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Happy New Year 2012!

Saturday, December 31, 2011



Another year has passed, I don't know when or how. Another year of hopes and dreams, some fulfilled, others not. But when it comes to what really counts, there are more pluses than minuses.

I thank you all, my dear readers, for being here for me. I promise I will do my best to keep this blog interesting for you in the future, too. Thank you and wish you all a wonderful and prosperous New Year!

Leek, Prosciutto and Gruyere Crustless Quiche

Friday, December 30, 2011




I had re-made the roasted leek and potato soup and was left with two more leeks to use, so I prepared this quiche:

  • 2 medium leeks, white and light green parts
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 6 oz prosciutto
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  • 4 oz grated Gruyere or Swiss cheese, about 1 cup
Trim the root of the leeks, leaving ends intact to hold the leaves together, then halve lengthwise. Rinse well under running water to flush out any grit trapped between the leaves. Cut each half into 1/2-inch lengths, then drain very well. 

Rosemary Pork Tenderloin

Thursday, December 29, 2011



A fairly quick and very inexpensive way to prepare a versatile cut of meat such as tenderloin. The recipe calls for:

- 1/3 cup Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp freshly chopped rosemary leaves, plus 2 sprigs rosemary, with hard woody stems
- 5 large garlic cloves, 2 cloves minced, 3 cloves smashed
- 1 pork tenderloin, about 2 lbs 

In a small bowl, whisk together the Dijon mustard, fresh ground black pepper, chopped rosemary, and minced garlic and mix well. Rub the mustard mixture over the surface of the tenderloin and wrap in plastic wrap. Marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour. 

Vegetarian Gratin of Cauliflower and Sauteed Onions

Wednesday, December 28, 2011



We do have a number of vegetarians in the office, therefore each time I make lunch for any of our parties I have to come up with interesting and diverse dishes for them, too. This Christmas, besides the stuffed grapevine leaves and other things, I made this nice gratin, which requires a bit of attention, but the result is excellent.

Ingredients:

- 1 head cauliflower (about 6 lbs)
- 4 eggs
- 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 4 tbsp Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 stick butter  
- salt and pepper to taste 
- olive oil, about 4 tbsp

Preheat the oven to 450F. Clean the cauliflower, wash it and separate into small florets. Fill a large pot with water, add salt and bring to a boil. When the water is boiling, add the cauliflower and allow to cook for 5 minutes, until slightly softened. Drain and set aside.

Pear Risotto with Prosciutto and Fried Sage Leaves

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


  • Olive oil, or canola oil
  • 4 thin slices prosciutto, (2 ounce), 2 sliced crosswise and 2 finely chopped, divided
  • 4 fresh sage leaves, plus 1 tsp minced fresh sage, divided
  • 6 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp minced shallot
  • 1 cup arborio, carnaroli or other medium-grain Italian rice
  • 2 cups finely diced peeled ripe Bosc pears, (about 2 pears), divided (I didn't peel them)
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tbsp grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving if desired
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Tilapia Fillets in Spanish Sauce


My daughter is not the biggest fan ever when it comes to fish; however, this recipe was a huge success with her, so much that she wanted me to pack any leftovers for the following day's lunch at school. Indeed, the combination of flavours is special and unbelievably tasty.

Ingredients:
- 6 tilapia fillets (any other mild fish is equally suitable)
- 1 head of garlic, medium
- 1 tsp hot paprika
- 2 tsp sweet paprika
- 1 small chilli pepper (optional)
- 2 medium yellow onions, chopped
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 1/2 cup tomato juice
- 1/8 tsp ground all-spice
- zest of 1 lemon
- 6 tbsp olive oil
- 1 handful black olives (I used Kalamata pitted olives)
- 1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste

Vegetarian Stuffed Grapevine Leaves (Dolmades)

Monday, December 26, 2011

Another one of the dishes I made for the office party was this vegetarian version of a staple Christmas meal. For about 50 dolmades, you'll need:

- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 6 spring onions, chopped
- 3/4 cup long-grain rice
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
- 2/3 cup lemon juice
- 1/4 cup currants
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 7 1/2 oz packaged vine leaves 
- 2 tbsp olive oil, extra

Heat the oil in a medium pan. Add the spring onion and cook over medium heat for a minute. Stir in the rice, mint, dill, half the lemon juice, and season to taste.

Tex-Mex Cheese Crisps


First, I hope you had a wonderful time this Christmas and Santa brought you everything you've asked for. I wish your holidays continue to be fun and relaxing!

I made these little biscuits for the Christmas lunch in the office. Here are the ingredients I used:

- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- 1 tsp garlic salt
- 1/2 tsp ground paprika
- 6 1/2 oz butter, chopped
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 6 1/2 oz Cheddar cheese, grated
Preheat the oven at 415F. Lightly brush two baking trays with melted butter.

Sift the flour, chilli powder, garlic salt and paprika into a large bowl. Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs (alternatively, you can use the food processor, which is what I did). Add the egg and cheese and stir until the mixture comes together. 

Turn onto a floured surface and gather together into a ball. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut into shapes with a biscuit cutter. Place on the trays, allowing room for spreading. Bake for 12 minutes or until crisp and golden brown. Leave on the trays for 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.

Enjoy!


Lamb Leg with Garlic Lemon Sauce

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


A recipe in which lemon and garlic easily swap their usual roles. For 4 persons, you'll need:

- 1 leg of lamb, about 2 lbs.
- 2 lemons
- 1 twig of thyme
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste

For the sauce:
- 6 big garlic cloves
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- the juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 tsp green pepper
- salt

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