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)
I’ve been testing quail egg recipes for quite a while and I include them almost daily in my diet. I serve them for breakfast, lunch or dinner, as appetizers, main dishes or even desserts. They are so versatile, nutritious and they are also, given their size, ready in no time.
Quail egg salad is simply mouth-watering. It’s ready in less than 20 minutes, it’s smooth and velvety and it’s a true texture and flavor symphony. Homemade mayonnaise gives this salad its creaminess; homemade mayonnaise is so inexpensive and definitely more delicious and nutritious than the store-bought version. For this salad I boiled the quail eggs for 3 minutes, I chopped them and I combined them with scallions, celery and homemade pickled cucumbers. I flavored the salad with Dijon mustard, parsley, lemon zest and chili powdered. Three tablespoons of mayo, salt and freshly ground pepper and the salad was ready. Extremely easy and over-the-top delicious! Continue reading Quail Egg Salad
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
Poached pears are simply amazing! If simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication, this dessert might be the quintessence of this idea. Ripe pears, brown sugar, wine. Maybe a vanilla bean, a cinnamon stick and a star anise. This simple ingredients, combined together, create a mouth-watering, exquisite and stunning dessert.
Poached pears are so versatile. They can be paired with a cheese platter and nuts, creating the perfect way to end any sophisticated menu. They can be served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and they make a refreshing dessert ideal on a hot summer evening. I chose this time to serve them in a wine and brown sugar reduction and I paired them with a flavorful orange blossom mascarpone cream. Regarding poached pears, the possibilities are endless! Continue reading Red Wine – Poached Pears Served with Mascarpone Orange Blossom Cream
Quail eggs boiled to perfection, served in a velvety and decadent butter and beetroot sauce, scented with ginger and Garam Masala. It does sound appealing, doesn’t it! The fact is I’m seldom dazzled by a combination of flavors, not because I’m a person hard to impress, but because I try really hard to content my emotions, at least culinary-wise. But this flavor profile mesmerizes me, it fascinates me to the point I drag myself to the kitchen at 1 am, in my pijamas, just to enjoy that taste again.
The starting point of this recipe is in fact Murgh Makhani, a delicious Indian butter chicken curry. About three years ago I substituted chicken with quail eggs and the recipe made so much sense, that I’ve made it only with quail eggs ever since. I often make this recipe with ghee, the Indian clarified butter, a very nutritious ingredient, but since I make my own ghee and I happened to run out ot it, I decided to use regular butter. And yes, that gorgeous chick in the picture is one of my quail-pets. On this note, how cool is the fact that my pets also provide breakfast? Continue reading Quail Egg Butter Curry
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
These crispy polenta rectangles are a delicious side dish, a satisfying and healthy alternative to good old potato sides. These beauties have a crispy and fragrant crust and a creamy center. They are very easy to prepare and quite quick. The less simple parts (because I cannot define them as challenging) are the preparation of the polenta and the baking part. Between those two parts there is a waiting period, a part where the polenta is refrigerated to firm up. In order to save some time I prepare my creamy polenta, I pour it in a tray and I leave it aside to cool down. While my polenta is firming up, I always prepare my protein. After the polenta is nice and firm, I slice it, I place the rectangles on a parchment paper-lined tray and I broil them to get them nice and crispy. To get the crispy crust you can also fry them in a nonstick frying pan but I prefer the broiled version.
I like to pair my crispy polenta with a rich, nutty and tangy beurre noisette and sage sauce. For this sauce I melt some butter in a skillet. When the butter has melted, I get rid of the foam from the surface and I continue cooking the butter until it turns golden brown. I add some fresh sage leaves, lemon juice and walnuts. Super simple and de-li-cious! Continue reading Baked Polenta with Butter, Sage and Walnut Sauce
Naan is an oven baked flatbread made with yeast. These flatbreads are by far my favorite kind of flatbread. They are so easy to make, the ingredients are always in my pantry, they look so adorable, but also these beauties are extremely delicious. This flatbread is so elastic, soft and airy, with a lovely buttery and toasted sesame seed flavor. It is such a rustic bread and yet so sophisticated. The technique is quite simple and the active part takes no more than 20 minutes. The passive part, the part when the dough rests or rises is the most challenging part, if you will. It takes about 2 hours to rise, so this recipe isn’t the most suitable if you are in a hurry. But if you have some time to spare, trust me, the result is so rewarding and surely it is worth waiting every minute. Continue reading Homemade Naan
Since fall is basically here and I’ve been shivering for days, I tend to incorporate more autumnal flavors in my dishes. And what would possibly be this glorious season without its vegetables? I simply love fall and its delightful veggies, little pieces of hearty and flavorful jewels. Today I stumbled across some tiny yet flavorful blood-red beetroot so I decided to befriend them with some lovely pumpkin seeds and some grated Grana Padano. The result was a vibrant autumnal pesto. While my beets were gentle roasting in the oven, I boiled al dente some dry pasta. I usually prepare my own pasta from scratch, but now I offered a chance to a box of trofie which was sitting on a shelf for quite some time. The dish was so hearty, and colorful with an extremely interesting taste, a bold, rich, astringent, quite citrusy taste. It tasted like October.
Since Pesto alla Genovese, the original version of this pasta sauce goes so well with trofie, I was so curious to find out if these funny looking pasta resonates with my roasted beetroot as well. They do resonate and every bite is such a rewarding experience! Continue reading Trofie with Roasted Beetroot and Pumpkin Seed Pesto
I’ve always had mixed feelings about eggplants, I haven’t been able to figure out whether I like them or not. They are so big, and shiny and… weird. I try almost daily to find a way to include them in my diet, especially because I personally grew them in my own veggie garden. I find their taste at least interesting but I cannot stand their spongy texture. Yet, there is a delicious Italian dish, melanzane alla parmigiana or parmezan eggplants which is a cross between a lasangna and a moussaka. I don’t know what makes this dish exquisite, maybe the way the tomato sauce’s acidity amplifies the taste of the eggplants or the way the parmesan’s taste dances together with the earthiness of the eggplant. Maybe all the reasons combined, but the taste is simply amazing! Continue reading Melanzane alla Parmigiana – Parmesan Eggplants