Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sweet Cream Buscuits with Butter and Blackberry Compote

It's 11am and I've already made and eaten these delicious biscuits! I was browsing Tastespotting a few days ago and came across this recipe for sweet cream biscuits. So, this morning I woke up with a hankering for a biscuit and started making them as soon as I got out of bed. They literally took 5 minutes to prepare! While they were baking in the oven, I realized that my raspberry jam was moldy so I quickly made up a little compote with some blackberries that I luckily had in the fridge. For the compote, I simply combined some sugar and water in a pan and added in a few handfuls of mashed up blackberries. I squeezed in some lemon and finally spooned it over the biscuits.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Vegetarian Souvlaki and Oven Fries + Campari and Soda

Growing up in Montreal, I ate a lot of vegetarian souvlakis from a place around the corner from my house. They always served them with thick fries. Since I can't seem to find a Greek place in New York to adequately satisfy my vegetarian souvlaki craving, I decided to try making them myself!

This was incredibly easy, and I barely had any dishes to wash! First, make the salad - tomatoes, cucumber, thinly sliced raw red onion, a little bit of dried oregano (fresh would have been nice too if I had any...), salt, pepper, olive oil and a mixture of sherry vinegar and white balsamic (red wine vinegar would easily work as a substitution).

Next, I made the tzatziki - greek yogurt, minced garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and some finely chopped cucumber.

I sliced the potatoes into thick wedges, coated them in salt, pepper and olive oil and baked them in the oven at 400 degrees until they turned golden brown.

To assemble the souvlaki, warm some pita on the stove, spread on some tzatziki, spoon on the salad and crumble some feta on top. This was extremely messy but very delicious!! Next time, I might add in a little bit of roasted eggplant.

Finally, since summer is quickly approaching, I've started making my favorite cocktail again - campari and soda! I found out about this drink from my dad a few years ago and it's really the most refreshing and delicious thing! I make it about 1 part campari to 3 parts soda. Serve on ice. Some people add some orange, but I think it makes the drink taste like medicine! Gross!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Ricotta Macaroni and Cheese with Asparagus and Leeks

First I cooked up a large leek in some olive oil and after about 3-4 minutes I added in the asparagus. These only took a few minutes to cook, and it's best to under-cook them a bit so they don't get too mushy when the whole casserole gets baked.

I made a béchamel sauce with 2 tablespoons of butter, two tablespoons of flour and 2 cups of milk. I chopped up a large clove of garlic and threw that in. Once the mixture thickened, I added in about 2 ounces of cheddar that I had in the fridge, along with a bit of feta that I had left over from the eggplant caponata toast that I made a few nights ago. I stirred in about 3/4 of a container of ricotta, grated in some nutmeg and added in a large pinch each of cayenne pepper, mustard powder (both of these are always good in mac and cheese) and dried tarragon.

When the pasta was cooked (I used orecchiette) I stirred everything together in a nice glass baking dish. I sprinkled on some chopped up parsley and chives and topped that off with panko breadcrumbs and a few drizzles of olive oil. The whole thing baked in the oven at about 375 degrees until the top was golden! I served it with another little sprinkling of fresh chives. This was delicious!

P.S. I picked up some chives at the farmer's market yesterday and I've been using them in everything! This morning I made the best scrambled eggs ever with a fresh red chili, shallots and tons of chives! YUM

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Dream Kitchens

Here are a few kitchens that I have fallen in love with for one reason or another... (a lot of these images are from or

The sink might not be huge but oh boy is this kitchen the cutest thing ever!

I love the tiles and the color! (although the little curtain thing is not for me)

loving that sink!

I LOVE the gold tiles!

Lovin' the orange and the wood!

This one is kind of dumpy but in a very cute way... It's crazy how a little color on the walls can go such a long way!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Eggplant Caponata on Toast with Feta

This was definitely one of my favorite things that I've made in a while. Before I made the caponata, I knew that I wanted some sort of salty cheese on it, I was thinking ricotta salata but ended up with a really nice feta instead. I started off by salting the eggplant and letting it drain in a colander, something I don't always do, and to be honest, I'm not entirely sure if it's even worth bothering. Next, I diced up an onion and sautéed it in some olive oil with a bit of chili flake for about 4-5 minutes, I then added in about 4 stalks of diced celery and half of a red pepper. After another 4 minutes or so, I removed the vegetables from the pan.

Into the now empty pan, I poured in some more olive oil and began frying off the eggplant. It started to stick to the pan a little bit and I didn't want anything to burn, so I poured in about 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar and a bit of water and let it all cook together partially covered. When the eggplant was done, I put in about a teaspoon each of anchovy paste and tomato paste. Next, I added in the sautéed vegetables, about a cup of diced tomatoes (canned tomatoes would work fine too), some chopped up capers and green olives, a sprinkling of sugar and some sherry vinegar (it's much more sour than balsamic which is actually super sweet most of the time). The balance of sweet and sour is up to you! It's good to let all the ingredients sit together on a very low simmer for a little while. Before I was ready to serve, I toasted up some bread with a tiny drizzle of olive oil on each slice. When the bread was ready, I pulled it out of the oven and rubbed on a little raw garlic, topped each slice with some caponata and some crumbled feta.

Finally, while I was reaching into the fridge for a bit of parsley, I was sidetracked by the lovely fennel fronds that were poking out of the plastic bag that the fennel was in. I went for them instead of the parsley and they ended up adding a beautifully delicate green fennel flavor that complimented the eggplant and feta perfectly!

Perhaps this was not an entirely traditional rendition of caponata, but it sure did taste good!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Miso Salmon, Broccoli+Leeks, Coconut Rice

This was a pretty good meal. Asian foods in general are not my strength, but it's fun to play around with the flavors sometimes. There were a lot of processes involved, but none of them were too complicated! First, I made the marinade/glaze for the salmon. This included a large spoonful of red miso, some lime juice, maple syrup, sesame oil, soy sauce, fish sauce and this really great sweet chili sauce that they sell at whole foods. I added in a bit of chopped garlic and ginger and let that sit for a minute before spreading it onto the fish. Next I sautéed some finely diced up serrano chili and ginger in a bit of oil for the rice. After about 2-3 minutes, I added in about a cup of rice, along with a cup each of vegetable broth and coconut milk. In another pan, I sautéed about half of a leek and a clove of garlic in some butter and sesame oil. I heated the oven to 400 degrees and popped in the salmon. This cooked for about 10 minutes (of course the length of time depends on how much fish you have). In the meantime, I threw the broccoli in with the leeks and poured in about 1/4 cup of vegetable broth. This only took a few minutes to cook. Finally, I took the fish out of the oven, chopped up some cilantro, basil and mint, and plated everything together with a final squeeze of lime over the top. yum yum yum!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Tomato, Eggplant, Basil and Mozarella Panzanella + Plum Crisp

I thought that it would be appropriate to eat panzanella and a plum crisp in honor of the beginning of spring/summer! For the panzanella, I let a loaf of sour dough bread get a little stale for the past few days and then cut it into cubes and toasted it in the oven with a mixture of olive oil, butter, garlic, chili flake, salt and pepper. I cubed up the eggplant and let that drain a little bit in a colander with some salt. After about 30-40 minutes of draining, I roasted the eggplant at about 400 degrees. I chopped up a few tomatoes and added those in with the bread. When the eggplant was done roasting, I threw that in with the bread and tomatoes, along with some chopped up mozarella and some torn up basil. I drizzled in a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar and tossed everything together. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture when it was actually ready to eat (must have been very hungry) and only have the one from right after I put in the eggplant.

For the plum crisp, I simply mixed up half a stick of butter with about 1/2 cup each of oats, flour and brown sugar, and a bit of salt and cinnamon until it became crumbly. I sliced up the plums and mixed them with some maple syrup, lemon zest and about a tablespoon of lemon juice. I baked the crisp at 375 until the top was golden (about 40 minutes). This plum crisp was a perfect balance of sweet and sour!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Zucchini, Leek, Tomato, Ricotta and Basil Calzones

I've made these calzones about a million times but tonight I was finally ready to deviate from the regular calzone routine. I sautéed thinly sliced garlic and leeks in some olive oil with a sprinkling of chili flakes. Then, I added in thinly sliced zucchini and let them cook on pretty high heat until they were juuust cooked (add salt and pepper to taste). Roll out your pizza dough and pile on some of the zucchini/leek/garlic mixture. Next, Layer on a few slices of tomato, some torn up basil leaves and dollop on as much ricotta as you'd like. Bake at 450-500 degrees until golden! Finally, I drizzled on a little bit of balsamic vinegar! This was a good meal to accompany the new episode of top chef masters!