Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Lemon curd


This one is for one of those mornings when you feel like starting the day on the right note. And by that I mean with dessert. Kinda.
Until a few years ago, in my lil' book of big bad munchies lemon curd fell in the vaguely familiar category. Nowadays it's become a staple in my fridge, right along with Moroccan lemons, Harissa paste and Gianduja spread.
This recipe will yield about 250 grams of luscious curd. Now be warned, this amount has more than 1 stick of butter and can be eaten right out of the jar in one sitting, if you're like me. ( Look for my forthcoming autobiography,entitled How I clogged my arteries in stores everywhere.) But jokes aside, pace yourself, and spread it thinly on toast or use it in a lovely pot de yaourt with some fresh kiwis, pomegranate seeds and passion fruit. And maybe ad some nuts and granola.

Lemon curd


4 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
2 lemons, juice and zest
125 gr butter, chopped

Whisk egg yolks and sugar until pale. Add lemon juice and rind and finally the chopped butter. Place over simmering water(low heat), cook until mixture has thickened (8 to 10 minutes), whisking continuously, bien sur.
Enjoy responsibly!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Birthday in the sun


Due or should I say thanks to the inefficiency of a well-known airline, which shall remain nameless at this point I recently got to spend my birthday with some wonderful friends in California. It was one of those low-key, warm and memorable celebrations that one can only long for. After a decadent lunch of fresh shucked Cherrystone clams and steamed Alaskan king crab, with nothing but warm butter and lemon juice, we set off for a long bike ride along the beach. The weather was sunny, the ocean was calm and my little heart was very happy indeed.
In the evening we were treated to a Vietnamese feast, followed by birthday macaroons, ice cream and lodsa cupcakes.
One of the best birthdays ever!
The last two days were spent driving along the Californian coast with San Francisco as the final destination. I always kinda wondered why San Fran was called the best foodie city in North America. Now I know and cannot wait to go back and further explore it.
If you're in the neighborhood don't miss:

Newport Beach: The Crab Cooker for the most delicious Alaskan king crab.

Los Angeles: Caffe Bello for the best coffee and hot chocolate this side of the pond.

San Francisco: Loving Cup, espresso and rice pud bar. Come on!!!

Delfina Pizzeria, for the best pizza you'll ever have.




Picture 1

Picture 2




Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Liptauer cheese spread


Liptauer is traditional Austro-Hungarian cheese spread, but Romanians, Czecks and Scandinavians also claim it as their own. It's typicaly served as a snack on rye bread, or sometimes as a filling for different types of appetizers. I like it thickly spread on rye bread with some cornichons and thinly sliced red onions. Oh, and it's great with beer!
My version is made with a combination of cream cheese and cottage cheese. Use the best cottage cheese you can get your hands on. It should be rich and creamy, nothing like some of the clumpy, loaded with additives commercial brands out there. Try your local Farmer's market. Some recipes use capers and anchovy paste and a lot of paprika. I kept it fairly simple. You adjust it to your taste. That way we can all avoid heated arguments or virtual hair pulling, trying to figure out what the stuff should be like or where it comes from. The important thing is where's it's going: your hungry belly!


250 g cream cheese
250 g good quality pressed cottage cheese
2 small cornichons, finely diced
1 large clove of garlic, minced
1 tbsp fresh chives, chopped
1 tsp caraway seeds (a must)
1/2 tsp Hungarian paprika
1 tsp grainy mustard
pinch of salt

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Serve at room temperature with rye bread or crackers, cornichons and thinly sliced red onions.
Or for a fresh summer lunch try stuffing some sweet cherry tomatoes with the cheese spread and toss them with fresh heirloom salad leaves, radishes, chopped boiled eggs and some herb vinaigrette.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!


We started off this brand New Year on a very good note, I'd say. With a scrumptious breakfast. Eating some sort of fried dough (which I have a thing for) for breakfast on every January the 1st has inadvertently become a tradition around here. And there's nothing wrong with that, as my New Year's resolution is very skimpy on any details regarding any kind of self restraint when it comes to guilty pleasures.
Find the recipe for these delicious Buttermilk Beignets here.
May your New Year be the best ever, filled with love, peace, hopes and dreams!