Pages

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Eggs Orsini aka "GrEggs Orsini"

 The first official sort of holiday I spent with my beau and his family - kids, ex-wife - was father's day. Inquiring what his favorite brunch meal was, his ex told me he loved Eggs Orsini.

Eggs Orsini? I had never heard of it, but thank God for Google, something popped up when I went searching for this elegant sounding dish.

The story goes that Monet was quite the gourmet and had a guest at his house by the name of Count Orsini and he prepared eggs for him in this manner: Whip egg whites, slide the yolks into little holes of the whites and bake into a souffle like dish with gruyere cheese grated on top. Voila! Fancy and simple, all rolled in one.

So I diligently made Eggs Orsini, but they lacked the excitement of "GrEggs Orsini" which include the phyllo cups in which the dainty souffle-bearing yolks are cradled. Now that's fun!

In the original GrEggs Orsini recipe, it calls for placing the phyllo in a "taco shell mold." Not to be daunted since I lacked this culinary tool, I made foil "collars" and all turned out swimmingly!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Nora's Avocado Potato Salad

My friend Nora Herold was my spiritual guide for many years and she is also a great cook! Occasionally she will share a recipe with me and it lands here so that I can share it with you. (Check out these raw brownies! AMAZING!!)

She often posts recipes on her facebook feed, which currently is the only place to find them (until she publishes a cookbook as she's always threatening to do!) Inspired by her faerie friends, she usually is creating vegan or raw or some combination of those cuisines. Here's a potato salad that sounds super delicious and fresh!

In case you are not familiar with the creamy properties of avocados (especially those super ripe ones), add this to your repertoire where it subs for mayonnaise. Puree it with mustard, lemon juice, cucumber and season well. Pour it over cooked potatoes, fresh herbs and cherry tomatoes and it's a summer party in your mouth!

I've recorded the recipe as she did on Facebook - it gives you a flavor of her personality which is fun, open and totally accessible!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Garam Masala Salmon with Mango Peach Salsa

One of the greatest delightful surprises about where I now call home is the abundance of incredible, local, (and reasonably priced!) salmon. Our co-op fish counter carries sockeye, king, and steelhead (a cousin of salmon) and almost always for less than $20 a lb. You will often find me at said counter ogling without shame and taking home salmon at least once a week when it's in season (which seems to last longer when it's local, lucky us!)

Since variety is the spice of life, preparing it in different ways is always my goal. When I noticed that altufo mangos were ripe and cheap, they went into my basket along with some of the first peaches of the season to make the delicious salsa pictured above. Mango peach salsa is delicious on anything but it went especially well with the slightly spicy mix of garam masala. And a quick meal to prepare!

Altufo mangos are much smaller mangos than the ones usually available, but their flesh is softer, sweeter and less fibrous than their bigger cousins. At $1 each, they were a steal!

If you deseed and devein the serrano pepper, there is hardly any heat to this dish; garam masala generally lends only a hint of cayenne as well. If you are a heat seeker, go whole hog and add more serranos to your salsa!

Other Salmon recipes to try:

Creme Fraiche Salmon and Peas
Four Spice Salmon
Grilled Salmon with Sweet Chipotle Glaze
Sesame Salmon
Hoisin Marinated Salmon

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Chickenless Nuggets with Harissa Mayo

Ok, you can admit it, chicken nuggets are the sort of thing that most food-conscious people are pretty horrified at, even the so called natural versions. Really, do yourself a favor and do not look at the ingredients. Just eat in terrible guilty pleasure and be done with it.

Or, make these chickenless version and eat guilt free!

Freezing tofu, defrosting it and squeezing out the liquid turns it into a sponge and marinating it in faux chicken broth gives it a wonderful flavor and texture. It's light, and crisps beautifully when fried and has a subtle chicken flavor. It seems like a long process, but planning ahead is really the only requirement, and that's not hard!

Make a double batch, because trust me, just like their hideous unnatural counterparts, these are totally addictive and you'll want more. The good news is, you can gorge without shame!

Don't feel tied to the harissa mayonnaise; since there was some homemade harissa in the house (whoot whoot!) we added it to some mayonnaise and dipped to our heart's content. But any dipping sauce of choice - BBQ, Ranch, Bleu Cheese dressing - would probably be just as delicious!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Harissa - DIY Pantry

I don't know why or how I decided to make a Moroccan Feast one fateful night in January 2009, but it was love at first bite ever since.

At that point in time, Harissa was totally new to me and that version was made with hot pepper flakes. While it was perfect for that meal, this updated version blows my mind. It's made with whole dried peppers that are soaked and deseeded and then pureed with the remaining ingredients. The result is less fire and more flavor and we can't get enough of it!

And if you're at all interested in Moroccan, buy Mourad New Moroccan; not only is he the real deal, but he knows how to write about food preparation and in beautiful, image filled detail. Make your own couscous! Really! What you get in the store is like the couscous version of freeze-dried rice they use in rice-a-roni! Who knew! And as he writes, even if you never roll your own couscous, just reading about the process is fascinating!

A fun cooking tip from me to you:

In case you did not know, small mouth mason jars will fit your blender blade. In fact blenders used to be sold with a half pint mason jar as part of the standard equipment. My blender carafe broke years ago and I only use mason jars on my blender. It's great for making sauces like harissa. Try it, you'll love it!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Sticky Sesame Tofu

Smitten Kitchen is probably my favorite food blog. Deb is funny, fun, irreverent, and always makes food that I want to try. Although I am not easily seduced by food porn, she manages to make her posts look both appealing and doable, a real feat when some of the photos in the blogspere look like they took hours to photograph!

When her Sticky Sesame Chicken Wings made an appearance, I knew tofu was a perfect veggie version of this Asian treat. And my diners heartily agreed!

If you're really looking carefully, you will recognize those noodles as Mei Fun Noodles from this post. Yup, they're so good and fun! that they make a fairly regular appearance at our dinner table!