Red Velvet Cake

IMG_3173

It’s that time again – time for another Secret Recipe Club post.

Whats SRC? It’s a collective of bloggers seeking to try something from someone else’s kitchen. This month I got to explore Claire’s Kitchen, hailing from sunny Brisbane.

And since we were scheduled to travel to the Englishman’s Mum’s home in the tiny village of Nigtevecht, I knew it was time for some cake.

IMG_3155

IMG_3157

IMG_3159

His Dad likes koffie black; Mum prefers milk + sugar. But both have an incredible sweet tooth that they have undoubtedly passed onto my roomate.

So, while browsing Claire’s space and to go with those cuppa’s, I knew just the thing.

IMG_3164

This cake is spongy and lite. And super red. I used this cream cheese frosting recipe cause I like the tartness, and because, cheese. duh.

IMG_3167

Everyone was pretty impressed, and I’m embarrassed to say 4 people ate this cake over the course of about 5 hours. Maybe you’ll have a bit more self control than we did :)

Audio Pairing: Get it Right by Aretha Franklin

Red Velvet Cake

By DellaCucinaPovera Published: August 31, 2014

  • Yield: 2 thin rounds or 1 large round (6-8 Servings)
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 25 mins
  • Ready In: 40 mins

It's that time again - time for another Secret Recipe Club post. Whats SRC? It's a collective of bloggers seeking to try …

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Allow the cake to fully cool before frosting. Serve at room temperature.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, sift your flour together with your baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a measuring cup, add 1 tsp of vinegar to your milk, and give it a good stir. Alternatively, you can 1 cup buttermilk (which I haven't been able to find in The Nethlands)
  4. In another bowl, sift together your sugar and cocoa powder. Add your eggs one by one, then your vegetable oil. Add the red food coloring and vanilla extract. Set aside.
  5. Slowly add your milk mixture to your flour, salt and baking soda. Finally, incorporate your sugar mixture until your batter is smooth.
  6. Poor into a greased cake tin and bake for 25-30 minutes at 185C/380F or until a toothpick comes out clean.

    WordPress Recipe Plugin by ReciPress

    Mexican Inspired Corn Cobs

    IMG_3084

    MANY people mistake me for Mexican. Even in Holland. It might be my super short stature (5’2″ or 157cm for all you non-Americans). It might be my brown skin, dark brown eyes and jet-black hair. It also might my little round face.

    Who knows.

    But this is global. Literally, on every continent I’ve been to, even Korea, people ask if I’m Mexican.

    Which was awesome that one time I went to Mexico. I traveled there in 2008 with my boyfriend at the time, and we rented a car and explored parts of the Yucatan + Quintana Roo. We ate everything in site. We felt Montezuma’s revenge.

    IMG_3083

    We ate this corn. Of course, what we ate was a little different. They used queso fresco, which I didn’t have. They LATHER the cob with mayo, I added a little droplet. And they made their corn taste of fire (with spice), which the Englishman can’t really handle. But all of the elements were there, in a kind of watered-down Dutch way, cause hey, you gotta start somewhere.

    IMG_3082

    Corn is usually thrown on a grill and dressed up with all the fixing. But it was raining here. So no grill. I boiled the ears and it did the trick.

    So I wouldn’t say this is authentic. But it’s accessible for all, and pretty damn delicious.

    Audio Pairing: Inspector Norse by Todd Terje

    Mexican Inspired Corn Cobbs

    By DellaCucinaPovera Published: August 25, 2014

    • Yield: 4 whole corn cobbs (2-3 as a side Servings)
    • Prep: 5 mins
    • Cook: 10 mins
    • Ready In: 15 mins

    Mecian-style street food: Corn on the Cobb

    Ingredients

    Instructions

    1. Boil corn in salted water for about 10 minutes. Allow to cool + pat dry.
    2. Scoop about 1/2 tbsp of mayo on each half. Sprinkle red pepper flakes on top and squeeze a little lime juice on each. Enjoy!

      WordPress Recipe Plugin by ReciPress

      Homemade BBQ Sauce

      IMG_3086

      You know when you crave something SO MUCH. and you can’t find that that.

      Then you go home and make it. And it’s not quite the same. Then you make it again, and something is missing.

      So you make it again. And again.

      Then, you nail it.

      I miss summer BBQs. Ok, we do sometimes have them here. But there’s something about the way my dad grills that makes everything taste better, ya know?

      On top of missing BBQ’s it’s also the sauce I miss.

      BBQ sauce. And hot sauce. But that’s for another day.

      IMG_3093

      This BBQ sauce is smokey from roasting the tomatoes. Sweet from the brown sugar. Perfect burnt brown from the Worcestershire sauce. And has just a bit of kick from garlic, chili and cumin. I hated the idea of adding ketchup – something I only reserved for frites. This recipe swaps ketchup for real tomatoes.

      IMG_3081

      I’m so excited to share this with you guys.

      Is there anything you make from scratch that you either can’t find or prefer homemade?

      Audio Pairing: Memory by Peter & The Magician

      Homemade BBQ Sauce

      By DellaCucinaPovera Published: August 19, 2014

      • Yield: 1 1/2 cups of BBQ sauce

      You know when you crave something SO MUCH. and you can't find that that. Then you go home and make it. And it's not quite the …

      Ingredients

      Instructions

      1. Heat your oven to 400F/220C. Place your onions, tomatoes and garlic on a baking tray. Place in the oven for about 20 minutes.
      2. Pop your Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, chili and cumin, brown sugar and honey in a food processor. Slowly add your warm onions, tomatoes and garlic.
      3. Once everything is incorporated, send it through a mesh sieve. You should have about 1 1/2 cup water mixture.
      4. Place your mixture into a sauce pan, on medium heat. Dump in your cornstarch and stir until fully incorporated. The sauce will thicken immediately.
      5. Jar or use immediately. Keeps for about 2 weeks in the fridge.

        WordPress Recipe Plugin by ReciPress

        Chocolate and Pear Tart

        IMG_3066

        Spontaneous baking has always ended in catastrophe for me.
        I am a horrible baker. I can’t follow recipes (and here I expect you to? facepalm). I get impatient.

        Things go flat. They’re undercooked. Burned. Everything you can think of goes wrong.

        But sometimes… it’s all magic. Like some kind of creative pollok-mode intensity where you’re throwing ingredients in a bowl and they seem to magically come together in a way that makes sense.

        IMG_3070

        I made this twice. Once with olive oil in the chocolate mixture, once with butter. The olive oil made the tart taste earthy and sweet, but ultimately made the crust turn to mush after a day. If you can put this tart away in a day, I recommend swapping the 90 grams of butter in the filling for 1/3 cup olive oil. Otherwise, use butter.

        But really, sometimes eating mushy tart with a spoon is perfect.

        IMG_3073

        Audio pairing: Rumble by Kelis

        Chocolate and Pear Tart

        By DellaCucinaPovera Published: August 17, 2014

          Spontaneous baking has always ended in catastrophe for me. I am a horrible baker. I can't follow recipes (and here I expect you …

          Ingredients

          Instructions

          1. Prepare your dough. 1. Pulse flour, salt, sugar and ground almonds in a food processor. Add butter until you get a grainy consistency, then just enough water so that the dough clumps. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes. 2. Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface to about 1/4 inch thick and place in a pie tin (the dough is crumbly, so if you need to, spread it with your hands directly in the mold. Dock the dough and bake at 360F/ 180C. for 10-15 minutes.
          2. Prepare your filling. 1. Melt your butter with the cocoa over medium heat and stir until smooth. Remove from heat and add your egg, sugar, flour and vanilla. Pour the chocolate mixture into your pastry.
          3. Assemble Tart. 1. Place your sliced pears over your chocolate mixture in the tart. 2. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the filling is firm. Allow to cool fully. Sprinkle powder sugar atop. Enjoy!

            WordPress Recipe Plugin by ReciPress

            Zucchini Noodle with Baby Spinach and Walnut Pesto

            IMG_3010

            Yes, I hopped on the veggie noodle boat.

            It’s a great boat, man.
            IMG_3017

            I grew up on pasta. My shapes are proof. But sometimes, you just wanna be a bit healthier, ya know?

            I ordered this spiralizer from amazon just before my parents came to visit. My mom brought it to Holland (along with some other goodies, like my Madeliene tin) and I haven’t looked back since.

            There were fancier spiralizers out there. And I’ve found that this one’s only good for carrots, zucchini and cucumbers. But its a gem for what I paid, and we’ve been seeing this meal an awful lot around here.

            The ‘noodles’ are raw. The pesto is raw.
            IMG_3013
            I stuff my face and I don’t feel super full.

            From our kitchen to yours, buon appetito!
            IMG_3018

            Audio Pairing: Boom Bap Routine by Souleance

            Zucchini Noodle with Baby Spinach and Walnut Pesto

            By DellaCucinaPovera Published: August 9, 2014

            • Yield: 2 Servings
            • Prep: 5 mins

            Yes, I hopped on the veggie noodle boat. It's a great boat, man. I grew up on pasta. My shapes are proof. But sometimes, …

            Ingredients

            Instructions

            1. Spiralize your zucchini. Toss with olive oil, then pesto. Sprinkle cheese + salt & pepper to taste.

              WordPress Recipe Plugin by ReciPress

              Italian Orange + Almond Cake

              One week of sunshine.

              One week of polpo, great-aunts, limoncello.

              And now, a lifetime of this cake. Which I have made nearly every week we’ve been back from our Italian adventure.

              The citrus in Sicily is really something to talk about. Everyone has lemon, orange and olive trees growing on their property like weeds. Everything grows under the hot sun to giant, nay, epic size. And bigger here, is definitely better. There’s something about the sweetness of their giant produce that is really remarkable and unparalleled.

              But let’s switch to cake…

              IMG_2832

              I had so many oranges laying around this weekend. What to do with all them oranges?

              IMG_2833

              Make cake, naturalmente.

              IMG_2845

              This recipe uses almond flour. I never realized how MUCH Sicilians use almonds until my mom told me about this pesto rosso.

              It’s not too sweet. Thats where the powdered sugar comes it. It adds that little extra something that makes this perfect for hot afternoons with your evening coffee. Or for breakfast 3 days in a row. I loved it; hope you will too.

              Audio Pairing: Love Hangover by Diana Ross

              Italian Orange + Almond Cake

              By DellaCucinaPovera Published: August 7, 2014

              • Prep: 20 mins
              • Cook: 1 1 1/2 hoursa60-90 min
              • Ready In: 21 mins

              One week of sunshine. One week of polpo, great-aunts, limoncello. And now, a lifetime of this cake. Which I have made nearly …

              Ingredients

              Instructions

              1. Place 2 whole oranges in a large pan with plenty of water. Gently boil for about an hour. Remove and allow to cool.
              2. Whirl around brown and white sugar in a food processor. Crack in your eggs and mix until fluffy.
              3. Preheat your oven to 180C/360f. Cut your cooled oranges into chunks, remove any seeds, and throw them into your food processor. Add your almond flour and baking powder. Add the orange juice.
              4. Line a cake tin with parchment paper. Pour in your cake batter and bake for 60-90 minutes, or until a skew comes clean.
              5. Once the cake has completely cooled, dust with powdered sugar + zest.

                WordPress Recipe Plugin by ReciPress

                Carmelized Onions + Blue Cheese Pasta

                Sometimes, you stare into your fridge, wondering how you can possibly make a meal from the weird assortment of loose ends staring back at you. Sunday was one of those times.

                Blue cheese. A cupboard full of onions. And some garden herbs. Rosemary.

                But like, what?

                Slow cooked. Caramelized. Onions. Tart blue cheese. Sweet, earthy and fragrant fresh rosemary.

                IMG_2972

                And lots of pasta.

                IMG_2975

                I’d make this again in a heartbeat, even with a fridge full of goodies. The sweetness of the slow cooked, caramelized onions really did something for me. Hope you’ll feel the same.

                What’s your go to when your cupboards are bare?

                Audion Pairing: Grazin in the Grass by Orchestra Harlow

                Carmelized Onions + Blue Cheese Pasta Recipe

                By DellaCucinaPovera Published: August 5, 2014

                • Yield: 2-3 Servings
                • Prep: 5 mins
                • Cook: 30 mins
                • Ready In: 35 mins

                Sometimes, you stare into your fridge, wondering how you can possibly make a meal from the weird assortment of loose ends staring back …

                Ingredients

                Instructions

                1. Heat your olive oil on medium heat, in a large pan. Add your onions, garlic and red pepper flakes.
                2. Turn the heat to low and stir constantly until the onions are caramelized.
                3. While your onions + garlic are cooking, cook your pasta until al dente.
                4. Assemble your pasta. Drain your noodles, and add them to your caramelized onions and garlic in the pan. Drop in half of your cheese and mix together. Plate and add the remainder of your cheese. Salt + pepper to taste. Enjoy!

                  WordPress Recipe Plugin by ReciPress

                  Mama Nunna’s Saffron Rice Pudding – Sholeh Zard

                  This is my Mama Nunna and Bubba Hassan.

                  photo

                  They were married when she was just 19. My dad is the oldest of her 6 children. And she has helped , and is still helping, to raise all of the (many, many) grandchildren on my dad’s side of the family.

                  That means this lady is really some kind of miracle worker in the kitchen.

                  I don’t speak Farsi and she doesn’t really speak English. Our communication is limited to my very sad sentences (mostly food- related and “I love youuu!”) with lots of smiles and kisses dotted between. My only request whilst we were home last April was to indulge in some serious grandma time and grandma food.

                  I nearly had to be rolled out of her apartment, but on the way out I couldn’t notice that picture. She saw how much I admired it, and ran off to give me a copy.

                  And now, rice pudding.

                  IMG_2990 IMG_2993 IMG_2999

                  This is one of my favorite things that she makes. It’s neon yellow from it’s saffron bath. Sticky-sweet from rosewater. Fragrant from crushed cardamon pods. And every bite is delicious.

                  This is Mama Nunna’s Saffron Rice Pudding.

                  Audio Pairing: A Csitari Hegyek Alatt by Oi Va Voi

                   

                  Mama Nunna's Saffron Rice Pudding

                  By DellaCucinaPovera Published: July 31, 2014

                  • Yield: 3-4 Servings
                  • Prep: 1hour min

                  This is my Mama Nunna and Bubba Hassan. They were married when she was just 19. My dad is the oldest of her 6 children. And she …

                  Ingredients

                  Instructions

                  1. Crushyour cardamom pods in your rosewater and set aside. Grind saffron with 1 tsp of sugar.
                  2. Cook your rice until tender, reserving 3 tbsp of hot rice water.
                  3. Add your rice water to the ground saffron/sugar mix and allow to brew for a few minutes.
                  4. Add the remainder of the sugar to the rice and cook for another half hour until the water and rice become dense. In the mean time be sure to stir the rice every so often so that it does not stick to the bottom. Add brewed saffron and continue to cook for another half hour.
                  5. Add rose water with cardamom pods and slivered almonds. Mix well. At this point you can continue cooking the pudding on the stove top on low until it is completely dense, or place it in an oven proof pot and put it in the oven. THEN turn the oven to 350º and leave the pudding in there for 15 to 20 minutes.
                  6. Discard cardamom pods. Place the Sholeh Zard in small bowls or in one big shallow oval or rectangular dish. Garnish with cinnamon and slivered pistachios. Allow to cool to room temperature. Cover and place in the fridge for a few hours. Serve chilled.

                    WordPress Recipe Plugin by ReciPress

                    Kale + Lamb Curry AND Cookbook Giveaway!

                    IMG_2980
                    So when I started this blog, I had a vision; Italian and Persian working class food.

                    2 1/2 years of blogging, 6 years of expatriatism and lots of calories later, all of that was lost. I started looking to remind me of travel, to comfort me when I was feeling homesick. And I began to challenge my skills and knowledge of technique and limits  of food.

                    I had never eaten beets. Celery root.

                    Kale.

                    All of that changed.

                    Today I’m here to share 2 firsts: a kale dish -and- a cookbook giveaway!

                    IMG_3000

                    The world of kale opened up  to me when I found The Roasted Root’s blog. Kale ere’where.

                    The Englishman has had plenty of kale – it stampot, of course. What’s that? It’s a Dutch dish; basically a conglomeration of mashed veg in a heavy-duty cast iron pot. Without a shred of herbs…can I get a little salt or something!?

                    Anyways, kale in curry. Did you know it’s a thing? Totes is.

                    IMG_2982

                    And it’s in Julia’s book! Plus eleventybillion other drool-worthy recipes all featuring that leafy green that hipsters and granola lovers seemed to have only recently discovered.

                    IMG_2983

                    Julia was kind enough to pass on her cookbook to me (allll the way here in Amsterdam). And because sharing is caring, I’m going to pass this little gem off onto a lucky reader.

                    Tell me why you think you should win the book, and you’ll get a fancy package from this little corner of the world from Julia + me.

                    The recipe for this awesome curry is in the book!

                    Get your comment in before Monday, August 4th!
                    Thanks to everyone who entered! The giveaway is officially closed.

                    Peach and Rosemary Galette

                    Nothing tastes of summer more than pie. And since I seem to be on a French kick, let’s make it a galette, shall we?

                    Quest-ce que c’est un galette?

                    IMG_2946

                    It’s a free form, crust-laden form -something between a pie and a tart. Some have a top, this one is topless. Oh la la!

                    IMG_2954

                    IMG_2952

                    I had so so much fresh rosemary from our forays in Sicily – this stuff was growing like weeds in a national park we wandering through. So I broke off a few branches and took my contraband back to Holland with me.

                    And then I threw it in everything. Savory.

                    By why not something sweet? I scoured the internet for something with a peach and rosemary combination; disheartened when I only found cocktails. Those are good, too, but I wanted pie.

                    Then I saw this recipe that combined the two, so wonderfully, in a crumble. Margherita, you inspired me. 

                    IMG_2965

                    I used this pie crust recipe.

                    Audio Pairing: Serbia by Tala

                    Peach and Rosemary Galette

                    By DellaCucinaPovera Published: July 25, 2014

                    • Yield: 4 6-inch galletes (8-10 Servings)
                    • Prep: 20 mins
                    • Cook: 20 mins
                    • Ready In: 40 mins

                    Nothing tastes of summer more than pie. And since I seem to be on a French kick, let's make it a galette, shall we? Quest-ce que …

                    Ingredients

                    Instructions

                    1. In a large bowl, combine the sliced peaches, sugar, flour, lemon zest, juice and rosemary. Refrigerate while preparing the crust.
                    2. Cut your pie dough into 4 portions, and refrigerate 3. Roll your first dough ball into an 8-inch circle, at about 1/4 inch thickness. Spoon 1/4 of filling into the center leaving nearly 2 inches around the edge free.
                    3. Fold the dough borders over the filling towards the middle, pressing the folds slightly. Repeat with the remainder of your dough and filling.
                    4. Brush the edges of your galette's crust with milk and sprinkle sugar atop.
                    5. Bake at 425F/220C for 10 minutes and then reduce the heat to 350F/185C and bake for another 20 minutes or until the crust is golden. Cool on a wire rack - serve warm or room temp.

                      WordPress Recipe Plugin by ReciPress

                      Homemade Falafel

                      IMG_2938

                      My first encounter with falafel was in Washington, at Amsterdam Falafel. Yes, my two worlds collided long before I would move to Holland.

                      This little corner shop in Adam’s Morgan serves two things, all day. Frites. and Falafel. They just so perfectly encaptured late night, post libation snack-time in this little city. Because let’s face it, when you’re drunk and it’s 3 am, all you want is fried food.

                      Then I had some in Israel along the beach in Eilat. It was hot. Really hot. And yet my body knew I needed to eat something. So I walked along an alley and followed my nose to a food cart selling only falafel. It was instant love. The softness of the pita, the tartness of lemon, the sweetness of tahini, and the crunchy outside and soft, warm inside of the falafel. And parsley. It was food magic.

                      And this weekend, it was hot. Really hot. Somewhere around 35C/95F. And yes, we have that in DC. But we also have AC.

                      IMG_2936

                      IMG_2924

                      IMG_2928

                      IMG_2941

                      So you can imagine me melting into my couch. Hungry, but hot.

                      IMG_2945

                      And then I remember Amsterdam Falafel, and Eilat.

                      What makes these so fun is all the stuff you can add to them. Because mister doens’t believe food isn’t a meal without meat, we ate these with some lamb minced meat, cooked with simple zaatar. Fixings included sliced red onion, green peppers, cilantro and tomatoes. Don’t for the pita.

                      Audio Pairing: Eden by Ben Khan

                      Homemade Falafel

                      By DellaCucinaPovera Published: July 23, 2014

                      • Yield: 12-15 falafel balls (2-3 Servings)

                      My first encounter with falafel was in Washington, at Amsterdam Falafel. Yes, my two worlds collided long before I would move to …

                      Ingredients

                      Instructions

                      1. Place your chickpeas and chopped onions in a food processor. Add cilantro, salt, red pepper flakes, garlic, and cumin. Blend until fully incorporated.
                      2. Sprinkle in baking powder and flour and pulse a few more times. Refrigerate your mixture for an hour. This will help you form balls later.
                      3. Using a tablespoon measure, form your chickpea mixture into balls. Set the aside.
                      4. Heat 3 inches of vegetable oil in a deep pot. Start frying by testing 1 ball -if it falls apart, add flour to your mixture. I fried 3-4 balls at once. Fry for a few minutes or until golden brown, and set aside on a plate lined with a paper towel. Continue until you have fried all your falafel.
                      5. Stir together the tahini and lemon juice, and use this as drizzle. Stuff pitas with falafel , tomatoes, onion, green pepper and tahini drizzle.

                        WordPress Recipe Plugin by ReciPress

                        Madeleines

                        IMG_2915
                        Madeleines.
                        They’re basically little butter cakes in the shape of a cookie.
                        IMG_2917
                        Like so many french recipes, they involve a certain amount of patience. Technique (of which, I have none). Careful, (ostentatious) following of instructions.  And highly specific tools. Who owns a madeleine pan?!
                        In the end, you’re rewarded. It’s browned and crispy on the outside and buttery spongy-soft on the inside.
                        And when they’re fresh-from-the-oven, there’s really nothing like em.
                        IMG_2910
                        Audio Pairing: Dame de Lotus by Emilie Simon

                        Madeleines Recipe

                        By DellaCucinaPovera Published: July 14, 2014

                          Madeleines. They're basically little butter cakes in the shape of a cookie. Like so many french recipes, they involve a …

                          Ingredients

                          Instructions

                          1. Melt the butter in a small sauce pan until it turns slightly brown,.  Spoon 3 tablespoons of butter into a small bowl and set aside. Let the rest of the butter cool.
                          2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and sugar. In another bowl, whisk eggs with vanilla, salt, lemon juice and zest until the eggs are frothy.
                          3. Add your wet ingredients (except you butter) to your dry. Mix until just combined. Finally, add the browned butter and stir -  It will take a minute for the butter to incorporate.
                          4. Cover your mixture and refrigerator for at least an hour. Add the remaining 1 tbsp flour to the 3 tbsp butter and stir.  Brush the insides of the madeleine tin with the mixture, then freeze the pans for at least an hour.
                          5. Preheat the oven to 350°F/175° C. Scoop 1 conservative tbsp of batter into each tin.
                          6. Bake for 8 minutes, the rotate pan and bake for another 5 minutes.  The madeleines should be brown around the edges and have a little circular bubble on the 'back'.
                          7. Remove from the oven and let cool.  Tap the madeleine tin and let the madeleines pop from their mold. Once cooled, dust with powdered sugar.

                            WordPress Recipe Plugin by ReciPress

                            Mom’s Jeweled Rice

                            My mom is an amazing cook.
                            I know, so is yours. But let me explain.

                            It’s not just that she makes everything with love (duh). She worked in her parent’s Italian restaurant from the time she could work until it closed in the late 80′s. She learned from my grandma and aunties. She baked by herself. She hoarded recipes and cookbooks.

                            IMG_2782

                            And when she remarried, her whole culinary world shifted – from the Mediterranean to the Middle East. Now it was time for eggplant, rosewater, saffron and rice. Plus, a whole lotta rice.

                            IMG_2781

                            Not really knowing where to start, she picked up New Food of Life. Ever since, it’s been a staple in her home, helping her bake the best Nan-E Keshmeshy (Perisan Raisin Cookies), mix up the best Maast-o Khiar (Cucumber + Yogurt side) and this rice.

                            It’s the ultimately sweet and savory dish, if that’s your thing. Pistachios, barbaries, candied orange peels, nearly burnt ultra browned onions. And all that basmati rice.

                            IMG_2786

                            We never really celebrated Ramadam at home – my dad had long since left his religious affinity when he left Iran in 1979. But there always seemed to be an air of spirit around that time. And boy did we eat well in the evenings.

                            To all of you celebrating, Ramamdam Kareem!
                            Audio Pairing: Arian Band by Parvaz

                            Mom's Persian Jeweled Rice

                            By DellaCucinaPovera Published: July 12, 2014

                            • Yield: 3-4 Servings

                            My mom is an amazing cook. I know, so is yours. But let me explain. It's not just that she makes everything with love (duh). She …

                            Ingredients

                            Instructions

                            1. Scoop about 4 tbsps of rice into a separate container and coat with your saffron water.
                            2. In a large pan, cook your rice according to package instructions.
                            3. While your rice is boiling, brown your onions in butter in another pan. Then add your barberries. Set aside.
                            4. Combine cooked plain rice, orange rinds and onion- barberry mixture. Top with pistachios and saffron rice. Serve immediately.

                              WordPress Recipe Plugin by ReciPress

                              Simple Caprese Salad

                              Once upon a time, this blog had a focus. It was themed around simple ingredients, local and seasonal stuff, comfort foods that brought you back to your happy place.

                              Somewhere between travels, feeling reminiscent, and being inspired by my ever-changing landscape of expat friends, the ingredients became less simple (I’m talking to you, kaffir leaves). The recipes were no long familiar (hi, beet pesto). And Cucina Povera got lost.

                              IMG_2878
                              Today, I’m reeling it back in. 5 ingredients. Brimming with Italian-ness.

                              Did I mention we ate like pigs in Italy? Well it didn’t stop there when I went to dinner with colleagues to the Samba Kitchen; a Brazilian churrascaria with all you can eat meat, serves from swords.

                              It was time to eat simple. Light. Easy.
                              IMG_2881

                              I’m sure you’ve seen a million of variations of Caprese Pops, skewers, etc. Will this is not fancy. It’s not modern. It’s actually kind of boring – but I love it. It’s an heirloom that’s tried and true.

                              IMG_2883

                              Audio Pairing: Love Hangover by Dianna Ross

                              Simple Caprese Salad

                              By DellaCucinaPovera Published: July 9, 2014

                                Once upon a time, this blog had a focus. It was themed around simple ingredients, local and seasonal stuff, comfort foods that brought …

                                Ingredients

                                Instructions

                                1. Assemble your salad: alternate between slices of tomato, buffalo mozzarella and basil. Drizzle olive oil atop and add salt + pepper to taste. Serve cold.

                                  WordPress Recipe Plugin by ReciPress

                                  Thai Shrimp Salad

                                  This is my favorite Secret Recipe Club post, to date.

                                  IMG_2893

                                  Whats SRC? It’s a collective of bloggers seeking to try something from someone else’s kitchen.

                                  Fellow expat Jess is totally enthralled with her Thai surroundings. How can you not be? Thailand is a proverbial assault on all your senses. Its really effing hot. There are bajillions of people crammed into its cities. Its loud, the constant buzzing of people and traffic is unparalleled. And it. is. phenomenally delicious.

                                  IMG_2903

                                  Expat life has it’s ups and downs, but mostly I walk around with doe-eyes trying to take everything in- especially when I lived in Korea. I can’t even begin to imagine what life in Bangkok must be like. Let along doing all of that doe-eyedness pregnant or with newborns. Jess, you rock.

                                  And so does your Thai Shrimp Salad.

                                  IMG_2898

                                  It was a no brainer to try out a Thai recipe. It’s my ultimate weak spot – Asian ingredients are totally foreign to me. There were so many recipes that had me squealing, particularly her quest for perfect pad thai. Next time, Jess!

                                  IMG_2884

                                  Needless to say, I’ll be swinging by The Inquiring Chef again.

                                  Audio Pairing: Take it or Leave it by Cage the Elephant

                                   

                                   Loading InLinkz ...

                                  Thai Shrimp Salad

                                  By DellaCucinaPovera Published: July 7, 2014

                                    This is my favorite Secret Recipe Club post, to date. Whats SRC? It's a collective of bloggers seeking to try something from …

                                    Ingredients

                                    Instructions

                                    1. Sauté the shrimp in vegetable oil over until cooked through, about 3-4 minutes. Drain any liquid and place in a mixing bowl.
                                    2. Add chili paste and lime juice until combined.
                                    3. Remove the stem from the kaffir leaves. Cut the leaves and lemongrass stalks into very thin slivers. Add kaffir, lemongrass, shallots and mint leaves to the shrimp and toss until combined.
                                    4. Serve immediately or chilled.

                                      WordPress Recipe Plugin by ReciPress