Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Carrot and kale risotto with roasted radishes, or “everything-but-the-kitchen-sink-risotto”

Risoto de cenoura e couve com rabanetes assados

Saturday morning, feeling super lazy after cleaning the apartment, all I really wanted was to take a shower, open a bottle of wine and lay on my couch. But we gotta eat, right? After cleaning the apartment and doing the laundry Joao and I get pretty hungry – never fails. :D I was not feeling very creative or inspired to cook, to be honest with you: I could have made burgers, but had forgotten to defrost the beef. I did not feel like eating pasta. So I opened the fridge and grabbed everything in front of me: carrots, leeks, radishes. Oh, there were also some kale leaves already washed, so I just gathered everything and decided to use them up in a risotto.

It is a carrot and kale risotto with roasted radishes, a.k.a. “everything-but-the-kitchen-sink-risotto”. :)

As I did not have any vegetable stock at hand, I used leeks and onion to enhance the risotto flavor and boiled 1 bay leaf in the water I used to replace the stock. It worked like a charm! The risotto turned out really good, guys – sorry for not being modest at all. :D
In the end, the roasted radishes did not go so well with the rest of the dish: I wanted to add a different texture to the meal, but the risotto worked very well without the radishes. I bring you the recipe anyway, in case you want to serve the radishes in a different meal, with a different dish.

Carrot and kale risotto with roasted radishes
own recipe

5 small radishes (100g in total), sliced in half lengthwise; if radishes are large, cut them in 3 or 4 pieces
2 teaspoons olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 cups (720ml) water
1 bay leaf
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ tablespoon olive oil
1 small and thin leek, only the light green part, thinly sliced
½ small onion, finely diced
¾ cup (165g) Arborio or Carnaroli rice
¼ cup (60ml) dry white wine
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 small carrots (160g in total, weighed before peeling), coarsely grated
2 kale leaves, without the central stalk, torn into small pieces
¼ xícara (35g) coarsely grated parmesan

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line a small baking sheet with foil. Transfer the radishes to the foil, drizzle with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Stir to coat, spread on the sheet leaving some space between the radishes and roast for 30 minutes, turning at half the oven time. Remove from the oven and set aside.

In the meantime, make the risotto: place the water and the bay leaf in a small saucepan over high heat until it boils. Keep it simmering. In a medium saucepan, melt half the butter and olive oil. Add leek and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 3-4 minutes. Add the rice and cook for 2-3 minutes, to coat all the rice grains with fat. Add the wine and cook until it evaporates. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the carrots. Start adding the water, 1 ladle at a time, then stirring constantly so the rice releases its starch.
Repeat this until all the water has been used, the rice is al dente and the risotto is thick and glossy – about 20 minutes. Stir in the kale, the remaining butter and the parmesan. Check the seasoning, adjust if necessary, cover the pan and wait 5 minutes. Transfer risotto to serving plates, arrange the radishes on top and serve immediately.

Serves 2 generously, or 3 lighter servings

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Apple crumble with corn flour and orange and my eating habits during quarantine

Crumble de maçã com fubá e laranja / Apple crumble with corn flour and orange

I don’t know about you guys, but during this quarantine my eating habits have varied a lot: breakfast with homemade bread and fruit, followed by lunch, also homemade, the very Brazilian combo of rice & beans with vegetables on the side, and sometimes beef or chicken (usually once or twice a week, tops). When it comes to dinner… my will power is usually gone.

Some days I make soup, some days I make a hearty salad with beans and eggs, but there are days I crave food that makes me feel hugged – that is when my dinner becomes pizza (homemade, because I am too afraid to order), or a nice loaf of bread with cheeses and some wine. If there are avocados dinner is guacamole. And on top of all that my cravings for sweets are now daily, and no longer only during my PMS days.

In the very few times I went out for groceries I brought home some chocolate, but my stash sometimes vanishes in no time at all. In one of those days I was desperate for something sweet I used one apple that had been in the fridge forever to make a crumble, my favorite dessert. To make the recipe a little bit more interesting, I replaced the all purpose flour with corn flour (finer than cornmeal, but this would also work) and added orange zest – it turned out delicious!

I share the recipe with you today and I hope you like it as much as I did – I am sure this crumble topping would also be delicious with other fruit, like bananas or pears: use whatever you have at hand.

Apple crumble with corn flour and orange
own recipe

Crumble topping:
2 tablespoons demerara sugar – I use it for the crunch, but it can be replaced by granulated sugar
finely grated zest of 1 orange
½ cup (70g) corn flour – it is finer than cornmeal, but the latter works just as fine
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
2 ½ tablespoons (35g) unsalted butter, cold and diced
¼ cup (22g) rolled oats

2 medium Granny Smith apples
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Have ready two 1-cup capacity each heatproof bowls.

Topping: in a medium bowl, rub together the sugar and orange zest until sugar is fragrant. Add the corn flour, baking powder and salt. Add the butter and rub the ingredients with your fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal. With a fork, stir in the oats. Freeze the mixture while you prepared the apples: peel and core the apples. Cut them into small dice and transfer to a medium bowl. Add the sugar and cinnamon and stir to coat. Divide the apples between the two dishes and sprinkle with the crumble topping. Bake for about 30 minutes or until topping is golden brown. Serve warm.

The crumble topping might be frozen for up to 1 month in a tightly sealed plastic bag.

Serves 2

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Red lentil soup with kale chips

Sopa de lentilha vermelha com chips de couve / Red lentil soup with kale chips

As many of you, I have been cooking a lot more since the quarantine started, and it is not an easy task to cook lunch and dinner every day while also trying to vary the menu with what I have at hand – we already feel like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, so if the food is also the same in every meal… I don’t want to think about that. :D

I was going through some recipes I bookmarked in the past and found this soup on Gourmet Traveller, one of my favorite recipe sources. I decided to freestyle a little with the recipe while also aiming to make it a vegan meal. I did not have vegetable stock in the freezer and was also out of carrots to make some from scratch, so on top of the spices I also added a bay leaf and tomato paste to enhance flavors. And speaking of spices, I used the ones I have at hand and you can adapt and do the same.

To make it vegan I served my soup with kale chips and it worked beautifully – feel free to do what GT suggests and serve the soup with yogurt. Next time I have the soup for dinner (I froze half of it for some other day) I will top mine with a poached egg – my mouth is watering already. :D

Red lentil soup with kale chips
soup recipe adapted from here, chips adapted from several recipes around the web

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
1/3 cup celery stalks, finely chopped – I used frozen and added unthawed to the pan
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
pinch of red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon tomato paste
5 ½ cups (1,320ml) boiling water
1 1/3 cups (285g) dried red lentils
1 bay leaf
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large lime, finely grated zest and juice

Kale chips:
5 large kale leaves
1 ½ teaspoons olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 180°C.
In the meantime, start with the soup: heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent. Add celery and cook for another 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute – do not overcook it or the soup will taste bitter. Add spices and tomato paste and cook for 1-2 minutes – it is important to cook the tomato paste well to remove the flavor of raw tomatoes from the recipe. Add water and stir. When it comes to a boil, add lentils and bay leaf, season with salt and pepper and then simmer for 15-17 minutes or until lentils are soft and starting to break down – stir occasionally so it does not catch in the bottom of the pan.

While the soup boils, make the chips: tear the kale leaves into medium pieces and transfer to a nonstick large baking pan. Drizzle with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper and dress the leaves using your hands. Spread the kale onto the sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Leave to cool completely so they become crunchy.

If you will eat the soup right away, remove the bay leaf, add lemon rind and juice, then blend with a hand-held blender until a coarse purée. If you are making the soup to freeze, do not add lime zest and juice – do this upon serving.

Divide among bowls and serve with the kale chips.

Serves 4-5

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Yogurt marble cake

Bolo mármore de iogurte

Hello everyone – it makes me really happy that after all this time without posting here there are still people who read me. Thank you. <3

I haven’t baked much lately, for now I have no one to share the baked goods with – my husband does not like sweets and I don’t want to end up eating everything myself… But I felt like baking a cake these days and even Joao had two slices of this cake – he told me it paired perfectly with an espresso. Success! :)

I used sheep milk yogurt because of my lactose intolerance, but feel free to use regular yogurt instead, like the original recipe calls for. The cake turned out moist, tender and delicious.

Bolo mármore de iogurte

Yogurt marble cake
slightly adapted from Epicurious

1 ½ cups (210g) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon table salt
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
¾ cup (180g) plain yogurt – I used sheep milk yogurt
½ cup (120ml) vegetable oil – I used canola
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted

Preheat oven to 180C/350°F. Lightly brush a 6-cup capacity loaf pan with oil, line it with baking paper and then brush the paper as well.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, yogurt, oil, eggs and vanilla until smooth. Fold in reserved dry ingredients just to blend – if batter is too lumpy, whisk for a few seconds.
Pour half of the batter into another bowl and to this half add the cocoa powder and stir to combine. Pour both batters into the prepared pan, alternating the colors to get a nice marbled effect. With a small spatula or blunt knife, swirl the batters slightly. Smooth the top and bake for 50-55 minutes, or until a skewer or toothpick inserted into center of the cake comes out clean.
Let cake cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Carefully and using the paper as a guide, remove cake from pan and transfer to the rack to cool completely.

The cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Serves 8

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Lentil bolgonese and trying to be a better person

Bolonhesa de lentilha

I was going through some old photos I made for the blog (or for the book, when I still considered writing one), and found today’s photo: a lentil Bolognese that I tested a few times and turned out quite tasty. I liked it a lot, but my husband not so much: he is not addicted to meat and does not mind at all eating without it most days, but he is not very much into lentils. I ended up forgetting about the recipe, and also because the name kind of bugged me a bit: it is a delicious and nutritious sauce, but it has nothing to with the once made with mince beef.

Since then, time flew, lots of things happened, I became lactose intolerant and started drinking plant based milks – they saved my beloved lattes in the morning – and I realized that I had to stop lecturing so much. If people want to call those plant based beverages “milk”, what is the issue? Same for calling this sauce “bolognese” – no worries anymore. I don’t want to be that person – if you have read my blog long enough you will probably have seen me being a dick a couple of times about something (excuse my French), so I apologize now. I want to be a better person.

I decided to post this recipe because I believe that it might come in handy for those quarantined like me, who don’t have mince beef in their fridge or freezer. I must confess that I wasn’t very fond of this sauce on pasta, but it was delicious over soft polenta.

Lentil bolgonese
own recipe, inspired by several recipes

For the lentils:
2 cups water
pinch of salt
½ cup dried green lentils
1 garlic clove, peeled and sliced in half

1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
½ medium onion, finely diced
2 small celery sticks, finely diced (1/4 cup after they are diced)
2 large garlic cloves, finely diced
2 tablespoons dry red wine
1 can (400g) peeled tomatoes, chopped
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
sal and freshly ground black pepper
handful fresh basil leaves

Start by cooking the lentils: place the water in a small saucepan and heat over high heat. When it starts to boil, add the lentils, garlic and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until lentils are al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process. Remove the garlic – you won’t need it anymore.

Now, the sauce: heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and the celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are tender. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute – do not let it burn or it will give the recipe a bitter taste. Add the wine and cook for 2 minutes. Add the canned tomatoes, the thyme, the bay leaf, the sugar, season with salt and pepper. When it starts to boil, turn down the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. Add the lentils and cook for another 5 minutes. Check the seasoning, remove the thyme sprigs and the bay leaf, add the basil and serve.

Serves 4 over soft polenta, 2 served with pasta

Related Posts with Thumbnails