Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Eggplant Dip from Romania

This is a traditional Romanian dip. It has a great smoky favor and a smooth consistency. It can be made with onion or garlic. Try both styles. Is great on rustic bread or a simple toast. A fancy way to serve it is stuffed in tomatoes and sprinkled with parsley leaves or  black olives. 

2 large eggplants ( around 2 pounds)
4 scallions chopped or 2 cloves garlic crushed
1/2 to 2/3 cup olive oil (grape seed oil, or any neutral vegetable oil)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Optional for serving:
4-6 medium tomatoes
a few leaves of parsley and black olives


Roast the eggplants on the top of a gas stove directly on the flames. Keep the fire on high so the flames surround the eggplant. Roast each eggplant until the shin starts to burn (when you can see white gray color and the inside is soft at touch), then turn on the other side and cook until the skin starts to burn on that side. Transfer to a plate or cutting board and peel a part of the top burned shin with the back of a spoon. Let cool while the other eggplant is roasting. Scoop the inside of the eggplant into a bowl using a spoon. Repeat this procedure for the second eggplant.
While the eggplant is cooling chop the onion very small (or crush the garlic). Once cooled, transfer the eggplant to a cutting board and crop it until is similar to a coarse paste. Mix the eggplant with the onion (or garlic), the salt and add the oil in batches. Add more onion (garlic) and salt to taste. Refrigerate for an hour or serve immediately.

Optional serving with tomatoes:

Cut the top of the tomatoes and scoop the inside with a teaspoon. Fill them with the dip and top with parsley and an olive. 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Homemade PHO aka Asian Chicken Noodle Soup 

serves 6
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
1 tbsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp salt
6 cups chicken broth
1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
3 green onions, sliced
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp rice vinegar
2 baby bok choy, chopped
5 oz chinese noodles (about half a package)
sriracha sauce for serving (optional)
chopped cilantro for serving (optional)


Heat the sesame oil over medium high heat in a large heavy-bottomed stock pot. Add the minced garlic and ginger and briefly saute for about 30 seconds. Add the chicken and bok choy, sprinkle with salt, and saute for another three minutes until chicken has turned white but not completely cooked all the way through.

Add the chicken broth, jalapeno and green onions to the pot and bring to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes until chicken is done.

Meanwhile, cook the noodles in boiling salted water, drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.

Add the rice vinegar and soy sauce and stir. You can add a little more salt if you like, but taste first because soy sauce already contains a lot of salt! Add the noodles to the pot and serve with chopped cilantro and sriracha sauce on the side.


45 minutes
Coconut Curry Noodles 

You will need---
1 Bell Pepper, cut into thin strips
A handful of baby carrots, cut into thin strips
1 jar Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste
1 can lite coconut milk
1 cup chicken broth
Rice noodles
soy sauce, to taste

(ALSO note* you can add chicken, shrimp more veggies like broccoli ect.... to this and also make this vegetarian buy using veggie broth )

Step One: Submerge the rice noodles in boiling water. Let them soak for a bit. If you can cover them, all the better. But just be sure they aren’t on the heat any longer—nobody likes an overcooked noodle.

Step Two: Drizzle a bit of olive oil into your pan and empty about half the jar of the curry paste into the pan. Mix up and let those two really get to know each other.

Step Three: Add one cup water plus one cup chicken broth into the skillet. Add the carrots and bring to a boil. Cover and let it rumble…but only for like a minute. Nobody likes mushy carrots.

Step Four: Add the can of coconut milk and the peppers.

…okay, and maybe a bit more curry paste (to taste :D )
Step Five: Add about 1/4 cup of soy sauce into the mix. In a bowl, put a decent helping of noodles. Then ladle on some of that delicious sauce and veggies right over the noodles. Top with cilantro. Add more soy sauce if you’re like me and have a Sodium-Wasting Superpower. hehehehe ;)

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Pine Nut Soup

Pine Nut Soup

100 g pine nuts
3 egg yolks
250 ml chicken bouillon
250 ml cream
saffron, ouzo or cayenne pepper
1. Purée a mixture of the pine nuts and the egg yolks in the food
processor until you have a fine, smooth paste.
2. Put this in a saucepan and add one cup of chicken bouillon and one
cup of
cream. The chicken stock can be added already at the food processor
stage if you have difficulties in obtaining a smooth paste.This far the
dish can be
prepared hours in advance.
3. Heat over a gentle fire under constant stirring until the mixture
It must not, however, be brought to a boil!
4. Serve immediately.
If desired, the aphrodisiac properties can be reinforced by suitable
spices. I have tried three equally successful alternatives: 0.5 grams
of finely divided saffron, two tablespoons of ouzo and a pinch of
cayenne pepper. The spice (but only one of them!) is added before the
soup is heated. Especially the saffron gives the dish a pleasing reddish