Monday, 28 June 2010

Vale atque vale

This blog was originally designed to commemorate the culinary adventures of a couple that often lived an ocean apart. Unfortunately, it came to an end. Still there were good memories and good food. And although this blog is no longer being updated, we invite you to enjoy our recipes and stories.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

White Bean and Chorizo Salad

It's another warm day here--and for other reasons, I haven't had much of an appetite lately; nothing was going to hit the spot like another chilled salad. Here's a modification of an old Food & Wine recipe.


  • 1 can of cannellini beans
  • 3 oz of finely diced chorizo
  • 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4c. bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/4c. flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/4 t. dried oregano
  • 1/8 t. cumin seeds
  • 1/2 spicy red pepper, chopped (for a little extra spice)
  • 1/4c. e.v.o.o. (or less)
  • 1 T. red wine vinegar
  • 1T. balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh spinach
  • 1 radish, thinly sliced
  • A few black olives
1. Combine all the ingredients except for the olives, radish and spinach. Refrigerate for half an hour.
2. Spread out your spinach greens, add on a scoop of the bean salad and garnish with the olives and radishes.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Apple Pie

Recipe coming soon...

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Yassa Poulet

A Senegalese mainstay--Yassa au Poulet Classique is African simplicity at its best: chicken, onions, and spices. The recipe was passed down from a friend of mine who was a frequent traveller in Africa. At her lavishly supplied African banquets, this dish was constant favourite.

I've modified her recipe only slightly (reduced the amount of oil) and also consulted Jessica Harris' The Africa Cookbook.

  • 4 Tbs vinegar
  • 1/2 c. lemon juice
  • 2 Maggi cubes (or equivalent)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 Tbs Dijon Mustard
  • 1/2 c. peanut oil
  • 4-6 chopped onions
  • salt
  • pepper
  • cayenne pepper
  • 1 habanero chile
  • 1 frying chicken (cut into serving pieces) or 3-4 chicken breasts, cubed
  1. Combine the ingredients in a large bowl. Prick the chile with the tines of a fork and add it to the marinade. Add the chicken and marinate, covered and refrigerated overnight.
  2. Remove the chicken from the marinade and broil until lightly brown on both sides.
  3. Remove the onions from the marinade and sauté in a large cast iron pot.
  4. Add the marinade and heat until heated through.
  5. Add the chicken pieces, lower the heat and simmer for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Serve over white rice.

Monday, 28 September 2009

Homemade Sourdough

Fondant à la châtaigne (Chestnut Fondant) Nº1

The location: A square off the Cours Napoleon in the late afternoon, Porto Vecchio, Corsica.

The actors: Two weary, famished hikers coming off two weeks on the GR20, sitting in the shade of Église St. Jean-Baptiste.

The discovery: le fondant à la châtaigne

Here's our first attempt at recreating the experience...

  • 1 can (435g) chestnut purée, unsweetened
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs, separated yolks and whites
  • 30g butter, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 180ºC (170ºC fan-assisted)
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the chestnut purée with the caster sugar until well blended. Then add in the butter and vanilla extract, and finally the yolks. Mix until smooth.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks.
  4. Combine egg whites with chestnut mixture until fully incorporated.
  5. Pour into baking tins either with baking cups or well-floured.
  6. Bake for approximately 25 mins until a skewer comes out almost clean but not entirely.
  7. When cooled, remove from tin and place in refrigerator or leave to reach room temperature.

So Michel Roux jr may not like the air bubbles or some of the colours. But he hasn't tasted it. Just as decadent and delicious as the original of Corse. The texture was quite as sticky as the first one, and I don't think that the purée was as smooth. Any suggestions on tweaking the recipe are much appreciated.

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Larousse Gastronomique

For those bibliophiles out there, Hamlyn has printed a new handsome UK edition of Larousse Gastronomique. Beautiful copper-coloured hardback with a slipcover. Well done.

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Cheese Soufflé Revisited

PBS had done the world a great service. Without further ado, Julia and the cheese soufflé.

We maintain that we have always loved Julia before "Julia" was in vogue. In fact, about 10 years ago, we found an original imprint of From Julia Child's Kitchen. The conversational style and tolerance for culinary incompetence make it far more accessible than her monumental Mastering the Art.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Granola Two Ways

[Green Granola. Recipe Below]

I am frustrated. I came back to my apartment after a summer with my Ben to find one of my grain cupboards infested with weevils. This meant throwing away not just the cheap brown rice (the origin of the pest), but also some pearl barley, quinoa, and grits that were opened and vulnerable.

Of course, I took that opportunity to use up the rest of my rolled oats which sat in a cupboard far, far away from the infestation. This way, the little bit of whole grain I have left won't be crawling with Moving Gross in a week or two. At least it wasn't bedbugs. Right?

The recipe for this is very generally adapted from a recipe at smitten kitchen and the more pared-down version from the food network.

1 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup pecans, chopped
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
1/3 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1/4 t nutmeg
1 t cinnamon
3 T dark brown sugar

2 T butter, melted
1 t vanilla
3 T honey

1 cup total of the following mixture:
flattened banana
dried cranberries
dried pomegranate
flax seed

and about 2 T of candied ginger

Preheat the oven to 350˚
1. Mix oats, pecans, sunflower seeds, sugar, coconut, nutmeg, and cinnamon in one bowl and honey, vanilla, and melted butter in another.
2. Spread the mixture onto a baking sheet covered in tin foil, and bake for 30-35 minutes, stirring from time to time and being careful not to let the sugar burn.
3. Let the cooked oats cool, break into pieces, and mix in the fruit and flax seed.

For the Green Granola

The method is the same; the ingredients mostly so. Instead, though:

1 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup cashews, chopped
1/3 cup pistachios
1/3 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1 t cinnamon
3 T dark brown sugar

2 T butter, melted
1/4 t pistachio flavoring (this is very strong stuff)
3 T honey

The mixture will be green--a little gross--when you first mix it, but will darken as it cooks. After cooking, add a cup total of:
dried mixed berries
dried apricots, chopped
dried ginger, chopped
flax seed

Monday, 24 August 2009

Ben's Birthday Brownies

[I did not take this photo... ours is below. But, like stew, all brownies look the same.]

200 g dark chocolate
100 g butter
200 g cream cheese
360 g sugar
4 large eggs
60 g self-rising flour
Mixed spices (cinnamon and nutmeg in particular), about 1 t

Preheat oven to 350˚
1. Melt chocolate, butter, and cream cheese in a bain marie.
2. Beat eggs with sugar.
3. When chocolate mixture is melted, incorporate by spoonful into the eggs. Whisk.
4. Add flour and spices, and mix just to incorporate.
5. Pour into a 10x12 baking pan, and bake for 20-25 minutes. (I made a half recipe, used a pan about half the size of this, and cooked them for 15 minutes. I am guessing at the cooking time here. The final texture should be like that of a fondant.)
6. While still warm, dust with confectioners' sugar.