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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Passover Feast!

Usually we try to make it to Montreal for Passover but this year my grandparents were in Boca so we spent it there! We had a big ol' feast as usual. First we had the boiled egg in salt water, pretty simple. Then, matzoh ball soup with my aunt's vegetable broth. My grandmother made our Charoset:

We made farfel muffins, which are basically the same thing as matzoh brei but with way more matzoh than egg and a ton of vegetables. They are one of my all-time favorites, I posted a picture of the recipe below. I was in charge of the scalloped potatoes. The procedure is pretty simple - spread a few tablespoons of butter and a few cloves of garlic on the bottom of a deep baking dish. Slice potatoes (it's really important that they're all even thicknesses so that they can cook evenly), start with the first layer of potatoes, pour on a bit of cream, sprinkle with thyme, salt and pepper and a little bit of goat cheese. Repeat this for as many layers as you want, we topped it all off with some swiss cheese and baked it for about an hour and fifteen minutes at 350 degrees. My grandmother made roasted pompano with lemon and olive oil. I also cooked up some green beans in boiling water since there was no room in the oven for them! We had a little cherry tomato salad lightly dressed with the Vineberg family vinaigrette. For dessert, my aunt made a key lime cheesecake with tons of fruit on the side!






















Monday, March 29, 2010

Vegetable Sandwich

I know I've been posting a lot of snacks and sandwiches, but it's Passover tonight so expect a feast of pictures tomorrow!

My dad mixed dijon mustard with greek yogurt as a spread so I used that on both sides of my bread. I then layered on thinly sliced red pepper, tomato, avocado, a drizzle of salad dressing and sprinkled on salt and pepper. We had a nice salad on the side. Veggie overload!



Friday, March 26, 2010

Smoked Salmon Breakfast #2

Rosemary bread toasted with cream cheese, smoked salmon, tomato and onion = Nice Florida morning breakfast!



Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Popsicles

It's finally the beginning of my favorite time of the year and I get to make popsicles again!!! I highly recommend picking yourself up a handy popsicle mold, I have this one. Here are a few of my favorite flavors - lychee and apricot, but cranberry is another fave.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Grilled Cheese with Tomato

Grilled cheese on my favorite organic sour dough rye toasted in a pan with butter. Cheddar cheese, tomato, basil, salt. Y.U.M.


My Version of Pho

I obviously had to do a whole lot of research before diving into the world of Pho and although I've never tried the dish (I've been a pescetarian my whole life until less than a year ago), I was nevertheless completely surprised to find out about the spices that go into it - namely cinnamon, clove and star anise! I read in one of Epicurious.com's recipes for Pho by Mai Pham that, "The Vietnamese believe that a meat dish should taste like a meat dish" and that, "Cooking the meat with vegetables would distort its flavor, so all veggies (except for aromatics like ginger and onion) are added after cooking." Although I respect this point of view, it is not my cooking philosophy. Needless to say, I added a few carrots and celery to the broth which, although it may have made my Pho inauthentic, made it more appealing to my own taste buds. My view of food and cooking is not (and hopefully will never be) meat-centric and I can't imagine a meaty broth without a few vegetables added to it.

Originally I planned on making vegetarian Pho, but Lucas easily convinced me to take a shot at a beef broth so we went to Chelsea Market yesterday and picked up a nice 2 pound beef knuckle bone. Mai Pham's recipe on Epicurious made a lot of sense to me, and I recommend working from this one.

Every recipe I came across made it clear that one should boil the bones for 5-10 minutes and then discard the liquid to help get rid of any blood or impurities. This step is especially important because the broth is meant to be clear, and any impurities can cloud it. Next, I charred the ginger and onions and added those to the new pot of water along with the bone, a few carrots, a few stalks of celery, star anise, cinnamon, and fish sauce. I skipped the sugar in the recipe because I knew the carrots would probably be enough to add that extra sweetness. I didn't have any clove so I omitted that. After about 3 hours, I discarded the bones, spices and vegetables, and let the broth cool off so I could remove some of the solidified excess fat. There ended up being a ton of it! Finally, I sautéed some shitake mushrooms and some bok choy. I put a bit of both in a bowl, along with some rice noodles and topped it off the the broth. I sprinkled on some mint and basil (wish I had cilantro!), and squeezed on half of a lime.











Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Salmon on Garlic Bread with Steamed Artichokes

I made this for the first time last Spring and it ended up being one of Lucas' favorite meals so I had to make it again! First things first is to steam the artichokes.. pretty simple. Made a little vinaigrette with dijon mustard, garlic, balsamic vinegar, a splash of sherry vinegar for some extra taang, olive oil and of course, salt and pepper. When the artichokes were nearly finished steaming, I put about 1 tablespoon each of butter and olive oil in a pan with 4 chopped up medium sized garlic cloves. I let that cook for about 2-3 minutes and then spread it onto some baguette. Make sure to leave a little of the garlic infused butter/olive oil in the pan for the fish to fry in. Start the fish in the pan with a few minutes per side then it transfer to the oven to finish off. This was gooooood. Also made mojitos - lime, mint, rum, sugar, soda water.








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