SOUS-VIDE EGG BITES

Disclaimer: I am taking liberties with the term sous-vide, which means under vacuum. Obviously, not the case when using food placed inside a glass jar. But Sous-vide egg bites sounds better than “Water-Bath-Precision-Cooked Egg Bites” ¬†

ūüėČ

Whenever we travel, we need to get our Java fix at Starbucks. Not our favorite coffee shop (we are partial to Peet’s or smaller, family operated joints), but sometimes it is the most convenient option. In one of these trips a few years ago, I noticed in their menu “sous-vide egg bites.” Seemed like a perfect option, not carb-loaded as most items available. Because we usually cannot cook during trips, I’m always trying to find ways to moderate the carb intake while away from home.¬†I was intrigued and ordered one. Loved it. Now, whenever we find ourselves at Starbucks, I get my sous-vide egg fix. But what is even better than that? I can make them at home, six at a time, and grab them from the fridge whenever I want. A super brief encounter with microwaves and I’m all set!

SOUS-VIDE EGG BITES
(from the Bewitching Kitchen, adapted from several sources)

6 (4-ounce) jars with screw caps
6 large eggs
¬Ĺ cup heavy cream
¬ľ cup cream cheese
¬ľ cup grated mozzarella cheese
¬Ĺ teaspoon salt

add-ons:
12 cherry tomatoes, roasted
or
pieces of cooked bacon
or
diced ham
or
caramelized onions
or
smoked salmon

Heat the sous-vide water-bath to 185¬ļF.

Combine the eggs, heavy cream, cream cheese, mozzarella cheese and salt in a blender and blend until smooth. Put the additions of your choice in the bottom of each jar and then fill the jars with the egg mixture. Screw the lids on, only fingertip tight. Do not screw them tightly.

Place the jars into the sous-vide water bath and cook for 45 to 60 minutes.  Remove the jars very carefully from the water-bath (use tongs, they will be very hot). Enjoy warm or refrigerate for a few days.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: Most exciting part of this recipe is dropping the little jars in the sous-vide bath. What can I say? I am easily amused. It is very important not to tighten the lids too much, but of course if you don’t fully close them it will be a very messy situation. So what I do is: I tighten them well, then unscrew just a little bit.

You can adapt this method to your taste, using the add-ons I suggested, or anything else you might like. Perhaps cooked broccoli, sautéed spinach, grated carrots. Very flexible recipe. I normally make a batch in the weekend and enjoy a couple of these as a light lunch during the week. A little Ak-Mak cracker on the side, and I am a very happy sous-vider.

ONE YEAR AGO: Paul Hollywood, The Weekend Baker

TWO YEARS AGO: Texas Sheet Cake

THREE YEARS AGO: In My Kitchen, September 2015

FOUR YEARS AGO: Sour Cherry Sorbet: A Labor of Love

FIVE YEARS AGO:¬†In My Kitchen ‚Äď September 2013

SIX YEARS AGO: Raspberry Sorbet at Summer’s End

SEVEN YEARS AGO: When three is better than two  (four years with Buck!)

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Grating Tomatoes (and loving it!)

NINE YEARS AGO: A Peachy Salad for a Sunny Day

 

 

 

INCREDIBLY SIMPLE TIMES FOUR: MAY 2018

Time to showcase recipes that are so simple they hardly qualify as such.

INCREDIBLY SIMPLE #1

CACIO E PEPE

Hard to believe I had never made this dish until now. It is such a classic, but for one reason or another I only had it in restaurants and not even that often. Guess what? After inaugurating it, I enjoyed it three more times over the following month. It is so simple and so delicious!  You must make it. I tried it with zoodles a couple of times, works wonders too. I was inspired by Geoffrey Zakarian in a recent Kitchen episode.

CACIO E PEPE

pasta of your choice
Kosher salt
2 tsp freshly ground (coarse) pepper (or to taste)
grated Pecorino-Romano cheese to taste
drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil

Two genius touches: first, you will cook the pasta in a pan just large enough to hold it, with about 1 inch water from the bottom. Add a little salt to the water. Cook without closing the pan until al dente.

Second: toast the pepper in a small skillet until fragrant, just a minute or so.

The pasta will be cooked with just a little water left, a water full of starch from the pasta.  Turn off the heat, add the pepper and cheese. Stir well, adjust seasoning with salt.

Serve and enjoy!

to print the recipe, click here 

INCREDIBLY SIMPLE #2

SCRAMBLED EGGS WITH RICOTTA, TURMERIC & ZA’TAR

Another non-recipe for you. This simple concoction was my lunch more often than I care to admit. I tend to have these “phases” in which I might enjoy the exact same recipe over and over and over, not getting tired of it. Amazing what a little ricotta does to add creaminess to a simple scrambled egg. Add a couple of crackers, and I am a happy camper. For those who eat breakfast, this is a must-try. In a way, it’s my breakfast too, I just happen to “break-my-fast” a lot later than most people…

Heat some oil or butter in a non-stick pan. Don’t let it heat too much, add 2 eggs, slightly beaten, immediately drop in the center about 1/4 cup ricotta cheese, season with salt, pepper, and 1/4 tsp of turmeric. Cook, stirring gently over low-heat to your liking. Sprinkle za’tar when it’s almost ready to serve. Enjoy with bread or crackers.

INCREDIBLY SIMPLE #3

AIR-FRIED NEW POTATOES

Cut new potatoes in half. Add to a pan with a little cold, salted water. Bring to a boil, cook for about 8 minutes. Drain. Drizzle a little olive oil, salt, and Herbes de Provence. Place in the air-fryer, cook at 390 F (or as high as your machine will go) until crispy, 15 to 20 minutes maximum. Shake occasionally. The pan, not necessarily yourself, but depending on what’s playing I say go for it.

INCREDIBLY SIMPLE #4

RICE WITH TURMERIC AND CARDAMON

We eat rice often, usually plain. But every once in a while it’s nice to guild the lily a bit. I love the color of turmeric and the flavor of cardamon. Together they make a simple bowl of rice shine. Literally. ¬†Inspiration came from the newest book by Nigella Lawson, At My Table.

RICE WITH TURMERIC AND CARDAMON

1.5 cups of rice, rinsed and drained
2.5 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 to 1/4 tsp turmeric
3 cardamon pods, crushed

Add all ingredients to a pan. Bring water to a boil, reduce heat close tightly the lid.

Simmer for 20 minutes without opening the pan. Turn off the heat, open the lid, add a tea towel on the surface of the rice, close the lid again.

Let it rest for 10 to 30 minutes if you have the time, but it’s still nice if served right away.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

I hope you enjoyed these simple recipes. It’s nice to have a bunch of quick choices that you can make without even thinking too much. The scrambled egg, for instance, I don’t even measure anything. I sprinkle some turmeric, I add ricotta until I feel it’s going to be creamy enough, sometimes I add za’tar, sometimes Herbes de Provence, it’s never exactly the same twice in a row, but whatever you do it will be delicious.

New Potatoes: if you don’t have an air-fryer, you can still do the same on top of the stove or even roasting them in a super hot oven. The texture I get with the air-fryer is pretty unique, though, and allows that fried aura without too much fat. Love it.

ONE YEAR AGO: Tangential Quiche with Asparagus and Fennel

TWO YEARS AGO: Fakebouleh

THREE YEARS AGO: Yellow Squash Soup

FOUR YEARS AGO: Grilled Chicken with Tamarind and Coconut Glaze

FIVE YEARS AGO: Chicken-Apricot Skewers

SIX YEARS AGO:  Asparagus Quiche

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Two-stage Pea and Prosciutto Risotto

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Mellow Bakers: Corn Bread

 

 

 

DEVILED EGGS GO GREEN

First things first:
Thank you to all of you who contributed by donating or sharing my gofund page on behalf of our graduate student Aritri.

Deviled eggs. Either you hate them or you love them, there’s no in-between. They are retro, I suppose, in the sense that their popularity seems to have faded compared to say, 20 years ago. But they are more retro than that, as the term dates to the XVIII century, applied to foods that carry a lot of spicy heat. My version added some avocado to the filling, and we both thought it was a nice little twist on this classic.

AVOCADO DEVILED EGGS
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

6 eggs, hard-boiled and peeled (obviously)
2 medium avocados, ripe and tender
2 tablespoons full-fat yogurt
1 tsp Sriracha sauce (or more, to taste)
1 tsp lemon juice
salt and black pepper to taste
generous sprinkle of Tajin for serving

Cut the eggs in half, and gently scoop out the yolks, placing them in a small bowl.

To the yolks, add all other ingredients, except Tajin, and mash it all together with a fork.  Transfer the mixture to a piping bag or simply fill the egg whites with a small spoon. Divide the filling on all egg whites, you might have a little bit leftover. It goes nice on a piece of baguette or Ak-Mak cracker.

Sprinkle with Tajin, and serve.  It keeps well in the fridge, cover lightly with Saran-wrap.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: Honestly, I don’t know why I don’t make deviled eggs more often. It is such a delicious little treat, retro or not, I could not care less. It is tasty, and Phil loves it. ¬†He arrived home from golf on a Sunday and I surprised him with this batch. I don’t know if he was smiling so much because of his score (he had shot 72 and beat all his buddies) or if the deviled eggs were part of it. At any rate, these are awesome. I know some people don’t think avocados and eggs make a good match, and yes, maybe the whole “break an egg inside an avocado half and bake it” is pushing it a little. But in this preparation? No issues, I promise. I would make it for company anytime. And if you don’t have Tajin, don’t let that stop you. A little freshly ground pepper will do. But Tajin is pretty awesome, a perfect match for avocados, so if your grocery store carries it, bring a little bottle home.

ONE YEAR AGO: Tiramisu

TWO YEAR AGO: Pulled Pork, Slow-Cooker version

THREE YEARS AGO: The Pie of the Century

FOUR YEARS AGO: Bon Bon Chicken

FIVE YEARS AGO: Leaving on a Jet Plane

SIX YEARS AGO: A Pearfect Drink

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Ming Tsai Under Pressure

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Paris, je t’aime!

 

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QUICHE 101

Some people are intimidated by cake. Some by bread. Others by quiche. I am here to end your quiche-o-phobia once and for all. I promise you that you will be able to make any quiche you’d like without the need to look at a recipe. Yes, that easy. Your quiche will be slightly lighter in fat than the authentic concoctions from France, but you won’t even notice. All you need is a food processor, a skillet, and a bowl.¬† You could even skip the food processor and do the whole thing¬† by hand, just add a second bowl to the utensils needed.¬† Ready? Let’s go…

FOR THE CRUST

MEMORIZE  1 + 1 + 1/2

Add one cup of flour to your food processor bowl. All-purpose is fine.¬† Add to it one stick of butter, cold, cut in pieces.¬† Half a teaspoon of salt. Yes, it would be even easier if you could add a full teaspoon, so memorizing would be a triple “1.” But you don’t want to taste salt in the crust, so stick to half a teaspoon.

Pulse everything in the processor until the butter look crumbly, probably 6 times or so, not more than that.

Now I ask you. How many different items did you add to the food processor? ¬†Three. So that’s the number of tablespoons of very cold water you will drizzle on top with the machine running. ¬†The moment it threatens to start crumbling together, STOP. Stop right away!¬† Pinch a small amount with your fingers, if they hold together you are done.¬† Dump it over a plastic wrap on your counter top, wrap it bringing it all together, it will smooth out considerably as it rests. ¬†Do not try to knead it or you will end up with a tough crust. Place in the fridge for 20 minutes to 1 hour. Or more. You can do that the day before.

When ready to roll out the crust, remove from the fridge, and roll it thin enough to cover a 9-inch pie plate, preferably with fluted edges and removable bottom.  Dock the surface, refrigerate while you heat the oven, or for several hours.

Blind bake it  at 375 F for 15 to 20 minutes, with pie weights or dry beans. I like to cover the surface with plastic wrap so that any type of weight I use has an easier time reaching the edges. Remove the weights once the pie has been in the oven for 10 minutes.  That is it, your crust is done!   

FILLING

Anything your heart desires.  Amounts are pretty flexible, just use common sense, you need to cover the surface of the quiche, but not crowd it too much.  In this example I used diced prosciutto (straight from the package, not cooked in any way), sautéed mushrooms, grated Gruyère cheese, and minced parsley.  Place your goodies over the surface of the blind-baked crust.  Now get ready to make the liquid component, enough for a 9-inch quiche.

MEMORIZE 1/2 + 6

Measure half a cup of whole milk. Place it in a bowl, season lightly with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Add to it 6 eggs, except that 4 will be whole, and 2 will be egg whites only.  Whisk vigorously, and pour on the quiche with all the goodies already placed on its surface.

Bake at 375F for about 30 minutes. It will puff and get all golden and gorgeous. Remove it from the oven and wait 15 minutes to serve, so that it sinks down a bit and gets a nice texture.

Voilà!  You made quiche!


Now here is my detailed recipe for you

MUSHROOM AND PROSCIUTTO QUICHE
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

for the crust:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 stick butter, cold, cut in pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons ice-cold water

for the filling:
about 10 ounces of mushrooms
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup prosciutto, diced
1/3 cup grated Gruyère cheese
fresh parsley leaves, thorn into pieces
1/2 cup milk
4 whole eggs
2 egg whites
pinch of nutmeg

Make the crust by adding flour, butter and salt to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times until butter is in large crumbs. With machine running, add the ice-cold water. Stop processing once it starts to come together in a mass.  Transfer to a plastic sheet, press delicately into a round disk, and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes, but you can leave it overnight in the fridge.

Roll the pastry out and cover a 9-inch pie dish with removable bottom. Dock the surface, chill the pastry for at least 30 minutes before blind-baking it in a 375 F oven, with weights. You can cover the surface with Saran-wrap, as long as the plastic does not touch the metal pan. Bake for 10 minutes, remove weights, bake for 5 to 10 minutes longer, until it is opaque, but not getting dark.

Make the filling. Sautee the mushrooms in olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Make sure the mixture is not watery. Allow it to cool slightly. Sprinkle prosciutto all over the surface of the baked crust. Add the mushrooms, the shredded cheese and parsley.

In a medium bowl, mix the milk with eggs and egg whites. Add a pinch of nutmeg, and a very light touch of salt and pepper. Whisk well, and pour over the filling. If you like, you can reserve some or most of the cheese to sprinkle on top, that gives the quiche a darker color on the surface.

Bake for 30 minutes, remove from the oven, allow it to cool for 15 minutes before slicing.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here


Comments: This was part of our Valentine’s dinner menu. I made the dough and rolled the crust early in the day. Once we arrived home, all that needed to be done was blind-bake the crust and prepare the mushrooms. Piece of cake. So much better than going out. Last year we made that mistake, and were unlucky enough to wait 45 minutes for our order to arrive at the table. Keep in mind we don’t live in LA or New York, and were not enjoying our dinner at a super fashionable and crowded restaurant, where seeing and being seen trumps the quality of the service. Anyway, we could not make the same mistake two years in a row.

I was debating whether to cut the mushrooms in smaller pieces, but I’m glad I went with bigger chunks. Much more satisfying that way.¬† If you omit the prosciutto, this would be a perfect meal to entertain your vegetarian friends. Use sun-dried tomatoes in small pieces instead. I bet that would be lovely.

On the side, a version of a recent salad we truly enjoyed. This time I used dried cranberries and roasted pistachios, same dressing. No cheese, as we had enough of that in the quiche.

It was a lovely dinner, in the comfort of our home, fireplace on, pups happily snoring nearby, waiting for the time when the dishes get done and some bits and pieces of goodies might “accidentally” find them…

ONE YEAR AGO: Persian Butternut Squash Soup

TWO YEARS AGO: Walnut Cranberry Sourdough Bread

THREE YEARS AGO: Ottolenghi in Brazil?

FOUR YEARS AGO: Roasted Winter Vegetables with Miso-Lime Dressing

FIVE YEARS AGO: 2012 Fitness Report: P90X2

SIX YEARS AGO: Caramelized Bananas

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Roasted Lemon Vinaigrette

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Whole Wheat Bread

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SLOW-ROASTED TOMATOES

This could very well go into the Simplicity Files, could not be any easier to prepare. They are scrumptious, it is amazing how a few hours in a low oven can concentrate flavors, and with this method, the texture is not harsh like in so many examples of bottled sun-dried tomatoes.

First you need to start with the most gorgeous Roma tomatoes you can find…

Then, slice them in half, and remove the seeds. You don’t want them in there, it will make the tomatoes very watery and it will take a lot longer to dry. To help speed things up – even though this is a slow recipe by definition – you can let the tomatoes rest over a double layer of paper towels, cut side down for an hour or so. It is not mandatory, you can definitely omit this step.

Now, place them in a bowl and drizzle some olive oil, season with salt, pepper, and Herbes de Provence. Lay them on a roasting pan covered with parchment paper and stick them in a 200 F oven. Some recipes call for a drizzle of balsamic, but I prefer to leave that out, the flavor of the tomato comes through with no distractions.

Walk away for a few hours. After 3 hours you can start checking back to see when they reach the consistency you like. Mine actually took 5 hours to get there, but it’s a very nice culinary project to tackle on a Sunday.

They are ready when they are ready…

 

You can nibble on them, but I advise against it. If you start, you might find yourself staring at an empty bowl. Much better to put them to use in all sorts of recipes.

For instance….

A departure on Caprese salad, in which Phil paired them with mozzarella cheese, olives, and a basil dressing….

Remember our Brunch Burger?  There they are, a few slices of slow-roasted tomatoes underneath the turkey patty.

and they pair well with avocados! ¬†Just lay half a tomato inside it, and a squeeze of lemon juice…. Simple, and so delicious!

Another tasty idea: make tomato rice… Just saute a couple of slow-roasted tomatoes until they threaten to melt in the olive oil, add rice, cook a little longer, add the water and in less than 20 minutes you have a very flavorful side dish. We still have amazing tomatoes for sale at the grocery store, so I already made two huge batches, and see a third one in the near future.

ONE YEAR AGO: Spicy Cotija and Black Olive Sourdough

TWO YEARS AGO: Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Cake

THREE YEARS AGO: Sourdough Rye Bread with Flaxseeds and Oats

FOUR YEARS AGO: PCR and a Dance in the Mind Field

FIVE YEARS AGO: October 16: World Bread Day

SIX YEARS AGO: The US Listeria Outbreak 2011

SEVEN YEARS AGO: 36 Hour Sourdough Baguettes

EIGHT YEARS AGO: October 16 is World Bread Day

 

 

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TANGENTIAL QUICHE WITH ASPARAGUS AND FENNEL

I would like to thank everyone who contacted me about my Mom’s passing.
It is a natural cycle of life to say goodbye to a parent, but it is still very painful.
Your kind words warmed my heart.

I’ve taken way too many liberties with recipe titles. Hummus without chickpeas? Yes, guilty of that one. Tortillas with no corn? Read my sentence. Rice-free risotto? Just take me. Today I add one more to the list. A quiche. But no crust. In fact, I’ve made a version almost exactly one year ago using sweet potato slices to cover the pie dish. We loved it so much that it’s hard to believe it took me so long to re-visit. This time I paired asparagus and fennel, with a small amount of cheese for good measure. Trickiest part of this recipe is getting the sweet potato slices to roast¬†without shrinking too much and collapsing from the sides of the dish. Still, even if that happens, no major harm will be done. It is all going to be delicious.

SWEET POTATO CRUST QUICHE WITH ASPARAGUS AND FENNEL
(inspired by The Wimpy Vegetarian)

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 sweet potatoes, peeled, sliced thin
olive oil spray for potatoes
kosher salt (about 1 teaspoon total)
freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup thinly sliced asparagus plus a few stalks left whole for decoration
1 large fennel bulb, diced
4 large eggs
2 egg whites
¬Ĺ cup half-and-half
¬Ĺ cup milk
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1/4 cup Gruyere cheese
nutmeg to taste

Heat oven to 400¬įF.

Coat a pie dish with the sliced potatoes, and spray a good amount of olive oil over the slices. Make sure to do a nice layer all around the edges coming up above the rim of the plate. Season lightly with salt. Place in the oven until the potatoes start to get some color, about 12 minutes. Reserve and lower the oven to 350 F.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the asparagus and fennel, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until just tender, about 8 minutes; set aside. Place the whole stalks in a microwave safe dish with a little water, microwave for 30 seconds. Reserve.

Whisk eggs, egg whites, half-and-half, milk, mustard powder,  half teaspoon salt and pepper in another large bowl. Spread the sautéed asparagus and fennel evenly on top of the sweet potato crust. Sprinkle the cheese on top of the vegetables. Pour the egg mixture over it all. Place the stalks of asparagus carefully on top. Grate fresh nutmeg across the top just before sliding into the oven.

Bake until quiche is set and crust is well browned, about 30 minutes, but check after 25 minutes in the oven. It should just jiggle lightly at the center.  Let cool to room temperature before cutting into wedges.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: I love fennel but¬†despise licorice. Go figure that one. My problem with fennel is that you buy this huge bulb and by the time you’re done prepping it, you are left with 1/4 cup at most of goodness. Oh, well. Maybe I don’t do a good job prepping it. But all instructions say to remove the tough outer layer. That “outer layer” is often so thick, a huge amount of fennel is gone once I remove it. Oh, well again. But I do love its flavor, both raw in salads, roasted, saut√©ed, it’s all great. ¬†I am still learning my way around the sweet potato “crust.” ¬†If you go to Susan’s site, you’ll ¬†notice she opted for a hashbrown path to make the crust. That is definitely something to consider. At any rate, a quiche without the regular crust is so much lighter, and a lot quicker to prepare too. Obviously, you could omit the crust altogether, just coat the pie dish with a little butter or oil, add the veggies, pour the egg mixture and bake it. But it’s nice to have a bit of texture underneath. ¬†Whatever you choose to do, this filling with asparagus and fennel, a touch of Gruyere (a favorite cheese of mine) is a winner.

 

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ONE YEAR AGO: Fakebouleh

TWO YEARS AGO: Yellow Squash Soup

THREE YEARS AGO: Grilled Chicken with Tamarind and Coconut Glaze

FOUR YEARS AGO: Chicken-Apricot Skewers

FIVE YEARS AGO:  Asparagus Quiche

SIX YEARS AGO: Two-stage Pea and Prosciutto Risotto

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Mellow Bakers: Corn Bread

 

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.

composite

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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ONE YEAR AGO: Raspberry Chocolate Truffles

TWO YEARS AGO: Red Velvet Cupcakes

THREE YEARS AGO: Valentine’s Day: The Finale

FOUR YEARS AGO: Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

FIVE YEARS AGO: Dan Dan Noodles

SIX YEARS AGO: Sophie Grigson’s Parmesan Cake

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Antibiotics and Food