In love with Life

by Anna on January 28, 2012

in Life

 

{ 1 comment }

Tilapia Tacos

by Anna on August 24, 2011

in Fish

Hi guys,

Yeeeeeees…. I’m alive; I know…I’ve been a very bad blogger lately. And the reason for that is I’m totally immersed in a new project that I can’t quite blab about yet. But all my efforts and spared time is in it. So fingers crossed…how is everybody enjoying the summer? Lots of new recipes out there…wow…sometimes I have a look at Foodgawker and Tastespotting and it blows my mind. You guys are doing great. I have a huge list of recipes bookmarked, yummy stuff. This recipe I tried here I saw on Giada’s program. I changed a bit here and there but I can tell you that this recipe is a keeper. It was the first time I used wanton wraps and I loved it. Its crunchy when you bake it and you can fill it with some goodness, yummm…and it was a breeze to make. Even after some sake shots. I don’t cook fish very often because I can’t stand the smell. Usually I bake salmon filets or Halibut, but always baked in the oven. So when I saw the recipe asking for pan-frying fish, I was worried that the house would smell fishy, but turns out that Tilapia doesn’t smell at all (if you get it extremely fresh) and it was delicious.

Tilapia Tacos

Ingredients:

Wonton cups:

  • 12 (3 1/4 by 3 1/4-inch square) wonton wrappers
  • ¼ cup canola
  • 12-count nonstick muffin pan
  • For the wonton cups: Put an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Using a pastry brush, brush each side of the wonton wrappers with canola oil. Gently press the wonton wrappers into the bottom and sides of a 12-count muffin pan. Bake until lightly golden, about 6 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Gently lift the wanton cups out of the pan and cool completely, about 10 minutes.

Filling:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 3 Tilapia fillets (about 8 ounces total), cut into 3/4-inch pieces seasoned with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • 1 Avocado, halved, pitted and flesh cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 Mango, peeled and flesh cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 3 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tomato seeds of cut into small cubes

 Direction:

In a large, nonstick skillet, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat drizzle the tilapia fillets with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Arrange the fish in a single layer in the pan and cook until the flesh is flaky and cooked through, about 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Set aside to cool slightly.

Dressing:

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper chopped very thinly.
  • Kosher salt black pepper

 Directions:

In a mason jar mix the olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, parsley, cilantro, garlic, jalapeno, salt and pepper. Give it a good shake.

To assemble:

In a bowl mix the Tilapia, the filling and coat with a bit of the dressing toss it gently so you don’t break the fish Then start filling the cups use the rest of the dressing in a little bowl so you can spoon more if you like.

Cook’s Note: The wonton wrappers can burn very quickly in the oven so check them after 5 minutes.

{ 31 comments }

Beetroot Hummus

by Anna on June 8, 2011

in Appetizer,Vegetarian,World Food

 

Hi y’all…how many of you are so possessive of your kitchen that nobody is allowed to get even close to it? Some of you? A few of you? Am I alone??? Well…. I totally freak my freak when I hear my hubby going to that direction. I have my reasons…absurd or not … I have them. One of them is that my better half doesn’t posses the same clean standards that I do. Yes…I know my standards are pretty high…but there are few things that drive me crazy like touch raw eggs or raw meat and them touch my salt and pepper. What??? Are you kidding me? I had to through my salt to many times because of that. Then there are the oily fingers that leave marks all over the fridge door and cabinets. Sigh****

Am I really the only person freaking out over those things? So yesterday he started to cut some corns in half while I was washing some veggies, and then ZAP…he cut his finger, it was kind of a scratch really…but man…. he went ballistic. He screamed, huffed, puffed. Wow…. and for half of it I was laughing because I thought he was kidding but nope ….he wasn’t…he made a huge ruckus about it. Said it was my entire fault because I stressed him. And until this morning every time I look at him he shows me his finger patched with Mickey Mouse Band-Aid. Oh Dear!!!

Well…. My recipe today is something I was curious to try for a long time, the beetroot hummus. I have seen many variations online and always thought it looks amazing. I roasted my beets beforehand to accentuate the taste. I have tried quite a few hummus variations before, but this one is by far my favorite.

 

Beetroot Hummus

  • 4 or 5 beets
  • 1 can of chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons of Tahini
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Directions:

Pre-heat the oven to 350F and roast the beets with a drizzle of olive oil for 25 minutes or until tender. Set aside to cool down. Then in a food processor mix the chickpeas, beets, Tahini, garlic, lemon juice, salt and olive oil. Serve with some crunchy vegetables and pita chips. Enjoy.

{ 35 comments }

Cooking with Citrus

by Anna on May 28, 2011

in Meat,Vegetarian,World Food

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Did you guys know I love, love, loooooooove citrus? Some of you probably know that but not all of you. So let me explain…. I was inside my mama’s belly when I realized I loved lemons. My mother ate lemons with salt during her entire pregnancy, there was never enough…she would wake up sometimes and go to her kitchen and cut some lemons and eat it, then went back to sleep. Poor mama…. Sorry about that mommy. Then when I was 1 year old she gave me a lemon to try, laughing hard in anticipation of the facial expressions she expected me to make. Sure enough I made my faces and puckered my lips but to her surprise I just loved it and kept asking for more…

I absolutely love using citrus on my baking goods and I rarely use vinegar on my salads. I prefer lemons and limes to balance my vinaigrettes. Some countries use lemon a lot and I’m a big fan, countries like Syria, Italy, Mexico and many Latin American countries.

Right now all the lemon trees around here are packed with beautiful lemons, sometimes I have to park my car and try to take pictures of people’s gardens.

So this lamb dish I made is kind of a winter dish, but I tried to turn it into a spring one, using some blood orange segments and actually cooking the dish separately. This way I could control the amount of liquid. The eggplant dish also has some lemon and orange juice. In the end the whole meal was citrus heaven. So here is what I did:

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Citrus and Harissa Roasted Eggplant

  • 4 or 5 small eggplants cut lengthwise.
  • 1 tbsp Harissa
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ½ cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 tbsp of lemon juice
  • Olive oil to drizzle
  • Salt and pepper
  • Chopped parsley and mint for garnish.

Directions:

Pre-heat the oven to a 350F.

Cut the eggplant in half fill a big bowl with cold water and mix 2 tbsp of salt, add the eggplant and live it there for 10 to 15 minutes. In a small saucepan add the honey, Harissa, lemon juice, orange juice and bring it to a simmer to reduce a bit let it simmer until you get a syrupy texture. Reserve. Drain the eggplant and pat dry it well then with a paring knife crisscross the cut side of the eggplant arrange then on a sheet tray and drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and roast it for 20 to 30 minutes or until soft. Take the eggplant out and brush the Harissa, citrus and honey mixture liberally. Sprinkle some chopped mint and parsley on top for serving.

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Lamb, Lentil and Blood Orange Pilaf

For the lamb:

  • 1 pound of lamb shoulder cut into cubes
  • 1tsp of cumin
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp of whole cardamom pods
  • 1tbsp of grated ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper

For the Rice and Lentils:

  • ½ cup of green lentils
  • 1 cup of uncooked basmati rice
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 blood orange cut in segments
  • ¼ cup of chopped mint
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley

Directions:

Put the lamb cubes in a Ziploc bag add all the spices the olive oil salt and pepper, lemon juice, grated ginger, minced garlic and massage it to coat all the meat with the mixture. Let it marinate for at least 2 hours in the fridge.

Sauté the onion with olive oil until golden add the rice and sauté it a little. Add the water season with salt and pepper and let it cook. Reserve.

Segment the blood oranges and reserve.

In another pan add the washed lentils and cover with water and 1 tbsp of salt. Cook the lentil until all dente being careful to not overcook or it will be mushy. Once cooked drain it and reserve.

Now in a heave bottom pan add some olive oil and start to fry the lamb on medium heat let it brown on all sides add half cup of water cover the pan and let it simmer. Let it cook until all the liquid evaporates. Check for seasoning and if the meat is tender. Now to assemble everything mix the meat, rice, lentils, chopped parsley and mint, and the orange segments. Have a great weekend

{ 24 comments }

Shrimp and Chorizo Benedict

by Anna on May 10, 2011

in Breakfast,Eggs

Hi guys…hope you all had a lovely time with your mommy Sunday. Mother’s day in NY is a day for brunch and all the restaurants are crowded beyond believe. Here in LA it’s a bit different, when I think about brunch immediately some places in NYC come to mind for their awesome options. There was this place called Yuca Bar that I use to go to for brunch that has this yummy dish called Yuca benedict that is sooooo delicious. So yesterday a told my hubby I would try to recreate the dish. It’s a bit of work but I’m sure you won’t regret… And if you live in Manhattan by all means go there and try for yourself, you are going to understand what I’m talking about.

Chorizo and Shrimp Benedict

For the home fries:

  • 2 sweet potatoes cut into 1inch cubes
  • 2 big white potatoes cut into 1inch cubes
  • 1 big red onion chopped
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp of Pimenton
  • 1 chorizo sausage grinded in the food processor
  • 10 medium shrimp cut in thirds
  • 1 small bunch of parsley
  • 1 small bunch of cilantro
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 avocados
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

Directions:

Pre-heat the oven 350F. In a sheet tray spread the potatoes evenly, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and the red pepper flakes and the pimenton, and roast for 25 to 30 minutes or until they are soft. Reserve

In a sauté pan sauté the chorizo, the red onion and the shrimp, making sure not to overcook the shrimp. Reserve.

For the herbs Aioli:

  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic glove minced
  • 2 tbsp of chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Mix everything with a blender and reserve. Chop all the herbs, garlic, and avocados and mix them well. Season with salt and pepper and the lemon juice.

Now its time for the poached eggs, brace yourself….LOL I don’t know about you…but I had many, many misshapes poaching eggs. I have tried many techniques and none were good for me. So every gadget I see available in the market I will give it a try. Because poached eggs are awesooooome. I tried the poached egg pan…not a heat. The silicones pouches, ehhhh!! Poach the egg in controlled temperature inside the shell…yep I have tried that. It works but it’s a tad time consuming. But finally now I got a gadget that do the job without fuss. Thanks to almighty Martha Stewart. Thanks Martha for your brilliance. I know the concept is the same of the poaching pan, but the shape is nicer and it WORKS. The eggs just slide of the pan perfect every time. So…. high five Martha.

Now…. where were we??? The assemble of the dish…. once your eggs are poached God’s willing they look fabulous… mix together all the ingredients very well so all the flavors get together. I used a ring to shape mine… but free form also works. Top the mixture with the egg and drizzle some hollandaise sauce. I’m not a big fan of hollandaise sauce…so what I used on mine was a herbs aioli. Enjoy.

{ 25 comments }

Oh Boy!! What a week, I planed to post this recipe 3 days ago. But couldn’t find a minute to sit in front of my computer. It was dead line after dead line. I have this huge project that I’m involved in, that is totally using all my time. Gosh!! I really need a vacation…. I hope you are not bored with all my salads, this site started to look like a salad site. But what can I say… All I can think about right now are salads. And besides they are so fast to put together, it’s a win win. I hope you all have a lovely weekend, with lots of happy cooking.

Herbs Potatoes and Fava Beans  Salad

  • 1 bag of red potatoes
  • 1 small bunch of parsley
  • 1 small bunch of mint
  • 1 small bunch of dill
  • 3 green onions thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped thyme
  • 1 cup of fava beans
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Half lemon
  • 1 garlic minced
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

I usually steam cook my potatoes; I don’t really like to cook them in boiling water. Before I start to cook the potatoes I chop up all my herbs and reserve, in a little cup mix together the olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon juice, garlic and had it all ready. I do that Because the best time to season the potatoes is right when the potatoes are still hot. The preparation of the fava beans is simple and straightforward as you can see here. Mix all well and set aside to cool. They are extremely aromatic and yummy. Enjoy.

{ 14 comments }

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OMG guys!!! I thought I was going to be stuck forever with my neck turning only to the left…sooooo painful. I have no idea how that happened but one day I woke up with my neck completely stuck, it was 2 weeks popping painkillers like candy. But FINALLY it’s over. I missed you guys a lot, my hubby is also glad I’m better because now I can stop blabbing about food only with him…. I mean…more than I already blab usually. The best of my entire ordeal was that I could watch all my favorite cooking programs, Oh boy!!! It was a marathon…but here I am now, let’s talk about salad…I was totally craving fresh and aromatic. My herbs are getting beautiful and I wanted to use them already…so…for this salad I roasted some squash and reserved. And did you guys know that quinoa and rice is a totally wonderful combination? I just found out…and I’m in love, it gives the salad a little crunch and nutty flavor…. just delicious and by all means go crazy with the herbs, you won’t regret it. Enjoy!

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Rice, Squash and Quinoa Salad

For the rice:

  • 2 cup of Basmati rice
  • ½ onion chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tsp of coriander seeds
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • Salt to taste

Directions:

Add the olive oil and sauté the onions, garlic and coriander seeds until the onions are translucent. Add the rice and sauté it for a minute then add the water, season it and cook with the lid on in low simmer. No picking. After the rice is done let it cool down to room temperature. You can use left over rice too if you have handy.

For the quinoa:

  • 1 cup of quinoa
  • 2 cups of water

Wash the quinoa thoroughly before you start, bring the 2 cups of water to a boil and add the quinoa. Reduce the fire to a simmer and cook it for 15 to 20 minutes. When it’s done becomes transparent, drain it and reserve.

For the roasted squash:

  • ½ Kabocha squash cut into small cubes
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Red chili flakes

Directions:

In a small bowl toss and combine all the ingredients then roast the squash in a baking sheet at 350F for 25 to 30 minutes or until soft and golden. Then let it cool down and reserve.

Now for the herbs:

here you can use your favorite herbs combination. I used:

  • 1 small bunch of mint thinly sliced
  • ½ cup of green onions cut on the diagonal for prettiness
  • 1 small bunch of dill chopped
  • 1 tsp of thyme chopped
  • 1 tsp of sumac
  • 2-garlic clove minced
  • ½ cup of olive oil
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ cup of crumbled Feta cheese
  • 1 cup of cherry tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper

Toss the rice, quinoa, squash, the herbs well to combine make a vinaigrette with the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper and sumac and mix with the salad. To finish add the Feta cheese and tomatoes.

{ 16 comments }

Oh! Dear… Do you know how sometimes you buy the best ingredient and put like 6 hours romancing one dish, you put your best effort to it and still in the end you get an awful result. That’s what happened to me with my pulled pork today. I tried to change things and be creative with my recipe and Oh gosh! Better if I didn’t, the result was an ill looking slab of meat that looked like, like…. Oh Boy! I don’t even know how to describe it. YUCK!

Unfortunately I had blabbed so much to my hubby about this pulled pork sandwich that I had to do something to rescue my night. Thankfully I had some homemade Harissa in my fridge and Haloumi cheese. So I grilled one eggplant and some onions. And put this sandwich together. Well…. it wasn’t pork but we were pleasant surprised how good it tasted. Crises averted. :-)

Eggplant and Haloumi Sandwich

  • 2 Focaccia rolls
  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 1 big onion sliced
  • 1 Haloumi cheese sliced
  • 1 cup of sun dried tomatoes
  • 1 cup of fresh spinach
  • ½ cup of mayonnaise
  • ½ cup of homemade Harissa
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

In a small bowl mix the Harissa, mayo and lemon juice until well combined. Heat your grill or indoor grill pan drizzle the eggplant and the onions with olive oil, season with salt and pepper to taste and grill it until soft. Grill the Haloumi cheese. Brush the bread with some olive oil and put it on the grill to toast it a bit. To assemble put 2 tbs of the Harissa mayo on one side of the bread then add the eggplant, onions, Haloumi, sun dried tomatoes and the fresh spinach.

{ 30 comments }