Pork Filet with Prunes

By , 23 May, 2010, No Comment

Pork Filet with Prunes

Ingredients:

  • 1 Pork filet
  • 15 – 18 prunes
  • 2 Onions – chopped in large chunks
  • 7 oz (200 gr) sliced bacon
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup water

Directions:

  1. Pork Filet with Prunes 1
    Slice the Filet lengthwise.  Place prunes along the middle. Sprinkle salt and pepper.
  2. Wrap the filet with the bacon stripes.
  3. Add the remaining prunes and the onions to the baking dish.
  4. Add 1 cup of water.
  5. Pork Filet with Prunes 2
    Bake in a warm oven at 350ºF (180 – 200ºC) for about 1 hr 15 min, or until Filet is well done.
  6. Place the meat on a cutting board.
  7. Take out most of the prunes, leaving about 1 – 3.  With a stick blender, puree the onions and the prunes.  Add water in case there is not enough to make a nice sauce.  Taste, and adjust salt to taste.  You can also start blending without the prunes, and add and blend according to taste. Strain the sauce, add to a serving dish.  Cut the Filet in medallions, and serve on top of the sauce.

Garlic Pizza Bread

By , 22 May, 2010, No Comment

Garlic Pizza Bread

Ingredients:

  • 1 Garlic clove – crushed
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive oil
  • Oregano
  • Marjoram

Directions:

  1. Make the pizza dough.
  2. Warm up the oven to 360ºF (200ºC).
  3. Form your pizza bread, cover with a towel, and let rest for 15 minutes.
  4. Mix the garlic, olive oil, and just a tiny bit of salt.
  5. Garlic Pizza Bread 1
    Cover the pizza dough with the garlic-oil mix.  Sprinkle the spices, and bake for about 10 min.Garlic Pizza Bread 2
    Serve with tomatoes, tomato sauce, chopped dried tomatoes or as a side dish.

Black Beans

By , 21 May, 2010, No Comment

Caraotas Negras, black beans

You will find this dish throughout the Caribbean, and the north of South America.  I make it Venezuelan style.  I do know that in Brazil and that in Cuba it is prepared similarly, but I am not sure how close their recipes are.  The only downside to this dish is that it requires a very long time to cook. You can replace the bacon with the leftover bone of a pork roast… sorry it doesn’t sound very appetizing, but it is the original method and it does give you better results… as a modern twist, I like to add bacon.

  • 1 package black beans
  • 3 red peppers – chopped
  • 3 onions – chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves – pressed
  • 3.5 oz (100 gr) bacon.
  • 3 laurel leaves
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar

Directions:

  1. Soak the beans overnight.
  2. Prepare a sofrito with the onions, peppers, and the garlic.
  3. Add all the ingredients to a stew pot, and cook for a few hours, until the beans are tender.

Chicken Fajitas

By , 20 May, 2010, No Comment

Fajitas

I love this dish. Yes, it does take more time to prepare all the ingredients, but then it is a lot of fun to eat!
Tip 1:  leftovers taste great, so do not worry about making too much of anything!
Tip 2:  Cover the leftover guacamole with plastic wrap.  I place the wrap so that it is in direct contact with the guacamole – so that there’s no air between guacamole and wrap.  This way, your guacamole will stay nice and green the next day!

Ingredients:

  • Guacamole
  • Salsa
  • Sour cream or plain yogurt
  • Flour tortillas
  • 4 Chicken breasts – sliced thinly
  • 2 peppers – sliced
  • 2 onions – sliced
  • 1 large lemon
  • 4 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt
  • pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves crushed (3 for marinade, 1 to add to the pepper and onion slices)
  • 1 can of re-fried beans
  • Grated cheese

Directions:

  1. Prepare the guacamole and the salsa.
  2. Warm up the re-fried beans on the stove.  Add a little bit of water to make it easier to stir.
  3. Fry the onion and the pepper slices.  Add 1 crushed garlic clove.
  4. Combine lemon, salt, pepper, oil and garlic (3 cloves).
  5. Add chicken, mix, cover and place in the fridge for about 2 hours.
    chicken for your salad
  6. I like to fry the chicken in smaller batches, to sear and then cook.  This way the chicken stays tender.
  7. Combine the chicken with the pepper-onions and fry until the chicken is well done.
  8. Warm up the tortillas on a non-stick pan.  You just need to turn them a couple of times quickly, just to warm them up.
  9. Serve all ingredients separately, so that each person can make his/her favorite fajita combination.

Fajitas 0

Mushroom Omelette

By , 19 May, 2010, No Comment

Cheese Mushroom Omelette

You can adapt the recipe and make cheese, mushroom or any combination of your favorite Omelette.  It is important though to have a good non-stick pan to make this dish.

Ingredients:

  • 7 oz (200 gr)  mushrooms
  • 1 onion – chopped finely
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 eggs per omelette
  • 1 cheese slice per omelette

Directions:

  1. Omelette 1
    Fry the onions and the mushrooms. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Omelette 2
    Beat 2 eggs and pour them on a warm non-stick pan.  Let it cook almost thoroughly, and then add about a Tablespoon of the fried mushrooms, and add a slice of cheese.
  3. Omelette 3
    Fold 2 sided to form the omelette.  Cook a little longer, turn it over and cook until done.

Pizza

By , 18 May, 2010, No Comment

Pizza

We like to make Pizza on Tuesdays, because the kids have sport until 6 pm, and then there’s not enough time to cook. I usually set the bread machine to make the dough while we are away, so that as soon as we get home, we just have to form the pizza dough, and the kids get to “decorate” it – I just have to get the toppings ready.

Pizza Dough (for 1 large pizza – I usually double it for 4 – 5 people)

  • 6 oz (200 ml) water
  • 1.5 teaspoons dry yeast
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 lb (350 gr) flour
  • 1.5 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Directions – Dough:

  1. pizza dough
    Place all ingredients in a bread machine in the order given above (liquids first), and set the machine to make a dough. Here you see that I’m making 2 pizzas, so I needed to double the  ingredients.

Ingredients for Pizza Sauce

  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • 1/2 cup pesto (see recipe or use your favorite brand for a quick sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Mix all ingredients to make the sauce.

Pizza Ingredients:

  • Mozzarella
  • Sauce (above)
  • Dough (above)
  • Any combination of the following:
  • Salami, pepperoni, ham, onion slices, tomato slices, bacon, or any topping of your choice…

Directions:

  1. Form your pizza dough, and let rest for 15 minutes.
  2. pizza 1Add 2 tablespoons of sauce per pizza, and arrange your favorite toppings on top.
  3. Bake at 350ºF (180ºC) for around 15 minutes.

Crêpes

By , 17 May, 2010, No Comment

Crêpes

Ingredients:

  • 18 oz (550 ml) Milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons oil
  • 1/2 lb (220 gr) flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Mix all ingredients in a blender.
  2. Make Crêpes in a Crêpe pan at med – high heat.  Use a soup serving spoon to add the batter to the pan.  Move the pan quickly so that the batter spreads evenly over the pan.
  3. Crêpes 1
    Turn the Crêpe when you see that the edges separate from the pan.  Let the other side cook for just a little bit.
  4. Crêpes 2
    Serve with mermalade, syrup, fruits, sugar or nutella.

Coleslaw

By , 16 May, 2010, No Comment

Coleslaw

This is a very simple, very light version of the classic  side-dish.

Ingredients:

  • 1 small cabbage
  • 6 carrots – finely grated
  • 1 lime – juice
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Add the salt to the finely chopped cabbage, and crunch it with your hands.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients, and let it rest for a couple of hours in the fridge, before serving.

Cheese Fondue

By , 15 May, 2010, No Comment

Fondue

Still cool enough to make Fondue one more time, although we even used to make Fondue in Venezuela –   I  remember once eating Fondue at the Beach after bringing the air conditioner to the max, so it would be cold enough to survive eating such a meal in the tropics!!  Not very environment-friendly, but nobody knew that back in the 70′s…

Ingredients:

  • 250 gr gruyère cheese – grated
  • 250 gr appenzeller cheese – grated
  • 5 oz (150 ml) dry white wine
  • 2 garlic cloves – chopped very, very finely
  • ground pepper
  • ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon dijon style mustard
  • 1 tiny bit of lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon corn starch
  • 1/2 oz (15 ml) Kirsch Wasser or white wine to dilute the corn starch
  • 2 baguettes – cut into cubes
  • TIP: When making Fondue for kids, the wine and the Kirsch are substituted for sour Must (Most in german). It is made of apple juice, it is sour and it does not contain any alcohol.

Directions:

First you prepare the Fondue on the stove at med – high heat.

  1. Press the garlic against the sides of the Caquelon .
  2. Add the wine and warm up just a little bit.
  3. Start adding the cheese (previously mixed), little by little, while stirring constantly. You are supposed to always stir tracing an 8!
  4. Add a tiny bit of lemon juice.  This prevents the cheese from separating.
  5. Add the cornstarch (previously diluted in Kirsch or wine).
  6. Add the mustard, and then add  pepper and nutmeg to taste.
  7. The fondue is ready as soon as it starts to boil. Now you can bring the Fondue to the table and place it on a Réchaud (spirit burner)
  8. Serve with baguette.  Some people like to add a little bit of salami.

Sauerkraut – Latvian style

By , 14 May, 2010, No Comment

Sauerkraut - Latvian style

My mom has always made sauerkraut this way.  I am assuming it is the way it is made in Latvia, since she learned how to make it with her grandmother.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cabbage – thinly sliced
  • 1 can sauerkraut
  • 1 onion – chopped
  • 4 peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 4 dried juniper berries
  • 1 cup water or you can make my version with apple juice
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar – to make a dark caramel

Directions:

  1. In a large pot, fry the chopped onions slightly in a little bit of oil.
  2. Add the sauerkraut, cabbage, salt, bay leaves, juniper berries and apple juice (or water), and cook at medium heat for at least 45 minutes.
  3. Now comes the tricky part.  You need to make a dark caramel with the sugar in another pan. Use a deep one, because you will need to dilute the caramel in water, before you add it to the sauerkraut.  I like to wear nice, long kitchen gloves while doing this, because I have a lot of respect for making caramel!
  4. Add the diluted caramel to the sauerkraut and continue cooking the sauerkraut for another 30 minutes.