escarole salad

April 30, 2011 § Leave a comment

My mom always uses iceberg and romaine lettuce in her salads. I’m pretty sure the first time I tried escarole was here in Spain, at my friend’s parents’ house in Valencia. I loved it! It has a pretty strong, warm flavor. It is also rather bitter, so it goes nicely with sweet ingredients or mixed with milder greens–in this simple salad, I paired it with artichoke hearts, orange, and honey.

Ingredients

a bowl of escarole, rinsed and chopped

5 artichoke hearts, quartered

2 medium oranges, peeled and cut into small pieces

juice of 1 lemon

2 tbs olive oil

2 tsp honey

1 tsp sweet paprika

salt, to taste

I didn’t really measure my ingredients, so I’m just estimating here. Add more orange or artichoke if you want. Adjust the ingredients to taste and to the quantity of salad.

Make sure the leaves are nice and dry before adding the other ingredients. Salad is so much better when you let the leaves dry. The dressing sticks better and it doesn’t get as soggy. Add artichoke hearts and orange pieces. Mix lemon juice, honey, salt, sweet paprika, and olive oil in a separate cup. Pour the dressing over the salad and serve.

carrot cake

April 29, 2011 § Leave a comment

I love carrot cake! The other day my flatmate, Marta, made some! I love it when she bakes! She always shares her delicious tartas with me. I really admire people who always have a sweet treat freshly baked for guests (or flatmates). My Grandma Toni always has a pie or cake ready for whoever happens to pass by her house. Usually it’s her famous marble cake. Hospitality is such a beautiful way to be.

Well here is the recipe, in Spanish, for the carrot cake Marta made. It turned out really well! She thought it was a bit too sweet. You could slightly decrease the amount of sugar. She also added pineapple even though it’s not in this recipe.(Here is a good recipe in English. It’s pretty similar except it contains flaked coconut too.)

Tarta de zanahorias:                                                        

  • 1 vaso aceite vegetal
  • 2 vasos de azúcar
  • 4 huevos
  • 2 cucharaditas de canela
  • 2 cucharaditas de bicarbonato
  • 2 vasos de zanahoria rallada
  • 1 vaso con nueces picadas
  • 2 vasos de harina
  • 2 cucharaditas de levadura
  • 1 cucharadita de sal

Preparación:

Mezclar en un recipiente hondo el aceite vegetal y el azúcar.

Añadir los huevos uno a uno, batiendo bien después de cada huevo.

Tamizar todos los ingredientes secos

Añadir los ingredientes secos al bol hondo de la mezcla de aceite y azúcar y mezclar bien.

Revolviendo poco a poco, añadir las nueces y la zanahoria rallada al bol.

Una vez engrasada y polvoreada la fuente, introducir toda la mezcla y hornear.

Crema:

  • 2 paquetes de  queso blanco para untar (ej. Philadelphia)
  • Una pizca de sal
  • 1 cucharadita de vainilla en polvo (opcional)
  • 2 cucharadas de leche
  • 1,5 vasos de azucar glasé

Utilizando una batidora eléctrica a velocidad reducida o un tenedor, batir el queso blanco para untar junto con la leche. Poco a poco, ir añadiendo la vainilla, la sal y el azúcar. Esta crema se deberá conservar en la nevera y ser añadida a la tarta cuando ésta se vaya a servir.

180º 1 hora-1 hora y cuarto.

Marta frosts the cake

Tip: Wait until the cake has completely cooled before frosting. What a mess!

carrot cake and sunlight on a spring day

close-up

I should have taken a photo of a slice before we ate it all! I like the way she decorated it simply with some walnuts. I definitely prefer this presentation to the kind with giant, bright orange carrots painted all over with icing.

Next I want to try a recipe that is less sweet and very, very carrot-y.  One time I tasted a vegan one like that. Do you have a favorite carrot cake recipe?

eggplant with honey

April 26, 2011 § Leave a comment

During Semana Santa, I traveled around Andalucia and tried a bunch of delicious food. One of my favorites was a typical Andalucian dish called berenjenas con miel (eggplant with honey). I tried it first in Sevilla and then in Cordoba. They were very similar, just deep fried, salted eggplant with honey drizzled on top.

Below is a photo of the dish I tried in Sevilla. As you can see, the eggplant was sliced and lightly breaded.

In Cordoba, the eggplant was cut into sticks like steak fries and much more breaded.

I preferred the first version. I think eggplant always tastes better when it’s more thinly sliced. Sometimes the big pieces taste bitter or uncooked to me.

As soon as I got home, I was determined to make them myself. One of my favorite parts about traveling and trying new foods is trying to recreate them.  The recipe is very simple. Cut the eggplant however you want; I recommend cutting it in super thin slices. Soak them for about an hour in salty water (they say this makes it less bitter, but I don’t know if it really makes a difference). Dip them in breading, fry, drizzle with honey, sprinkle with salt, and voila!

Since I don’t like eggs, I just added a bit of water to breadcrumbs and spread it on the slices. As expected, the breading didn’t stick very well. They still turned out delicious, though. Then I tried a second batch with no breading at all. It was also delicious! I also used less oil that time. I found that the very thin pieces still had a satisfying crisp without all the oil and breading. Just make sure to fry both sides until they are golden brown. Here’s a picture of the second batch.

Mmm! You all should definitely try this out, especially you sweet-and-salty lovers. It’s super simple, easy to make, and delicious!

hummus

April 3, 2011 § Leave a comment

hummus

I love hummus! But who doesn’t? I like mine with lots of lemon juice and tahini. If you don’t have tahini, try adding a bit of peanut butter. Or just omit the tahini. Some insist it’s necessary, but others enjoy without. I’m not posting the picture of the falafel, because it looks poopy to me. I couldn’t make the falafel from scratch because I don’t have a blender (I used a stick blender for the hummus, but it wouldn’t be able to blend raw chickpeas). Those premade falafel mixes are pretty good. I like to add more spices, lemon juice, and fresh parsley and/or cilantro. I made tabouleh too, but I dropped it in the street :-(. I’m so clumsy.

the puchero menu

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