One of my favorite cooking books is Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home. It not only has great recipes but the playful banter between two amazing chefs, Julia Child and Jacques Pepin, over the dishes is just so heartwarming. They give you two different perspectives of one dish, leaving you eventually to pick one side as a favorite, or to create your own third way out.
This is a very simple recipe. It doesn’t involve a lot of preparation. It does take time to cook it but you put in the oven when your guests arrive for dinner and forget about it. You can add different jam and fruit obviously but since it’s peach season I decided to use those. In the fall you can replace them with apples or pears or make a vegetable version of this rustic tart. More »

tart16 There are days when I just want to make something simple, with less mess in the kitchen. This tart couldn’t be simpler because it’s using thawed puff pastry and tomatoes. It doesn’t require any precooking except defrosting the puff pastry. It almost looks like pizza! At first I wanted to go very simple and add some mozzarella and basil on top. But during the baking process I decided to add some prosciutto and arugula instead. I still added grated mozzarella cheese and I would strongly recommend to use the shredded mozzarella because if you go ahead with regular mozzarella it will have too much water and will make the dough soggy. You can also add more colors if you mix some yellow and red tomato together. More »

It’s the fava bean season! I know that some of you will be like “fava what?” For some people the only way they have heard about it was when Hannibal Lecter served it with liver and Chianti in The Silence of the Lambs. I definitely grew up eating them differently. I was a little disappointed to see how hard it is to get them around the District, and once you see them at the Farmers Market, they can be quite expensive. They are full of vitamins and a great source of lean protein so it might be worth getting some now since the season for them is so short.

pasta27If I could I would eat a huge pot of cooked fava beans without adding anything, except for salt.  My husband witnessed that a couple of times when we were in Poland. But this time since I didn’t have a lot I decided to use them in a sauce. I have also been thinking for a while what to do with this basil that has been spreading in my garden and finally decided to make basil pasta with fava beans sauce. I know it may sound complicated but it’s really not, and if you have a pasta roller and cutter, that’s even easier and faster. The fava beans sauce complements the pasta quite nicely and highlights the basil. It is so fragrant that you might to try eating the pasta alone with only freshly grated parmesan and olive oil. More »

There is no picnic without fired chicken. Period.
It’s a little messy process and I admit very easy to burn. I learned this method from one of the chefs in Montreal and since then I’m never going to make it differently. It always turns out juicy and crispy and that’s what fried chicken should be. You can play with the spices as you like but I like simple and classic with a little cayenne pepper kick. More »

03. July 2014 · 1 comment · Categories: Sides · Tags: ,

salad3A friend told me that every picnic basket should include potato salad or any salad with mayonnaise. Let’s the skip the mayonnaise part since we have enough of the redundant albeit inevitable calories in there. I am using a Food Network recipe for sauce for the German potato salad, and my husband, having German roots, was quite appreciative about that.
I have used red skin potatoes but you can use Yukon potatoes as well. It’s great served either cold or warm. More »