INCREDIBLY SIMPLE TIMES FOUR

Here I am to share with you not one, not two, but four recipes that are so simple you could make them in your sleep. Each delivers a lot more than you’d expect in flavor and you will find yourself making them again and again. Not necessarily in your sleep.

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From top to bottom, left to right, here they are:

CHEESE JALAPENO CRACKERS. Credit should go to Angela, from Divalicious Recipes.  Recently she composed a post with 50 ideas for low-carb appetizers very well-timed for a Super Bowl party.  These crackers are pure cheese, with a kick of Jalapeno. I made only eight for the two of us. There was a bit of an argument over the last one, we could not quite agree on who had the right to grab it. I won. Determination is everything.

crackerstutorial

My version, 50:50 Monterey-Cheddar & Parmigiano.
Baked at 350F for about 10 minutes.
Watched them like a hawk.

MARINATED CUCUMBER SALAD. I saw this recipe at FoodTV the other day, a show I don’t normally watch called Valerie’s Home Cooking. I admit to having a bit of a problem with Hollywood folks turned into FoodTV chefs. Maybe I should open my mind a little? Nah, I like my mind the way it is… Anyway, her recipe sounded great but I adapted on my second time around because she used too heavy a hand on the sesame oil. It pretty much overpowered the delicate cucumber.

cucumber

In a small bowl mix and whisk well:

1/2 cup rice vinegar (unseasoned)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil.

Slice one cucumber as thin as you can make it, a mandoline could be helpful. I used a Persian cucumber, so I did not remove the seeds, but if you only find regular ones, removing the seeds is a nice touch. Delicately mix the cucumber slices with the dressing, refrigerate for half an hour if you have the time, but it’s good right away too.
So refreshing!

FRIED EGG OVER LABNEH WITH ZA’TAR. This is unbelievably good!  I confess I’m addicted and have it several times each week for my lunch.  I know you will find the combination a bit odd, but trust me, it is to die for. Just smear some labneh or thick Greek yogurt on a plate. Squirt a bit of lemon juice and a little salt (no need for salt if using labneh). Sprinkle za’tar all over, use a heavy hand if you are a za’tar lover.  Fry an egg whichever way you prefer, for this concoction I like a little bit of a crisp edge. Rest the egg on top of the cold labneh or yogurt mixture. Swoon!

zataregg

I use different spices sometimes.  Sumac goes well, Ras El Hanout is superb, but za’tar is hard to beat. There’s something about the mixture of the runny egg yolk with the cold seasoned yogurt, I never tire of it.  I first saw this combination at Maureen’s beautiful blog, she also included in her cookbook Rose Water and Orange Blossoms, which I own.

BLUEBERRY CHIA PUDDING.  I am usually pretty slow to jump on fashionable ingredients, and most of my adventures with chia seeds have been unremarkable. Not this one. It turned out so good I would serve it for company without thinking twice. It is creamy, sweet and tangy at the same time, the coconut flavor so subtle it would not offend those who are not too fond of it.  All you need to do is remember to soak the chia seeds the day before, or at least a couple of hours in advance.  A minute in the blender, and there you have, Nirvana in a bowl.  You can find the recipe here, but I highly recommend you get the book My New Roots, where you’ll find this one and a multitude of other interesting recipes.

blueberry-chia

for the recipe, visit Les Petites Pestes

Sometimes simple is all we need…

four-simple-recipes-from-bewitching-kitchen

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15 thoughts on “INCREDIBLY SIMPLE TIMES FOUR

  1. You just made me very hungry, and it’s my bedtime! You also made me add a bunch of cookbooks to my shopping cart. You are such a temptress! Those cheese crackers are especially evil/good, and Maureen’s cookbook is on its way to me. Fortunately, we just added an Amazon drop off site at work, so I can sneak new stuff home!!

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    • Good point on seeding them – I used Persian cucumbers, so I did not seed them because they are so tender, but I will add a note to the post in case “regular” cucumbers are used… the oil is definitely an acquired taste, some people find sesame too strong

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  2. The cucumber salad is wonderful, but we only enjoy it during the growing season, just can’t bring myself to try it with store bought cukes. My husband grew up with this salad but his mom never could give me a recipe, just bit of this and bit of that. I tried it many times, it just never turned out exactly as he liked it. I gave up for many many years…. a few summers ago I thought I would just weigh and measure everything until he was satisfied, as luck would have it he loved my first try. I even introduced it to the small kitchen where I work, as a take home salad. It’s a huge hit all summer, and I often manage to make it within hours of having picked the cucumbers. The sesame oil was added at work though, we don’t use it at home, just lots of fresh dill.

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    • Dill is a perfect addition… the sesame oil gave the cucumber a slightly brown hint which detracts a bit from the pure beauty of its natural color, but… it’s a nice flavor when used sparingly, and it does take it to the Oriental path.

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    • Very curious to know if you will love the chia pudding as much as I did. I made only one portion and Phil did not have a chance to try it. He’s been nagging me to make another batch, and as soon as I get another container of blueberries, I will do so…

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  3. All 4 dishes sound great, especially the fried egg and labneh, I will try that one tomorrow morning. Za’tar is one of my favorite seasonings, we put it on everything;)

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  4. I think I’ll take a pass on the cucumber and chia seeds aren’t on my food list yet but the cheddar and jalapeno fricos and the egg/labneh/zaatar dish look delicious.

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