Puff Pastery and Parmesan Grissini’s

Finally some nice weather! Enough to lift our spirits. After the first trimester of pregnancy, I’m finaly rid of sickness and I am back to normal again. Now I can cook without any unconfort (just the belly against the counter), and I’m enjoying cooking again!

2
These grissini’s by Rudolph Van Veen are addictive: ideal for a picnic, a starter or a party! You can use other cheeses, or even don’t add any cheese at all and serve as is. What matters is that you can finally enjoy long and good weather days, and the beautiful outdoors!

1

RECIPE FOR: 4
TIME: 45 min

INGREDIENTS:
250g of puff pastry (approx. 1 pack, I used square)
1 egg for brushing
50g of grated Parmesan
Sea salt and Cumin for sprinkling (optional)

PREPARATION:
Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
Place the dough on a surface and divide it into two equal-sized rectangles.
Beat the egg with a fork and brush one side of one of the rectangles.
Place the grated Parmesan cheese on that side and place the other puff pastry sheet over it.
Pass the rolling pin so that the two sheets of pastry stick together.
Brush the surface with the egg and at this stage you can sprinkle with the cumin and the sea salt. You can choose other flavors: oregano or other dried herbs, seeds, paprika, etc. Cut into strips (2-3 cm wide) and separate them.
Bake for 20-30 minutes but keep watching. Remove them when they are well browned.
I removed them and let them cool 10 minutes before serving.

Strawberry, Mint and Mandarin Popsicle

The sun is back, along with the blue sky, legs out of the trousers … I think it’s officially open the season of ice creams, right? At least here at home is … lately I’ve been delighted with popsicles as they combine the best of the fruit with the freshness of ice. And how much more interesting are the fruit stands this season?!
Besides being super simple to prepare, they’re also ideal to do with and for children: fat free, low sugar and above all you can adapt them to your liking! This is my favorite: a real vitamin C bomb.

3

 

4

SERVE: 6 (depending on the size of the forms)
TIME:
15 min

INGREDIENTS:
300g strawberries
Juice of 5 Mandarins (or 2 oranges)
3 tbsp of white sugar (or 4 of honey)
5 mint leaves

PREPARATION:
Wash the strawberries and remove the leaves. Put them in a blender along with the juice of mandarins and the mint leaves.
Grind for a few minutes, fill the forms and place them in the freezer for 6 hours.
Before removing the icecreams, it helps to pass the molds under water for a few seconds.

5

Tagliatelle with clams in roasted tomato and anchovies sauce

Whoever follows me around here, knows the reasons for my absence. I’m in the first trimester of pregnancy (almost in the second) and had a lot of sickness. And it was not morning sickness contrary to what is more usual … it lasted all day, and if I wake up at night, even then I felt really bad. A small suffering compared to the great happiness of being pregnant with my first child , yet the task of cooking (or even think about food), became quite unbearable for me … is there anything worse than a food blogger felling sick? I don’t think so … and more odd is that I now hate eating stuff I used to love, such as broccoli, Azores cheese  or green beans, and I started enjoying things that I didn’t hate, but simply didn’t make me jump with joy: chicken soup or oranges. Seriously … me eating chicken soup !!

2

Finally I’m feeling much better working in the culinary arts and I swear that it has given me immense joy eating (even more than before) pasta dishes! No need for great refinements, or skills … just good, honest food! This recipe is special because it teaches how to make a fantastic tomato sauce without any apparatus or work … just baked tomatoes until they reach the ideal sweetness, so smooth that the skin falls apart in a delicate and wonderful sauce! A basil branch and some anchovies … and I’m a happy girl!

tagliatelle com amêijoas e molho de anchovas e tomate assado

SERVES: 4
TIME: 45min

INGREDIENTS:
1/2 kg of tomatoes
3 garlic cloves
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
250g tagliatelle
4 anchovies
1 small glass of Port wine
1 Basil branch
1/2 kg of Clams

PREPARATION:
In a tray place the tomatoes cutted in half, face down, and seasoned with salt and pepper and half the olive oil. Bake in a preheated oven at 200 ° C for 30 minutes.
In a pan heat the remaining olive oil, the chopped garlic cloves and the anchovies. Let the garlic slightly cook, stirring with a spoon so that the anchovies melt in the sauce.
Add the tomatoes (you can add them in halves, or you can grind them first), add also a small glass of Port and salt and pepper to season.
Boil some water seasoned with salt.
Let the sauce bubble and reduce to the minimum, add the clams and let these open.
Cook the tagliatelle (for 5 minutes). Do not let it cook completely, since the goal is to finish cooking it in the tomato sauce.
When the pasta is cooked, drain it, but reserve some of the cooking water. Add it to the tomato sauce and if necessary, rectify the thickness of the sauce with some of the cooking water. Let it get al-dente and then add the basil. Stir and serve immediately.

3

Mushrooms cream, with thyme and cauliflower

Soup is still that food that we most enjoy eating here at home. It’s easy to prepare, convenient, economic and above all healthy. Yes, because we should all eat more vegetables and fruits instead of taking supplements or spend our life dieting. First of all, healthy eating is a lifestyle choice, not a phase or fashion. Nevertheless, I have one single soup recipe here in the blog … ironic right?

4
So, to redeem myself of this my unforgivable failure, I leave this suggestion: a creamy mushroom soup, which more than a soup, is a meal itself. As I often don’t use potatoes in soups, I used cooked brown rice to make it creamy!
To go with it, try toasting a few slices of rye bread, and when browned, take a clove of garlic and rub it on both sides of the bread. Drizzle the toast with some olive oil and believe me: this will be the best toast that you will eat into your life!

5

RECIPE FOR: 4
TIME:
45min

Ingredients:
2 Onions
2 Garlic cloves
1 Thyme branch (reserve a few leaves for the end)
1 Package of Paris mushrooms and another of Brown Mushrooms
2 tbsp of Olive Oil
Salt and pepper qs
1 Cauliflower (medium / small)
1 cup of cooked Brown Rice
1L of water

PREPARATION:
Cook the rice in advance. Drain it and set aside.
In a pan put the olive oil, the chopped garlic, the chopped onions and the thyme.
Season with salt and pepper.
Let the onions golden and add 3/4 of the mushrooms cut in half.
When these begin to gain some color, add the cutted cauliflower, the brown rice and the water.
Cook the cauliflower (20min).
Grind all (be sure to remove the sprig of thyme), and season with salt and pepper if necessary.
Add the remaining mushrooms cut into cubes and a few thyme leaves.
Serve with toasted bread.

6

Sunflower Seeds and Oregano Crackers

I’m addicted to healthy stuff! Every meal I try to eat a great portion of vegetables and always opt for darker bread. Of course I still love a candy, or a more hearty dinner where we don’t think about what we are eating.
Nevertheless I think life is too short to waste it in the the doctor, and most of all, we are what we eat.

3
However there is still that prejudice, that usually what is healthy has less flavor … not necessarily. And this recipe is precisely the proof! These crackers are all good: sunflower seeds, olive oil, honey and whole wheat flour. And no hype … just the right proportion of each, and we have a healthy and satisfying snack.

5
Original recipe here.

SERVES: 4
TIME: 45 MIN

INGREDIENTS:
16 tbsp Sunflower seeds
1 cup of Whole Wheat flour
2 tbsp of Honey
3 tbsp of Olive Oil
120ml Warm Water
1 tsp Baking Powder
Oregano and salt to sprinkle

PREPARATION:
Preheat the oven to 170ºC.
In a food processor place the sunflower seeds and grind them, but leave some texture.
Add the flour, honey, baking powder, olive oil and warm water and mix for a few seconds just to get an uniform dough.
In a silicone mat (between 2 sheets of parchment paper you won’t achieve the same result), place half of the dough. Arrange the parchment paper over it and with a rolling pin extend it to a thickness of 3 mm (approximately).
With a knife mark the place where you want the crackers to split. Remove the paper, sprinkle with fine salt and oregano.
Bake for 10 minutes.
Remove them and let them cool.
Repeat in order tospend the rest of the dough.
Store them in a sealed flask.

4

Chicken Wings with Chilli Jam

Two years ago, I was given a small bush of chillis, who had a reputation  despite it’s minimal size of being little bastards. The bush grew from one to five feet. Every year it loads with small but powerful spicy bags, so unpalatable that they cure sinusitis and rhinitis, so unbearable that I hardly use more than one in a meal for two.

2
I often make this chilli jam, but I don’t like it very hot, so I can enjoy all the flavours of the food . Anyway this jam recipe is quite moderate and may became more spicy, just by adding more chillis. This sauce serves to flavor or marinate various dishes: burgers, chicken wings, steaks … whatever you want.

SERVE: 2 PEOPLE
TIME: 60MIN

INGREDIENTS:

Jelly:
3 red peppers
3 tbsp of chillis
3 cloves garlic
Zest of 2 lemons
1 tbsp of salt
2 and 1/2 cups of sugar
1/2 cup of water
1/2 cup of vinegar

Chicken wings:
1 kg of chicken wings
2 rosemary stalks
1 tbsp of paprika
1/2 tbsp of saffron
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp of coarse salt
1 tbsp of oil
Pepper

PREPARATION:

Jelly:
In a robot or grinder, place the peppers, the chillis, garlic and the zest of the lemons and grind to a paste.
Place the paste in a pan and add the vinegar, salt and sugar. Turn on the heat and simmer until the liquid reduces to half. Place the jelly in an airtight bottle (no need to store in the refrigerator).

Chicken Wings:
Cut the wings in half, and marine them with the remaining ingredients, with at least 3 hours in advance (or overnight if you like).
Place the wings in a preheated oven (200 ° C) for 40 minutes, turning them in the middle.
Remove the wings and serve them with the jam.

1