Friday, October 17, 2014

Breakfast Delight-Dill Pesto&Scrambled Eggs Baguette

Are you traveling light or are you the kind of traveler that brings half his home with him, just in case?
I belonged for years to the second category, bringing heavy suitcases along, causing astonished looks from fellow travelers and furious ones from my husband. He is usually a very relaxed and patient guy , but when it comes to too much luggage....
I know, I know, over packing tops the list of biggest travel mistakes but the temptation of being prepared for every kind of weather, occasion, sport, allergy- whatever - was irresistible.
Until I got my luggage lost at a Spanish airport and had to live out of my emergency package from my hand luggage for 2 days.
First, I wanted to faint, then I remembered all the Jungle Camp and Survivor reality shows ( I seriously compared me to them, being in Madrid!!) and thought, if they could I could manage too.
Realizing how little you really need and still being able to have fun was surprising.
Of course I tricked a bit and shopped for 2 or 3 basic things.
No, it was not a Chanel suit, just a shampoo ( I hate the one you usually get at the hotel) and an umbrella.
Lesson learned, I'm traveling light since then, bringing only the basics and actually enjoying my new freedom.
Should I ever have an emergency like being invited spontaneously by the Queen, I'll buy what I need , but not bring it along just in case.
So this week we are traveling to Colombia and despite of the two climate zones we will be visiting, my luggage will be a small one and my husbands smile a big one.

But before leaving, I wanted to share with you this little breakfast or brunch treat that makes you start the day with an energy kick and will spoil your taste buds.

You need:
4 thin slices Prosciutto
30g ( about 1/2 cup) fresh dill
40g pine nuts
30g grated parmesan
1 clove of garlic
3 spoonful olive oil ( this is aprox. depending on the consistency of the mixture)
1/2 baguette, cut in medium slices
For the scrambled eggs:
4 eggs
1/2 spoonful olive oil
1 teaspoon butter
1 spoonful whole milk
salt and pepper
-Bake prosciutto on parchment paper at 200 C until crisp.
-Mix dill, parmesan, garlic and pine nuts in a food processor adding bit by bit the olive oil until obtaining a smooth mixture.

-Roast baguette slices in oven until golden brown and crispy.
-Whisk whole eggs with milk, salt and pepper thoroughly to incorporate air.

-Heat olive oil and melt butter in a non stick pan. Don't overheat, this will discolor the egg mixture.
-Let the mixture just sit, then, with a wooden spoon or a flexible heat proofed spatula scrape the bottom frequently until just set.

-Do not overcook! The egg mixture should be soft and still a bit moist.
-Spread pesto evenly on the baguette slices.
-Top with scrambled eggs and crispy prosciutto

Serve immediately
Serves about 12p.











Thursday, October 2, 2014

Gingered Carrot Orange Soup

Springtime has officially started in our hemisphere but it seems that the climate didn't get the news: they days are still grey and cold.
So I thought it would be nice to have something vitamin loaded and colorful on the table.
Have you ever had a graving for something orange colored that doesn't taste like pumpkin ?
Carrots are the answer!
This soup is a firework of flavors and is great for your health too.
Immune boosting ingredients, the natural sweetness of carrots and a spicy ginger touch.
Its great to warm you up on a chilly autumn evening and cheer you up with its bright, orange color.
In Lima, even outside its still winter, people are flocking to fitness centers, running, cycling and hiring personal trainers.
It's probably not the kind of people that are working out the whole year round for health and fitness reasons but the ones that are panicking because summer is around the corner and they want to bring their bodies in shape.
Lima is a city located at the sea, beaches are always crowded and you know what they say about competition and the laws of the free market.....
Anyhow, this is a recipe sans regret for the health,figure and fitness conscious.
You need:
500g organic carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
11/2 spoonful Olive oil
1/2 cup yellow onions, finely chopped
1 spoonful freshly grated ginger
1 clove
11/2 l vegetable stock
crème fraiche or sour cream for decoration
1 spoonful chopped cilantro or parsley ( I personally prefer cilantro, it adds a nice flavor to the spicy sweetness of this soup)
1/2 cup freshly squeezes orange juice
1teaspoon orange zest
In a large pot sauté the onions and garlic until onions are translucent and fragrant.

Add carrots and ginger and sauté untril slightly soft.

Add stock, bring to a boil then turn down the heat and let simmer until carrots are soft.

Add orange juice and season with salt and freshly grated black pepper.
Let the mixture cool down, then add the soup to a blender or food processor and blend until a purred soup forms.

Add orange zest, serve hot and decorate with a bit of crème fraiche and cilantro.

Serves 6 p.


Friday, September 19, 2014

Roquefort Mousse With Poached Pears And Crunchy Almonds





 This week, the whole city of Lima is in excitement.
Mistura, Latin America's largest festival of cuisine has opened its doors.
In literally every corner there is something cooking, frying, steaming or baking.
As I'm still in convalescence, I didn't have the energy to visit Mistura. It's always crowded and people are queuing up to visit the different stands.
But I was following the event on TV and everything looked very impressive.
It's a time when people celebrate the nation's rich culinary tradition, incredible biodiversity to the rhythm of dances and folk music from all over the country.
the fair is divided in five sections:
1. The Grand Market
where more than 250 producers and farmers display their regional products.

 2. The Bazaar
Side by side you can admire the latest  kitchen products and accessories.
Additionally, the best known gastronomic schools and academies offer information about their courses and professional careers.
3. The Bakery Stand
this stand attracts visitors not only by the sight but as well for the beautiful aromas of freshly baked bread and sweets. More than 50 varieties of bread made with wheat, sweet potato, potato, sugar cane and a vast variety of Andean herbs are offered here.
4. The Chocolate stand
Peruvian Cocoa is known and appreciated for it's outstanding quality.
This stand is a paradise for chocolate lovers.
5.The Pisco and Coffee Salon.
Pisco is Peru's flagship liquor and here you can savor the best Pisco's, enjoy it's incredible aromas and flavors and learn about the production of this exquisite liquor.
The stand makes as well the delight of all coffee lovers. Coffee is produced in a region between Andeans and the jungle and is of outstanding quality.
I remember when we lived in Switzerland and I met an high executive from Nestle. When I mentioned that we where going to Peru, he told me: for me, they have the best coffee beans in the world. You can imagine how amazed and proud I felt after that!
If you want to see more about Mistura, click the link below:

After so much reading and watching people cooking, I got hungry.
I opened my fridge and found a piece of gorgeous Roquefort.
So why not try out an elegant Roquefort mousse with poached pears?
I tried this once at an Embassy dinner but didn't have the exact measurements and wasn't sure if I could recall all the ingredients.
After a quick check I had  cheese, crème fraiche and pears. Only walnuts and Rosemary were missing which wasn't a big deal to buy. Instead of walnuts I found only almonds, which tasted as good in this mousse as the original walnuts.
The result of the recipe was truly amazing.
The soft texture of the Roquefort and the natural sweetness of pears and the crunchy almonds made a perfect combination.
Here is what you need:
100g of Rouqefort  (softened,at room temperature)
1/2 cup of  crème fraiche
1/2 pear, peeled and cut into small cubes
1/2 cup dry wine
1 teaspoon lemon zest
 1/2l water
1 small rosemary twig
1 clove
4 walnuts or almonds, toasted and roughly chopped
1 thin slice of Prosciutto, and split into 4 pieces.

Place water with sugar, white wine, cloves, lemon zest and rosemary in a small pot.

 bring to simmer, place pear cubes in it and let simmer for about 5 minutes or until pear is soft al dente
Strain pear cubes and dry with a kitchen towel.
Set aside.
Place the softened Roquefort and crème fraiche in a bow and whisk until mixture is soft and creamy.
 If necessary, add a little bit more crème fraiche or pear liquid.
Add the pear cubes and mix carefully.
Serve in shot glasses and sprinkle with the toasted walnuts.

Chill for about 1/2 hour before serving.
Place 1 crispy prosciutto piece for decoration on the top of the mousse.(See instructions for the crisp prosciutto at Breakfast De Luxe)
Serves 2 p.








Thursday, September 4, 2014

Saffron Risotto With Baby Asparragus And Prosciutto

Dear all,
hope you had a wonderful time celebrating summer in all its splendor, enjoying the gorgeous fresh fruits and veggies, gifts of this season and preparing delicious and inspiring new kitchen creations.
I had actually a great vacation, involving lots of travelling in mind.
We wanted to explore several regions of Peru we have not been yet and enjoy some time at the beach.
But instead of appreciating beautiful sunsets at the beach, nourishing my usual sunburn and counting my mosquito bites, I had to stay home due to some health issues.
Thank heavens everything is going well so far and I'm feeling much better.
So very sorry to have to disappoint you, but no new travel post this time. Instead, I hope you will enjoy this delicious, colorful saffron risotto.
My son Rafael is here for a visit and he enjoys cooking for friends, so we decided to take a culinary trip together and prepare our favorite risotto.
I must confess that usually I'm quite territorial in the kitchen, but  we managed to create our little dream team and no boarder conflict so far.
The saffron risotto turned out luscious and creamy, tasted heavenly and was very easy to prepare.
Anyhow, I'm very happy to be back, missed you all a lot and I'm looking forward to reading all your posts I've been missing during my absence.

You need:
1 cup risotto rice ( Arborio, vialone nano, or other short or medium-grain Italian rice)
6 cups vegetable stock ( I prefer homemade one) The amount of stock is aprox., depending on which rice you use
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon saffron
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan (optional)
1 cup baby asparagus, only the heads cut into 2 inch length
1/2 cup prosciutto, roughly chopped 
salt and freshly ground pepper
Heat olive oil in a large saucepan. Cook onions until translucent.
Add rice and stir until edges are translucent.
  It will look this beautiful and shinning
In another pot bring stock to simmer.
Add the wine and 1/2 cup of stock to the rice mixture.
Than add the saffron. Enjoy its golden deliciousness.
Stir and cook until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Add another 1/2 cup of broth and keep cooking, stirring and adding stock until the risotto is soft.After adding the last 1/2 cup of broth add butter, asparagus and prosciutto.   Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan(optional)
  Enjoy! Serves 4p.


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

See You In September!

Dear all,
will be on vacation during August, looking forward to seeing you again in September.
Have a great summer!



Monday, July 14, 2014

Fresh And Light : Summerfruit Terrine

What does a foodie under stress?
Goes straight to the kitchen and prepares something comforting and yummy.
After a hectic week involving a small traffic accident (fortunately only a fender bender) I was taking refugee in my kitchen practicing a kind of gourmet yoga,
After lots of OOOms and some goodie sample testing I recovered my mental peace :)
Lima is a great city but traffic is..hmm..exciting.
Traffic rules are "flexible" and due to interpretation of the one with the more powerful car.
Don't get me wrong, I love to drive here because it provides you with the perfect adrenalin kick and strengthens your ability  to react on the spot.
It's a kind of daily surviving training on an asphalt jungle and can win you the title of Iron Driver.
If you think I'm exaggerating check out this link from the TV series "You don't want to drive here"
which has devoted a whole chapter to traffic in Lima.
Back to my kitchen I decided that something fresh,light  and easy to prepare would be the perfect way to relax.

This terrine is a stunner for summer parties and even people who usually don't eat dessert cause of diet reasons will love it.
And nobody will suspect it's so easy to make.
This is what you need:

About 900g of fresh summer fruits like strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and white or black grapes.
-2 sachets of unflavored gelatin powder (11g  or 1/4 ounce each)
-2 cups cranberry juice or rose wine
-1/4 cup sugar , if you use rose wine take 1/2 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Remove stalks and halve or quarter strawberries so that they are not much larger than the other berries.

Gently mix together fruits in a large bowl.
Place berries in a loaf pan ( 6 cups capacity). Put some of the smaller berries on the bottom of the loaf pan.

Bring 1/2 the cranberry juice or Rose wine to a boil.

Remove from heat and whisk Gelatin powder, sugar and lime juice into it.

Make sure that everything has dissolved well, than add remaining fruit juice and let the mixture cool down.
*If you want some delicious extra flavor add 1 spoonful of fresh raspberry puree.
Pour gelatin mixture over the berries mixture until covered.

Lay a sheet of cling film over the tin.

Place another loaf pan or something similar to act as weight over the cling film to weight the mixture down and refrigerate over night or until firm.

Dip bottom of pan in hot water for about 10 seconds to unmold.
Slice with a sharp knife and decorate with some strawberry or mint leaves.

Serve pure or with Greek yogurt or Crème fraiche.
Serves 10 to 12 portions.

















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