Easy Weeknight Cooking: Asian Fish Parcels

asian-fish-parcels_blog-2This super easy recipe is one that our kids can make by themselves in the kitchen.  And easy in this case, doesn’t mean lacking in taste at all.  It’s the perfect combination of French technique (“en papillote) and Asian ingredients.  It’s kind of an origami project for the kids to wrap up the fish in foil or parchment.  The drama of opening the packets table-side always impresses everyone.  You can omit the chile paste if you want to, to make the dish more palatable to little taste buds.  Happy weekend!

Check out the recipe on San Jose’s Mercury’s Quick Dinner Weeknight Cooking section……

Sweet Treat: Souvla’s Greek Frozen Yogurt with Baklava Crumbles

Souvla Frozen Yogurt

Souvla’s frozen Greek yogurt with baklava crumbles is fun twist on an ice cream sundae.

After a very foggy summer in SF, it’s finally feeling like summer and I also finally got around to trying the signature dessert at the new-ish Greek rotisserie lunch spot Souvla in Hayes Valley. This sweet treat is a winner all the way — from concept down to the Greek coffee shop paper cups they serve it in — velvety, tangy frozen yogurt (Greek yogurt of course) drizzled with a touch of honey syrup and baklava crumbles. So many things to like all in one cup! And yes…. Souvla’s rotisserie situation did look pretty amazing so next time you know I’ll be checking out the spit-fired meats, veggies and house-made spreads!

Don’t you think this would be a fun & easy dessert to re-create at home using store-bought baklava and fro-yo? Not to mention a good excuse to drag out the ice cream maker and experiment with homemade frozen yogurt. Unlike a classic ice cream which requires making a custard (pans, thermometers, multiple steps and a good amount of precision), making frozen yogurt is really as simple as combining 5 parts yogurt with 1 part sugar (the sugar adds sweetness and also keeps the yogurt soft and scoop-able rather than icy), a pinch of salt and add-ins (if you like). Make sure everything is well chilled then dump it all in the ice cream maker and let it churn away. Very doable and an excellent project for kids to try.

Here’s  a basic frozen yogurt recipe from Serious Eats and a slightly more involved one from America’s Test Kitchen (via the Splendid Table podcast).

Fast & Furious Weeknight Cooking: Simran’s Chimichurri Black Beans

chimichurri-beans

These brothy, flavorful chimichurri beans are so versatile — a tasty base for soups and stews; a hearty sidedish; or, of course, a filling for tacos, quesadillas, tortas and yes… nachos! Simran developed this recipe after enjoying a similar dish when she was in Belize and it’s our latest article for our “Fast & Furious Weeknight Cooking” series for the San Jose Mercury News. Read the article and get the recipe right here. Continue reading

Currently Snacking on….. Tomato and Ricotta Crostini

Tomato Ricotta Balsamic and Sea Salt Bruschetta by A Little Yumminess

This one’s in the running for summer’s most perfect bite. You can get quite creative and fancy with bruschetta, but sometimes simplicity rules. A slab of ciabatta layered with the best ricotta you can find (or make your own — it’s easy) and a simple salad of juicy farmers’ market tomatoes dressed liberally with balsamic vinegar, jewel green olive oil, freshly cracked pepper and flakey sea salt. We could eat this everyday and twice on Sunday.

New Favorite: Old-Fashioned Poached Pears

Poached Pears

Poached Pears by A Little Yumminess

Here’s something tasty to eat while you’re awaiting the return of luscious summer fruit. We love our apples, pears and oranges, but somehow they just don’t inspire the way those buckets of cherries and perfect ripe-tart-juicy nectarines do. But then again these spiced, wine-poached pears are pretty great. They’re tender and sweet, with hints of clove and cinnamon, and exotic, earthy aromas provided by a bit of leftover wine. Glossy and gorgeous, this is an old-fashioned kind of dessert, the kind your grandmother might have made — especially if she was Italian. In fact making these always gets my hubby thinking about his Nonni.

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Cool Summer Treats: Frozen Hot Chocolate

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Summer is here and when we saw this recipe on one of our favorite blogs, we could not resist trying it out almost immediately.  Made famous by Serendipity Cafe in NYC, this “frozen hot chocolate” is basically a home-made ice blended.  It’s an easy recipe, one that the kids can make by themselves, start to finish (that includes clean-up!).  I suspect we will be making these frozen hot chocolates a few more times before the summer is over.  The portion below in the recipe is (too) small, and given the popularity of the end product, do double or triple the recipe!  Great icy treat to add to your summer repertoire…. Continue reading

Summer Inspiration: Grilled Avocados

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Until very recently, I never considered grilling avocados – and now that I have discovered this, there’s no turning back.  The recipe is super simple – cut a few ripe avocados in half.  Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and ancho chile powder (cayenne, paprika or any other chile powder work well). Grill for 1-2 minutes, cut side down till charred.  Season with Maldon salt and squeeze on some fresh lime juice.  Ridiculous good. Continue reading