0318%2B%25282%2529.JPG"><img alt="" border="0" height="640" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-3fQDfa2g-n0/Tly6J1kg-4I/AAAAAAAAUDE/cdarQf33lZ8/s640/DSC_0318%2B%25282%2529.JPG" width="428" /></a> </div><br /><strong><u><em>Ingredients</em></u></strong>4 whole fish (gutted and scaled)<br />Salt<br />Pepper<br />Olive oil<br />Bread crumbs<br />(optional) sliced fresh pepper and onion<br /><br /><strong><em><u>Preparation</u></em></strong>Oil up a roasting pan (use olive oil to coat it). Preheat your oven to 325. Put the fish in, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and bread crumbs. Roast for 30-40 minutes, or until done (the eye will be not glassy, but opaque). If you want, you can put the pepper and onion slices (both sliced in circles) as a bed under the fish, put a swing of olive oil, salt, and pepper, and then put the fish on top. Serve. <br /><br /><div style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://picasa.google.com/blogger/" target="ext"><br /></a></div></div>Isabelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16434612620438248162noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6290892350321174677.post-83596858926086034882012-01-12T11:18:00.001+01:002012-08-06T07:40:50.584+01:00gambas al ajillo (garlic shrimp)<div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><div style="font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; margin-bottom: 10px; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; margin-top: 0px; text-align: left;">Gambas al ajillo! Garlic is a quintessential part of Spanish cuisine, as is seafood (after all, Spain is flanked by water on three sides) so it should be no surprise to you that this recipe is one of my favorites. It goes without saying, but shrimp have heads and they must remain ON for this recipe to work. I am flabbergasted when people (who shall remain nameless) get grossed out by shrimp heads. The brain juice is the tastiest part! Anyway, here is the recipe: </div><div style="font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; margin-bottom: 10px; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; margin-top: 0px; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-hl5tig4jI14/Tly5FRkGKxI/AAAAAAAAUCc/16biOih0NDk/s1600/DSC_0400%2B%25283%2529.JPG"><img alt="" border="0" height="640" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-hl5tig4jI14/Tly5FRkGKxI/AAAAAAAAUCc/16biOih0NDk/s640/DSC_0400%2B%25283%2529.JPG" width="428" /></a> </div><b><i>Ingredients</i></b><br /><div>1-2 lbs of whole large shrimp</div><div>6 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced</div><div>vinegar (preferably sherry, but whatever)</div><div>olive oil</div><div><br /></div><div><b><i>Preparation</i></b></div><div>Heat up a large pan with a little bit of olive oil. If you have a grill pan, that is best. Any old frying pan will do. Heat it up until it's really hot, and then toss in your shrimp (which hopefully you have washed first in a colander, just to get any seaweed or other weird stuff off of them). Saute over high heat until just beginning to get pink, turning them with tongs or just tossing them around in the pan. Add the garlic (the reason you don't add the garlic at the beginning is because it will brown too soon). Keep tossing and sauteing until the shrimp are just beginning to slightly brown and are cooked all the way through. Toss with a light swig of vinegar. </div><div><br /></div><div>Serve immediately on a platter, and drizzle with the oil/vinegar left in the pan. You can serve with mayonnaise or just eat them as-is. If you need assistance on how to peel a shrimp watch this <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZAIiX9xrriM">video</a> (it's for raw shrimp but it's basically the same process, except you should SUCK on the head to get the good juices out - enjoy the person's british accent too, it's kind of hilarious). Ahhh.... the wonders of YouTube.<br /><div style="clear: both; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; text-align: center;"><br /></div></div></div>Isabelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16434612620438248162noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6290892350321174677.post-85432079549016235522011-08-30T11:21:00.002+01:002012-08-06T07:44:49.455+01:00mussels vinaigrette<div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><div style="text-align: left;">Mussels are so easy to make! The key is finding them fresh and clean (no barnacles or hair) or, if you must clean them, do it yourself. This recipe is an original from one of the Rioja family tapas route stops - called <span style="font-style: italic;">La Ria</span>, it's a great restaurant near Puerta del Sol in Madrid - and they serve only mussels with various sauces, one of them being this vinaigrette!</div><br /><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-gT5N7Fq5nrk/Tly5rViazoI/AAAAAAAAUCs/klppMslz7WE/s1600/DSC_0326%2B%25282%2529.JPG"><img alt="" border="0" height="640" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-gT5N7Fq5nrk/Tly5rViazoI/AAAAAAAAUCs/klppMslz7WE/s640/DSC_0326%2B%25282%2529.JPG" width="428" /></a> </div><br /><br /><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-18cM61umpNk/Tly5rXcFBZI/AAAAAAAAUC0/pXBJZBOr0Ss/s1600/DSC_0322%2B%25282%2529.JPG"><img alt="" border="0" height="640" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-18cM61umpNk/Tly5rXcFBZI/AAAAAAAAUC0/pXBJZBOr0Ss/s640/DSC_0322%2B%25282%2529.JPG" width="428" /></a> </div><br /><br /><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-JQpvXSzSA3E/Tly5rtEKHwI/AAAAAAAAUC8/1Btao513xxk/s1600/DSC_0321%2B%25282%2529.JPG"><img alt="" border="0" height="640" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-JQpvXSzSA3E/Tly5rtEKHwI/AAAAAAAAUC8/1Btao513xxk/s640/DSC_0321%2B%25282%2529.JPG" width="428" /></a> </div><span style="font-style: italic;"><span style="font-weight: bold;">Ingredients</span></span><br />2 lb mussels, in shell, outside cleaned of barnacles, hair<br />1/2 red pepper<br />1/2 green pepper<br />1 large tomato<br />1 small onion<br />wine vinegar<br />olive oil<br />salt<br /><br /><span style="font-style: italic;"><span style="font-weight: bold;">Preparation</span></span><br />In a large pot, toss the mussels and fill up with water until mussels are only halfway covered. Turn heat to high and cover, steam for about 5-10 minutes, or until mussels open. Discard any mussels that didn't open. Drain and let cool.<br /><br />Chop up tomato, pepper, and onion very finely. In a bowl, toss in chopped vegetables and a large swig of olive oil, a small swig of vinegar, and a generous pinch of salt. Taste and adjust flavors. <br /><br />To serve, discard the mussel shells that do not have mussels attached, and present the other shell (with the mussel attached) in a decorative way. Spoon vinaigrette over the mussels. Enjoy!<br /><div style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><a href="http://picasa.google.com/blogger/" target="ext"><br /></a></div></div>Isabelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16434612620438248162noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6290892350321174677.post-88394156664981063392011-08-30T11:16:00.005+01:002012-08-06T07:41:41.104+01:00lentil soup<div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><div style="text-align: left;">When I was young, my father used threaten to serve "lentejudis," a mythical hybrid of lentils and beans. I think I actually cried at the thought of such a vile legume. Lentils, my brother, and I go way back in our mutual hatred (my brother and I against the lentils), even going so far as to splatter them on the wall in one particularly heated protest. Now, in a twisted spell of fate, I actually love lentils! Here's a recipe for a nice hearty soup. </div><br /><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-4sSU73u8hFk/Tly4l_BnTAI/AAAAAAAAUCE/JQ4bbgKG9i4/s1600/DSC_0073%2B%25284%2529.JPG"><img alt="" border="0" height="640" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-4sSU73u8hFk/Tly4l_BnTAI/AAAAAAAAUCE/JQ4bbgKG9i4/s640/DSC_0073%2B%25284%2529.JPG" width="428" /></a> </div><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-WIwtaLTFV50/Tly4mNLxhwI/AAAAAAAAUCM/ZZYZUcePqtI/s1600/DSC_0071%2B%25285%2529.JPG"><img alt="" border="0" height="640" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-WIwtaLTFV50/Tly4mNLxhwI/AAAAAAAAUCM/ZZYZUcePqtI/s640/DSC_0071%2B%25285%2529.JPG" width="428" /></a> </div><span style="font-style: italic;"><span style="font-weight: bold;">Ingredients</span></span><br />3 c dried lentils, rinsed <br />2 carrots, finely chopped <br />1 c frozen peas <br />1 onion, chopped <br />2 cloves garlic, chopped <br />3 slices bacon, chopped <br />1 tsp cumin <br />salt <br />pepper <br />seasoned salt <br />2 bay leaves <br />8 c vegetable or chicken broth <br />chopped fresh parsley (optional) <br />sour cream or plain yogurt (optional) <br /><br /><span style="font-style: italic;"><span style="font-weight: bold;">Preparation</span></span><br />Make sure you've picked any dirt or stones out of the lentils. In a heavy saucepan, melt a bit of butter and toss in the bacon. Reserve 1/4 of the carrots and peas. When it's starting to get translucent, add the onion, garlic, and the rest of the carrots and peas. Cook over low-medium heat until onion is translucent. Add seasoned salt, cumin, pepper, and regular salt (only add the salts if your broth is bland! If it's not, then omit the salt and add to taste at the end). Add bay leaves. Add lentils and add broth. Cook for about 40 minutes, until lentils are soft. Add water if you need to cook longer and it's getting too thick. About 10 minutes before they are done, add the peas and carrots. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve with a dollop of sour cream, if you are so inclined. <br /><div style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://picasa.google.com/blogger/" target="ext"></a></div></div>Isabelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16434612620438248162noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6290892350321174677.post-70881725329817632392011-08-30T11:16:00.003+01:002012-08-06T07:44:27.527+01:00beet and mussel salad<div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on">Most of you don't eat beets or mussels on a regular basis, so this probably seems strange to you. I don't care - it's good! You can make it with canned mussels and prepared beets, or make both from scratch. The combination is interesting - sweetness of beets, and brininess of mussels go well together. <br /><br /><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-DkusGcJaXmk/Tly4e4XtegI/AAAAAAAAUB8/iNxPoLjG2RY/s1600/DSC_0061%2B%25286%2529.JPG"><img alt="" border="0" height="640" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-DkusGcJaXmk/Tly4e4XtegI/AAAAAAAAUB8/iNxPoLjG2RY/s640/DSC_0061%2B%25286%2529.JPG" width="428" /></a> </div><span style="font-style: italic;"><span style="font-weight: bold;">Ingredients</span></span><br />1 can mussels or 1 lb fresh mussels <br />2 large beets <br />1/2 onion or shallot, sliced thin <br />wine vinegar <br />olive oil <br />salt <br /><br /><span style="font-style: italic;"><span style="font-weight: bold;">Preparation</span></span><br />If you are using fresh mussels, clean the outsides well and steam in a large pot of water for a few minutes or until mussels open. Remove from shells and set aside. If using canned, just open the can. <br /><br />For the beets, you have some choices. You can either peel them, wrap in tin foil, and bake at 350 for 45 minutes until soft, or you can slice them and cook them in butter in a large frying pan, adding water until they are completely soft. Either way, you should end up with a cooked beet than you can slice into matchsticks (julienne). <br /><br />To finalize the salad, add mussels, onions, and beets into a bowl. Sprinkle with salt, add a large swig of olive oil and a small swig of vinegar. Taste and fix salt if needed. Serve! <br /><div style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://picasa.google.com/blogger/" target="ext"></a></div></div>Isabelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16434612620438248162noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6290892350321174677.post-77314901376024613152011-08-30T11:14:00.002+01:002012-08-06T07:42:02.128+01:00picnic chicken<div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"></div></div>Behold picnic chicken! This is the recipe that I most often recommend to friends who "can't" cook (as you guessed, the quotes are to denote my sarcasm - everyone can cook!). It's so damn delicious and even a fool can make it, it's so easy. <br /><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"></div><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-6f8Ahe2P4_g/Tly4MYO0c7I/AAAAAAAAUB0/rVFCzL-nkfM/s1600/DSC_0012%2B%25287%2529.JPG"><img alt="" border="0" height="640" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-6f8Ahe2P4_g/Tly4MYO0c7I/AAAAAAAAUB0/rVFCzL-nkfM/s640/DSC_0012%2B%25287%2529.JPG" width="428" /></a> </div>Line up your ingredients: melted butter, bread crumbs with onion soup <br /><br /><br /><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-FTubBuMh0ic/Tly4MPG8SOI/AAAAAAAAUBk/Z5zBNNI_Hl0/s1600/DSC_0013%2B%25287%2529.JPG"><img alt="" border="0" height="640" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-FTubBuMh0ic/Tly4MPG8SOI/AAAAAAAAUBk/Z5zBNNI_Hl0/s640/DSC_0013%2B%25287%2529.JPG" width="428" /></a><br /><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"></div></div></div><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"></div>Dip your chicken in butter <br /><br /><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-IIlCGfd8ODg/Tly4LzhoIPI/AAAAAAAAUBc/ELKt2tnjzOc/s1600/DSC_0014%2B%25287%2529.JPG"><img alt="" border="0" height="640" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-IIlCGfd8ODg/Tly4LzhoIPI/AAAAAAAAUBc/ELKt2tnjzOc/s640/DSC_0014%2B%25287%2529.JPG" width="428" /></a><br />then in crumb mixture <br /><br /><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"></div><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-yEICuxQUhtk/Tly4J57K3wI/AAAAAAAAUBU/-eqhjqniVEk/s1600/DSC_0015%2B%25287%2529.JPG"><img alt="" border="0" height="640" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-yEICuxQUhtk/Tly4J57K3wI/AAAAAAAAUBU/-eqhjqniVEk/s640/DSC_0015%2B%25287%2529.JPG" width="428" /></a> </div></div></div><div style="text-align: center;">stick it in the oven </div><br /><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"></div><div style="text-align: center;"><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"></div><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-zO0t9H6sxxk/Tly4JkQ4-3I/AAAAAAAAUBM/sWTeuLz9VJU/s1600/DSC_0023%2B%25287%2529.JPG"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-zO0t9H6sxxk/Tly4JkQ4-3I/AAAAAAAAUBM/sWTeuLz9VJU/s400/DSC_0023%2B%25287%2529.JPG" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;">and a delicious chicken is born </div><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"></div><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-MrHHcFt7Dpc/Tly4MCmbNyI/AAAAAAAAUBs/mn9Est_ddDE/s1600/DSC_0049%2B%25286%2529.JPG"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-MrHHcFt7Dpc/Tly4MCmbNyI/AAAAAAAAUBs/mn9Est_ddDE/s400/DSC_0049%2B%25286%2529.JPG" /></a> </div><div style="text-align: center;">serve with salad (cucumber works well) </div><span style="font-style: italic;"><span style="font-weight: bold;"><br />Ingredients</span></span><br />8 chicken drumsticks <br />1/2 stick of butter, melted <br />1/2 pack of onion soup mix <br />1-2 cups bread crumbs <br /><br /><span style="font-style: italic;"><span style="font-weight: bold;">Preparation</span></span><br />Preheat oven to 325. Get two shallow bowls ready. Put the putter in one and melt in the microwave (stick it in for 30 seconds max). In the other bowl, combine breadcrumbs and onion soup mixture. Grease your baking pan. <br /><br />Coat the drumstick in butter, then in breadcrumb mixture, making sure it's coated on all sides. Put into the baking pan. Do this for all the drumsticks. If you have leftover crumbs, you can toss them on top of the chicken. <br /><br />Bake for 45 minutes - 1 hour, until chicken is done. How do you know it's done? poke it with a knife - if the juices run clear (not pinkish), it is done. If you can't tell, just sacrifice one of the drumsticks and cut it open. Serve hot or cold (that's why it's called picnic chicken - it's just as good cold!) <br /><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"></div><br /><div style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://picasa.google.com/blogger/" target="ext"></a></div></div>Isabelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16434612620438248162noreply@blogger.com0