Rhubarb Soup

Chilled Rhubarb Soup

We often associate rhubarb with pie, tarts and crumbles recipes, but it was OMG at first sight when I saw this bunch at the farmer’s market and used it as an inspiration for this gleaming new recipe for Chilled Rhubarb Soup. Think Pink! Sweet and sour, it subtly glimmers for an occasion that blends easy elegance with a casual spirit.

Characterized by a unique tangy taste, each slurp of this soup celebrates your hand in the kitchen. The soup’s distinctive taste is created by slowly cooking rhubarb and some ginger in a sugary syrup. The result is one of the most gorgeous foods you’ll ever create. I’m not kidding! Look at the color of this soup! Rarely we see recipes as photogenic as this.

We are entering rhubarb peak season during the months of May, June and July.

Think Pink! Think Rhubarb!If any association with celery comes to mind, yes, look for crisp, refreshing stalks. You’ll see shades of green turning to shades of pink and it’s that passage of color in this unique vegetable that makes rhubarb so unique in taste and appearance.

When buying rhubarb, choose a bunch as you would celery. You’re looking for crispy stalks. I like to wrap the ends of the rhubarb in a wet paper towel and keep it well wrapped in plastic wrap in the refrigerator. It should last a good two weeks in the fridge.

This soup is so refreshing from the ground up! After many winter months, a new season feels like a miracle and rhubarb has the power to transform an entire menu, whether it’s creating a healthier neutral base or taking center stage as dessert. For a modern spin, garnish the soup with strawberries pistachios and a dollop of Greek yogurt.

Every year I like to explore rhubarb in a variety of different recipes. You might like this recipe for Rhubarb Strawberry Pie here on the site and boy, oh boy, oh boy, this recipe is dreamy!

 

Chilled Rhubarb Soup

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Adapted from The Last Course by Claudia Fleming

Simple Syrup

1 ½ cups sugar

1 ¼ cup water

6 ½ cup sliced, trimmed rhubarb (about 2½ pounds untrimmed)

1 ½ ounces fresh ginger root, peeled and sliced into 12 quarter size slices

For Garnish:

Serve with some quartered strawberries or raspberries in the soup.

Chopped pistachios

Green Yogurt

Procedure:

In a large saucepan over medium high-heat combine the sugar and water. Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Simmer gently for 1 minute, then turn off the heat.

Add the sliced rhubarb and ginger to the pan and bring to a simmer over low heat. Cook gently for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon to break down the rhubarb. Do not let the soup boil or the foam will turn bitter. Force the soup through a medium sieve discarding the solids. Pour the soup into a bowl and let it cool completely. Chill the coup until cold, at least 3 hours or up to 2 days. To serve, scoop a small mound of Greek yogurt in the middle and ladle each into chilled bowls or soup plates and garnish with strawberries and pistachios.

 

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Steak Tartare Recipe

Steak Tartare Recipe

I made this Steak Tartare Recipe for a very special occasion, my father’s birthday. Knowing his passion for Steak Tartare, from the glory days of Rio de Janeiro, back in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s when Steak Tartare was a delicacy, prepared tableside at special restaurants, I decided to revive the recipe in his honor.

The reason this simple dish is quite extravagant is because you want to make it with the freshest and best quality filet mignon you can possibly find. And let’s be honest here – filet mignon, to this day, can be a little pricey.

It’s important to invest in good quality meat. One gram of fat can virtually threaten the entire dish, given it’s eaten cold and raw. That’s the beauty of Steak Tartare. It’s raw meat seasoned so well, so intensely, that it transforms the flavor of raw meat.

Steak Tartare Mixing

It’s also important to cut the meat by hand. You don’t want to make this with ground meat. Oh no! You want to slowly chop the meat, paying attention to each and every dice and making sure the meat stays cold at all times.

For the potatoes, if you don’t want to make your own shoe-string potatoes, by all means, buy store bought.

Thin Potatoes

Although, if you decide to make it, you’ll be so pleased! Unlike the classic French Fries that need to be fried twice, shoe-string potatoes only need one frying process, making it a much easier operation. Also, you can fry the potatoes up to 3 days ahead of time and store them in a plastic container at room temperature.

For the lettuce, I like to use a combination of arugula and mesclun. Even parsley goes well in the mixture. Be careful not to use a strong dressing for the lettuce or it might overwhelm the meat tartare. I like to use a small drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, with a few twists of pure Himalayan salt and freshly ground black pepper. If this seems too plain for you, go ahead and use a more complex dressing.

 

Steak Tartare

Serves 6 to 8

 

For the Potatoes:

2 Idaho potatoes

1-quart canola oil to fry

 

For the Meat:

1¼ pound filet mignon, very cold

½ medium onion, minced

2 tablespoons capers

8 cornichons, cut into small dice

2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped

1 anchovy fillet, minced

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 garlic clove, peeled and minced

Kosher salt and Freshly grated black pepper

6 tablespoons mayonnaise

 

For the Lettuce

4 cups mesclun lettuce

Olive oil, Himalayan salt and freshly ground black pepper

Fry the Potatoes

  • Cut the potatoes into a julienne cut, using a mandoline. Let the potatoes soak in cold water as you cut them, changing the water at least once. This will wash away the starch in the potatoes.
  • Spread the potatoes onto a baking sheet pan or a tray, covered with paper towels, and let them air dry for 5 minutes. Idaho potatoes will hold color up to 5-10 minutes if exposed to air. After that, they will start oxidizing and turning brown, so be careful not to let too much time pass before frying them.
  • Pour the canola oil into a heavy-bottomed pot or casserole and heat the oil to 350˚F as measured by deep-fat thermometer. If you don’t have a thermometer, drop one potato into the oil­ – when you hear a sizzling sound and see it turning golden brown, the oil is ready.
  • Fry the potatoes in batches until they are lightly golden brown. It is important not to crowd the pot with too many potatoes or the oil will cool down and the potatoes won’t stay crunchy. Carefully transfer to a plate lined with a double thickness of paper towels and sprinkle them with salt. Set aside until they are ready to be used.
  • You can prepare the potatoes up to 3 days ahead of serving, just be sure to keep them in a plastic container, covered with a tight-fitting lid at room temperature.

Prepare the Meat:

  • Remove the beef from the refrigerator. It should be very cold. Using a very sharp chef’s knife cut the steak into think ¼-inch slices. Stack 3 of the slices and slice lengthwise, every ½-inch holding the stack in place. Then cut across the stack, again every ½-inch, cutting the steak into ½-inch dice. Hold the chopped steak in a bowl set over crushed ice in a larger bowl. When all of the beef is chopped, add the onion, capers, cornichons, parsley, anchovy, oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Gently mix with a fork until just combined. Add the mayonnaise and mix gently. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
  • Dress the mesclun salad with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • Serve on individual plates with the potato and mesclun lettuce on the side.

 

Other Recipes You Might Like:

Onion Soup

Chicken with Mushroom Sauce

Chicken Peperonata

Osso Bucco

 

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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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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!

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

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Chicken Brodo

Chicken Brodo

From braising to roasting, grilling, sautéing, or poaching, chicken is so universal and I just can get tired of it. In my house, we eat at least once a week, and I make chicken stock and chicken brodo from the bones every time a chicken is served. I have adapted this recipe to this situation- carcass from a chicken that was dinner.

I suggest creating a habit: every time you cook a chicken for dinner, don’t toss the bones out. Not even the bones that were in your husband’s or children’s plate. Make chicken brodo! Even a very small amount of bones, from 1 little bird, will yield about 2 cups of bordo. And with that small amount, it only takes 30 minutes to make brodo. Bird by bird, my freezer is stocked with chicken brodo.

And what is the difference between chicken stock and chicken brodo, you might ask? There is a very fine line between the two. Chicken brodo is chicken stock that has been seasoned and simmered longer than chicken stock. Chicken stock is used for cooking, brodo is used for drinking, like tea. But can you cook with chicken brodo? You can, just remember the brodo is already seasoned.

 

Chicken Brodo

Makes 3 to 4 cups

 

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 to 2 pounds of chicken bones from a rotisserie chicken

1 onion, peeled and quartered

1 carrot, peeled and cut into chunks

1 stalk of celery, cut into chunks

2 cloves garlic, peeled

2 to 3 bay leaves

Kosher Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Freshly ground nutmeg

 

  1. Remove excess fat from the bones. In a large stockpot, add the olive oil over medium heat. Add the bones, vegetables, and bay leaves. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Cook stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon until bones are hot and vegetables are cooked about 20 minutes. Add enough cold water to cover the bones, about 1 inch above the amount of bones. Don’t add too much water, or the brodo will be watery and lacking flavor. Bring to a boil over high heat, then immediately reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for about 30 to 45 minutes, skimming the foam occasionally.
  2. Taste and adjust the seasoning of the liquid. When the brodo has a rich, bright chicken flavor, remove the bones and vegetables with a slotted spoon and strain the stock, first through a medium strainer then through a fine-mesh strainer.
  3. Place the brodo over an ice bath then chill in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours – chilled is the best way to judge the quality of the liquid. The more gelatinous, the better. Carefully remove any fat that accumulates on the top and discard it. Divide the brodo into several small plastic containers, label them, and store them in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

 

 

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Superbowl Snacks

Hearts of Palm & Spinach Dip

Super Bowl Sunday! The biggest sports day of the year is here! You can’t watch the game without some delicious snacks. Before the pandemic, I used to host sports parties in my house when my son would bring a bunch of friends home to sit and scream in front of a TV. Growing boys would show up hungry and I needed to feed them.

Now with Covid, it’s just our family, but I still like to prepare foods like chicken wings and dips. Especially this dip. A cousin of the Artichoke-Spinach, this Hearts of Palm & Spinach Dip is the perfect venue and it’s approved by many American boys. You can make it ahead of time and simply stick it in the oven during game time. Serve with whole wheat pita chips or any other chip of your preference. You can find this recipe and many others in my cookbook Latin Superfoods.

Hearts of Palm Spinach Dip

 

Hearts of Palm & Spinach Dip

Serves 6 people

 

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 large onion, finely chopped (about 1 ½ cups)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Freshly ground nutmeg

Two 14-ounce cans hearts of palm, drained, rinsed, and pat dry

One 10-ounce package of frozen spinach, thawed and excess liquid drained

½ cup light sour cream

1 cup light mayonnaise

½ cup light cream cheese

¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Equipment: one 7  X 11-inch baking dish lightly coated with cooking spray

  • In a medium skillet warm the olive oil and cook the garlic until it just starts to turn golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add the onion, season with salt, pepper, freshly ground nutmeg and cook until soft and translucent, stirring occasionally for another 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and cool completely.
  • Combine the hearts of palm, spinach, sour cream, mayonnaise, cream cheese, Parmesan, and the onion mixture in the bowl of a food processor and buzz until the mixture is smooth and homogeneous. Season again with salt and pepper. Spread the mixture into the baking dish. At this point, you can cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 3 days ahead of time.
  • Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Bake until hot and bubbly, about 20 to 25 minutes. Serve hot with pita, crackers, or tortillas.

 

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Broccoli-Cheddar Soup

Broccoli-Cheddar Soup

This is an American classic that I absolutely love: Broccoli-Cheddar Soup. In fact, Broccoli-Cheddar anything! Some ingredients were simply made for each other. The epitome of a gentle contrast, this match offers a thoughtful balance in many applications. In January, why not go for the soup?

The chunky texture of this soup with a creamy cheesy flavor is reveling.

I love packing a mountain of flavors from different vegetables, in this case, not just broccoli, but onions, garlic, carrots and celery into the soup. Each spoonful has enough flavor to satisfy. I like to add even more cheese on top of the bowl and let it melt with the heat of the soup.

There is a forever argument in my household: for my husband and son, soup is never a complete meal. They need more sustenance than soup. Growing boys need to eat, and I guess the men in the house need a piece of protein. On the other hand, for the ladies (my daughter and I), this soup is absolutely complete; delicious and fulfilling. We need nothing else. Maybe a piece of bread and that’s about it.

Adjust to the needs of your household. It might be appetizer or a main course. I like using in non-traditional soup bowls, like this one in the photo.

A word on the broth: if there is one ingredient that can elevate your cooking by many points, it’s chicken stock. There is a wide variety of broths available in the store today, but if you can buy the home-made version, that’s the best. If you can make your own chicken stock, even better!

And finally, a word about the cheese: be sure to buy a fresh block of orange cheddar and grade it yourself, as it packs so much more flavor than the pre-shredded. This is a recipe to cook often and one to hold on to. Inspired by AllRecipes.

 

Broccoli-Cheddar Soup

 

Serves 4

 

3 tablespoons butter

2 garlic cloves, minced

½ onion, chopped

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 cup half and half

1 ½ cups chicken broth

Kosher salt and fresh black pepper

freshly ground nutmeg

2 cups chopped broccoli

1 carrot, chopped

1 celery stalk, chopped

1¼ cups shredded mild Cheddar cheese

 

Melt butter in a stock pot over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until it’s just golden, about 2 minutes. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon until translucent.

Whisk in the flour and continue to stir until mixture turns golden brown, about 5 minutes. Slowly add the half and half to onion mixture, stirring until mixture is smooth.

Add the chicken broth and season with salt, black pepper and nutmeg.

Reduce the heat to medium and simmer the mixture until thickened, about 10 minutes. Add the broccoli, carrot and celery.

Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot and simmer until the vegetables are tender yet crisp, about 20 minutes.

Add the cheddar cheese to the soup and cook, stirring occasionally until cheese melts, about 5 minutes.

Serve hot in individual bowls.

 

 

 

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

See you next time!

Leticia

 

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.

 

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

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I’d love to know what you think about this article. Please do send comments and suggestions.

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If you’re looking to buy a copy of my latest cookbook Latin Superfoods, you can buy it here.

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See you next time!

Leticia

 

 

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

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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.

 

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

Have you bought my latest cookbook Latin Superfoods yet?

You will love it!

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!

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Facebook

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Contact me

See you next time!

Leticia

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