Tag Archives: Gluten Free

Virgin Coconut Mojito Popsicles

virgin coconut mojito popsicles

There’s a reason why mojitos are the perfect summer drink. Multiple reasons, actually.

Plenty of ice.
Tingly, fizzy soda bubbles.
The smell of freshly muddled spearmint
The zing of lime

The only way to make a mojito even more refreshing? Turn it into a popsicle. Read More…

Harissa Turkey Chili

Harissa Turkey Chili

Is harissa the next sriracha?

It seems many blogs and food publications are ready to anoint the next big thing when it comes to hot sauces and spice flavors.  Sriracha’s supremacy has been challenged by condiments from all over the world.  Harissa – a north African blend of peppers and spices – has been floating around for a few years now as a contender.  What sets harissa apart from other pepper blends is that it includes a hint of mint. It doesn’t cut the heat, nor overpowers it.  I wish I had a better way to describe how the flavors complement each other.   In addition to hot red peppers and mint, harissa contains caraway, garlic, cumin, and coriander. Read More…

Plantain Spiders – Arañitas de Platano

plantain spiders arañitas de platano

Food is a feast for the senses.  The first point of attraction is the way a dish looks and how it is presented.  Smell wafts through the nose.  Fingers and mouth take on texture and temperature.  Before the taste buds can have their way, it all explodes with a deafening CRUNCH.

I love plantain spiders – aka. arañitas de platano.  They are bites that truly engage all five senses.  Eating them is a loud experience.  That crunch, the hit of salt, the unmistakable smell of fried plantain. Read More…

French Fridays with Dorie: Leek and Potato Soup

Leek and Potato Soup Dorie Greenspan

While the rest of the Doristas are showing today’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe, Jerusalem artichoke soup with parsley coulis, I’m going playing catch-up with a classic leek and potato soup.  The group prepared this soup back in December of 2010.  Given the similarities between potatoes and sunchokes, I figured this throwback recipe would fit in nicely with the rest of the group’s soups.

Leek and potato soup is also known as potage Parmentier, after Antoine-Augustin Parmentier.  Parmentier was a French agronomist and scientist that championed for the use of potatoes in the French diet after subsisting on them as a POW in Prussia.  It’s hard to imagine French cuisine without potato gratins, mashed potatoes, and frites. Read More…

French Fridays with Dorie: Vanilla Vegetable Salad

Vanilla Vegetable Salad Dorie Greenspan

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Harissa Red Pepper Dip

Harissa Red Pepper Dip

Harissa is a Tunisian pepper paste or condiment that is used to season meats and vegetables or to bump up the flavor in soups and stews.    Although it is traditionally found and can be made at home in paste form, dry blends have been popping up in specialty grocery stress.  The dry blend I have on hand has paprika, caraway, chili pepper, cayenne pepper, coriander, cumin, garlic, and peppermint.  The jar suggests mixing it with oil to create a paste closer to the traditional preparation.  I’ve been using it lately as as substitute for Cajun seasoning, especially for blackening fish.  The fresher herbs give such a nice contrast to the fiery peppers.  Harissa is often combined with lemon, another essential ingredient in North African cuisine. Read More…

Orange Cinnamon Oatmeal

Orange Cinnamon Oatmeal

Roll call: Sweets that dwelled together in my refrigerator during the last week of the year.

  • Chocolate/mint cupcakes
  • Mallorca bread pudding
  • My sister’s INSANE amaretto cheese flan
  • Arroz con dulce
  • Banana cake made out of overripe banana guilt
  • A big bottle of Tita’s coquito
  • Coquito popsicles (Failed experiment, I’m sorry to report.  Need higher creme anglaise to coquito proportion)

By the time 2014 rolled in, there are only two of these list left over.  But you can imagine I’m going through quite the hangover.  Sugar hangover.  And with four more days of Puerto Rican Christmas indulgences to go, I’m trying my best to keep a reduced stash of homemade treats around. Read More…

Pumpkin Stuffed with Beans and Ham (Habichuelas Guisadas en Calabaza)

 Pumpkin Stuffed with Beans and Ham

It’s fall, aka pumpkin season!  I had so much fun a few years ago when I made the Pumpkin Stuffed with Cosas Ricas, and wanted to reinvent that dish, but with Puerto Rican flavors.  Rice and beans are staples in the island, and since beans are often stewed with pieces of pumpkin, I thought of flipping the equation: beans cooked inside a pumpkin. The pumpkin imparts not only a little sweetness, but also adds body to the sauce or caldito.  I am not the biggest fan of beans, but E is and I hadn’t made any since we came back from our trip to Seattle.  The timing was perfect for putting together this pumpkin stuffed with beans and ham.

Local inspiration at the farmers’ market

Today I was lucky  to find a gorgeous pumpkin at the farmers’ market at la Placita Roosevelt.  Coming in at six pounds, it was the perfect size to stuff and roast inside my five-quart Dutch oven. This type of pumpkin is called “taína dorada” (golden taína – native Puerto Rican).  `Taina Dorada’ is a relatively new variety of pumpkin bred to produce a tastier, smaller fruit.  Read More…

Cauliflower-White Bean Mash

mashed cauliflower and white beans

I need time savers for practically everything in my life right now.  At work, I rely on magic pivot tables, having two monitors to reduce going back and forth between applications, and many reports that arrive straight to my inbox.  For the blog, I use a dictation application and try to talk my way into posts while stuck in traffic.  In the kitchen, I keep canned beans, seafood, and tomatoes in the pantry and frozen vegetables in the freezer.  There’s almost always something thawing in the refrigerator while I’m out in the office.  I have been hearing about more things that can be precooked and stored in the refrigerator like potatoes and grains.  This mashed cauliflower and white beans recipe came out one of those ‘it’s 8pm – what do I do?” moments.  It was inspired by more elaborate recipes that combine these two ingredients.

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French Fridays with Dorie: Salade Niçoise

Salade Niçoise

There’s a lesson, as usual, in today’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe, salade Niçoise.

You don’t mess with classics.
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French Fridays with Dorie: Tuna Packed Piquillo Peppers

Tuna Packed Piquillo Peppers

Tuna fish sandwiches are the ultimate resuelve (literally, problem solver) meal.  Tuna-packed piquillo peppers have turned now into the ultimate resuelve lunch, snack, appetizer.  Pantry friendly ingredients? Check.  Sweet, salty, briny flavors?  Yes please!  A quickly assembled tuna salad with shallots, capers, olives and herbs is the perfect contrast to the sweet little peppers.  Move over, jalapeño poppers!
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French Fridays with Dorie: Veal Chops with Rosemary Butter

Veal Chops with Rosemary Butter

A few years ago, I was over at my friend B’s house.  We were talking, silly girls that we are sometimes, about diets and supermodels.  B shared these personal maxims she had arrived to after finishing a book about the reality of extreme dieting:

  • The chemicals in diet soda will embalm you while alive
  • You do not eat veal or other baby animals.

Her words came back to haunt me last Sunday when I prepared this week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe, Veal Chops with Rosemary Butter. Read More…

Catching Up with Dorie: Summer Vegetables

Palomino Island

Palomino Island, off the coast of Fajardo, Puerto Rico

And I present you my version of floating islands for this weekend!  ¡Hola Palomino!
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French Fridays with Dorie: Socca from Vieux Nice

Socca from Vieux Nice

Socca!

That’s such a fun word to say out loud.  Did you know that soca (with one c) is also the name of a music genre from the Anglo/French Caribbean?  It’s not the “Dieter”/dieter conondrum from tartine week, but another fun coincidence.

Unlike most of my fellow Doristas, I had seen socca before under its Argentinean moniker, faína.  Almost exactly six years ago, Eduardo and I were honeymooning in Argentina.  After four straight days of wonderful multi-course meals in Mendoza, one of the main wine growing areas, we arrived into Buenos Aires looking for something… simple.  Our first meal in the city was pizza and a cold Quilmes at a very good chain restaurant a couple of blocks from our Palermo Soho hotel.  All through the pizzeria there were signs with the different menu items and family style combinations. Most of these included the faína.  Admittedly, we were not curious enough to try it but made sure to ask about it later.  Chickpea flatbread… interesting concept.

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Boquerones (Marinated smelt)

Boquerones Marinated Smelt

My first trip to Spain was in 2005.   My family, including then-boyfriend E, traveled across el charco (the pond) to take a cruise around the Mediterranean.  We spent the days leading to and after the cruise in Barcelona and Madrid.  My sister had already lived in Spain for a summer, so she was well versed in the art of enjoying cañas (small draft beers) and tapas.  I tasted my first boquerones in vinegar marinated white anchovies, in Barcelona  under her tutelage.  Did she create a monster!  As soon as we made it back to the ship from the shore excursions, Eduardo and I would make a beeline to the tapas buffet and load up our plates with tasty marinated vegetables and ridiculous amounts of boquerones.  When we visit the Spanish/Cuban panaderías in the island, we sometimes order some.  They are definitely a treat: an order usually costs at least $1.00 per little fish.  I know now why! Read More…

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