Europe

goat cheese, prosciutto, and fig bites


These little bites are a classic and decadent combo, perfect with snacking on with a friend over a bottle of wine. Fresh figs are in season now. I use the green ones because they’re just gorgeous in color, both inside and out.  I used Trader Joe’s French baguette as the canvas then I layered the cheese, prosciutto, a honey balsamic glaze, fresh basil and topped with a beautiful fig slice.

Enzo is such a nosy dog.

ingredients:

1 baguette, sliced, toasted or not

1 package of prosciutto

1 cup washed and sliced fresh figs (dried will be just great when fresh is out of season)

1 package fresh basil, washed and dried

1 4 oz. package goat cheese, softened

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar glaze

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper

method:

Mix together the balsamic vinegar glaze, honey, and olive oil. If you don’t have, or can’t find the glaze, use a regular balsamic vinegar and use a little less and add a little more honey. Season this mixture with salt and pepper.

Assemble the bites. Take a piece of baguette and spread it with goat cheese. Since my baguette slices were very small, I used just a 1/4 slice of prosciutto. Do this to all slices of bread and then take the balsamic honey mixture and drizzle over the top. Now lay one basil leaf on each piece then a slice of fig. Season all slices with some course cracked pepper.  Enjoy outside with a friend and a glass of Rosé

Aren’t those fig’s gorgeous?
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Hawaii

macadamia crusted cod

My husband left for 3 weeks of work in Hawaii. He will be working on a home show about luxury swimming pools. (enter Hawaii-ish and jealousy emjois) I wanted to make a nice dinner for him last night with a Hawaiian flair.  Turns out, this week is also Hawaiian Food Week. How perfect! I made macadamia crusted cod with sushi rice and a salad of pineapple, avocado, and cucumber.  The macadamia nuts are finely chopped and then mixed with some panko bread crumbs for the perfect crunch. The sushi rice is mixed at the very end with some lime zest, coconut aminos, and rice vinegar. The avocado, pineapple, cucumber salad adds the perfect fresh contrast and really makes this dish. I have to be honest though, I used nectarines instead of pineapple because that is what I had. It was fantastic! But this is Hawaiian foods week, so pineapple it is.

ingredients:

macadamia crusted cod

8-12 ounce cod fillet

1/4 cup macadamia nuts- finally chopped into crumbs

2 tablespoon panko bread crumbs (I use gluten free)

1 egg + 2 teaspoons water, throughly beaten

salt and pepper

sushi rice

1 cup sushi rice

zest of 1 lime

1 tablespoon coconut aminos (or soy sauce)

1 teaspoon rice vinegar

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

*a note about sushi rice: This is easy to find now in most grocery stores. I like it for this because it keeps with the Hawaiian theme and I love the sticky texture. You could definitely substitute regular rice in this dish. Quinoa could be a good choice too if you’re trying to behave yourself.

salad

1 small avocado, small chunks

1 cup pineapple (or nectarine or mango), small chunks

1/2 cup English cucumber, sliced 1/4 inch thick and then into fourths

1 tablespoon olive oil

sea salt and pepper

method:

Start the sushi rice. Rinse the rice in a fine mesh strainer until the water runs clear. Then combine with 1 1/2 cups water plus 2 tablespoons in a small saucepan.  Sprinkle a little salt in there and turn on high.  Once it’s boiling turn it to low for about 10-15 minutes and then turn it off, DON’T PEEK, and let it set for another 15 minutes. My big rice cooking advice is to just not lift the lid. Every time I peek, ruined.

Meanwhile, mix the finely chopped macadamia nuts with the panko breadcrumbs. It should be chopped this fine, or even finer:

season with some salt and pepper and set aside. Mix the egg and water and set aside. Get out the cod and pat it very dry with a towel.

Prep your salad fruits, then mix with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Don’t start making the fish until after the rice has cooked. Transfer the rice to a large mixing bowl like this:

Stick it in the fridge while you get the cod going. For this meal, the cod is best nice and hot but the rest of the meal is best at room temp. Cut the cod in to the portion sizes you desire. I cut our 2 servings into four pieces. Season each side of the cod with salt and pepper. Add the 3 tablespoons of coconut oil to the non-stick pan and turn on medium high.  Then, take the cod pieces and dunk into the egg and then dredge into the macadamia nut/breadcrumb mixture.  Press each side firmly into the crumbs and then place into the hot pan. Repeat with all cod pieces.  You want to keep the temp on medium high so that the coating gets nice and crunch and brown but the fish doesn’t get too done. overdone cod is pretty gross. Perfectly done cod is, well, perfection. 2-4 minutes each side should do the job. ​

​Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate and season with a little more salt and pepper while it’s hot. Stick it in a 180 degree oven while you mix the rice.

Take the rice out of the fridge and mix it with the coconut aminos, rice vinegar, and olive oil. Use a microplane to zest a lime over the bowl and then mix it into the rice. Save that lime to serve with the meal.

Time to plate! Use a 2/3 measuring cup to scoop out rice and press it firmly into the cup. Turn it upside down and transfer to a plate to make it look fancy.  Put the cod on the plate and then spoon the salad over everything. Garnish with green onions or chives, lime wedge and some chili pepper powder. I used gochugaru (Korean pepper flakes), but ground ancho pepper would be good, or a little smoked paprika, or even spicy cayenne pepper.

Makes 2 servings with a little extra rice to put in the fridge and to make fried rice with the next day.

 

Italy

oven roasted tomatoes

I’ll admit that I’m a little late to the oven roasted tomato scene. I’m sure this has been popular for a while but I didn’t try it until about 2 months ago. I had some kumato tomatoes and decided to try oven roasting. Fantastic. It’s that umami flavor that I love. They were so good that I couldn’t wait to get home when I was away from them. Slow roasting takes away the excess water and intensifies the flavor. Intensely tomato.  Oven roasted tomatoes are amazing spread on toast, in pasta, salads, and just on their own.  Kumato tomatoes are already quite an intense tomato flavor and sometimes the best choice when all other tomato varieties are flavorless in February.  Oven roasting tomatoes is really best in the summer if you have a garden with an excess of tomatoes.  Keep them in a jar covered in olive oil and they will keep for a couple of week in the fridge. My recipe is simple and with limited ingredients.  You can add chopped garlic if you like or fresh herbs such as thyme or oregano.

oven roasted tomatoes

ingredients:

12 medium sized tomatoes such as kumatos or plums

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

course salt for sprinkling such as kosher or course ground Himalayan salt.

Preheat your oven to 250 degrees. Wash the tomatoes and slice in half the long way.  This helps to keep the flavorful seeds and juice inside the tomato halves. Spread wax paper on a baking sheet and lay out the tomato halves, cut side up.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast in the oven for 4-5 hours. Store in a container with a little more olive oil to help preserve them.

 

I tossed them with bucatini and fresh basil. How do you use them? 

Let me know if you make these, or have made these! Comment below and let me know what you think or share your favorite way to use oven roasted tomatoes.

 

Anywhere and Everywhere

breakfast avocado toast

 

Most days I use sprouted grain bread but on this day I was lucky enough to have oatmeal bread made by my mom.

This is my go-to breakfast: sprouted grain bread, toasted, smeared with smashed avocado, runny egg, salty bacon and fried tomato. It’s quick, healthy, and filling.  Every single time I cut into it and that yolk slowly oozes out, I’m forced to send a snapchat to all my closest friends. Because this is something that deserves their attention. I love to top this combo with good salt, pepper, and habanero sauce.  I like to use course sea salt. My favorite salt is fluer de sel .  The hot sauce I like is Trader Joe’s habanero sauce.

breakfast avocado toast

serves 1

ingredients:

1 slice sprouted grain bread such as Ezekiel bread, but I prefer Alvarado St bread because of it’s simple ingredient list

1/2 small, ripe avocado

1 plum tomato

1 slice of bacon (my favorite is Beeler’s bacon)

salt and pepper

hot sauce

In a small frying pan, fry the bacon over medium heat until crisp. Meanwhile, slice the tomatoes into 1/2 inch slices. Set the bacon aside on a paper towel-lined plate.   Leaving the bacon grease in the pan and the heat to medium, place the tomatoes in the frying pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Be sure to leave the tomato juice on the cutting board like this:

I heard on The Splendid Table podcast that most of a tomato’s flavor is in the seeds and membrain surrounding the seeds. 

You’ll use the juices to help break down and smash the avocado.  Rinse your avocado and slice it in half.  Scoop half the avocado onto the cutting board and sprinkle with salt.  Let set.  Turn your tomatoes over to fry on the other side. Now, you’ll crack your egg into the same pan while the tomatoes finish cooking.  Sprinkle your egg with salt and pepper. Place your slice of bread in the toaster but don’t push it down yet! Smash your avocado up with a fork. Then, flip your egg and put your bread down to be toasted. Turn OFF the heat on the frying pan.  You want your egg to be runny but not TOO runny.  Slow runny.  When the toast is toasted to your liking, put it on a plate, and spread on your smashed avocado.  Top with the bacon (cut in half), the tomato slices, and finally that perfectly cooked egg. Pour just a little habanero sauce over the top.  Cut into it, and take a picture. Enjoy!