Sunday, August 26, 2012

August Artichoke Salad

Michael works at an Italian restaurant which makes one of my mother’s favorite salads. It is a pretty classic Italian staple, and there are really no variations of it, because it consists of four ingredients, and man do they marry together beautifully. So Michael and I are giving you the simple recipe to our simple artichoke summer salad. My mommy is going to be so happy!
*For some color we finely chopped some basil and mixed it with olive oil and drizzle around the plate. This is purely for show though, so don’t worry about the recipe.

Ingredients: for 4

10 baby artichokes
A block of Parmesan Reggiano
4 lemons
4 Tlb. Olive oil
Tsp. salt
Pinch of black pepper


The first part of this recipe involves preparing and soaking the artichokes overnight. Prepare a water bath for the artichokes, by filling a bowl with water and three lemons cut in half. To prepare the artichoke, cut the stem down to about a ¼ of an inch to the bottom, and then peel off a good portion of the leaves with all of the pricklies on it, until you are left with the light green leaves, and then cut about a ¼ inch of the top off. Now take a knife and scrape off the rough stuff from the stem. Place the artichokes in the water, place a towel in the water to keep it from oxidizing, and then place in refrigerator overnight.
Take the artichokes out of the water and peel back about 4 more layer of leaves, essentially all of the oxidized ones, and using a knife clean off the rest of the stem until it turns into a point. Cut the artichokes in half and slice the half paper thin. Place artichoke in a bowl with olive oil, lemon juice from one of the lemons sitting in the water, salt, and a pinch of black pepper, and using your hands mix the artichokes breaking them up a bit with your fingers.
When plating, use your hands and make a mound with the artichoke. Shave about three pieces of parmesan and place on top of the salad. Slice the lemon that is left over and serve with the salad.

Eat!! You will be sure to love this bright simple salad.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Heat Wave Popsicles!

Michael and I live in Venice beach, and these last two weeks have been BRUTAL! It is so hot. Today I actually ventured east of Lincoln in to Hollywood and broke out into a sweat the second I left the card. Though summer is winding down, the heat sure as hell is kicking in. Best way to beat it….popsicles. I don’t know about you guys, but I am very fond of sweets that aren’t overly sugary, so we came up with four different popsicle flavors; two creamy, and two fruity. These are delicious, super easy, healthy, and in the matter of an hour you have yourself a cold snack to take to the beach. Just make sure you eat it before it melts!!!
*I bought a café mocha from Starbucks because I don’t drink coffee and for the life of me have no idea how to make it!

**Because there is no sugar added to these, the lime one can be very tart, so add any if you like. It is all a matter of preference.

*** Popsicle molds usually come in 4, so buy 3 to make all of these at once.

Our flavors are:

Café Mocha Raspberry Bliss
Coconut Banana Almond Milk Surprise
Mango Papaya Pineapple Fiesta in Your Mouth
Lime Orange Delight

Ingredients: makes 3 popsicles
Café Mocha Raspberry Bliss:
½ cup raspberries
Tall Café Mocha from Starbucks

Coconut Banana Almond Milk Surprise:
1 ripe banana
½ cup coconut almond milk
2 Tlb. Coconut milk

Mango Papaya Pineapple Fiesta in Your Mouth
1/3 of a really ripe mango
¼ of a papaya
3 Tlb. Crushed pineapple
¼ cup pineapple juice

Lime Orange Delight:
4 Limes
2 juicing oranges

Café Mocha Raspberry Bliss
Take the raspberries and using a fork crush them, then split them among the four molds and drop them into the mold. Next pour the café mocha until you reach the top.

Banana Almond Milk Surprise

Slice up 1/3 of the banana into slivers and set aside, take the rest of the banana and mash it up with the coconut milk, split the mix  amongst the four molds, and then line the sides with a few of the banana slivers so that when they freeze you can see the banana. Next pour in the coconut almond milk until it fills to the top, and if need be use a knife to move around the banana mix so that it seeps in.

Mango Papaya Pineapple Fiesta in Your Mouth

Mush up the mango and divide and pour into the four molds, next dice up the papaya super small and divide amongst the four. Next….place some crushed pineapple in the four and then pour pineapple juice until the top.

Lime Orange Delight
Squeeze three of the limes, and thinly slice and remove the rind from the remaining one. If you are not in to tart things, add a  Tlb. of sugar to the lime juice. Pour the juice in and line the side of the mold with the lime slices. Let freeze for about 30 minutes before squeezing the orange and pouring into the mold, so that you have a nice separation in color and flavor.
Place popsicle sticks in all of the molds. I put a piece of tape across the top of the mold and flip a little bit of the edge up to stick and hold the stick in place. Put in the freeze and freeze for about an hour or two. A trick to get them out of the mold now, is fill a bowl with hot water, and place the mold in it so that the water comes just under the top. This allows the sides to unfreeze a little, wiggle them, and pop ‘em out!! Now EAT!!! Yum.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Red Pepper and Sweet Corn Gazpacho

So Michael and I are really big into creating simple dishes that we can either make at home quickly, or take to a friend’s BBQ  and wow them.  All of our friends love heavily spicy foods and corn is one of our main grill staples, so why not create something that is a mix of all of this. We decided to create a play on tomato gazpacho and make a red pepper and corn gazpacho with a little bit of heat and a little bit of sweetness from some coconut milk.   This soup is easy to make and serve, with its simple flavors and beautiful texture. This week we were thinking to do something that has great color, is fully of summer love, and is refreshing. We decided to create a play on tomato gazpacho and make a red pepper and corn gazpacho with a little bit of heat and a little bit of sweetness from some coconut milk.
*A little serving tip. The deep orangey yellow of the soup is a beautiful contrast against any blue or cool color. So serve in a cool colored bowl. Or even better serve in a beautifully decorated cup, to balance the rich bold flavor, with a beautiful pattern.

Ingredients: (serves 6-8) Time: about 1 hour

8 ears of corn husked and shucked
2 red bell peppers
1 large yellow onion
6 large carrots
1/2 cup olive oil
1 ½ cups vegetable stock
1/3 coconut milk
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp paprika
1/2 Tlb cayenne pepper

recipe after photos

Take all of your vegetables, clean them, peel them, and chop them . Heat up a large sauce pan and add enough olive oil to cover the bottom. Add the onions and carrots and cook until they soften slightly to the touch of a fork, then add the pepper and let cook stirring every few minutes for ten minutes. When the vegetables cook a little bit longer, add vegetable stock and let simmer for about 15 minutes.
In a separate pan heat the rest of your olive oil and add your corn, seasoning with salt and pepper and cook for about 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, add coconut milk and half of your amount of cayenne, and all of your paprika, and cook for another 5 minutes stirring occasionally. When that is finished add all of your corn to the pepper and onion mix. Let the mix cook together for another few minutes, adding the rest of your spices and stirring.
Remove from heat, and pour into a bowl, place in the refrigerator and let cool for about 30 minutes.

Once the mix is chilled, place it in the blender and blend until slightly smooth or whatever your desired consistency is.

Garnish with little pieces of red bell pepper and serve chilled. Super desish!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Devil's Summer Chicken

The name of this chicken might be alarming, but don’t be scared! This chicken is loosely based on a classic Italian recipe of Pollo Fra Diavolo which means chicken for the devil, or chicken from Hell. This is a spicy yet refreshing chicken dish made of juicy olive oil, bright lemon juice, and an amazing pop of red chili flakes. We want to bring this amazing and refreshing pop of flavors and serve it as an appetizer dish, a little teaser at our summer BBQs. We use small chicken drummettes as the perfect finger food that delivers a big punch! Try it at your next BBQ!!
*This requires marinating, a minimum of one hour, max 24 hours. We marinate about 24 hours because the longer you marinate the juicier the chicken and the more the flavors get soaked up.

Ingredients: (serves 3-4; based on two per person)

Pack of chicken drummettes about 8
Two lemons
Two teaspoons chili flakes
½ cup olive oil (enough to half cover drummettes)
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
Teaspoon garlic salt

Season both sides of drummettes with salt and pepper and sprinkle a pinch of chili flakes. Place the drummettes in a dish with some depth, and fill with oil so that it is half way covering the chicken. Squeeze juice of one lemon and sprinkle with a half teaspoon of chili flakes, and a half teaspoon of garlic salt. Let marinate in the refrigerator for as long as you would like, at least 30 min up to 12 hours per side. Once you marinate for the desired time, flip the chicken and repeat the above steps. Turn on the broiler to high, and once you reach desired temperatures you can put the chicken in (Preferably use a broiler tray which is a tray with slots for the fat to drip down, this prevents fat for spitting up and catching fire). Place on cooking tray and sprinkle with a half of the left over chili flakes and cook on one side for 5 minutes, pull out, flip, add rest of chili, and cook another 5. While these are in the broiler heat up a grill pan on the stove to finish the chicken off, spray some pam or place a little olive oil on so they don’t stick. Place the drummettes on the grill pan and cook another 4-5 each side, or until you have that beautiful golden brown color we all love in chicken.
Serve chicken with slices of lemon, and we promise these will not disappoint.