Sunday, January 24, 2010

Blog Bites: Maangchi's Easy Kimchi

Sunday night,and it is time for another kitchen adventure. Ever since I saw Maangchi's video of how to make easy kimchi, I was hooked and ready to try it out. It is indeed really simple to make and tastes fabulous.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The New Way to Vacation: Sleep in a Tent on a Farm

Living in Maine, your whole life style goes back to the roots: you heat with wood in the winter, you grow your own tomatoes, herbs and zucchini in the summer, and you buy most of your produce from the farmers market. You hike and eat lobster in the summer, and feel privileged to the tourists who come to visit for a few weeks. Well, at least in the summer. On your own vacation, if you even need any, you prefer Provence to Paris.

Staying in rural farm houses has been a trend for a long time in Europe: gites in France, agritourism in Italy, and now, it has swapped to the US. Vacation on a farm, set up in a rather luxurious tent, and pick your own vegetables for dinner and get free range eggs from the chickens you say good morning to. A not too bad idea for people, mostly living in high rises in the city.

Here is the article in the NY Times.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

French Rye Bread

Finally, I caved and bought myself a bread machine. A quite expensive one, but a tiny and fitting on the counter space, and so far making fabulous bread. Here is the first loaf, french rye bread with cumin seeds, a French German bread marriage.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Rhurbarb Chutney

2 cups of raw rhurbarb, diced
1 white onion, diced
1 TB canola oil
1/2 cp cabernet sauvigonon vinegar
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 cp brown sugar
1 ts cinnamon
1 ts ground ginger
1 TB fresh ginger
1/2 ts cloves
1/4 cup red current juice

Sautee onion on low heat in hot canola oil until soften. Reduce heat to low, add the rhurbarb and other ingredients. Stir, and simmer on low for 30 min, until liquid is evaporated and chutney has a jam-like consistency.

Serve with grilled pork chops or grilled sweet and sour duck.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

French Lentil Stew

I first had this in the south of France, Charlie's lentil stew, with bay leaves and herbs from the garden and lentils from a can (it's france, afterall), with a generous glass of Cahor wine, slow-cooked for hours. This one is the local version.

1 ts olive oil
1/2 red onion, diced
Freshly ground black pepper, salt
1 large garlic clove, microplaned
1/2 can of diced tomatoes (no salt)
1 carrot, diced
1 celery stalked, diced
2 bell peppers ( red, green), diced
1/2 summer squash, diced
1/4 cup red wine
fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme and several bay leaves)
3/4 cp french lentils, dried
1 rapunzel vegetable bouillon cube, dissolved in 1 cup of hot water

Sautee onion and garlic in olive oil. Add all the vegetables (besides the lentils), and sautee for 5 min. Add red wine, and sautee until the liquid is evaporated. Add herbs, lentils and bouillon. Simmer at low heat for 30 min.

Makes 8 servings a 110 kcal.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Tangy Wheatberry Salad with Cranberries and Pecans

This is one of my favorite salads from the Wholefoods salad bar: plumped up wheatberries with dried cranberries, scallions, pecans and a tangy vinaigrette. This is my reinvention of it.

1 TB tamari
1/2 ts sesame oil
1 TB balsamic vinegar
2 TB fruity olive oil
4 scallions, sliced
1/4 cp dried cranberries
1/4 cp pecans, toasted
1/2 red onion, diced

Cook in vegetable broth until al dente:
1/4 cp japonica rice
1/4 cp wild rice mix
1/2 cp wheat berries

Mix all ingredients, add some lemon juice, chill and serve!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Greek Lamb Baked in Red Wine

one rack of lamb, cut in cutlets
olive oil
lemon juice
salt, pepper
3 garlic cloves, whole
1 cup red wine

Rub the lamb cutlets (with bone) with olive oil, lemon, salt, pepper, mushed garlic.
Place in roasting pan with some butter and the red wine, and slowly bake at 350F for over 1 hour. Baste with more red wine during baking.

Alternatively, cook in pressure cooker.

White Bean Dip

1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil, plus 4 tablespoons
1/4 cup (loosely packed) fresh Italian parsley leaves
Freshly ground black pepper

Place the beans, garlic, lemon juice, 1/3 cup olive oil, and parsley in the work bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is coarsely chopped. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer the bean puree to a small bowl.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Caramelised Onion Chutney

Onion chutney requires only a few ingredients - onions of course (any will do, but red onions give the nicest colour and sweet taste), a vinegar - sherry, red wine, raspberry or balsamic are all ideal, and brown sugar, together with some bay leaves, juniper berries and peppercorns for flavour.

Chop 6 large onions as coursely or finely as you like and heat with a small amount of canola oil in a stainless steel pan until they are soft. Add 1 cup of your chosen vinegar (or a mixture of vinegars) and 1 cup of brown sugar, and drop in a couple of bay leaves and 15-20 crushed black peppercorns and 5 juniper berries. Bring the mixture to the boil and then simmer gently for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until the onions have gone translucent and all the liquid has evaporated.

Pour the hot mixture straight into small (200g) sterilised jars, seal, and store somewhere cool and dark or in the fridge. The chutney should keep for at least 6 months. To ensure the chutney can keep even longer (1 year plus), put the sealed jars in boiling water and simmer for 15 minutes. Line metal jar lids with greaseproof paper to protect them from the vinegar in the chutney.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Chocolate Amaretto Cake

Butter-flavored nonstick cooking spray
3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate or semisweet chocolate chips or really good swiss chocolate
1 cup fresh slivered almonds
1 cup baby amaretti cookies (about 2 ounces)
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons fresh grated orange peel
4 large organic eggs
Unsweetened cocoa powder, for sifting

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Spray a 9-inch springform pan the nonstick spray. Refrigerate. Heat the chocolate in a double boiler until melted and smooth.

Combine the almonds and cookies in processor. Pulse until the almonds and cookies are finely ground. Transfer the nut mixture to a medium bowl. Add the butter and sugar to the processor and blend until creamy and smooth. Add the grated orange peel and pulse briefly, until incorporated. Add the eggs 1 at a time. Blend until the eggs are incorporated. Clean the sides of the mixing bowl and blend again. Add the nut mixture and melted chocolate. Pulse until blended. Clean the sides of the bowl. Blend again.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until the center puffs and a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Cool the cake in the pan for 15 minutes.

Transfer the cake to a platter. Sift the cocoa powder over and serve.

Recipe, courtesy Giada Di Laurentiis (food network)

Friday, October 31, 2008

Walnut Kalamata Olive Foccaccia

2 TB whole-grain Instabake mix
1 TB wheat bran (made from Fiber one wheat bran)
1/4 ts baking powder
1 TB chopped, toasted walnuts
4-5 kalamata olives, sliced
2 TB ff milk

Mix all ingredients, and pour into a spray small metal baking pan, and bake at 400F for 20min.

Serve with goat cheese from the farmer's market.

Skinny Pumpkin Pie

Crust layer:
1/4 cup Krusteaz pancake mix
1/4 cp butter milk
1 Tbsp egg beaters
¼ ts vanilla
¼ ts baking soda

Pumpkin filling:
2/3 cup solid packed pumpkin
2 TB evaporated skim milk
2 TB eggbeaters
1 1/2 TB brown splenda
1/4 ts cinnamon extract (liquid!)
1/4 ts vanilla extract
1/8 ts ground ginger
1/8 ts pumpkin pie spice
1 TB Krusteaz mix

Heat oven to 400F degrees. Lightly grease or spray single-serve spring form.

Make the crust batter and the filling in separate bowls. Mix batter ingredients, and fill batter in a small, sprayed spring form, and bake at 400F for 5 min.

For the pumpkin filling, mix (potentially in food processor) pumpkin and other ingredients until it is a really smooth, creamy texture. Fill on top of pre-baked cake layer. Bake for another 20 at 400F, and another 25 min at 350F. Let cool to room temperature before serving.

1 breakfast entree + 1 fruit (240 kcal)

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Borough Market, London

Borough Market is a produce and fresh fish and meat market for whole salers. On the weekend, it is open to the public at large.

A great place to have breakfast, oysters, or a glass of prosecco before produce shopping.

It's best to come around 9am when the market is still empty, private, and relaxed.

Food ranges from organic fruit to spanish ham and provence lavender.

Samples are available at most stands, and they alone a worth wandering the market.

The cheese is Switzerland, Netherlands, Italy and naturally some British goat cheese and Stilton.


Monday, September 15, 2008

What to Eat Now

A new food show on BBC 2 featuring Valentine Warner. The man has taste! He calls rabbits "bunnies", has a name that sounds all Victoriana chick-lit and a premise that's hip, seasonal and earthy. I suspect great things ...

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Korean Spicy Miso Soup

2 1/2 cups of water
1 ts Mrs Parks' dried mix (ground -- dried anchovies, mushroom, seaweed, shrimp)
2 green onions, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and cubed
1 TB of dengjang (Korean miso)
tofu, cubed

add (optionally):
chili paste (for spicy version)
string beans
potatoes (optionally)

Boil dried mix, green onions and and other vegetables in water for five minutes or until vegetables are tender. Reduce heat to low. Take out a 1/2 cup of broth in a mug, and mix in the miso really well until dissolved. Add back to pot, stir, dissolve, heat for 1 min, and take off the heat and serve.

This traditional Korean miso soup is typically served with a bowl of rice and one or two vegetable side dishes. Depending on how sensitive your taste is, you may need to add more or less miso, so taste as you go.

Optional ingredients include tofu cubes, string beans, or edamame- all can be added a minute or two before you add the miso.For a spicy version, add chili flakes or spicy chilli paste.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Korean Cinnamon Honey Drink

This is a popular drink in Korea, to drink chilled after a meal. People swear it it good for digestion and keeps you young. Well, it tastes pretty good!

The ginger root is washed and sliced without peeling. The sliced ginger root is stored with honey for a few weeks. To make the drink, cook the ginger with a cinnamon stick for 2 hours, and then chill, and serve cold. It can be sweetened with more honey.

Another version is Saenggang cha s a tea made from ginger root. The ginger root is washed and sliced without peeling. The sliced ginger root is stored with honey for a few weeks. To make the tea, boil the ginger hot water.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

How to make Korean Sushi (Gimbap)


Cut up cucumbers into long stripes

Make thin layers of scrambled egg, mixed with salt. Then, cool slightly and slice in long strips.

Saute fresh-grated carrots in oil and some salt.

Saute ground beef with salt, pepper and sesame oil.

So, here is carrots, sauteed beef, sliced egg omelette, cucumber, and daikon.

Make sticky rice with a salt, vinegar, sugar mixture (an art in itself)

Prepare a salted, cooked egg yolk mixture (mixed with some rice)

Cut up nori sheet, add rice layer, cucumbers, more nori sheets, and make sophisticated patterns (for experts)

or make simple pattern, with adding egg slice, cucumber, carrot, imitation crab,....

Roll up the sushi, slice it up and serve!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Panettone French Toast with Strawberries

1/2 of mini panettone (italian brioche with raisins, etc)
2 TB eggbeaters
1/2 capful of vanilla extract
1/4 capful of almond extract
dash of cinnamon
2 TB ff coolwhip
1 cup fresh strawberries
1 TB sugarfree Torani Raspberry syrup
1/2 ts brown splenda

Slice strawberry, and marinade in a bowl with raspberry syrup and brown splenda while preparing the french toast. Slice the panettone into 2-3 slices. Combine eggbeaters, vanilla, almond extract and cinnamon, and let panettone soak up the egg beaters. In a non-stick skillet. heat a few sprays of ICNBINB spray, and keep on medium heat. Brown panettone slices from both sides, and serve with whipped cream and strawberries!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Apple Cake with Walnuts And Maple Syrup

1 apple (peeled and sliced thin)
⅛ tsp nutmeg
2 Tbsp Heart Smart Bisquick
1 Tbsp soy flour
1 Tbsp Splenda brown sugar
2 Tbsp FF milk
¼ Tbsp Promise FF butter spread
¼ cup + 1 Tbsp egg beaters
1/2 ts real maple syrup
1/4 ts vanilla extract
1 Tbsp candied, chopped walnuts

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Spray tart form. Place apple slices in a star pattern on bottom of tart pan. Stir together Bisquick, soy flour, and Splenda brown sugar. Add milk, butter spread, egg beaters and maple syrup to dry mix and beat until smooth. Pour over apples. Distributed candied walnuts on top, and bake 20 min in preheated toaster oven, or until golden and ”set".

Upside Cherry Cheese Cake

Cake base layer
1/3 cup Krusteaz pancake mix
⅓ cp butter milk
1 Tbsp egg beaters
¼ ts vanilla
¼ ts baking soda

Cheese cake filling
4 TB lf quark (or lf ricotta)
1/2 ts vanilla
1 TB eggbeaters
1 TB splenda
1 TB Krusteaz pancake mix

Cherry filling:
2/3 cp cherry pie filling, canned, splenda
1/2 ts vanilla
1 TB Torani SF Raspberry syrup

Make the batter and the fillings in separate bowls. For the cheese cake filling, mix quark and other ingredients until it is a really smooth, creamy texture. Mix the cherry pie filling with the vanilla and the raspberry syrup.

Fill batter in a small, sprayed spring form, and bake at 400F for 5 min. Take out of oven, pour cherry mix over solid surface of the cake base, and pour cheese filling on top of cherries. Bake for another 20-25 min at 400F. Let cool to room temperature before serving.

Note: if you use cream cheese instead of quark, use 3 TB, and mix them with 1-2 TB ff sour cream and 2 TB eggbeaters to get a smooth, creamy consistency. The cheese cake might look too liquid when finished baking, but it will set once it cools down.

Here is a simple way of how I make my own quark.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

My kitchen

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Roasted Red Pepper Soup

1/2 red onion, finely diced
2 roasted peppers, from a jar, rinsed, and diced
1 diced fresh tomato
2 anchovy fillets
1 TB meyer lemon olive oil
1/4 white wine
1/2 can Hunts Tomato Sauce, No Sugar Added
1/2 cup tomato or vegetable broth
1 TB Agave nectar
1 handful fresh basil
5 springs of fresh thyme
1 garlic clove, grated

Sautee onion, roasted red pepper and anchovy fillets in Meyer lemon olive oil, until slightly liquid is evaporate. Add white wine, and cook until liquid evaporated. Add tomato sauce, broth, agave nectar and herbs garlic. Heat up till cooking, and then turn off the heat, cover with a lid and let cook with the rest heat.

Optionally: add 1 TB ff sour cream.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Naked Lemons?

It must be the time for limoncello....

the simple version: buy in a store, Caravella
home-made version:

Take the peel off of 1 pound of lemons
Place in masson jar
Fill up with 1 bottle of vodka
Let sit on kitchen counter for 1 week (for the lemon peel essential oils to flavor the vodka)
On day 8, make a simple syrup (1 cup water, 1 cup sugar, water heated and sugar dissolved)
Strain contents of masson jar, and only keep vodka (now with a yellow color) and mix with simple syrup.

Fill in a bottle and chill. It will freeze solid in the freezer, but keep in fridge.

Serve with a glass of champagne or chilled, by itself.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Mexican Beach Fruits

Mexican beach snacks: papaya, mango and cucumber stripes in a banana leaf with lime, chili powder and salt

Jicama, cucumber and pinneapple spears with dipping chili powder and cucumber sour cream