cheese

Arugula and Beets Salad with Almond and Cottage Cheese

One of the concerns I have with our family meals, is the portions of vegetables/fruits. Some say they have to be 7, others already speak about 9. Regardless, I choose to incorporate in any dish a vegetable that not only tastes good, but does well for your health.
Many of the times I end up making soup for dinner and I almost always have salad with everything. Even if only a simple grated carrot or just lettuce and tomato.
Other times the salad itself is the star of the meal, only supplemented with a protein: egg, cheese, tuna or meat.
What I particularly like in this one, are the roasted beets (great for the immune system and the blood aswell), which give a sweet and delicious touch to the salad and that contrast beautifully with the cheese.

Enjoy your healthy food!

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SERVES: 2
TIME:
45min

Ingredients:
1 Beet
1 tbsp of Olive Oil
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp of Honey
1 Green Apple
1 sprig of Thyme (optional)
1 bunch of Arugula
1 Cottage Cheese
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tbsp of Almonds

Preparation:
Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
Peel the beets. Cut into pieces and put them in an oven dish. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, add the honey and thyme and mix. Add 1 tbsp of of water and bake for 25 min. Reserve.
In a dish arrange the cheese cut into slices.
In the center place the rocket.
Add the pieces of beet and the chopped almonds. Add the apple strips.
To make the salad dressing, mix the liquid left over from roasting the beets with the lemon juice and drizzle the salad.
Serve immediately.

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Egg and Sausage Raviolis with Sage Butter

I could start this post by saying that I’m bringing a lighter recipe to make up for the excesses of Easter … something between a salad or a soup. But it’s not the case! In fact it’s precisely and exactly the opposite!
And why not? I thought and found no plausible reason for not sharing this delight with all of you that on that side of the computer are great foodies as myself!
Indulgent? Affirmative
Creamy? Check!
Delicious? Yeeeeaaas!
Dear Spring: Thank you for the long and discreet sweaters !

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SERVES: 4
TIME:
60MIN

Ingredients:
Dough:
100g of wheat flour
1 whole egg

Sauce:
1 Sausage
1 cup of chopped White Mushrooms
1/2 chopped onion
Chopped garlic
1 Parsley branch chopped
100g of cottage cheese
2 tbsp of Olive Oil
Salt and pepper
1 egg yolk per ravioli
1 tbsp of butter
Sage leaves

Preparation:
Dough:
Weigh the flour and put it in a surface to knead: stone or wood preference.
Make a well in the center and place the egg in it. With the aid of a fork, and circular movements, start incorporating the flour and the egg. When you get a wet sandy texture, begin kneading it by hand.
Knead until you feel the dough begins to acquire some elasticity. Form a ball and wrap it with cling film. Let it stand in the refrigerator for at least 1/2 hour.
After this time, roll the dough with the help of a pasta machine.
Pass it in slot 1 until it is fully uniform and smooth.
Then move to slot 5. Roll out the dough until you get a thin sheet and place it on a surface with some flour.

Filling:
In a skillet add the olive oil, garlic, chopped mushrooms and onions and let them gain some color. Add the meat of the sausage and stir. Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat.
Place the preparation a bowl, add the cheese and mince everything (you may leave more or less texture as you prefer). Add the chopped parsley and leave it to cool.
Put salted water to boil to cook the raviolis.
On the dough sheet, place a few portions of the stuffing. Make a dimple in the center and place the egg yolk on it.
Place another sheet of dough on top and with the help of the fingers remove the air bags where the filling is. Press both dough sheets to glue the together. Cut with a cup or bowl and cook the raviolis for 2 or 3 minutes.
While cooking them, put the butter to melt in a pan and fry the sage leaves. Add the raviolis with some of the cooking water and let them gain flavor for a few moments.
Serve immediately.

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Mushrooms Stuffed with prosciutto, Corn Bread and Cured Cheese

Although the days are smaller, still feels like summer. The days remain warm, there are still people on the beaches, the shorts still roll around in the wardrobe … even if at evening a pair of socks or a blanket feels good already.

I love the summer but is not at all my favorite season … those very hot days are too much for me. I prefer the mild and bright days that spring and autumn bring. I am clearly a mid term girl. And I love the ingredients that the garden offers in those seasons, especially during spring!

These last few days, and while we are still waiting for baby Carlota, I take advantage of the free time to walk in the beach and cook a few meals to freeze, so I dont’ have to worry so much about those tasks after birth. Meals in this latter stage of pregnancy should be lighter and in less quantity. This recipe is perfect for that: quick and easy to prepare and serve it with a salad and you have a light but nutritious lunch, or you can also serve the mushrooms in a special day as an appetizer.

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SERVES: 4
TIME:
30min

Ingredients:
8 Paris Mushrooms (I used medium size)
2 cups of grated corn bread
1 clove of grated garlic
2 tbsp Oil
1/2 cup cured cheese (grated)
Salt and pepper
3 slices of prosciutto
1 branch of rosemary
2 tbsp of minced Purple Onion

Preheat the oven to 175º.
Take the stems of the mushrooms and set aside.
In a bowl mix the grated corn bread and the grated cheese.
Add the prosciutto, onion, garlic and chopped rosemary.
Add the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Fill the cavity of the prepared mushrooms and bake in the oven until golden. Allow to cool about 10 minutes before serving.

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Cottage cheese and almond pudding with Peanut Praline

I love Traditional Portuguese cuisine. It has such a variety of different dishes, and above all it makes use of many ingredients that are little used in other cultures. We have such a diverse, original and unique cuisine and as much as we like to taste dishes from other cultures, we mustn’t forget the gastronomic history of our country.

This pudding is inspired in a recipe much appreciated in the north, and I guarantee that it tastes even better than it looks. It has a velvety, rich, creamy texture and it’s extremely hard to resist … much of this result is also due to the quality of the used products, mainly the cheese.

Warning: inappropriate for foodies!

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SERVES: 4
TIME: 20 + 90min

INGREDIENTS:

Pudding:
300g of Cottage Cheese (I used Tété Goat Cottage Cheese)
60 g of Almonds
250g of White Sugar
1/2 cup of Milk
6 Egg yolks
1 tsp of Cinnamon powder
Liquid caramel for the mold

Peanut Praline:
1/2 cup of Salted Peanuts
1 cup of tea of Sugar

PREPARATION:

Praline:
In a sheet of parchment paper put the scattered peanuts.
In a pan put the sugar and turn on the heat. Let the sugar get a golden/brown color and pour immediately over peanuts. Allow it to cool and completely solidify before use.

Pudding:
Preheat the oven to 175º and inside it place a bowl with water so you can bake the pudding in a water bath.
Start by peeling the almonds. Heat a pan with water and when it boils put the almonds in the hot water for a few minutes. Remove the almonds, place them in cold water for a few minutes and then squeeze them between your fingers so the skin comes off easily.
In a blender place all the ingredients (except the caramel) and mix for a few minutes.
Grease the form with the liquid caramel and fill it with the previous preparation. Place the mold in the water bath and bake for 70-90 minutes. The pudding is ready when it has a firm texture.
Before unmolding let the pudding cool for at least 6 hours in the refrigerator (ideally leave it there overnight).
Unmold and decorate with the pieces of praline.

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tomato and sage risotto with crispy corn bread and bacon

Increasingly I like dishes where the star is not the meat or fish. No one can convince to convert to vegetarianism forever (because I couldn’t stop eating fish), but I like dishes more focused in other ingredients!

Risottos are perfect to highlight a special ingredient: a spice, a cheese, a vegetable or a herb. They’re quite robust dishes that complement with the addition of cheese, all the proteins we need for the everyday life. And I adoooooore it’s creaminess … the perfect marriage between simplicity and indulgence.
This dish has a bit of it all: a creamy sauce, enriched with cream cheese, crispy bread’s texture and the strong flavor of the tomatoes and sage. Perfection!

SERVE: 4
TIME:
30 MIN

Ingredients:

Risotto:
1/2 minced Onion
1 cup chopped Leek
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup chopped Bacon tea
1 tbsp chopped sage
2 tbsp of Olive Oil
1 cup of Cherry Tomatoes (can use minced tomato)
150g Cottage cheese mixture Teté
200g Arborio rice
1L of vegetable broth
1 tbsp of smoked paprika

Crispy Corn Bread and Bacon:
1 clove of minced garlic
1 tbsp of olive Oil
1 cup of corn bread crumbs
1/2 cup of Bacon strips
1 tbsp of sage

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Start by preparing the risotto. Boil the water with the vegetable cube and reserve warm.
Moving on to the risotto: In a pan put the onion, bacon, leek and chopped sage and sauté with the olive oil. When the onion begins to gain color, add the tomatoes, paprika and rice. Let the rice fry for 1 minute and add a cup of broth. When the rice starts to dry gradually add a ladle of broth, stirring between additions. Repeat this process for about 13 minutes (the rice should be slightly al dente and with a thick broth). Add the cheese, stir and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

For the crispy corn bread: Put a frying pan on the stove, add the olive oil, sage leaves and bacon into strips and allow it to be gold. At this stage add the chopped garlic and the corn bread.
Season with salt and pepper and let the bread fry until crisp and golden.

In a platter arrange the risotto, and over it the crispy bread. Serve immediately.

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!

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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!

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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.