Chachouka

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Chachouka ~ adapted from River Cottage Veg

3 tbsp olive oil

1/4 tsp ground cumin

1 large onion, thinly sliced in strips

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced

1/2 tsp paprika (hot smoked if you have it on hand)

a pinch of saffron strands

1 14 ounce can plum tomatoes, chopped

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 large eggs

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the cumin and onion and saute for a for about 8-10 minutes or until soft and golden in color. Add the garlic and peppers and continue to cook on low heat for around 20 minutes, stirring often, until the peppers are soft and wilted. Add in the paprika, a little salt and pepper, crumble in the saffron with your fingers, and add the tomatoes with any liquid from cutting. Cook, stirring from time to time, for about 15 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Taste the pepper mixture and adjust seasonings if needed then transfer to an oven-safe baking dish. Make two hollows in the pepper mixture and add an egg to each. sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake for around 12 minutes depending on how you like your eggs cooked. If you like your eggs runny (the way this dish is meant to be served) then stop at around the 12 minute mark. Any longer and your eggs will be more set.

Enjoy ~

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A Lemon Chutney with Red Radish

Lemons have been my latest obsession. lemonslemonslemons. I LOVE LEMONS. They are amazing in savory to sweet food, a little sprinkle of zest or squeeze of fresh juice and your dish is transformed from average to extraordinary.

With this chutney you can throw a dollop on top of rice, or vegetables, BUT it is best over some goat cheese on toast.

Lemon Chutney with Red Radishadapted from 101 cookbooks

1/4 cup finely chopped white onion (or shallot)

3 small lemons, sliced

1/4 cup olive oil + more for brushing

1 tbsp honey (to taste)

1/4 cup finely chopped radishes

sea salt and black pepper to taste

fresh herbs – I used sage, but basil and/or mint would be great if you have

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice 2 of the lemons about half an inch thick, remove seeds with the tip of a knife. Discard the thick white parts at either end of the lemons. Brush both sides with olive oil and bake for 20-25 minutes, turning every ten minutes or so until they get tender. You don’t want them to begin to brown. Set these aside to cool. If you want less of an oniony taste you can soak the onion or shallot in a bowl of cool water for a few minutes. Add the cooked lemons to the bowl of a food processor with the onions (drained if in water), and honey. Pulse till coarsely chopped and then add half of the juice from the remaining lemon. Continue pulsing until you have your desired chutney consistency. Season with salt and pepper and add more honey or lemon juice to taste as needed. At the end you can pulse in the radish, I didn’t blend these in too thoroughly to add a bit of a crunch. Let sit or refrigerate for a couple hours. Add some herbs right before serving.

Spinach and Feta Almond Crust Tart

A Spinach & Feta Almond Crust Tart

I may be described by some as an odd child……when asked what my favorite foods were, from an early age, you can bet black olives and spinach to be among them. And if ever in the form of a spinach souffle I’m pretty sure I fought a few poor family members for that last bite and scrape of the side of the bowl. One of the many joys of growing up is having the ability to make my own spinach and cheese tart, exactly how I like, and I don’t have to share…..with anyone! ¬†For future reference, though, if I ever do offer you a slice of my spinach pie, I must like you a hell of a lot.

So here is a recipe for one of my favorite dishes, it keeps well in the fridge, and makes for a splendid lunch served hot or cold with a salad on the side

Pie Crust:

2 cups almond flour

1 cup hazelnut flour

1/2 tsp sea salt

4 tbsp olive oil

1 egg

herbs/seasonings of choice (I used a little thyme and garlic powder)

Filling:

10 ounces or so chopped spinach (fresh or frozen) I favor frozen spinach here and probably used a bit more then normal.

1 yellow onion, chopped

1-2 tbsp olive oil

2 eggs

feta cheese

kalamata olives

spices/salt/pepper (remember if using feta, the cheese adds a lot of salty flavor already)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all the ingredients for the crust together, flatten out with your hands in a full-sized tart pan (grease first if necessary). Bake for around 10 to 15 mins, you want it to be lightly brown on the outside and the edges crispy. In a medium pot sauté the onion in the olive oil for 2 minutes then add the spinach and cook till the onion is translucent. Take off the heat and mix in eggs, seasonings, and as much or little feta as desired. Pour into the cooked crust, flatten the top of the mixture for a smooth appearance and top with kalamata olives. Bake for 15-20 minutes, times will vary but when the cheese on top begins to brown your tart should be ready.

*(note, when working with frozen spinach their can be a bit of unwanted water in the pot when you are cooking it…I poured or spooned out what I could but did not worry about it to much and the tart still turned out amazing. Feel free also to use all almond flour if you are not a fan of hazelnut, I found the hazelnut to add more of a nutty flavor and texture to the crust).

Have a lovely Holiday Weekend ~

Spicy Carrot Ginger Soup

It’s still not to late for soup.

Spicy Carrot Ginger Soup

Spring is around the corner, you can smell it in the air. I find myself daydreaming at work of beach towels and lemonade.

Unfortunately, at least here in New York, the weather has not completely caught up with my mind yet. So pull out that soup pot and take advantage of our last few chilly weeks. This soup is simple and warms you from the inside out, the ginger gives it a spicy kick and when topped with chopped pear the combo of chilled/sweet with spicy is quite pleasant.

This recipe was scribbled down on a piece of scrap paper at work, I cannot remember where I found the inspiration for this wonder, but will update if I come across it again.

Spicy Carrot Ginger Soup

Olive oil

4 large carrots, peeled and chopped

1 small onion, chopped

1 minced garlic clove, or 1 to 2 tsp of already minced garlic

3 tbsp diced and peeled fresh ginger (use less if you don’s want your soup to have a kick)

1 cup cubed peeled butternut squash

1 peeled and diced apple (I used pink lady)

4 1/2 cups vegetable broth

1 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)

12 ounces coconut milk

diced pear

In a large soup pot heat about 2 tsp of oil (I used olive oil) over medium heat. Saute carrots and onion until soft, then add the garlic, ginger, butternut squash, and apple. And continue to saute for another couple minutes. Add broth, and salt if desired, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer covered for around 45 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Blend, then stir in coconut milk and add any additional spices to taste. Serve hot topped with fresh cut pear.

Have a lovely Sunday ~

Pesto Pasta with Caramelized Onions & Veggies

Pasta. Plain. & Simple.

Pesto Pasta with Caramelized Onions & Veggies

Cooking for one on the go can be a bit of a challenge at times. I am not proud of my canned soup habit….but I will not deny the numerous nights a can of vegetable lentil with a bit of soft cheese stirred in makes its way onto my table. TONIGHT, however, it is all about the pasta. Pasta is delicious and extremely versitle. You can do almost anything with it.

This pasta dish is simple, quick, and great for a tasty/creative meal for one (or two).

My add-ins: onion, peas, broccoli, olives, and tomato.

Lets start with an onion ~

Chop half an onion, I used a yellow and love my onions chopped thin & lengthwise.

With a little garlic and olive oil I sauteed my chopped onion until it became caramel in color and a bit sticky (mmmmm)

While your onions are cooking boil a pot of water and cook your pasta accordingly. I used a whole wheat spaghetti that was perfect after ten minutes, I suggest checking so you don’t overcook. What makes this recipe great is using what you have on hand. Any veggies will do and I had a bag of frozen broccoli and peas at my disposal. After my pasta had been cooking for a few minutes I dumped my frozen vegetables into the pot as well.

When the PASTA is ready drain everything into a strainer then pour back into the pot. Add a chopped tomato, black olives, and a good spoonful or two of pesto. STIR. Serve along side an arugula salad. Some goat cheese and crusty bread would pair well. And you have yourself a tasty and quick meal for one(or two).

~

Vegetable Broccoli Soup

Of the best variety.  You know, the knock your socks off variety of vegetable soup.

During the past week, winter finally struck the south.  Down to 20 degrees, and in the teens in the early morning.  This is crazy cold to me.  crazycrazycrazy.

SO. I present to you:  Vegetable Broccoli Soup ~

about 2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp chopped garlic

1 large yellow onion

2 large to medium potatoes

2 medium sized carrots

2 stalks of celery

1 can of corn {or frozen}

8 cups of broccoli

8 cups of broth of choice

2-4 cups fresh spinach

1/2 milk of choice

garlic powder to taste

salt and pepper to taste

cheese ūüôā

Serves at least 8

First things first. ¬†Chop up the onion, nothing neat…as long as it in in random sized chunks and pieces you are more then good {!}

Cover the bottom of a large {tall} pot with olive oil.  Roughly 2 tbsp.  Add onion and cook on low to med heat for about 5 -8 minutes.  Until onion is soft.

Example of large hearty soup pot

While the onion cooks go ahead and chop up the two potatoes.

And the celery and carrots.  I used a bunch of baby carrots for a lack of larger ones.

Add chopped potatoes, carrots, and celery to the pot.  Give a good stir.  With a rustic wooden spoon if you prefer.

Add garlic, the 8 cups of broth {I used chicken but would have normally used vegetable}, the corn, and the 8 cups of broccoli {I used frozen broccoli}.  Give a good stir.

Bring to a boil then lower heat and simmer for about ten minutes.  Potatoes and broccoli should be tender and cooked through.  Since I made this in the morning I turned the heat off after about 10 minutes and let the soup cool down a bit before blending.

Since this is a family sized recipe you can cut it in half for smaller portions.  A hand blender probably would have been a smarter option, but instead I blended it in my regular blender in three batches.  Pouring into a large metal bowl as I emptied the pot.  Yes.  I had a a lot of time on my hands on this cold winter morning.  OR I was avoiding having to brave the outdoors. . .

As I blended each bath I would leave room at the top and add a few handfuls of the spinach.  Do this all three times.  Blend completley.  Then put in fridge if your are serving later.  If you are serving immedietly, pour all the blended soup back in the pot and heat on low to medium heat.

Add the 1/2 cup of milk.  Stir.  Garlic powder to taste.  Salt and pepper to taste.  And a large handful or two of cheese if desired.  When hot everything is ready to serve.

Topped with cheese and a garlic hot sauce.

In all honesty.  Some of the BEST soup.  I.  Have.  Ever.  Ever.  Had.

Now GO.  Go and keep yourself warm and out of the cold with some soup<3

Garlic & Rosemary Hot~Bean Dip

{HOME}

I am beyond excited to be back.

For the first time in 6 months I have access to a kitchen.

Never take that privilege for granted.

AND SO… I present to you

Garlic & Rosemary Hot~Bean Dip

Sometimes you need one of those in-between meals.  Not big enough to count as lunch or dinner, but not just a mere snack either.  What could be better than a hot bean dip.  With sauteed onions, loads of garlic, and the subtle hint of rosemary it is a party for your taste buds.

Garlic & Rosemary Hot~Bean Dip

adapted from Danatreat

3 tbsp olive oil

1 onion

3 cloves of fresh garlic

1-2 tbsp fresh rosemary

2 cans of great northern beans [any white bean would work]

1/2 tsp salt

1 tbsp white wine vinegar

1 tbsp dry bread crumbs

water

black pepper

grated parmesan cheese

Preheat your oven to 350¬įF. ¬†Mince garlic and onion and saut√© with olive oil ( about 1 tbsp) in a saucepan over medium heat until cooked and semitransparent. ¬†Add rosemary and desired amount of salt and pepper and stir till combined. ¬†Transfer into a food processor along with the beans (drained and rinsed), white wine vinegar, 1 tbsp olive oil, 3 tbsp water – and blend.

Combine 1 tbsp olive oil with bread crumbs and parmesan cheese.  Pour the bean mixture into an oven safe dish, use a flat spoon to even out, then top with the bread crumb combo.

Cook for around 20 minutes, until the top is a golden brown and serve hot.  Is great with blue corn chips, or toasted bread.

I ended up topping with some additional shredded cheese at the last moment. ¬†It was great for a mid-afternoon ‘meal’ and would be a perfect appetizer. ¬†Next time I would top with extra rosemary.

bon appétit