This #homamadeMonday´s #guestchefseries brings you the most Romanian food ever – eggplant salad. The way my friend Adina learned it from her mom, who learned it from her own mom. And while usual eggplant salats are quite fatty due to the mayonnaise, this one is a healthier version with egg yolk instead. Essentially, the Romanian eggplant salad is a smokey spread that we love eating on bread all year long. It might not be the first thing you think of when picturing brunch, but I feel it´s a spread that is right up there with hummus, so I catalogued it as brunch food and made it part of my #brunchseries . It´s not my favourite dish, but its cultural value to Romania is so significant that I just had to share it with you. That, and it was tons of fun having Adina teach me and Sara how to make it.
My best friend and I were talking the other day about how much we started loving peaches lately. We´re both avid cooks and realised we´re trying to incorporate peaches in any dish that makes sense. So needless to say that I was super excited to see a recipe with brie and peaches in Chrissy Teigen´s Hungry for More recipe book. I switched it up a tiny bit (as I always do) to bring you this absolutely delicious #homemadeMonday recipe. Use it as picnic, brunch or breakfast inspiration and join us in our love affair with peaches.
I still remember the first time I made a couscous salad for André. As he took his first bites, I expectantly stared at him waiting for an “ooh” and an “aah”. When nothing came, I nervously asked: “So? Do you like it? Should I make it again?”. He thought about it for a second and replied “Uhm, sure, baby. It´s nice. You can make it again. And I can make the food we really love, like fajitas and lasagna”. Disappointing to say the least, considering how much I love experimenting in the kitchen. My couscous adventure didn´t stop there though. I kept experimenting until my couscous salad actually became André´s favourite meal. And so, the time has come for me to share it with you on this #homemadeMonday.
I´d like to start off by apologising to any Spanish readers that might be seeing this and yelling “blasphemy!”. The Spanish gazpacho will forever remain my favourite, but after recently travelling to Alentejo and seeing the reinvented version of this cool summer soup, “gaspacho Alentejano” I really wanted to give it a try. I made a big enough portion to share with everyone reading this and will be eating this for the next week. And so, I´ve adjusted the measurements a bit and decided to make it this #homemadeMonday.
If you´re not Portuguese you might not know this, but tempura was actually born in Portugal. The Portuguese call it “peixinhos da horta” aka little fish from the garden/farm and brought it to Japan in the 16th century. There it evolved into what they today call tempura. At its origins, peixinhos da horta remains a beloved dish, usually made from deep fried green beans in a flour and egg batter. It´s one of my favourite finger foods to add to a brunch as it´s super easy to make and goes heavenly with any sauce you might have at hand. I felt it appropriate to post as this week´s #homemadeMonday as a selected dish for the #brunchseries. Here´s how I make it.
For Choice of Magic´s second chef series edition, I´m bringing you someone really special. Nonna has been my foster grandma for over two years and she is the single most remarkable woman I´ve ever met. Thins tiny 96 year old fairy grandmother lives in a castle, speaks six languages, has been a WWII spy and is one of my best friends. Every Sunday morning for the past two years Nonna and I have sat down in her room or her garden, having tea and speaking about everything. She´s taught me Renaissance art, I´ve taught her about escape rooms, and we have never run out of subjects. Recently I asked her about the dinner parties she used to throw in her youth (nowadays it´s mostly lunch parties) and I tried to imagine what they would look like in that palace. That´s when she gave me her secret beetroot starter recipe. It´s as simple as it gets, and yet I couldn´t find anything similar to it on the whole wide web. With her permission, I decided to share it with you for this #homemadeMonday.
Upon last week´s dinner vs breakfast poll, I realised that this community is really big on breakfast! I personally prefer big dinners or at most, brunches, but for this #homemadeMonday I forced myself to come up with a breakfast recipe that would make even me get out of the bed earlier so I can enjoy it on the balcony.
From the series of “things we cannot do because of COVID-19” comes: going to the cinema. I don´t know about you but I miss going to the cinema soooo much! The getting dressed up, the choosing the movie, the nachos with cheese sauce. But since humans are creatures of habit, just like home-thrown brunches, I´ve adapted and have thrown now some pretty nice movie nights. As such, I´ve been perfecting a homemade flavoured popcorn recipe that I thought of sharing with you today for #homemadeMonday. Even if, as per Murphy´s Law, I kind of burned this batch. Because if this year has taught us anything, it´s that things rarely work out the way we want them.
Hummus is one of those magical dishes that I crave regularly and always make enough of so I can eat it for days. I can´t quite remember who taught me how to make it but i remember when I first made it for my parents. My mom was quite a fan already, but my dad was shocked at how delicious it was. He immediately asked my mom why she doesn´t make such dishes. My mom rolled her eyes as hard as she could while saying “I make it regularly and you always say you don´t want to try it.”
And since by itself it might seem too bland for some of you, this #homemadeMonday I made hummus toast with three easy toppings. To spice up your life.
This #homemadeMonday is an ultra special one as it kicks off a series of recipes from magical guest chefs. Because the food section of this blog seeks to bring you magical dishes, and not just recipes I took from Pinterest, I decided I´ll be inviting a friend/family member to cook us a a delicious dish once a month. This way you´ll get dishes and stories from people with different and fascinating backstories. And I get yummy food and fun dinner parties! Because to me, food is magic. And it´s not nearly half as fun if you cook and eat alone.
The first of its kind guest chef is my friend Ana Paula. I met Ana Paula while surfing on Portuguese beaches, and she became one of my dearest friends since. Ana is Mexican – which incidentally is also one of my favourite cuisines. She cooked these shrimp tacos for me while telling me stories of Mexican beaches and hot summer nights, and they were seriously some of the best things I´ve eaten in a while. It is not a recipe she connects to home cooking, but rather with days spent with friends on the magical Acapulco beach. And to be honest, that sounds simply dreamy to me, as the closest I´ve gotten to Acapulco is listening to this classic. Read on to make your own shrimp tacos!