Very Berry Crostata

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Crostata, Galette, Free form pie, you all know my idilic love with this pastry goodness. Four ingredients for the crust, berries and sugar, never haved tasted so good. Talk about simplicity and mayor goodness. I think I have already 4 crostata recipes on this blog, and I did not even hesitate to add a new variation.

There is a warm gratifying feeling about making this simple crust, using your hands, an effortless crust, that when is baked you can stop smiling. With all this berries in season, you will need so little sugar to enhance their flavor. What is not to crave about fresh fruit baked in a thin almondy crust? I feel like  this crostata is a guiltless pleasure…that leaves more room for ice cream. hehehe

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My advice, avoid wasting your time thinking what to do or bake to celebrate this weekend, if you have 15 minutes to spare to make a crust in the morning, 15 minutes to roll and prep,and 45 minutes to careless baking while you relax zipping an ice tea, these berry beauty is all you need for a great Summer afternoon.

I only know, that for this Summer this is all what I want, a slice of this berry crostata slightly warm, with a scoop of vanilla bean ice-cream or a dollop of whipped cream, an ice tea on the side, and sparkling objects on the sky to celebrate the 4th,  5th, 6th…or 28th of July…Enjoy!

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Sweet Corn Crab Cakes with Saffron Aioli

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This recipe has a long name but short preparation. Crab was never on Ian’s or my menu when growing up, but we really enjoy seafood: Mussels, Oysters, Razor Clams, Lobstah’, shrimp, fish… we love seafood the same way we love all food we sea.

So I decided to give it a shot, and make some crab cakes. I always liked how Seafood is prepared in Spain, simple, fresh but there is always an element of kick. Either from the freshest olive oil, a pinch of paprika, garlic, or a simple side of pimientos del padron. There’s always that good unexpected accent.

With this in mind I create today’s recipe  which combines sweet corn, orange zest, green onion action and sweet Louisiana crab with a delicious creamy saffron aioli with a garlic kick.

The first time I made these crab cakes we just fell in love with their flavor. These subtle flavors are a match made in heaven with the sweet crab. I could go on and on about them, but I think the photos will do the talking…Shhh, They taste even better than they look…
Crispy panko bread crumbs surround the outside of this cakes and a tender flaky and moist inside the crab just sings. The sweet corn kernels add great texture and sweetness. They are serve warm with a squeeze of lemon and the bright creamy saffron-garlic aioli on the side…mmmm, seriously good.

The recipe makes about 10 crab cakes if you use a standard ice cream scoop to portion them. They can also be made with a smaller size scoop and make bite size appetizers, Small to bigger crowds will love them.

If you are in a crabby mode, please consider this recipe as one of your top contenders.
Serve them along with green bib lettuce and some fresh tomatoes, these Sweet Corn Crab Cakes with saffron aioli it is all you need for a great Summer dinner. Have fun!

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The Hemingway

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The great Hemingway, a classic cocktail, a daiquiri to be precise. This iconic Cuban drink was born in La Floridita restaurant, one of the favorite bars of Ernest Hemingway.

Summer is here, in full bloom and we thought about making this drink a lot. What can we add, what can we change… can we make it better? Well pretty much, no.

I think the Hemingway daiquiri is perfect as it is. The drink is a refreshing mix of white rum, fresh lime juice, fresh grapefruit juice and maraschino liqueur, the perfect combination for a summer drink. With simple ingredients, natural fruit juice, this drink is a hit. Refreshing, not too sweet, with a bitter edge.

We’ve seen various versions where is made on the rocks or as a Martini. But after reading what Ernest Hemingway said about one of his favorite drinks: “ The drinks had no taste of alcohol and felt, as you drank them, the way downhill glacier skiing feels running through powder snow.” Now this sounds refreshing to me! We decided to take it “literally”.. ehehm, and we added a couple of scoops of ice to a blender and a rim of pink himalayan salt, making it a slushy. Now it lives, feels, and tastes like Hemingway’s description. Its just what you dream of on a hot summery day specially when you are dreaming of a beachy vacation that seems so far away… yet so close, as close as our couch on the living room besides our bookshelves.

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Yes, this is our staycation summery treat, along with a list of our books we aim to read, this are not the newest titles out there, they are what we have not been able to read, you know those books that stay on the bookshelfs and you promise yourself you’ll read them soon. Well we have quite a homework to do.

But first things first set your self up with a drink, relax, and read…

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Making Homemade Corn Tortillas

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Do you want to learn how to make your own corn tortillas? Get ready! Once you go handmade, its hard to go back to the store bought. The process is fairly easy once you get the hang of it; patience, my little grasshopper, is the key. The first two are horrible, and then the magic happens and you learn from your mistake and “Bippidi-Boppidi-Boo” …your tortillas start to take shape. In the kitchen, making tortillas is one of the things I enjoy the most. Its so rewarding and in my opinion they taste so much better than machine made. Imagine the smell of warm corn filling up the kitchen and the taste of soft fresh tortillas…it has no comparison.

Making tortillas requires lots of patience and “patience”. Yes, if you have patience and a little extra time, go for it! Make them because its 100% worth it. Although I recommend you do not attempt to learn how to make them the night before if you have a big crowd to feed or a party… to do so would be a bit of a nightmare. You do need practice and like I said LOTS of patience. Tortillas don’t like people in a hurry. You have to be in a Zen tortilla mode, focus and get into the groove. It can be frustrating at the beginning. Just like pancakes usually the first one is not so good but once you get the right amount of heat and rhythm you are in tortilla mode.  Soon after a heavenly bite of a soft corn handmade flat soft round device that will become the best taco you ever had. Now please follow these instructions literally. I experimented with several proportions and these were the most successful. It is hard to make a tortilla from fresh masa, but let me tell you, I know the real thing.  I’m Mexican,  and I won’t settle for just “on the bag” instructions. I have noticed that recipe is not always soft and pliable and the tortillas they tend to be on the dry side. My secret?…Add cornstarch! By altering the proportions and adding this starch, the tortillas are soft pliable and they puff up… Make a bunch keep them and store in a plastic bag or wrap them in a towel and plastic wrap.

Reheating next day? No problem!.. My dear 50%Scottish- 50%American husband taught his 100% Mexican wife to reheat the tortillas on the bachelor way:In a toaster. Would you believe?!!! Ha! Well I have to say that it is a very effective method.

What I learned is by sprinkle them with a little water on each side, then place one tortilla into each toaster slide, set up the toaster number 3-4 depending on the toaster and you will have the most efficient and fast reheating method for tortillas. The tortillas turn out warm and not dry. Be careful using your fingers to remove them, they get very hot. Thank you Ian. Now back to the making, just make tortillas, eat them, repeat, enjoy, good with queso and perhaps this roasted red salsa, or making this pulled pork tacos…what ever rocks your boat, get at it!

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