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Two times marinated Salmon Carpaccio for a double the flavor dish served with a pear-fennel sides done two ways; a soft and sweet compote and a crunchy marinated fennel and pear topping. This recipe is my take on a dish I had at a fantastic tapas bar called “la pepita”. However the original recipe was made with apples. I just love this combination of fennel and pear/apples, it brings certain “je ne sais quoi” to a dish. I assure you this dish is terribly simple to make although it might look like a lot going on in the instructions, believe me it’s not that difficult at all. For this recipe a good “sashimi” quality Salmon is in order, since we won’t cook the salmon fillet. Double marinated Salmon The first marinade is a “dry” one, a simple, Gravlax style, marinade made of salt, sugar and a touch of dill. However,…

Tropical Smoothie Bowl is fest of tropical fruits; passion fruit, mango and pineapple blended with coconut milk and ice cubes for an exotic start of the day. I don’t know for you but tropical fruits are my favorites! This smoothie is an ode to the tropics with its exotic flavors. The smoothie base is a pineapple and mango blended with coconut milk with a topping of pineapple, shredded coconut and last but not the least; Passion fruit (or Maracuyá). Every bite as a new fun texture to it with an overall tropical flair! Without saying it’s filled with vitamins, let’s say… enough to last a year without getting scurvy. A great combination of exotic flavors, complementing one another beautifully. The many names of Passion fruit To make it clearer… There are three popular types of Passion Fruits, a yellow, a purple and reddish one. Which is without contest the…

The ultimate tapa for Catalans, pa amb tomaquet, or Spaniards, pan con tomate, is the simplest and most beloved of tapas, a lightly grilled bread with tomato, extra-virgin olive oil, salt and if you wish: a little garlic flair to it. Pan con Tomate Tapa – Pa amb Tomaquet (Catalan) If you’ve ever set foot in Barcelona or its region, you probably saw this Pan con Tomate or Pa amb tomaquet on every single table. Omit to order it at the restaurant… surely your waiter will ask you if you want some with your meal. It’s simply inconceivable not to order it. Pan con tomate or its Catalan term Pa amb tomàquet is such an integral part of their culture. So popular, to the point of having a book written about it, by Leopold Pomés called Teoria i práctica del pa amb tomàquet. You know it’s a serious matter when a…

This authentic Sangria Española without added sugar contains some apple, peach and orange pieces, plus a little fizz, in the end, to make it extra festive! The word Sangria comes from the word “Sangre” which means blood, therefore a traditional sangria should be the colour of blood. Nowadays, there are tons of different variations of sangria out there, some made with white wine others sparkling wines and all kinds of fruits. However, the original version, the traditional Sangria Española, is and will always be the ultimate summer star! Sangria’s Origin Sangria’s origin is not clear, some say it was a way to upgrade the lowest grad wines from Southern Spain by adding fruits (sugars) which would help balance the sharpness. Others say, it was an invention of British sailors, bringing along with them some Spanish wine to the Caribbeans and mixing it up with rum and fruits. Truth be told,…

Watermelon pops covert with an ultra creamy Greek yogurt, some freshly crushed pistachios and a last minute drizzle of orange blossom honey for a tasty and healthy snack this summer! These fun bites are crunchy on the first bite with a nice sweet yet salted taste, crunchy yet creamy texture and the more you eat it, the more it gets fruity and refreshing. Plus, there is no melting like with normal popsicles, so the little ones won’t mess up the floor with this popsicle version. The watermelon effect Watermelons are enormous… generally you would want to use it before it gets bad without having to leave it for days in the fridge and monopolize all that precious space. Making a punch with it is a common solution or maybe next time try these popsicles. The famous pink fruit contains about 90% of water, making it a perfect candidate for the…

Three different ways to make polenta; a velvety traditional one with a spicy & smoky pulled pork, a grilled one for the BBQ or some crispy baked fries served with a garlic-yogurt dip.  This post is about three different ways to make polenta, three different textures going from smooth to crunchy. I always make too much polenta, so I usually spread the leftovers in a rectangular pyrex, cover it with plastic wrap and leave it in the fridge. The next day you can use the compacted or “cake like” polenta and make a whole different meal with it by whether grilling it “steak style” on the BBQ or baking sticks of it until getting crunchy polenta fries. Different types of polenta The perfect polenta is smooth and shiny, similar to the texture of a velvety mashed potato. Some put cream in it, others milk or even broth but most…

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…

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