Friday, July 30, 2010

White chocolate & bissap oatmeal cookies

I've been experimenting with bissap flowers lately and wanted to try a recipe using them in place of dried cranberries. Score.

1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp orange zest
3 cups oats
1 cup white chocolate, chopped into pieces
1 1/2 cups dried bissap flowers, rinsed
Dried bissap flowers
Soak the bissap flowers in hot water for 10 minutes. Carefully drain water (it stains!) then chop the flowers into small pieces (raisin-sized)

Combine, flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in small bowl. Beat butter, sugar, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla extract in large bowl. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in oats and white chocolate chips, then the bissap at the end. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto baking sheets.

Bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool on baking sheets for two minutes, then remove with a spatula.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Cucumber, tomato and mackerel salad

I love canned mackerel. (The plain kind - not the ones marinated in sauces.) You can get a can for about a euro here, and it's enough for two lunch salads.

Lettuce or greens, washed
ripe tomatoes, sliced
cucumber, sliced
carrots, peeled and sliced
nutritional yeast flakes (optional, but sooo good)
freshly ground pepper

Toss the lettuce with a little vinaigrette. Top with veggies, mackerel, then yeast flakes. Voilà!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

More marinated vegetable salad

I know I've already posted a version of this recipe recently, but we've been eating huge bowls of it for dinner about 3 nights a week. So good.

1/4 head purple cabbage, roughly chopped
2 carrots, peeled and grated
1 cucumber, sliced and quartered
2 med tomatoes, chopped
1 bell pepper (any color), chopped
1 sm onion, chopped
1 cup canned corn
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
1-2 cloves fresh garlic, crushed
freshly ground black pepper
juice of 1/2 lemon
Italian dressing

Optional: feta cheese or sliced grilled chicken

Combine vegetables in large bowl, along with feta or chicken if you're including it. Pour 1/2 cup Italian dressing over top, and also the lemon and black pepper. Stir to coat vegetables lightly. Add more to taste.

Let marinate two hours in fridge before serving. Or don't :)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Tabouleh recipe, right off the box

This recipe is pulled from the box of bulghur I bought recently. (Well, pulled and translated!) It was a big hit with my family, so I've made it twice this week.

2 bunches of fresh parsley leaves, chopped
2 Tbsp of fresh mint, chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
6 ripe tomatoes, diced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup bulghur, medium
3 Tbsp lemon juice
3 Tbsp olive oil

lettuce leaves (optional)
pita bread (optional)

Optional add-ins: chopped cucumber, chickpeas, chopped bell pepper, lentils, chopped green onions, cinnamon, allspice, crushed garlic

Bulghur, fine grain

Heat a large saucepan of boiling, salted water. Add 2 cups bulghur. Cook at a low boil for ten minutes. Drain off excess water. Let the bulghur cool to room temperature.

Combine all remaining ingredients, stirring into the bulghur mix. Serve immediately or, if you prefer, chill first.

Serve tabouleh on a bed of lettuce, accompanied by extra lettuce leaves, lemon wedges and warm pita bread.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Iced coffee with almond

I've been making iced coffee for a while now, but picked up some good tips over at The Kitchn. My version is pretty strong, but not bitter. I prefer to chill the ingredients (rather than using ice cubes), dilute with milk for a creamier coffee, then top with froth.

1 cup double-strength brewed coffee
1/4 cup milk
optional: sugar (Use less than you normally would. Just enough to take the edge off.)
optional: 2-3 drops almond extract

Mix all ingredients. Stir until dissolved/mixed, then refrigerate until chilled.

Tip: For faster iced coffee, dissolve 3 Tsp Nescafé instant coffee + sugar in 1/4 cup hot water. Add 1/2 cup cold water, 2 ice cubes 1/4 milk and 2-3 drops almond extract.

To serve the iced coffee, pour 1/4 cold milk in a tall glass. (Needs to hold at least 1 cup coffee + 2 inches froth.) Froth milk using an aerolatte - the world's greatest invention. Pour iced coffee mixture slowly in the center of the glass.

Drink up!

Tip: You can make several batches of the coffee ahead of time and just keep it in the fridge for when the mood strikes.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Broccoli slaw with purple cabbage and bacon

This is an adapted version of Aunt Betty Ann's broccoli salad. I think it's a close relative of broccoli slaw... but my family always talks about it referencing my great aunt.

1-2 heads broccoli, cut into florets
1 small red onion, chopped (I used a shallot)
6-8 slices bacon, well-cooked and crumbled (I used French lardons)
2-3 carrots, grated
1 small wedge purple cabbage, chopped

Dressing: Whisk until smooth.
2 Tbsp mayonnaise
2 Tbsp white vinegar
2 Tbsp sugar
1/4 cup light cream
freshly ground pepper

Mix vegetables. Pour dressing over top and stir until coated. Refrigerate at least two hours.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Agua de Melón (Mexican melon water)

Move over sweet tea. I've got a new (and healthier) summer drink.

Mexican Aguas Frescas are made with simple ingredients and are amazing on a hot summer days. The variations are endless.

For the fruit, you can use melon, strawberries, watermelon, peaches, mangos, papayas, tamarind, hibiscus (bissap) flowers, pineapple... You can use herbs such as mint or basil as the accent.

For my first trick, I chose melon and mint. Mmmm... Good choice.

1 melon, cut into pieces and peeled (about 4-5 cups)
1 Tbsp lemon juice (or more, to taste)
1 Tbsp sugar (I skipped this)
pinch salt
mint garnish
lemon slices

Using a food mill, purée the melon. Discard the fruit pulp. Pour the juice into a large pitcher. Stir in salt, lemon juice, (sugar). Guess-timate how much juice oyu have. Add about half that much water into the pitcher. Chill well.

Serve over lots of ice with lemon slices and mint sprigs. (These are more than just pretty. Their flavors highlight the juice!)

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Moroccan Chicken and Lentils

I love lentils. My husband tolerates them. He loves Moroccan food. I tolerate it. But this recipe had both of us emptying our bowls and going back for more! (UPDATE: Also good chilled on a hot day!)

5 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup dried lentils, rinsed
3-4 dried apricots, chopped

Combine water and salt in heavy large saucepan over high heat. Add lentils and apricots; bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and simmer until lentils are tender, which will take about 20-30 minutes.

1/6 cup tablespoons olive oil
2 Tbsp cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 garlic clove, minced

While the lentils are cooking, whisk olive oil, vinegar, cumin, chili powder and garlic in large measuring cup.

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 large skinless boneless chicken breast, thinly sliced

Go ahead and start on the chicken while the lentils finish cooking. Heat olive oil in large skillet over high heat. Add onion; sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add chicken. Sauté until chicken is cooked through.

Once the lentils are tender, drain off liquid and pour the lentils over the chicken. Stir in the dressing. Simmer five minutes. Salt if needed.

Serve hot with toppings.

1 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 large ripe tomato, chopped
lemon slices

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Roasted peppers, potatoes and sausage

A quick one-dish dinner with great flavor

4 bratwurst sausages
2 lg potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 lg onion, cut into 1/8th
1 red pepper, sliced
1 yellow pepper, sliced
4-6 cloves garlic, peeled
olive oil
freshly ground pepper
lemon juice

Pour 1-2 Tbsp oil into a large glass or ceramic baking dish. Place it in the oven and heat to 400°.

Once hot, add the potatoes to the pan and stir them around to coat with oil. Bake 15 minutes.

Add peppers, onions and garlic with another 1 Tbsp oil, stirring to coat. Place the sausages on top of the vegetable. Prick the sausages with a fork. Bake for 30-40 minutes, stirring once and flipping the sausages. The potatoes will 'puff' a bit and turn brown around the edges when they are done.

Serve hot with salt, pepper and lemon.