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.
You know all the jokes they make about mother in laws. Well they might be partially true, but all I can say of mine is that she is lovely and kind of goofy, and boy, can she cook! She always improvises, always changes something about perfect recipes, sometimes accidentally ruining the meal (and what a tragedy it is when said meal is the new year´s eve meal!), but she also has some signature dishes which just melt in your mouth – one of them, this pumpkin risotto. Now I´ve been cooking risottos for a long time, but this one is indeed something special. For once, the rice is only added towards the end and does not get “drowned” in wine, as per usual. This results in a super creamy and cheesy risotto, with a very poignant pumpkin taste. Secondly, it implies some herbs I am not used to add to risottos – like ginger or bay leaves! Thirdly, well, you´ll discover it yourself as you read through this #homemadeMonday´s #guestchefseries…
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.
It´s been almost nine years, but I still vividly remember the first club sandwich I ever ate. It was on the Spanish coast, on a clod but sunny winter day and it was monstrous. I felt the size of it defied the laws of gravity and that at the same time it was too much of a work an art to be eaten. I did, however eat it, and loved the combinations of flavours. I still order it every now and then again but somehow never chose to make it at home. Until this #homemadeMonday – because I think we all need a little bit of break from fancy holiday dishes.
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.
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.
Years ago, my friend Will shared with me a cookie recipe that, coming Christmas, I have done over and over again (just last week I did three rounds of it). Will got this recipe from Carol, one of his friends´ mom and I think I would kiss her if I ever met her. As someone that sucks at baking sweets, I am just so grateful that this recipe has few ingredients, is ready in 10 minutes and there´s pretty much nothing (except for overbaking) that you can do to mess it up. My secret add-on? Sea salt. I use a pinch of chunky sea salt and every single cookie that retains a grain of salt has this delicious salt – chocolate flavour that will knock your socks off. Oh and did I mention these cookies are the perfect Christmas present? #biscuChallenge accepted!
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.