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

Just an idea for a fall potato gratin October 28, 2010

Filed under: Food,Recipes — lovemyfood @ 9:10 pm

No recipe, only an idea :)

Use a cookie cutter to cut leaves out of purple potatoes or jewel yams to decorate a simple potato gratin.

Fun and festive :)

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Marjorie in Seattle Review or… where did the Harvest Vine kitchen crew go? October 26, 2010

This post is actually way overdue but better late than never. A few months ago we were sitting having dinner at the Harvest Vine and started a conversation with a guy sitting next to us, he informed us that the owner Joseba Jimenez de Jimenez will no longer oversee the restaurant and that in his opinion it is one of those last great meals we will have there. He said that a Spanish restaurant without the Spanish chef who made it what it is today cannot last. We listened and thought he had a point, though we had 100% confidence in the kitchen crew there was a sad element to this conversation because in every restaurant there is someone who creates the concepts and guides the rest of the kitchen and wait staff, whether its the head chef or the ex-chef turned owner. Unfortunately our random conversation came to fruition, we came to the Harvest Vine a few weeks later and did not recognize a single face in the kitchen; they all left. The question is where did they go???

Marjorie is the answer!

The very talented, awesome crew left to join Donna Moodie and open the new Marjorie on Capitol Hill; and we were very happy to find the familiar faces and great food in a happy, hip and cozy environment, always busy and for all the right reasons. The concept is one of my favorites, small plates of mainly local and seasonal ingredients with various influences including those of Spain; the service is friendly and the wine list is fun. So… now it is our new “go to” place when we are in the mood for fun, delicious and diverse food, especially late in the evening. Please go and enjoy!

Its really really really great!

WWW: http://www.marjorierestaurant.com/

 

Halva Ice Cream May 14, 2010

Filed under: Food,Recipes,Uncategorized — lovemyfood @ 2:42 pm

My husband loves Halva so this ice cream and this post is for him :)

Halva is a traditional sweet made of sesame paste and sugar with various additions, some more traditional like nuts and vanilla and some more modern like cacao or a layer of chocolate. So I figured why shouldn’t I try making an ice cream that tastes like halva…?

You will need:

1  3/4 cup Tahini

1 cup sugar (I used 1 1/2 cups because my husband has a really sweet tooth but I think 1 cup is sufficient for the rest of us) 

2 cups of milk

2 tsp vanilla

Now, about the main ingredient – Tahini (sesame paste); it is liquid and if its a good one it has a layer of oil on top which you just have to stir in before using. I prefer imported Tahini from the Middle East to the US manufactured one, it has a better flavor and texture, though I cannot explain the reason (maybe a different variety of sesame…?).

I mixed the Tahini with the sugar and then added the milk and vanilla and churned normally on high speed like I usually do, the ice cream is amazingly creamy and has a superb texture and if it wasn’t for all the sugar it would have been almost healthy :) Feel free to add nuts, especially Pistachios at the end of the churning process or just sprinkle them on top when serving.

Enjoy!

 

Chocolate Covered Marzipan Truffles May 13, 2010

Filed under: Food,Recipes,Uncategorized — lovemyfood @ 10:22 pm

Its been a while since I made those but since they could be made for any occasion and in any season I will allow myself to blog about them now :)

I made these for my husbands birthday back in February and they were a smashing success! They are super easy to make and require no skills or tools or anything of the sort.

What you need is some good marzipan (baking section of your grocery store)

Good quality dark chocolate (you can use milk chocolate but I do not think its as good)

Dried cherries (or prunes, especially if you soak them in brandy for example, or maybe some raisins… well you get the idea)

You can also dip some (or all) of your truffles in chopped nuts or cacao :)

So here is how:

Marzipan is often sold in logs (about 1.5 inches, 3-4 cm, in diameter), which makes it even easier, just cut into discs about 1/3 inch/1 cm thick and flatten out. Put your dried fruit of choice (I used 2 cherries per truffle) in the center, close it with your fingers and roll like you were tought in kindergarten until you have a little ball. Repeat until out of Marzipan :)

Melt your chocolate over a Bain Marie until glossy (I do not have a candy thermometer and am doing just fine); dip your marzipans in it with the help of a pair of trusty toothpicks and let dry on a piece of parchment or alternatively roll in a bowl of chopped nuts and then let dry. Store in an airtight container for a few weeks (as if they will last that long…….).

 

Cured Duck Breast with Onion jam, Lentils and a Poached Egg April 2, 2010

Filed under: Food,Recipes — lovemyfood @ 11:37 pm

Overall this recipe takes about 3 1/2 weeks to prepare :) but if you wish you can cheat and purchase some duck prosciutto though it won’t be the same and curing meat, like baking your own bread and making your own jam like your grand mother did has a certain satisfaction to it. It is a slow process, it requires patience and time, many of us do not have either but I think this one is worth it especially since it is really not labor intensive. You begin with a duck breast, try to pick a “meaty” one because approximately half of the volume will disappear as it cures. Season the duck with the mixture of salt and spices (for a one pound breast you will need 1 1/2 Tbsp coarse salt, 1 1/2 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper, 1/2 Tbsp sugar, a scant 1 tsp red pepper flakes, 1/2 Tbsp fresh chopped rosemary and an equal amount of lemon thyme leaves), wrap in wax paper (loosely, no need to overdo it) and let it sit in your fridge for four days, unwrap and tie a kitchen twine around it as you would do to a present and hang it in your fridge, put a small plate underneath for some loose spices to fall on to. Leave in the fridge for three weeks, don’t worry it won’t spoil or rot or anything of the sort as it is being air cured like your beloved prosciutto for example. Do mark your calendar though :)

The rest of the dish will take about an hour from start to finish and its beauty is the fact it should be at room temperature which makes it suitable for any season as well as any meal – a lunch or a dinner,an appetizer or a main course.

Begin by taking the duck breast out of the fridge and letting it come to room temperature while you are preparing everything else now go on with the lentils (one cup for two large main courses or four appetizers)… Cook them in plain boiling water, nothing fancy really (no salt yet). Meanwhile start on the onion jam, chop one small red onion into small pieces, heat up some olive oil in a small pan and saute the onions until golden, add the juice of one orange and let it simmer over low heat until the juice is gone, add the juice of another orange and repeat; add salt and pepper to taste and let cool. By that time the lentils should be done (maybe even sooner depending on the lentils your choose and how fresh they are). In a bowl mix three tablespoons of olive oil, two tablespoons red wine vinegar, two-three cloves of garlic (minced) a pinch of salt and a pinch of red pepper flakes; drain the lentils and add to the olive oil and vinegar concoction (love that word!), mix well and let sit until cool. Slice the duck breast, thin slices, poach the eggs and eat quickly while the egg yolk is still warm and runny! By the way, if you do not feel comfortable poaching the eggs you can fry them, sunny side up!

I hope your patience will be rewarded :) I know mine was.

 

Lark in Seattle Review March 29, 2010

This review is quite overdue given my love for restaurants and food. Lark has been open for quite a while and we had plans to go there quite a few times but it never materialized. It is in a lively strip of 12th avenue (corner of Spring street), right by Seattle University, and is surrounded by lots of other establishments. The space is lovely but unfortunately I cannot rave about the food or wine list.

First thing first – the wine list is tiny (probably about 15-20 choices for red wine, less so for white and very few options by the glass), and no I am not a wine snob, but I did feel the list was not appropriate for diverse clientele. Prices ranging from $40 to $120 limit the selection even further as different people have different financial abilities. After having some wine on bar stools (and not by the bar) while waiting for our table, we had the hostess graciously spill wine on my husband’s pants and on my coat but that was just an accident though the rest of the service was not professional enough in my opinion.  

Now for the food, the Yellowtail carpaccio I heard so much about… nice and fresh with some fennel and green olives leaving a pleasant aftertaste but… the quality of the fish was not produced by the restaurant so the credit I am giving this dish is minimal. Its not that it wasn’t good, it just required minimal effort from the kitchen. The Foie Gras terrine was mediocre in my opinion, too much fat and not enough liver, it came with candied black olives which I found to be interesting and some sliced rhubarb which was slightly out of place when combined with the olives. I also had a chance to taste the Nettle soup, a distant memory from my childhood, it was nice. Out of the warm dishes we had the pork belly which in my opinion was superb, the best dish in the whole meal, just melts in your mouth! Dessert was fairly plain (they ran out of three out of five or six desserts by the time we got the menu), a rhubarb crostata with lemony mascarpone – very very basic for a place that gets so much attention and praise – it would have been a lovely dessert on a farmer’s market somewhere but not in a restaurant with such reputation.

Overall, I do not intend to go back, but I am planning to go visit a few places down the street :)

WWW: http://www.larkseattle.com

Address: 926 12th Ave, Seattle   Tel: (206) 323-5275

 

Txori in Seattle – Review February 18, 2010

They have been open for a couple of years now but we had no opportunity to visit this place – shame on us! This place carries out the traditions of its parent restaurant (The Harvest Vine on E. Madison avenue which is my absolute favorite out of all Seattle area restaurants by the way) which in turn carries out the traditions of Spain, the Basque country in particular.

Txori is a San Sebastian style pintxos place, which means small bites, even smaller that the more popular and known tapas (served at the Harvest Vine). The place is small, the staff is friendly and the hours are 12 pm to 1 am Thu-Sat (12 pm to 11 pm the rest of the week) which gives you the opportunity to come for lunch, an afternoon aperitif, a great dinner or some midnight munchies.

The offerings are diverse; from cheeses and salumi to olives, seafood, vegetables and meat. Quite a few dishes are served on toasted bread and contain sunny side up eggs :) The wine and cocktail list is great and all goes well together creating a piece of Spain here in Seattle.

Now go!!! :)

WWW: http://txoribar.com/

Address: 2207 2nd Avenue, Seattle  Tel: 206.204.9771