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thefoodolic

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Greece the land of Temples, the birth of democracy and mythology but also land of exquisite cuisine. I’ve spend a week in Aegina this summer, a small island, about 1 hour south of Athens by boat. This Island is a special one, first it’s home to the Temple of Aphaia, one of the best preserved doric temples in Greece. Plus since 1860, the island is a top producers of quality pistachios in Europe. Their pistachios are simply divine, they say sweeter than most pistachios, those trees are growing easily all over the island, although not so easily elsewhere in Greece or even Europe… As soon as you touch land, in the harbour, you’ll see many stands of pistachios here and there. A pure pistachio heaven! They sell all kinds of products like; pistachio butter, pesto, paste, nougat, preserved in honey, candies, baklavas, etc. Plus those “nuts” (technically not nuts but seeds) are lower…

Hoisin glazed Meatballs with tamarind, ginger and garlic seasoned beef and a simple, sweet hoisin sauce glaze. Those gluten free round bites goes well as an appetizer, on noodles or rice. Mini beef meatballs with an Asian flair are great and polyvalent. They go well as an appetizer or main meal and simply divine paired with some crunchy carrots, cucumber, scallions and a few peanuts. Also a fast and easy way to make a last minute meal, simply cook a bunch up and keep some frozen for later. Experimenting with meatballs I used a chickpea flour this time to replace the “usual breadcrumb” to soak up all the moist from the meatballs and bound them good. This way it make them “gluten free” and gives the meat an extra protein boost. I didn’t use any egg since they were holding great without! I guess eggs are used for bigger sized meatballs,…

Banana Yogurt Bread with a few blueberries is an ultra moist and fluffy banana bread with a succulent crust nobody can resist. Banana bread is a quite popular dish up in North America, although in Europe, not so much. It reminds me of home each time I make some. It’s the ultimate recipe for when you have a bunch of overripe bananas, that you wouldn’t dare to eat. But for this recipe, the older and darker the banana looks the better! Yes, even turned to dark brown, that’s where the magic of a good banana bread lies. The yogurt factor Since I’ve discovered how to make naan bread, this Indian soft flat bread, I put yogurt in many of my doughs. I think yogurt helps to activate the yeast of any bread and make an ultra tasty and moist bread. So why not try it out with a already “moist”…

All there is to know about Tapas! The ultimate way of life for Spaniards and also a delicious way to explore and get the essence of beautiful Spain.  Tapas are not a simple meal nor a snack, it’s a social event, a way of living, a philosophy in Spain. A great way to meet friends to chat around a beverage, whether a wine, beer or vermouth, while eating up a small bite. Many believe tapas are those many small plates you accumulate in the middle of the table to share in between a group of people but truth be told a “tapa” is originally thought for one person only and by tradition eaten standing up at the bar. If you want to share plates you’ll need a “ración” which is a slightly bigger portion. Back at its origin, you wouldn’t order “tapas” per se, you would order a drink and a…

Pesto Zoodles with Shrimps is made with an avocado, cilantro and sunflower seeds unctuous pesto topped with lightly spiced garlic-paprika shrimps. A great way to cut on carbs without loosing on taste! Zoodles, zoodles, zoodles… Quite a “hit” from last summer, not yet out of the spectrum of trends… so let’s make good use of it! I’m looking for ways to cut on carbs these days and zoodles are a great way to imitate a plate of pasta without all the empty calories! If you don’t have a special instrument to make zoodles, no worry! Simply use the cheese grater! I’ve made the zoodles ultra creamy with the help of an avocado based pesto and gave it a fresh touch of cilantro. If you are one of those “soap” tasting person, simply substitute it by some basil. Plus, since the carbs are low, the avocado will help make the dish satisfying…

Tuna, Avocado Tartare is an elegant, fresh and colourful tartare made of lightly spiced tuna, cilantro-lime marinated avocado and juicy watermelon for a fresh bite! It’s hot, I don’t know for you but here in Spain, it’s just terribly hot outside this summer. No way I’m going to cook anything on the stove for a while… I need freshness, I need light, I need easy-breezy, so no better recipe for hot summer nights than a this tuna, avocado tartare, right? Better safe than sorry Tartare, whether it’s beef, salmon or tuna, are so easy to make and frankly super delicious BUT being made with raw meat/fish you need to extra careful with its manipulation and the quality of the product. Here are my tartare’s golden rules: Ask your favorite Fishmonger if he does have a sashimi grade fish, they usually cost a tad more but well worth it! Come prepared…

Extra tender Chipotle-Maple Pulled Pork cooked sous-vide served with fresh guacamole, black bean paste, corn tortilla and sour cream for a hot and sweet Mexican night! This is my own version of spicy Mexican pulled pork tacos, with a Canadian flair to it of maple syrup. This particular recipe uses a sous-vide machine although it could easily be done in a slow cooker. The other day, while walking around my “Temple” called Santa Caterina Market, in Barcelona. I’ve ended up at my favorite pork butcher and got hypnotized by those skinless pork knuckles/ham hock, couldn’t resist the urge to try to make something special out of them. So here we are! Pork knuckles / ham hock We don’t see many recipes around with this cut even though it’s divine tasting. It reminds me of pork cheek, the taste is somehow distinct, bolder and better in my opinion, above other cuts.…

Creamy Chicken Stuffed Round Courgettes is a light meal with a whole lot of veggies like sweet peas, leek, red bell pepper and carrot for a fun, creamy and colorful bite.  This Stuffed Round Courgettes recipe is basically the filling of a chicken pot pie trapped in a mini round courgette, a fun way to eat chicken leftovers. Every time I see those precious green or yellow round courgettes, I simply cannot resist! They’ve got to come home with me! If you don’t have such courgettes at your market you can do the exact same recipe with long zucchinis. Simply cut on the length, empty them and voila! They might not look as nice but the end result for your tastebuds will be the same. Béchamel Oh mighty! Béchamel looks like tons of fat because it’s thick and unctuous but frankly it’s not as bad as one would think… especially next…

Bouilli or pot au feu québécois is a traditional beef stew from Québec, Canada inspired by the famous dish ‘pot au feu’ from France. A simple stew made of root vegetables, beef and pork belly cooked slowly until tender. As a kid, I used to visit my grandparents once or twice a year. They were living in a small and remote village far away in the forest called Lac-des-Aigles (Eagles lake). We would always arrive in the late afternoon and the cast iron pot would already be doing its magic on the stove for hours… leaving behind this fantastic homy, reconforting stew smell. In the pot was a succulent and traditional meat stew called Bouilli in Quebec. A winter dish to warm up the bones This recipe is a flashback to those nice visits at my grandparents place. My grandma would make this recipe starting from when the root veggies would be fully grown in September…

Tequila Lime Shrimp Bowl is a light mexican citric recipe with a touch of heat made of sauté shrimps, avocado, cilantro leaves, pico de gallo, mango and quinoa for a light and colorful Mexican dinner. This Mexican bowl is filled with fresh and colorful ingredients and simply irresistible for a hot summer night. The protagonist of the bowl here is the shrimps, they are cooked in a tad of tequila, garlic, habanero and a squeeze of lime for a little boost in flavor. I saw the recipe of Tequila Lime Shrimp here and there on the web and wanted to try it out. I add to come up with a slightly different version, so I’ve done a Mexican Bowl. Nothing looks more appealing to me than a simple bowl with lots of fresh and colorful veggies one next to the other and a touch of protein and grains. To flame or not to flame…

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