Archive of ‘Food’ category

White fish soup with spinach, hoisin mushrooms, carrots and leeks from my balcony, homemade rice cakes and mushroom broth.

Omit the rice cakes and this soup is very simple to make. Warm up mushrooms in hoisin sauce, lightly grill a piece of white fish (this was frozen hake), add hot mushroom broth, spinach and carrots and you are done. The rice cake recipe needs to be refined. It’s just rice flour, an egg, Asian dried shrimp seasoning (or just salt will do) and water. I think next time I make them I will heat the water almost to a boiling point so that when I mix the dough it gets more gluttonous and stretchy. I’ll also try cutting them thinner as they take much longer to cook than expected.   

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This weekend’s must-make recipe: Cassoulet.

The first time I ate Cassoulet was the summer of 2011 in Toulouse, France with my friend Carla. Our waiter had recommended the local dish with a big glass of wine while we waited for our train destined for Italy. I remember the meal being very rich in flavor and far too heavy for the 30 plus degree weather, this is probably why I have never attempted to recreate it until this week when we were cooped up in our cold apartment watching a snowy blizzard outside our window. 

 

Matt swears it’s one of his top ten meals he’s ever eaten. How can you go wrong? Duck confit, sausages, smoky ham and beans slowly roasted together until a perfect crust is formed on top.

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Cassoulet
Yields 4
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1323 calories
54 g
428 g
64 g
129 g
22 g
674 g
651 g
6 g
0 g
32 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
674g
Yields
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 1323
Calories from Fat 573
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 64g
98%
Saturated Fat 22g
109%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 9g
Monounsaturated Fat 23g
Cholesterol 428mg
143%
Sodium 651mg
27%
Total Carbohydrates 54g
18%
Dietary Fiber 20g
80%
Sugars 6g
Protein 129g
Vitamin A
69%
Vitamin C
22%
Calcium
19%
Iron
94%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 4 pieces of duck confit
  2. 4 Toulouse sausage (or mild pork sausage)
  3. 1 smoked ham bone or smoked pork ribs (any smoked meat for flavoring)
  4. 300 g dried white beans
  5. 1 carrot, diced
  6. 1 onion, diced
  7. 6 cloves of garlic, smahed
  8. 2 tomatoes, peeled and diced
  9. 1.5 L beef or pork stock
  10. 1 bouquet garnis
  11. 4 large bay leaves
  12. Salt & pepper
Instructions
  1. -Soak the beans in water overnight
  2. -In a pot or pressure cooker boil beans, smoked bone, carrots, onion, stock, bouquet garnis and 2 bay leaves until the beans are tender but not completely cooked.
  3. - Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  4. -In a Dutch oven; place all the ingredients(including the broth from the beans) in layers making sure the top layer is primarily beans. The beans should almost be completely submerged in broth.
  5. -Cook for about 2 hours then increase the oven's temperature to 400 degrees.
  6. -A crust will start to form. Gently submerge the crust in the liquid with a wooden spoon (casser la croûte) and return to oven. Repeat every 30 minutes for the next 2 hours.
  7. - The Cassoulet is ready when a nice thick crust has formed. Remove from oven, cover with lid and let rest for 15 minutes before serving.
Notes
  1. This is a peasant dish and has many variations like mutton or chicken. Have fun with the recipe!
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calories
1323
fat
64g
protein
129g
carbs
54g
more
Amalia and Matt's blog http://mattandamalia.com/

Pressure cooker borscht.

Pressure cook: parsley, celery, onions, leeks, carrots, beets, beef (shin), 2 bay leaves, peppercorns and beef or mushroom stock. High pressure for 90 minutes.

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The trick for tender beef is to lightly dredge in flour & salt then fry the meat until brown on each side. Set aside. Cook onions for a few minutes then add all the ingredients back into the pressure cooker, including the meat and stock.  

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Wild mushroom soup.

Simple soup made with onions, garlic, button mushrooms, wild mushrooms (frozen or dried), sherry, oil (for cooking) and mushroom stock. Garnished with sour cream, fresh dill and green onions.

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Oven beef jerky.

I marinated thin slices of top round beef in Asian spices, sugar and soy sauce for 3 days. Next, I laid a thin layer of beef on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil then placed it in my oven set to the lowest temperature. The beef jerky should be ready in 3-4 hours (flip once half way).    

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Day one in the Cotswolds, England.

Mat and Kelly picking us up at Oxford station for a crazy adventure.

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Our room in the Cotswods.

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Party food and drinks.

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My sous chef Kelly.

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Hand chopping steak.

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Mat is hungry!

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The perfect steak tartare (Worcestershire sauce not shown).

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Tapas & San Sebastian style pinxtos party for my birthday!

It took me 3 days to plan, shop and prep for his party but it was totally worth it.

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The house always looks like a mess while I prep, I need a much larger kitchen!

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I started to roast and toast days before the party.

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Fennel, orange and arugula salad.

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Pickled fish, green onions, roasted red peppers and cocktail pearl onions.

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Pickled leeks, hot pepper, anchovy and olive.

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Oyster mushrooms with bacon and roasted peppers with garlic.

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Olive tapenade.

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Caramelized onions with goat cheese and thyme.

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Mushroom pâté with toasted sesame and pumpkin seeds.

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Gazpacho jelly with hot peppers.

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I also made gazpacho shooters with bacon, patatas bravas and sangria.

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Yummmmmmy

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Dj Nick, Vera, Carina and Matt!

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Dj Nick was super happy with the tapas.

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Amalia’s bar.

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My personal hair stylist gave me a beautiful Spanish inspired hairdo.

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Dramatic pose.

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!!!!

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Duck confit with Julia Child’s Tian de Courgettes au Riz (Zucchini Tian).

This photo is very dark and it may look like I burnt the whole meal but in fact it was golden brown, crispy and delicious!

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Duck confit is very easy to make but I will warn you that it can take up to 4 days to make.

Duck Confit
Serves 2
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Prep Time
40 min
Cook Time
4 hr
Prep Time
40 min
Cook Time
4 hr
755 calories
1 g
289 g
44 g
84 g
13 g
303 g
238 g
0 g
0 g
24 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
303g
Servings
2
Amount Per Serving
Calories 755
Calories from Fat 392
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 44g
67%
Saturated Fat 13g
66%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 6g
Monounsaturated Fat 18g
Cholesterol 289mg
96%
Sodium 238mg
10%
Total Carbohydrates 1g
0%
Dietary Fiber 0g
1%
Sugars 0g
Protein 84g
Vitamin A
2%
Vitamin C
2%
Calcium
5%
Iron
46%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 2 duck legs
  2. 500g goose or duck fat (enough to cover the legs completely)
  3. your favorite French marinade ingredients.
For example
  1. -2 cloves of garlic
  2. -salt & pepper
  3. -herbs de Provence
  4. -olive oil
Instructions
  1. 1.Marinate the duck leg in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours.
  2. 2.Lightly wipe off the marinade and place in a deep oven dish (make sure the dish isn't too big).
  3. 3.Cover the legs completely with goose or duck fat.
  4. 4.Cook without a lid in the oven for 2.5-3.5 hours at the lowest setting. The fat should be bubbling and the meat almost falling from the bones.
  5. 5.Let cool. You can store the duck very simply by placing it in any container, covering it with the fat and keeping it in the fridge: as long as it stays covered with fat it will last for weeks.
  6. 6.To cook, remove the confit duck legs from their fat. Put an ovenproof frying pan on the stove until it is hot. Add the duck legs, skin-side down, and cook for 4 mins. Turn the legs and transfer the pan to a hot oven for 20 mins, until crisp.
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calories
755
fat
44g
protein
84g
carbs
1g
more
Amalia and Matt's blog http://mattandamalia.com/
Tian de Courgettes
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1256 calories
114 g
151 g
57 g
73 g
35 g
909 g
2530 g
25 g
1 g
18 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
909g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 1256
Calories from Fat 498
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 57g
87%
Saturated Fat 35g
176%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 16g
Cholesterol 151mg
50%
Sodium 2530mg
105%
Total Carbohydrates 114g
38%
Dietary Fiber 5g
21%
Sugars 25g
Protein 73g
Vitamin A
53%
Vitamin C
109%
Calcium
215%
Iron
21%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. -1 cup white rice
  2. -2-3 large zucchinis, shredded
  3. -1 large onion, diced
  4. -3 cloves garlic, minced
  5. -1/3 cup milk
  6. -3/4 cup Parmesan
  7. -salt & pepper
  8. -a pinch of nutmeg
  9. -oil or butter for cooking
Instructions
  1. 1. Shred the zucchini, add salt then place in a colander on top of a pot and drain the liquid (reserve liquid) for 20 minutes.
  2. 2. Parboil the rice by cooking it for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  3. 3. In a hot pan, cook onions until soft.
  4. 4. Add the garlic, zucchinis and seasonings. Cook for 6-8 minutes.
  5. 5. Stir in the rice, milk, half the cheese and zucchini juice.
  6. 6. Place in an oven dish and sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top.
  7. 7. Bake in a medium heat oven for 30 minutes, or until top has browned nicely and the rice has absorbed all the liquid.
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calories
1256
fat
57g
protein
73g
carbs
114g
more
Amalia and Matt's blog http://mattandamalia.com/

HAPPY HALLOWEEN EVERYONE!

Halloween came too quickly this year and I’m completely unprepared and unmotivated for one of my most favorite holidays. What makes things worse, Bulgaria doesn’t really celebrate Halloween, they have their own dress up “scary” holiday in February. In the spirit of things, last night I decided to make toffee apples, they look and taste amazing!  

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Hot spice toffee dipped apple in 72% dark chocolate and almonds.

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Dark chocolate covered apple with dry roasted peanuts.

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Deep purple vanilla toffee.

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Dry roasted peanut dipped apple with black/purple toffee.

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I originally wanted to make hard candied apples but I don’t have a candy thermometer and was afraid of over cooking the sugar and burning everything. Instead I ended up with toffee apples! They taste great, look great so who really cares if the candy is hard or not.

 

Hot apple spiced apples
Yields 4
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450 calories
118 g
0 g
0 g
1 g
0 g
320 g
17 g
100 g
0 g
0 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
320g
Yields
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 450
Calories from Fat 3
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 0g
1%
Saturated Fat 0g
0%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 17mg
1%
Total Carbohydrates 118g
39%
Dietary Fiber 5g
18%
Sugars 100g
Protein 1g
Vitamin A
4%
Vitamin C
41%
Calcium
2%
Iron
2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 4 medium size green apples
  2. 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  3. 1/2 cup spiced tea*
  4. 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  5. red food coloring (I used 1/4 teaspoon dry food dye)
  6. *Apple tea, chili peppers, cinnamon sticks, cloves and star anise.
Instructions
  1. -Steep apple tea with cinnamon sticks, cloves, star anise and hot peppers (I used dried Thai chilies) until flavorful then strain.
  2. -Wash and dry the apples then insert a stick to the top as firmly as possible. If the apples are waxy, boil water with white vinegar and dip the apples for 5 seconds to remove the coating as the toffee will not stick to wax.
  3. -In a thick bottom pot, heat the sugar, corn syrup and tea on low heat (second setting out of 8 on my stove).
  4. -After about 6-8 minutes the tea will have evaporated and everything should be bubbling. Stir and scrap the sides of the pot occasionally.
  5. -When it's almost ready you will notice the bubbles changing; they get larger, thinner and bubble more rapidly. I even noticed an audible change; unlike boiling water, bubbling sugar sounds snappier. If you have a candy thermometer you want your sugar to reach 300*F or test the syrup by dropping a few drops in cold water. It should be solid, almost hard.
  6. -Remove from heat and stir in food coloring.
  7. -Let the bubbles die down then quickly dip the apples and spin to coat the entire surface. Let the excess syrup drip off then place the apple on lightly oiled way paper. Let harden over night if you can wait that long.
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calories
450
fat
0g
protein
1g
carbs
118g
more
Amalia and Matt's blog http://mattandamalia.com/
Deep purple vanilla toffee apples
Yields 4
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446 calories
117 g
0 g
0 g
0 g
0 g
308 g
17 g
99 g
0 g
0 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
308g
Yields
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 446
Calories from Fat 3
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 0g
1%
Saturated Fat 0g
0%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 17mg
1%
Total Carbohydrates 117g
39%
Dietary Fiber 4g
17%
Sugars 99g
Protein 0g
Vitamin A
2%
Vitamin C
14%
Calcium
2%
Iron
1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 4 medium size green apples
  2. 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  3. 1/2 cup water
  4. 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  5. 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  6. purple and blue food coloring (I used 1/4 teaspoon dry food dye)
Instructions
  1. Same as above.
  2. For extras: dip the apples in chocolate, nuts, candy, etc., before placing on oiled wax paper to harden.
beta
calories
446
fat
0g
protein
0g
carbs
117g
more
Amalia and Matt's blog http://mattandamalia.com/

Banh It Tran- Vietnamese Mung Bean Dumplings, soy infused eggs, spicy green beans and onion spinach rava thosai.

Holy smokes this was a fantastic dinner, one of the top 5 dinners of all time according to my husband. Let’s start with the rava thosai; my friend Alisa who is lives in Kuala Lumpur sent us a dry powder mix of rava thosai a while back. You mix the powder with water until you achieve a crepe batter-like consistency. In a hot pan fry onions until translucent then pour the mix onto top. It’s exactly like making crepes or pancakes except the rava thosai turn out super crunchy, spicy and delicious. The trick is to only flip it once.

 

For the eggs: hard boil egg, peel and place in a soy, water, ginger and brown sugar mixture for minimum 30 minutes.

 

The dumplings (could be filled with just about anything): fry finely chopped onions and mash together with cooked mung beans and salt. Roll into little balls and put in fridge for 30 minutes. The dumpling themselves are made from equal parts white flour and tapioca starch, a little bit of oil from the fried onions, salt and warm water which is mixed in slowly. The dough will have a smooth, bouncy consistency.  Roll a little ball in your hand, flatten it in your palm then place the filling in the center. Pinch shut and roll smooth. Place in boiling water then wait until they float the the top (stir occasionally so they don’t stick to the bottom).  

 

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Veggie mish mash.

This is what I do with leftovers:

Mix shredded carrots, cabbage, onions and mushrooms with a cup of mashed potatoes and curry powder, spread thinly onto an oiled cookie sheet or skillet then bake in a hot oven until crisp and golden. Top with hot sauce or salsa and fresh cilantro.

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Pressure cooker Tom Yum soup.

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Throw in your pressure cooker:

-Chicken legs and thighs

-1 large diced onion

-6 cloves of garlic

-2 cups chicken broth

-1 tablespoon grated ginger

-1 tablespoon grated lemongrass

-Juice of 2 limes

-4-6 hot Thai chilies

-1 teaspoon ground cumin

-1 teaspoon ground coriander

-a pinch of salt

 

Set to high pressure and cook for one hour. Let depressurize naturally (takes about 10 minutes).

Add 1 diced red pepper and 1 can of coconut milk, adjust seasoning if needed and simmer for 15 minutes. Serve with a handful of fresh cilantro and basil.

Lemon tart with sugar cookie crust.

I’m not a dessert person but when I do indulge in a sweet treat I want it to be lemon flavored. I made this wonderful tart a few weeks ago and have been dreaming about it ever since.  If I remember correctly I loosely followed this recipe

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