Minggu, 27 Mei 2012

Spaghetti Nizza

When I was looking for an easy and quick pasta sauce that didn't require too much preparation and that I hadn't made already a couple of times I stumbled upon this recipe from "On top of Spaghetti..."
Fresh tomatoes are combined with tuna, black olives, capers and herbs and the mixture is tossed with olive oil and lemon juice. The preparation was done in a couple of minutes and it tasted absolutely great. Just the right thing to cook on a day when you don't feel like preparing a complicated meal. 

Spaghetti Nizza

(serves 4)

2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more to toss with pasta
1 1/2 cups best-quality canned tuna packed in olive oil, drained
1 t dried oregano, crushed between your fingers
2 t finely chopped fresh oregano
1 to 2 fresh hot peppers, seeded and chopped, or 1/8 to 1/4 t cayenne
1 t capers packed in salt, rinsed, dried, and finely chopped
16 black oil-cured olives, pitted and chopped
2 T finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
4 small cooked and peeled potatoes, cut into 1/4 inch dice (1 cup) (I left them out)
1 pound dried spaghetti
Lemon wedges (optional)

Whisk the lemon juice and olive oil together in a mixing bowl. Stir in the tuna, dried and fresh oregano, hot pepper, capers, olives and parsley. Add the potatoes and toss to combine. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Generously slat the water and drop in the pasta. Cook, stirring often, until al dente. Drain the spaghetti, reserving a scant cup of cooking water.

Toss the pasta in a large, warmed bowl with 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add enough water, a tablespoon at a time, to moisten and coat the spaghetti. Add to potato-tuna mixture and toss well. Serve right away in warmed bowls. Pass lemon wedges at the table to spritz more juice over the spaghetti if you like

Selasa, 15 Mei 2012

Mango and Buttermilk Panna Cotta

Panna Cotta is one of my favorite desserts, it is incredibly delicious! It is easy to prepare and you can even make it a day in advance.   This version is made with buttermilk and cream, and the bottom of the glasses are filled with mango puree. I crumbled pistachios and cantuccinis on top of the panna cotta to have a nice, crunchy contrast and the buttermilk gave the panna cotta a very refreshing and light taste.

Mango and Buttermilk Panna Cotta
(adapted from mytartlette.com)
4 servings

  • 1 cup mango puree, (250ml) 
  • 1 tablespoon water, (15gr)
  • 1 ¾ teaspoon powdered gelatin, (4gr)
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 cup heavy cream, (250ml)
  • ¼ cup sugar, (50gr)
  • 1 cup whole buttermilk, (250ml)
  • Optional:
  • Pistachios, coarsely chopped and crumbled Biscottis for decoration

      Kitchen Note from tartelette: for the recipe I used one cup (250ml) of canned mango puree which I know is not available everywhere. According to the National Mango Board, you would need 2 medium sized mango to obtain one cup of puree. You can substitute with any soft fruit reduced to a puree like apricot, peach, pear, etc...

Divide the mango puree evenly among 4 glasses or ramekins. and freeze.

Place the water in a small ramekin and sprinkle the gelatin over it. Let it bloom while you prepare the cream. On a flat surface, cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise without cutting all the way through. With a pairing knife, scrape the seeds from the pods. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, heat the heavy cream with the sugar and vanilla bean seeds until the cream is just about to boil, stirring occasionally to make sure the sugar dissolves completely. (note: freshfromevaskitchen: I simmered the cream for 15 minutes in order to get a more intense flavor).

Remove from the heat and stir in the gelatin until it is completely melted. Let cool for about 10 minutes and add the buttermilk. Let cool to room temperature. You can speed up the process by placing your saucepan over a bowl filled with ice but keep and eye on it as it will thicken faster. Once the cream is cooled, slowly pour it over the frozen fruit and let set in the fridge, at least two hours, preferably overnight

Rabu, 09 Mei 2012

Black Beauty Cupcakes

I know cupcakes are a big deal in the US. However, I have never really liked then, as they are usually boring.  Overly sweet cake mixes are topped with even sweeter frosting. These babies however are totally different!!
Rich chocolate flavor in a slightly dense chocolate cake  is topped with a velvety bittersweet ganache. This is how a cupcake should taste!

½ cup of Dutch-processed cocoa powder, divided
1 ½ cups of all purpose flour, divided
1 cup of hot water
1 cup of superfine sugar (I used regular white sugar)
1 ½ teaspoons of baking soda
¼ teaspoon of fine sea salt
¾ cup of mayonnaise
1 ⅓ cups heavy cream
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate (I used Ghiradelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chips) finely chopped
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes, at room temperature
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F.
Place foil cupcake liners in tins. (I like foil because they have a better weight than paper.) If you choose to make the cupcakes liner free, then butter the insides of 12 muffin cups. Sift together 2 tablespoons of the cocoa and 2 tablespoons of the flour. Dust the insides of the molds with this mixture and tap out the excess.
Combine cocoa powder and the hot water in the bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer. Whisk to dissolve the cocoa. Whisk in the sugar. Attach the bowl to the mixer and fix with the paddle attachment. Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt together. With the mixer on low speed, in thirds, add the flour mixture, alternating with two equal additions of the mayonnaise, and mix, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, until the batter is smooth. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups and fill 3/4 full.
Bake until a cake tester inserted in a cake comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Gently remove the cakes onto the rack and let cool completely.
To make the ganache, bring the heavy cream to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate. Let stand for 3 minutes, then whisk until smooth. Add the butter, whisking until it has totally melted into the chocolate. Transfer to a bowl and let cool on a wire rack until the ganache thickens to a glaze consistency and the cupcakes can be dipped or allow it to become thicker and frost the cupcakes.  

Selasa, 01 Mei 2012

Roast Carrot and Avocado Salad with Orange and Lemon Dressing

When I saw a bunch of beautiful multicolored carrots at the grocery store the other day, I immediately thought of Jamie Oliver's baked Moroccan style carrot salad. I just had to buy them as I had made this salad last year and absolutely loved it. Baked carrots are incredible tasty and the juices of the orange and lemon gives it a wonderful light and fresh taste

Roast Carrot and Avocado Salad with Orange and Lemon Dressing

(Jamie Oliver)


  • 1 pound medium mixed colored carrots, with their leafy tops
  • Sea salt
  • 2 level teaspoons whole cumin seeds
  • 1 or 2 small dried chiles, crumbled
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • cloves garlic, peeled
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Red or white wine vinegar
  • 1 orange, halved
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 3 ripe avocados
  • 4 (1/2-inch thick) slices ciabatta or other good-quality bread
  • 2 handfuls interesting mixed winter salad leaves, washed and spun dry
  • 2 bunches watercress
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 4 tablespoons mixed seeds, toasted


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Parboil the carrots in boiling, salted water for 10 minutes, until they are very nearly cooked, then drain and put them into a roasting pan. You should flavor them while they're steaming hot, so while thecarrots are cooking get a pestle and mortar and smash up the cumin seeds, chilles, salt and pepper. Add the garlic and thyme leaves and smash up again until you have a kind of paste. The idea here is to build up the flavors. Add enough extra-virgin olive oil to generously cover the paste, and a good swig of vinegar. This will be like a marinade, a rub and a dressing all in one! Stir together, then pour over the carrots in the pan, coating them well. Add the orange and lemon halves, cut side down.
These will roast along with the carrots, and their juice can be used as the basis of the dressing. Place in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden.
While the carrots are roasting, halve and peel the avocados, discarding the pits, then cut them into wedges lengthwise and place in a big bowl. Remove the carrots from the oven and add them to the avocados. Carefully, using some tongs, squeeze the roasted orange and lemon juice into a bowl and add the same amount of extra-virgin olive oil and a little swig of red wine vinegar. Season, and pour this dressing over the carrots and avocados. Mix together, have a taste and correct the seasoning. Call your gang round the table while you toast or broil your ciabatta slices.
Tear the toasted bread into little pieces and add to the dressed carrot and avocado. Mix together, toss in the salad leaves and cress and transfer to a big platter or divide between individual plates. Spoon over a nice dollop of sour cream, sprinkle over your toasted seeds and drizzle over some extra-virgin olive oil.