ZUCCHINI WITH QUICK-PICKLED VEGETABLES AND PEANUT SAUCE

Once again I am following the steps of Joanne. Once again my pictures won’t do justice to how delicious this meal turned out. The peanut sauce is perfectly balanced: salty, sweet, spicy, you will feel like going at it with a spoon, eyes-closed, total bliss.

ZUCCHINI WITH QUICK-PICKLED VEGETABLES IN PEANUT SAUCE
(slightly adapted from Joanne’s blog)

2 medium zucchini, cut into ¼-inch coins
black pepper, to taste
salt to taste
olive oil to lightly coat it (if using air-fryer)

For the quick-pickled veggies
5 oz shredded carrots
1 seedless cucumber, thinly sliced
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp rice vinegar

For the peanut sauce
6 tbsp creamy peanut butter
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp lime juice
½ tsp fresh grated ginger
2 tbsp sesame oil
3 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp sweet chili sauce
1 tsp sambal oelek

Pickle the veggies: In a medium bowl, toss together the carrots, cucumber, lime juice, soy sauce, and rice vinegar. Set aside as you prepare the sauce and cook the zucchini.

If using an air-fryer, coat the zucchini with olive oil (you can use a spray can), season lightly with salt and pepper, and air-fry at the highest temperature until done (10 to 12 minutes). Reserve. If using a frying pan, add enough oil for a shallow fry, and cook the zucchini on both sides until golden.

Make the peanut sauce. In a medium bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, soy sauce, lime juice, ginger, sesame oil, maple syrup, sweet chili sauce, and sambal oelek until well combined.

Serve everything over rice, with a nice drizzle of the peanut sauce.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: You see that plastic bottle with leftover sauce? You will become very fond of it, and start squeezing it on plenty of stuff. Including your fingers, when no one is around to be a witness.

Truly delicious recipe, you can make it as Joanne did, with crispy tofu. I skipped that and confess that we enjoyed it with one of our favorite proteins, grilled pork tenderloin. But it would be perfect for a vegetarian meal without it. Ground peanuts wold be perfect on top, and that’s what I plan to do in the very near future.

Joanne, I need to thank you once again for bringing so many cool recipes into my horizon…
we loved this one!

GUATEMALAN CHILE RELLENOS

I love a nice Chile Relleno but talk about a heavy dish! It is basically cheese, more cheese, a coating of egg and flour, and a nice bath in hot oil. I wanted to profit from the beautiful Poblanos from our garden, by making some type of stuffed chile that could act as a full meal. In my world, that calls for meat. Google University showed me that there is a concoction from Guatemala that is not too far from my goal. However, it is loaded with potatoes and I wanted something a little lighter. This version was born. Using the air-fryer made it even lighter. Mission accomplished.

AIR-FRIED “GUATEMALAN” CHILE RELLENOS
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

6 Poblano chiles
olive oil spray
1 pound ground turkey
8 oz mushrooms, sliced thinly
1 celery stalk
1 clove garlic, minced (optional)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp chili pepper
1/2 tsp cumin, ground
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, preferably Fire-roasted
fresh cilantro leaves, minced
Panela cheese or another cheese of your choice

Start by making the filling. Heat the olive oil, add mushrooms, celery, garlic (if using), season lightly with salt and pepper. Saute until fragrant in medium-heat, increase the heat to high and add the ground turkey. Add the chili powder, cumin, and the teaspoon of salt. Cook until the meat is golden at spots, at the canned tomatoes with their liquid and simmer for 10 minutes, pan covered, in low-heat. Remove the lid and let the excess moisture evaporate. Add the cilantro. Reserve to cool.

Prepare the poblanos. Cut their tops, carefully scoop out seeds. Spray olive oil and place them in the air-fryer, cut side down. Cook for about 5 minutes at the highest temperature your fryer reaches (mine is 390F). When the skin blisters at points, they are done.

When poblanos and meat are ready and cool enough to handle, fill the poblanos 3/4 of the volume, then add pieces of Panela cheese on top.

Air-fry for about 12 minutes, until cheese is golden brown.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: I don’t know if home-grown poblanos might pack more heat than store-bought, but I can tell you that the few little seeds I left in them were spectacularly hot. As you can see from the picture, our air-fryer was not even half full with the filled peppers, I was afraid it would make a mess during cooking, but everything turned out fine. I don’t have any container that would fit in the basket and keep the peppers standing up. It might also be easier with bigger poblanos, we wanted to use the average size from our backyard, and keep them more or less uniform.

It is hard to beat the speed and convenience of the air-fryer for this type of preparation. Everything browns nicely with just a small amount of oil. No frying, no dealing with leftover oil and the messy process of the coating with egg-flour. I admit it is not authentic, and many Mexicans will consider sending me hate mail… but it was really a delicious meal. If you don’t have an air-fryer, just use the oven at 425F, for a slightly longer time.

ONE YEAR AGO: Marbled Tahini Cookies

TWO YEARS AGO: Twice-Baked Goat Cheese Souffle

THREE YEARS AGO: Strawberry-Mango Entremet Cake

FOUR YEARS AGO: Hommage to the Sun

FIVE YEARS AGO: Tomato and Cucumber Salad with Almond Vinaigrette

SIX YEARS AGO: Eggplant Tomato Stacks

SEVEN YEARS AGO: The Couscous that Wasn’t

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Apple-Cinnamon Bread

NINE YEARS AGO: Blueberry Galette

TEN YEARS AGO: In My Kitchen, August 2011

ELEVEN YEARS AGO: Journey to a New Home

TWELVE YEARS AGO: Friday Night Dinner

SHRIMP STIR-FRY WITH SNOW PEAS AND CASHEWS

You simply cannot beat the speed and convenience of a stir-fried meal and I also love the fact that contrary to what the name suggests, very little oil is needed. I do a very quick brining step for the shrimp, 10 minutes is more than enough, but you can omit that if you don’t mind a slightly less tender texture.

SHRIMP STIR-FRY WITH SNOW PEAS AND CASHEWS
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 cups water
2 Tablespoons salt
1 Tablespoon sugar
squeeze of lemon juice
1 Tablespoon grape seed oil
minced garlic (optional)
grated ginger
6 to 8 ounces snow peas
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced thin
1/3 cup cashews, lightly toasted
salt and pepper to taste

for the finishing sauce:
1/2 cup water
2 Tablespoons dry sherry
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
1/2 Tablespoon cornstarch

Dissolve the salt and water in 2 cups of water in a medium bowl. Add the shrimp and leave in the solution for 10 minutes as you prepare the other ingredients. Make the finishing sauce by whisking all components in a bowl. Reserve.

Drain the shrimp, rinse very briefly and pat dry.

Heat a wok or large nonstick skillet over high heat for 2 minutes. Add the oil to the pan and swirl to coat. Add the ginger and garlic (if using), when fragrant add the snow peas and bell pepper. Stir-fry for a couple of minutes, add the shrimp, and cook for a couple more minutes, stirring frequently. Add the cornstarch mixture and cook until the sauce has thickened. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Top with the cashews and serve right away.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: Normally this dish would be served with plain white rice, but sometimes we cannot resist the appeal of the quick version of tahdig. So that ‘s how we enjoyed this delicious stir-fry. Also, maybe you’ve noticed a red pepper in the first photo? That was a Serrano from our garden, I added without knowing how hot it would be. If you feel brave, add some hot peppers to yours too. I often talk about how good a recipe can be a couple of days later as my lunch. No luck this time, zero leftovers!

ONE YEAR AGO: Pickled-Roasted Chickpeas with Cashew Cream

TWO YEARS AGO: Twice-Baked Goat Cheese Souffle

THREE YEARS AGO: A Star from England in the Bewitching Kitchen

FOUR YEARS AGO: Hommage to the Sun

FIVE YEARS AGO:The Fabulous Three
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SIX YEARS AGO: Turkey-Chorizo Burger with Green Chile Dressing
.
SEVEN YEARS AGO:Taco Salad
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EIGHT YEARS AGO: Semolina Sourdough Boule
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NINE YEARS AGO:Forgive me, for I have sinned
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TEN YEARS AGOCracked Wheat Sandwich Bread
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ELEVEN YEARS AGO:  Au Revoir, my Bewitching Kitchen
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TWELVE YEARS AGO:French Bread


A VEGAN TRILOGY

Please, please, please, don’t run away. I promise you these are all absolutely delicious and worthy serving to any omnivore out there. A creamy dip that will leave you in disbelief that it lacks dairy or cheese. And two cookies, the classic chocolate chip (described by the resident Cookie Critic as one of the best I’ve made), and Vegan Linzers, not very easy to make but if you have a little patience and the inclination to try it, once you taste it, you will be glad you baked a batch.

CASHEW CREAM ROASTED BELL PEPPER DIP
(adapted from several sources)

1½ cups raw cashews
½ cup roasted red peppers (packed in oil, lightly drained)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
1/4 tsp pepper (or to taste)
water to adjust consistency
1/3 cup minced parsley leaves

Place cashews in bowl and add cold water to cover completely. Let sit at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours. Drain and rinse well. Process soaked cashews, red peppers, oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in food processor until smooth, about 2 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add water if too thick.

Transfer cashew mixture to bowl, stir in parsley, and adjust seasoning. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature 30 minutes before serving.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: Using a Vitamix would be even better to get more of a creamy texture but I confess I hate removing things from the Vitamix bowl, unless they pour out easily. It is a little pet peeve of mine. This dip was absolutely delicious, and you can take it in many directions replacing the red bell pepper for some other ingredient, like roasted eggplants, or tahini. Vegan or not, it will definitely be a regular in our kitchen.

SECRETLY VEGAN SALTED CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

Recipe available online here

I made no modifications, the recipe was recommended by my niece Raquel, who raved about it. It is absolutely true, you cannot tell they are vegan. Approved by all tasters!

VEGAN LINZERS
(adapted from Rainbow Nourishments)

200 g whole-wheat flour
40 g all-purpose flour
1/2 cup grapeseed oil
30 g powdered sugar
1/4 tsp cardamon (optional, but nice)
pinch of salt

jam of your choice to fill the cookies (I used strawberry)

Add all the cookie ingredients to a food processor. Process until evenly combined. Adjust the consistecy with more flour if needed, so that if you pinch the dough between your fingers it will not crumble.

Transfer the dough to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 1 hour. Dust a piece of parchment paper with flour and roll the dough to 1/4 inch thickness using a plastic wrap on top to protect it as you roll. Cut round shapes, at this point the dough might be getting too soft, so place it in the freezer.

Remove from the freezer, cut centers out of half of the rounds, place in the freezer again for 20 minutes and bake from frozen in a 350F oven.

Spread jam on the round cookies, top with the open circles, and dust the surface with powdered sugar.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: You know I never lie to you. These were a labor of love. The absence of butter in the dough makes it very soft and tricky to work with. If you are not comfortable making regular Linzer cookies, take your time, and keep chilling the dough in the freezer at each step. Roll out, freeze. Cut rounds, freeze. Cut centers, freeze. Move to final baking sheet, freeze.

But they turned out very good, another type of vegan baking that will please those in the Butter-Egg-Dairy Team. You can trust me on that. Hand on heart.

ONE YEAR AGO: The Mystifying Hurricane Roll

TWO YEARS AGO: Pop-Tarts with Strawberry Balsamic Jam

THREE YEARS AGO: Ptichye Moloko, a Russian Dessert

FOUR YEARS AGO: Cheesy Low-Carb Zucchini Tarts

FIVE YEARS AGO: Blogging Hiatus

SIX YEARS AGO: Apricots, Three Ways

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Up Close and Personal with Kale

EIGHT YEARS AGOBlack Berry Cherry Sorbet

NINE YEARS AGO: Asparagus Pesto

TEN YEARS AGO: Chocolate and Chestnut Terrine

ELEVEN YEARS AGO: Under the spell of lemongrass

TWELVE YEARS AGO: Greens + Grapefruit + Shrimp = Great Salad!

SUMMERTIME MACARON DUET

Flavors that scream summer: Passion Fruit-Lime, and Strawberry-Rose. In macaron format. Recipe is my default, a French-meringue method that almost never fails me. Almost, because… macarons!

For the recipe to make the shells, see this post

PASSION FRUIT AND LIME MACARONS
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

Decoration of shells:
Batter divided in two portions: half dyed pink, half left plain.
Place each batter in a small piping bag. Insert bags by-side in a larger bag.
(this prevents the colors from over-mixing)
Edible dried flowers (like these from Etsy)
Diamond Dust

for filling:
60 g unsalted butter softened
160 g powdered sugar
zest of 1/2 lime
1 to 2 tsp Amoretti passion fruit flavor
pinch of salt
heavy cream if needed to adjust consistency

Use a hand-held electric mixer and whisk the butter until creamy. Add the other ingredients except the heavy cream, and whisk until creamy and smooth. If needed, add a bit of heavy cream to loosen the mixture.

Assemble the macarons: find two macarons similar in size and add a good amount of filling to the bottom of one of them. Place the other on top and squeeze gently to take the filling all the way to the edge. Store in the fridge for 24 hours for perfect texture.

To decorate, sprinkle the surface with Diamond dust, and glue a little edible flower, off-center, using Royal icing.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: This was my first time using dried edible flowers, but certainly won’t be the last. I think they will be great on Royal iced cookies, so stay tuned, they might show up on my cookie blog. The lime in the filling helps cut the sweetness of the buttercream, without interfering too much with the passion fruit flavor. I will definitely make this filling again in the future.

STRAWBERRY-ROSE MACARONS
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

for the shells:
Fuchsia color from Sugarflair (a gift from my friend Caro)
Royal Icing in piping consistency to make a flower
food pen to add little dots

for the filling:
60g butter
160g powdered sugar
3 tablespoons strawberry jam
1/8 tsp rose water
1 tablespoon heavy cream

Use a hand-held electric mixer and whisk the butter until creamy. Add the other ingredients and whisk until creamy and smooth. If needed, adjust with powdered sugar or heavy cream.

Match two shells, add filling and close them. Decorate with Royal Icing, adding a white edible pearl to the center, then piping little petals around it. A little extra decoration with a black food pen is optional.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: I find the combination of strawberry and rose water very appealing, BUT be careful with the amount you use, because you are not making soap, you are making a cookie. Hitting the perfect balance is not easy, so I suggest using only 1/8 tsp and not a drop more. It will also depend on the brand of rose water you use. I used this one.

I’d like to remind you that if you are a mac-o-phobe, but would like to try baking a batch, I have a video tutorial available that covered this exact recipe. Check it out here.

ONE YEAR AGO: Pain de Mie Dressed up for Party

TWO YEARS AGO: Five-Stranded Bread

THREE YEARS AGO: Green Olive Salad

FOUR YEARS AGO: Coffee Macarons Dressed up to Party

FIVE YEARS AGO: Blogging Hiatus

SIX YEARS AGO: Tomato Tatin

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Headed to Colorado!  

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Farofa Brasileira

NINE  YEARS AGO: Thai-Inspired Pork Tenderloin

TEN YEARS AGO: A yummy Brazilian cake: Bolo de Fuba’

ELEVEN YEARS AGO:  Summer’s Tomatoes

TWELVE YEARS AGO: Leaving on a jet plane…