I suspect curry is one of my top 10 favourite dishes. And while I´ve never actually followed an official recipe, I believe I make a pretty mean one. You´ll quite possibly identify some missing or extra ingredients, but I personally love the taste and find my way to be the easiest way to make a delicious curry with pretty much anything you have at hand. This time, I had some cauliflower, shiitake mushrooms and a zucchini. Add to that a can of chickpeas that I always have in the house, some dehydrated figs and cashews and you´ve got yourself a kick-ass curry. But really, the point is you can put anything you like in there – sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, let your imagination run wild. So keep reading through this #homemadeMonday and let it inspire you to improvise your own curry.
I admit that the whole concept of “winter salads” sounds a bit strange, especially coming from someone who was brought up in a place where winters are so cold, you basically have to have gravy three times a day to survive them. But upon moving to Portugal and experiencing milder winters, I admit to have become more open to the idea of more salads and less gravy. On top of that, I feel that this year my whole Instagram has been bombarded with beautiful winterish salads. And so I went on a quest to create my own for this #homemadeMonday.
Coming from a country with winters as cold as Romania, I find soups an incremental part of one´s nutrition. In fact, we would rarely not have a soup before the main dish in my house. That changed slightly as I moved away, but I still find soups super comforting. Nowadays, in Portugal we´ve been eating a lot of carrots in our house – I have a hunch it´s because carrots are Yoshi´s favourite healthy snacks. Add almonds and maybe some chilli peppers to the equation and you have yourself a perfect creamy carrot soup for these cold winter days. So here goes this #homemadeMonday – a simple spicy carrot almond soup for cold winter days.
Gnocchi – my love and the star of this #homemadeMonday recipe. I discovered gnocchi way too late in life and am making up for it by eating them regularly and twisting and turning them into a million different recipes. In today´s recipe they´re creamy, come with mushrooms and sundried tomatoes and are seasoned with nothing else but salt and pepper. Not exactly revolutionary, I know, especially since this does not teach you how to make the gnocchi themselves, but they are to-die-for. Read along for the full recipe.
Just in time for Christmas – this #homemadeMonday brings you the perfect Christmas dinner recipe, especially if you´re having just a small get-together, or even just having dinner alone or with a partner. This drunken pear risotto is a consequence of a dish I once ate at a restaurant but couldn´t find anywhere on the internet. Drunken pears (as the Portuguese call them) are pears poached in red wine and they make for a terrific dessert. But guess what – they make for an even more delicious risotto topping, and man, does it look fancy! The drunken pear recipe was taken from the Pingo Doce site and translated, while the risotto and the general combination is my invention. I labelled this dish as Portuguese simply because drunken pears are such a thing here, but keep in mind you will probably not find this in Portuguese restaurants – just at my house.
This month´s #guestchefseries is brought by you by my wonderful and immensely talented DJ friend, Violeta. Vio is visiting from Berlin for a couple of days and next to bringing me my favourite German tea, she brought with her lots of good music and delicious recipe ideas. This #homemadeMonday I´ll tell you all about her coconut and curry udon soup. I feel it´s a great addition to the blog as my soups are usually quite basic and this one feels super exotic! And while I basically just watched her cook, while I was sipping on my wine, I can´t wait to try to make it myself and fill our house with the smell of coconut milk and curry!
I should perhaps start this #homemadeMonday recipe with a confession: I am one of those insane people that likes pineapple on my pizza. I mean, I don´t love it, but I don´t mind it either. What I do love though, is fruit in my salad. And while I rarely post salad articles on the blog, when I made this salad, I felt I really wanted to share it with you all. A little bit of unsolicited context for when I first made this salad: I was reading Marissa Peer´s book Perfect Weight Forever, and was working on bettering my food habits by not associating heavy comfort food with feeling better when I was down. I instead decided to stick to eating well and healthy when I was feeling sad and not try to fix these moments with fast food. So I made this salad and it was so delicious that I swore never again to order a way too greasy cheeseburger to stop me from crying. Here´s the super simple recipe:
Chestnut season is here and normally that would mean running up and down Lisbon streets chasing for the cart with the perfectly roasted dozen. But we´re in a pandemic, and that means 1. I´m staying at home much more and 2. I´m cooking much more. So I got my hands on 2kg of chestnuts – one kilo fresh and one kilo frozen, and set myself to find some Pinterest inspiration. And I can´t quite believe I am saying this – but Pinterest disappointed. The horror, right? There seem to be super few chestnuts recipe besides the traditional roasted ones out there. And so I chose to experiment for myself. There´s a breakfast hash recipe @mihai.gateste keeps making and I always thought those tastes go well together. I decided to keep the egg out, not peel, nor cut the potatoes, add the chestnuts and bake it exclusively. That´s how this chestnut and chorizo casserole got born. I find it the perfect blend of flavours, it´s super easy to make – needs minimal prep – and is great for a dinner party – *wink* *wink* to the friends who are invited for my Halloween party in two weeks. So keep on reading to read more about this autumn-y #homemadeMonday.
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.
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!