All posts filed under: What’s Cookin’

White Wine Peach and Berry Sangria

These last weeks have been incredibly hot here in Rome (a bit all over Europe), it seems that is August already. We seriously need a fresh breeze, the only time that you ever feel there is a comfortable temperature to walk outside is at night. During these hot weekend days most people head up the beach, but the problem is that the beaches are so full, that it is almost unbearable, especially for people like myself that are used to having their space in the sand. Saturday was especially hot to be walking outside, so me and some friends decided to stay home and prepare a nice fresh dinner to eat outside in the balcony. The sangria was just the perfect drink for the occasion because of its refreshing power. The only problem is that it goes fast, so be prepared for the possibility of having to do a refill. Serves: 3 or 4 Ingredients: 1 bottle of a fresh and fruited white wine (chilled) 350 ml of cold lemon soda (I prefer 7Up) 100 …

Wild Asparagus Migas

  This last Saturday morning, I was wandering in the street and I passed in front of this small grocery store where I saw the most beautiful wild asparagus displayed. As soon as I decided to take those beautiful, and also rather expensive asparagus, it came to my mind that they would be the perfect match to lift up that stale bread that I had back home. Migas is a Portuguese dish traditional from Alentejo region. It can also be found more to the south or in the Spanish Extremadura region. It consists in a loaf of fried breadcrumbs, that is usually served as a side dish with pan-fried pork meat. I really wanted to prepare this dish because it also brings back good memories, I immediately thought about the ones frequently prepared by my grandmother, that would be served with the freshest mackerel that she could find in the fish market that day. She would fry that fish, serve it with migas and with a good lettuce salad. The biggest difference between the combinations that are done in different regions is the more south …

Rabanadas – The Portuguese Christmas eggy bread

Rabanadas, they always had a special place in the typical Portuguese Christmas dessert table, along with other fried and eggy goodness. They are one of the main dishes that infuses Portuguese households with the sweet smell of sugar and cinnamon during this festive time of the year. Ingredients: Soft baguette, brioche or any type of soft bread ( In Portugal, around Christmas time, you can find a specific baguette for rabanadas in most supermarkets) 1/2 liter of milk 6 eggs 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla paste sugar cinnamon Preparation: First of all, it is important to mention that in this recipe you should be using stale bread. The staleness will help the bread to absorb all the milk and egg mixtures. Slice the baguette in 2 centimeter thick slices. You will need separate containers, one with the milk mixed with the vanilla paste, other for the beaten eggs and the final one with the sugar and cinnamon mixture. It is like an assembly line, first soak the slice of bread in the milk on both sides and then in …

Almond Milk Masala Chai

Gloomy days usually take the best of my mood, I can really notice how the absence of sun affects my emotional state.Today was one of those days, the sun shone a bit in the morning and then the clouds came with rain and took up the sky. This hot almond milk masala chai always works as a pick me up drink in these cold gloomy days. The first times I tried Masala Chai I didn’t like it that much, they always included in the spice mix the only spice that I can say I really have problems with…The cloves. Since then I tried some different spice mixes, along with milk types and this recipe is by far my favourite one. Serves: 2 to 3 portions Ingredients: 1/2 liter of almond milk 200 ml of water 4 cinammon sticks 8 cardamom pods 3 star anise a small thumd size piece of ginger 2 bags of black tea (I used PG Tips) 1 tablespoon of honey Preparation: In a saucepan add the water, the cinnamon sticks, crushed cardamon pods, star …

Simple hummus with raw vegetables

Some weeks ago I found myself really craving a good hummus. And instead of going through the hard task of finding a restaurant that serves it as I like, I just decided to do it myself. It is a great idea to prepare in bigger quantities so you have a healthy snack ready to dig in right from the fridge. You can store it in the fridge up to one week. If you never tried to do your own hummus go for it, it is totally worth a bit of your time… Believe me. Ingredients: jar of canned chickpeas (215g) 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of Tahini paste 2 tablespoons of olive oil 2 tablespoons of lemon juice 4 tablespoons of water 1 small garlic clove 1 teaspoon of sweet paprika pinch of black pepper pinch of salt Preparation: If you like your hummus extra creamy start by pealing all the skins of the chickpeas. This  step is not mandatory if you are looking for the express version of hummus, it is the thing that will …

Roasted Figs with Goat Cheese

This summer at home we had a good year for figs and we have been picking a lot of them up. As great as it may be eating them as they are right from the tree, I decided to do something different with some of them. Here you have a simple and quick great starter for summer meals, all done with seasonal ingredients that usually grow together. My dog, Pipa, sure did look like she wanted to taste some. Ingredients: 8 black figs 100 g crumbled goat’s cheese handful of toasted almonds tablespoon of honey Preparation: Toast the almonds in the oven until golden (about 4 minutes in a 180º C oven). Cut a cross in the figs, open them and place them in a baking tray. Crumble the goat cheese and insert it in the center of the figs. Place the figs in the oven until the cheese is melted and slightly golden (about 10 minutes at 180º C oven). Remove them from the oven when ready and sprinkle the figs with the pieces …

Lemon and Cinnamon Iced Tea

All the best pizzarias in Lisbon usually serve a great house iced tea, this homemade iced tea it is usually done with lemon and cinnamon and I just love it. Maybe I’m missing Lisbon, maybe it’s the warm weather…but I really have been thinking about this cold tea for the past weeks. The reason why all great pizzarias in Lisbon are serving this iced tea still remains a mistery to me…I have never seen an homemade iced tea being served in a pizzarias in Italy and iced tea is not something that it is typical to serve in Portugal. I guess someone brought the concept from another country and the others just followed, considering the success of this drink in restaurants. I had already tried to get this recipe right one time before, but only today I was really happy with the result. So, here it is…great to help us get through these warm days. Quantity: Approximately 0.5 liters (serves 2 or 3 people) Ingredients: 1 bag of black tea (I used PG tips) 3 small …