Month: July 2014

Layoffs? Home-Made Comfort Food

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Comfort Food

This week I have heard more about layoffs than what I wanted, so I had to find a way to compensate for my stressful thoughts with some comfort food. Today, Friday, end of the week, after all the stress around me, I had to resort to my comfort food king and queen. King spaghetti and Queen Eggs. I mixed them together, it all came out perfectly and in a heavenly way too ( angels did come to my rescue. ) I felt all better after making this recipe and after confirming that it’s not just the best comfort food but also the best alienating agent for me. I have been through lay offs once and some close friends have been through it twice. Other friends are anxious, threatened with the fear of being hit again. Oh.. We live in troubled economic, confusing times!

“Dedicated to all those who at some point in their lives lost their jobs or to any family who has lived through it, including mine. “

I hope my recipe helps! 🙂

Recipe

Ingredients: 1 Package of Spaghetti, 1 egg per person, 1 TBSP salt , 1 TBSP canola oil, parmesan cheese.

1. Cook spaghetti per package instructions.

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2. Add butter or margarine to a pan on medium heat. When the butter has melted, add an egg and a serving of cooked spaghetti.

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3. Mix well and witness magic happening! 🙂

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Serve and enjoy!

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If you have ever been fired from any job, remember… Keep your head high, it’s not about you or I. We are just great! Believe it and carry on doing great things.. 🙂

 

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Mahi Mahi and Shrimp in Coconut Sauce

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Mahi Mahi and Shrimp in Coconut Sauce

I felt compelled to prepare this delicious fish stew. I had some fresh fish and shrimp waiting for me to work some magic on them. This dish reminds me of Cartagena, my home town, as the base of the flavor is the coconut milk. I made it even more Colombian by adding fried plantain as a side. It is heavenly! I hope you agree with me.

Recipe ( Serves 3 Adults )

2 portions of Mahi Mahi (red snapper is also a great alternative for this dish); 10-12 raw shrimp without shell, tail and deveined; 1 can of coconut milk, 2 bay leaves, 1/2  tsp of saffron strands; 1 tsp cayenne pepper, 1 tsp oregano, 1 TBSP white sugar, 1 TBSP salt.

 1. Start by sauteing the fish in a hot pan with 1 TBSP of canola oil. Once it’s cooked on both sides, add 1/2 TBSP salt and take the pieces out from the pan and set aside.

2. Repeat step 1 for the shrimp.

3. Add the coconut milk to the pan making sure to scrape the base of the pan to pick up the fish and shrimp flavors and mix them with the coconut milk. Add the shrimp and the fish to the sauce.

4. Season at this point with saffron, the other 1/2 TBSP salt, cayenne pepper, oregano and add the 2 bay leaves. Let it continue to cook on medium heat. Once the liquid starts to boil, lower the heat and let it continue to simmer for 10 more minutes.

Serving suggestions:

South American and Caribbean cooking wouldn’t have this without a delicious side of white rice and plantains. Other sides: steamed broccoli and cauliflower, mashed potatoes.

Note: I did not use fish stock in this dish as it is really not needed, so it is optional. If you start with fresh ingredients, the dish will reach outstanding levels of flavors and will taste absolutely delicious! I do recommend adding some extra fresh seafood (fried calamari on top, or clams to cook in the broth) for more heartiness.

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Fish stew in progress.

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Fish Stew in a Delicious Coconut Broth

I am on a permanent diet, so I served a light portion without the broth. If you are not on a diet, then the best way to serve this dish is in a bowl with some liquid at the bottom. 🙂

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Mahi Mahi and Shrimp

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Mahi Mahi and Shrimp with Plantains, Broccoli and Califlower

Update on my Apple Tree

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Apples

The squirrels have not gotten to them. My apples are growing! This picture is from last weekend. Still healthy, still bearing fruit, protected by mother nature, my apple tree looks lovely, strong. As summer continues, showers and sun are doing their job, and I am certainly hoping for apples in the Fall. 🙂

Green Lentil Pancakes with Coconut Honey

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Lentil Pancakes topped with coconut honey and humus. Side by side with: White rice and beef.

Green Lentil Pancakes

.. Delicious! This is Vinaya’s recipe. Vinaya and I have known each other for close to 15 years, she’s seen my kids being born and grow. One day she showed up with this delicious dish and I had to ask for the recipe. So instead of writing the recipe, she got me a batter of the green lentils mix she had made at home for me. Speechless, and full of joy, I could not help but try this recipe myself and add my original coconut honey recipe!  Here it is..

Ingredients

1 cup of green lentils soaked in water overnight, 1 tsp salt, 1 TBSP ginger and green chiles (optional.)

Remove water reserving only 1/4 cup of the liquid, Grind the lentils coarsely with the 1/4 cup of water. Mixture should look like this:

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Green Lentil Pancake Batter

Set your grill ready with medium heat and 1 TBSP of oil. Add one spoonful of batter or more, depending on your preference. (I was feeding my kids, so 1 TBSP of batter worked great.)

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Once ready to serve you may top them with humus (picture here shows red chili humus.)

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We also had coconut honey (see recipe below) as optional if you prefer a sweet topping. 🙂

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Coconut Honey

Ingredients

1 can coconut milk; 2 TBSP cornstarch; 1-1/2 cups light corn syrup; 1/2 cup white sugar; pinch of salt.

In a small saucepan, at medium heat, whisk the coconut milk with the cornstarch until cornstarch dissolves. Pour in the rest of the ingredients and let it boil while stirring frequently so mix does not stick to the bottom of the pan.