Thursday, July 31, 2008

chopped salad

I started with a bowl of romaine, topped it with chopped cukes and tomatoes, leftover seasoned avocado bits, sweet mini shrimp, and finished it off with a spoonful of salsa and a drizzle of ranch. Refreshing and a great way to get some veggies in your world!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

ground chicken tacos

If you're in the mood for Mex, and you're sick of red meat, try using ground chicken -- or yard cluck, like my uncle says. It's quick, and it soaks up whatever flavors you add to it. For these tacos, I used my signature chili-lime seasoning, then topped the tacos with caramelized onions (for my boy), shredded cheese, and seasoned avocado slices (for me) -- salsa and hot sauce optional. Try it out!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

ode to Leo

When I was studying in Madrid, my compañera de casa and I had a wonderful maid. She was a great cook, a sweet woman, and I--no, we-- are definitely missing her food. Our two favorite dishes are espaguettis con tomate (spaghetti with tomato sauce) and pollo asado con limón (roasted chicken with lemon). Let me say, the lady can cook, and her sauces are to-die-for. Trust me, you'd eat one of your own limbs if she dressed it up with sauce. Amazing.

Monday, July 28, 2008

dinner party dessert

Some friends of mine threw a party two nights ago, and I was in charge of putting together the desserts. I used to sell these little blueberry tartlets at a farmers' market, but I hadn't made them recently, so I kind of revamped the recipe.

I put together a dough of ground almonds (done in my food processor), sugar, butter, a pinch of salt, and some ice water. After toasting them up, I filled them with a light cream (housemade sheep ricotta, sheep yogurt, whipped cream, and powdered sugar -- all folded together and spiked with a little amaretto). I topped each tartlet with a gigantic Willow Hill Farm blueberry.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

the egg roll incident

(I was thinking about the String Cheese Incident...)

While working at Paulino's in Madrid, I learned how to make pastelitos de langostinos y gambas en su jugo-- delicious morsels of prawns and shrimp, sauteed together then rolled into thin pastry with a bed of sauteed vegetables.
I simply cannot get them out of my head...

So, on a whim, I embarked on an egg roll journey and used the knowledge and technique I learned at Paulino's to create some delicious pastelitos with more of an Asian flair.

I sautéed onions, julienned carrots and some savoy cabbage, just simply with a little bit of olive oil, salt & pepper. Then I sauteed peeled, deveined shrimp with olive oil, pepper, and a little bit of Jin Ji's Happy Hot Sauce. I put it all together in some egg roll wrappers, and shallow-fried them in olive oil.

Don't worry -- the oil wasn't dirty -- the bits on the outsides are from the residual Happy Hot Sauce in the pan.

I served them up with a carrot and savoy cabbage slaw -- dressed with soy sauce, lime juice, peanut oil, sesame oil, and toasted sesame seeds. Yum!

Friday, July 25, 2008

my newest queso-venture...

So it's official -- I've got a wheel of cheese aging away in a cave! For those of you who know me, you know I've worked with a cheesemaker for years, but until recently, I never thought of bringing the "make" process into my own kitchen. I did some research online first, and decided I'd like to make a washed-curd cheese. I first thought I'd head the gouda route, but it's a brined cheese, and for a first at-home attempt, I thought I'd rather go with a salt-in-the-vat recipe. So I went more toward a colby-style wheel, made it with mixed milk (sheep & cow), and now it's hanging out in a cheese cave. I've got no idea how it will come out, but if the quality of it's cavemates is somehow absorbed through osmosis, it will be awesome. But like I said, I've got no idea right now. Ask me in 6 months. =)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

grillin' time!

Recently my Madrid roommate came to visit me in VT (check out Madrid bar & club blog here). While we have been bogged down with rain for most of the summer, it let up just long enough to grill up some delicious food. I did my greek-style grilled chicken, a bucket of grilled veggies, and served it up with some of my confetti pasta salad with Doe's Leap goat feta. Yummmmmy! Or as my boy would say, "That's tasty".

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

burcu's savory cornmeal cake

On the mission to find a recipe for cornmeal cakes, I came across a blog -- Almost Turkish Recipes. I just took their savory cornmeal cake out of the oven, and man! It is tasty! Feta and olives add saltiness to the cake, parsley adds a little green, and red pepper flakes add some heat. Check out the post here.

cold salads

Since it is so dadjim hot out there, I've been totally hooked on cold foods -- cold soups, cold sandwiches, and cold salads. I've been working with different combinations, but what I've done so far is only the tip of the iceberg...

Start with your favorite pasta or grain (cooked), add bite-sized bits of your favorite cheeses, meats, and/or veggies. You could also add herbs, dried or fresh fruits, or nuts. Dress it all up (
use bottled or make your own -- and don't forget salt & pepper!), and you're good to go!

A few combinations I do

"confetti" pasta (bulk bin in my health food store) + sundried tomatoes in olive oil + roasted red peppers + balsamic vinegar & olive oil

barley + crunchy red pepper bites or strips + caramelized onions + shredded chicken + lemon juice + olive oil

orzo + chickpeas + feta + garlic + dill + olive oil + lemon juice

tri-colored rotini + sundried tomatoes + slices of greek-style grilled chicken + chopped parsley + lemon juice + olive oil

my latest

fusilli pasta + feta + puréed green peas + parsley + pine nuts + lemon juice + olive oil
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