Grilled eggplants with lemongrass and other Vietnamese delicacies

[LOVE TIP/ WEB BANQUET] Some swear only by the 7-jour lamb. I would rather go for the 7-hour lunch. Count 3 hours to prepare and 4 hours to share.. hello Summer!

Sylvie and Cricri, come back soon ! :)

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Grilled eggplants with lemongrass http://wp.me/p389oa-17L

A traditional Vietnamese meal with a dish slowly simmered, a clear soup, raw veggies, cooked veggies, tons of fresh herbs and of course white steamed rice! 

And to close the meal: double dessert with a fresh sweet soup (“chè”) in which loads of things float .. and something more creamy with coconut! 

Wild salmon in caramel and lime  

Sweet and sour soup with black tomatoes and calamari 

Yellow tomatoes salad with green olive oil and thai basil  

Grilled eggplants with lemongrass and spicy cashew nuts 

White steamed rice with fig leaves (slightly obsessed with fig leaves I must say)

Peaches soup, spearmint, rapsberries, basil and chia seeds 

Coconut-fig-matcha and white chocolate cream (yes, here again I slipped some fig leaves…)

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Back from the market with an array of eggplants and aromatic herbs; mint, thai basil, spearmint and cilantro. I love how eggplants can be versatile. When cooked it becomes mellow and meaty. I also sometimes pickle the small white ones in salty water. But I mostly steam and bake them so avoid to add extra oil (check my recipe of eggplant with miso and 5 spices here)

Grilled eggplants with lemongrass 

For 4 : 2 eggplants, coriander, mint, 1 lemongrass stem, 1 garlic clove, 1 ss of sugar, 1 ss of oil (optional), 1 ss of vinegar de sucre, a handful of cashew nuts

1. Grill the eggplants in the oven (40 at 7-8). The grilled skin gives an enticing smell to the pulp.

2. Wash and cut the herbs

3. Prepare the sauce mixing lemongrass, garlic, sugar, fish sauce, rice vinegar and oil (which is optional but I like to have a light emulsion) . I also filtered the sauce to remove the lemongrass fibers but you don’t have to. It will be as good with it.

4. Peel the eggplants. Pour the sauce and add the grilled cashew nuts. Here I used raw ones that I caramelised with chili and salt but plain old grilled ones are also perfect to bring some crunchy texture. Enjoy!

Vietnamese cooking, do you like it? do you prepare some?

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Iced cheesecake fragranced with midsummer’s night dream : figs, mulberries, avocado and lime

[LOVE TIP] Midsummer’s night dream : fig leaves, wild mulberries, rose petals fill the air with their fragrance.. What if I could capture them in an iced cheesecake?

 

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I go and pick bravely all the ripe mulberries. In the midst of bees, spiders and nettles I would say this bowl of fruits is a real treasure !

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In the summer I also always enjoy the mesmerizing smell of the fig leaves. They remind me of vegetal and greeen coconut. I pick some leaves and prepare a fig leave oil. Beware all flavoured oils should be refrigerated and consumed within a week to avoid botulism. This infection is severe and risks are increased if 1) there is no oxygen ( here oil prevents the air contact) 2) no acidity 3) humidity (leaves or aromatic herbs contain more water than spices) 4) oil kept at ambiant temperature will facilitate profileration of spores responsible for the infection..

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I am now ready to proceed and prepare an iced cheesecake with avocado and lime on an almond and dates crust. Raw cheesecake perfect for the summer, no baking

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Recipe of iced cheesecake fig leaves-avocado- lime and mulberries. For 8.

40’+3h of freezing

Ingredients for the cream: 2 avocados, 2 lime, 100g ofricotta cheese, 2 white eggs whipped up, 2 g of agar agar diluted in 25 cl of hot water, 2 ss of sugar or agave syrup 

Ingredients for the crust : 30 almonds,  10 dattes (retrieve the stone!) , 1 grated apple, 1 ss of fig oil or coconut oil, 1 pinch of salt

1. Mix the almonds with the dattes, grated apple, 1 ss of coconut or fig oil, 1 pinch of salt. Display on the mold and set aside in the fridge.

2. Mix the avocados with the lime juice, the ricotta cheese, the sugar or agave syrup. Add the white eggs (whipped up) and the agar agar.

3 Spread on the crust. Put the mulberries. Freeze for 3 hours

You can totally skip the eggs and agar agar. Then you could add 2 avocados and have something very creamy. I favored something more airy and light like a mousse.

What about you? what if you wanted to capture the essence of your holidays in a cheesecake, what would you choose?

Enjoy your we!

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Cook it raw in the bush…

[HAPPY VEGGIE] Holidays have officialy started! Want to celebrate with a glass of raw zucchini, nectarines, lime and harissa?

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I just arrived in the South of France and quickly check what’s in the fridge : brousse, a local and delicious goat cheese, perfect!

Some zucchini and aromatic herbs (chives, mint, parsley, rosemary) will do the trick with it.

I get hold of olive oil, salt, harissa, chili and lime; and mix eveything.  Add a peeled tomato. A teenager passes by, asks what I’m doing. He tastes and approves “super good, what’s in there?” I’m considering selling this to him as.. ketchup. After all, since “healthy food” and “vegetable” sound like punitions for these voracious eaters, I will not mention them but will certainly put them on the table..And this may be a way to do it..

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Craving for something salty and tangy, sour and sweet, I grab some nectarines that will perfectly balance this salad.

brousse9I arrange hoops of raw zucchini and nectarines. Then I spread the brousse generously. Again some zucchini and nectarines. Some drops of olive oil and pinch of salt end up the dish. I also sprinkle some seeds.

Ready! You can dress this as a big dish to share or in individual servings. Some cured ham can’t do any harm with this..

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I can’t stop cooking now and prepare a nectarine- wild blueberries crumble with oats and chestnut honey.. Recipe will come soon..

 For 6 : Raw in the bush

2 zucchini, 2 nectarines, 1 tomato, 1 brousse (fresh goat cheese), olive oil, “fleur de sel”, chili and/or harissa, lime, aromatic herbs (here I used parsley, mint, rosemary and chives)

1. Rinse and slice the zucchini and nectarines thinly

2. Peel and cut the tomato in cubes

3. Rinse the herbs and slice them

2. Mix the cheese with 2 ss of olive oil,  1 ts of harissa, juice of a lime, 2 pinches of salt, tomato cubes and herbs

4. Arrange in a dish to share or individual servings. Enjoy!

Have a wonderful we!

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A home-styleVietnamese summer lunch

[LOVE TIP] It’s Saturday, I have some more time to cook and go ahead for a Vietnamese lunch. Morning glory and bitter melon are on the menu. They are perfect for good skin (everything on bitter melon here)  and adapted to reduce internal heat (as defined per Traditional Chinese Medicine)concmuon2On the menu :

Bitter melon with tomatoes

Morning glory salad

Thai and sticky rice, mungo beans

Omelette with chives 

1 Bitter melon with tomatoes

1 small bitter melon, tomatoes, shallot, green pepper, celery, fish sauce, pepper 

TIP : If you don’t have bitter melon substitute with zucchini and or cucumber 

 

Golden the shallots, add the sliced tomatoes, green pepper and celery. Add the bitter melon (retrieve the heart before). Cook for 10 minutes (put a lid and add some water ). Season with fish sauce and pepper.

2. Riz thai, gluant et haricots mungo

I really like this combination. For celebrations we often prepare some sticky rice with mungo beans, flavored with coconut milk. For everyday I often combine thai rice, sticky rice and mungo beans and cook in the rice cooker (proportions : 1-1- 1/4) 

 

3. Morning glory salad

Morning glory, white vinegar, fish sauce, sugar, chili 

TIP: If you don’t have morning glory, use cress or celery

Some work here as normally you should spread the morning glory with a special tool “dung cu chè rau muong”. Or you can simply slice the  stems in half and put them in iced water to “curl” them. This can be prepared ahead of time and kept up to a week in the fridge. Season with white vinegar (2 ss), fish sauce (1 ts) and a ss of sugar.

4. Vietnamese omelette with chives

2 eggs, chives, fish sauce, 1/2 ts of sesame oil, lemon (optional), rice flour (optional). To serve;chili, fresh herbs, cucumber 

Beat 2 eggs, add a ts of fish sauce, 2 ss of water, 1/2 ts of sesame oil, 1 ts of rice flour and some drops of lemon juice. Lemon and rice flour are optional. The lemon will give a very mellow texture (you won’t taste the acidity once cooked) and rice flour give some crisp especially on the borders. Gently cook the chives in some oil, heat up and add the eggs. To serve, garnish with the fresh herbs (here I used shiso, rau ram and cilantro), chili pickled in vinegar and cucumber slices. Eat piping hot

This is not difficult although a bit time consuming. Writing the recipes took me longer than cooking !

Enjoy your week end !

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Too hot? need some fresh air? Tomatoccino on ice! #ParisianNeighboursAreMyFriends

[HAPPY VEGGIE] Summer. So hot in here. Tomato mozarella, Burrata-tomatoes come back and forth on my table.

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Today evening my neighbour plays the piano, all windows open, pushing pedals calling for effects… I confirm that music does not soothe you. Because after 15 minuts of cacophonic Satie, I do need some fresh air.. It is already hot, but now I start to boil…

Tomatoccino my friends. I put a violin CD, sound level 25 hoping to gain back some of my vital space. I feel like a hostage in my own appartment as my other neighbour now starts to play with his hammer.. OMG when will they leave for vacation?

Waiting for the thunderstorm to start, I prepare the tomatoccino : tomato water on ice, topped with whipped cream aromatized with thai basil. Note that you will need 100% fat liquid cream (“fleurette” as we call it in France). Otherwise you will get some airy foam which is as delicious but will not stand for long

1. Peel the tomato. Mix and filter to keep only the water (you can use the pulp later). Set aside

2. Mix the thai basil leaves with very little water. Again, filter and set aside

3. Whip up the cream, add the herb juice at mid course

4.  To serve : pour the tomato water on ice cubes, spoon the whipped cream and enjoy immediately! Fresher isn’t it? I forgot my neighbour for 5′ which was already a treat…

Enjoy your we!

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A mojito that wishes you well #superfood #acai #chia

[HAPPY VEGGIE] I will not comment on the Brasilian episode. Besides I am far from being competent for that : Neymar not there, 7-1, beer and cringe. This is about all I know about the match. And also that from 14th July on I will welcome back my masculine friends who have disappeared almost one day out of two lately…

My welcome back drink will be… mojito! That is, a mojito that wishes you well. I served it this week and I was asked if I had included the essential. Well, all depends on what you call essential.. :)

Le mojito qui vous veut du bien

I confess that I did a pretty much good score at  Garance Doré test http://www.garancedore.fr/en/2014/07/08/are-you-healthy-obsessed/ So my mojito is virgin. For those ready to fly away, you can totally add some alcohol. Am sure it will be delicious as well .

Recipe for 1 litre de mojito Easy. 30′

Ingredients :  2 lime, 150g of rapsberries (fresh or frozen), 3 stems of mint , 1-2 ts of agave syrup (or brown sugar), 1 ts acai*, 8 ts of chia**seeds

1. Mix the rapsberries, mint, acai, lime juice. Add agave syrup

2. Add the chia seeds. Mix well and set aside in the fridge for 15-30′

3. Enjoy!

So, will you opt for virgin or alcoholic mojito?

acai: berry from tropical jungle rich in antioxydants and Vitamin C . If not available, drop it or susbtitute with some more berries

** chia seeds : rich in oméga 3 et 6, originated from Peru and Mexique. good for skin and mood. 

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Mint-peas-coconut milk. Keep it simple?

[HAPPY VEGGIE] For those who get hungry but don’t always know what to cook, always keep a coconut milk can in store. Throw one or 2 ingredients and it does marvels : coconut milk and mango, coconut milk, mango and sticky rice.. sounds good, no?

But.. I have a strong tendancy to always add some more ingredients. When going for sticky rice and mango, I am likely to add a pinch of salt here, some toasted sesame seeds there, and  if I am in shape even some drops of pandan essence.

I am litteraly spreading love and attention with these herbs and spices and just can’t help it. A dish is not finished if it is not garnished with one herb, or even two. Total vice. Neurotic disorder.

For once inspired by the mint-peas coconut soup by Green Kitchen Stories I figured I would cook with only 3 ingrédients! Total challenge. As if you asked me to sum up 24h in 3 minutes. Or make it short with my best friend. Recognition test amongst auditors : left debit, right credit, last line : result before and after tax, tax rate 15%.

Straight to the point, simple and efficient. Personal development plan, totally (and horribly) correlated to the 30-slides presentation to stream down to 10 slides… To make it short : today a recipe with no more than 3 ingredients.

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Peas, check. Mint, check. Coconut milk, check.

Omg.. there is a fennel in the fridge, already rinsed and sliced. Fennel and mint are very good friends. Fennel will bring some fibers because peas and coconut are very much like potato and cream, disguised in green to make you believe they’re light… Not much hesitation : 4 ingredients are totally manageable, no? Fennel, check. For the good cause.

Then .. it went astray. I cracked, I threw in some badiane, added nuoc mam (fish sauce) , washed some thai basil. Well, looks like I didn’t pass the auditor exam today…

Recipe (for 2, 10′ chrono)

3 ingredients : coconut milk+mint+peas  (didn’t count garlic and shallot)

Gently cook garlic and shallot in a ss of olive oil, add the peas (2 handfuls)+ half a bunch of mint+ 50 cl coconut milk (small can), add some water. Let it simmer for 5′, mix it. Ready!

4 ingredients : coconut milk+mint+peas+nuoc mam (fish sauce)

5 ingredients : coconut milk+mint+peas+nuoc mam (fish sauce)+ half a fennel  : for those who like the mint-aniseed combination.

6 ingredients : coconut milk+mint+peas+nuoc mam (fish sauce)+ half a fennel +badiane : for those who like anis

7 ingredients : coconut milk+mint+peas+nuoc mam (fish sauce)+ half a fennel +badiane+ thai basil. It was worth it :)  

What about you, how many ingredients in average do you use? Do you find it easy to keep it simple?

Tomorrow, I will try the breakfast with 2 ingredients… In the meantime, almost there my presentation went down to 10 slides. Not counting appendice of course (like garlic and shallot..)

Enjoy your day!

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