Sunday, January 31, 2010

A French Feast!


I went to the movies last week with my roommates and we saw the movie It's Complicated. Not only was it funny, but Meryl Streep's character made AMAZING looking food (in particular, Croque Monsieur) and it inspired me to make French food. Croque Monsieur is a crunchy, french, sort of grilled cheese style sandwich. But in the movie it looked so much more interesting than just a plain old sandwich, so I searched until I found exactly what I was looking for. It took one glance at the cheese covered delight for me to decide that it was imperative that I make it, and make it as soon as
possible. However, after looking at the traditional recipes online I decided to tweek it and make it my own, especially because the recipe called for ham and I strongly dislike ham. Rather than using ham I used prosciutto, and rather than the traditional Gruyere, I decided to substitute mozzarella and fontina cheese instead. It was a hit...well, you can't really go wrong with bread that's covered in cheese. I served it atop a bed of arugula, drizzled in olive oil. YUM. As an appetizer I made zucchini fritters, or beignets de courgette, but I didn't use zucchini blossoms. And for dessert we had chocolate brownie pudding with vanilla ice cream on top; I didn't go "french" but it was amazing nonetheless. So
here are the three recipes!

Beignets de Courgette

2 Zucchini
2 eggs
3 cloves chopped garlic
3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
oil for frying

Shred/grate the zucchini and put in a mixing bowl. Mix in the eggs, garlic, flour, salt, pepper (it will be a bit runny). Heat about a 1/2 inch of oil in a skillet and drop the mixture in by spoonfuls. Cook until browned on each side, about 3 minutes per side. Remove and set onto a paper towel, then sprinkle with a bit more salt!

Croque Monsieur


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups hot milk
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 2 cups grated Fontina
  • 2 cups mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1 large french bread loaf, sliced in pieces about 1/2 in. thick
  • Dijon mustard (optional)
  • 1 package of prosciutto


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Melt the butter over low heat in a small saucepan and add the flour all at once, stirring with a
wooden spoon for 2 minutes. Slowly pour the hot milk into the butter–flour mixture and cook, whisking constantly, until the
sauce is thickened. Off the heat add the salt, pepper, nutmeg, 1 cup fontina, 1/2 cup mozzarella, and the 1/4 cup Parmesan and set aside.
To toast the bread, place the slices on 2 baking sheets and bake for 5 minutes. Turn each slice and bake for another 2 minutes, until toasted.

Lightly brush half the toasted breads with mustard, add a slice of prosciutto to each, and
sprinkle with half the remainin
g cheeses. Top with another piece of toasted bread. Slather the tops with the cheese sauce, sprinkle with the remaining cheeses, and bake the sandwiches for 5 minutes. Turn on the broiler and broil for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the topping is bubbly and lightly browned.
Serve hot.

Recipe adapted from Ina Garten's recipe.

Chocolate Brownie Pudding, Ina Garten


  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus extra for buttering the dish
  • 4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup good cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • Seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean (I used vanilla extract instead)
  • Vanilla ice cream, for serving


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly butter a 2-quart (9 by 12 by 2-inch) oval baking dish. Melt the 1/2 pound of butter and set aside to cool.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs and sugar on medium-high speed for 5 to 10 minutes, until very thick and light yellow. Meanwhile, sift the cocoa powder and flour together and set aside.
When the egg and sugar mixture is ready, reduce the speed to low and add the vanilla, and the cocoa powder and flour mixture. Mix only until combined. With mixer still on low, slowly pour in the cooled butter and mix again just until combined.
Pour the brownie mixture into the prepared dish and place it in a larger baking pan. Add enough of the hottest tap water to the pan to come halfway up the side of the dish and bake for exactly 1 hour. A cake tester inserted 2 inches from the side will come out 3/4 clean. The center will appear very under-baked; this dessert is between a brownie and a pudding.
Allow to cool and serve with vanilla ice cream

We finished off the night with delicious wine. Success!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Strawberry Blueberry Scones

I LOVE scones. I've made them several times, but each time I try and use whatever ingredients I have, like today for instance. This morning I looked into my cupboard and saw a can of condensed milk, and I thought to myself, "What can I use condensed milk for?....Scones!".

However, the
recipe that I found and desperately wanted to try called for buttermilk, which I didn't have and did not want to go spend money on. So I researched and discovered that you can
reconstruct the condensed milk by adding an equal amount of water, and then add 1 tablespoon of vinegar for each cup of milk that's reconstructed. BRILLIANT! So I decided to try this Blueberry Buttermilk Scone recipe, but added a few twists of my own. I added strawberries to the recipe and instead of all-purpose flour and cake flour, I did half all-purpose and half whole wheat flour. And instead of using regular sugar, I used baking splenda. So really, this is a healthier version of a delicious scone, or at least I'd like to think so. Enjoy!

Makes 1 dozen
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar (or baking splenda)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped strawberries
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (or condensed milk mixture!)
  • 1 large egg, plus 1 large egg lightly beaten for egg wash
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 3 teaspoons orange juice
  • Fine sugar, for sprinkling


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk together flours, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry cutter, or rub in with your fingers, until mixture has the texture of coarse meal. Stir in blueberries.
  3. Whisk together buttermilk, 1 egg, and the vanilla. Add chopped strawberries. Drizzle over flour mixture, and stir lightly with a fork until dough comes together but a small amount of flour remains in bowl.
  4. Turn out dough onto a work surface, and gently knead dough once or twice just to incorporate flour. (Be careful not to over-knead or the dough will be tough). Pat dough into a 1-inch-thick round. Cut into 12 wedges. Transfer to prepared baking sheet. Brush with egg wash, and sprinkle with sugar. Bake until golden brown and cooked through, about 22 minutes. Transfer scones to wire racks to cool. Whisk confectioners sugar and orange juice together and drizzle on top!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Miso Soup

I absolutely love Japanese food. Funny thing is, I HATE fish, therefore I hate sushi. So when out to dinner at my favorite sushi restaurant here in San Diego, I have learned to try new things that don't involve fish, which leads to my new obsession: MISO SOUP. Not only is it delicious, it's low in calories and it's a perfect starter for a meal (to keep you from overeating). Occasionally I add soba noodles and have the soup as a meal, rather than an appetizer.
Although it looks difficult to make, miso soup is incredibly easy, it's getting the right ingredients that's so difficult. You will most likely have to go to an asian food store (i.e. Ranch 99) or a health foods store to get the ingredients, but once you do, it's smooth sailing.

3 tablespoons Soy Bean Paste
3 cups water
1 tsp HonDashi fish soup stock (optional)
3/4 cup cubed tofu
chopped scallions for garnish

Bring 3 cups of water to boil, then add 1 tsp of the fish stock (the kind that I have looks like tiny little pebbles, and they dissolve once added to the water). Put 3 tablespoons of the soy bean paste in a small bowl and add some of the boiling water from the pot to the bowl, and dissolve the paste. Meanwhile, add cubed tofu to the boiling water and let cook for a minute or two. Then bring down the heat and add in the dissolved soy bean paste. Pour desired amount into a bowl, garnish with scallions and...Voila!

Habanero Salsa!

Okay, some of you might not know this, but I'm half Mexican. I don't look the slightest bit Mexican, but I assure you, I am. Although there are a lot of Mexican dishes that I do not like, I am an avid salsa eater; the spicier the better. My boyfriend decided he wanted me to make him a habanero salsa, so naturally I called my mom and asked her for some advice on how to make a delicious salsa. I only had so many ingredients (I was too lazy to go to the store) but here's what I came up with:

4 Tomatillos
2 Large Tomatoes
2 Jalapenos
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 Cup chopped onions
1 teaspoon of sugar
2 teaspoons of fresh lime juice
2 habanero peppers, one with seeds, one without
1 Tablespoon chopped cilantro (use more if you like, I'm not crazy about it)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the tomatillos, tomatoes, and jalapenos. Boil for 15 minutes, drain water, and let cool. Once cooled, de-skin tomatillos and tomatoes, then add all 3 ingredients into a food processor (or blender). Blend until smooth, then add garlic, cilantro, onions, lime juice, sugar, and salt and pepper to taste. If that's not spicy enough for you, move on to the next step: HABANEROS.

Cut the habaneros in half, and remove the seeds from one of the habaneros, and chop. (If you want it REALLY hot, leave in the seeds. The more seeds you have, the spicier it will be). Add the chopped habaneros to food processor and blend until smooth. Let sit in the fridge for at least 1 hour for the flavors to fuse together. I assure you it will be even better the next day.

Use gloves (or in my case, plastic baggies) when cutting the habaneros because it will BURN your fingers. And remember to stay away from your eyes, of course :)
Also, this salsa has more of a "green salsa" flavor, so if you would like you can add a can of diced tomatoes or fresh tomatoes, but personally I think it's authentic as is. You can also try roasting your tomatillos, tomatoes and jalapenos for a different flavor.


Those of you who don't know me that well may not know that I have an obsession with food. It started way back when I was little and I used to make my very own, special, garlic bread everyday for dinner. Actually, I'm pretty sure the food obsession started way before that, but the recipes started then.

Because of my intense love for food and cooking I have decided to start a food blog to record some of my recipes (recibrees), because quite frankly, half of my recipes are adapted or even completely made up, and I'd like to remember them! Even when my friends ask how I make certain things and my answers are confusing, because most of the time I don't use measurements and change the ingredients. This is my way of forcing myself to be more accurate and actually writing down my recipes, and even give people my own personal tips. And now, my friends, you can give me input and try some of my recipes too!

I'm a fairly healthy person (I'd like to think), but don't get me wrong, I LOOOVE fatty foods. French fries, pastries, pizza, cakes, and pretty much anything bathed in butter. I don't want to discriminate, so half of the recipes on this blog will be healthy and flavorful, and half will be not so healthy and VERY flavorful. So....enjoy!
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