Time sure does fly when you have a lot to do. I want to apologize to my Taste&Create partner for being over a whole week late to post…even though i did have my recipe done with plenty of time left.
For those of you who are curious – this is what I have been working on: Columbia Bakery Café for over a year now, and I will finally be opening my café in July.
And, let me tell you, this soup is GOOD! really good. It tastes like silky smooth sweet and slightly savory buttery potatoes. Please check out Samayal Arai for her recipe. It’s really quick to put together and so delicious!
For this month’s Taste&Create I was partnered with Seduce Your Tastebuds…. who has a whole slew of exotic dishes on her blog. I searched through her blog for a while not able to decide on exactly which dish I would make – they all looked so good – until I came across her Kiwi Salsa recipe and I knew then and there that that was the one I had to make.
I was very pleasantly surprised by how well all the flavors harmonize together. The acidity and subtle sweetness of the kiwis left little need for added acidity (lemon juice) and perfectly replace the traditional tomato. I did add more kiwi than the recipe originally called for because I thought it tasted good, but needed more kiwi to really hold the name kiwi salsa, and I reduced the onion to 1/4th of an onion, which I still found a bit over powering – I will reduce to 1 Tablespoon in the future. The cucumber gave the perfect body to the salsa helping to diminish the heat of the huge jalapeño I added.
As opposed to PJ, I went ahead and threw my ingredients, individually, into the food processor because I don’t like chunky salsa since I feel I don’t get all the flavors in one bite. That and (sorry mom) my mom has a tiny knife that I don’t get along with when chopping vegetable…I really miss my cook’s knife.
Ironically enough, I didn’t have any tortilla chips on hand to go with the salsa, but crackers work well too. I will be using the salsa tomorrow as an accompaniment to fish which I can’t wait to try because I think they will go perfectly together. I will keep you informed on that!
As you can tell, my current cooking trend is fueled by my longing for warmer days. This meal is made up of predominantly Mediterranean dishes to compose a Greek Meze.
It’s great for when you’re going to have guests over – and works well in any season since most ingredients are preserved in some way, shape or form – well, when eggplant is out of season, you’re out of luck for the baba ganoush, but other wise, this meals practically throws itself together very well.
And, I made it with recipes I have tried over the years as well as items I picked up at my local Turkish store: Falafel Jajeek Hummus Baba Ganoush Greek Salad
Stuffed/Marinated Chili Peppers
Stuffed/Marinated and Filled Mushroom Caps
Marinated Red Onion (red wine vinegar + a pinch of sugar + a pinch of salt)
I prepared everything early in the day, but made the falafel shortly before so that they were nice and warm.
Hummus is one of my favorite spreads to make because of the fact that it’s very versatile. It’s not just meat for dipping or scooping with different breads, but makes a great sandwich spread.
I have made quite a lot of hummus in the last 3 years – since discovering it, and I have learned that the secret to the silkiest and smoothest hummus is in the chick pea peel. By removing the peel, you remove a layer of roughness from the chick pea and pave the way for silky hummus.
Now, there is no easy or quick way to remove the peel from cooked chick peas – you just have to slip it off – one chick pea at t time. But, it’s well worth the effort. It takes me just under 10 minutes to “peel” a 400 gram can of chick peas. And, as is with most foods, although the quick way is tasty and edible – opting to take the long way has its rewards. Continue Reading »
I love cute notions – especially edible ones – so when I saw meringue mushrooms on Sweetapolita, I knew I just had to make them.
I had never made meringue mushrooms until a week ago. At first it was very frustrating. I had great directions, but still found myself lost and not knowing, for example, what stiff peaks were supposed to look like despite endlessly staring at Google Images.
My first batch was a flop and took 7 hours of baking to get the meringue to harden, and it deflated beyond salvage when I added the cocoa powder to make chocolate ones. With my second batch I tried a whole knew recipe, but it came out so very hard that it wasn’t really fun to eat – crunch, crunch. My third batch looked promising, but after some egg yolk slipped into the egg white, I had to beat it for 30 minutes to get soft peaks and bake 5 hours to get it to harden. And, somehow – I’m not the kind of person who gives up easily – I decided to try a fourth time, and, even though I used the same recipe as the first and third times, I was able to pull it off perfectly without a hitch…even when I mixed into cocoa powder and matcha green tea powder.
The mushrooms are ever so light and fluffy, but still rich and chocolaty.
I think it wouldn’t have taken 4 times to perfect had I had some visual guidance. And, I would like to share my hard earned knowledge with you in this video that I made with my husband’s cell phone for this week’s Project Foodblog Challenge:
Comeback next week to find out what I did with my meringue mushrooms. And, yes, it has to do with this mushroom and walnut forest.
And, for those of you, like myself, who like a quick reference text version of the recipe: Continue Reading »
As I mentioned yesterday, I am a big fan of Big Macs and Special Sauce, but not a big fan of actually eating McDonalds because of all those unnatural extra ingredients that they add to their foods – among other things.
Now, while I’m not a big fan of sweet salad dressing, I am a BIG fan of “special sauce” on my burgers. More specifically, the kind that mimics the Big Mac sauce from McDonalds.
This is a very very close, delicious, and healthier alternative to what you will find on a big mac. I counted 19 ingredients in McDonald’s Big Mac Special Sauce and at least 5 of those ingredients are not natural, such as stabilizers and preservatives. No thank you!
It’s really quite quick to make yourself, and not only will it be a great complement to your next burger, but it is a big hit around here as a tartar sauce replacement for fish! Continue Reading »
My husband loves sweet salad dressings. I, on the other hand, love savory vinegar-based dressings. But, unlike many American families, we don’t have multiple bottles of salad dressing in our refrigerator so that everyone can use the dressing of their choice on their salad. Here we make a fresh salad dressing every meals, and most of the time they are vinegar and herb based.
And, since we can’t get American bottled salad dressings here, we have to make our own. My husband found this recipe the other day, and he modified it by making it with tomato paste instead of ketchup and upping the vinegar – and I bottled it
Sometimes I need to throw together a really quick meal – like on cleaning day when I have to spend 8 hours cleaning our home …all those toys (and having to pick them up over and over again because of my 1-year-olds “help”) leave little time for an elaborate meal.
But, that doesn’t meal that I’m about to go and call the pizza man. I want a real meal that will not leave me wishing I’d eaten something else.
So, I went ahead and bought myself a package of pre-made spaetzel, which is the equivalent of buying fresh noodles in your grocer’s refrigerated section, and cooked up some pork steaks with chentrelle mushrooms and caramelized onions. You can also make delicious homemade spaetzle – I have a great recipe in a cookbook that “we” (my husband is the spaetzle cooker in our home) always go to. There are plenty of recipes online, but if anyone wants my recipe, I’d be more than happy to share – just lease a comment.
All in all, the meal takes about 30 minutes from start to finish, but you can cut the time to 20 minutes if you leave our the chantrelle mushrooms and caramelized onions – or sauté them in a separate griddle (should you have two) while cooking the rest of the meal. And, if you need to further reduce your cooking time, you can pound your steak out with a meat hammer and reduce cooking time to 5 minutes a side.