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Saturday, August 31, 2013

Oven Roasted Carrots with Cumin and Orange Juice

I can’t honestly think of more than let’s say 5 dishes that we cook more than 2 or 3 times in the Youvegotmeal Kitchen in the course of a month. But one of those is this carrot side dish, that goes really well with grilled meats, even stews. The concept is incredibly simple, and it doesn’t take a lot of prepping or technique to create some delicious side dish wonder.

The most important part is getting the right carrots. Make sure you get some young, firm and sweet carrots with their leaves intact. You will need to keep about 2-3 cm of green leaves on top of the carrots, it looks nice and it also protects the thick end of the carrot form the heat. So, peel your carrots, wash them, pat them dry and put them in a baking tray that you’ve covered with some oven proof paper. Next, sprinkle some olive oil (2 tbs), orange juice (3 tbs), salt and cumin seeds on top of the carrots and mix everything together. Pop the tray in the hot oven, high heat, for around 20 minutes.


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Lazy Dinner for the Working Men: Sauteed Chicken Livers with Parmesan Polenta

Behind the title: something simple but filling for those long and exhausting weekday evenings when you come home from work and you just don't want to cook, but you want something cooked and you don't want to spend much time on it because you don't have much time and you don't want to spend a lot of money on ingredients because you are tired and you might mess them up.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Cauliflower and Cumin Fritter with Lemon Yogurt Dip- Appetizers August (5)

To keep going (rather slow) with our Appetizers August, I was thinking of a nice dish with vegetables, to take advantage of the summer goodies. Cauliflower is not something I always loved, when I was a kid I would only eat it pickled. Now, we came to better terms and I appreciated now.

I always like when I think of a vegetable to know at least 3 totally different ways to cook it. Fritters and patties are always a nice solutions, you can serve them cold, you can pay with size and serve them as appetizers, you can take them the next day to work/school for lunch. So, I found in Ottolenghi, The Cookbook a recipe that was promised to be very flavorful.

I followed the recipe completely and I'm showing it to you exactly like that.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Seared Salmon, Potato and Sun Dried Tomato Puree and a Lemon and Caper Sauce

This recipe was the result of the incredible power of marketing! A local supermarket managed to get me to buy 3 salmon steaks, 200 grams each, for a decent price. Can’t say that I regret it, the fish was really good and the sauce and side dish proved to be wonderful companions.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Speckled Pasta with Tomato and Anchovies Sauce

All you Youvegotmeal fans out there (insert the sound of nobody here) know that we love making honemade pasta and prefer using it over bought pasta. Even so, sometimes we feel the need to mix things up, bring a little bit of color even to a classic like homemade pasta. So we decided to make what is called speckled pasta, which means that we added finely chopped herbs (in this case we used exclusively parsley) in the dough composition. And, to give the recipe a nice little kick, we also added 5 roasted chilies and 2 fresh ones.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Saint Augure Cheese with Fig Preserve and Thyme- Appetizers August (4)

I’m going to start this post on an honest note: this whole Appetizer August thing was Mrs. G’s idea and I had nothing to do with it. But, like any man, that doesn’t mean that I can’t take credit for stuff or just meddle in stuff when it’s working just fine. Of course, without admitting that it wasn’t necessary

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Homemade Pizza (Summer Vegetables and Chorizo) and a Spicy Pizza Sauce Recipe

It took me just one visit to the farmer’s market a couple of days ago to realize the fact that we haven’t been using enough summer veggies in our dishes lately. Sure, we had broccoli and shrimps and rice and coconut, all nice and delicious, but where is the summer? With that in mind, I went on a shopping spree in the farmer’s market (believe it or not, this thing happens a lot more often that you might think) and bought a rather large quantity of veggies (tomatoes, zucchini, eggplants, cucumbers, peppers) and spices, all fresh (oregano, coriander, lemon thyme, parsley, sage, chili). 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Caramelized Chicken with Coconut Rice

The way I imagined this dish to look was a red/yellow color combination, but I didn’t have enough time to follow through on my initial plan to cook the chicken into red, so  I opted for a caramelized version of the meat, still in contrast with the coconut rice, that had a powerful yellow color from using turmeric. All of this combined with a fragrant green from using chives makes a lovely dish, with a gorgeous visual appeal, that also packs some great taste.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Brie and Roasted Peppers Crostini- Appetizers August (3)

The appetizer presented today takes advantage of a classical combination (brie cheese and roasted peppers) in such a great way that you will crave for this crostini from time to time. It is also amazing because you don't need fresh ingredients except the parsley, but you should always have parsley in your house...just saying!

Basically, if you have the cheese and a jar of roasted bell peppers in your fridge you have something to serve your suprise guests.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Fried Shrimp and Spicy Broccoli

This recipe is one of the first ones that made us into thinking we should make a blog and one of the recipes we like cooking the most. It’s a very easy to make, delicious and packs a lot of flavor. And, hey, you’re eating broccoli, that’s gotta be healthy for you.

For the shrimps, we used frozen (500 grams), but you can use fresh. The idea of cooking the seafood is that you will both boil and fry it for short periods of time, so it doesn’t over cook.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Summer Drinks: Lavender Lemonade


By now we all know that lavender is the new thing. We use it in decor, in a vase, in a pot, on your walls, in perfumes, on your cookies, in your sugar, you name it. I have to admit I am on board with this trend, I love it and I can't resist it.

I made lavender cookies in the past, I loved them  although not everybody does. This is why I hesitated for so long to try and use lavender in drinks, because if the taste comes out to intense and more on the bitter side, nobody else would enjoy it but me. The only thing that made me want to try it was the secret hope that my drink will turn out pink or purple. IT DIDN'T. :(( I've seen that some people made it pink, it didn't happen to me. But the taste of the lavender syrup... it was amazing!!! Who cares about colour anymore?

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Oven Baked Perch with an Almond and Breadcrumbs Crust or O.B.P.A.B.C.

What (!?!?!), you’re definitely gonna remember that abbreviation for a long time, especially after you taste this fish, pair it with a nice, crunchy, vibrant green bean side dish and a chilled Chardonnay.

So let’s get cracking. I used a big fish, around 2 kilos, that I filleted. 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Eggplant Ricotta Bites- Appetizers August (2)

To start on an honest note, I have to say at first I wanted to cook eggplant rolls filled with ricotta, but I got really lazy and I tried to find a different solution. And I found an idea, obviously, on the Foodnetwork site.
This turned out to be perfect, because I had some gorgeous white eggplant, but it was a short fatty :), so not very suitable for rolls. That is why you can notice the slices are kind of big, not actually bite-size, but you get the picture, if you have guest coming over and your eggplants are normal size and shape you will get the perfect bites, delicious and fresh.

Let's get down to business! You will need to cut the eggplant into rather thin round slices and salt them.
To fry them you will need to put together 3 bowls: the first one with flour, the second one with 2 beaten eggs and the latter with 1 part grated parmesan and 3 parts breadcrumbs.

Heat up some oil in a skillet. To get your eggplant slices ready for frying, toss them in flour, then in the eggs, them in the parmesan-breadcrumbs mix. Fry them until they turn golden brown, about 1 minute to each side. They can burn pretty fast, so make sure you check. Also, I found it necessary to add more oil between batches.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Beet-pickled Deviled Eggs- Appetizers August (1)

I have a great fascination for appetizers, they are highly appreciated at every party, they look good, they are usually finger food and it is easy to make an impression. It is a pity we don't make them often enough for ourselves.

Personally, I find that, at parties, especially wedding parties, I am only impressed by or drawn to appetizers. Maybe because you can have more flavors and tastes on one plate and my greedy, exploring taste buds appreciate that. With that in mind, I am going to dedicate this hot month to those simple bites that prepare us for the main course.

For today, I put together  some deviled eggs with goose pate, that as a bonus, are also mildly pickled with beet.

First, you will need to hard-boil 10 eggs and remove the shell.

For preparing the pickled eggs you will need:

1 red beet
1 onion
3 cups water
1 cup white wine vinegar
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp sugar

Bring this to o boil, then let it simmer for 30 minutes. Let it cool completely and then cover the boiled eggs with this mixture. In order for the eggs to get a nice colour you will need to let them in the beet water for at least 1 hour, and for a great taste also it need 2 hours. You can also let it sit overnight it is more convenient for you. The more you let it, the more color you will have when you cut them in half.

For the filling I used:

100g goose pate
2 tbsp sweet mustard
2 tbsp pickled horseradish (also beet-pickled)
1 tbsp finely chopped parsley

Mix all the ingredients above. Of course, you can use your usual horseradish, it happened that I had one with beets and more pink couldn't possibly hurt. If you don't have horseradish at all you can use a spicier mustard or you can just skip it alltogether for a sweeter finish.

When your mixture is ready and you are satisfied with its consistency, fill the eggs halves and garnish as you like.You could make it less thick with mayo or cream, but taste wise is definitely better without and they last longer to.

Don't they look good? Trust me, they are also very tasty and if you boil your eggs and the beet the day before it doesn't take much time or effort to put it together when you need it.

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