Gravlax – For Salmon lovers

Salmon is by far my favourite fish, and the more I have it, the less cooked I want it :-). In my books, there is nothing worse than an overcooked dry piece of salmon, then again, that is just my taste.

But my most favourite way to eat salmon, other than Sashimi/Sushi style, is to make it the Norwegian way!

Gravlax is so simple to make, super tasty, perfect snack, appetizer and the best part, it keeps for quite a while.

gravlax

Here is how I made mine today:

  • 1 1/2 lbs of salmon (you can ask them to remove the skin, will make it easier when slicing, but I prefer to make it with the skin on)
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 cup of salt
  • 2 tbs of black pepper
  • 1/8 cup of brandy or aquavit (used brandy today)
  • Bunch of fresh dill

IMG_0015

The best way to keep this easy and non messy is to grab a gallon ziploc bag, put in the salmon, sprinkle in the sugar, salt, black pepper and then add the brandy or aquavit. Then grab a handful of dill and place it on top. Close the bag carefully letting as much air out as possible and then give the bag a gentle massage to get it all mixed up.

Place on flat surface in fridge for 3 days, and everyday, give it a little love, slight massage and turn it over.

slicing gravlax

Yes you need to be patient, but 3 days just fly by and then this fabulous treat is ready to eat! Serve it on its own, on crackers with some sour cream and a touch of caviar, or simply with Mustard sauce (you can find various recipes on the internet), we usually skip the mustard sauce :-).

Enjoy and hope you like it as much as I do ❤

 

Deep Fried Brie

Deep Fried Brie is one of my old time favourite appetizers that I used to order in restaurants whilst I lived in Europe.

Since I have been living here in South Florida, I have not seen or come across it in any restaurant, so every once in a while, I like bringing back the old memories and at the same time, making the hubby and the kiddos happy.

Its amazing how a simple dish, with only a couple of ingredients, can delight our palates in such a way!

Serves 4 – For this dish you will need:

Get 2 medium size bowls, in one beat up both eggs and add a dash of salt and pepper. In the other put about  1 1/2 cups of breadcrumbs, you can always top it up if you need more.

IMG_2310

Grab the wheel of cheese and cut it into 8 equal pieces

IMG_2311

Dunk one piece at a time in the egg mixture, then cover it in breadcrumbs, pat it down to make sure they stick and then repeat the same again (each piece will go through the egg and breadcrumbs twice).

IMG_2312

Once you are done with all 8 pieces, place to the side and get a small casserole and add the vegetable oil till its about 1 1/2 inches deep and turn the heat on high, and while the oil is warming up, place the cranberry sauce in a microwavable bowl, add a tablespoon of water and microwave for about a minute.

Mix the sauce and once you get a runnier consistency, spread a nice bed of sauce on each plate.

IMG_2315

Now that the oil is hot, turn the heat down to medium (don’t want to burn your breadcrumbs) and place 2 pieces at a time and remove them as soon as they turn a nice golden colour.

IMG_2316

Place 2 pieces of brie on each plate, garnish your plate with whatever you have at hand, I used Rosemary as I have the biggest bush outside 🙂 , but a touch of green makes for a nice contrast with the bright cranberry colour on the plate.

Serve with slices of french baguette and dig in, you will see it disappears as soon as it hits the plate! What the hubby would call, finger licking good ❤

Guava Croissant Cheesecake

If you live in South Florida, you must have tried the fabulous Cream Cheese Guava pastelitos that are a staple in the Cuban bakeries but can be found all over the place.

So with that said, I decided to give those pastelitos a little twist and turn them into a delectable easy to make Croissant Cheesecake.

Here is what you will need:

Place the cream cheese in a bowl and leave it there until its soft enough to whip (if you are impatient as I am, you can microwave it for 30 seconds). Add the 1 cup of sugar and using an electric beater, beat away until its nice and creamy.

Heat the oven to 350 Deg F

Grab a baking tray and place a sheet of parchment paper, roll out the first can of crescent dinner tolls and join the seams and  you will end up with a nice rectangle.

Evenly spread 3/4 of the jar of guava jelly on the pastryIMG_2263

Gently place the whipped cream cheese on top and and spread evenly

IMG_2264

IMG_2265

Then open the other can, spread it out on a flat surface, join all the seams and place on top to seal the deal 🙂

IMG_2267

Melt the 1/2 stick of butter and pour on top and then sprinkle the 1/4 cup of sugar

Place in preheated oven for 30 minutes

IMG_2270

You can serve it warm with a nice dollop of vanilla ice cream, or you can place it in the fridge overnight, cut into squares or strips of desired size and serve it cold as a lovely afternoon tea snack.

IMG_2272

Enjoy 🙂

Escargot – Easy simple and delish!

Everyone that likes Escargot has usually either had it on a cruise, or at a nice restaurant!

What if I tell you, you can make these at home in just a few easy steps, its simple and of course finger-licking delicious 🙂

For this you are going to need (makes 2 servings):

snails

  • 1 can of snails (with no shell) – I used Maitre Jacques escargot, there are 12 snails in a can
  • 1 stick of butter (1/2 cup) – softened
  • 1/4 cup of finely chopped cilantro or parsley (use your favourite), I am a cilantro lover ❤
  • 4 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
  • a splash of brandy
  • 2 tbsp grated onion
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Puff Pastry and or french baguette

Preheat oven to 350 Deg F

So lets start by making the best part which is the herb garlic butter! Whip up the butter a bit and then add the cilantro, garlic, onion, salt, pepper and brandy and mix well. Then place in the fridge for a little bit so that it starts to solidify again.

Herb Butter

Now its time to put this together, open the can of snails, drain them out and put them to the side.

Dishes and snails

Grab your escargot dishes (easily available on Amazon) or if you don’t have any use a mini cupcake baking tray or if worst comes to worst use a small shallow oven proof dish.

more snails with butter

Remove the herb garlic butter from the fridge, and place half a teaspoon of the butter at the bottom of each dimple, then place a snail and top it up with a full teaspoon of the same.

Puff pastry

Remove the puff pastry from the package, you will just need 1 sheet, and with a shot glass, cut out 12 perfect circles (1 for each snail of course)

Place the escargot dishes on a baking sheet and place the puff pastry circles on the same baking sheet. You could bake them straight on the snails but they tend to fall off while they are puffing up, so its easier to bake them separately and then just gently place them on top with you are ready to serve them 🙂

parmesan cheese

Generously, sprinkle grated parmesan cheese on the snails before placing them in the over and bake for aprox 20 minutes. Remove the puff pastry from the sheet and then broil the snails till they get a nice colour for about 5 minutes

Carefully remove from oven, the dishes will be piping hot!

final result

Gently place the puff pastry on each and serve with extra sliced french baguette if needed as you will for sure want to scoop up all that delicious herb garlic butter !!!!!

Now its time to pour a glass of wine, sit back and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Memorial Weekend Slow Cooker Pork Spare Ribs

Very rainy weekend in South Florida which means no BBQing for Memorial weekend. So instead I settled on some slow cooking Pork Spare ribs….

Started off with 6lbs of some lovely Pork St. Louis spare ribs which I patted dry and then drenched each one individually with the below dry rub:

IMG_2004

  • 1 cup of dark brown sugar
  • 2 tsps of cumin
  • 2 tsps of black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsps of ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsps of garlic powder
  • 2 tsps of salt
  • 2 tsps of ground red pepper
  • 2 tsps of oregano

Slice to large onions and once you have covered each rib with the rub, layer in a slow cooker/crockpot, and in between each layer place quite half the sliced onions and then top with the other half.

IMG_2005

Top it all off with 1 1/2 bottles of Green Apple Cider – I used Woodchuck this time round – Woodchuck

If you would rather stay away from anything with alcohol content, you can use regular apple juice 🙂

Screen Shot 2018-05-27 at 1.48.18 PM

IMG_2006

Place lid on slow cooker/crockpot and set to slow cooking for 6 hrs.

IMG_2018

For the final steps, I removed all the ribs from the slow cooker/crockpot, dipped them in BBQ sauce ( I used Sweet Baby Rays – Sweet’n’Spicy) but you can either make your own or use your favourite of course. This batch turned out nice and spicy and full of flavour.

IMG_2020

And them baked them for 20 minutes in a 400 F deg oven. Whilst that was happening, I whipped up some mashed potatoes and there you go, Memorial Weekend dinner is ready ❤

Have a safe holiday everyone!

IMG_2022

Daddy Memories – Butter Bean salad

As a little girl, I vividly remember my dad preparing what I think was his favourite salad, which in turn became my all time favourite of course!

So today I decided not only to re-live that memory, but to take it to another level in honor of  the great guy that he was, ❤ and I am sure that instead of being insulted by the changes, he would be proud of his little girl.

The original salad was very simple, below is a list of the ingredients:butterbeans

  • Butter Beans
  • Sliced Tomatoes
  • Thinly sliced onions
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Olive oil and vinegar
  • Dusting of oregano

As you can see, it’s pretty simple, just mix the above ingredients and it’ oh sooooo tasty, and the best part was dipping  pieces of a fresh baguette into the leftover juices!

baguette

In those days there was no fancy vinegar, no cilantro and goodness know’s what else, especially in Uruguay.

But nowadays, with the available ingredients, new flavours, fancy vinegars, etc…. I decided to take this salad to the next level.

IMG_8939

Not too many changes, just a few additions, so here it goes………

  • Butter Beans – stayed the same I used 2 cans
  • Sliced Tomatoes – stayed the same, used 2 medium tomatoes
  • Thinly sliced onions – stayed the same, used 1/2 medium onion
  • Salt and Pepper – stayed the same, tsp of each
  • Olive oil and vinegar – used olive oil but replaced the vinegar with same fabulous Lemongrass Mint infused White Balsamic vinegar from Mount Dora Olive Oil Company
  • Dusting of oreganoreplaced this with some chopped cilantro
  • Added a can of sliced Hearts of Palm that are easily available nowadays but when I was a kid they were an expensive commodity!

Hope you enjoy this salad as much as I do, and I do recommend that you try both versions, they are both great 🙂

FullSizeRender-7

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

On this over the top very hot Memorial Weekend, the idea of standing next to a BBQ adding to the already Florida heat was totally unappealing!

So I decided to make something that can be prepared inside under the wonderful air conditioning, and then transported pool side, that was tasty, light and refreshing…..

Original chicken wraps are usually done with minced chicken, but for the lack for such ingredient I replaced it with cubed chicken breasts and it turned out as good!

IMG_8360

For this particular recipe I used the following:

  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into tiny small cubes (or you can use a lb of minced chicken of course)
  • 1 large onion cubed
  • 4 sliced scallions
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup of hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • 12 tbsp Sriracha sauce (if you prefer it non spicy use just 1 tbsp)
  • 2 heads of Romaine lettuce

As stated above I didn’t have any minced chicken so I started by slicing and cubing my chicken.

IMG_8361

 

 

IMG_8362

Once that is done quickly sauté in a tbsp of olive oil until nicely cooked, drain fat and add the chopped onions, chopped garlic, scallions, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, minced ginger and sriracha sauce.

IMG_8363IMG_8365

Cook for another 5 minutes and its ready!

IMG_8366

Now its time to grab that lovely crispy Romaine Lettuce, top up with a nicely loaded tablespoon, squeeze some lemon juice and add some fresh scallions and enjoy!

Romaine-lettuce

I served them pool side with of course a refreshing cocktail in hand ❤

PS: You might wonder why there is no salt and pepper in the recipe but the seasoning in the Hoisin, Soy and Sriracha sauce are all you need :-).

IMG_8369