,,One of the delights of life is eating with friends, second to that is talking about eating.
And, for an unsurpassed double whammy, there is talking about eating while you are eating with friends. ,,
-Laurie Colwin

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Cod in rose wine with olives and basil

Make a one-pan meal that's big on flavor and light on clean up. Cod is a firm white fish and works well in this recipe but you can try it with salmon or other fish as well. The acidity of the rose wine and capers makes this sauce much lighter than you'd expect. For the fish all I did was season it with a bit of salt and peper.
-2 tbsp olive oil
-800g fresh white cod filets
-100ml dry rose wine
-2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
-200g mix cherry tomatoes, slice in half
-250g black olives
-50g capers
-small bunch of fresh basil
-Sea salt and black pepper

Slice the fish into four 200g fillets and season lightly on both sides. Place a medium-sized pan over a medium heat and add the olive oil.
When the oil is hot add the cod and cook for three minutes on both size. Add enough wine (about one glass) to reach halfway up the sides of the fish. Next add the garlic, olives, tomato, capers, rosemary and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Cook for a further 5 minutes over a low heat until the fish is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork. Allow the wine to bubble up then add the chopped basil.

Serve one fillet per person and spoon the olives and wine sauce over the top. If you wish serve them accompanied by little boiled new potatoes dressed with butter or olive oil and basil.

Enjoy Pin It Now!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Double Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ganache Glaze

The most easy chocolate cake recipe ever!
The only thing better than a chocolate cake is a super-easy chocolate cake - try this one and let us know what you think!Works well every time and is perfect cake for dinner party.
The chocolate ganache glaze works very well with the delicate texture of the cake.
This chocolate cake is moist and very rich. There are a couple of things about this recipe that are worth mentioning. First, it does not contain eggs. Second, this type of cake "mix-in-the-bowl" that means all the dry and wet ingredients are mixed together right in just one bowl. Once the cake has baked and cooled, we like to frost it with a Ganache frosting which is simply a mixture of heavy cream, butter and dark chocolate.
I made this with my daughter to show how easy is to make this double chocolate cake. I took care of the oven and the baking time but she did almost everything.
Serves 8 - 10 people.
Chocolate Cake:
- 250 grams all-purpose flour
- 250 grams - sugar
- 35 grams cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 75 grams soft unsalted butter
- 300 ml warm water
- Lemon juice from ½ lemon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or essence
Chocolate Frosting:
- 200 grams dark chocolate, chopped
- 200 ml heavy cream
- 75gr butter, room temperature
- 25gr Chopped pistachio nuts
Chocolate Cake:
Preheat oven to 180°C. Lightly grease a 6cm-deep, 26cm round cake pan.
Sift flour, sugar, sifted cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Add the melted butter, water, lemon juice, and vanilla extract. With a fork or whisk, mix all the ingredients together until well blended.

Bake in preheated oven for about 35 minutes, or until the cake springs back when lightly pressed and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
Place the chocolate, cream and butter in a medium sized glass bowl. Melt in microwave for 1 min. or over a bain-marie. Stir until smooth.

Let the ganache set in fridge for 10 min or until slightly firm and then beat the ganache until creamy and smooth. With a spoon or knife spread the ganache over the cooled cake.Top with chopped pistachio nuts. Allow frosting to set in the fridge for 30 min. Slice and serve with fresh whipped cream or fresh berry.

I hope you enjoy this delicious chocolate cake. Pin It Now!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Provençal salad with Beans, Mozzarella, Bacon and Cantaloupe melon

This classic Provencal salad explodes with flavor and is a“composed salad”, meaning each component is prepared separately and then arranged on a platter for a nice presentation. It also means it is prepared ahead.For a funkier version, you can poach or grill fresh fillets of salmon or tuna, or grilling seafood adds a new flavor variation to this traditional French salad, allow to cool and cut into cubes to replace the bacon. We served with crusty fresh homemade bread.
For six servings we used:
600 gr new potatoes
200 gr green beans
500 gr smoked bacon, cubed and cooked
350 gr cherry mozzarella
100 gr baby spinach
1 cantaloupe melon-1kg-cubed
4 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
balsamic reduction
For vinaigrette:
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 shallot, finely chopped
sea salt and black pepper
50 ml red wine vinegar
150 ml extra virgin olive oil
Whisk together vinegar, shallot, salt, mustard and pepper until salt is dissolved. Add oil in a slow stream, whisking until emulsified. Test for more seasoning.

In a large pot of salted boiling water cook potatoes until tender (around 8-10 minutes), then cook beans until just tender. They should not be too soft but should not be under cooked. Strain and run cold water over beans to stop cooking.
Arrange the spinach, potatoes, beans, bacon, melon, mozzarella and chopped mint on a serving platter. Pour the dressing evenly over and decorate with balsamic reduction( recipe here) the salad to serve.
To complete the French experience, serve the salad with a fine, lightly chilled
Rosé wine. Pin It Now!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Feta Salsa

This is so easy, also very tasty and fresh. Definitely consider this recipe as a guideline. It works as it is, but is infinitely flexible should you want to use different herbs or add chicken or shrimps or skip something or other. Also, if you store more than one type of cheese, you can mix different types.

For 4 servings we used:
200 gr Greek feta
200 gr fresh tomato or sundried tomatoes in oil
1/2 cup pitted olives
2 fresh ripe avocados

3 cloves of garlic minced
3 tablespoons coriander or flat-leaf parsley
2 small lemons (or one large)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Cube the feta into a bowl then chop the tomatoes, avocado,garlic and coriander (or parsley). Gently mix the ingredients together and drizzle with a few tablespoons of olive oil and the juice from lemon, add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve it on a toasted slice of focaccia (recipe here), drizzle with olive oil and see salt.
Or served on a filo pastry basket made over Bruleé cups brushed with clarified butter, baked in the oven until golden brown, and topped with lucerne sprouts.
 Enjoy ! Pin It Now!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Peanut butter cake with sour cream frosting

This was a challenge, to add sour cream and salted peanuts in this classic combination of creamy peanut butter and white chocolate, delicate layers of cake with a smooth, rich filling. White chocolate and sour cream frosting graces the top and drips decoratively down the sides.The fluffy peanut butter cream with white chocolate frosting on this layer cake will bring out the kid in you. The salt from the peanuts accentuates the sweetness and flavors. This is a cake for 14-16 servings.
For the sponge
6 large eggs, at room temperature, separated
200 gr plain flour plus more for the pan
200 gr sugar
25 gr unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking powder
100 gr salted peanuts, crushed
1 tsp. vanilla extract
For the filling
120 gr unsalted butter, at room temperature
350 gr cream cheese,
250 gr creamy peanut butter (we used Jiff-crunchy peanut butter-whole peanuts in)
200 gr icing sugar
For the frosting
125 gr good-quality white chocolate
250 gr sour cream
50 gr salted peanuts crushed for toping
100 ml syrup or compote juice for brushing the sponge (to make it a bit moist)
For the sponge: Preheat the oven to 180 C degrees. Lightly grease one 25 cm round cake pan, and then flour the bottom and the sides.
Mix together all the dry ingredients for the sponge: flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt and set aside.
With a hand mixer on medium speed first beat the egg whites until foamy. Continue beating on higher speed until soft peaks form and gradually add the sugar and vanilla and beat until stiff. Gradually add the eggs yolks. Now, using a spatula, mix in the sifted dry ingredients, one spoon at a time and mix until just combined then add the salty crushed peanuts.
Pour batter evenly into prepared pan smoothing the tops and gently shaking the pans to level the batter. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool completely.
Meanwhile, to make the filling, place peanut butter, cream cheese and butter in a bowl. Beat at low speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Add powdered sugar, beating for about 3 minutes or until the filling is light and fluffy.
To assemble the layer cake: slice in tree layers the completely cooled sponge. On the bottom layer, brush with syrup or compote juice and spread 1/3 of the peanut butter filling. Add the second layer, brush with syrup and spread with the same amount of filling, then top with the third layer. Use a spatula to cover the whole cake with the remaining filling. Refrigerate for about 10-15 min.
For the glaze: In a bowl suspended over a saucepan of warm water on low heat, melt the white chocolate chips (you can also use the microwave). With a hand mixer, beat the sour cream for about 3-4 min. It will make it more fluid and airy. Continue mixing while pouring slowly the melted chocolate. The glaze will get be pour-able, shiny and smooth.
Pour the glaze over the top of the chilled cake, using a circular motion. Gently smooth the glaze with a thin spatula, carefully pushing a little of it toward the edges of the cake. Allow the glaze to drip down the sides of cake. Sprinkle on top with some crushed salty peanuts.
Refrigerate until ready to serve. Pin It Now!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Summer salmon symphony salad

It seems like we have so much to do this time of year and we have to think of something quick and easy to cook. Here is a good, easy recipe that you all can do this time of year.
I do understand the need for easy but elegant dining and I have served these both as a main meal and as a side dish without salmon and for a nice presentation I add a sprig of dill placed on the salad.
Ingredients for 4 servings:
4 x 180 gr salmon fillet
300 gr papaya cubes
200 gr radishes sliced
200 gr celery sticks sliced
200 gr cherry tomatoes halves
200 gr black olives
200 gr corn from fresh boiled cob, sliced
1 tbls honey
½ lemon
salt and pepper to taste
Champagne Vinaigrette
10 sprigs parsley
juice from 1/2 lemon
100 ml champagne
50 ml olive oil
50 ml truffle oil
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
To made the Vinaigrette bring a small pot of salted water to a boil and blanch the parsley for 1 minute. Transfer the parsley to a blender; add the lemon juice, champagne, and oils and purée. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Place the salmon fillets in a baking dish and season with lemon juice, salt and pepper and brush with honey. Bake the salmon fillet in the 200C oven for 8-10 min or until cooked and caramelized. Add the Vinaigrette in the mixing bowl. Add the other salad ingredients and toss well. Place the caramelized salmon fillet on top of the salad and serve.
Cooking tip: You can use any tropical fruits for this light summer entree salad. Pin It Now!

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