Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Pesto: Recipe and advice for the Italian prep

Well, if we're talking about a delicious preparation, why not think of Pesto?

Pesto is a sauce originated in Genoa in the northern region of Italy. It consists typically of Garlic, Basil, Nuts and ground cheese of the Parmigiano (Parmesan) and Fiore Sardo (Sheep) cheese varieties.

Even though some people describe the Pesto preparation as somewhat complex when compared to the minimum ingredients list, I personally advice you to give it a try with whatever you got! Basil and Garlic are a must, and YES, you will need to use fresh ingredients, no bottled version of these will be able to give you the proper flavor you are looking for.
Good news is, apart from these you can go ahead and pretty much change what you want for the remaining part.

I personally tried a rather simple prep: I chopped a few garlic pieces, and somewhere around 20 basil leaves. I didn't use any mortar like device or anything, just plainly chopped them and mixed them in a wooden board. Once it was finely cut, I dropped the mixture into a generous amount of Olive oil (at this point I have to recommend that you use a good quality one, as it's going to do wonders for your pesto) and that was it!

I have tried this simple, 10 minute preparation in over 5 different pasta types, and believe me it works like a charm! If you want to get more complex, you can try out adding about half a cup of ground cheese, of your favorite Parmesan brand, or including nuts. I've tried pine nuts, pecan and almonds with good results!!

That's what's amazing about Pesto, it works no matter what you try!!! Get yourself into testing it out, and feel free to comment on what it worked best for you!


Monday, March 25, 2013

Curried Garlic Dip

4 Servings:


1 cup plain yogurt
1 tablespoon dry mustard
2 tablespoon garlic powder
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoon curry powder


Add each ingredient in the order listed, blending constantly until all are
well blended and the mixture is smooth. Cover and chill. Makes about 2
cups of dip.

SUGGESTED DIPPERS: Zucchini, Mushrooms, Cherry Tomatoes, Deli
Meats, Chicken Drumettes

600 Chilli Recipes (free ebook)

I just stumbled upon this pretty cool chilli recipes ebook. I am linking to it as I think it's pretty nice and can be your starting point to any testing with chilli peppers.

Its kind of roughly written, so I will try out a few recipes and post to them (with photos!) later on as the blog progresses.

Hope you like it!



Absinthe: The green fairy explained!

I would assume that at this point you know what we're talking about...

Absinthe is a green colored highly alcoholic beverage with a bitter punch, which mainly comes from Artemisia Absinthium.

Its alcohol content may vary from 45% to up to 89% in some French varieties. This massive amount of alcohol, coupled with the stories of toxins present in the beverage's composing herbs has led to banning of this preparation in several countries.

Artists of late XIX and early XX century, such as Wilde, Van Gogh, Baudelaire, Manet, Picasso, Degas, Hemingway, among others were Absinthe consumers, as they stated it induced artistical inspiration.

It is believed that Van Gogh, drunk with Absinthe, cut his own ear and gifted it.

There is a ritual for drinking it, which I will link in the below video:

 Hope you enjoy it!

Masala, a new experience

You would surely wonder what the meaning of the word "Masala" is.
A Masala is a mixture of different spices used typically in Indian cuisine, which gives it its distinctive flavour and scent. 
If you are lucky enough to have tried Indian food before, you'll perfectly understand what I mean with "distinctive flavour and scent"
Masala mixes are generally composed of a series of spices, among which you can find cinnamon, cilantro, cardamom, black pepper, nutmeg, chilli powder, turmeric, mustard, curry, cumin, clove and so on...
The most typical and simple preparation involves stir-frying some cumin and mustard seeds, onion, bell pepper and other vegetables, and then adding an element (which can be meat, although vegetarianism is widely extended in India) marinated in a series of masalas, which in a group are called a gravy.
This "gravy" is normally taken with Rice, the main dish in any Indian meal.

Recipe: Chicken Masala (India)

I'm dropping a recipe for an amazing chicken masala gravy, which got me amazing feedback from my guests (many of them actually being from India)

Vegetable Oil
1 TeaSpoon Mustard seeds
1 TeaSpoon Cumin seeds
2 green chillies
2 Onions - grind the bigger one, and chop the smaller one
1 small piece of Ginger - peeled and grinded
3 garlic pieces - grinded
1 bell pepper
1 teaspoon turmeric
1-2 tablespoon(s) Chicken Masala mix
1/2 tablespoon Chilli Powder (optional, to your taste)
400 g cubed chicken meat
1/2 cup Tomato Sauce (optional)
Rice (as needed)

Place a little oil in a hot pan or wok. Add the mustart seeds which will crackle as soon as they're added. Throw some cumin seeds in, being careful enough not to burn them.

Add onions. Make a paste out of the grinded ginger and garlic and add. Stir the mix and add salt to your taste. At this point you should add enough salt for the whole dish.

Once the onion has released its water, add the bell pepper (chopped)

At this point, we should add our Masalas. We mix chicken masala with turmeric and chilli powder, and add it to the pan.

Once the vegetables are well cooked, add chicken cubes and try to spread the masala mix as much as possible on top of the chicken pieces. Cook for 10 minutes until its well prepared.

Finally (optional) you can add a little tomato sauce, until the mix feels like a paste.

Remove from heat and serve with rice