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Category: summer

Ephemeral Time {Calves Liver à la Bordelais + Avocado and Radish Salad}

“This is the first time I’ve known what time it was…” Bree was ignoring both Mrs. Bug’s raptures and the [astrolobe] in her hands. I saw her meet Roger’s eyes, and smile – and after a moment, his own lopsided smile in return. How long had it been for him?

Everyone was squinting up at the setting sun, waving clouds of gnats from their eyes and discussing when they had last known the time. How very odd, I thought, with some amusement. Why this preoccupation with measuring time? And yet, I had it, too.

I laid my hand on [Jamie’s], where it rested on the box [of the astrolobe]. His skin was warm with work and the heat of the day, and he smelt of clean sweat. The hairs on his forearm shone red and gold in the sun, and I understood very well just then, why it is that men measure time. 

They wish to fix a moment, in the vain hope that so doing will keep it from departing.” ~ From The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon

Time is a precious, ephemeral thing. When you’re in the midst of something, it seems like it will last forever, you have time to say things, do things, and leave things for tomorrow, mañana, mañana…. But when time goes by, you see how quickly it evaporated before your eyes, as if it never existed. It never was.

When we arrived in Connecticut last June, the days were still warm and the evenings long, boat rides were still possible and enjoying the kaleidoscope of purples, reds, oranges, and blues of the setting sun brought memories of our times shared in the past when we all lived here. We had the whole world ahead of us, many dreams and hopes (and possibly some apprehensions). Slowly, but surely Fall inched upon us with its foliage exploding in all possible hues of reds, yellows, oranges and greens. A sight to behold with one’s eyes at least once in life, as nature surpasses all conceivable dreams.

Autumn gave way to the bareness of Winter, that would this year prove to be a long and bitter one, literally and metaphorically. Branches now serving as the framework to nature’s delicate and perfect snow and ice sculptures…Winter seemed endless this year. It was the coldest the North East has experienced in over 30 years. That last winter that all the natives over a certain age can recall and tell you about. They describe in detail how they used to walk across the Mystic River and how cold and raw it was.

And then as the snow reluctantly melted away and we approached the equinox of Spring, time fell silent and still. But only for a moment. A fleeting moment. But a definitive moment it was. Soon we could see patches of grass again, the daffodils timidly peeked up through the ground, the deer finally ventured out on the marshes, and a fox or two skirted by our front porch… everything was coming back to life. Nature’s annual renewal.

The bright yellow flowers of the forsythia came and went so quickly it seemed like a reverie, and the pink blossoms of the magnolias exploded one day and then all of a sudden the ground was covered in a blanket of pink. We are now coming back full circle to azure skies, calm seas, lazy afternoons and welcomed breezes… Summer is almost upon us. But as I write this, time is flying by. It’s slipping away…Where has the past year gone? Have I really spent almost twelve months in Connecticut?

All things must come to an end, and soon I will be departing for Europe to resolve my divorce and soon my father will return home as well. We won’t be leaving as we came. And my family staying here won’t remain as they were. We’ve changed forever, although nature will remind us with the seasons that change is inevitable. Only time will tell us what the future holds for us all. It’s been a tough year behind us, filled with a great, irreparable loss whose emptiness will last until the end of time, and yet we have also been afforded the time to be together as a family again, my father, my late mother, my brother, my sister-in-law, and my two lovely nieces and me. To enjoy each other’s company. Share tears, smiles and laughter. To give each other warm hugs that melt the heart. To cook and eat together. To be one.

It may be a long time before we have the chance to be one again. We will see each other separately I know. And technology will keep us connected even in the distance, even as many things will never be as they were. New times are ahead of us. And with hope and new illusions and a prospect of happiness or at least of peace, we go forward, holding on to time.

All the years I was living in Germany and later the two years in London, we travelled to Spain by car and traversed France from corner to corner, sometimes zigzagging, more often than not though in a straight line. I kept insisting we stop, take detours to see the historical towns and castles, but only a couple of times did we have the time. We were mostly on a schedule to get there quickly, squeese out as much time as possible being in the warm sun of Southern Spain, and then make our way back.

We did however, always make time to eat. And yet, with all those lunches and dinners (breakfasts don’t count for this dish), not once did I try calves liver à la Bordelais. Not once! That’s a very strange occurrence for me because whenever I’m travelling or in a new place, one of my first goal is to eat as much of the local cuisine as possible. My other goal is to see and experience as much as I can fit in within the limited time. I tend to exhaust every minute. My motto is that I never know when I’ll be back, and under such a premise, I cannot and will not waste time.

I discovered this recipe in Mimi Thorrison’s A Kitchen in France, A Year of Cooking in My Farmhouse. Although I marked a number of recipes and read the book front to back in one evening, I’ve only made this dish, as I’ve not made the time to concentrate on others. I’ve made it now a number of times, changing things here and there and finally adapting it my way. My beautiful mom loved it the first time I made it for her; and my father and I have enjoyed it in the various adaptations I’ve experimented with. This last one, we both find the best. It’s less buttery and lighter.

It’s hard to source a good quality calves liver where we have been living. I find that essential and would suggest procuring organic, pasture-raised from your local butcher to get the full benefits of eating offal. And the type of butter is also important. I love Kerrygold salted (I could eat it with a spoon!).

The avocado-radish salad I put together on a whim because the radishes were so pretty and the avocado perfectly ripe. Add whatever toppings you like. I only used olive oil, lemon juice and salt and some pepper on the plate, as my father likes to keep things simple.

I hope you enjoy! Salud!

Calves Liver à la Bordelais

Ingredients, serves 2

2 filets of calves liver
4 shallots
2 garlic cloves
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons extra virgen olive oil, plus some extra
2-4 slices of prosciutto
1/2 cup white wine
coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper
arrowroot flower for dusting

Method

Rinse the calves liver filets and pat dry with a paper towel. Salt and pepper on one side and set aside.

Peel and julienne the shallots and the garlic. In a medium sized skillet, add 2 tablespoons of butter and the olive oil. Over medium heat, melt the butter and add the shallots and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, about 8-10 minutes until the shallots are golden and tender. Add the white wine and reduce, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add 1 tablespoon of butter and stir well. Set aside, covered to keep warm.

In another skillet, add a drizzle of olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add the prosciutto slices and cook, about 1 minute, turning over once. Remove from skillet and place on a plate.

Dust the calves liver filets with some arrowroot powder. And in the same skillet used for the prosciutto, add another drizzle of olive oil. Place the liver filets in the skillet and cook, about 3 minutes on each side.

To serve: place the liver filet on the plate, spoon some of the shallot sauce over each filet, and top with a slice or two of prosciutto. Garnish with parsley if desired.

Avocado + Radish Salad

Ingredients, serves 2

1 ripe avocado
1 radish
sea salt, freshly ground pepper
lemon juice
extra virgen olive oil

Method

Peel and slice the avocado. With a mandolin, slice the radish very thinly. Place the avocado on the serving plate and top with the radish. Drizzle some olive oil and lemon juice over top. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Serve.

Fish A-Flying {Halibut en Papillote, Fennel Mashed Potatoes, + Fennel Salad with Roasted Pine Nuts and Mustard-Oil Dressing}

Years ago, I was bitten by a flounder. It’s one of those stories that one can retell with a certain amount of humour and romanticise about, like we do with most of our myopic views of past events. I was working in the Education Department at the Mystic Aquarium and was asked to cover for one of the instructors on vacation. Part of the duties included feeding the fish and various other animals.

In the main education room, which was also used for birthday parties and special catered events, we had a large “touch and feel” tank with various crustaceans, some bivalves and a flounder or two, if I remember correctly.

Anyhow, I was feeding Mr. Flounder a plump and juicy shrimp placed on the tip of a long stainless steel stick whose purpose was to afford me a distance from Mr. Flounder’s teeth. Piece of cake I thought. What could possibly go wrong? Well, a lot it would seem. Don’t ever be fooled by an innocent and funny-looking fish I tell you, particularly one with two eyes on top. Mr. Flounder decided to forego the shrimp, jump out of the water and lunge himself towards me, taking with him a piece of the skin of my hand in the process. Needless to say, I was quite startled. Once I recovered my composure and Mr. Flounder had safely plopped back in the tank, I realised my ego was also slightly bruised. Who manages to get bitten by a fish, in an aquarium no less? My hand did sting a little and because it was a work-related incident, I had to report it and required a tetanus shot. But it’s a tale that got me a bunch of auntie-brownie points with my nieces back then – they thought their tita was just the coolest thing. Nowadays, they prefer to make fun of the incident and I get teased about it every now and then.

My nieces, one of them has already graduated university and the other is out of school for the Summer, work during the boating season, which runs from some weeks ago to sometime in the early Fall. They are extremely busy and finding time to get together and do things is not easy. But a week or so ago, my eldest niece called me and we spontaneously went out for lunch. I think unplanned outings are always the best. It was a miserable windy day with rain drizzling since the early morning and a thick fog that creeped in rather quickly and lingered way into the evening. But we still thought that venturing downtown Mystic was warranted instead of staying home. Mystic has a healthy population all year round, but it is in the Spring and Summer when it flourishes overflows with tourists and New Yorkers who own Summer homes in the area.

Yet the day we went out was still rather early in the season, so we were a little surprised to see that our first choice was closed for a private event and that the other choice nearby had a line of people waiting to get in. Not wanting to walk too far in the inclement conditions, we ended up at Anthony J’s. It’s a cosy little restaurant in a pretty wooden building parallel to the Mystic River. I had been there before, years ago and always liked the atmosphere. I’m not sure if it’s the same owner or not, but the food the other day was just as delicious as I remember. So in the end, as spontaneous things usually go, the end result exceeded our expectations.

We were seated at the far end of the restaurant, along the large stone wall, from where I could see part of the kitchen and the chef (who by the way was dressed in a rather unique outfit comprised of a white chef shirt and tomato-print trousers complemented by a tomato-print bandana). The warm ambience, the friendly waitstaff, and the elegant, yet simple dishes made with fresh, seasonal food reminded me of many places one finds in Ireland. New England is like that. Sometimes I don’t even feel like I’m in the United States. The buildings are old, some from the 1600s, 1700s and 1800s, mostly made of stone and wood with a quaint charm. And it also has similar weather and lots of lush verdant fields to match.

Anyhow, we enjoyed a lovely time together, a decent conversation although we were both tired and a delectable meal. I had a halibut filet with a Thai-style sauce over mashed potatoes and we shared a fennel, prosciutto and parmesan salad.

The following day when I was thinking about what to make for lunch (ironically I had put out the halibut to defrost the day we went out), I basically replicated my lunch with the ingredients I had on hand instead.

Halibut is a meaty, white fish. It’s the largest flatfish and the flesh is juicy and needs very little condiment to taste beautifully. I generally don’t like to put too much seasoning on fish, as I prefer to let the flavours work on their own. The orange-coconut amino sauce with scallions and tomatoes is full of taste yet is delicate and not over-bearing. And the mashed potatoes with a hint of fennel add a nice contrast to the fish. As I endeavour to always include more than one vegetable in a meal, I served the halibut and mashed potatoes with some steamed rainbow chard. And finally, the fennel salad with the roasted pine nuts is just simply the perfect accompaniment, light, crispy and crunchy all in one. A perfect meal for a Spring day (or any day)!

Halibut en Papillote with Orange-Scallion Sauce

Ingredients, serves 2

2 halibut filets (with skin)
juice of one orange
orange zest/rind
2 tablespoons coconut aminos (soy sauce replacement)
12 cherry tomatoes
3 scallions
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
parchment paper

Method

Preheat the oven to 375F (190C). On a cookie sheet or another flat ovenproof metal dish, place a piece of parchment paper and fold the edges. Rinse the fish and pat dry. Place on the parchment paper. Salt and pepper lightly. Cut the orange in half, and squeese the juice over the fish. Don’t worry if you get some pulp on the fish. Pour the coconut aminos over each filet and sprinkle some orange rind/zest over each as well.

Clean and cut the scallion diagonally. Cut 8 of the cherry tomatoes in half and leave the remaining 4 whole. Place the scallions and tomatoes over and around the fish.

Place another sheet of parchment paper over the fish and folding the edges into the bottom sheet, make a sack. Bake for 15 minutes or until fish is done.

Fennel Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients, serves 2

4 medium red potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
1/4 fennel bulb, chopped
1 tablespoon butter
milk
fine sea salt

Method

Put the potatoes and fennel in a medium pot. Cover with water and an inch or so more. Place on medium heat and bring to a roiling boil, and cook until tender, about 25 minutes. Remove from heat and drain.

Place the tablespoon or so of butter in the pot and allow to melt with the heat of the vegetables. Add a couple of tablespoons of milk (your preference) and smash with a potato masher to your desired consistency. Add some sea salt to taste.

Serve the halibut filets on top of the mashed potatoes.

Fennel Salad with Roasted Pine Nuts and Mustard-Oil Dressing

Ingredients, serves 2-4

1 fennel bulb
mixed salad greens: arugula (wild rocket), spinach, other greens
hard, cured cheese
handful of pine nuts
olive oil
wholegrain mustard
lemon juice

Method

Cut off the stems and the outer hard part of the fennel. Use the hard part of the fennel for the mashed potatoes. (See above recipe.) Slice the fennel crosswise very thinly.

In a pretty salad bowl, place the amount of mixed salad greens that you desire. Place the sliced fennel over top and mix it a little with your hands. Shave some hard, cured cheese over top. I used Dubliner cheese that we forgot about and left to harden. (It’s delicious like this.)

In a small skillet, heat some olive oil and pour in the handful of pine nuts. Fry until golden brown, stirring frequently, just a minute or so. Immediately remove from heat and spoon over the salad without the oil.

For the dressing: I used 3 parts extra virgen olive oil to 1 part wholegrain mustard and the juice of 1/2 lemon. Mix well and allow for each person to pour over their own salad.

If you have leftover salad, since the dressing is not on it, it will last a couple of days in the fridge.

Sweet Spinach Pie with Basic Paleo Almond Crust

I found an interesting article the other day, “Three Ways Cooking Has Changed Over the Last 300 Years,” which I posted on my Facebook page.

“With help from food historian Annie Gray, Finnamore has been cooking – and blogging — her way through The Unknown Ladies Cookbook, a 300-year-old British compendium of family recipes. Jotted down by hand by several different women between 1690 and 1830, the recipes provide insights into the cooking habits of the Georgian and Regency periods. They also tell us quite a bit about how much culinary craft has changed over the centuries.” ~exert from “Three Ways Cooking Has Changed Over the Last 300 Years”.

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The article intrigued me, and even more captivating were the use of some ingredients, such as spinach in a sweet pie. Yes, I know we use vegetables in many sweet versions, especially zucchini, carrots, potatoes… But somehow, I hadn’t thought of spinach as something for a dessert. However, having said that, this dish was not considered a dessert, but a second course! 

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‘To Make a Spineage Tort:’ Sweet spinach tart – a surprising combination of sweet and savory ingredients. This recipe has been largely forgotten in Britain, but a very similar dish is still made in a parts of Provence during the Christmas celebrations. This would be served as a second course.

“Take 6 eggs, yolks & whites. Beat them well with a pint of sweet cream, a qr of a pd of crums of bread, a good handfull of spinage cut small, half a qr of currons, half a qr of almonds pounded wth a little rose water, half a nutmeg, half a pd of white sugar. Half a pound of drawn butter, 3 spoonfulls of brandy. Mix all well together. Lay paist thin at the bottom & sides of the dish & cross bar at top. 3 qrs of an hour bakes it.”

 I loved the sound of this and therefore have made my own version of sweet “spineage” tort, which I have found delicious.

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My version is of course Paleo and Primal. The crust is a basic almond-coconut crust, of which I only made enough for a 6-inch pie. If you plan on making a larger pie, you may want to double up the crust recipe.

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As for the filling: I also followed the basics of spinach, almonds, and eggs, added a bit of coconut flour for more of a baked-goods texture, and included the rosewater (the secret ingredient I’ve been mentioning on Instagram and Facebook). I know the rosewater can be overpowering for some, but personally I wouldn’t omit it. It adds depth and an exotic taste to the pie, and actually brings out a nice flavour in the spinach.

For a slightly less sweet version, reduce the coconut sugar to 3/4 cup.

Enjoy!

Sweet Spinach Pie with Basic Paleo Almond Crust
Cuisine: Old English
Author: The Saffron Girl
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
One 6-inch pie.
Ingredients
  • For the pie crust:
  • 1 cup ground almonds (almond flour)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut flour
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 egg
  • pinch of sea salt
  • For the spinach filling:
  • 300g fresh spinach leaves (1 cup cooked)
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup ground almonds (almond flour)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon rosewater
  • pinch of sea salt
Instructions
  1. For the crust:
  2. In a mixing bowl, knead all the ingredients together until a dough is formed.
  3. With your hands, press the dough into a pie plate, bottom and sides (I used a 6-inch round plate).
  4. Set aside.
  5. For the spinach filling:
  6. In a medium-sized pot, place the spinach and about 1 cup of water. At medium heat, bring to a boil, and cook about 5 minutes.
  7. Reduce the heat to low and cook an additional 5 minutes.
  8. Turn heat off and allow to cool in the pot with water.
  9. Once the spinach is cool, drain into a colander and press the spinach to remove all of the water. I pressed it with the back of a spoon.
  10. Put the spinach, egg yolks, rosewater and sea salt into a food processor. Pulse until a a puree is formed, about 1 minute.
  11. Add the almond four, coconut flour and sugar and pulse again until everything is well incorporated.
  12. Pour the dough into a mixing bowl.
  13. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
  14. Fold the egg whites into the spinach mixture. Mix well until no white is visible.
  15. Pour the spinach filling into the pie crust.
  16. Bake at 180C (350F) for 35-45 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out dry.

 

Quail Egg Stuffed Mushrooms

I find quail eggs simply adorable. Not only are they pretty, but they are fun to use in recipes, such as appetisers, garnish or as I used in this breakfast dish.

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This recipe is for 1 serving for a meal. It doesn’t take too much work and it’s healthy, nutritious and something different.

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(Beautiful quail egg shells.)

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(All my ingredients, chopped and ready to start cooking.)

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(Mushrooms with the stuffing.)

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(Mushrooms, stuffed and with the quail eggs on top, now ready for the oven.)

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(Ready to eat and served with the remaining stuffing sautéed with some kale, as a side.)

I hope you enjoy!

Quail Egg Stuffed Mushrooms
Author: The Saffron Girl
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves 1.
Ingredients
  • 6 medium sized button mushrooms (large enough to hold some stuffing and an egg on top)
  • 6 quail eggs
  • 2 slices of back rashers, cooked and minced (can be substituted for cooked bacon or raw jamon serrano pieces)
  • 1 small red onion, very finely diced
  • 1/2 stalk celery, very finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 mushroom stems, diced
  • a pinch of ground cumin
  • a pinch of ground rosemary
  • coarse sea salt, to taste
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • butter or fat of choice
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C (350F), while you prepare the ingredients.
  2. In a pan, place the butter, onion and celery. Over low heat, cook until the onion is tender, about 4-5 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic, mushroom stems, back rashers, spices and seasoning (if desired) and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Place the washed and de-stemmed mushrooms in an oven proof dish, with the inside facing up.
  5. Spoon some of the stuffing into each mushroom.
  6. Break the quail eggs individually into a small glass bowl and carefully pour one egg on top of each stuffed mushroom.
  7. Bake for 7-8 minutes.
  8. If you have leftover stuffing, as I did, you can sauté with some kale, for example and serve as a side to the stuffed mushrooms.
  9. Garnish with freshly cut parsley or cilantro, if desired.
  10. These also work well as an appetiser for parties.

 

Banana Chestnut Crunch Ice Cream (No Sugar, No Dairy)

You all know the “one ingredient” ice cream going from blog to blog and spreading through Facebook like wild fire, right? Well, I’ve never tried it. I love bananas, and banana ice cream, but banana alone as an ice cream intrigues me less…and although I love simple cooking and simple dishes, I also like to add something different to my culinary repertoire.  For me, it keeps things more exciting in the kitchen, where I spend a lot of my time.

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This ice cream came about for two reasons. Firstly, I love this fruit juice I used to get in a juice bar in Vistahermosa, en El Puerto de Santa Maria, in Spain. It was made with bananas, orange juice and strawberries. Every once in a while, I also have it at home, although I don’t tend to drink fruit juices too often. The combined flavours are really delicious, and as I was thinking with what to blend the banana, I immediately thought of this drink.

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Secondly, I wanted a “crunch” factor. I have found that chestnut flour is so versatile and fun, and it can be eaten “raw” when mixed with coconut oil and/or honey. (Chestnut flour is made from already roasted chestnuts.) So, the “crunch” in this is made with a chestnut-flour dough, sort of like “chocolate chip dough” ice cream, which my nieces and I used to adore getting at Dairy Queen. (Now, there’s another recipe to be made soon… )

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And one of the best things is that it has no sweetener at all. I’ve kept the natural flavours and sweetness of the fruit and the chestnuts.

So, we can all indulge a little without much guilt! 😉

Banana Chestnut Crunch Ice Cream (No Sugar, No Dairy)
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: The Saffron Girl
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
No Sweetener added at all.
Ingredients
  • For the banana ice cream:
  • 4 ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • zest of one orange
  • For the “peanut butter” crunch:
  • 1/2 cup chestnut flour
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
Instructions
  1. Blend all of the ice cream ingredients in a blender or food processor until a puree is formed.
  2. Pour into the ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  3. In the meantime, in a small bowl, mix with your hands the chestnut flour and coconut oil until a dough is formed.
  4. As the ice cream is churning, break off small chunks of the chestnut dough and drop them into the ice cream maker.
  5. Allow the ice cream maker to finish churning and then serve ice cream.
  6. Or store in freezer for later use.

 

How to Freeze Tomatoes

We very ambitiously bought a 5kg box of tomatoes the other day, as my intention was to make gazpacho. But I’ve been distracted with other interesting dishes and haven’t gotten around to it yet. In the meantime, we’ve been using up the tomatoes steadily, but not quite fast enough. And as we are travelling starting this weekend, and I have to use up everything before we go.

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My husband kept requesting that I make a Hollandse Tomatensoep met Balletjes (Dutch tomato soup with meatballs), which I finally did. See the recipe here. But after the soup and the tomato jam, which I made for my shortbread cookie recipe, we still had a lot of tomatoes left! arggghh.. but good argghh. 😉

When speaking with my mother about her tomato soup recipe, I explained my dilemma. Of course, mothers know best, right?  Especially mothers like my own, who are great cooks and very economising in the kitchen. She told me to freeze the tomatoes for later use! Uh, duh.. why hadn’t I thought of that before?

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Anyway, she’s promised to give me her “how to freeze” vegetable book, which she no longer needs or uses.. so I’ll be learning more about this and how and which vegetables are good for freezing.

In the meantime, I took care of my extra tomatoes. This couldn’t be easier! And it’s also a great idea for when tomatoes are in season, to buy them in bulk, freeze them and use during the winter.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • glass or plastic, sealable containers for the freezer (or plastic ziplock bags can also work)
  • a large pot
  • water
  • a knife
  • tomatoes (of course, since we are freezing them, right?)

Please see the “recipe” below for instructions.

How to Freeze Tomatoes
Author: The Saffron Girl
Ingredients
  • glass or plastic, sealable containers for the freezer (or plastic ziplock bags can also work)
  • a large pot
  • water
  • a knife
  • tomatoes (of course, since we are freezing them, right?)
Instructions
  1. Depending on the number of tomatoes you have, you may have to do this in batches.
  2. Take a large pot and fill with filtered water.
  3. Over high heat, bring to a boil.
  4. Turn heat off.
  5. Carefully place the tomatoes inside the water, one by one, with the help of a ladle if necessary, so you don’t get burned.
  6. Let the tomatoes sit in the water for about 10 minutes.
  7. Then pour the contents out over a colander.
  8. Allow the tomatoes to cool enough for handling with your bare hands.
  9. With a knife, peel the tomatoes. This is super easy, since the tomatoes are now “blanched”.
  10. Figure out how many tomatoes you want to place in each container. I used 6 per container.
  11. Cut the tomatoes in half and with your hands slightly squeeze out any juice.
  12. Place into the container, seal and freeze.
  13. They can last months in the freezer.
  14. Simply thaw out when ready to use.

 

Dutch Tomato Soup with Meatballs – Hollandse Tomatensoep met Balletjes

My husband, who’s Dutch, has been begging for me to make this dish for over a week now. The ironic thing is that I’ve never made tomato soup on my own until now. I always relied on my mother telling me what to do; and it’s been a long time since I’ve made tomato soup.

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Yup, you guessed it: I had to call her for her recipe. 😉 After speaking with her, I did a quick search on the internet to know if the traditional Dutch soup has any special spices or whether or not it is made with cream. My mother’s tomato soup is made with “hierbabuena” or mint; however, the Dutch version is quite basic, so I decided to keep it simple.

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Well, I got my husband’s seal of approval, both on the tomato soup and the meatballs. However, he did mention that in The Netherlands, the meatballs are cooked inside the soup?  I’ve asked a few Dutch friends for their versions of this, but I haven’t heard back yet… therefore, I’ll have to let you all know when I find out.

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The truth is I’ve never fried meatballs before, until this recipe. I have a couple of meatball recipes already on the blog, one is a family recipe, and the other is for a Spicy Paleo Meatball Soup, where in both I cook the balls in the soup/sauce.

However, in my quest for the proper ingredients of the soup, I ran into the advice of Mark Sisson. And I have to be honest, I rather like the extra flavour frying adds to the meatballs and the soup. And as I said, I got a “Dutchie’s” seal of approval on the overall taste… so that’s a few positive points in favour of frying! 😉

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(Yet next time I make this, I’ll try cooking them in the soup itself… I’ll get back to you on those results as well.)

The soup is delicious on its own and very easy to make. And while creamy, it contains no cream, not even coconut milk. So, if you’re not into meatballs, give this soup a go by itself. It can be accompanied by or garnished with pieces of whole, roasted vegetables, bacon bits, a drizzle of olive oil (or truffle oil, as a friend of mine suggested.. she’s the garnish queen, so I would take her advice!), a sprinkle of cheese (if you do dairy).. or anything with which you would like to pair the flavour of the tomatoes.

And as the Dutch say, “eet smakelijk”!

Dutch Tomato Soup with Meatballs – Hollandse Tomatensoep met Balletjes
Cuisine: Dutch
Author: The Saffron Girl
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Makes 36 mini meatballs and about 4 1/2 cups of soup (about 3 servings of soup).
Ingredients
  • For the meatballs:
  • 800g minced/ground beef (or half beef, half pork)
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 tablespoons flaxmeal
  • 1 1/2 – 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • some fresh parsley, chopped
  • coconut oil or butter, for frying
  • For the tomato soup:
  • 6 medium ripe tomatoes, peeled and cut into medium chunks
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into medium pieces
  • 1 celery stalk, cleaned and cut into pieces
  • 3 cups filtered water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • parsley, for garnishing (optional)
Instructions
  1. For the tomato soup:
  2. Place the olive oil in a medium-sized soup pot with the carrots, onion, garlic and celery pieces.
  3. Over low heat, cook about 10 minutes, until the carrots and onions are slightly tender. Stir frequently to not burn.
  4. Add the peeled tomatoes, water, and bay leaf.
  5. Cook on low heat for 30 minutes.
  6. Turn off heat and allow to cool directly on the stove top.
  7. In the meantime, make the meatballs.
  8. For the meatballs:
  9. Mix all of the ingredients (except the coconut oil) together, by hand. Do so, until well blended.
  10. With a tablespoon measure, scoop out the mixture onto a cookie sheet (covered with parchment paper).
  11. Once all of the mixture is scooped out, with your hands form balls out of each tablespoonful.
  12. In a pan, add some coconut oil or butter (about 1-2 tablespoons) and brown the meatballs, a couple of minutes on each side.
  13. Place back on the cookie sheet.
  14. Bake at 180C (350F) for about 20 minutes, turning over half way. (Also, if you have two cookie sheets, place one on the middle and one on the top shelf. Swap them half way as well.)
  15. The meatballs can be cooked completely in the oven; however, they will not be as pretty as with this method, since they do release some liquids. This can also slightly happen even after frying. Simply scrape that off, if you want a prettier dish. If looks are not an issue, this doesn’t alter the flavour at all.
  16. Back to the soup:
  17. Remove the bay leaf.
  18. With an immersion blender or food processor, puree the soup.
  19. Pour it back into the soup pot. Add salt and pepper, to taste; and warm up.
  20. Add the meatballs to the soup, just before serving or in the individual serving bowls. (If they are slightly cold, you can also add them in the pot, while you warm up the soup.)
  21. Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil for a nice touch.

 

Paleo Shortbread & Tomato-Honey Jam Cookies – SABH

“Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar?” …

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It’s that time of month again…to join in on the fun of recipe exchanges with the Sweet Adventures Blog Hop! I love the creativity and enthusiasm I find in all the participants; and very much enjoy being part of this special group.

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If you’re a blogger, you too can join! Just check out the instructions at the bottom of this page for all of the information.

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I’ve missed a few SABH lately and I really didn’t want to miss August’s “Cookie Monster” hop. So, I created this cookie especially for this event.

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Why tomatoes?

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Well, we bought a box of  5kg the other day and I need to use them up! In fact, I’m making a Dutch tomato soup, by special request from my husband, tonight, and I’m blanching and freezing up the rest for later use.

Paleo Shortbread & Tomato-Honey Jam Cookies
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: The Saffron Girl
Serves: 10
Makes 10 cookies/biscuits.
Ingredients
  • For the shortbread:
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • 1 1/4 cups ground almonds (almond flour)
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • For the tomato jam:
  • 6 medium tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup raw honey
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeesed orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • freshly ground rosemary (optional)
Instructions
  1. For the shortbread:
  2. Place the butter and honey in the food processor and pulse until smooth and creamy.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and pulse until a dough is formed.
  4. Create a ball or sausage with the dough and cover with a piece of parchment paper.
  5. Freeze for about 30 minutes.
  6. Bring out of the freezer and let stand 10 minutes before using the dough.
  7. On a sheet of parchment (or the same one used to freeze), roll out the dough with a rolling pin.
  8. Cut out desired shapes and transfer the cookies with a spatula to a a cookie sheet covered with a sheet of parchment paper.
  9. Bake at 180C (350F) for 6-8 minutes on the bottom rack. Remove from oven and let cool before touching, so they can harden.
  10. For the tomato jam:
  11. Peel the tomatoes with a sharp knife. (You can also scald them in water; but I personally find it easy to simply peel this small amount.)
  12. Cut the tomatoes into small chunks and place them in a medium sized pot.
  13. Add the honey and orange juice.
  14. Over low heat, cook for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  15. Add the ground cinnamon and nutmeg and mix well.
  16. Cook 5 minutes longer.
  17. Remove from heat and allow to completely cool.
  18. You can either keep the jam with chunks or puree it with an immersion blender for a smoother spread. Strain if desired. (I kept mine with chunks, as it gives it a more rustic feel.)
  19. Pour into a jar and refrigerate.
  20. For using the jam with the cookies, make sure you refrigerate at least an hour before applying to the cookies. Overnight is better.
  21. To assemble:
  22. Place about 2 teaspoons of the jam on a “whole” cookie.
  23. And place the cookie with a “hole” on top.
  24. Sprinkle with some ground rosemary, if desired.
  25. Repeat until you have completed with all the cookies.
  26. NOTE: You can add more flavour to these cookies for other recipes by adding in the dough one of the following, for example: rosemary, edible lavender, sesame seeds, or even chopped up nuts.

 

********

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The Sweet Adventures Blog Hop, or SABH, is brought to you by 84th & 3rd and monthly Guest Hostesses.

The August 2013 ‘Cookie Monster’ hop is open for linkup until 11:59 pm, Friday 23 August [AEST Sydney time].

IMPORTANT – The instructions below cover how to link up but if you aren’t sure of something don’t hesitate to ask! Detailed instructions can be seen here. Remember, SABH is open to all food bloggers but only new posts published after the hop goes live can be linked up.

  1. Add a link to this post somewhere in your post. You won’t be able to link up in the hop without a ‘backlink’ to this hostess post included in your post.
  2. Click here for the Thumbnail List code – Copy the code and add it to the bottom of your post in HTML view.
  3. Click here to Enter the Hop – Make sure to do this step so you appear in the list too! Add the link to your SABH post (NOT your homepage). Your entry will be submitted when you click ‘crop’ on your photo.

Use the #SABH hashtag to tell the world about your post! You can follow us on Twitter: @SweetAdvBlogHop and on Facebook /SweetAdventuresBlogHop for new hop announcements and general deliciousness. Thanks for joining!

This is a Blog Hop!

Zucchini, Tomato, Potato & Cheese Muffins (Nut Free)

These are a nice muffin to make in advance and have on hand for breakfast or a snack. They are filled with vegetables and nutrients. Additionally, they are nut free, which I tend to prefer when consuming something that is not a treat.

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From a definition point of view, these are probably more Primal than Paleo, as they contain raw cheese. I’m lactose intolerant; and in my case, I have no issues with cheese, especially made from raw milk vs pasteurised milk. Manchego is also a goat cheese, which is even easier on the digestive system than cheeses made from cow’s milk. (Plus, it’s really tasty!)

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(Ready for the oven, pictured above.)

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Pictured above are the muffins with some homemade chicken liver pate. A lovely combination!

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(The way the potatoes and the courgettes – zucchini – looked after cooked on the stove top, pictured above.)

Bon Appétit!

Zucchini, Tomato, Potato & Cheese Muffins
Recipe Type: Breakfast
Cuisine: French
Author: The Saffron Girl
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 12
Makes 12 muffins.
Ingredients
  • 1 medium zucchini (courgette), yellow or green, diced with skin
  • 2 medium white potatoes, peeled and diced (you can also use swede/rutabaga)
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 50g butter (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup flaxmeal
  • 3/4 cup coconut flour
  • 80g (about 1/2 cup) grated aged Manchego (or Parmesan or Gruyere)
  • 6 eggs
  • olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
  • coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Prepare a muffin tin with the muffin wraps and set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180C (350F).
  3. Rinse and prepare the vegetables.
  4. In a pan, over low heat, add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and the diced potatoes. Cook stirring frequently until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Pour into a glass or ceramic bowl and set aside.
  5. In the same pan, over low heat, add another tablespoon of olive oil and the zucchini (courgette) pieces. Cook, stirring frequently about 5 minutes. Pour in the same bowl as the potatoes. Sprinkle with some sea salt, pepper and the herbes de Provence and mix. Set aside.
  6. In a small pot, melt the butter in the coconut milk over low heat. Cool.
  7. Beat the eggs in a medium mixing bowl. Add the cooled coconut milk-butter mixture and whisk together.
  8. Add the flaxmeal, vegetables, herbes de Provence, and grated cheese. Mix well.
  9. Add the coconut flour and baking soda; and if necessary fold in with hands instead of a whisk or spoon.
  10. Mix well again until everything is well incorporated and there are no traces of the flour.
  11. Taste, and add sea salt and pepper, to taste. Mix again.
  12. Place into the muffin wraps and sprinkle with a little bit of coarse sea salt.
  13. Bake for 40 minutes on the middle rack.

 

Roasted Strawberry Custard Popsicles

I follow Cannelle et Vanille on Instagram, since I love Aran’s food photography and interesting ideas. I was ecstatic when her book came out last year and promptly purchased it. I have made a few recipes from it; and it has inspired me to create some of my own.

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Today is one of those days where I drew inspiration from one of her photographs. Aran posted some gorgeous    strawberries with thyme (much prettier than mine, as she’s a professional food photographer!), that she was preparing to roast. And since I had two packages of strawberries that were threatening to go bad on me, I thought what a perfect idea…for some ice cream!

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I wanted something super creamy, like a custard… so I used egg yolks in this recipe. If you’re worried about raw eggs.. don’t be. They are cooked.

None of my other ice cream recipes are made with eggs, except the rhubard semifreddo; and I must say the custard makes this ice cream spectacular! In fact, it’s so creamy that after putting it through the ice cream maker, I had to freeze it a bit longer to make it hard enough to scoop.

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However, after being in the freezer overnight, it was hard as a rock. So, I put it out to defrost a bit and forgot all about it… so instead of putting it through the ice cream maker again, I decided to make popsicles.

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They are a bit tangy, as I didn’t add much sweetener on purpose, since my intention was to pair the ice cream with a balsamic reduction. So, if you like things sweeter, just add more honey.

For a slight variation (last photograph): make an extra batch of roasted strawberries with the coconut sugar and blend with the immersion blender. Place this puree into the popsicle molds first. Freeze until it solidifies. Then place the strawberry custard mixture on top of that. Add some more of the roasted strawberry puree and insert a popsicle stick. Freeze again until solid. You will get a more colourful popsicle and also one with more intense flavours!

 

Roasted Strawberry Custard Popsicles
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: The Saffron Girl
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
Makes 6 popsicles.
Ingredients
  • For the ice cream:
  • 300g strawberries (about 2 cups cut)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 cups coconut milk (if using canned, make sure it’s full fat)
  • 1/4 cup raw honey (more for a sweeter version)
  • 1/2 tablespoon arrowroot powder
  • 3 egg yolks
  • pinch of sea salt
Instructions
  1. For the ice cream:
  2. Preheat the oven to 180C (350F).
  3. Clean the strawberries and take the stems off. Cut in halves.
  4. Place them on a double sheet of parchment paper on a cookie tray or in an ovenproof dish.
  5. Drizzle with the lemon juice, zest and coconut sugar.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
  7. In the meantime, in a pot over very low heat, mix the coconut milk and honey and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
  8. Beat the egg yolks in a glass bowl and stir in a few tablespoons of the hot milk into the yolks, stirring constantly with a whisk.
  9. Add the arrowroot into the egg yolk mixture and mix well. Add a bit more hot coconut milk if necessary.
  10. Pour into the hot milk and continue cooking over very low heat until the sauce thickens and becomes a custard, stirring constantly.
  11. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Should you need to strain it, do so, while it’s warm, but not hot (you could burn yourself).
  12. Place the caramelised strawberries (with all the liquid, but remember to discard any lemon seeds) in the immersion blender or electric blender bowl. Pulse to liquify.
  13. Add the cooled custard and pulse to mix well.
  14. Add a pinch of sea salt and mix well.
  15. For popsicles:
  16. Pour the mixture in the popsicle molds and freeze.
  17. For ice cream:
  18. Place the entire mixture in your ice cream machine and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to churn.
  19. If you do not have an ice cream machine, don’t fret. Simply place the mixture into a sealable freezer container and freeze for about 4 hours, stirring every once in a while to avoid crystallization.
  20. For a slight variation (last photograph): make an extra batch of the roasted strawberries and blend with the immersion blender. Place this puree into the popsicle molds first. Freeze until it solidifies. Then place the strawberry custard mixture on top of that. Add some more of the roasted strawberry puree and insert a popsicle stick. Freeze again until solid. You will get a more colourful popsicle and also one with more intense flavours!

 

Paleo Churros, the Real Deal

As I was frying these churros, my house was engulfed by the smells of the oil and the dough that transported me to the traditional churrerias in Spain. Eating churros in Spain equates to eating pancakes in certain countries… it’s not just about the  food, but the rituals that accompany it.

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For me, it reminds me of the many times my mother, my aunt and I would meet up in Sevilla to go shopping, first stopping to have a “churro con chocolate” breakfast around the corner from my great-aunt’s apartment in San Gonzalo. We still indulge in some churros with our afternoon coffee when we go shopping; but as we all see less of each other, it only happens when we are together in Sevilla.

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However, and this is a big one for me, I always have gotten an upset stomach after eating them. I don’t know if it’s the dough (made with wheat flour) or possibly the oils in which they are fried. But it hardly ever fails. So when I eat them out now, I usually have only one (and yes, I admit dipped in white, refined sugar, or dipped in chocolate as pictured below).

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But as I’m on a quest to Paleolise many of my favourite Spanish indulgences, I finally tackled the churro.

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My first attempt was based on the recipe for buñuelos (a fried-dough pastry, similar to choux) that I found in a book I bought on our last visit, called “Come Sin Gluten y Disfruta” by Begoñia Naveira. Yet, the dough was raw and still quite sticky inside after frying and baking. And honestly, it was a slippery glob when handling.

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As the process is slightly labour-intensive, I thought of giving up and trying it another day. But then my ambition and determination got the better of me, and I tried again. The secret to my success is the addition of coconut flour and altering the amounts of the ingredients a bit.

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These truly taste and feel like the real churros from Spain. I tried two ways: frying and baking. And while frying is the authentic way to make them, especially in olive oil, using a different oil (with a healthier smoke point, such as lard or coconut oil) will make them a healthier treat. If you want the real taste, though, frying them in olive oil is the way to go. And after all, this is a treat, so just don’t over-indulge!

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As for the baking: I like the results, but it’s more of a choux pastry then, instead of a churro. So… this recipe lends itself to more experimentation and to making some “Neapolitans” filled with cream and some delightful choux!

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I also froze some of the fried churros to see how they would “work” the next day. I took them out of the freezer, and stuck a few directly into the oven at 180C (350F) and heated them up for about 5 minutes (probably effectively 3 once the oven reached the temperature). They were delicious! I would say they were even better the next day!

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I left the choux-like mounds (pictured above) at room temperature overnight and they were also very nice the next day. They held their shape and texture, and the inside was still perfect.

And one last word of praise to this recipe: they do not seep in the oil when frying. The inside stays nice and dry, which is a really good thing since the real churros actually sometimes get oily inside.

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So go ahead and give this a try! I can’t wait to hear your feedback. Personally, I’m ecstatic that this worked and I know I can create more things with this basic recipe. 😉

¡que aproveches!

Paleo Churros, the Real Deal
Recipe Type: Dessert, Breakfast
Cuisine: Spanish
Author: The Saffron Girl
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Ingredients
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) water
  • 100g (7 tablespoons) butter, measured when slightly softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea/himalayan salt
  • 33g (1/4 cup) coconut flour (scoop and scrape method)
  • 66g (1/2 cup) arrowroot powder (scoop and scrape method)
  • 3 eggs
Instructions
  1. Be prepared for some intense stirring and a bit of a workout. But these churros are worth it.
  2. NOTE: You will notice that the amounts are given in both metric and U.S. And although the amounts are not an exact conversion, they both work. I’ve tried it both ways to ensure both are foolproof. Don’t “mix and match”; either stick to metric or U.S. when making this recipe.
  3. I recommend preparing and measuring everything out before starting, as you will have to move rapidly and will not have time to measure once you’ve commenced the process.
  4. Also, crack the eggs in individual bowls before hand. (I always crack eggs separately when cooking/baking to ensure I don’t throw away a batch because of one bad egg.)
  5. Prepare your piping bag and tip as well. I used the Wilton 1M.
  6. Combine the coconut flour, arrowroot powder and salt together in one small bowl.
  7. Over low heat, in a medium pot, melt the butter in the water and when it starts to bubble, immediately, still over low heat, dump in the flours all at once.
  8. With a wooden spoon, stir vigorously until a ball is formed, which will be in about 30 seconds or less. (The dough will become a ball as you stir and will be sticky in itself but not stick to the pot. See photos attached.)
  9. Keep stirring for about 1 minute in total.
  10. Remove from heat and let cool about 5 minutes. (I actually timed this.)
  11. Add one egg at a time, stirring vigorously after each addition.
  12. The dough will slightly come apart when you first add each egg, but once you stir long enough, it comes back together, although never as dry as like in the beginning. (The dough starts to get noticeably stickier after egg number two.)
  13. Once all the eggs have been incorporated and the dough is well blended, spoon the dough into a piping bag.
  14. For Spanish looking churros, you’ll want to use a star or round tip. (Churros in Spain are typically either star shaped – pictured- or long round pieces.)
  15. Heat your oil of preference in a deep pot or a deep fryer (for an authentic Spanish taste, use olive oil).
  16. Once the oil is hot enough, carefully pipe the dough into the hot oil. You can use a pair of scissors to help you cut off the dough. (Be careful not to burn yourself or cause splatter.)
  17. Make either long or curled shapes.
  18. Fry turning over with a tong until golden brown on each side.
  19. Note: as the oil gets warmer, the dough will turn darker quicker, but still needs to be cooked through.
  20. Remove the churros from the oil with the tong and place on a plate prepared with paper towel (to absorb the extra oil).
  21. Serve immediately with thick, sweetened hot chocolate or dip in some coconut sugar.
  22. This dough also worked well in the oven, for a “healthier” version:
  23. Preheat oven to 200C (400F).
  24. Place a sheet of parchment on a cookie sheet.
  25. Pipe out desired shapes. Depending on what shape you choose, the baking time will have to be adjusted.
  26. For churro shaped rounds or “sticks”, bake about 8-10 minutes, turning over half way.
  27. For choux shaped mounds, bake 15 minutes. (These are also good the next day, stored at room temperature.)
  28. You can also freeze the fried/baked dough and reheat in the oven at 180C (350F) for about 5 minutes.

 

Stuffed Avocado with Garlic Shrimp

During our travels this summer, we spent some time in The Netherlands; and one evening, we ate at a lovely restaurant in Lisse, near the beach. If you’ve ever eaten out in The Netherlands, you know that evening is prime time and usually quite expensive. On the up side, the food is generally fresh and delicious.

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And as usually happens with me, since I want to try everything that sounds intriguing or new, my eyes are bigger than my stomach… I ended up ordering an avocado appetiser and a full entree. Fortunately, the fish entree was normal Dutch portions, or else I would’ve had to leave it there or exploded. 😉

The appetiser was an avocado stuffed with shrimp and other ingredients, which I cannot recall. What I do know is that it was rather creamy. In Spain, a halved avocado stuffed with shrimp and/or ensaladilla is tapa that is very typical in Granada, where bars give you a free tapa with a paid drink. I can’t recall the last time I had a stuffed avocado, so the appetiser in Lisse tasted sublimely divine!

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In recreating this, I thought I would first steam the shrimp and use mayonnaise, to achieve the creaminess…but after messing up a batch of mayonnaise*, I changed my mind.

(*Mayonnaise is not that difficult to make. But my blender broke a couple of months ago, and instead of replacing it, we purchased a food processor that has a blender as well. However, this blender doesn’t work for making mayonnaise. I’ll have to resort to my mini-pimer -immersion blender- from now on. But today, I was too lazy to keep trying.)

Back to the avocado: Sometimes it’s actually good that things don’t work out. If they had, I wouldn’t have enjoyed this delicious combination.

How I came up with the idea? Simple. I love garlic shrimp, and that mixed with the natural creaminess of avocado is, for me,  just a perfect match.

You can use this recipe as an appetiser for 2 persons or a meal for one. I had the whole avocado as lunch… talk about ingesting a lot of good, healthy fats! 😉

Stuffed Avocado with Garlic Shrimp
Author: The Saffron Girl
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 1-2
Serves 1 as a meal, or 2 as an appetiser
Ingredients
  • 1 whole medium avocado
  • about 2 cups medium to large shrimp, raw or uncooked frozen (defrost prior to cooking)
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
  • olive oil
  • coarse sea salt, to taste
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped
  • chili powder, optional
Instructions
  1. Half the avocado and take the pit out.
  2. Scrap out most of the meat, leaving a very thin layer to hold up the shell better. Set aside.
  3. Chop up the meat into squares and place in a bowl. With your hands, squish the squares a little bit, to crush some but so that most keep their shape. Set aside.
  4. In a pan, place about 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the minced garlic and the shrimp.
  5. Add a dash of coarse sea salt, and over low heat, cook just until the shrimp turn pink. Do not overcook, or they’ll be dry and hard.
  6. Pour the shrimp with garlic and olive oil into the bowl with the avocado pieces.
  7. Add some chopped parsley or cilantro and mix well. (If you want to incorporate some chili powder for extra flavour, do so now before mixing.)
  8. Spoon the mixture into the avocado shells, sprinkle with some freshly ground pepper, and garnish with additional parsley/cilantro if desired.
  9. Serve immediately.
  10. (I added a leftover, hardboiled quail egg as garnish, but it’s not essential to the recipe, of course.)

 

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