Poached Egg Whites

Herb egg whites, avocado & homemade bread

Breakfast

Poached herb egg whites

Whenever I engage myself in over-ambitious bakery projects, I end up by throwing away the egg whites. Of course I plan on using them the following days, but I almost never do. And I strongly dislike wasting and throwing things away. Lately, to avoid any waste (and all the bad energy that comes with it), I take 2 egg whites at a time, I wrap them in cling film square, I season them with sea salt, olive oil and fresh herbs and I poach them in hot water. This way, you get some flavorful egg white balls, perfect for a weekend brunch.

When you prepare a classic egg white omelette, the dish tends to be a bit blend, but using this technique, the egg whites are full of flavor. Another great advantage is the fact that you can prepare 3 or 4 packages at a time so in 15 minutes, you can prepare a very satisfying breakfast for the whole family. I usually serve my poached egg whites on a slice of homemade bread covered with a generous amount of avocado spread. Simple and so delicious!

Ingredients:

  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • ½ avocado
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • chili flakes and salt to taste
  • radish sprouts

Ingredients

Egg white on cling foil

Egg white ball

Knot

 

Method (2 servings):

  1. Take a medium saucepan, fill it with water and place it on a stove, on high heat.
  2. Oil a 30x30cm plastic wrap square with ½ tsp of olive oil and place it on top of a cup, pressing down in the center to create a place for the egg whites. Place the egg whites in the center, season well with salt and chopped thyme and take the 4 corners of the plastic wrap at the same time and seal tightly. Tie it in a knot. Proceed the same with the second package.
  3. When the water starts to boil, reduce the heat to minimum, add the packages and let them poach for 10 minutes.
  4. Cream the avocado using a fork, add 1 Tbsp of lemon juice and season with sea salt. Spread the avocado mixture over the bread slices.
  5. Carefully remove the egg whites from the hot water and let them cool for 2 minutes. Cut the knot and unwrap the packages, slice the poached egg whites and place them over the avocado spread. Garnish with radish sprouts and chili flake.

Notes: I recommend you to use a high quality plastic wrap, that is safe at high temperature.

 

Poached egg whites

Egg white, avocado & homemade bread

Citrus Semifreddo

Citrus semifreddo

Semifreddo

Semifreddo is a delicious frozen Italian dessert. It’s basicaly an icecream, a really smooth and creamy one, the cremiest icecream that doean’t require an icecream maker. Semifreddo is so easy to make, it requires just a few basic ingredients, a bread tray and a freezer. That’s all! It’s useless to use as an argument the fact that this lovely treat melts in your mouth; of couse it does, it’s an icecream after all. But its incredibly rich taste and fragrance, the interesting creamy-crunchy justaposition make from this treat a winner. As I mentioned above, semifreddo is so easy to make, the most difficult part of the recipe being the 6 hours waiting interval! Oh… but when it finally freezes…

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup sliced almonds – 50g
  • 1 + ¾ cup whipping cream – 420ml
  • 7 large egg yolks
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup citrus juice (orange + lemon/lime) – 120ml
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest (preferably organic)
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Ingredients

Egg yolks & sugar

Whipped cream

Toasted almonds

Semifreddo before freezing

Method:

  1. Take a large mixing bowl and place it in the freezer.
  2. Line a loaf pan with cling foil, making sure that the excess is hanging over the ends and sides.
  3. Brown the almonds in a skillet, on medium heat. Set aside.
  4. Take the refrigerated mixing bowl and beat the cream until soft peaks form.
  5. Whisk the egg yolk, sugar, citrus juice and salt in a large bowl. Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure that the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Whisk constantly the egg mixture until light-colored, thick and fluffy, and the thermoter inserted into the mixture registrates 170°F / 75° C (about 5-7 minutes).
  6. Remove the bowl from the simmering water and beat the mixture until cool and doubled in volume (about 5-7 minutes).
  7. Carefully fold the whipped cream into the creamy yolk mixture.
  8. Sprinkle the chilled almonds evenly over the bottom of the loaf pan and spoon the mixture over the almonds. Fold the overhanging cling foil over the semifreddo mixture and freeze for at least 6 hours.
  9. Unfold the cling foil and invert the semifreddo onto platter.
  10. Remove cling foil, cut into slices and serve. I serve mine with chocolate sauce and watermelon balls.

Almond semifreddo

Plating

Source: www.theharvestkitchen.com

Cheese-Beer Bread

Cheese & beer bread

Mixing

Beer loaf

 

My latest obsession in the bread-making field is this cheesy beer bread. It is so easy to make, it’s quick, it’s no fuss, it doesn’t involve kneading / finding a warm place in the kitchen / figuring out what in the name of God lukewarm is supposed to mean. Even though the ingredients are pretty common, the result exceeds all expectations – a lovely crunchy cheesy crust and a dense, elastic and flavorful center. Even though the only fat-source is the cheese (and a low-fat version, to be more accurate), the taste is so unexpectedly rich and the flavor amplifies with every bite. These being said, good luck on limiting yourself to just one serving!

Ingredients:

  • 375g strong white flour – about 3 cups
  • 1 + ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp sea salt ( I used 1 + ½ tsp)
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large white onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 110g semi-hard cheese, grated – 1 cup
  • 1 Tbsp freshly chopped thyme
  • 330ml lager – style beer – 1 bottle

Ingredients

Grating cheese

Batter

Leveling

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven at 190°C / 375°F (gas mark 5).
  2. Peel and finely chop the onion. Peel and mince the garlic. In a small skillet saute the onion in 1 Tbsp olive oil, on medium heat, until translucent. Leave the skillet aside, add the garlic and stir.
  3. In a large bowl sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar. Add the thyme, the sautéed onion and the grated cheese and mix well.
  4. Make a well in the center, add the beer and stir with a spatula just until moist. Don’t overmix the batter.
  5. Pour the mixture in a parchment paper-lined tray and level the surface with a spatula. Drizzle 1 Tbsp of melted butter and place the tray in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.
  6. After 30 minutes, drizzle the remaining 1 Tbsp of butter and bake the bread for a further 25-30 minutes, or until brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  7. Remove it from the tray and let it cool on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes before slicing.

Loaf

Beer bread

Slicing

Source: www.myrecipes.com

 

Creamy Tomato Soup with Parmesan Chips

Tomato soup

Parmesan chips

Tomato soup & parmesan chips

Today we’ll talk about tomato soup, a simple soup yet fascinating in its simplicity. I think tomatoes are the most versatile vegetables (or fruits, if we approach the problem in a scientific manner), they taste so good in so many combinations, this is why there are hundreds, even thousands of extremely tasty tomato soup recipes out there. I have two recipes,  one suitable for cold weather, and one for hot weather. The first one is a tomato soup with homemade quadretti pasta, smoked sausage and poached egg. The second one is a tomato cream, flavored with roasted garlic and fresh basil and served with laced parmesan chips.

The cream of tomato soup is so welcomed during hot summer days, when the tomatoes are in season. It is a veritable flavor, color and texture symphony and it is so easy to make. I half or quarter the tomatoes, depending on their size, I drizzle them with olive oil and I roast them until they caramelize; this extra step augments the soup’s flavor. I serve this soup with adorable parmesan chips, which give the dish not only flavor, but also an elegant touch.

Ingredients (for 4 servings):

  • 1,5 kg ripe tomatoes
  • 750ml chicken / vegetable broth
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 10 garlic cloves (unpeeled)
  • 1 large red onion, finely chopped
  • 4 Tbsp semi dry red wine
  • 1 handful fresh tomato leaves (20g)
  • 1 chili (deseeded and chopped)
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 100ml heavy cream
  • salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients

Slicing tomatoes

Roasted tomatoes

Grated parmesan chips

Method:

  1. Core the tomatoes and quarter them. Arrange them, peel side-down on a parchment paper-lined tray. Add the garlic and drizzle 2 Tbsp olive oil.
  2. Roast the tomatoes in the preheated oven at 180°C / 350°F (gas mark 4) for 50 – 60 minutes or until caramelized.
  3. In a large skillet heat 1 Tbsp olive oil and saute the onion on low temperature until translucent. Add the chopped chili and basil and deglaze the skillet with wine.
  4. Add the roasted tomatoes and the broth and simmer on medium heat for 10 minutes.
  5. Leave the skillet aside for 5 minutes and then pour the mixture in a blender. Add the heavy cream and the creamy garlic (without its peel) and pulse until creamy. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Strain the soup to get rid of the tomato seeds and peel.
  7. To prepare the parmesan chips, place 4 mounds of grated parmesan on a parchment paper-lined tray. Arrange the parmesan in order to form a thin disk (picture).
  8. Bake in the preheated oven at 220°C / 425° F (gas mark 7) for 5 minutes, or until the parmesan is melted and brown on the edges.

Soup

Toamto cream

Source: www.epicurious.com

Baked Zucchini and Feta Cheese Patties

Zucchini cake - plating

Cakes

Zucchini cake & herb Greek yogurt

I grew up in a meat-lover environment and the thought of a meatless lunch was simply unbearable. I try really hard to break the chain and I try to include in my family’s diet as many fruit and veggies as possible. It’s been a while since I’ve discovered this delicious zucchini and feta patties and I tend to make them once or twice a month. They are so simple to make, you just mix some basic ingredients, you form 12 balls, you flatten them and you bake them in the oven at high temperature. This way, the patties have a crunchy crust and a soft, almost creamy center. This being said, this delicious recipe has quickly become my summer “must-make”, and I hope it will become yours, as well!

Ingredients (for 12 patties):

  • 3 medium zucchini, washed and grated (about 600g grated zucchini) – about 4 cups
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 large red onion (100g)
  • 2 Tbsp brandy
  • 150g feta cheese – 1 cup
  • 50g grated parmesan cheese – ½ cup
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 20g chopped herbs ( ½ a handful of parsley, ½ a handful of dill and ½ Tbsp of chopped thyme)
  • 1 chilli
  • 50g almond flour – ½ cups
  • 30g bread crumbs – ¼ cups
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • pepper to taste

Ingredients

Draining zucchini

Zucchini cake - ingredients

Zucchini cakes - making of

Method:

  1. Place the grated zucchini in a strainer, over a bowl and sprinkle with 1 tsp of salt and stir well. Let the zucchini drain for 20-30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile finely chop the onion and saute it in 1 Tbsp of olive oil, over low heat, for about 3 minutes. Deglaze the pan with 2 Tbsp of brandy and leave aside.
  3. In a large bowl crumble the feta cheese. Add parmesan cheese, minced garlic, chopped herbs, chopped chilli, almond flour, bread crumbs, the egg and about ¼ tsp of freshly ground black pepper and stir until combined.
  4. Divide the mixture into 12 balls and place them on a parchment paper-lined tray. Flatten each ball to form the patties, brush them with half of the remaining olive oil and bake them in the preheated oven at 204°C / 400°F (gas mark 6) for 15 minutes.
  5. After 15 minutes, carefully flip them over (using a spatula), brush them with the remaining olive oil (on the baked side this time) and bake them for further 20 minutes.
  6. After they are baked, let them cool in the tray. Serve them warm with Greek yogurt mixed with chopped fresh herbs.

Tray

Zucchini cakes

Feta zucchini cake

Source: www.souvlakiforthesoul.com

Grilled Corn with Herb Butter

Eating grilled corn

Grilled corn and butter

Herbed butter

Grilled corn & butter

Nothing reminds me of my childhood as grilled corn does. Now that I think of it, I can even taste its unmistakable flavor and its sweet and warm smell. I remember taking the hot corn right from the burning coal and devouring the whole thing, without even waiting for it to cool down. Since that particular moment I had hundreds, maybe thousands of them and I enjoyed with the same pleasure each and every single one of them. This time I chose to grill the corn to enhance its sweetness and then I dressed the knobs with a herb butter mixture. There’s not much to say about the herb butter, maybe just the fact that that beautiful bouquet of herbs came from my own garden. I wish I could describe how divine the combination was! Continue reading Grilled Corn with Herb Butter

Vegan Quinoa and Sour Cherry Salad

Quinoa salad

Sour cherry

Salad

 

Zucchini

I’ve been waiting since forever to present you my favorite salad, and now, as the sour cherries are in season, I can finally get to talk about it. It is such a rustic, simple and unpretentious dish, but it is also unbelievably tasty. This salad has just a few ingredients, ingredients that might not “go together” at first sight but they complete heavenly one another taste-wise and create a true flavor symphony. These being said, let’s get to the best part: this salad is not only delicious, but it is in fact vegan and extremely healthy! Continue reading Vegan Quinoa and Sour Cherry Salad

Bacon Wrapped Tenderloin with Sour Cherry Sauce

Juicy tenderloinSour cherries

Plating

Whenever I want to roast pork, I seem to choose tenderloin more and more often, and the reasons are multiple: it cooks fast, it’s tender, it’s delicious, it’s moist and it’s inexpensive. While pork shoulder is sometimes quite fat and the pork loin quite dry, the tenderloin has just the right amount of fat. It’s so easy to work with tenderloin because it remains moist and juicy long after it’s sliced, not to mention that regarding the side dish, tenderloin literally goes with everything.

Don’t get me wrong, even without being marinated, tenderloin is juicy and flavorful, but today I chose to run the extra mile and I brined it in pomegranate tea and sea salt. It became even more tender and the fruity flavor was spot-on. After the marinating process, I coated the tenderloin with creamy roasted garlic and I wrapped it in thin bacon slices.

It’s not a big culinary secret that pork goes heavenly with all sorts of fruit, so I dressed up this marvelous steak with a sweet and tangy sour cherry sauce. To keep it simple, this morning I’ve picked some lovely new potatoes, I’ve boiled them in broth and I sauteed them in sage-flavored butter. The whole business took less than an hour, including the time spent waiting for the garlic to roast / drinking a coffee / taking more than a dozen trips to my vegetable garden as I have the memory of a 90 year old and I always forget half of my ingredients. Continue reading Bacon Wrapped Tenderloin with Sour Cherry Sauce

Vegan New Potato Salad

Spring potato salad

Dressing

Potato salad

I’m a new potato lover and I’ve always been. I love them boiled, steamed, fried, roasted, it doesn’t matter how are they cooked, as long as I can still perceive that lovely nutty flavor. It’s not spring until I make a new potato salad and I prepare it at least once a week. Who am I kidding, I make it every other day! My all time favorite new potato salad is unbelievably flavorful, very satisfying and (funny enough) vegan. In this recipe I used new potatoes, which I’ve picked from my own garden and I boiled them in vegetable broth (you can only imagine the flavor on these guys). I mixed them with radishes, onion rings and roasted tomatoes and I dressed them with a fresh herb, olive oil and vegetable broth emulsion. Let’s get serious, what’s not to like? Continue reading Vegan New Potato Salad

Breakfast Burrito (Creamy Eggs, Smoked Salmon, Zucchini and Cherry Tomatoes)

Burritos

Creamy eggs

Tortilla & toppings

I only have one unbreakable rule: never to skip breakfast; everyone around me knows that even the scariest monster looks like a pretty fairy when compared to “hungry myself”. I’ve never been picky, so I eat almost everything for breakfast, from milk and cereal, to fruit, veggies, cheese, meat products and pastry (preferably two pieces at a time and preferably anything with chocolate on top). Whenever I have a free half an hour, I make burritos with tortilla made from scratch. Even though each time I use different toppings, my favorite version is the one that has creamy eggs, salmon, sauted zucchini and cherry tomatoes. These creamy eggs are absolutely divine, they are so silky and buttery and they don’t have that rubbery texture that scrambled eggs sometimes have. I tell you, this combo is amazing! Continue reading Breakfast Burrito (Creamy Eggs, Smoked Salmon, Zucchini and Cherry Tomatoes)