Family Evening Soirée…

Today was the first time we had a family dinner, with everyone present, eating at the same time and in the same place for a long long time…..

Family time is so precious and hard to come by in this busy hectic world, that its a nice feeling when we all manage to get together. So with that said and although I ‘m still not feeling myself after my surgery, I still found some strength to put together a tasty meal and a little sweet treat which we enjoyed whilst chatting , having a drink and catching up!

thumb_DSC05022_1024

I started by preparing the little sweet treat which was inspired by 2 lovely huge pomegranates that were sitting on the counter without a purpose. I cut them open, took the lovely juicy seeds out and put them to the side.

thumb_DSC05017_1024

Then I melted some milk chocolate (preferred over dark chocolate in our home) and then put to good use my handy dandy Pampered Chef herb gadget, which obviously was not used to store/freeze herbs 🙂

I filled 1/3 of each cavity with the melted milk chocolate, then spooned in some pomegranate seeds and then topped it off with more melted chocolate and into the fridge they went.

I still had some chocolate and pomegranate seeds left, so I mixed them up and plop them on some wax paper into clusters and they also went straight into the fridge.

Then I pulled out some lovely skirt steak, seasoned it well and let it rest a bit before it went onto the grill.

thumb_DSC05033_1024

I did mention that I am still recovering from surgery, which is my excuse of using a few ready prepared sides to stop me from standing too long in the kitchen.

I had been to Trader Joe’s and found some frozen Asparagus Risotto which turned out to be pretty good but next time I need to doctor it with a little extra salt, some black pepper and maybe a dash of cayenne pepper and fresh parmesan cheese to give it a little umpf if you know what I mean.

thumb_DSC05027_1024

I also bought at Trader Joe’s a Greek Spinach Spanakopita tart which again wasn’t too bad but I have to say that I prefer my home made Pascualina which is a Uruguayan version of the Greek Spinach Pie. No feta cheese is used in the Uruguayan one but its so much tastier, or so I think of course…..

Evening was greatly relaxing, ate, drank, chatted and caught up with Mama Gaye whilst also enjoying the company of by busy teenage kids and hubby, oh and let me not forget the cats that of course made sure we knew they were there ❤

thumb_DSC05036_1024

After dinner we got to enjoy the lovely sweet treats that ended up being a big hit so they for sure will be part of future menus…..

 

Tradition with a twist

Down at home (Uruguay) we have a traditional dish that I love making for my family. Of course as always, I love putting a little twist into the traditional recipe.

This dish is called Tortilla de Papas, also known as Spanish Omelette.

The basic ingredients for it are:

  • Potatoes
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Eggs
  • Salt and pepper

So here is how I go about making it. Some people slice the potatoes really thin and then sautee them until they are cooked. I start by boiling the potatoes until they are just slightly tender (you should be able to slice them without them turning into a mush).

3851104974_fcfd278793

I used to slice them but in recent years I have opted to cube them instead.

parboiled

Whilst the potatoes are cooking, I slice a bunch of onions and chop up a few cloves of garlic and cook them in a pan till they are nice and golden.

onion-soup-3

This time round I added some lovely bacon to the pan and let it crisp up nicely. The added bacon is my little twist for the day. Then I tossed in the cubed potatoes and tossed them around with a bit of olive oil till they got a nice color going and before I took them of the heat I added some chopped cilantro, you can use parsley if you prefer…..

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 5.12.29 PM

In a bowl, I beat up a bunch of eggs, added salt and pepper and then I added the the potatoes, onions, garlic and bacon.

DSC04920

Give the mixture a nice toss to ensure that everything is coated in the egg mixture.

DSC04921

Then heat up a frying pan , drizzle some oil and as soon as its nice and hot, put the mixture into it and spread it out evenly.

I cook it for about 5-7 minutes on one side, then place a plate on top and flip it over and gently slide into pan to cook the other side for aprox the same time.

DSC04923

Some people finish it off under a broiler in the oven to avoid flipping it over but once you do it a couple of times you will find its actually very easy!

And there you have it, a little Uruguayan tradition with a bacon twist, its also excellent with any leftover meat chopped up (steak, pork or lamb).

DSC04925

We usually eat it with a side of salad but the options are endless. Of course its fabulous the next day, nice and cold out of the fridge, perfect breakfast with some smoked salmon 🙂

 

 

 

 

Leftover Pasta Dough – the leftover saga continues…….

You can probably tell by now that I kind of thrive on re-purposing any leftovers and converting them into a different dish that the family will eat with no complaints!

So 2 days ago I made homemade Ravioli with the leftover turkey and cranberry sauce and of course I had too much pasta dough. Wrapped it up and tucked it in the fridge for future use.

IMG_1041

This time I used the Tagliatelle contraption part of my lovely hand cranked pasta machine :-).

IMG_1044

IMG_1045

Once the pasta was done I embarked on making some lovely and fragrant homemade pesto sauce with the following ingredients:

  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino cheese

jul-10_home-made-pesto_b_330x330

Then I sautéed some lovely ripe tomatoes with garlic and then added the pesto sauce to it.

IMG_1046

As soon as the pasta was ready (4 minutes), I tossed it into the sauce and served piping hot!

IMG_1048

Buon Appetito!