For the love of food

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens*Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens*Brown paper packages tied up with strings*These are a few of my favorite things*Cream colored ponies and crisp apple streudels*Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles*Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings*These are a few of my favorite things*Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes*Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes*Silver white winters that melt into springs*These are a few of my favorite things

Spicy Chickpea soup for the changing weather October 7, 2009

Filed under: Food,Recipes — lovemyfood @ 8:32 pm

Fall is officially here, the leaves are colorful, the mornings are cold and the stove and oven get some over time. This soup is heavy and spicy making it a perfect meal on a cold evening or after you come home soaked because your umbrella broke. It does require some planning ahead because you need to soak the chickpeas overnight but when this is done you do the following:

Wash chickpeas and discard soaking water, transfer to a pig pot adding 8-10 cups of water, 2 dry chillies, 3 crushed garlic cloves, stems from 1/2 a bunch of Cilantro (you will you use the leaves later) and salt. Cook until tender with the lid closed.

Meanwhile, pre-heat oven to 375 F, prick a few holes in the eggplant and roast it for 40 minutes. Let cool, peel off the skin and roughly chop.

When chickpeas are done, strain reserving the liquid. Discard garlic, peppers and cilantro.

Heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a smaller pot, add 2 chopped shalots, 1 crushed clove of garlic, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp ground coriander, pinch of smoked paprika (1/4 tsp), pinch of turmeric and 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes and saute for a couple of minutes until shalots are translucent and spices fragrant. Add the eggplant and 2/3 of the chickpeas, stir. Add 6 cups of the cooking liquid and simmer for 10 minutes. Puree with a stick blender or if your food processor. Add remaining chickpeas, 1 chopped fresh hot pepper and the finely chopped 1/2 bunch of cilantro leaves. Add a squeeze of lime juice.

Serve with sour cream and fresh chopped mint.

 Spicy chikpea soup

Full ingredient list:

1 cup dry chickpeas

4 cloves of garlic

1/2 bunch cilantro

2 dry chillies

1 eggplant

2 shalots

turmeric, smoked paprica, ground coriander, cumin, chili flakes, salt, olive oil

1 fresh chili pepper

juice from 1/4 lime

fresh mint and sour cream


Via Tribunali in Seattle – Review

Another Seattle pizzeria chain certified by the Verace Pizza Napoletana Association. It is less casual then the previously reviewed Tutta Bella and hence slightly more expensive. The pizza is good, tomato sauce is delicious but for my taste there was a tiny bit too much of it and not enough of the Bufala mozzarella (one more slice would have been a very welcome addition). Overall the place is very nice (we went to the Queen Anne location) but was absolutely deserted on Sunday night.



Jumbo Shrimp with Coconut Rice

Filed under: Food,Recipes — lovemyfood @ 3:44 pm

This one has Asian influences, something you get really accustomed to living in the Pacific Northwest both here in WA state as well as in British Columbia due to the large Asian communities. I personally love those ingredients so frequently used in Asian cooking – the hot colorful peppers, the incredibly fresh taste of ginger and lime, the cool cilantro leaves and the fragrant sesame and peanut oils. I like it that the use of salt is minimal and when it is required it is often substituted with soy sauce. I like the contrasts of colors and the balance of flavors and try to use them more in my own kitchen. This recipe has a good balance of sweet risotto consistency coconut rice and very flavorful slightly spicy shrimp, I love it!

Step zero: preheat the oven to 450 F – shrimp cook very well in the dry heat and stay moist and perfect.

Now, you should start with the rice. I use Arborio rice, the one you would normally use for risotto and a similar technique. Saute the rice for a couple of minutes over medium heat in a bit of peanut oil (use sesame, canola or grape seed if you don’t have peanut) until translucent. Reduce the heat slightly and add 1/5 of the coconut milk, and wait for it to evaporate almost completely stirring occasionally. Continue adding the coconut milk 1/5 at a time but after the 3rd addition close the lid, season with a bit of salt if you wish. While the rice cooks prepare the shrimp and put it in the oven a few minutes before the rice is cooked through – after you add the last portion of the coconut milk. 

*** For 2 people you will need 1/2 cup rice, 1 small can of coconut milk and a pinch of salt.

Now the shrimp (the rice is already cooking) – peel leaving the tails on. I think 5 jumbo shrimp per person is sufficient, therefore the quantities bellow correspond to 10 shrimp in total.

Chop the following:

1/2 stem lemon grass, tough and dry outer layer removed

1 to 2 Tbsp fresh ginger

1 shalot

1 hot pepper

2-3 garlic cloves

Put all the above in your baking dish and mix-in 2 Tbsp of sesame oil. Toss in the shrimp and coat them well with the oil distributing the ginger/garlic/shalot/pepper evenly. Do that as soon as you put the rice on to let the shrimp absorb some of the flavors before you actually cook it. The cooking time for the shrimp is only a few minutes so do watch them as soon as they are in the oven.

To serve sprinkle with some fresh chopped cilantro and some chopped peanuts if you wish :)

I appologize for the picture quality, lighting was horrible and I was hungry…  P1110172


Blue Cheese Souffle with Fig and Candied Walnuts salad

Filed under: Food,Recipes — lovemyfood @ 3:06 pm

Blue-cheese souffle

It only looks fancy and complicated but honestly its really not a big deal! It is a full meal, especially if you make them as big as I did and it really does take 15 minutes to make and another 30 minutes to bake so nothing you wouldn’t put up on a regular day. You can even make the cheese mixture in advance and reheat it very slowly and very gently just before baking; and just so you know, “older” egg whites i.e. ones that were in your fridge for a short while hold up their shape and volume better when you beat them than the ones you just separated.

Blue cheese souffle with fig salad

The souffle – for 2 large (!!!)  portions:

1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

1/2 cup milk

1  1/2 Tbsp butter & some for greasing the mold

2 Tbsp flour


white pepper


2 eggs, separated

To make:

1) Pre-heat oven to 425 F. Butter molds and refrigerate.

2) Bring milk to a boil, set aside.

3) Melt the butter in a small sauce pan, whisk in the flour and cook for a couple of minutes whisking to prevent it from coloring. Remove from the heat and slowly whisk in the hot milk. Bring to a boil over medium heat and season with salt, white pepper and nutmeg. Reduce the heat and simmer, whisking at all times, for about 10 minutes until its thick. Remove from the heat.

4) Mix in  the egg yolks into the milk, one at a time and then add the cheese. Mix well & cover to keep warm.

5) Beat the egg whites to stiff peaks, whisk 1/3 of the egg whites into the cheese mixture  and then gently fold the remainder.

6) Divide the mixture between the souffle molds, coming at about 3/4 cm (1/4 inch)  from the rim. Bake for 15 minutes.

7) Reduce heat to 375 F and bake until puffed and golden, another 15 minutes or so.

DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN DOOR, NEVER! It will not rise properly!

The Salad –  2 portions:

* 2 handfuls baby greens

* 1/3 cup candied walnuts. How to make:  in a small pan, over low heat,  combine walnuts with a  couple tablespoons of water and srpinkle some sugar on top, when heated through and water evaporates transfer the walnuts onto a wax paper lined baking sheet separating them all and just let air dry.

* 2 figs, quartered

* a drizzle of good quality balsamic vinegar and a tiny drizzle of honey (1/2 tsp per person) and you are done!