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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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.

 

 

 

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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See you next time,

Leticia

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

 

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 it too, 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.

I’d love to connect with you on social media

 Instagram @LeticiaMoreinosSchwartz,

Facebook @ChefLeticiaHealthyCooking

Twitter @ChefLeticia

 

See you next time,

Leticia

 

 

 

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

 

I’d love to connect with you! Follow my food adventures on social media!

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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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