Brussels sprouts are a great source of vitamin C, and good with potassium and fiber.
I enjoy them in many different forms and this side dish with spicy, hot Spanish salami, salchichon, in the oven with brussels sprouts tossed in olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper still makes my mouth water, they were just that good.
I served them with a herb crusted pork loin that was oven roasted on top of kale, shredded beetroot, and carrots. I tossed the kale mixture with olive oil and salt and pepper before setting them on the roasting pan.
The kale mixture gave a robust and deeper flavor to the pork, creating a flavorful combination with the herb mix I rubbed into the pork. The herb mixture had dried thyme, sage, oregano, salt and pepper with just a hint of rosemary all mixed in olive oil.
I set the brussels sprouts and the pork with kale mix into the oven next to each other, as they both require 30-40 minutes in 170C / 350F oven.
A great meal with tasty zest and aroma. I hope you'll enjoy it! Till next time
As requested at the Instagram, the rhubarb strawberry pie is here. There are as many recipes for this delight as there are bakers out there, but this one I like because it has a great balance of sweet from the dough and sour from the rhubarb.
I hope you enjoy this and have a very happy, sunny, summer Sunday. And if you happen to celebrate a Father's Day today, have a sweet one!
The more I use barley instead of pasta or rice, the more I like it. I often cook it in a vegetable broth to add to its taste. It has impressive nutritional benefits -
Half a cup of hulled barley contains:
They have been found to lower insulin resistance and blood cholesterol levels, thereby lowering the risk of obesity as well as providing an immunity boost.
*Source: Medical News Today*
I hope you enjoy these meal ideas and inspiration.
Till next time
Rhubarb is one of those foods that takes me immediately back in time to the younger years, in a different country, with my family. It grew in the garden of my parents' summer place and was a stable ingredient during the childhood summers.
Many rhubarb pies and crisps have been eaten with vanilla sauce, but I think my favorite is still the strawberry rhubarb chilled soup.
To have oatmeal cookies with rhubarb soup is a must for me. I also like the soup to be on a runny side, instead of the pudding consistency that some enjoy.
I eat it as it is, I eat it with yogurt, with müesli, with ice cream, with panna cotta...
I hope you enjoy it! Till next time
June has arrived with the sunny days and summer fun.
One of my favorite side dishes during the season is the Fresh Potato Salad.
You can make as many different variations of it as you can imagine, and each time it is delicious and the colors on the plate just lovely!
This time I had a jalapeño salsa chicken breasts with it. The salsa was hot and went well with a salad on the side. An easy and fast mean to make and serve during the season. I baked the chicken in the oven, seasoned with salt and pepper and the salsa on the top.
The leftovers from the chicken were tasty the day after on the side of a green salad, eaten cold or heated up, your choice.
One of my favorite treats during the summer and grill season are the Brie and herbs filled pork file slices or chicken breasts.
It does not take much, but the taste is so so good.
You can either grill them carefully on a low burning heat so the bacon doesn't catch on fire, or you can bake them in the oven if you feel more comfortable with it or simply don't have the possibility to grill.
I took the medium thick pork loin slice, it was about 2 cm thick or nearly an inch, and with a sharp-ended knife carefully opened it up like a pita bread. Not cutting all the way through, but creating a pocket.
Into that pocket, I put a slice of Brie and thyme. Then closed the pocket and wrapped the whole thing neatly with bacon. I used two slices of bacon per one slice of pork loin.
When either baking them or grilling them, make sure the meat is done all the way. To avoid burning the bacon in the process, lower temperatures are recommended.
Altogether, a fantastic meal time, sure to please the most. And when you cut open the pork, and the melted Brie and the herbs come visible, it is sure to whet the appetite even more.
I hope you enjoy it. Till next time
Oh, it is the season, and I love it! If you follow Books & Spoons on Instagram you might have gotten that idea already.
I'm a big fan of asparagus, to the point that my morning routine these days includes a smoothie that is made with asparagus, kale, and pineapple juice. I know, what, right?! But it is actually really good, and really good for you as well.
The thickness of the stem tells you the sex of the plant, with the thicker stems coming from the female plants. Asparagus is the only vegetable that has distinct male and female version. The thicker stalks can be woody, but it is really easy to snap the woody part away. Just take the stem in your hands and gently bend it, and the woody part will break off. If you peel the asparagus it will poach much faster, but the very thin male stems don't usually require peeling.
A classic way to serve asparagus is to wrap it in Parma ham and bake/grill them so that the ham is crispy, yet the asparagus still has a little crunch to it. In my oven, it was just about 20 minutes, but that old faithful is not the most efficient in the markets.
It can be served as an appetizer as it is, with the Parma ham around it. Or you can build a full meal out of it with a green salad and fruit served with it, like I did. It was a perfect meal on one of those rare, hot spring days up here north. With a smaller portion size, you can make that into a starter, too.
The ham is salty, so I didn't add any more salt to the asparagus. Little freshly ground pepper on top of the salad and it should be just lovely.
I hope you are enjoying the season. Till next time
I am a big fan of mango as well as salmon, and to put them together with some kick in the sauce, generated a meal that I called dangerously delicious because one (read: me) ended up eating more than was planned.
But if you are lucky enough to have leftovers from this meal, you can put them together, cold, for the next day's lunch, and have a delicious and tasty meal ready to eat as it is.
After putting salt and pepper on the salmon slices, I smother them with the hot mango salsa, tossed few red peppers on top of the salsa, and set in the oven with the potatoes.
The goal with the size of the potatoes is that they are done at the same time as the fish, that took in my oven about 30 minutes.
If you don't want to prepare the mango salsa yourself, most well-stocked grocery stores sell a ready made salsa. Just make sure it is not milk product based (sour cream), and the ingredients in it tolerate baking (no cucumbers in it, for example). If using a ready made salsa, this meal is easy to prepare in just minutes time before setting it in the oven for about 30 minutes.
Like said, it was a delightful meal, with lots of flavors and appetizing colors. A great idea to prepare for your mom - if your country is celebrating Mother's Day this weekend!
I hope you enjoy it. Till next time
The sun is out, it is May, official spring is here and the grilling season has kicked on - Life is good today.
I love a good BBQ, and with a little coleslaw on the side - on top of it - and nothing's better!
To mix things up, to try something new, different, and colorful I have added beetroot into my coleslaw. Yes, the coleslaw will be a bit different color than you might be used to, red, pink, depending on how juicy your beetroot is. But the taste and texture make a pink coleslaw worth it. Try it, you might be surprised!
I am not a big fan of mayonnaise, it just not for me. So I use very little of it in my recipe, sometimes just sour cream. You can add to this recipe twice as much mayo as I have listed if you are a fan.
The picture is taken with turkey BBQ, I am loving the availability of turkey meat around the year in my area. It is a lean protein that I enjoy the taste of, and it is reasonably priced. Also, the slaw in the pictures doesn't have the mayo-sourcream mixed into it yet, for visual effects. Haha, maybe I should make a blog post about food photography and the challenges of it!
I hope you are enjoying the spring sun and getting the grills out and cleaned, or stacking on disposable one-use grills if living in the city!
Till next time
I have been on a cauliflower kick this winter and spring, you might have noticed it. I love the taste, it is versatile to use, and the preparations often take just a little time. What could be better, huh?!
This mashed cauliflower with garlic and coconut milk had such a smooth taste and texture. A dash of cardamom at the top of the mash gave it the 'last touch'.
I paired it with carrots that I dusted with cinnamon, and a slice of pork loin heavily dusted with sea salt, black pepper, and paprika powder. It was a delicious meal that was prepared within 30 minutes.
I have used the mashed cauliflowers also a side of other white meats and fish, and I believe it could go greatly with beef as well.
I hope you enjoy it and have a great weekend!
Till next time
I'm a chef and a pastry chef, and I love food. Preparing a meal for someone is a show of love; for your craft, for the ingredients, and for the ones eating.