Saturday, January 24, 2015

Savory Cheese Madeleines

Today, I have a cute little appetizer for you that you can whip together in 10 minutes. They taste best right after they come out of the oven but you could prepare them in advance and just reheat them for a couple of minutes in a 350 F hot oven. 

Savory Cheese Madeleines
adapted from Patricia Wells
makes 24 madeleines


1 cup / 135 g unbleached all-purpose flour
3 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 - 3/4 teaspoon sea salt (depending on your cheese, use less if you use a salty cheese)
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup plain yogurt
Pepper, Chili Flakes
3/4 cup (3 ounce / 90g ) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, Gruyere or other cheese)
3 tablespoon finely minced fresh herbs  (rosemary, chives, spring onions or others)

Preheat your oven to 425℉. Butter your madeleine pan and place in fridge.

Combine the ingredients from the flour to the spices and mix until the mixture just comes together. Add the cheese and herbs and mix.

Now you can place the mixture in the fridge for an hours or so.
Spoon the batter onto the madeleine molds and bake in the upper center rack of your oven for about 10 minutes or until firm and golden (I baked mine for 8 minutes and then turned them around and baked them 3 minutes longer).

 Cool the madeleines for a few minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature (I prefer them warm).

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Grapefruit Salad with Edamame, Radicchio, Avocado and Toasted Almonds

Sweet, sour, bitter, crunchy, soft, this salad combines it all and is perfect for a light lunch or as an appetizer on a cold winter night. The recipe is easily adjusted for more people or enjoy it alone as a wholesome meal.

Grapefruit Salad with Edamame, Radicchio, Avocado and toasted Almonds

Per Person

1/2 Grapefruit
1/2 Avocado, sliced
1/4 Radicchio
1 handful of toasted Almonds
1 handful of Edamame
Olive Oil
Salt, Pepper

Thinly slice the radicchio and arrange on a platter. Filet the grapefruit and catch the juice. Steam the edamame for a couple of minutes (if necessary). Arrange everything on a nice platter and sprinkle with the toasted almonds. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with some olive oil and the grapefruit juice. Mix carefully and serve.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Chocolate Hazelnut Cake

Have you ever heard of Gennaro Contaldo? He was the mentor of Jamie Oliver and I love to watch his videos on youtube. He gets so excited when he talks about his food and makes you want to cook his recipe right now. This is his Christmas cake but I think it's delicious all winter long.

Chocolate Hazelnut Cake

adapted from Gennaro Contaldo

200 g Ricotta
150 g Sugar
125 g Butter, melted
60 g Flour (00 if you can get it)
Orange Zest of half an Orange
Lemon Zest of one Lemon
5 Eggs, separated
200 g Hazelnut, shelled, roasted and chopped
1 T Apricot Jam
Grated Chocolate
Orange Zest for Decoration
Optional: Mascarpone and Honey

Preheat your oven to 350 F. Butter and flour a baking tin.

Mix the Ricotta with the sugar until creamy. Add the melted butter and mix. Add the flour and the Orange and Lemon Zest. Mix until incorporated. Add the egg yolks and whip the egg whites until stiff. Add the Hazelnuts, mix and then fold the egg whites into the mixture. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and shake a little bit.

Bake for approximately 30 - 35 minutes or until a wooden skewer comes out clean. Let it rest on a rack for a couple of minutes and then unmold the cake. Let cool completely.

Spread the jam on the cake and decorate with the grated chocolate and the Orange Zest.
Serve with a dollop of mascarpone and the honey.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Herbed Goat Cheese Sandwiches

These little mini tea sandwiches can be made a day ahead and stored in the fridge. They make a light little snack or appetizer and can easily be made for a crowd. Great for the holidays or any other celebration.

Herb Goat Cheese Sandwiches
(Ina Garten)
serving 40 - 45 sandwiches

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
10 ½ ounces mild goat cheese, at room temperature
1 ½ teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)
½ teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
5 to 6 tablespoons milk, half-and-half or heavy cream
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 loaves 7-grain bread, thinly sliced
1 hothouse cucumber, not peeled

For the spread, place the cream cheese, goat cheese, garlic, thyme, parsley, 5 tablespoons milk, salt and pepper in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until well mixed. Add an additional tablespoon of milk if the spread is very thick.

To make the sandwiches, spread each slice of bread with the goat cheese spread. Slice the cucumber into thin rounds and arrange on half of the bread slices. Top with the remaining bread. Press slightly, trim off the crusts and cut the sandwiches into halves, thirds or triangles.

Make these sandwiches in the morning, then cover with damp paper towels and plastic wrap and refrigerate (I made mine a day in advance and they were perfect, just wrap them very well). Cut just before serving.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Spicy Lobster Pasta

It is always nice to have recipe on hand for those really busy days when you have no time at all but still want something good and home cooked for dinner. The sauce for this pasta dish is made in the time the pasta cooks and you can use any kind of seafood for this sauce. No matter what kind of seafood you end up using Lobster, Crab or Shrimp this dish will be equally delicious. The sauce is made in the time the pasta cooks, the red pepper flakes add a little bit of heat to the seafood and the bursting, juicy tomatoes complement the dish.

Spicy Lobster Pasta
serves 4

12 ounces spaghetti
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large shallot, finely chopped
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 pound cherry and/or Sun Gold 
 tomatoes, halved
1 pound picked cooked lobster meat 
or cooked large shrimp
Freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Lemon wedges (for serving)


Cook spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking liquid (the secret to silky sauce).

Meanwhile, heat oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook shallot and red pepper flakes, stirring often, until shallot is softened, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook, stirring often, until tomatoes are soft and juicy, 5–8 minutes.

Add lobster meat to skillet and toss to coat. Add pasta and ½ cup reserved pasta cooking liquid; season with salt and pepper. Cook, tossing constantly and adding more reserved pasta cooking liquid as needed, until sauce thickens and coats pasta, about 2 minutes.
Serve pasta topped with lemon zest, with lemon wedges alongside for squeezing over.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Brown Butter Pumpkin Loaf with Streusel

Fall calls for Pumpkin Bread. This recipe got my intention because it uses brown butter instead of regular butter. I cannot say that I really tasted the brown butter in the cake but it was very moist and absolutely tasty. Maybe I didn't cook my butter long enough but it goes from brown to burned in a second and I was a little bit scared to do just that. I liked the Streusel on top best and I would double them the next time.

Brown Butter Pumpkin Loaf with Streusel

Soft and perfectly spiced with brown butter, this classic pumpkin bread takes things to the next level. Try the same batter in a muffin pan, too.
From: Taylor Kadlec

Serves: 2 loaves or 24 muffins
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1½ cups granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
3 large eggs
15 oz can of pumpkin puree
3 cups flour (I used white whole wheat)
1½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cloves
½ tsp ginger
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
for the streusel:
4 tbsp butter, melted
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup oats (old fashioned or quick oats work fine here)
¼ cup flour
1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Spray two 9×5″ bread pans or two muffins pans (24 muffins total) with cooking spray, and set aside.
In medium saucepan, add butter over medium-low heat.
Melt, and then cook for 7-10 minutes longer, until it starts to turn a caramel color.
Remove from heat immediately.
In large bowl, stir together or beat with electric mixer the butter and sugars.
Add the eggs, one at a time, until they are completely mixed in.
In medium bowl, combine flour, spices, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, stirring until just combined.
Pour into prepared baking pans/muffin tins.
In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the streusel, mixing well.
Sprinkle over loaves/muffins.
Bake in preheated oven for 50-55 minutes (loaves) or 18-20 minutes (muffins), until tops are golden and a tester comes out pretty much clean.
Let cool completely.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Indian Butter Chicken

Don't be put off by the long ingredients list in this recipe. It's mostly spices that you pull out of your drawer (or off the supermarket shelf) and mix together to marinate the chicken. It's a very easy dish that doesn't take long to make once the chicken is in the bag. The chicken will get very juicy and tender and the taste is phenomenal. I got this very cute little Indian spice box that you can see on the picture called Masala Dabba for my birthday from a dear friend. This box makes it very easy to cook dishes that use lots of spices. You don't have to use it for Indian spices but you could use it for any kind of spices that you use very often.

Indian Butter Chicken

(from the New York Times)

1 ½ cups full-fat Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 ½ tablespoons ground turmeric
2 tablespoons garam masala
2 tablespoons ground cumin
3 pounds chicken thighs, on the bone
¼ pound unsalted butter
4 teaspoons neutral oil, like vegetable or canola oil
2 medium-size yellow onions, peeled and diced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
3 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and grated or finely diced
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 cinnamon stick
2 medium-size tomatoes, diced
2 red chiles, like Anaheim, or 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
 Kosher salt to taste
⅔ cup chicken stock, low-sodium or homemade
1 ½ cups cream
1 ½ teaspoons tomato paste
3 tablespoons ground almonds, or finely chopped almonds
½ bunch cilantro leaves, stems removed.


Whisk together the yogurt, lemon juice, turmeric, garam masala and cumin in a large bowl. Put the chicken in, and coat with the marinade. Cover, and refrigerate (for up to a day).
In a large pan over medium heat, melt the butter in the oil until it starts to foam. Add the onions, and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent. Add the garlic, ginger and cumin seeds, and cook until the onions start to brown.
Add the cinnamon stick, tomatoes, chiles and salt, and cook until the chiles are soft, about 10 minutes.
Add the chicken and marinade to the pan, and cook for 5 minutes, then add the chicken stock. Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for approximately 30 minutes.
Stir in the cream and tomato paste, and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, approximately 10 to 15 minutes.
Add the almonds, cook for an additional 5 minutes and remove from the heat. Garnish with the cilantro leaves.