Last March, my husband and I took a trip to Ireland. With the exception of our actual flight to ‘The Emerald Isle’, we had no plans and no reservations. Just a travel guidebook and a hope that we could find Wi-Fi to locate good places to eat and sleep for the night If you ever want […]
Labor Day weekend is just a few days away – that calls for burgers! But don’t serve just any ol’ burger at your grill party – try juicy and succulent Greek Burgers with Tzatziki, Tapenade, and Feta.
Hiya! I hope you had a great weekend! I’ve got one egg-ceptional dish for you! 😉
I LOVE poached eggs. There’s something about them that makes a dish more special. Julia Child referred to them as “the purest and loveliest of ways to cook eggs.” This Mushroom Risotto with a Poached Egg has it all! Creamy spoonfuls of heaven with the luscious yolk of an egg split open and cascading over the rice… wow, is it just me or do you need to wipe your chin?
Happy Hump Day! I’m sitting here trying to figure out what to write. Does that ever happen to you? Whether you’re writing a novel or just writing an email, sometimes you just sit there staring at the computer screen thinking, what the hell am I going to say?!
Do you love fresh mozzarella? How about mozzarella that’s SO fresh, that it’s still warm? What if I told you that you could make your own in just 30 minutes?!
Freshly made bread… I love everything about it – the smell, the pillowy texture, the fantastic taste. I even love the process of making bread. It’s almost therapeutic in its ritualistic-like process; the kneading, seeing it double in size, punching it down (my favorite part), shaping, rolling, and then watching it turn a beautiful golden-brown as it bakes. One could meditate on baking bread – total zen.
Happy Friday! I hope you had a good week. You may have noticed that I didn’t post anything this week (with exception to this post, of course). I’ve been out of town for my cousin’s wedding/family reunion, and I just couldn’t quite get a surplus of posts prepared in time – sorry about that. Bad blogger, bad!
As you can imagine, all family functions revolved around food. Lots of food… and booze (you can’t have that much family around without a lot alcohol). I returned home feeling like I needed some serious detoxing… on numerous levels.
My body was craving something healthy. I wanted a Mediterranean Chicken Wrap. It’s light with crispy veggies, juicy spice-rubbed chicken, all wrapped up in a spinach tortilla. It has so much flavor, you won’t even realize you’re eating healthy! And if that doesn’t sound enticing enough, the entire meal can be made in less than 30 minutes! When you have dirty laundry cascading out of your strewn about suitcases, a pile of unopened mail, and even more unread emails, fast and easy work in the kitchen is what I’m talkin’ about.
Everyone’s heard of grilled cheese, right? Cheese, sandwiched between two slices of bread and pan toasted with a little butter until the bread is golden-brown and the cheese is melted – grilled cheese. But have you had cheese that is grilled? That’s right, cheese straight on the grill or in a hot pan that doesn’t turn into a gooey mess. I’m talking about Halloumi. A Cypriot semi-hard cheese that is brined and made of a mixture of goat’s and sheep’s milk – it’s high melting point make it ideal for grilling or frying. If you’ve never tasted it before, it’s as though mozzarella and feta had an incredible baby. A bit elastic like mozzarella with the salty taste of feta. Of course, throwing it on the grill adds an entirely new and wonderful dimension of flavor – one that complements perfectly.
About a month ago my good friend and blogger buddy, Nagi of RecipeTin Eats, made Aloo Paratha (an Indian potato stuffed flatbread). From the moment I saw the post, I knew I was going to love it. Bold Indian spices mixed into whipped potatoes, wrapped in an easily made dough, and browned to a lovely golden crisp. I had to make it, and make it I did… again, and again, and again.
The development of this Lamb Stuffed Flatbread came from my desire to pair Nagi’s Aloo Paratha with Tzatziki – a wonderful Middle Eastern yogurt sauce. The pairing was delicious! That got me thinking, I love Tzatziki with lamb – what about a Lamb Stuffed Flatbread? The outcome was phenomenal!
Labneh – a yogurt cheese that is popular in Middle-Eastern and Greek cuisine, is composed of little more than yogurt, olive oil, and a few fresh herbs and spices of your choosing. The consistency is similar to cream cheese, and it’s easily spread over a piece of bread or toast, even cucumbers!
Thanksgiving is over, the dishes are washed, the silver stashed back in its spot, and the guests have left. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to even look at another turkey for another year! I was in serious need of a turkey detox! I was craving something light, refreshing, something with a little zing! Lebanese Spinach Pies were exactly the palate cleanser my body needed!
Also called, fatayar/fatayer (fah-TIE-ah), these are savory little pies often made with lamb but may alternatively be stuffed with other fillings such as spinach or cheese. The trick to these little bundles, is to make sure that they do not open up while baking. Luckily, these more ‘rustic’ looking spinach pies are just as delicious.
The other day I bought some gorgeous hamburger buns at the farmers market! I of course was going to make juicy and delicious hamburgers to accompany the buns, however I quickly discovered that the buns were WAY bigger than the patties I made. Placing the actual hamburger inside the bun was the equivalent of throwing the proverbial hot dog down a long hallway. I know based on the picture below, it doesn’t look like the bun is really that large – though bear in mind, I have freakishly large hands! Seriously…my hands are bigger than most men’s, to include my husband. And yes, I have heard the ‘man-hands’ Seinfeld reference. Though to my defense rather than big meaty mitts, my fingers are long, slender, and still resemble a bit of femininity – or at least that’s what I tell myself and what I tell my husband.
Getting back to the dish – I had a surplus of big beautiful buns (insert ‘that’s what she said’ joke here) so what better way to use them, than make panzanella (Italian bread salad). Generally you could just use stale bread – when slightly dried out, it holds up a bit better once you start adding the juicy tomatoes, cucumber, and the vinaigrette. Alternatively, and the way I prefer, is to grill the bread. It firms it up while adding that smoky char from the grill. Either way, this dish breaths new life into old bread and creates a perfect summer side dish.
Growing up we ate quite an amount of leg of lamb with mint jelly. I remember loving the lamb, but also thinking the radioactive green color to the mint jelly was disgusting – sorry mom. Perhaps I haven’t had “good” mint jelly. I’m not even sure what “real” mint jelly is made of. Certainly the kind we were served as kids was not from anything found in nature. In any event, when I prepare lamb these days, I almost always draw my inspirations from Mediterranean/Middle Eastern cooking with one of my favorite culinary regions being Turkey and Lebanon. I love the aromatic spices used to create bold flavors in their food, which is often complemented by tasty side dishes or toppings – my favorite is a Lebanese version of the yogurt-based Tzatziki.