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
I’m a big potato fan, I love them in every shape, color, size or combination. From white and purple to sweet potatoes, from mashed, baked and wedges, to fries, rösti and potato salad. But for that particular moment when I cannot figure out whether I’m craving fries or mashed potatoes, there is a wonderful recipe called Hasselback Potatoes. This recipe combines both the earthy crunchiness of fries and the buttery creaminess of mashed potatoes. This adorable fan-shaped spuds are not only good-looking, but also delicious and healthy.
The technique is quite simple; the potatoes are sliced into thin parallel slices but they aren’t cut all the way through; after that they are generously greased with butter, they are roasted in the oven until they become golden brown. To make my work easier, I simply place the potato in a large spoon and I rest the handler on a paper towel roll (picture). The edges of the spoon will stop you from slicing the potato all the way through. I wanted to make this recipe vegan, so I substituted butter for some quality olive oil. I tried to mimic that rich flavor that butter gives to the dish and I placed some garlic and thyme between the potato slices. The result was (muuuuuch) more than satisfactory. Continue reading Hasselback Potatoes (Vegan)
After years and years of research, I’ve finally found the perfect salad! I’m a huge fault-finder when it comes to salads, but I have to tell you that this salad is flawless. I make it maybe twice a week and I use use fresh ingredients picked from my own veggie garden. This salad is both satisfying and delicious, and tends to be the healthiest addiction I’ve ever had.
The base of this salad is bulgur, a protein-packed nutty cereal, as well as chickpeas, another great vegan protein source. This two protein packed ingredients turn this salad into a extremely hearty dish. I top the salad with fresh cucumbers, onion, aromatic herbs and sweet and juicy cherries, which transform this salad into a genuine culinary symphony. Oh, and I forgot to mention that this divine salad is also exclusively plant-based! Continue reading Bulgur Salad with Chickpeas and Cherries (Vegan)
This butter bean and tuna salad is simply divine! It’s very tasty, nutritious and hearty. It is a rustic, unpretentious salad, but at the same time the flavor and texture combination give it a particular charm. It’s so easy to make and to gain some time, I start the recipe by roasting the cherry tomatoes just until they caramelize nicely and burst with flavor. While my tomatoes brown patiently in the oven, I make the creamy mustard dressing and I chop the rest of the ingredients and the dinner is ready. Or the lunch. Or the brunch, if you’re as greedy as I am. I serve this lovely salad on a garlicky whole-wheat toast and I enjoy every last bite of it. Continue reading Butter Bean, Tuna and Cherry Tomato Salad
Hummus is an oriental chickpea and tahini paste. It is hearty, smooth and creamy and it has a rich and nutty sesame seed flavor. It is a high-protein vegan spread and it’s also so easy to make. I’ve tried a myriad of recipes over the years, I played both with the ingredients and with the different techniques involved in preparing this simple yet delicious spread. I learnt two tricks which I use each time to get an incredibly creamy texture. I remove the skins of the chickpeas by squeezing them with my fingers – this extra step makes a smoother final product. The second trick is to start the hummus by mixing the tahini with lemon juice and olive oil, which creates a mayonnaise-like consistency emulsion. This two tricks make the difference between a regular and an over-the-top delicious hummus.
The version of hummus I bring you today is a velvety, flavorful and colorful hummus, a wild garlic hummus, to be more accurate. Wild garlic is a wonderful plant, it has a fresh garlicky taste and it is packed with nutrients, from carotenoids to vit A, vit C and vit B complex. I’m not a fan of the raw wild garlic, I find it too overpowering, so I blanch it for 40 seconds before using it, to temper its wild taste. Continue reading Wild Garlic Hummus
Tahini is a delicious Middle Eastern sesame spread. It has a velvety smooth texture and a lovely nutty flavor. Tahini can be found in the ethnic department of almost every large grocery store but it can also be made at home, from scratch. It’s so easy to make and it’s significantly less expensive than the store-bought version. Tahini is made from only 3 ingredients: sesame seeds, vegetable oil and salt. The process is very simple: the sesame seeds are lightly toasted just until they turn golden and fragrant, and after that they are ground using a food processor (or you can use a mortar, if you’re into extreme sports). The addition of the oil turns the fragrant sesame crumbs into a golden silky spread.
I must confess that I enjoy tahini almost daily. I use it to prepare hummus and baba ganoush, I use it to make salad dressings, I pour it over steamed veggies, rice or pasta or I simply enjoy it with homemade bread, with lime, chili flakes and chives sprinkled on top. Tahini brings flavor to many dishes but it also brings a high amount of nutrients – tahini is high in protein, unsaturated fats, calcium and vit B complex). Tahini is simply divine, and if you haven’t had the opportunity to discover it yet, I strongly advise you to whip up a batch! Continue reading Homemade Tahini
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)
Cabbage and smoked duck salad is such an interesting salad. Everything about it is interesting, the bold flavors, the sweet and the earthy scents, the warm colors and wild textures. Crunchy cabbage ribbons dressed with olive oil and apple cider vinegar, juicy blood-oranges, toasted hazelnuts, flavorful candied apricot strips and salty and gamey duck breast; this simple yet sophisticated salad has about five or six ingredients, but they work so well together, creating a veritable taste and texture symphony.
Why I love cabbage and smoked duck breast salad:
- it’s exquisite, it has a verisimilar complexity, it’s sweet, salty, sour and bitter, somehow each one in the right amount
- it’s lovely during the cold months
- its hearty and satisfying
- it’s ready in less than 15 minutes and it takes even less to devour it
- it looks so appealing and sophisticated, even though it is so effortless
Continue reading Cabbage and Cured Duck Breast Salad
For me, autumn basically translates itself by pumpkin. Pumpkin soups and creams, pumpkin salads and stakes, pumpkin cakes, pies and smoothies. This humble and extremely versatile vegetable has won my heart through time, due to its lovely flavor, texture and sweetness. Undoubtedly, my favorite variety of pumpkin is Musquee de Provence, a French variety that I’ve been growing in my own veggie garden for years. This beautiful giant has a gorgeous burnt orange skin with teal patches and a deep-orange flesh. The flesh is delicious and flavorful and if it’s finely sliced, it can be served even raw. Continue reading Roasted Pumpkin and Corn Salad
In a farm, the rooster has an extremely active life, from fertilizing the eggs, to mentaining the social order and chasing me like a crazy person whenever he’s in the mood for some action defending the chicken family from any potential predator and this active lifestyle must be sustained by a powerful muscular system. After the rooster meat is cooked, this muscular system (which is essential for the fulfilling daily attributions) often turns into a chewy, rubbery, uncomfortable, almost painful mess. To tenderize the meat and to make it juicy I pulled off some two simple and efficient tricks:
- Aging the meat. I learnt this trick from my grandmother. She used to wrap the rooster in parchment paper and refrigerate it for 2 – 4 days. And let me say, this trick really works. It is very important to wrap the meat in parchment paper, and not cling film, because the paper allows the meat to breathe.
- Slow-cooking the meat. I take the aged meat from the refrigerator about an hour before cooking and I let it get to room temperature. I pad dry it and I sear it, I deglaze the pan with wine, I cover the meat halfway with chicken broth and I slowcook it, covered, for about 1 hour, making sure I drizzle some juices from the pan every 15 minutes.
These two basic tricks allow me to get a tender and juicy steak each time. The taste is incredible, earthy, somehow buttery, with subtle notes of wine and sage. To conclude, if I didn’t manage to bust the “rooster is too rubbery” myth, at least I hope I made you curious! Continue reading Braised Rooster Legs with Wine and Sage Sauce