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Friday, May 29, 2015

Smoked salmon tartines with fried capers

Smoked salmon tartines are a common enough treat, I'm sure. Who doesn't love indulging in smoked salmon over thin crispy bread, with a variety of other toppings according to the moment's fancy? Especially considering how easy a smoked salmon open-faced sandwich is to make, its popularity definitely makes sense. 

But while adding capers isn't unheard of, the detail of them being fried beforehand is what caught my attention. I first saw this idea at Bon Appetit, and decided I had to try it asap. I was happy to discover I wasn't wrong: indeed, adding fried capers to your smoked salmon toast is really one of those details that completely change the game. The subtly nutty, crunchy goodness of the fried capers take it all to the next level. If you want to kick some new life into your smoked salmon tartines, do try this. It will only add 1 minute extra to your whole assembling routine, and the rewards will be more than worth the extra wait, I promise.

Last year: Moroccan mint tea (vegan).
Two years ago: Potage Parmentier (Leek and potato soup) (French).
Three years ago: Pork bites in sweet and sour sauce (Thai-style).
Four years ago: Teriyaki salmon fillets (Japanese)Mushroom, pickled cucumber and cheese saladDanish pastries with strawberry / cream cheese filling and Green pasta with Jamon serrano, Parmesan, mozzarella and olives.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Quattro Stagioni pizza (Italian)

The classic. The nicest thing for people like me who sometimes crave variety foremost. Spicy Italian sausage, thinly sliced mushrooms, prosciutto, and olives. Yum. :)

Last year: Moroccan cous cous salad (vegan).
Two years ago: Cauliflower and potato curry (Indian) (vegan).
Three years ago: Mâncare de mazăre (My mom's pea stew) (Romanian) (vegan).
Four years ago: Ginger ale muffins / cupcakesThe magic mushroom and almond soup (with lemon balm melissa) (vegan) and Jamon serrano and shrimp tacos (Spanish-Mexican).

Monday, May 25, 2015

Cucumber and radish salad with sesame vinaigrette (raw vegan)

Ever since trying poppyseed vinaigrette I started enjoying a crunchy kick to most of my salads. This is a simple salad based on cucumber an radishes enriched with a lovely sauce of sesame seeds and sesame oil. Enjoy :)

Last year: Moroccan chickpea soup (vegan).
Two years ago: Green zmuti (leaf drink) (raw vegan).
Three years ago: Thai chicken and crab curry.
Four years ago: Spaghetti with olives, basil, red pesto and yellow tomatoesSalată de ardei copți (Roasted red pepper salad) (Romanian) and Pork salad (with olives, roasted peppers and Parmesan).

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Piyaz (Turkish bean salad)

Piyaz is a traditional Turkish salad which is pretty easy to make if you use canned beans (there's really no point, in my opinion, to boil them at home, unless making more food than a simple bean salad). It pairs the lovely kidney beans with tomato, onion, carrot, back olives and hard-boiled egg. It's a little meal in itself. Enjoy :)
Recipe source: here.

Last year: Prosciutto tortellini with slow-simmered salsa and garlic chips.
Two years ago: Malibu banana bread (with rum, raisins and coconut).
Three years ago: Tortilla pizza with wild boar ham and bell pepper.
Four years ago: Truffle cake (Belgian)Spicy potato and cheese fritters and Asparagus, sun-dried tomato, cheese and olive bread.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Blackberry and coconut squares

Cake squares with fresh blackberries and coconut. Greatly flavored from both. With a soft and chewy textured, with oats for an occasional crunch. Lovely to make and enjoy on a honey afternoon. Have fun! :)

Recipe adapted from here

Last year: Baguette aux radis, beurre et sel (Raw radish, butter and salt baguette) (French).
Two years ago: Spanakopita (spinach and feta pie) (Greek).
Three years ago: Cucumber salad with poppy-seed vinaigrette (raw vegan).
Four years ago: Mexican corn-cakes with avocado-scallion salsa and refried beansCrispy baked chicken with Teriyaki sauce and Potato and herring salad.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Ensalada de Naranja y Cebolla (Orange and Red Onion Salad) (Argentinian) (raw vegan)

A simple salad/side for Argentinian main courses, this combination of raw onion and oranges brings an unexpected touch of fresh and tangy to the table. Don't be reluctant to try it, even with a more traditional-tasting main course. We served it with Bifes a la criolla, a hearty beef and potato stew, and felt that it really completed the main dish.
Recipe source: the Hispanic Kitchen

Last year: Chicken Alfredo pasta (Italian-American).
Two years ago: Tuna, red onion and sesame wraps.
Three years ago: Crepes with macadamia cream and lychees.
Four years ago: Dulce de lecheSweet tart crust and Mini tarts with dulce de leche and red currants.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Bifes a la Criolla (Thin beef steaks in a stew) (Argentinian)

Argentinian beef needs no introduction as an ingredient, and hopefully, nor do Argentinian beef dishes. This particular stew comes together in less than 1 hour and it's delicious to say the least.

If it's your first time cooking Argentinian beef and you don't have a lot of experience with beef stews in general, this is a good recipe to start with. It's quite fuss-free to make, can't go wrong with it (as long as you get some high-quality meat) and everyone will want seconds.

Recipe source: the Hispanic Kitchen

Last year: Almond and khaki (persimmon) tart(s).
Two years ago: Eggplant-tomato-pepper cous cous with mozzarella
Three years ago: Basic pancakes (crepes) (Romanian).
Four years ago: Focaccia with garlic oil, rosemary and yellow tomatoes (Italian) (vegan)Avgolemono (Greek chicken, lemon and egg soup) and Rice and hazelnut spicy colorful salad (vegan).

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Dark chocolate orange brownies

I couldn't decide if these brownies looked better in the picture above or the one below, so I shared both. It's difficult to choose one when you know and acutely remember that no picture can actually do justice to the awesome moistness and density of possibly the best brownies you've ever tasted.

If you're a fan of the dark chocolate infused with orange that some of the fancier brands of chocolate offer, then you'll definitely love these brownies. It contains all that plus more (in terms of texture, mouth-feel etc) in a single bite. Enjoy :).
Recipe adapted from here.

Last year: Mozzarella in carozza (Italian fried sandwiches).
Two years ago: Boulangère potatoes (French).
Three years ago: Grasshopper hot chocolate.
Four years ago: Veronique chicken salad (French)Semolina milk pudding with pear-cardamom puree and honey and Polenta with sour cream and cheese (Romanian).

Monday, May 11, 2015

Spaghetti Bolognese (Italian)

The classic ragu for spaghetti, made of delicious ground meat, tomato sauce, spices, bacon (we made a little variation here by using deer bacon :D instead of regular pork bacon) and veggies, topped with intensely flavored Parmesan pieces. The loveliest savory caloric bomb one could think for when it comes to pasta. Enjoy :)

Last year: Crushed peas with smoky sesame (tahini) dressing.
Two years ago: Strawberry and white chocolate mousse cake (no bake).
Three years ago: Carrot and feta rosti (fritters) with raita (Indian-style).
Four years ago: Lemon panacota with orange caramel and vanilla panacota with strawberries (Italian)Pasta Primavera (Italian-American) and Lemon balm cream trout with baked asparagus.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Teh halia (ginger milk tea) (Singaporean and Malaysian)

This tea is the ideal midway between black tea, with milk and sugar, and ginger tea (a favorite of mine). To quote Saveur, this drink is yet another proof and statement on Singapore's propensity for fusion. 
Commonly consumed in Indonesia and Malaysia, the preparation is similar to making English tea, only for the addition of freshly grated ginger that gives the whole thing an unmistakable kick.

Among the reasons to make this - last but not least - is because it uses up any remaining sweetened condensed milk you might have. I hate it when you open up a can to use in a cake but a bit remains and you don't know what to do with it. This tea is a nice idea for such leftovers :).
Recipe source: Saveur.

Last year: Potatoes with za'atar (Middle Eastern) (vegan).
Two years ago: Puff pastry fast pea and dill quiche.
Three years ago: Carrot and feta rosti (fritters) with raita (Indian-style).
Four years ago: Karaage (Tatsutaage) (Japanese fried chicken)Horiatiki salata (Greek salad with tomatoes, feta, red onion and kalamata olives) and Beefsteak with spicy butter and wedges.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Pizza con tonno e cipole (Tuna and onion pizza) (Italian)

One of the best combination in the history of Italian pizza toppings: red onion and tuna. This pizza is super-delicious and quite convenient to make as well, at least if, like me, you always have some good quality tuna cans lying around in the pantry for emergencies. Emergencies such as this :)
I made it with whole wheat pizza crust (which I tend to use almost in all pizza baking, ever since discovering how well it works), so it's pretty healthy too. No excuses not to make it :)

Note: Use oil-packed tuna for this recipe or any baking recipe, really, because the tuna canned in water tends to become too dry in the oven. Don't worry about the calories, because you'll be draining the excess oil before using the tuna chunks, anyway.

Last year: Strawberry summer cake.
Two years ago: Spring pasta with avocado and goat cheese.
Three years ago: Turkey bites in Brie and walnut sauce with grapes.
Four years ago: Frigănele (Romanian savory French toast)Rosemary marinated and fried potatoes with lemon (vegan) and Thyme, pepper and lemon spicy olive oil cookies.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Salat yerakot yisraeli (Israeli salad) (Jewish/Palestinian) (raw vegan)

Also known as an Israeli chopped salad, this classic fresh side is popular both in Israel and Palestine, despite their troubled political background. It's made with cucumbers, tomatoes and onion, cubed finely (in Israel, the smaller the cubes are, the higher the cook's reputation), and spiced with fresh parsley, lemon juice, olive oil and sumac powder. It's a delicious accompaniment to main courses from the region and so easy to make that it should be a go-to. :)

Last year: Bacon-corn hash (American).
Two years ago: Fennel and Camembert pocket pies in spelt pastry.
Three years ago: Turkey bites in Brie and walnut sauce with grapes.
Four years ago: Spaghetti with sesame oil, shiitake and chickenGnocchi with thyme-butter sauce and browned cauliflower (Italian) and Red wine baby shrimps with olive and tomato quinoa.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Ensalada con quinoa de Peru (Peruvian) (vegan)

Another great dish from the Central and South Americas featuring quinoa, the ancestral grain of the land. This type of quinoa-based salad is hearty enough to be the main course in itself (thanks to the quinoa), but also light enough to be appropriate to low-carb diets or simply to a nutritious approach to spring and summer diets. 
Recipe source: the Peruvian recipes Wiki.

Last year: Greek marinated artichokes (vegan).
Two years ago: Baby spinach cream soup with truffle oil (vegan).
Three years ago: Wholewheat pasta with raw roots.
Four years ago: French fries with red onion (vegan)Spicy stuffed eggs (with herbs and mushrooms) and White chocolate and basil cream cups with balsamic strawberries (Italian).

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