Jumat, 30 September 2011

Chard and Saffron Omelette

These tender omelettes are filled with a mixture of lemon and saffron flavored Swiss Chard and Potatoe cubes. The omelette itself is very thin and made with lots of herbs. They can easily be made ahead of time, assembled, and reheated in a low temperature oven for a couple of minutes. This is the first recipe that I made out of my new book "Plenty" from Yotam Ottolenghi. The book is filled with easy, mouthwatering vegetarian recipes and beautiful pictures. Many of his recipes are available on the guardian website.

Chard and Saffron Omelette
adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi
(serves 4)

Swiss chard is a great substitute for spinach, and keeps its shape well. Serves four.
50g (net weight) (1 medium) waxy potatoes, peeled and cut into 1cm dice
200ml (1 cup) water
Pinch of saffron
350g (3/4 lb) Swiss chard, washed and shredded
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 garlic clove, crushed
5 eggs
60ml (1/4 cup) milk
20g  mixed fresh herbs, chopped
Vegetable oil
100g/ 3 oz crème fraîche or sour cream
Put the potatoes, water and saffron in a big pan and slowly bring to a simmer. After four minutes, add the chard, season, cover and cook for 15 minutes, until the potato is soft and the water evaporated. Off the heat, add the lemon juice and garlic. Leave to cool.
For the omelettes, whisk the eggs, milk, herbs and some salt and pepper. Pour a teaspoon of oil into a large, hot non-stick pan, pour in a quarter of the egg mix and make a thin, round omelette. Transfer to a kitchen towel to cool, and repeat three times.
Spread half of each omelette with crème fraîche. Taste the chard mix, adjust the seasoning accordingly and spread generously over the crème fraîche. Fold the omelette over the covered half, then fold along the centre to get a fan-shaped case. Make sure the filling shows at the open side. Arrange on a lightly oiled ovenproof dish. To serve, preheat the oven to 170C/350F/gas mark 3, and bake for five to eight minutes, or until hot. Serve at once.

Senin, 26 September 2011

What to do with Corn

The season of fresh corn is almost over but I still have to tell you about this easy and amazing recipe. Maybe you will bookmark it for next year's season. Fresh corn cobs are baked in the oven with husk and all, then stripped and roasted in a pan until golden, soft and tender. The dish is finished with grated Manchego cheese (I had only Parmesan cheese and it was still great), chile and lime juice. The combination of the lime juice, cheese and chile gave this dish and intense blast of flavor.

Roasted Corn with Manchego

Jean-Georges Vongerichten
serves 8


  • 6 ears of sweet yellow corn, unhusked
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded, finely diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 lime, cut into 4 wedges
  • 1 cup finely grated Manchego cheese
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced chives
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest


  • Preheat oven to 450°. Roast unhusked corn on a baking sheet, turning occasionally, until heated through and crisp-tender, about 15 minutes. Let cool. Shuck corn and cut kernels from cobs. Discard cobs.
  • Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add corn kernels and sauté until heated through and light-golden in spots, 3-5 minutes. Add butter; stir until melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Transfer corn to a large wide bowl or deep platter; sprinkle jalapeño and crushed red pepper flakes over. Squeeze lime wedges over; sprinkle with cheese, chives, and lime zest. Serve immediately.

Kamis, 22 September 2011

Bye, bye Summer Salads

Fall is almost here and before the tomato season is totally over you have to give one of these fresh salads a try. One of them has a very mediterranean touch to it with kapers, olives, lots of herbs and anchovies. I burned my vinegar reduction a little and didn't want to make it again, so I just drizzled some balsamic vinegar over the finished salad and I think it was as great as with the balsamic reduction.

The other salad has an Indian touch. Tomatoes are paired with pieces of juicy mango and the vinegraitte is spiced with coriander, clove powder, mango juice and lemon juice. These salads will really make you miss the summer...

(Bal Arneson)
serves 4
  • Dressing
  • ¼ cup mango juice (I took orange juice)
  • 3 tablespoons flaxseed oil or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Pinch coriander powder
  • Pinch clove powder
  • Pinch salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Salad
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh mint
  • ¼ cup minced red onion
  • 1 cup baby tomatoes (cherry or grape), cut in half
  • 1 cup ripe mango chunks
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • Pinch salt and freshly ground black pepper
Whisk the mango juice, oil, lemon juice, coriander, clove powder, salt, and pepper together in the bottom of a salad bowl. Add the mint, onion, tomatoes, mango, and cilantro and toss well. Taste the dressing and season again with salt, and pepper, if necessary. Let the dressing sit for 5 minutes before serving.

(Giada de Laurentis)
serves  4

  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup pitted green and black olives, halved
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 3 anchovy fillets, drained and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 8 fresh basil leaves, shredded
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb. vine-ripened tomatoes (about 3 tomatoes)
1.Cook the balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan over low heat until thick, syrupy, and measuring 1/4 cup, about 20       minutes. Set aside to cool.
2.Combine the olives, parsley, anchovies, capers, garlic, basil, pepper, and olive oil in a small bowl and toss to combine.
3.To serve, slice the tomatoes into 1/4-inch thick rounds and place, slightly overlapping, on a serving plate. Spoon the olive and parsley mixture over the tomatoes. Drizzle the reduced balsamic over the salad and serve.

Senin, 19 September 2011

Couronne Bread Ring

In general, I bake all my bread myself but I barely blog about it. Mainly because I change my recipes all the time and never write down what I did.  However, I have to show you this one. It really deserves to be here. Just because it is so pretty and also easy. I made the very simplest bread dough and let it sit over night. The next day I followed the directions on this webpage and this is how it looked.

Couronne Bordelaise

460 g/16.22 oz bread flour or all-purpose flour
300 g/10.58 oz water
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon yeast


Go to this webpage for directions with video

Jumat, 09 September 2011

Chicken Marbella

This is a recipe that I have to pass out whenever I make the dish. It is a great party dish, easy to prepare for a crowd, and I love it because of its simplicity and wonderful sweet-sour taste.
The chicken gets incredibly juicy and tender and the prunes and olives add a sweet and sour taste. The chicken is brined over night and the next day simply finished in the oven. It couldn't be easier. It can be served cold or warm.

Chicken Marbella
(source: unknown)
serves 8

To serve Chicken Marbella cold, cool to room temperature in the cooking juices before transferring the pieces to a serving platter. If the chicken has been covered and refrigerated, reheat it in the juices, then allow it to come to room temperature before serving. Spoon some of the reserved juice over the chicken.

12 boneless chicken breast halves, cubed
1 head garlic, peeled and chopped
¼ cup dried oregano
Freshly ground black pepper
½ cup red wine vinegar
½ cup olive oil
1 cup pitted prunes
½ cup pitted green olives with pimiento (small size, or chop larger ones)
½ cup capers with a bit of juice
6 bay leaves
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup white wine
¼ cup flat leaf parsley, chopped (optional)

1. In a large nonreactive (glass or stainless steel) bowl, combine chicken, garlic, oregano, pepper, vinegar, oil, prunes, olives, capers, and bay leaves. Cover and let marinate, refrigerated, overnight.

2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Arrange chicken in a single layer in shallow baking pan, and spoon marinade over it. Sprinkle with the brown sugar and pour in white wine. Bake 35-40 minutes, uncovered, basting frequently with pan juices. Place in a bowl, sprinkle with parsley. Best served at room temperature. Can be made ahead (a couple of days); this dish improves with age!

Don't skip on the sugar

Jumat, 02 September 2011

Gluten Free Brownies

Nowadays many people have gluten allergies and it is hard to find a treat without gluten that doesn't taste "different" or  involves ingredients that you don't have at home.
When I saw a picture of these brownies on David Lebovitz website I thought that those brownies looked absolutely mouthwatering. I tried them and seriously, they are really good.
They are juicy, chewy, easy to make, and you wouldn't think that they are gluten-free unless you know it.

Gluten-free Brownies
(David Lebovitz)

You can use salted or unsalted butter for these brownies. If you use unsalted butter and want to add some salt, use 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt. I also like to add 2 to 3 tablespoons of roasted cocoa nibs along with the nuts for added chocolaty crunch.
Use very low heat for melting the chocolate and butter. A good trick is to add the butter to the pan first, which melts faster than the chocolate, so you don’t burn the chocolate. You can use a flame-tamer if you’re concerned but I always melt it right over the lowest heat possible and never have had any problems.

6 tablespoons (85g) butter, salted or unsalted (see headnote)
8 ounces (225g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
¾ cup (150g) sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder, natural or Dutch process
3 tablespoons (30g) corn starch
optional: 1 cup (135g) nuts, toasted and coarsely chopped

1. Line the inside of an 8-inch (23 cm) square pan with foil so that it goes up the sides to the rim. Lightly grease the foil with butter or non-stick cooking spray. Preheat the oven to 350º (180ºC).

2. Melt the butter and chocolate (and salt, if using) in a medium saucepan over very low heat on the stove top, stirring constantly until smooth.

3.  Remove from heat and stir in the sugar, then the eggs, one at a time.

4. Sift together the cocoa powder and corn starch in a small bowl then stir them into the chocolate mixture. Beat the batter vigorously for at least one minute, until the batter is no longer grainy and nearly smooth. It will pull away from the sides of the pan a bit.

5.  Add the nuts, if using, then scrape the batter into the prepared pan.

6.  Bake for thirty minutes, or until the brownies feel just set in the center. Do not overbake. Remove from oven and let cool completely before removing from the pan and slicing. Storage: The brownies can be stored at room temperature for up to 4 days, or frozen for at least 1 month. Troubleshooting: If the finished brownies are crumbly, that means you didn’t beat the batter long enough in step #4. You can use the brownie bits to fold into just-churned ice cream.