Today wasn't exactly the best day for soup (85°F In New York). But who set this rule anyway? you can have ice cream in the middle of winter and that's OK. Leek and potato soup is my son Lucas favorite meal. He even goes "mmm" after each spoon. I don't blame him it's a great soup.
I don't use vegetable stock (unless it's homemade) or cream to make this or any soup. I think the vegetable looses flavor and identity and I like to taste my veggies.
I also like to add flax seeds, they don't really add much flavor to the soup but they have a lot of health benefits. Flax seeds are really underused. Well I hope everybody enjoy this long weekend, I know is going to be a fun one around here, some BBQ, friends, family and of course dessert.
1 pound of leeks
2 Yukon gold potato, diced (skin on)
1 small zucchini
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
Flax seeds to sprinkle
salt and pepper to taste
Chop the leeks into small pieces.
Add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of a heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add the potatoes and cook for 5 minutes, add the leeks, garlic, zucchini, salt and pepper and cook for another 10 minutes. Add enough hot water to just cover the veggies, cover and let it simmer for 25 minutes or until the vegetables are very tender, stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat and puree the vegetables with an immersion blender until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning. Sprinkle with flax seeds and few drops of olive oil.
Note: The texture of this soup is not very liquid, so feel free to add a bit of water to make it less thick, but trust me, it's pretty good as is.
Well, Crêpes don't need and intro, we all know and love them. I have been meaning to do crepes for a while now, and I keep postponing it and I don't know why, because what good reason can you have to postpone a crêpe? But today I was really craving them so I finally went ahead I made some.
As you know, you can stuff crêpes with almost anything from sweet to savory. I love these types of food that let you be creative. I see crêpes as a blank canvas, I sometimes don't even know what I am going to fill them with, once I'm done making the crêpes, I just go through my fridge and see what's there. This time I knew exactly what I wanted, good old crêpe suzette.
I just love the simplicity of it, orange-caramel sauce with a touch of grand marnier. Seriously, what's not to like? I will definitely be posting more recipes with my favorite combinations.
1 1/8 cups of flour
2 eggs lightly beaten
1 1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons melted butter,
plus more for the pan
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon sugar
Sift together the flour, salt and sugar. In a separate bowl, mix together eggs, milk and water and pour the mixture into the dry ingredients whisking constantly until you get a smooth batter. Stir in the melted butter, cover and let the batter rest in the fridge for 45 minutes.
Heat a crepe pan and grease with some butter. Pour enough batter to coat the botton of the pan, make sure it gets spread evenly. Cook over medium heat for about 45 seconds, flip and Cook for another 30 seconds.
For the Sauce:
1/2 cup of sugar
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons of butter
3/4 cup Oranje juice
The zest of 1 orange
3 tablespoons grand marnier
Mix the water and sugar in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves then increase the heat and boil until the sugar turns a golden brown. About 10 minutes. Stir in the butter. Once the butter is melted, carefully, add the orange juice and zest, let it boil for 2 to 3 minutes. Turn the heat off and add the grand marnier, mix to incorporate.
Fold the crêpes in half twice (shape of a triangle). Lay crêpes into the pan and turn them to coat.
Serve them and pour remaining sauce over it. Vanilla ice cream? why not?
This past Sunday we had a little gathering with some friends I had not seen in a while. I wanted to do
something special for dessert to celebrate the occasion. Semifreddo, Italian for "semi-frozen", seemed to be the perfect thing. There are several ways to make a semifreddo and a lot of different flavors, but you know me and my chocolate obsession, it wasn't hard choose.The texture feels like a frozen chocolate mousse. I also added coffee to enhance the chocolate flavor even more. Another great thing about this dessert is that you can make it ahead of time, way ahead since it's frozen, it will stay good for a while.
I also made a salted caramel sauce to drizzle the semifreddo, they are a match made in heaven. I always like to have caramel sauce in my fridge. It's just a great complement for many desserts, even for fillings!
For the Chocolate Semifreddo:
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
4 eggs, separated
3 tbsp powder sugar
1 cup pistachios, chopped
1 tbsp of instant coffee dissolved
in 1/2 tbsp of hot water
Line a 9 by 4 1/2 loaf pan with parchment paper or plastic wrap, set aside.
Heat 1 cup of heavy cream in a sauce pan. In a bowl, mix together the sugar, cocoa powder, coffee and egg yolks. Slowly, pour the hot cream into the mixture whisking constantly until well combined. Pour the mixture back into the sauce pan and cook over low heat, stirring continuously until the mixture is thick (custard-like consistency) about 3 minutes. Be careful not to boil the mixture. Remove from the heat and cover (the surface) with plastic wrap. Let it cool for about 30 minutes. Whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form. In a clean bowl, whip the remaining heavy cream until soft peaks form, add the powder sugar and whip until stiff and glossy. Gently, fold in the whipped cream into the chocolate custard, then fold in the egg whites. Carefully, fold in the chopped pistachio. Transfer the mixture into the prepared loaf pan and cover with plastic wrap. Freeze for at least 24 hours.
For the Caramel sauce:
1 cup water
2 cups sugar
4 tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup whole milk
1/4 tsp sea salt
Mix the water and sugar in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves then Increase the heat and boil until the sugar turns a golden brown, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the butter. Once the butter is melted, carefully pour in the cream and milk (it will bubble up) and continue to cook for another minute or two. Add the salt and mix well.
I like the caramel to be a little on the runny side, that's why I like to add milk. Also, when
This past Sunday I want it to finally celebrate spring with strawberry tartlets. It's been a cold and rainy
Spring in New York but this weekend was so nice and sunny, I was so inspired to bake and set up for the photo-shoot outside, in my terrace and just spent the whole day there. It's was a nice weekend overall. On Saturday, my cousin Raquel took me to this amazing fabric store where I found the cutest fabrics for props. I went crazy trying to choose from hundreds or even thousands different styles. I felt like a kid in a candy store. After that, I made a quick stop on the market to pick up some fresh strawberries and oranges which, by the way, made great fresh squeezed orange juice on Sunday.
On to the tartlets! This recipe is good because it holds very basic pastry recipes. It's always great to have
a good tart pastry recipe on hand because it's versatility, it could easily go from sweet to savory. The creme patissiere it's very basic to have too, to spice things up I added a little bit of cardamom.
For the tart pastry:
1 3/4 cups flour
6 oz unsalted butter,
well chilled and diced
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon sugar
a pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Sift the flour, sugar and salt. Place the mixture into a food processor and pulse a few times, just to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk and 2 teaspoons of water and pulse until the dough comes together. If the dough is not coming together, add 1 or 2 teaspoons more of water. Bring the dough together with your hands forming a disk and Wrap in plastic. Refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to line six 4-inch tart shell , about 1/8" thick. Place the pastry back into the refrigerator for another 20 minutes. Line the pastry shell with a with crumpled parchment paper and fill it with tart weights or you can use dried beans too. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until slightly brown. Set aside to cool.
3 Egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 cup cornstarch
1 cup milk
1/2 vanilla pod
1/2 tablespoon butter
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)
Whisk together the egg yolks and half of the sugar until the mixture is very pale yellow. Sift in the cornstarch and add the cardamom and mix well. Place the milk in a saucepan, add the remaining sugar and vanilla pod and bring it just to a boil. Whisking constantly, pour the hot mixture over the eggs. Pour the mixture back into a saucepan and bring it to a boil stirring constantly. Don't worry if you start to see lumps, it will smooth out
as you stir. Boil for about 2 minutes and mix in the butter. Transfer to a bowl and cover the surface of the pastry cream with plastic wrap placed directly over the top to prevent the formation of the skin. set aside to cool then refrigerate until cold.
Fresh strawberries, hulled and slice.
Fill the pastry with the creme patissiere and arrange the strawberry on top.