Basil Lemonade

Basil Lemonade

 

 

Magic hours: Welcome brighter days with this Basil Lemonade in your kitchen!

I concocted this green juice and have been drinking first thing in the morning on an empty stomach about 30 minutes before breakfast. Give it a try. It works magic. Let me know, and if you can share a photo, I’d love to see it. Because together is much better.

 

Makes 1

1 lemon

1 lime

½ cup fresh picked basil leaves

1 tablespoon honey

Blend everything together until bright green and completely smooth. Strain over a fine sieve, pour over ice and serve.

 

 

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Caipirinha

Caipirinha

Caipirinha
Photo by Hollie Bertram

 

Refreshing, cool, sweet, and relaxing, Caipirinha is Brazil. And if Caipirinha is Brazil, then cachaça is our national shrine.

In the US, cachaça is also called Brazilian rum and the distillation process is quite similar indeed. The difference between them is that rum is distilled from molasses (which also comes from sugar cane) while cachaça is distilled from the fresh juices of sugar cane. Good cachaça has an intense aroma and flavor of fresh sugar cane. Essentially, caipirinha is a simple cocktail based on a mixture of mashed lime with sugar, ice and cachaça.

 

Caipirinha

Makes 1 drink

2 limes

1 tablespoon sugar

2 to 3 tablespoons cachaça (adjust amount to taste)

Ice cubes

  1. Cut the two ends of the lime and cut lime into medium chunk wedges.
  2. Using a muddler, mash the lime with sugar, making sure to squeeze all the juices and to dissolve the sugar in the juice.
  3. Transfer the lime mixture to a shaker. Add the cachaca and ice cubes. Shake well (about 8 to10 times) and pour into a large (but not tall) sturdy glass.

 

 

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Focaccia Recipe

Focaccia Recipe

A post on Instagram, or Facebook, or Twitter floats somewhere in the digital content abyss. Ok, a website is still a digital space, I know, but I hope you get inspired to make this Focaccia Recipe at home. Bread is real. It’s food. It nourishes you. Bread is my escape to reality.

Focaccia Recipe

Focaccia

(Adapted from Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat by Samin Nostrat)

 

For the Dough:

2 ½ cups (600g) lukewarm water

½ teaspoon active dry yeast

2 1/2 teaspoons (15grams) honey

5 1/3 cups (800g) all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons Kosher salt

¼ cup (50g) extra virgin olive oil, plus more for finishing

Flaky salt for finishing

 

For the Brine:

1 ½ teaspoons (5g) kosher salt

1/3 cup (80g) lukewarm water

 

In a medium bowl, stir together water, yeast, and honey to dissolve.

In a very large bowl, whisk flour and salt together to combine and then add yeast mixture and olive oil.

Stir with a rubber spatula until just incorporated then scrape the sides of the bowl clean and cover with plastic wrap. Leave out at room temperature to ferment for 12 to 14 hours until at least doubled in volume.

Focaccia Dough Rise

 

Spread 2-3 tablespoons oil evenly onto a 18 X 13-inches rimmed baking sheet. When dough is ready, use a spatula or your hand to release it from the sides of the bowl and fold it onto itself gently, then pour out onto pan. pour an additional 2 tablespoons of olive oil over dough and gently spread across. Gently stretch the dough to the edge of the sheet by placing your hands underneath and pulling outward. The dough will shrink a bit, so repeat stretching once or twice over the course of 30 minutes to ensure dough remains stretched.

Focaccia Dough Strech

 

Dimple the dough by pressing the pads of your first three fingers in at an angle. Make the brine by stirring together salt and water until salt is dissolved. Pour the brine over the dough to fill dimples. Proof focaccia for 45 minutes until the dough is light and bubbly.

Thirty minutes into this final proof, adjust rack to center position and preheat the oven to 400˚F. Invert another sturdy baking sheet and place on the rack. Allow to preheat with the oven until very hot, before proceeding with baking.

Sprinkle focaccia with flaky salt. bake for 25 to 30 minutes directly on top of inverted pan until bottom crust is crisp and golden brown when checked with a metal spatula. To finish browning top crust, place focaccia on upper rack and bake for 5 to 7 minutes more.

Remove from oven and brush or douse with 2 to 3 tablespoons oil over the whole surface (don’t worry if the olive pools in pockets, it will absorb as it sits). Let cool for 5 minutes, then release focaccia from pan with metal spatula and transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Serve warm or at room temperature. To store, wrap in parchment paper and keep in an airtight bag or container to preserve texture.

 

 

 

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Ground Meat With Oloves, Tomatoes Pine Nuts

Ground Meat with Olives, Tomatoes & Pine Nuts

This recipe for Ground Meat with Olives, Tomatoes and Pine Nuts is a great new addition to your repertoire. Who doesn’t love meatloaf, hamburger or meatballs? Sauce Bolognese? Steak Tartare? We can keep going when it comes to ground meat, one of the most versatile cuts of beef, and the star of many classics from all over the world.

Stores don’t label where the ground meat comes from, but most ground beefs are a concoction of different cuts like chuck, eye round, sirloin, or brisket. Different amounts of fat are injected to add moisture to the meat. The leaner the ground meat, the dryer. Of course, for some recipes, that’s’ what you want; like for croquettes for example where you want to avoid fat inside the meat. For most other recipes like sauces, hamburgers, meatballs and meatloaf, you might want to choose ground beef with some amount of fat in it.

What you do find in stores is the indication of fat: regular, lean or super lean, varies between 10 to 15 to 20% of fat.

In terms of storage, ground meet has to be used within one day after buying since the meat will turn “gray “on the outside. If this happens, remove the gray part and use the remaining “pinkish” part. Technically speaking you can freeze ground meat. Personally, I don’t like to. I usually plan to buy my meat the day of, or the day before cooking.

This recipe is an easy one. It doesn’t have the iconic reputation of the previous classics mentioned above, but it’s a recipe to make over and over again. It’s ground beef cooked with spices and embellished with chopped garnishes. It takes very little time to prepare and once cooked, it’ll give you many meals. You can pair it with plain rice, or potatoes, or rice and beans, or crack a fried egg on top.

Imagination has no limits when it comes to ground beef.

 

Ground Meat with Olives, Tomatoes and Pine Nuts

Serves 4

 

2 tablespoons olive oil

6 cloves garlic, minced

1 large onion, chopped

1 fresh bay leaves

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1 lb ground meat

2 teaspoons sumac,

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons harissa paste

½ cup chicken or beef stock

7 tablespoons pine nuts

1 1/3 cup cherry tomatoes

1/3 cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped

½ cup chopped parsley

 

Procedure: Heat the olive oil over medium high heat in a medium bottomed frying pan for which you have a tight- fitting lid. Add the garlic and cook until it’s just starts to turn golden, about 2 minutes, then add the onion and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until it’s soft, about 5 minutes. Raise the heat to high and add the ground beef, season again with salt and pepper, and brown well, another 4 minutes. Add the sumac, cumin, harissa paste and chicken stock. Cover the pan and cook for 10 minutes, until the meat is moist and tender. Before serving, add the pine nuts, tomatoes, olives and parsley. Mix well and enjoy!

 

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Leticia

 

 

 

Susan Miller Astrology Zone

Susan Miller: The Queen of the Zodiac

Celebrating 25 years of Astrology

 

Susan Miller's Wall Calendar
Miller’s calendar has gorgeous illustrations by Izac Zenou. Each image is an inspiration for the month.

 

With a clutch of top celebrity clients, Susan Miller is finding strength in her work to help others—and herself.

“You’re going to walk again,” wrote the editor of a horoscope magazine replying to Susan Miller’s letter when she was a young teenager sitting by the bed of a hospital, a place she knew all too well from the ages of 9 to 14 when walking became a challenge.

Miller didn’t go to school like regular kids, due to continued serious health issues in her youth. Something you can’t tell when you meet her today and get lost in the depth and excitement of her conversation, unless she tells you the story —which she does because it left such a deep print on her soul and impacted all aspects of her life.

Although Miller didn’t have a typical childhood, she did go to college and graduated from New York University with a major in business. “If you have a major in business, you’ll always find work”, she recalls her father’s words.

With a lot of faith and physical therapy Miller rose and left the health challenges she faced all in the past. She got married, had kids, and moved on working for several years as a commercial agency photographer, not embracing what would later become her biggest talent: the study of the zodiac.

“My mom was an astrologer, but she didn’t want me to be one. She knew astrology inside out and backward and told me that you have to study astrology for 12 years to be good at it.”

Her two daughters, Christiane and Diane are now grown adults and Miller is grandmother to a little boy.

Reading a chart is easy but interpreting what you’re reading is what makes all the difference in the world.

“Astrology is not a fortune-telling discipline”, Miller explains. “Instead, astrology is a tool to help people pilot their lives. It has nothing to do with predicting the future or guessing what happened in the past. It has everything to do with math. It’s cracking the code on symbols and interpreting universal signs of the zodiac.”

Astrology Zone

 

With a predisposition to see everyone with positive regard and a deep passion for what she does, Miller has created an empire around astrology and solidified her name as one of the most credited professionals in the field. In 1995, she founded Astrology Zone, a website that is ever-growing, as we speak, to an astonishing 11 million readers a year. She is the author of 12 astrology books and writes monthly columns for six international magazines, from Brazil to Japan to Greece and Turkey.

One immersion on her website AstrologyZone and that’s enough to hook you up. Unlike most horoscopes that give a very generic scoop of each sign, she writes pages and pages about the planetary trends and how they can affect each sign.

There is a lot of attention and respect to details in her writing and she often shares on social media with her readers, how many hours it took to write each sign, the word count, the reason it’s important to read, and how you can use that piece of information to your advantage.

In other words, it’s astrology bearing psychology, bearing therapy, bearing self-reflection — as these fields blend and become one.

I’m not sure if Harry Potter’s approach to the mystical has anything to do to push the occult subject of astrology into the mainstream, but in recent years, it proliferated across the internet.

Susan Miller Calendar
More random pages from the beautiful calendar.

 

Astrology Enterprenuer

In fact, technology and social media were game-changer for Miller’s business. She created an app called “Daily Horoscope Astrology Zone + More by Susan Miller” on Apple Store and Google Play. She posts daily on Instagram, which allows her to engage and create close relationships with a community of readers around the globe. Harvesting the fruits of this relationship happens in so many ways: from getting direct messages and responses about the effects of a lunar eclipse, to knowing how many people got affected by a Mercury retrograde. With a click of a button, the research is available to her.

If you have no idea what the heck is Mercury retrograde, don’t worry. I didn’t know either. “Keeping track of Mercury retrograde periods can allow you to increase your productivity and avoid at least some of the frustration they can bring about” it’s written on her website. In other words, she says “the energy of the planets can sometimes tell us to wait for a better time and avoid the retrograde period.”

Miller manages a team of 17 people across the country, from graphic designers to illustrators to writers, editors, and web developers. It’s a full business and something she does with extreme devotion and pride.

Since the pandemic, Miller’s work has been at an ever-high demand, as everyone is curious to know: what’s next? While many people are a little skeptical to search for a psychic or a tarot card reader, astrology which is based on the study of planets seems to have a fundamental science aspect as an entry point for those who would normally discard such beliefs.

“Astrology is built on math and geometry, and I get all my information from NASA”, Miller tells me.

It takes time to develop such fine-tune confidence when reading charts. Miller’s parents never had any doubt of their daughter’s ability to find her role in life, and she made it a mission to help and motivate other people to embrace life as they see it.

Miller talks about her mother with fond memories of one that left too soon. Listening to her story, it’s pretty clear that the mother-daughter bond was not only a special one but capable of miracles. “My mom always knew I would walk again. When I was back in surgery, I had my mother’s face with me, telling me, you can do this”, Miller recalls. “That’s what I want to do with my clients.”

As I started reading AstrologyZone, I now consult the site before making an important move. Better yet, I bought Susan Miller’s Astrological Wall Calendar; a gorgeous piece of stationery to have on my desk, or hang by the wall, which contains tips and details about the best and worst days of the year.

 

susan miller calendar
Inspired Illustrations for an inspiring year.

Since we are in the middle of year, here are few upcoming exciting dates to look for:

June 24th, 2021 “Fantastic! Good fortune Jupiter will send golden beams to the full moon and Sun, delivering outstanding luck.”

July 9th, 2021 “Happy surprises abound in weeks ahead due to a sparkling vibration from Uranus to Sun + new moon.”

Stability is a fantasy, for sure. But to be certain of nothing is also petrifying. We all need some level of certainty in our lives. Getting a “forecast” from Susan’s horoscope about a divine plan coming from the stars, the sun, the planets, and the universe at large does help me calm my fears. Yes, it’s called astrology. But I also like to call it therapy.

To have more information about Susan Miller’s website, visit

AstrologyZone

Follow Susan on:

Twitter @AstrologyZone

Facebook: Facebook.com/AstrologyZone

Instagram @AstrologyZone

 

 

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

Make sure to share this story with someone who cares about this topic.

I’d love to know what you think about this article. Please send an e-mail.

You can find more about my work on ChefLeticia.com;

You can buy my cookbooks on Amazon: Latin Superfoods is my latest cookbook, I’m also the author of The Brazilian Kitchen and My Rio de Janeiro: A cookbook.

Visit my YouTube Chanel @LeticiaMoreinosSchwartz

The easiest and most impactful thing you can to support is subscribe to my newsletter and to my channel on YouTube. And of course, tell your friends about it.

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Leticia

 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart

Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart

If you’re looking for Olympian baking, this Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart is! For those of us crazy for the combination of chocolate and peanut butter, this is the apex in a tart format.

There are 3 components to this tart: the cookie crust, the peanut mousse and the chocolate ganache.  Don’t fret. It really doesn’t take that long, and the entire tart can be prepared and assembled up to 5 days ahead of time and you’re all set.

This recipe is adapted from one of the most respected bakers in the U.S, Rose Levy Beranbaum, and it’s her attention to details that make this recipe work so well. I love how she mixes a bit of milk and bittersweet chocolate in the ganache. However, if you’d like to incline one way or the other, feel free to use just milk, or just semisweet.

Respect the ingredients – this recipe can handle season patterns from misty rain to artic blast to summer vibes. Remember, because we care about the ingredients, we also care about temperature. When baking, make sure to bring all ingredients to room temperature before starting.

Bake with love! This recipe is guaranteed to take you to paradise. And dream of Para-para-paradise! Para-para-paradise!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart

 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart

Adapted from Rose Levy Beranbaum, The Pie and Pastry Bible, Scribner 1998

Makes one 9-inch tart, serving 8 to 10 people

 

For the Peanut Butter Mousse

7 tablespoons cream cheese at room temperature

½ cup peanut butter (smooth)

¼ cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

¾ cup heavy cream, softly whipped

 

For the Chocolate Ganache

3 ounces milk chocolate

2 ounces bittersweet chocolate

1/3 cup heavy cream

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

 

For the Sweet Peanut Butter Cookie Tart Crust

½ cup all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking soda

pinch of salt

¼ cup packed light brown sugar

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes

½ cup smooth peanut butter, preferably Jif at room temperature

½ large egg (beat the egg lightly before measuring out half of it)

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

 

Equipment: 9-inch tart fluted pan

Prepare the Cookie Tart Crust:

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
  • In the bowl of a food processor, process the sugars for a few seconds until very fine. With the motor running, add the butter cubes. Add the peanut butter and process until smooth and creamy, about 10 seconds. With the motor running, add the egg and vanilla and process until incorporated. Scrape the sides of the bowl. Add the flour mixture and pulse just until combined. (you can also use an electric mixer if you don’t have a food processor).
  • Scrape the dough into a bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
  • Press the dough evenly into the tart pan. You can use a piece of plastic wrap to do this and invert onto the tart pan and then press against the sides. If the dough softens and sticks, refrigerate it until the plastic wrap doesn’t stick. If the dough tears, simply press it together or use the scraps to press into any empty areas. Cover the tart pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  • Bake the tart shell, without weights in a preheated 350˚F oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden. It will puff at first and then settle down at the end of the baking. The sides will be soft but spring back when touched gently with a finger. Cool on a wire rack.

 Prepare the Peanut Butter Mousse:

  • In the bowl of a standing mixer, preferably fit with the whisk beater, beat the cream cheese, peanut butter, and sugar just until the mixture is uniform in color. Reduce the speed to low and add the vanilla. Beat in ¼ cup of the whipped cream just until it is incorporated. With a large rubber spatula, fold in the rest of the whipped cream, mixing until the mixture is well blended but still airy.
  • Scrape the mousse into the sweet peanut butter cookie tart crust and smooth the surface so that it is level. Refrigerate the tart while preparing the ganache.

Make the Chocolate Ganache:

  • Chop the milk and bittersweet chocolates with a serrated knife very finely and place it a glass or stainless-steel bowl.
  • Bring the cream to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let it sit for 1 minute allowing the heat to melt the chocolate. Whisk slowly from the center out until homogeneous and then a bit more vigorously, making sure the ganache is completely smooth. Add the vanilla and whisk again. Cool to temperature before glazing the tart.

Assemble the Tart:

  • Pour the ganache over the peanut butter mousse in a circular motion, being careful so that it does not land too heavily in any one spot and cause a depression in the mousse. Using a small metal spatula, start to spread the ganache to the edges of the pastry, then spread it evenly to cover the entire surface of the tart. Refrigerate the tart for at least 2 hours to set or up to 5 days.
  • Remove the tart from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before serving. Unmold the tart and cut it with a sharp thin bladed knife, dipping in hot water after each cut to make a clean cut.

 

Other Recipes You Might Like:

Tahini Caramel Tart

Strawberry Cream Cheese Tart

Rhubarb Strawberry Pie

Sweet Potato Pie

Chocolate Custard Pie

 

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

Make sure to share this story with someone who cares about this topic.

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You can buy my cookbooks on Amazon:

Latin Superfoods is my latest cookbook, I’m also the author of The Brazilian Kitchen and My Rio de Janeiro: A cookbook.

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See you next time,

Leticia

 

 

 

Gabriela Isman

Alchimista Spiked Ice Cream

From Buenos Aires to São Paulo to Singapore to Connecticut, Gaby Baumatz is making the most spiked (and delicious!) ice cream ever.

 

Alchimista Spiked Ice Cream

 

 

When the government announced plans to lockdown at the beginning of the pandemic, Gaby Baumatz searched for comfort in the kitchen.

“My grandmother used to make ice cream, and I was trying to replicate it a few years ago. I decided to try it again, just for fun”, said Baumatz.

As the pandemic extended beyond our predictions, she continued to experiment in the kitchen and decided to embark upon a new venture devoted to the production of a new style of ice cream rarely seen before: alcohol-based ice cream.  Alchimista Spiked Ice Cream was born.

But before launching a business, a lot had to happen. She reached out to an ice cream expert based in her hometown, Buenos Aires, and learned the ins and outs of ice cream science.

“Once I had the chemistry information, it became easier to understand what I was doing in the kitchen”.

Alchimista Ice Cream
A close up in the science of Alchimista Spiked Ice Cream

 

Her family was astonished by the delicious tastes of alcohol-infused ice cream and jumped in. Her kids, Julia, Sami, and Tomas all came on board to help, especially because everyone was home.

Alchimista Spiked Ice Cream
A family ice cream affair!

 

The vote was unanimous: “Let’s start an ice cream business!” The plan gradually started to evolve. From her home kitchen, she started to produce a small inventory of ice cream. As social distancing was required, Baumatz started to host outdoor ice cream tasting events. “People love it! She says, with a smile on her face.

Spiked Lemon Mousse is prepared with a subtle addition of Cointreau

 

Tasting Events

Raise your hand if you’ve ever been to an ice cream tasting? While this kind of event is barely an American practice, it should become one. I was there, mesmerized by the colors and flavors of the collection, hosted by Gaby Baumtaz herself. First, it’s a social gathering, and in times like these, we all need a really good excuse—like ice cream— to meet. Second, the tasting is conducted in great fashion, not too different than a wine tasting; pen and paper, everyone taking notes and comparing tastes. Third, I ended buying two containers that didn’t last more than three days in my house.

Gaby Baumatz was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina. After a degree in architecture, she met her now-husband Adrian Isman and the couple have three children, now young adults. By courtesy of Mr. Isman’s job, the family became world travelers, moving first to Brazil, then to Singapore, to Brazil again, and then to Connecticut, where the family arrived in 2017 and is currently established.

 

Alchimista Spiked Ice Cream
Hazelnut Cream infused with Baileys

 

“With all this world experience, I feel like ice cream is a continuation of my creativity. From home designer to ice cream maker”, Baumatz jokes. This ice cream is the apex between flavor, texture, package, and image. “I look for a strong flavor, powerful colors, and ice cream with a personality made with fresh ingredients and excellent quality. It’s a very unique product.”

Another Day, Another Ice Cream

Indeed. Alchimista Spiked Iced Cream presents 12 flavors (more to come!). Different flavors present different opportunities to indulge. The Paloma for example, is a Tequila-infused grapefruit sorbet, very much like a palate cleanser. The Chocolate Truffle is a perfect dessert. The Hazelnut Cream is the perfect snack. There will be a chocolate sorbet for those who are lactose intolerant. Baumatz uses two different bases for the recipes: milk-based (chocolate, hazelnut) and water-based (sorbets, grapefruit, lemons, etc). All ingredients are indicated on the label.

As the tastings grew into frequent events, Baumatz rented a commercial kitchen in Mamaroneck for production. She bought Italian gelato machines and keeps them in a special ice cream freezer. Alchimista Spiked Ice Cream delivers all over New York state. For Connecticut customers, a curb pick can be arranged.

You can find more info about Alchimista Spiked Ice Cream:

www.myalchimista.com

Instagram: alchimista_icecream

Email: [email protected]

 

 

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

You can buy my cookbooks on Amazon: Latin Superfoods is my latest cookbook.

I’m also the author of The Brazilian Kitchen and My Rio de Janeiro: A Cookbook.

Visit my YouTube Chanel @LeticiaMoreinosSchwartz.

The easiest and most impactful thing you can to support is subscribe to my newsletter and to my channel on YouTube.

And of course, tell your friends about it.

Share this recipe with friends who will enjoy food;

For updates on my food adventures, subscribe to my newsletter, which you can find on my web site www.chefleticia.com

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Leticia

 

Silky Green Pasta Julia Turshen

Silky Green Pasta

Here’s a Silky Green Pasta to add to your cooking repertoire! We’ve all seen pasta made with vegetables become a different color. Variations on pasta, and gnocchi for that matter, come in many colors and flavors: beet, spinach, and carrots result in attractive pasta dishes, flavored and colored by the addition of these vegetables to the dough.

This green pasta, adapted from Simply Julia, the newest cookbook by Julia Turshen, is so intense in flavor and color, that any pasta becomes deeply enrobed in this velvety sauce with exquisite taste. Let’s be honest here, cooking pasta and dressing it with a green sauce is a lot less work than injecting vegetables inside the dough. It’s all in the sauce!

Simply Julia

In the book, Julia tells the story of Llubav, an artist and mother who makes this recipe often on weeknights. It doesn’t require any chopping at all, and the sauce itself is so delicious, it can and should be used in other combinations, like risotto, or boiled potatoes. To honor the artist, she named the recipe Llubav ‘s Green Spaghetti. The name of the recipe is irresistible: Llubav. Is it Russian, Hebrew, or Croatian? As I made the recipe a few times for my family, we gradually ignored its original title and started calling it Silky Green Pasta. (Hope Llubav and Julia will be ok with this!)

Feel free to use the pasta of your preference. I used Orecchiette and it came out amazing. Once you’ve got your sauce and pasta cooked, you can prepare everything ahead of time and assemble it just before serving.

Julia’s work deserves much attention. Not only her cookbooks are an excellent source of delicious recipes (I have cooked many from her previous books) but Julia also has a big voice advocating for women, equity, and LBGTQ. She is the founder of Equity at the Table (EATT), an inclusive digital directory of women/non-binary individuals in food, and the host of keep Calm and Cook on.

Julia Turshen

I love following her videos on Instagram and her scrap notes (also seen on Instagram) reminds me of life before social media. Before computers. Before technology invaded our lives. A world in which a pan and paper still mattered. Coincidence or not, Julia’s recipes also remind me of that world, with the advantage of being practical, modern, simple, and delicious.

 

Silky Green Pasta

Inspired by Julia Turshen’s cookbook Simply Julia

 

Serves 4

 

Ingredients:

kosher salt

1 lb pasta, preferably whole-wheat spaghetti or whatever pasta you like

5 oz baby fresh spinach

6 large leaves fresh kale (any type), tough stems discarded, torn into large pieces

1 large handful of fresh basil leaves (about 12 large leaves)

1 garlic clove, peeled

½ cup (50g) crumbled feta cheese, plus extra for serving

3 tablespoons cream cheese

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

 

Set a large pot of water to boil and salt it generously. Add the pasta to the pot and cook according to the package instructions.

Meanwhile, place the spinach, kale, basil, garlic, feta cheese, cream cheese, and olive oil in a blender and add 1 cup (250ml) of the boiling salted water from the pasta pot. Puree until smooth and season to taste with salt and pepper (it might need very little salt, depending on how salty your water is).

Drain the pasta in a colander and then return it to the now-empty pot. Add the green sauce and stir well to combine.

Serve immediately with extra crumbled feta cheese on top. Or if you’re like me, why not some Parmesan?

 

 

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Chicken Peperonata Cooking show

Chicken Peperonata

Talk about celebrity crush, here is mine: Giada De Laurentiis. I’m not sure if “crush” is the proper word, but you get what I mean. Not only I’m one of the millions of fans of her shows on Food Network, I’ve been using her cookbooks since Every Day Italian came out.

This recipe is adapted from Giada’s Italy, another book featuring many Italian inspired recipes great for the home-cook. In the book, she titled the recipe Crispy Chicken Thighs with Peppers and Capers.  She tells the story of her great-aunt Raffy, “who makes the most delicious peperonata” and inspired her to create this recipe. I thought it’s easier to just call it Chicken Peperonata.

Many food aristocrats consider chicken boring. Not me. I love chicken, and this recipe is Italian chicken glory! While white breast meat is 99 percent white fiber muscle and very healthy, dark meat carries more oxygen and myoglobin, which is the reason for the darker color, but it also carries more fat (but not that much) which is the reason it tastes better.

Like Giada, I like to make this recipe with chicken thighs, but if you prefer to use chicken breast, it will be just as wonderful. If you want to be even more productive and buy an entire chicken, go for it, and use every part. Save the bones for brodo and use all other parts of the chicken for this recipe.

Magic in the world of food often relies on the ingredients you have, so be sure to carefully choose nice kalamata olives (over canned), fresh bell peppers and capers in brine. The result is as incredible as any Italian restaurant can provide.

Another bonus of this recipe: it’s year-round-evergreen. When you close your eyes and imagine a table full of friends and family, picture this Chicken Peperonata in the middle of the table. It’s pure cooking, captivating your family with the power of cooking—and the recipes that you find right here at Chef Leticia.

 

Chicken Peperonata

Adapted from Giada’s Italy

Serves 4

 

¼ cup olive oil

4 chicken thighs (about 2 lbs)

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 anchovy fillet or ½ teaspoon anchovy paste

1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and sliced into thin strips

1 shallot, diced small

½ cup pitted kalamata olives, roughly chopped

2 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed

¼ teaspoon dried oregano

1 cup dry bread-crumbs

1 tablespoon parsley, chopped

 

Pre-heat the oven to 425F.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat. Dry the chicken very well with paper towels and season evenly on both sides with ¾ of teaspoon of kosher salt.  Place the thighs in the hot pan, skin-side down, and cook without moving for about 8 minutes, or until golden brown. Flip the thighs and cook an additional 3 minutes. Transfer the thighs to a baking sheet and roast for 10 to 15 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer registers 160F.

While the chicken roasts, place the same pan over medium heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the anchovy and mash it with the back of a wooden spoon until it dissolves into the oil. Add the bell pepper and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt to the pan and cook, stirring often for 5 minutes, until cooked through and soft. Stir in the shallots and cook an additional minute. Add the olives, capers, and oregano to the pan and stir to combine.

Sprinkle the bread-crumbs over the pepper mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until the bread crumbs have soaked up all the flavored oil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the bread-crumbs are toasted and the flavors have married, about another 3 minutes. Stir in the parsley. Spook the bread-crumb mixture onto a platter. Top with the chicken thighs and drizzle with any accumulated juices from the baking sheet.

 

More Chicken and Italian Recipes:

Chicken With Mushroom Sauce

Veal Scaloppine

Melon with Prosciutto Di Parma

Penne A la Vodka

 

I’m so happy that you visited today!

Make sure to share this story with someone who cares about this topic.

You can buy my cookbooks on Amazon: Latin Superfoods is my latest cookbook.

I’m also the author of The Brazilian Kitchen and My Rio de Janeiro: A Cookbook.

Visit my YouTube Chanel @LeticiaMoreinosSchwartz

 

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Tahini Caramel Tart

Take a bite of this Tahini Caramel Tart! Right through the screen!

Tahini, a sesame seed paste that has long satisfied the Mediterranean palate is finding a much wider audience. It has the potential to rival peanut butter, almond butter, and cashew butter.

According to Adeena Sussman, an expert in Israeli cooking and author of Sababa, where this recipe is featured, “Tahini is made from sesame seeds that are soaked in water (sometimes salted), then crushed so the hull separates from the tender inner germ. The seeds are then run through a centrifuge to separate and dispose of the waste before being roasted and finally ground between huge millstones to produce the tahini everyone in Israel knows.”

In a regular supermarket, among the many brands of tahini available nowadays, you will find Joyva Sesame Tahini, Seed & Mill Organic Tahini, Ziiyad All-Natural Tahini, and Roland Organic Tahini. Whole Foods has also created its own 365 Organic version.

Smooth tahini paste has become a favorite among chefs and home cooks, as Israeli cuisine is gaining more popularity. Not surprisingly, it is on the menu at places that specialize in Mediterranean cooking and home cooks are discovering that it is as handy to have in the kitchen as peanut butter.

It’s also turning up in sweet dishes, like this delicious Tahini Caramel Tart. Caramel Tarts started to show up a good 20 years ago, but this one, made with tahini in the caramel is pretty special. As you see in the recipe, it calls for ½ teaspoon of sea salt. Use it. The caramel really needs this whole amount of salt, or else, it’s going to be too sweet.

When I first made this tart and photographed it for this blog, I ended up skipping the Labaneh whipped cream. Since then, I made this tart a few more times, including the whipped cream, which does add a good complement. As you can tell, this recipe quickly became a regular in my kitchen, and I hope it becomes a regular in your kitchen too.

I’m slowly working my way through Sussman’s book. You might also like this recipe for Eggplant and Tomato Galette from Adeena Sussman’s Sababa.

 

Tahini Caramel Tart Cooking Show

Tahini Caramel Tart

Adapted from Sababa by Adeena Sussman

Serves 12 to 14

 

Chocolate Shortbread Crust

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, slightly softened

½ cup confectioner’s sugar

¾ cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

¼ teaspoon fine sea salt

3 tablespoons sesame seeds

 

Tahini Caramel

½ cup granulated sugar

¾ cup heavy cream

½ cup lightly packed light brown sugar

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces

3 tablespoons Asian (date syrup)

½ teaspoon fine sea salt

1/3 cup pure tahini paste

 

Labaneh Whipped Cream

2/3 cup heavy cream

½ cup 4-Hour Labaneh, or Greek Yogurt

1 tablespoon confectioner’s sugar

 

Make the Crust: Preheat the oven to 325˚F.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and confection sugar at medium-high speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl if necessary, until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and sesame seeds. And beat until just incorporated 15 to 20 seconds. Gather the dough, then press it into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Freeze for 10 minutes, then bake until the crust is golden and flaky but still soft, 25 minutes. Cool Completely.

While the tart is cooling, make the caramel: Place the granulated sugar in a medium saucepan (try to use one with a few inches headroom) and sprinkle 3 tablespoons of water on top of it. Turn the heat to medium, bring to a boil, then increase the heat to medium-high and boil until the sugar turns syrupy and the color of light caramel, about 7 minutes ( be careful here; it can burn, so take it off the heat a few seconds early if you’re in doubt and swirl gently if one area begins to darken more than others). Remove the syrup from the heat, then immediately add the cream, brown sugar, butter, and silan and stir until the butter is melted. The mixture will sputter, then may harden in parts, but don’t worry. Place the saucepan back on the stove. Bring the mixture to a low simmer over low heat and simmer until it’s a deep mahogany color, 11 to 12 minutes. Remove from the heat, whisk in the salt and then the tahini until smooth, and pour into the baked tart crust. Cool slightly, then chill until the tart is set, at least 4 hours (but overnight is best).

Make the Whipped Cream: just before serving, in a stand mixer fitted with the whish attachment, whip the cream until soft peaks form, 2 minutes. Add the labaneh and confectioner’s sugar and whip until soft peaks return, 1 minute. Remove the tart from the fridge, slice, and serve with the whipped cream.

 

More Israeli Recipes:

Jeweled Rice with Carrots

Passover Brisket with Prunes & Carrots

Short Ribs with Eggplant, Silan, and Nigela Seeds

Matzo Buttercrunch

 

I’m so happy that you visited today!

Make sure to share this story with someone who cares about this topic.

You can buy my cookbooks on Amazon: Latin Superfoods is my latest cookbook;

I’m also the author of The Brazilian Kitchen and My Rio de Janeiro: A Cookbook.

Visit my YouTube Chanel @LeticiaMoreinosSchwartz

I’d love to connect with you!

Follow my food adventures on social media;

Instagram

Facebook

Twitter

Contact me

See you next time!

Leticia

 

 

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