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Archive for January, 2008

Eggplant and Cod Charmoula

I was looking at the Gratins cookbook the other day and two recipes caught my attention – a eggplant parmiggiano gratin and a potato salmon gratin. Now i’m kind of tired of creamy/cheesy stuff and not particularly fond of salmon so the initial thinking took shape of a roasted eggplant topped with charmoula marinated white fish.

Eggplant_cod_charmoula

It came out very nice – served with the rest of charmoula sauce and tahini sauce on the side. And warm pitas of course. So nice that i feel compelled to write down the recipe for the next time.

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Crepas Poblano

Blinis and caviar was the inspiration for the sort of celebratory dinner this weekend. Took the further – stuffed crepes served with salmon roe.

Crepas_poblano

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Gratin of Mussels and Potatoes

The idea came from Hamersley’s Bistro Cooking at Home. The original recipe seemed too rich and redundant – what’s with this ham and flour and so much cream. I doubled the amount of spinach (next time i’ll triple it), halved the cream (even less can be used), skipped the ham, layered roasted sliced spanish onion on top of spinach and mussels and next time won’t use bread crumbs. The resulting dish was delicious and still rich, and mussels were of a perfect texture – which was actually quite a surprise – i expected them to be overcooked.

Mussels_potato_gratin

The interesting part was a beer pairing – while cooking i accidentally poured myself a glass of St.Ambroise oatmeal stout and was surprised how well it balanced the gratin flavor. At the table we served Coal Porter and it worked very well too.

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Gratin of Mussels and Potatoes

The idea came from Hamersley’s Bistro Cooking at Home. The original recipe seemed too rich and redundant – what’s with this ham and flour and so much cream. I doubled the amount of spinach (next time i’ll triple it), halved the cream (even less can be used), skipped the ham, layered roasted sliced spanish onion on top of spinach and mussels and next time won’t use bread crumbs. The resulting dish was delicious and still rich, and mussels were of a perfect texture – which was actually quite a surprise – i expected them to be overcooked.

Mussels_potato_gratin

The interesting part was a beer pairing – while cooking i accidentally poured myself a glass of St.Ambroise oatmeal stout and was surprised how well it balanced the gratin flavor. At the table we served Coal Porter and it worked very well too.

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A Pie for Breakfast

Finally got a Flatbread cookbook by Alford/Duguid and immediately found there an interesting recipe for a persian eggs and greens pie. Not exactly a pie but more of a frittata. Herbs and greens galore: leeks, scallions, parsley, dill, cilantro, spinach and lettuce mixed with eggs, just a tiny bit of flour, as well as some yogurt and baking powder to lighten the texture. Also walnuts – either mixed in or used as a topping. Then everything is slow baked  – suggested to be eaten either warm or at room temp with a lot of bread.

Persian_herbs_eggs_pie

Very good and we ate it warm for breakfast, with hummus… And then later when we came back home at lunch time hungry, the pie got even better at room temp, even just by itself.

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A Piperade with a Twist

While fetching remaining field red peppers at Whole Foods i thought that some piperade would be a nice side for our traditional slow grilled chicken wings. Also had some watercress at home so adopting the idea of Gordon Hamersley i decided to stir it into the piperade at the end.

Grilled_chicken_wings_and_piperade 

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A Dreamy Artichoke Gratin

Ever since i stumbled on "a dreamy artichoke gratin" as a description of one of the dishes in Suzanne Goin’s Lucques restaurant i became restless. Her book includes several gratins but none of them looked like a possible candidate for approximation except for the fennel one. I made and posted about it before but honestly though tasty it’s more rustic than dreamy. And then suddenly i see a recipe for artichoke/swiss chard gratin in Hamersley’s Bistro Cooking. Well silky swiss chard is an epitome of dreaminess. But wait a min: don’t i have generous leftovers of roasted radicchio from yesterday?… Allez cuisine!

Dreamy_artichoke_gratin_2

Rich and complex in flavor, without being overloaded with cream or cheese, it was a great dish indeed.

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