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!
A thing about me: I love stuffed veggies. Sure, they have little utility, but I just love the process of carving them. It reminds me of carving pumpkins for Halloween with my grandpa. And then there´s the aspect – they just look like adorable little boats, ready to set sail for our stomachs. And while the carving is a bit time consuming and when not done properly you can also lose quite a bit of the veggie (which goes against my #minimalistcooking philosophy), I do love doing these recipes every now and then. As such, this #homemadeMonday brings you my very own stuffed zucchini boat recipe.
This #homemadeMonday brings you the recipe that made me fall in love with asparagus. I have to credit it (or a healthier version of it) to my friend Danny who first cooked it for me on a summer day in Berlin. Danny is an excellent chef and so is his brother who cooks in some of the best restaurants in Tel Aviv. Back then, Danny steamed the asparagus, and while I usually do that too, this time I decided to sautée it in butter. The blend of tastes (the assertive, slightly bitter asparagus combined with the salty, pickled feta) goes excellently with both butter and olive oil. I actually used both this time. This simple recipe literally only has 4 ingredients + salt/pepper and the optional olive oil. And even though I started eating more asparagus since, this remains my favourite use of it!
This #homemadeMonday brings you a recipe inspired by one of my favourite Italian restaurants in town – a colourful and creamy risotto that will delight your senses and your Instagram feed. The gorgeous yellow colour is due to the saffron, and the creaminess is thanks to the cream cheese and butter. While it is a bit time consuming to make (you need to be next to the pot for pretty much the entire time you´re cooking it), it is perfect as both a main dish as well as a side dish next to a nice piece of steak or chicken breast. I chose to accompany it with octopus in the oven. Before giving you this ultra secret recipe, I just wanna say that this and my avocado risotto (recipe coming soon) are my favourite rice recipes out there and I´m super happy to share it with all of you.
You might not know this about me, but spicy food is my guilty pleasure. Except for that one time when I cried after tasting a Carolina Reaper sauce. I wish I could tell you that I did that not knowing that the Carolina Reaper is the spiciest chilli pepper in the world, but I did in fact know it. I just didn´t quite realise how spicy it would be. Just like I always underestimate how spicy the cayenne pepper in my dishes is. And so, these #homemadeMonday vegan tortillas ended up spicier than initially planned. If you´re not on a vegan diet, however, you can always add some Greek yogurt to them and calm your taste buds like that. But regardless of your food preferences, you absolutely need to try this simple recipe. So keep reading…
This #homemadeMonday I will be giving you, dear readers, an exclusive peek at my first ever attempt of cooking with leek. Two weeks ago I ordered one of those fruit and veggie baskets in an attempt to avoid the supermarket and consume more greens. One of the things that came with it was a beautiful piece of leek, that I had absolutely no clue what to do with. So I pinterested my way around some leek recipes and found tons of potato and leek soups, that just seemed to be missing something. Or two things in particular. Read on to discover my two secret ingredients for the creamiest soup ever.