Homemade Falafel

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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.

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

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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.

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    Madeleines

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    Madeleines.
    They’re basically little butter cakes in the shape of a cookie.
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    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.
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    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.

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        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.

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        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.

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        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.

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        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.

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          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.

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          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.
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          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.

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          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.

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              Thai Shrimp Salad

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

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              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.

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              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.

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              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!

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

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

               

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              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.

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                  Grilled Halloumi

                  It’s that squeak-between-your-teeth saltiness that I can’t get enough of.

                  That thing that seems to go well on so many things (salads, pizzas, rice dishes) and all by itself.

                  Its so good melted over an open flame, grill pan, real grill. Or straight from the package.

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                  It’s halloumi, of course.

                  What’s that? Cypric cheese, perfect for grilled cheese sandwiches for all you adults out there.
                  And with grilling season is full swing, we are eating this stuff by the brick.

                  Ok, we’re not slinging the grill out that often, but you bet this sees my grill pan a lot.

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                  To get those perfect grill lines from my pan, I blast the heat for a few minutes, then turn it low just before I slap on some halloumi. The residual heat leaves perfect lines without scalding the cheese, leaving a cripsy outer shell and a softer inside.

                  We eat it with this dish, or by its lonesome. Drool.

                  Audio Pairing: Can’t do Without You by Caribou

                  Grilled Halloumi

                  By DellaCucinaPovera Published: July 4, 2014

                  • Yield: 3-4 Servings

                  It's that squeak-between-your-teeth saltiness that I can't get enough of. That thing that seems to go well on so many things …

                  Ingredients

                  Instructions

                  1. If using a grill pan: Let the pan heat up on high heat for a few minutes. In the meantime, slice your halloumi into rectangles. When you're ready to 'grill', turn the heat down to medium and grill on both sides.
                  2. If using a regular pan: On medium heat, add a bit of olive to your pan. Cook cheese on both sides until slightly brown. Serve warm.

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                    Vegan Cauliflower Cous Cous

                    The first week back from glorious vacation.

                    Ouch.

                    And that’s exactly enough about that.

                    This recipe is really about getting back to a routine that resembles some normal eating patterns. Mister and I are just back and all loved up from Italy. Sicily – to be exact.

                    Soon, I’ll divulge you with photos and stories of espressos, gelato, polpo, old lady kisses and a history of immigration.

                    But first. Cauliflower.

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                    This recipe is both vegan and delicious. Did you know that could happen? I think it might even be raw on some planets (depending on how the sundried tomatoes were ‘sundried’).

                    Whatever the label you slap on it, it was EXACTLY what I was looking for after a pretty tough week back to work, reality and Holland.

                    Who knew cauliflower was so versatile? I’m starting to play around with veggies and my perception of how you ‘have to’ eat them.

                    While we were in San Vito lo Capo, there was a Cous Cous festival. Italians eating Cous Cous, you say? Indeed.

                    Tunis is less than an hour away by flight, and about 6 hours on a cargo ship. Infact, the cuisine, language, culture has a certain North African vibe going on.

                    No seriously. Cinnamon + cardamon in everything. Anise. Dates. Almonds in (seriously) everything. And Cous Cous.

                    Mister is no fan of the stuff. To him, it’s want-to-be pasta which falls flat, no matter what I add to it or how I dress it up. Fine. But this stuff?

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                    Double bowls full. The exact same look as Cous Cous, but oh so much lighter. And its totally raw – I just pulsed the florlets in a food processor and added bits of this and that. It was a welcome change from ricotta dense pastries, 7 course octopus dishes and total intoxication.

                    But there’s a time and place for all of that, because when in San Vito…

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                    Audio Pairing: Stolen Dance by Milky Chance

                    Vegan Cauliflower Cous Cous

                    By DellaCucinaPovera Published: June 27, 2014

                      The first week back from glorious vacation. Ouch. And that's exactly enough about that. This recipe is really about getting …

                      Ingredients

                      Instructions

                      1. Stick your florets into a food process and pulse until your cauliflower resemble cous cous grains.
                      2. Dump your 'cous cous' into a bit mixing bowl. Add your spinach and tomatoes.
                      3. Finally, add your lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Plate and top with pine nuts.

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                        Beet “Pesto”

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                        So, I only recently discovered beets. I may be 30 years late to the game, but I assure you I’m making up for lost time.

                        Me and my mister recently went to my new favorite place on earth, Wilde Zwijgen. There were beets in the chocolate cake.

                        Then I found this recipe, originally from a blog I frequent, Dishing Up the Dirt. The sweetness of the beets comes out when you roast them – pair that with the tang of tahini + spiciness of garlic and you’ve got some magic.

                        Not to mention I love juicing them – and the fact that they turn your juice, no matter what’s in it- red. Like serious red.

                        And yes, once upon a time I waxed on about how I’m a purist, and only hummus is hummus, only pizza is pizza. But I’ve made so many exceptions here and there, so clearly I’m an independent if food were politics.

                        So when I saw this recipe for Beet Pesto, I was on board.

                        I got a little too excited and pulled the beets from the oven before they were soft… so the texture of my pesto was a bit thicker, but I kinda dug the extra texture.

                        So my cucina will be seeing this again, for sure.

                        Audio Pairing: My Own Blues by The Brothers Johnson

                        Pizza Meets Beets

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                        I had a shitty day.

                        Sometimes, I paint. Sometimes I get some fresh air and walk along the canals. Yesterday, I needed to use my hands, and maybe a rolling pin.

                        Enter pizza. Sticky dough that rose to a perfect little bubble. Sweet roasted beets made into a pesto-like spread. Tangy goat’s cheese. Oil drizzled atop.

                        It was just the thing. I kneaded the dough into a ball. I roasted the beets, then chopped them to a pulp, added it to a food processor and blended. I rolled out the dough several times - it was cathartic. I spooned pesto on, carefully spreading it to the edges. Then sprinkled chopped spinach. Lastly, I pinched bits of goat’s cheese into little globs.

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                        I stood back and took a picture. In my mind, and here.

                        It helped me remember that I cannot control things at work, in Holland and life in general. That I have a lot to learn and that I don’t know a lot.

                        But I do know how to make pizza, and that’s a start.

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                        This recipe was adapted from The Roasted Root. I used this pizza dough recipe, and this beet pesto recipe. 

                        Audio Pairing: Mundo Pequeno by The Echocentrics

                        Pizza Meets Beets

                        By DellaCucinaPovera Published: June 9, 2014

                        • Yield: 2 hungry folks Servings

                        I had a shitty day. Sometimes, I paint. Sometimes I get some fresh air and walk along the canals. Yesterday, I needed to use my …

                        Ingredients

                        Instructions

                        1. Preheat your oven to 200F/400C.
                        2. Stretch your dough over a lined baking sheet.
                        3. Spread your beet pesto over the dough, leaving a 1 inch gap between the crust + 'sauce'
                        4. Spread around your chopped spinach, then crumble your goat's cheese over.
                        5. Drizzle olive oil, salt + pepper to taste, and bake at 200F/400C for about 15 minutes or until the crust golden brown.

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                          Olive Tapenade (Vegan)

                          Ahh tapenade, you are wonderful.

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                          Just a few ingredients come together to make any cracker irresistible. Whenever I eat tapenade, I have a false memory of being in the South of France. I say false, because of all the places I’ve wandered to, Southern France sadly is not one of them. But I have a great imagination!

                          I’d eat this with some fresh baguette and soft cheese, while sipping wine in fields of lavender. Did you just barf a little? This is what the inside of my head is like.

                          But I digress…

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                          Traditionally, olives, capers and anchovies are finely chopped or mashed in a mortar and pestle. Olive oil is added. E viola! Like so many wonderfully delicious things, this is simple ingredients added in perfect ratios. Recipes differ slightly based on where in the Mediterranean you are – some sunworshippers skip the anchovies and add dried tomatoes, while others add flat-leaf parsley.

                          This makes for a great appetizer or another sandwich spread for my mister. I added a bit of fresh rosemary, which gave it a wonderfully rich taste.

                          And me and my imagination are all over it.
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                          Audio Pairing: Bang Bang Bang Bang by John Lee Hooker

                          Olive Tapenade

                          By DellaCucinaPovera Published: June 5, 2014

                          • Yield: nearly 2 cups

                          Ahh tapenade, you are wonderful. Just a few ingredients come together to make any cracker irresistible. Whenever I eat …

                          Ingredients

                          Instructions

                          1. Throw your olives, tomatoes, capers and lemon zest in a food processor and pulse until everything is combined. You want some texture here!
                          2. Dump the mixture into a mixing bowl and add the lemon juice, rosemary, olive oil and salt. Serve with crackers, on bread or as dip with vegetables.

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                            Potato + Beef Empanadas

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                            Empanadas are an institution in my hometown of Washington, DC. Maybe its our huge Central and South American community. Maybe it’s the fact that they are so incredibly portable – perfect for snack on the go or post-libation latenight munchies.

                            Maybe it’s because they are effing delicious.
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                            Whatever the reason, I knew exactly what I was going to cook from The Heritage Cook‘s blog.  It’s time for another Secret Recipe Club post!

                            Each month, SRC participants recreate another blogger’s culinary creations. It’s been so super cool seeing my stuff made on the other side of the pond – and recreating other foodie’s creations so I decided to participate again :)

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                            Jane’s blog shares recipes from her mother and grandmother – the best kind!

                            I swapped out the chorizo and used beef and potatoes, plus a little extra kick. I also used my own dough recipe since it turned out so well last time :)

                             

                            They turned out great.

                             

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                            Potato + Beef Empanadas

                            By DellaCucinaPovera Published: June 2, 2014

                            • Yield: 14- 16 empanadas (3-4 hungry folk Servings)

                            Empanadas are an institution in my hometown of Washington, DC. Maybe its our huge Central and South American community. Maybe it's …

                            Ingredients

                            Instructions

                            1. Add diced potato to boiling water and cook until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Drain, mash lightly with a fork and set aside.
                            2. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a medium skillet. Add onions and and cook until translucent. Add red bell pepper, then minced garlic. Mix in the tomato paste, cumin, paprika, crushed red pepper and salt + pepper to taste.
                            3. Add the ground beef, breaking it up with a wooden spoon until the meat is in small crumbles. Cook until the meat browns then transfer to a bowl and add the mashed potato.
                            4. Separate your dough into golfball sized balls. Roll out with a rolling pin and place a heaping tsp of mixing in the center.
                            5. With the prongs of a fork, crimp the edges tightly. Gently move the finished empanada to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
                            6. Bake at 220F/385 for about 10 minutes, then broil for about 1 minute. Serve with salsa and lime.

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                              Lamb Meatballs with Feta + Mint

                              So I’m feeling nostalgic, again.

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                              We ate these Lamb Metaballs with feta + mint in Ios. They were so simple – minced lamb first pan seared, the cooked in a tomato sauce. So rustic and lovely.

                              The sweetness of the lamb and tomatoes gets a nice little kick of contrast with the saltiness of feta, and the mint is the final refreshing after taste in this big beautiful dish.

                              Then there are the chickpeas, which add that little extra crunch – and all of this we sopped up with a flat bread. Really, we were eating it like wild animals.

                              I managed to reconstruct the taste at home but we were missing the mountains in the backdrop, the olive trees, the sounds of Greek being spoken, and the soft, warm evenings.

                              But we felt just a little closer with this dish.
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                              Audio Pairing: Green Garden by Laura Mvula

                              Lamb Meatballs with Feta + Mint

                              By DellaCucinaPovera Published: May 31, 2014

                              • Yield: 3-4 Servings
                              • Prep: 10 mins
                              • Cook: 30 mins
                              • Ready In: 40 mins

                              So I'm feeling nostalgic, again. We ate these Lamb Metaballs with feta + mint in Ios. They were so simple - minced lamb first pan …

                              Ingredients

                              Instructions

                              1. Combine the garlic, salt + pepper, red pepper flakes, breadcrumbs and minced lamb in a large mixing bowl. Using your hands, roll golf ball sized balls and set aside.
                              2. When you're ready to serve, sprinkle your crumbled feta and chopped
                              3. In a large skillet on medium heat, begin to sautee the meatballs until just brown. It's ok if they aren't cooked thoroughly, they will cook through in the oven.
                              4. In a baking dish, add your canned tomatoes and nestle the browned meatballs in the tomatoes. Sprinkle the chickpeas around, and drizzle about 2 tbsp of olive over. Bake at 220C/385F for about 20 minutes or until the meatballs are baked all the way through.

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                                Herbed Feta Dip

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                                This poor guy.

                                The Englishman rises early to drive the politicians of Noord-Holland. Since it’s nearly summer, 5 am alarms are easier – the sun’s already up. But in wintertime, thats nearly 4 hours before any sign of light… and let me tell you, making yourself lunch at 5 am is the last thing you’re thinking about.

                                I know, I know.. pack it the night before. Or eat out?

                                Apparently, these are inconceivable(!) Fine.

                                What’s sadder than thinking about lunch at 5am? Sad lunch. Celery salad – what can only be described as celery root goop swiming in mayo. Goudkuipje - an equally sad cheese-like spread. Gerookwurst – which is smoked sausage and only good in theory.

                                In an effort to start small and make a familiar form (re: spread) it was time to defibrillate this sad sight.

                                Enter herbed feta. I ate it as dip with veggies, and mister used it as spread on his lunch sandwiches. My hope is that these brought a little cheeriness to his life at lunchtime – though I’m sure he was assembling it half asleep.

                                As dip or spread or by the spoonful, it made us both happy.

                                Audio Pairing: Little Black Sandals by Sia

                                Herbed Feta Dip

                                By DellaCucinaPovera Published: May 29, 2014

                                • Yield: around 2 cups of dip/spread (4-6 Servings)
                                • Prep: 5 mins

                                This poor guy. The Englishman rises early to drive the politicians of Noord-Holland. Since it's nearly summer, 5 am alarms are …

                                Ingredients

                                Instructions

                                1. Throw all your ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth.
                                2. Serve as dip for veggies, spread on a sandwich or with crackers.

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                                  Silken Tofu Chocolate Mousse

                                  Toko Shop, I love you.

                                  I recently found a Toko Shop in my neighbourhood. For those of you who are lost, these are Asian-food speciality shops with everything from Edamame to flavored + plain nori, ginger, 10 million flavors of ramen and GIANT blocks of tofu.

                                  I got so excited I bought nearly a kilo of tofu.

                                  Shit.

                                  Guys, that’s a LOT of tofu. Stir fry, raw, breakfast tofu?

                                  Dessert tofu. Yea.
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                                  I’m a lover of all things chocolate – with some exceptions. Chocolate ice cream. Chocolate pudding. I shuddered a bit just now.

                                  But chocolate mousse? Oh I can get in on that. This recipe replaces dairy + eggs for tofu.

                                  What is tofu? It’s a soy product. It basically absorbs the flavor of whatever you add to it. Plus silken tofu is super smooth – an awesome substitute for cheese or dairy in general.

                                  And to boot, it’s terribly cheap here – my kilo was 3 euros. And in under 5 minutes, I was stuffing my face.

                                  Melt, sprinkle, whisk, blend, spoon in mouth.
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                                  I never told the Englishman it was made with tofu – and he ate most of it. Sold yet?

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                                  Audio Pairing: I Would Die 4 U by Prince

                                  Silken Tofu Chocolate Mousse

                                  By DellaCucinaPovera Published: May 27, 2014

                                  • Yield: 4 Servings

                                  This recipe was adapted from Gourmantine http://www.gourmantineblog.com/silken-tofu-chocolate-mousse-is-it-real/

                                  Ingredients

                                  Instructions

                                  1. In a double broiler, melt the chocolate and mix in cocoa powder, milk, water, and sugar stirring occasionally. Once everything is mixed, remove from the heat.
                                  2. Blend the silken tofu in the food processor and fold into the chocolate mixture.
                                  3. Divide between dishes and chill for at least an hour. Sprinkle coconut flakes on top if desired.

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                                    Orzo with Asparagus + Parmesan

                                    So here’s another dish I saw (at work) ran home, and made immediately.

                                    Thank you,  The Scrumptious Pumpkin, for making mealtime super easy.
                                    Asparagus is in full effect here in Holland – you see it everywhere in everything. But not the green stalks I’m used to. These are freaky albino ones. I feel like they grew without sun, or maybe taste of nothing because things that taste delicious, made in nature, aren’t beige and colorless. Name one!

                                    Anyways, I saw this recipe and REAL  asparagus at my local market and connected all the dots.

                                    Ok, I’m not on the quinoa train yet. But I’m so close. So I swapped Jen’s quinoa for Orzo, which is more familiar to me.

                                    Before cheese:

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                                    And after.
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                                    Next time, with quinoa. Promise.

                                    Audio Pairing: All That We Perceive by Thievery Corporation

                                    Orzo with Asparagus + Parmesan

                                    By DellaCucinaPovera Published: May 22, 2014

                                      So here's another dish I saw (at work) ran home, and made immediately. Thank you,  The Scrumptious Pumpkin, for making mealtime …

                                      Ingredients

                                      Instructions

                                      1. Heat 1/2 of your olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic + onions, and sauté until translucent. Add your asparagus and cook for another 5 minutes.
                                      2. Add your chopped mushrooms, and cook for another 5 minutes, until they start to shrink. Then add your stock and wine. Allow everything to simmer until your stock/wine has reduced to nearly 1/3.
                                      3. Boil your orzo according to the package instructions. Just before it's cooked through, add it to your vegetable mix, allowing it to finish cooking in the stock and wine.
                                      4. Add grated parmesan to taste, along with salt + pepper

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