Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Monkfish

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Monkfish can be recognized by its huge head and mouth, it's ugly and looks like a monster. Judging by the looks it is probably a fish you wouldn't buy at the market.  Going beyond the looks, this fish will conquer your palate for its lean meaty texture, similar to lobster.

It cooks beautifully when steamed, all nutrients, flavor and texture will remain intact and for the sauce ...well, that's a different story.  A couple of anchovies, olives, capers and a scent of rosemary will do the trick and will make one heck of a fish!

A presto! XXOO
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Monday, November 18, 2013

Kale & Potato Fritters

CAVOLO NERO 
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The queen of greens. Kale.    

I think I may be the only person left on the web that hasn’t posted a recipe on kale yet.  So here you go, kale & potato fritters.  Simple and delicious, actually so delicious that these little fritters might not make it to the table.  Usually, they never make it to the table and the reason is because they taste best when they are piping hot, but you won’t be disappointed if you eat them cold.  In other words, there will never be any leftovers.  Yield: a big batch!

….and here’s a tip for you.

We all know how much kale stinks when you cook it.  The smell invades the house for several hours, but don’t let this hold you back from eating it. If you want to avoid that annoying smell, all you need to do is add a potato in the same water where you boil the kale.  Same thing for any other cabbage that has a strong scent, just throw in a potato, everything will smell good and render justice to this fantastic vegetable. 
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Monday, November 11, 2013

In the Woods

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The colors in fall bring warmth on these sharp brisk weather days. They stand strong in the rain and make their way through fog and mist.  The browns and oranges, blues, greens and grays embrace me as I walk through the woods.  The rainy damp weather is there, I don't feel it, nor see it. I'm delighted as I watch a falling leaf that softly floats and now twirls fast at the pace of the whistling sound of wind.  It dances its way to the ground elegantly and silently.  I'm distracted as I watch my steps on wet leaves,  I'm about to slip, and a tree is there to assist.  It's young and strong and doesn't bend, dressed in a vivid green moss it holds my hand and I'm back up straight.  I may seem out of sort and insane, but I love to walk in the rain.

These are the surroundings in my area while my family and I scroll through the woods in search of those mushrooms we yet need to find.  

The pancakes? That's the breakfast we happily enjoy on Sundays.  I like to mix several flours together, usually the base will be whole wheat, then I might add some rice and buckwheat flour.  In this recipe, I added all of the above, plus a new entry, lentil flour.  In addition, I added some poppy seeds, which I love for the tiny crunch.  It's how food would say...wake up!  Do you trust me if I say they are damn good?!

For the wholewheat-buckwheat-rice-lentil flour pancakes in the picture up above, refer to the basic recipe I use here, and simply substitute the amount of flour used with an equal dose of each of the here mentioned flours, plus 2 teaspoons (or more) of poppy seeds.  Top them off with a dollop of crème fraîche, some maple syrup and have a lovely rest of the week! 

Friday, November 8, 2013

In Season: Pomegranates

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In French the word pomegranate literally means pome = apple and grenate = many seeds. Although a pomegranate may be vaguely similar to an apple, the difference is soon revealed the moment you bite into one, which is not quite like biting into an apple. The many seeds are annoying and in spite of the many ways there are to de-seed pomegranates, after a while I die of boredom and give up. Personally, I find that the real sense and essence of this fruit is found by extracting its juice.

Therefore, I drink it.

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Believe it or not, pomegranate juicing is quicker than juicing an orange.  You don't need a fancy juicer, use your hands and make sure to wear rubber gloves if you don't want to end up with stained hands for a week (I speak for experience).   Work in a big bowl with high edges, it keeps the mess in the bowl and not all over the kitchen counter (walls and drawers...). Start by slicing the pomegranate in quarters. Small portions make it easier when squeezing. While you squeeze, press your fingers in the pomegranate and against the seeds (known as arils) so to extract as much juice as possible.  The piths and pieces of membrane will float and all you need to do now is pour the juice, through a sieve, in another bowl to obtain a ruby, sweet, tangy, citric beverage, full of Vitamin C and antioxidants. 

Now that you know how to easily juice pomegranates, you will find it even easier to make molasses. Pomegranate molasses is a delicious condiment and complement for many recipes. Pour a few drops of this nectar over salads, meats, cheese, fruit, ice cream, panna cotta, scones, muffins and pancakes. You can store it in the fridge for a couple of months or you can freeze small portions so that you have some all year long. 

Pomegranate Molasses

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