One of the main problems I face on a daily basis is the waste of food. I usually buy more than I need, I cook more than I consume and I often throw away perfectly good food just because I’m simply not in the mood for having the same dish two days in a row. And in this case I’m not throwing away only some leftovers, I’m also throwing away money, time and energy. This is when recycling kicks in, the art of transforming something undesirable into something attractive.
Maybe the best example of undesirable leftover are mashed potatoes. When still fresh, mashed potatoes are a delicious and creamy side dish. But when they are cold, they become dry and tasteless and not once did I have to throw them away. To prevent food waste, I discovered a wonderful way to recycle them: potato cups with cheddar cheese and chives. These cups are so easy to make, they are budget-friendly and they taste divine. They have a crunchy crust and a creamy and flavorful filling. These adorable cups are as fluffy as a cloud and they are ready in about 30 minutes. You won’t believe how some flavorless leftovers can turn into something so delicious!
Ingredients (for 12 cups):
- 500g leftover mashed potatoes*
- 100g grated cheddar cheese
- 3 large eggs
- 5g chives **
- a pinch of nutmeg
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 2 – 3 Tbsp breadcrumbs
* This recipe can be made for dinner with mashed potatoes from lunch. You can also use day old mashed potatoes.
** Instead of chives you can use finely chopped scallions, parsley or dill.
- Preheat the oven at 220°C / 425°F (gas mark 7).
- Take a muffin tray and coat each cup with a thin layer of butter and then sprinkle some bread crumbs. Shake off the excess (picture).
- Place the mashed potatoes in a large bowl. Add the eggs, chopped chives, a pinch of nutmeg and about 75g of grated cheese.
- Stir with a spatula until well combined.
- Sprinkle each cup with the remaining 25g of grated cheese (picture).
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 – 25 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown.
- After they are baked, let them cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Use a vegetable knife to gently release them from the pan.
- They are delicious hot, while the melted cheese is stringy. They are also tasty cold, for breakfast.The source: www.thekitchn.com
Cloud bread is basically an airy, soft and pillowy bread replacement, characteristics suggested by its own name. This dietetic bread is gluten-free and it’s also high in protein and low in carbohydrates. This bread is so delicious and extremely easy to make. As I mentioned in the title, cloud bread is made from only three ingredients: eggs, cream cheese and cream of tartar. The eggs are separated and the egg whites and the cream of tartar are beaten until stiff peaks form, while the egg yolks and the cream cheese are combined in another bowl. The meringue is carefully incorporated in the yolk mixture with gentle movements. The batter is divided into 9 small portions which are going to be baked in the oven until golden. Simple as that!
Ingredients (for 9 servings):
- 4 large eggs *
- 4 Tbsp cream cheese (60g) **
- 1/2 tsp cream of tartar (or lemon juice) ***Note:
* I use 1 Tbsp cream cheese for each large egg.
** This recipe is also delicious with mascarpone cheese, Greek yogurt and cottage cheese.
*** If you don’t have cream of tartar, you can use the same amount of lemon juice. Don’t skip the acid, it stabilizes the egg whites and allows them to keep their form.
- Preheat the oven at 150°C / 300°F (gas mark 2). Line a tray with parchment paper.
- Take 2 bowls, a large one and a medium one. Place the cream cheese in the large bowl. Beat the cream cheese with a spatula or a whisk to soften.
- Separate the eggs. Add the yolk to the large bowl. Add the egg whites to the medium ball. Mix the yolk with the cream cheese using the whisk.
- Add the cream of tartar to the egg whites and beat on high speed until stiff peaks form (about 3 minutes).
- With gentle circular movements, fold one third of the stiff egg whites into the yolk and cream cheese mixture, incorporating them thoroughly. Add another half of the remaining stiff egg whites and fold them in as well. Try to deflate the fluffy egg whites as little as possible. Fold in the remaining stiff egg whites.
- Divide the composition into 9 portions, using about 2 tablespoons of mixture / portion. With the same spoon, gently level the top of the breads, giving them a circular shape.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 25 – 30 minutes, or until lightly brown.
- Move to a wire rack and cool completely. Once completely cool, store them in an airtight container or a zip-lock bag. Overnight they will change their consistency, becoming more breadlike. They will last in the refrigerator for several days.
Since my adorable pultry farm has seen the light of he day Ițve been testing and developing lots of egg-based recipes. We enjoy chicken eggs as well es quail eggs, goose eggs, duck eggs, guinea fowl eggs and if I forgot to mention any other cute feathered creature that carelessly lounges in backyarg, I ask for forgiveness. The business is quite simple we give them love (and corn) and they give us eggs. I’ve noticed that I tend to cook quail eggs more often than any other variety of eggs and I base my decision not as much on the nutrition aspect, but on the fact that it takes no time for them to cook. An whenever I eat a whole quail egg I like to pretend that I’m having a regular-sized egg and I’m just a giant but that’s a whole other level of childness.
My favorite quail egg recipe is also the simplest recipe I know, not to mention it hardly takes more than 15 minutes. For this recipe I like to boil the egg for about 3 minutes. I remove their shell and I serve them with a velvety garlic and Greek yogurt sauce. I don’t know exactly what makes them perfect. Maybe the fact that the simplicity of the sauce make the eggs shine. Maybe the fact that making the aioli sauce reminds me of graceful my grandmother used to make the mayonnaise. Or maybe hypnotic traces the torn bread leave in the yellow sauce. I simply don’t know. Continue reading Quail Eggs with Garlic & Greek Yogurt Sauce
Tomato soup with smoked sausage and poached eggs, a rustic soup with a great flavor profile. Nothing reminds me of my childhood more than this soups. It’s the soup of those sore – throat mornings and it’s the soup of those long days of July. It’s definitely a soup of contrasts, the refreshing tomato juice, the fragrance of the basil, the earthiness of the shallot and the smoked sausage. The perfect geometry of the homemade square noodles and the imperfect beauty of the poached egg.
Why I love tomato soup with smoked sausage and poached eggs:
- it’s simply delicious, it’s hearty and fragrant
- it’s ready in less than 30 minutes
- it prepares almost by itself
- it takes about 5 budget-friendly ingredients
- it’s great all year round
Continue reading Tomato Soup with Smoked Sausage and Poached Eggs
French toast (or Pain perdu) is an absolutely divine breakfast. It’s nothing else but day-old bread soaked in a milk and egg mixture flavored with cinnamon and than fried in butter and served with honey and berries. I make this wonderful treat everytime I find myself in the position of throwing away stale bread. I find it fascinating how an unappealing slice of bread metamorphoses into something sublime.
For French toast I’ve used all sorts of bread, from plain white bread, to whole – wheat, focaccia, or ciabatta, from Romanian sweet bredt, babka or challah. I often use whole-wheat bread soaked in a flavorful egg, milk and brown sugar mixture. The fact that the bread is old gives the final product its fluffiness and keeps the slice together when soaked. If you have only fresh bread, you can always toast it in the oven for 10 minutes. Continue reading Whole – Wheat French Toast
Shakshuka is an absolutely delicious North African dish. Under this adorable name hide some eggs poached to perfection in a decadent tomato sauce. Shakshuka is usually served for breakfast, but nothing keeps you from serving it for lunch or even supper. One pan. Some olive oil, onion, red bell pepper, garlic, cumin, paprika and tomatoes. Five eggs poached for five minutes. The beauty of this dish is the fact that all the story takes place in one single pan.
Why I love Shakshuka:
- it’s so easy to make, it’s mouth-watering, healthy and packed with protein
- it’s perfect for brunch
- it’s ready in about 20 minutes
- it takes just one single pan
- it has a charming rusticity
Continue reading Shakshuka (Eggs Poached in Tomato Sauce)
This cake is simply divine! It has 3 components, all of them delicious and all of them coconutty. A lovely sponge that melts in your mouth and defies the laws of physics (and possibly the laws of chemistry too), a luscious coconut glaze and a crispy topping. It’s flavorful, satisfying and not overwhelmingly sweet, so it’s perfect for breakfast or brunch. It’s amazing served with coffee or tea as a late-afternoon snack and it’s also delicious served as a dessert, simply because it’s a cake after all.
Why I love Coconut Cake:
- it has a lovely coconut flavor
- it has such an interesting texture, it’s extremely soft and tender
- it’s flourless, it has only to 2 Tbsp of corn starch, so it’s gluten-free
- it’s ready in 40 minutes
- and before I forget: it has a lovely coconut flavor
Continue reading Italian Coconut Cake
Scotch eggs are nothing else but boiled eggs wrapped in sausage, coated in bread crumbs. Whenever I’m making scotch eggs, I like to use quail eggs because the final product is small and appetizing, but you can also use chicken or duck eggs. They can be served either hot or cold. Served hot, they make a delicious and hearty main dish and served cold, they make some eye-catching and mouth-watering appetizers.
I love my scotch eggs soft boiled with a crispy crust and an oozing, velvety and buttery yolk, but this is of course a matter of preference. If you like your eggs soft boiled, it is extremely easy to get that oozing yolk in this recipe too. The secret is that the boiling time should not be longer than two minutes and a half. A two-minute boiling interval makes the quail egg very difficult to peel and a three-minute boil starts to solidify the yolk, so a two and a half minute interval seems to be golden. Continue reading Scotch Quail Eggs
Today VespressoCooking turns 1. I can’t believe it! I have no idea how time flew by but it did, and I’m so glad I had the courage to launch myself, head first, in this project. It was such a wild year, I shifted my career, I discovered my infinite passion for photography, I’ve created a poultry microfarm, I graduated from culinary school and became a chef. I hope I don’t sound cheesy but I feel the need to thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for every visit, for every line that you’ve read and for every recipe that you’ve saved!
Whenever there’s an anniversary, there has to be a cake, and this particular cake is nothing but extraordinary. It is a chocolate and coffee cake, a mocha delight, if you will. It is a well known fact that coffee and chocolate are a match made in heaven but this cake somehow surprises me with every slice. The sponge is the perfect balance between dense and airy and the whipped ganache is simply divine.
The sponge is in fact „torta al Caffé”, an Italian coffee cake. This particular sponge is very popular in northern Italy, and it’s served for colazione, breakfast that is. I felt in love with its texture and its taste at first bite and I wished I could make it in my own kitchen. Persuasive as I am, I convinced the pastry chef (which happens to be a close friend) to give me the recipe and since then I’ve been been baking it at least twice a month.
There’s not much to say about the ganache. Ganache is a cake filling made with chocolate melted in warm whipping cream. The proportion of those two ingredients give the ganache its texture. I use the following scheme: Continue reading Mocha Cake (Coffee Cake with Whipped Ganache Cream)
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)