Romanesco broccoli – a veggie so perfect, it will make you believe in divinity. Alright, that might be an overstatement, but seriously – have you ever seen a more perfect vegetable than this one? You can read more about this miracle broccoli here , but here are some main things you should know, before I tell you how I cooked it for this #homemadeMonday.
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.
This #homemadeMonday should come just in time for you to get inspired for a NYE dessert. I´ve been holding off on publishing André´s carrot cake recipe for over a year – a year of iterations and testing, and gaining weight slice by slice. But it´s now finally here, for this #guestchefseries and it will blow your socks off. To quote Nonna “I absolutely adored it, it is perhaps the best cake I have ever eaten”. So put on your aprons, and let´s cook the best cake ever to end what was to many, the crappiest year ever.
For someone that doesn´t bake, or prepare many sweets herself, it might seem like I chose a quite complicate one this time. The word ganache alone makes it sound like I´m aspiring to be the next Julia Child. But fear not, this recipe is fairly easy to nail, even for the most inexperienced bakers out there (possibly because it does not involve baking). I first learned about it from my friend Violeta (yes, the same Violeta with the udon noodle soup) and I thought that with the holidays coming up, you might love it as much as I did. So, prepare for the most decadent #homemadeMonday yet, an Oreo base, chocolate ganache and raspberry tart. With a delicious Lindt chocolate addendum.
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.
A recipe that might seem a bit too exotic and out of place amongst my prune and pumpkin full Instagram feed – this pineapple and cottage cheese breakfast toast does not feel very autumny, but it is de-li-ci-ous AND it doubles as a dessert. I confess I had to do quite a bit of research to understand what pairs well with pineapple, and I will definitely try some other combinations, but this one turned out quite nice so I´ll be doing it again soon enough. The recipe is one of the simplest I´ve ever posted, but then again we rarely have much time before breakfast so I am sure you´ll all appreciate the brevity implied. Here goes this week´s #homemadeMonday.
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.
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.