Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Simple Scallop Ceviche For A Nice Sunny Day

Ok, so I’m about to show off a little right now… and will probably make a few people jealous. I’m writing this blog entry while sitting on my balcony, enjoying a magnificent sunny and warm day. I just had a fresh salad and, most decadent thing of all, had a Corona to top it all off (don’t assume this is something I do every day!). This is the life! This is the real perk of being on maternity leave. Although I have sleepless nights and have to cater to a newborn, I have to admit that this makes things relatively better and much easier to cope with.

The only thing that will get my big butt off this chair? Cooking diner for my family. You know the new Bruno Mars song? “The lazy song” in which he says “Today I don’t feel like doing anything”? Well, that’s exactly what I’m doing and I’m loving it! Even writing this recipe feels like pure pleasure and, almost, feels relaxing! After all the chaos of the past few weeks, this feels like vacation and I’m indulging 100%.

So what recipe will I introduce today? Mmm. A nice scallop ceviche. Perfect for this beautiful day. Even better for a woman who hasn’t eaten raw fish in almost 1 year! Enjoy this with a crisp chilled white wine and you’re bound to think this was a Saturday.

Makes 2 servings

8-10 large scallops
 1 small shallot, minced
¼ red bell pepper, thinly chopped
About 1 tbsp Yuzu
2 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp rice vinegar
Sea salt and black pepper
About 2 tsp black sesame seeds

Finely dice the scallops.

In a small bowl, mix the Yuzu, sesame oil and rice vinegar. Add the scallops, shallots and red peppers. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Finish off by adding the black sesame seeds.

Note: Yuzu is a citrus fruit originating in East Asia. You can find it’s juice in specialized Asian stores.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Oumek Houria (Cumin Carrot Salad) So You Gladly Eat Your Carrots

I thought I was ready to get back to seriously cooking and writing this blog. I guess I was wrong. What happens when you’ve got a newborn in your hands and your toddler gets sick? You lose your mind! That’s what’s been happening to me lately. Luckily, no harm was done (and I haven’t totally lost my mind), and things are back to normal. Good thing because this means I can now get back to business, doing what I do best, cook!

Again, I’ve been starting slow. I don’t want to overdo things just in case they get out of hand and I decide to stop cooking altogether. How do I do it? I use simple ingredients from my fridge and make them special by adding a touch of spices. By doing so, my baby friendly kitchen gets exotic. The following recipe really caught my attention because it’s the perfect example of what you typically eat in Northern Africa. A couple of years back, I fell in love with Morocco and its great food. When I saw this recipe, I just couldn’t resist trying to make it, as it’s a typical Tunisian recipe. Eating it brought back all sorts of amazing memories from my trip to Morocco, which is not too far from Tunisia. I’m hoping that if you try to make this recipe, your going to taste a little bit of that great North African food.

Makes 4 servings

2 cups carrots, peeled and cut in big pieces
2 tsp Harissa
1 garlic clove, finely minced
2 tsp cumin (powder)
Juice of ½ lemon
2 tbsp olive oil

In a medium saucepan, bring salted water to a boil. Add the carrots and cook until they are soft and tender (this can take at least half an hour). Drain the water and mash the carrot with a potato masher.

Add the Harissa, minced garlic, and cumin. Mix well and add the olive oil and the lemon juice. Add salt to taste.

Note: For serving, you can add pickled black olives or some fresh minced coriander. 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Slowly Getting Back Into The Groove With Green Beans And Tomato Salad

Ok, so I have totally been neglecting my readers lately. I have to apologize right off the bat to all of you. I hope you haven’t stopped cooking while you were waiting for me to get back on track! I promise, I’m slowly getting back into business and I will get into the groove of things in no time. I will continue to fill the pages of this blog with amazing and tasteful recipes as of now.

I have the greatest excuse in the world! It’s done. I have a new baby in the house. He’s come 2 weeks ago and life has changed forever. Although he’s already a good kid (of course!), he does wake me up a few times a night for his feedings, which is draining me of most of my good energy. What’s left of it, I keep for my toddler who’s just about to start walking around the house these days. What time is left for cooking? Well, practically none. For the past 2 weeks we’ve been living off unfrozen food or goods brought to us by the family. It hasn’t been all that bad, and the break has been more than welcome!

When I say cooking, I mean taking time to prepare something elaborate to eat. Yet sometimes, I do prepare things that take me about 2 minutes to put together. Which is cooking so easy to make it’s really nothing special. This, I do have time to do these days. That is, if I have the right ingredients in my fridge. This simple recipe is a great accompaniment to any meat or fish dish. It’s simple, super healthy and definitely tasty. This is perfect for anyone who’s like me, trying to get back into shape… or simply for anyone looking for a nice way to eat some greens!


2 cups of green beans
About 10 small vine tomatoes, cut in quarters
¼ cup Pine nuts

2 tbsp Dijon Mustard
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt & Pepper

Boil some water in a medium saucepan. Incorporate the green beans and cook them for about 5-7 minutes or until cooked but still crunchy (like Al Dente for pasta!). Empty the boiling water and rinse off with cold water. Set aside.

In a small skillet, over medium heat, slightly roast the pine nuts. Make sure to watch them carefully as pine nuts are very easy to burn. Set aside.

In a small bowl, mix together the Dijon Mustard and balsamic vinegar. Slowly incorporate the olive oil while mixing. Add the garlic. Season to taste. Set aside.

Cut the green beans in small pieces, about 1 inch long. Put them in a large bowl. Add the diced tomatoes and the Pine nuts. Pour the dressing on top and gently mix.

Serve with fish or meat on a nice sunny day!