Sunday, November 8, 2015

Natillas (Spanish egg custard)

Natillas - Spanish egg custard
- 50 ml Milk
- 2 Tbsp White sugar
- 6 Egg yolks
- 2 Tsp Vanilla extract

- 1 glass Milk (warm)
- 6-8 Maria/Butter cookies
- 1 splash Porto wine (or any other sweet fortified red wine)

- Cinnamon powder (about 1 Tbsp)

First, let us prepare the serving cups (about 6-8 depending on their size). I use glass yogurt/creme brulee cups.

Warm the milk on a deep plate, in the microwave, for about 30 seconds. You just need it to be warm (not boiling.. you're going to put your fingers in this).

Quickly soak the plain butter cookies into the milk (before they are too soft) and place the soaked cookies into the cups (1 cookie in each).

Then (in true Spanish fashion), take your bottle of Porto wine, and splash a little onto the cookie that you now have inside the glass cups. (You just for it to soak up a little taste, not to let it swim in a pool of Port! ;) )

Now that we have that ready..

In a small pot, over medium heat (4/6), place the milk & sugar, whisk in well (, and bring to a boil.

Remove the pan from the heat, and lower the heat to medium-low (2/6).

On the pan, add eggs & vanilla and whisk in. Place back over the medium-low heat, and keep stirring while it cooks (otherwise it will burn).

When it all moves uniformly & foam has disappeared from the edges, it is done.

Pour into individual molds

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Meghli (Lebanese dessert)

Meghli (cinnamon caraway rice pudding)
Well.. the now infamous recipe! I started writting this post in preparation for my 1st Lebanon trip :) over Xmass,, but when I actually got to make it, I poured the whole boiling thing over my thumb, and got a "fun" burn (be wiser than I was when holding the glasses to fill xD). The recipe is from my future aunt-in-law :)

So, Meghli is a traditional Lebanese dessert that is prepared to celebrate when a baby is born (including baby Jesus) and so typical of Christmas!

It is basicaly a sort of cinnamon-caraway spiced rice powder pudding, topped with nuts & coconut shavings.
When you first try it, it is a bit confusing flavorwise (at least for a European), as per its spices' flavour.

This is not an overwhelmingly sweet dessert (so no sugar syrup or butter oozing out!) that is fairly easy to prepare, and always gets thumbs up from d man of the house :) (as you know my toughest critic)

- 1 cup Rice powder
- 1 1/2 cup Sugar (white; caster)
- 1 Tbsp Caraway powder
- 1 1/2 Tbsp Cinnamon powder
- 7 cup Water (6 in mix + 1 at boiling)

Additional, toppings: Coconut shavings (small), Almonds (non-salted), Walnuts, Pistachio

Please note that you will need a large pot for this one (and it will yield about 12 glasses/servings of dessert). You can half the recipe for about 6 servings :)

Firstly combine all dry ingredients with 6 cups of water in a large pot. (Keep the remaining 1 cup on the side).

Place the pot over medium-high heat, and keep stirring with a whisk* until the mix starts boiling. At this point you should be seeing that it is thickening-up.

Once it comes to a boil, add the 1 cup of water left to the mix and combine well. Keep on the fire, stirring constantly for about 20-30 min (until the mixture thickens enough, that it dollops (not pours) off a spoon).

Take off the fire, and set on the side to allow to cool for a couple of minutes only. Then pour into your glass (or heatproof) tins/glasses to individual serving portions.

Let cool down for a good 20 min.
Then cover with cling-wrap & refridgerate for at least 2 hours. It serves cold.

When you want to serve this, sprinkle with coconut shavings, and roasted non-salted nuts: walnuts, slivered almonds/pistachios, (and yellow dried raisins if you like.. we are not fans of these..).

Place the toppings decoratively and you will have a Lebanese style dessert! Bon apetit :)

*Regarding the whisk, I use a rubber-coated whisk, so as not to scratch my pan.

Mental note: Do not hold the glasses while you pour.. you might burn yourself

Friday, January 30, 2015

Thai Red chicken curry

Thai red chicken curry
I've honestly rarely ventured down d Asian food road.. just seeing all d specialty ingredients that I need to have gives me anxiety.. And my poor kitchen is already overwhelmed w Spanish & Arabic stuff!.. so when d man of d house mentioned an orange/red chicken curry I was hoping for something simple & accessible in d supermarket (as well as in d kitchen).

To my surprise Thai Red chicken curry was very easy! and full of taste (and not spicy! which was a relief).

3 specialty ingredients (should be coconout milk!)

You only need 3 specialty ingredients: thai red curry paste, fish sauce and a can of coconut milk. (Thank you food gods!) :D

Here is d wonderful, fast & easy recipe.

- 1 Onion medium (halved & finely sliced)
- 1 Tbsp Vegetable oil
- 6 tsp Red Curry paste
- 500 gr Chicken breast (chopped in squares)
- 1 Tbsp Fish sauce
- 1 tsp Brown sugar
- 1 can Coconut milk (400mL)
- 20 gr Coriander
Sweat onions, add paste, lightly fry chicken
add coconut milk, let simmer 10-15 min

**Better eaten on top of plain white rice**

Heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sweat for 1-2 minutes (until translucent and soft).

Add d Curry paste and mix well for 1 minute (stirring constantly). Add the diced chicken and do the same (mix to coat everything, stirring for a minute).

Then add in d fish sauce, sugar, coconut milk and coriander. Combine together and let reach boiling point.

Simmering in low heat - Thai red curry
Once it bubbles, turn down the heat to medium-low (3/6) so it simmers for 10-15 minutes (do not cover the pan); stirring a bit every 5 min (so it doesn't stick).

Check that the chicken is cooked (it took me about 12 min because my chicken pieces were cut small).

To serve, plate hot over a bed of white rice!
Very easy, few ingredients, and tasty :)

* For the plain white rice (for 2 light eaters): place 1 cup of white rice + 2.5 cup water + 2 pinch salt in a medium pot. Cover with a lid, and place over medium heat (3 or 4/6) until rice is fully cooked (about 10-15 min).