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Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Mushroom Risotto

A true classic, the mushroom risotto! And like with all the classics, using good quality ingredients and following a few simple steps to the letter is the key to achieving great results. I'd say this is one of my signature dishes, and an all time Italian food lovers favourite.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Roasted Aubergine & Cherry Tomato Ravioli with Pesto

This is a truly excellent dish, if I may say so myself :-) Roasting the aubergine and cherry tomatoes before whizzing them up for the filling really concentrates their flavour, and as a result each mouthful of  ravioli is an explosion of delight.  I chose to serve them drizzled with pesto, as aubergine and tomato both marry well with garlic and basil to make a scrumptious, summery pasta dish.

Coconut Biscuits with Dark Chocolate Topping

A lovely treat to enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee, these biscuits are also easily transportable, and therefore suited for a picnic buffet. For the topping, I used dark chocolate with 50% cocoa solids, as it tastes less bitter and is a good compromise even for milk chocolate lovers.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Chickpea & Millet Falafels

Millet is the "new kid on the block" in the world of grains. Its popularity has increased significantly over the past few months, due to its health benefits such as being easy to digest, gluten-free, high in fibres and antioxidants. Consequently, it is being featured in more and more recipes in magazines, blogs and restaurants. Regardless of how fashionable it is right now, I am vouching for it as it is also truly delicious and a great core ingredients for tasty creations, such as these chickpea and millet falafels. They would be a fantastic addition to your a picnic basket or office lunchbox, do give them a try.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Salted Caramel Millionaire's Shortbread

My love affair with salted caramel, which I currently seem to be sharing with the whole world, continues. This time, the heavenly ingredient takes its proud place in the heart-attack provoking confection that is millionaire's shortbread. If you are not familiar with shortbread, know that it is a biscuit made with an obscene quantity of butter, originating from Scotland. At some point an evil mind, or perhaps a genius (depending on your point of view!), had the idea of covering this delicious but already very rich biscuit with a layer of caramel and another one of chocolate, hence creating the millionaire's shortbread: a deluxe version of the "humble" original!  It packs a zillion calories a bite, so I recommend you approach it with care :-), but its pure decadence makes it the epitome of a sweet treat!

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Prawn & Lobster Ravioli in a Lobster Bisque Sauce

I have just invested in a new, top of the range pasta making machine, and I must say I am so happy with this purchase! Compared to the one I had before, it rolls the pasta to a silky,  almost transparent texture, which is perfect for making stuffed pasta such as ravioli (in case you are wondering, the make is Marcato). I have chosen to christen my new pasta making machine by making these luscious ravioli with a prawn and lobster stuffing, drizzled with a rich lobster bisque-like sauce. A real treat, if you are a seafood lover like me!

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Fragrant Fish Curry

 I am calling this curry "fragrant" because it smells divine! The curry leaves, coconut milk and ginger scent makes me think of some sunny, southern India island. The sauce is both sweet and tangy, with a nice kick from the chillies, and does not overpower the fish. I recommend pollock or gurnard as sustainable options for this dish; I would not use mackerel, salmon or other oily fish though, as I find their flavour too strong to work with this sauce.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Warm Quinoa, Sorana Bean and Roasted Vegetable Salad

I am a big fan of warm salads; I like how, thanks to the heat, the ingredients beautifully soak up the dressing and really get to interact with each other. The beans I used in this salad are of the Sorana variety: you may have not heard of them, but they are some kind of celebrity in the pulse world :-) Their skin is wafer-thin and their flesh really buttery; they are only cultivated on the dry river bed of the Pescia stream in Tuscany, and as a result quite expensive and tricky to get hold of. If you are not as lucky as to have an aunt that lives near the Pescia stream and gives you these fine beans as a gift when she comes to visit, then feel free to substitute the latter with more widely available cannellini.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Venison Stew with Celeriac Mash

I have already posted a recipe with venison (venison fillet with mushroom & onion gravy); this time I am using a cheaper, but not less delicious, cut - stewing steak. The game season is not over yet and our local supermarket in the centre of Brussels currently offers a wide selection of gibier ("game" in French): wild boar, partridge, pheasant, wood pigeon and of course, venison. I chose the latter to make a warming winter stew, infused with juniper berries and bay leaves, and accompanied by fluffy celeriac mash.

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Cookies

A true American classic, that does not apologise for what it is. Why should it? These biscuits yeld the same addictive combination that made salted caramel so successful: i.e., the saltiness (of the peanut butter) that marries wonderfully with the sweetness (of the brown sugar and the milk chocolate). They are light and crispy on the surface, but chewy and fugdy in the middle. Make a big batch to to share with friends on a cold afternoon, while watching a DVD and sipping hot chocolate.