Green Goddess Sandwich

Green Goddess Sandwich

This Green Goddess Sandwich is featured in one of the photos I supplied for Best Leftovers Ever, a new competition show on Netflix in which I participate. You can catch me on episode 8, called Bland to Flavor Bombe. In the first few moments of the episode, I talk a little bit about cooking for my kids and how we incorporate leftovers all the time. (No, I don’t make this sandiwch on the show.)

Zero food waste is the name of the game. It’s the theme of the show, it’s the idea of this sandwich, and it’s something I practice every single day in my house.

Inspired by a recipe from Bon Appetit, this sandwich proves that the secret to creating delicious meals, even in the winter, is to be creative with the simple things. Especially this time of the year, when I’m indoors a lot, I want to feel really good about what I put inside my body.

(Speaking of Bon Appetit, a magazine I LOVE to cook from, check out the recent article I wrote for them about Brigadeiros.)

Every ingredient has a variable opportunity. While I love to use Mozzarella cheese, many other types of cheeses go well in the sandwich: Minas cheese (from Brazil), for sure, Feta cheese, or goat cheese. Arugula can be substituted for fresh spinach, fresh basil or green lettuce. The multi-grain bread is my favorite option, but if white bread is what you have in the fridge, go for it.

The Green Goddess spread is a beauty. It’s a sauce, it’s a spread, it’s a dip. It’s one of the most versatile sauces invented in recent times; the taste is fresh and sharp. Keep the recipe and use it as salad dressing as well.

Ready to start cooking in 2021? Ready to incorporate leftovers and turn them into incredible meals? Give yourself an ultimatum. No more take out dinners. No more junk food. Start cooking today! Your health is altogether the effect of your own choices.

 

Green Goddess Sandwich

Makes 2

 

For the Spread:

¼ cup basil

½ cup parsley

¼ cup mayonnaise

¼ cup plain Greek yogurt

Juice of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

 

For the Sandwich:

4 slices multigrain bread

¼ English cucumber, thinly sliced

1 avocado, thinly sliced

8 oz mozzarella, sliced ¼-inch thick

2 cups arugula

 

  • Make the Green Goddess Spread: Place the basil, parsley, mayonnaise, yogurt, and lemon in a blender. Add the olive oil in a steady stream. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Place the cucumber in a small bowl. Sprinkle with salt and let it drain for at least 20 minutes, until it becomes crunchy. Toss with olive oil.
  • Spread one side of each slice of bread with the Green goddess spread. Divide avocado between 2 slices of bread. Season with salt and pepper. Top with cucumbers, mozzarella, arugula, and close the sandwich.

 

 

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Brigadeiros

How To Make Brigadeiros

What’s that? A truffle? A fudge? You want to know the recipe everyone is talking about, clicking, pinning, and drooling over the internet more than any other this week? BRIGADEIROS! Silky, chewy, fuggy, and chocolaty, brigadeiro, is an undiscovered candy from Brazil waiting to become your next vice.

I’m over the moon and beside myself to tell you some awesome news:

Thanks to Bon Appetit, now anyone who loves chocolate can make brigadeiros!

Just think about all the occasions we have for giving a gift; a bridal shower, housewarming, mother’s day, father’s day—this holiday season!

Tangible expressions of caring and love can be wrapped and given in so many ways. And now, you can add Brigadeiros to the list.

Because a handmade gift, especially a food gift like Brigadeiros, represents creative energy and time spent in the kitchen—like a homemade hug!

Find the article here.

Brigadeiros
Photos on this post are a credit to Bon Appetit. Photo by Laura Murray, Food Styling by Micah Morton

 

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Eggnog Cocktail

Eggnog Recipe

This season, I’m here to help you craft the new chapter of your unique cooking story. The rich bold tastes of the season, the unique ingredients, and some very special occasions are designed and curated to be an integral part of the moments that matter—like sitting by the fireplace drinking an eggnog cocktail.

Raise your hands if you heard about eggnog many times before but never made it, and don’t know when or how to drink it? Welcome! You’re not alone. This delicious drink is one of the greatest pleasures of the Holiday season, unknown to a lot of people.

Many international cuisines have a version of eggnog cocktail. In France, it’s called Lait de Poule or “hen’s milk”. In Mexico, it’s called Rompope and it’s made with Tequila and sometimes Mezcal.

In Brazil, it’s called Licor de Ovos and it’s mostly prepared with cachaca. I have to admit I didn’t grow up drinking eggnog, as no one in my family used to make it. But as my taste buds evolved and I moved to a winter climate region like New England, eggnog fits the Holiday season like a glove.

In the U.S, the drink is so popular that is even sold in cartons at the supermarket this time of year. As always, the homemade version is so much better, and you can add whatever alcohol you want, in the dosage you want.

Most recipes for eggnog call for whole milk and heavy cream. While I certainly enjoyed the taste of the recipe prepared this way, I also noticed that it made it so filling that I could barely eat anything after drinking it. On a quest to make a lighter version, I opted to use coconut milk instead, still delivering a smooth, delicious, and satisfying drink

I like to add rum to my eggnog, but as you can see, the drink is receptive to a wide variety of liquors. So, go ahead, follow the recipe as a guideline, and add your favorite alcohol.

As this year we’re all confined at home, it might be a great idea to sit around the fire with the family and enjoy a round of eggnog while talking about life.

At least we’re done talking about the elections!

 

Eggnog Cocktail

 

Serves 6 to 8

 

4 cups coconut milk, divided

¾ cup (160g) organic cane sugar

5 large egg yolks

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

1 cup heavy cream

¾ cup dark rum

 

  • In a saucepan, heat 2 cups of coconut milk, but don’t boil.
  • In a bowl, whisk the sugar and egg yolks until nice and thick.
  • Pour some of the warm milk into the yolk mixture, whisk well, and then pour the rest. Return this mixture back to the pan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until thickened and smooth. Turn off the heat, add the cinnamon and nutmeg and stir in the cream.
  • Transfer the mixture to a bowl over ice water. Stir occasionally until chilled, then add rum and the remaining 2 cups coconut milk. You can prepare the recipe up to 3 days ahead of time. Bring to room temperature 30 minutes before serving. Serve slightly chilled, or at cool room temperature with a small dollop of whipped cream on top and a dash of ground cinnamon.

 

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Onion Soup

Onion Soup At Home

Talk about iconic French foods and Onion Soup will surely come to mind at top of the list. It just happens that it’s also one of my favorite foods. I can’t make enough of it. And the more I make it, the more I love it.

On a trip to France, I ate plenty of onions soups, and it’s always a special thing to eat typical food in its birth places.

Onion Soup
That’s me, in Paris.

But I have to say, there is nothing about this soup that cannot be replicated exactly at home. I’ve been making onion soup for so long in my home kitchen that I think I’ve mastered the recipe. Specially now, as this pandemic seems unending, traveling to France via the stove is the secret to life!

As simple as this soup may be, there are a few variables that impact on the results. First, the onions. You want to be patient and let the onions caramelize low and slow so that it flavors the soup — I talk about that in the recipe procedure, you will see.

Another important component is the liquid. Of course, you can use store-bought broth, but if you have the chance to make chicken broth, or buy the frozen version of brodo, (you can find plenty options nowadays), your soup will take you straight to France, in one quick shot. Bien sur!

The bread: any country bread will do, but if you have the chance to use a baguette, because of its thin shape, it will fit better in the soup bowl.

The cheese: my favorite for this soup is Gruyere, but Comte or any Alpine cow’s milk cheese will do.

The soup bowl: I have a couple of options at home, but the white soup bowl always wins.

Onion Soup
Soup bowls

Sometimes, I have the colossal courage to turn down the bread and cheese. It’s a way I have developed an appreciation for healthy eating defending my physical condition in the kitchen. Other times, my tolerance for fatty foods in the sake of kitchen travel is deeper that I know it myself.

For those on a diet: The onion and broth are so tasty that’ it’s still worth eating even without the bread and cheese.

When it comes to onions, feel free to use Spanish onions, yellow onions, or Vidalia onions, typical from Georgia. Spanish onions used to be imported from Spain and now they grow all over the U.S. They have a sweet taste and are perfect for all types of cooking. Yellow onions have a medium to strong flavor and are truly all-purpose. Vidalia onions are a bit sweeter than the two above. Any of those are good in this recipe.

 

Onion Soup

Serves 6

 

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

3 garlic cloves

5 large Spanish onions, peeled and thinly sliced

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Freshly ground nutmeg

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

½ cup dry white wine

8 cups chicken or beef broth

6 slices country bread, sliced

2 cups coarsely grated gruyere cheese

 

Cook the Onions: In a large Dutch oven pot, melt the butter and olive oil over low heat. Add the garlic and cook it ever so lightly, until it just starts to become a little golden, about 2 minutes. Add the onions, and cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon. Season lightly with salt, pepper and nutmeg and keep on cooking. This process is going to take a good 20 to 30 minutes. You don’t want to rush this step, or the onions will burn rather than slowly caramelize. The beauty of this soup lies in the caramelized flavor and color of the onions, so keep the heat at low or medium low at all times and stir very frequently.

When the onions are nicely caramelized, sprinkle the flour and stir for a minute or so to cook.

Add the Liquid: Pour in the wine and let it reduce by half.

Pour the chicken stock and let it get hot. Taste and season with more salt and pepper, if necessary. It probably will be necessary to add salt and pepper, especially if you use home made broth. If you use store-bought version, it’s the opposite; beware of the sodium component, and you might not need to add any more salt at all. Partially cover the soup and adjust the heat so that the liquid is just simmering; cook for 30 minutes. You can prepare the soup to this point up to 5 days before and keep it in the fridge.

Assemble the Soup and Top with Bread and Cheese:

When it’s time to serve pre-heat the broiler. Line a baking sheet with foil and have six deep ovenproof soup bowls ready to use. Carefully ladle the soup inside each bowl leaving some space for bread and cheese and place them all onto the sheet pan. Place a couple of bread sliced on top. (You don’t need to toast the bread.) and top with plenty of cheese over each bowl. Carefully transfer the heavy sheet pan to the oven and broil just until the cheese is melted and bubbling. Serve immediately.

 

 

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Oven Roasted Onions

Oven Roasted Onions

What’s better than caramelized onions? Oven Roasted Onions, caramelized with chicken stock, heavy cream and rosemary!

Inspired by an old recipe I pulled from the pages of Saveur Magazine more than 15 years ago, this recipe became a classic in my repertoire. I make this with my eyes closed. And after your first time, you will too. It’s so easy and so delicious, you’ll be cooking again and again!

 

Oven Roasted Onions

Oven Roasted Onions

Serves 6

 

Ingredients:

6 large yellow onions, skin on

2 cups beef stock (or chicken)

3 tablespoon extra -virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

4 rosemary sprigs

½ cup heavy cream

  • Pre-heat the oven to 400˚F. Cut about 1/4-inch off the bottoms and tops of the onions so that they can sit upright when cut in half. Next, slice the onions in half horizontally. Arrange them cut side up in a large baking dish (enough to fit all of the onions).
  • Pour the beef stock over and around the onions, drizzle olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Scatter rosemary over the onions and into the stock in the baking dish.
  • Roast in the oven, basting often with the stock, until the onions are soft when pierced with the tip of a pairing-knife, and the stock has been reduced but not completely dried out. This should take about 1 hour.
  • Remove the baking dish from the oven and pour the cream over the onions. Return the dish to the oven, and roast again, until pan juices have thickened slightly, and the tops of the onions have browned, about 20 minutes more. Remove from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.

 

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Leticia

 

Eggplant and Tomato Galette

Eggplant and Tomato Galette

She called it Smokey Eggplant and Feta Galette with Garlicky Roasted Red Pepper Salad; I shortened the title a bit and called it simply Eggplant and Tomato Galette.

Adeena Sussman an American-Israeli food stylist, food writer and cookbook author. Born is Palo Alto, CA, Sussman has written more than 12 cookbooks including books with celebrities like Crissy Tiggen and Ellie Krieger.

She was living in New York and rocking the culinary world. One fine day, she met Jay, her now husband, and decided to move to Tel Aviv to be with him. She would continue rocking from Israel.

Living in the shadows of Shuk HaCarmel, the city’s main food market, she decided it was time to fly solo, sharing her passion for Israeli cuisine, something that has always been a part of her life anyway.

This recipe for Eggplant and Tomato Galette is inspired by her new cookbook Sababa: Fresh, Sunny Flavors from My Israeli Kitchen.  She serves it with a Garlic Roasted Red Pepper Salad on the side, which I ended skipping because I used a green salad instead. This galette is amazing even plain! Ever since the book arrived in my hands, I’ve been savoring the pages of this gorgeously produced and beautifully written book.

With more than 120 recipes, Sussman delights us with her personal spin and shows us how to incorporate many staples of Israeli cuisine our own kitchens. It doesn’t matter much in what part of the world you live right now; this book unlock the secrets to this incredible cuisine!

This recipe is just one of the many that I already cooked from her book. I hope you’ll find it as delicious as I have.

Don’t worry, I’ll continue to post more recipes featured at Sababa in future posts, as cooking with Adeena Sussman really makes us feel like traveling to Israel, via the stove!

Thanks for your work Adeena!

Sending lots of love!

Eggplant and Tomato Galette

Eggplant and Tomato Galette

Adapted from Adeena Sussman’s Sababa: Fresh, Sunny Flavors from My Israeli Kitchen

Serves 6

 

For the Dough:

3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for flouring your hands

½ teaspoon baking powder

1 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon vinegar

 

For the Filling:

1 jumbo or 2 medium Italian eggplants (1½ pounds)

1 cup (4 oz) crumbled feta cheese

3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 small jalapeno, seeded and sliced

1 teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon fresh black pepper

 

For the Topping:

1 large egg, whisked with ½ teaspoon water and a pinch of salt

½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

1 small Roma tomato, sliced into thin rounds

 

Make the Filling:

Chop the charred eggplant until chunky and transfer to a large bowl. Gently fold in the feta, dill, olive oil, jalapeno, sand and pepper until incorporated.

 

Make the Dough:

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder. In a medium saucepan, bring the vegetable oil, 2/3 cup water and salt to a boil over high heat (the water will form a ½-inch bubbles that begin to pop through the oil; that’s what’s boiling looks like here. Remove the saucepan from the heat, add the vinegar, then add the flour mixture all at once and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until the flour drinks up the liquid and a unified, velvety dough forms; let the dough cool for 10 minutes.

Pre-heat the oven to 400˚F.

Set a large piece of parchment paper on the counter. Using lightly floured hands, form the dough into a ball. Place in the center of the parchment paper and gently roll it into a 12-inch round about ¼ inch thick (the dough is soft, go easy on it). Transfer the dough topped parchment paper to a baking sheet.

To Assemble and Bake: dollop the filling into the center of the dough round and spread it out, leaving a 1-inch border around the edges. Fold the dough up and over the filling (if you’ve ever made a galette, it’s the same idea—very rustic!) so that the dough forms a 1-inch frame around the filling. Brush the edges of the dough with the egg mixture, then sprinkle the edges with cheese. Arrange the tomato slices and olives on top of the galette and bake until the tomatoes are wilted and the dough is golden and flaky, 35 to 40 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature.

 

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French Apple Tart

French Apple Tart

Although this French Apple Tart looks fancy and work-intensive, a second read made me realize that almost everything can be done ahead of time. I could easily call it Beautiful & Easy Apple Tart. There are four components to this tart, of which three of them can and even should be prepared ahead of time.  Pastry dough, almond cream, apple sauce and apple topping.

 

French Apple Tart
In this slice, we can see all four components of the tart: the pastry dough, almond cream, apple sauce, and apple topping. Looks fancy, but it’s super easy and everything can be done ahead of time.

 

The pastry is a typical sweet pastry dough, just like you see in every tart. The almond cream is a mixture of butter, sugar, almond flour and eggs that’s creamed and spread over the tart shell (there is no blind baking). The apple sauce is a very simple mixture of apples and lemon juice cooked, cooled and then spread on top of the almond cream. All of these components can be prepared ahead of time, and the tart can even be assembled up to this point a few days ahead.

Then comes the cherry on top, or of course, the apples on top. Although they give this tart a very elegant look, putting them together couldn’t be easier. Basically, you slice red royal gala apples very thinly using a mandolin and arrange them nicely in a rose pattern. The closer the slices are packed together, the nicer the tart will look.

Another interesting aspect about this tart is that it calls for two different kinds of apples. The granny smith used in the sauce gives a tangy and sharp taste; the royal gala makes for a sweet and gorgeous presentation. Together, they scream APPLE better than any other apple tart I’ve eaten in years.

This recipe is quite generous. Each component yields a little more than you’ll need for a 10-inch tart. Better this way. I ended preparing a 10-inch tart plus an individual size tart.

For those of us who can visualize the upcoming Rosh A Shana Celebration, dinner can be written in those images! This French Apple Tart is bound to be the cynosure of all eyes!

 

French Apple Tart

(Inspired by Chef Cedric Grolet)

Makes one 10-inch Tart

(serving 8 to 10 people)

 

Sweet Pastry Dough:

1 stick plus 2 tablespoons (150g) unsalted butter

¾ cup (95g) confectioner’s sugar

1/3 cup (30g) almond flour

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 large egg (lightly beaten with a fork)

2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour (more for dusting and rolling)

 

Almond Cream

1 stick plus 2 tablespoons (150g) unsalted butter at room temperature

¾ cup (150g) sugar

1 ½ cup (150g) almond flour

3 large eggs

 

Apple Sauce

4 Granny Smith apples

¼ cup lemon juice

 

 Apple Topping

4 Royal Gala apples

7 tablespoons (100g) butter

 

For the Sweet Pastry:

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, confection sugar, almond flour, salt and vanilla. When creamed, add the egg, and beat until the mixture is combined. Then, working at low speed, gradually add the flour, stopping just when it is thoroughly incorporated. Shape the dough into a ball, flatten into a disk, cover in plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator to chill. This can be done up to 5 days ahead of time. Be sure to bring the dough to room temperature a good 20-30 minutes before using to make it more malleable.

 For the Almond Cream:

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar, and almond flour together. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing and scraping the sides of the bowl after each addition. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic and chill. This can be done up to 5 days ahead of time. Be sure to bring the almond cream to room temperature before using so that it spreads better.

For the Apple Sauce:

Peel and core the Granny Smith apples and cut them into small cubes (not to small or they will cook and disappear). Combine the apple cubes and lemon juice in a saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring from time to time with a wooden spoon. When the apples have softened considerably—there should still be pieces of apple visible— remove from the heat. Allow to cool completely. Transfer to a covered container and chill in the refrigerator. This can be done up to 5 days ahead of time.

French Apple Tart
Look how there are still plenty of apple pieces in the apple sauce

 

Assemble, Bake, and Make the Apple Topping

Working on a floured surface, roll the dough about 1/16-thick, lifting the dough often and dusting more flour as necessary, making constant turns on the dough. Roll the dough up and around the rolling pin and unmold onto the tart mold, fitting the bottom and sides, and patching as needed. Chill for at least 30 minutes.

Heat the oven to 350˚F.

Spread the almond cream over the unbaked tart, filling it half-way to the top of the rim.

 

Place the tart in the oven and bake until the almond cream is lightly browned, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow the tart to cool.

French Apple Tart
The almond cream and sweet pastry dough will bake at the same time; you don’t need to blind bake it.

 

Using an offset spatula, spread the apple sauce over the baked almond cream very thinly. You will not need all of the apple sauce, and that’s ok.

French Apple Tart
Apple tart is almost fully assembled.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Continue cooking until it just turns lightly brown (this is called beurre noisette, or hazelnut butter).

Apple Topping: Core the Royal Gala apples with an apple corer. Using a mandolin with safety guard, slice them thinly. Cut each slice in half, and starting at the rim, arrange the slices in a rose pattern, pressing the outward slices lightly against the crust. Be patient to make this design and try to pack as many slices as you can. The fuller the tart, the better it looks. Brush the browned butter over the apples and return the tart to the oven for 10 minutes. Remove and serve warm.

French Apple Tart
Thin slices of red royal gala apples
French Apple Tart
Take your time to arrange and design the slices over the tart.
French Apple Tart
After about 10 minutes, the apples on top are not mushy. That’s all the time the apple slices need to bake ever so slightly but still keep their shape.

 

French Apple Tart
Sweet Triumph!

 

Hope you will enjoy this French Apple Tart after reading this post!

I’m so happy that you visited today! Thanks for reading and browsing my site!

Have you bought by latest cookbook Latin Superfoods yet?

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Dulce de Leche Souffle

Dulce de Leche Soufle with Coconut Sorbet

Dulce de Leche Souffle

 

Making a comeback: a 70’s inspired recipe for Dulce de Leche Soufle that encourages satisfaction and conversations. Add a scoop of coconut ice cream and welcome to dessert paradise!

Dulce de Leche Soufle with Coconut Sorbet

Serves 12 people:

Ingredients:

3 cups whole milk

10 yolks

1/3 cup (80g) organic cane sugar

2 tablespoons + 4 teaspoons all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons + 4 teaspoons cornstarch

200 g dulce de leche (I used Nestle)

 

14 egg whites

Pinch salt

4 tablespoons organic cane sugar

 

Equipment: Twelve 6-oz soufflé ramekins coated with a thick layer of butter and dusted with sugar all over.

 

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the milk to a boil.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks with sugar until yellow and pale.
  3. Sift together the flour and cornstarch and add to the egg yolk mixture, whisking well until the mixture thickens. Make sure there are no lumps of flour or cornstarch.
  4. Carefully pour some of the hot milk into the egg yolks then add the remaining milk, always whisking well. Transfer this mixture back to the saucepan, and cook over low heat, whisking constantly, until the pastry cream thickens, about 4 minutes.
  5. Add the dulce de leche and mix well, until it becomes homogeneous.
  6. Transfer the pastry cream to a bowl and let cool to room temperature. Store in the refrigerator in a plastic container covered with a tight lid for up to 2 days. Make sure you bring the base to room temperature before adding the egg whites.
  7. Heat the oven to 350˚ F.
  8. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, place the egg whites with a pinch of salt and start beating until they start to foam and rise. Gradually add the sugar, turn the speed to medium-high, and beat until glossy soft peaks forms (that means when you lift the whisk you should see a smooth triangle shaped pick of egg whites).
  9. Using a large spatula, fold one quarter of the whites into the pastry cream to lighten it, then gently fold in the remaining whites (the reason behind this procedure is to mix smoothly batters that have two very different consistencies like egg whites and pastry cream). Using a spoon or ladle, fill the ramekins up to ¾ full. Place the soufflés on a baking sheet and bake until they are beautifully puffed and golden brown, about 15 to 18 minutes
  10. Remove from the oven and dust some powdered sugar on top.
  11. Scoop a ball of coconut sorbet on top of each soufflé and serve immediately.

 

I’m so happy that you visited today! Thanks for reading and browsing my site!

If you like what you read, tell your friends about it,

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See you next time!

Leticia

Bacalhau de Natas

Bacalhau de Natas

Creamy Salt Cod

Holiday Salt Cod with Creamy Sauce

In Portuguese, we call this dish Bacalhau de Natas. The word Nata in Portuguese refers to cream, milk, or heavy cream— that goes on the creamy sauce.

If you’d like to keep this dish on the lighter side, you can skip the sauce completely (which is like a bechamel sauce), although I love the effect of the sauce with the rest of the dish as it does NOT penetrate the fish and vegetable layer, so the outcome is still on the light side. Less time spent cooking, means more time spent entertaining. Bake this recipe ahead of time, serve it with a glass of white wine, and you’re all set for this Holiday season! This recipe is inspired by Manuela Arrais and featured on my cookbook My Rio de Janeiro.

Bacalhau de Natas

Serves 8

 For the Cod and Vegetables:

1.8 lbs (820g) salt cod (measured dried)

2½ cups cold milk

2 lbs (908g) small young potatoes

Kosher salt

3 tablespoons + ½ cup extra virgin olive oil

2 medium onions, thinly sliced

1 red bell pepper (about ½ lb or 227g), thinly sliced

1 yellow bell pepper (about ½ lb or 227g), thinly sliced

1 green bell pepper (about ½ lb or 227g), thinly sliced

4 cloves garlic, finely minced

¼ cup fresh chopped parsley

 

For the Bechamel:

1 cup milk , plus the poaching milk

5 tablespoons (65g) unsalted butter

5 tablespoons (40g) all-purpose flour

½ cup (35g) freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Freshly ground nutmeg

Pinch of cayenne pepper

 

Equipment: One 9X13 inches baking dish, lightly coated with cooking spray

 

  • Prepare the Cod: Rinse the salt cod in cold water and place inside a large container. Fill with water, about 2½ gallons (the volume of water should be 10 to 15 times the size of the cod). Store in the refrigerator to soak overnight, changing the water at least 3 times per day (no, you don’t need to wake up in the middle of the night to change the water).
  • Remove the fish from the water and place in a medium-sized saucepan (cut the fish to fit the pan if necessary). Cover the fish with the milk. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to low and cook, covered, until opaque, 15-20 minutes. Turn the heat off and let the cod rest in the milk for at least 20 minutes, covered. Using a slotted spoon, remove the cod and strain the milk in a bowl. Flake the fish with your hands into small chunks, or place in a food processor, using the pulse mode for just a few seconds, being careful not to shred too much (you can keep the shredded cod for up to 12 hours in the refrigerator before using).
  • Place the potatoesin a large heavy saucepan and cover with cold water by at least an inch. Add a large pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, and simmer until fork-tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Drain and spread onto a plate. When cool enough to handle, peel and slice the potatoes ¼ inch thick. Set aside.
  • Place the 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet and cook the onions and peppers together over low heat, stirring occasionally, until tender, sweet, and translucent, 10 to 15 minutes. Resist the temptation to use high heat, or the vegetables will brown. Add the garlic, and cook for another minute. Add the shredded cod and parsley and mix everything together. Set aside in the corner of the stove, off the heat, covered.
  • Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
  • Prepare the Béchamel Sauce:You need 3 cups of milk altogether to prepare the béchamel sauce: 2 cups of the reserved milk from the poaching liquid and add the cup of fresh milk. Warm all the milk in a saucepan over low heat. In another saucepan, melt the butter. Add the flour, and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until it foams. Pour in the milk and cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce thickens. Taste before you season since the milk will be salty from the cod and season with salt —if it needs any— pepper, nutmeg, and a dash of cayenne pepper.
  • Lay half of the potatoes across the dish, spreading them evenly with your hands. Arrange half of the cod mixture on top, spreading it evenly. Repeat another layer of potatoes and cod. Drizzle ½ cup olive all over, and ladle the béchamel sauce on top (the sauce will not penetrate the dish, and that’s exactly what you want, just on top). Sprinkle Parmesan and bake in the oven until it looks bubbly and lightly golden brown, about 25 minutes. Serve hot.

 

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Sweet Potato Pie Recipe

Sweet Potato Pie Recipe

Sweet Potato Pie

Ok, I’m all about healthy cooking. The proof is in the book, Latin Superfoods. But this time of year is a little special! Let’s dig right into this Sweet Potato Pie, adapted from Gourmet Magazine. Go ahead and celebrate the old-fashioned way with family and friends. No guilt allowed. It’s only once a year! Remember, baking a pie, doesn’t mean gorging! Just a sliver slice is all you need. 

Growing up in Brazil, such a tart was not in the habits, and in fact it took some time for me to get the liking of it. But after 20 years of living here, let me tell you, I’m hooked! And Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays since it’s all about food, friends and family!

 A note about the recipe: You can roast the sweet potatoes and mash it up to 3 days ahead of time.You can also make and bake the whole pie ahead of time, and just bring it out to room temperature before serving. I like to garnish this pie with whipped cream and cocoa puffs, but even plain this pie is so good.

 

Sweet Potato Pie

(adapted from Gourmet Magazine)

Serves 8

For the Crust:

1 cup gingersnap cookies

½ cup walnuts

1 tablespoon organic cane sugar

Pinch salt

5 tablespoons melted butter

 

For the Caramel:

½ cup regular sugar

1/3 cup water

 

For the Filling:

2 cups (510g) mashed sweet potato (about 2 large sweet potatoes)

3 eggs

½ cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

To garnish:

Whipped cream and chocolate cocoa crisps

Equipment: one 10-inch glass or ceramic pie plate

1-  Prepare the Crust: Pre-heat the oven to 350˚F.

2-  In the bowl of a food processor, combine the ginger snap cookies, walnuts and sugar. Process until well combined then slowly drizzle in the butter until the crumbs are uniformly moist. Transfer to a bowl.

3-  Using your hands and fingers, press the mixture into the pan, patting an even layer over the bottom and all the way up the sides of the pan. Bake the crust for10 to 12 minutes then transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

4- Prepare the Caramel: In a sauce saucepan, cook the sugar, pure and dry over high heat until it turns amber caramel. Remove from the heat and carefully pour water —it will bubble and steam and harden the sugar— and return to heat to dissolve the caramel. Remove from the heat.

5- in a large bowl, mix with a rubber spatula the mashed sweet potatoes, eggs, cream, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and vanilla and caramel, and mix well, stirring gently.

Pour the filling into the crust. Bake the pie until the filling is slightly puffed and center trembles slightly when gently shaken, 40 to 40 minutes. The top may crack, and that’s ok, and the filling will continue to set as it cools. If the crust begins to brown too much before the filling is done, crimp a ring of foil or use a pie shield to protect it. Cool the pie on a rack for 1 hour.

6- Serve the pie at room temperature garnished with shipped cream and cocoa puffs on top.

 

 

I’m so happy that you visited today! Thanks for reading and browsing my site!

If you like what you read, tell your friends about it,

I’d love to connect with you! Please do send comments and suggestions,

If you prepare any of the recipes on the site, snap a photo and send it to me!

Follow my food adventures on social media!

You Tube

Instagram 

Facebook

Contact me!

And remember always,

Cook at home! Body Up! Health up! Wise up!

See you next time!

Leticia

 

 

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