Thursday, June 25, 2009

Delicious fresh wild mushrooms

Winter just started in this part of the world.
A couple of days ago we went to collect some pine cones for the fireplace.
Not only we found plenty of them but we were also very lucky and we found some wild mushrooms.
I believe they are Pine Mushrooms, Hongos de Pino locals called them; they were right under at the bottom of a pine tree. I had them at home for a couple of days, Google them over and over, but I was afraid to eat them. What if I’m wrong and they are poisonous?
Well…I guess they were not! I had them today and they tasted fantastic; it’s been 5 hours and I’m still alive (and hungry again).
We had a delicious lunch: Grilled meat and sausage (Salchicha Parrillera), green salad, sautéed mushrooms, roasted spicy peppers, cauliflower fritters and some Pita bread.

The cauliflower fritters was a recipe from Food and Wine.
The pita bread was a recipe from the King Arthur's cookbook; I’ve made this bread several times, it’s a yummy, easy, fool proof recipe.
The peppers I bought at the market and roasted them myself in the oven then peeled them and marinade them in olive oil with a whole garlic clove.
The mushrooms came out scrumptious. They smelled so good.

Sautéed wild mushrooms:

Fresh wild mushrooms, sliced
Olive oil
Whole garlic cloves
Worcestershire Sauce
Chopped parsley

Just warm up the oil, add the garlic cloves and don’t let them burn.
Add mushrooms, sauté for a couple of minutes and season with the Worcestershire sauce and parley.

We enjoy the meal in the terrace, it was little cold but such a nice day we just bundle up a bit.

It smelled so good we attracted some visitors.

Friday, May 1, 2009

The number one fish taco recipe

I have not been good at blogging this past month.
Actually I have not been good at anything.
I don’t know what I’m doing wrong.

This morning I woke up and it was kind of cold and cloudy. I made coffee, brought it back to bed, turn on my laptop and started catching up on Google Reader where I keep track of all my favorite blogs, I haven’t check them out in almost a month.
To my surprise I wasn’t that behind. As I start reading I notice that I’m not the only one
without energy or lack of inspiration. Hmmm…strange, what’s going on?
The two first blogs I read where Beck & Posh and Mishmash! , both going through something similar.
Somehow it made me feel that I’m not Coo- Coo and inspired me to get up, cook up a storm and post.
So here I am, with some delish and super home made fish tacos.

I started making homemade flour tortillas, that came out very tasty.

I went to the island’s central fish market and got some fresh fish. I took my camera with me, it is a great place to photograph, sadly I got completely camera shy, didn’t want to look like a tourist and did not take one picture. Oh well…I am not 100% there yet, but I feel much better.

I dusted the fish with flour, salt, pepper and some paprika and cooked it in olive oil. My kitchen smelled like the Mediterranean.

When it was done I deboned it and broke it into big chunks.

At the market I also got 3 different kind of peppers for the salsa. They looked pretty spicy but it is just looks, they are not.
I used all 3 plus a tomato and green onions to make the salsa.

To add heat I had my tacos with chipotle mayonnaise. I think I have a little addiction to chipotles.
It was definitely and acquire taste since I didn't like them that much the first time I tried them.

I assembled the tacos with some lettuce and cilantro.

Added quite a bit of lime juice.

Opened a super cold beer and...yummy!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Chilli con carne

Why is it that we always want what we don't have?
When I was in the US, I used to make a two hour drive trip to go to a small grocery store that carried Argentine food.
I would come back home with tons of tapas de empanadas, masa de tarta and what ever goodies I could find.
When I was in Argentina, I was searching through China Town all the oriental markets trying to find oyster sauce, fish sauce, red and green curry, sesame oil, etc...
Now, in Brazil, I find myself searching for Mexican food: tortillas, chipotles, jalapeños, tomatillos...
I almost threw a party yesterday after I found tortillas at the grocery store. I wasn't sure if I should buy them all and freeze them or just gamble that i will be lucky in the future and find them again.
Finally a voice inside me yelled: " Just enjoy the LOCAL food"
And I will, but to celebrate my find I made Chilli con Carne.
I got this recipe from the BBC Goof Food website.

1 tbsp oil
1 large onion
1 red pepper
2 garlic cloves , peeled
1 heaped tsp hot chilli powder (or 1 level tbsp if you only have mild)
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
500g lean minced beef
1 beef stock cube
400g can chopped tomatoes
½ tsp dried marjoram
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp tomato purée
410g can red kidney beans
soured cream and plain boiled long grain rice , to serve

Prepare your vegetables. Chop your onion into small dice, about 5mm square. The easiest way to do this is to cut the onion in half from root to tip, peel it and slice each half into thick matchsticks lengthways, not quite cutting all the way to the root end so they are still held together. Slice across the matchsticks into neat dice. Cut your pepper in half lengthways, remove stalk and wash the seeds away, then chop.
Start cooking. Put your pan on the hob over a medium heat. Add the oil and leave it for 1-2 minutes until hot (a little longer for an electric hob). Add the onions and cook, stirring fairly frequently, for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are soft, squidgy and slightly translucent.Tip in the garlic, red pepper, chilli, paprika and cumin. Give it a good stir, then leave it to cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Brown the mince. Turn the heat up a bit, add the meat to the pan and break it up with your spoon or spatula. The mix should sizzle a bit when you add the mince. Keep stirring and prodding for at least 5 minutes, until all the mince is in uniform, mince-sized lumps and there are no more pink bits. Make sure you keep the heat hot enough for the meat to fry and become brown, rather than just stew.

Making the sauce. Crumble your stock cube into 300ml/1⁄2 pint of hot water. Pour this into the pan with the mince mixture. Open the can of chopped tomatoes and add these as well. Tip in the marjoram and the sugar, if using (see tip left), and add a good shake of salt and pepper. Squirt in about 2 tbsp of tomato purée and stir the sauce well.
Simmer it gently. Bring the whole thing to the boil, give it a good stir and put a lid on the pan. Turn down the heat until it is gently bubbling and leave it for 20 minutes. You should check on the pan occasionally to stir it and make sure the sauce doesn't catch on the bottom of the pan or isn't drying out. If it is, add a couple of tablespoons of water and make sure that the heat really is low enough. After simmering gently, the saucy mince mixture should look thick, moist and juicy.
Bring on the beans. Drain and rinse the beans in a sieve and stir them into the chilli pot. Bring to the boil again, and gently bubble without the lid for another 10 minutes, adding a little more water if it looks too dry. Taste a bit of the chilli and season. It will probably take a lot more seasoning than you think. Now replace the lid, turn off the heat and leave your chilli to stand for 10 minutes before serving, and relax. Leaving your chilli to stand is really important as it allows the flavours to mingle and the meat.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


When I was a child, a few decades ago, there were some foods that really did not like.
Some of them where my mom’s favorites and I so wanted to please her that I would eat them any way, swallow them whole not to taste them, and tell her I love them.
One of those foods where mushrooms. I remember summers by the beach and my mother running out after a rain storm to see if there were any wild mushrooms around.
She could always find them and inevitably end up in an omelette.
At some point in my life, I have no idea when, I started liking mushrooms and now I really, really love them.
I while ago I found this recipe in the BBC Good Food web site and decided to give it a try. It turned out delicious.
I didn’t post it for a long time because I did not like the picture I took, but Ilva from Lucullian Delights, inspired me to share it any way. It is truly a nice recipe.

Pan-fried chicken in mushroom sauce:

2 tbsp sunflower oil
6 large, free-range chicken legs , halved at the joint so you have 6 thighs and 6 drumsticks
700ml/1¼ pts chicken stock
50g butter
1 onion , finely diced
400g mixed wild mushrooms (about a pound)
300ml/½ pt dry white wine
284ml pot double cream (1 1/4 cup)

Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Fry the thighs for 8-10 mins, skin side only, until golden brown, then transfer to a casserole dish. Fry the drumsticks for about 5 mins each side and add them to the thighs.
Pour the stock over the chicken legs in the casserole. There should be enough stock to just cover the chicken, if not add a little water. Bring stock to the boil and cover, leaving lid slightly ajar. Cook at just below simmering point for 30-35 mins until chicken is cooked.
While chicken is simmering, drain oil from the pan. Heat the butter in pan and add onion. Sweat onion for 5 mins until soft, but not coloured. Turn up the heat, add the mushrooms, then fry for 3 mins until they soften and start to smell wonderful. Pour over the white wine, raise the heat to maximum and boil rapidly for 6-8 mins until reduced by two-thirds. Turn off the heat and leave until chicken has cooked. Once chicken legs are cooked, strain stock into pan with the onion, mushrooms and white wine, bring back to the boil and reduce again by two-thirds until it is thick and syrupy. Pour in double cream,
bring it to the boil, season if you want, then pour it over chicken. Heat chicken through in the sauce for 2-3 mins then turn off the heat and leave for a few mins before serving. This is such an aromatic and beautiful looking dish you should serve it straight from the casserole with the lid on.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Here in Brazil it is very common to have restaurants that sell food by the pound (kilo actually).
It is a buffet, but instead of eating “All you can eat style”, you help your self to what ever you want and then they weight your plate. Yes, ½ a pound of mashed potatoes has the same price as ½ a pound of tenderloin. I’m sure it works because they are very popular.
My favorite so far are two restaurants, one called Central and a Sushi bar called POKURO.

Central has been in business for years. The have a big and exquisite food selection, displayed in a beautiful way. Very good service and reasonable priced.
Pokuro is quite new; I think they have been open for 2 or 3 months only.
The sushi is delicious. The rolls are small, something that I love; you can just pop them in your mouth.

They have great variety and a lot of unusual combinations, such as the dessert pieces with strawberries and chocolate.
I wasn’t able to find a webpage for any of the two restaurants. If you do let me know, I would like to add the links.

Friday, January 9, 2009


I don’t even know what happened in December 08, in between traveling and holidays I’ve lost the entire month.
Now things are back to normal ( well…my normal might not be that normal) and I’m happily catching up with life.
I received the New Year in South America and I have to admit I really love the feeling of starting the year during summer time.
What I liked the most was the way people wished you a happy new year; you feel that they really meant it. While they hold you they look at you in the eyes and smiling they wish you love and prosperity, health, good luck and many wonderful things.
It really made me think, I usually just say “Happy New Year”. Next year I will honestly customize my wishes. Actually, why wait until next year?
To all of you, from the bottom of my heart I really wish this would be the year that you find peace and harmony.
I wish you will feel loved.
I wish you will laugh every day.
I wish you could see the people you love often.
I wish you health.
I wish you will feel young and beautiful.
I wish you will have time to play, time to look around and admire.
I wish you will have no regrets.

Happy 2009

I would love to share this delicious and simple Omelette recipe I’ve got from Recipezaar, one of my favorites sites.
Caramelized Onion & Goats Cheese Omelette:

1 red onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon butter, preferably unsalted
4 eggs
40 g goat cheese
1 pinch rosemary
1 pinch sage
1 pinch oregano
1 pinch marjoram
1 pinch thyme
Salt to taste
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
Rocket or baby spinach leaves or salad greens, 2 handfuls
1/2 tablespoon olive oil (or 1/4 tablespoon olive oil and 1/4 tablespoon fresh lemon juice) 1 tablespoon lemon zest

Melt the butter in a (preferably non-stick) pan and sauté the onion and garlic until they have softened and golden browned; remove from the pan. If you want to use the same pan, rinse or wash it as necessary and wipe it clean with kitchen towel.
Whisk the eggs lightly and pour into a (preferably non-stick) pan; when the base of the omelette is beginning to set, add the cheese, onions and garlic, your choice of herbs and salt and pepper to taste.Cook the top of the omelette under a grill; slide the omelette onto the serving plates and serve immediately with your choice of salad greens drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with lemon zest.