10 salad recipes

Do you wanna know what I found most challenging in cooking? Innovation. I mean, it is too easy to end up on a circle of only cooking those things you master. It is reasonable. It is not difficult to make a hash of a “first time recipe” and, I don’t know about you, but I hate when a recipe turns out an epic fail. But… then I think: I didn’t master at first those recipes I master now, I need to keep learning, I need to extend my cooking repertoire and specially, I need to try as many times as it takes.

So lately I’ve been thinking about salads, A LOT. Let me explain here: I’ve been studying too much and I’ve had too much time to think about food. One thing I cannot understand about me is how stress makes me eat so little and, at the same time, I am hysterically obsessed with food.

Anyway, I love salads, that’s a fact, and I like to eat them a few times per week (yes, even in winter) and this final’s season I’ve felt the urge of spicing them up a little bit.  So, in order to indulge myself, I headed to my Pinterest board and began the hunting. There are hundreds of them, of course, but I selected only 10, every one with it’s special twist or main ingredient.

Apple cranberry walnut

Goat cheese

(I know, I didn’t find it on Pinterest but it’s been a while since I cooked it for the last time…)

Goat Cheese Salad

Pesto pasta with sun dried tomatoes and roasted asparagus

Brown rice with cilantro lime dressing

Sorry, no image here

Grilled Caesar

Asian quinoa

Greek yogurt chicken

 

Lentils

Ensaladilla Russa

Honey lime rainbow fruit

 

I cannot wait to give it a try on every one of this salads. My fave is this last one though, I die for fruit! What about you? Is there a special one you’d try?

Happy Wednesday!

Coca de Quart de Mallorca – Mallorca’s Sponge Cake


Hello beauties! How have you been lately? My life’s been a complete mess (as always). I started working again, I had bad days, better days, lots of work and (as always) I’ve been postponing writing here… Oh man, I feel so bad about it!

But again, here I am trying to stick to my schedule and write here a few times per week (and… as always, any tips???)

Today I want to introduce you one of my favorite Spanish recipes: Mallorca’s Sponge Cake (Coca the Quart de Mallorca). I discovered this cake thanks to a friend of my Mom and one of the best cooks I’ve ever met.  She brought it to a party at my place two summers ago and I could not stop thinking about it until I learned how to bake the most delicious simple cake I’ve tried.

This “Oh so fluffy and sweet!” cake is relatively difficult to prepare but it worth the effort and once you know how it is done, it is a ridiculously easy recipe (it is a big mystery for me how can this happen… )

So, let’s go to the point and learn how we can cook as a Mallorcan Mom, or at least trying it.


Note: I didn’t post a photo mosaic because the pictures were took in a really bad light and they are pretty lame… Sorry!


Ingredients:

  • 6 eggs
  • 200 gr/7.05 oz sugar
  • 100 gr/3.53 oz flour
  • Some icing sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven at 200ºC/392ºF
  2. Separate the egg whites from the yolks.
  3. Mount the egg whites until stiff.
  4. Add the sugar slowly while mixing it with the whites.
  5. Add the yolks one by one and mix them with the paste.
  6. Add the flour slowly and sifting it. Mix it slowly, with a circular movement and always on the same direction. Don’t worry about the lumps, they’ll make the cake fluffier.
  7. Put it on the mold using some baking paper to prevent the dough from sticking to it.
  8. Bake it at 190ºC/374ºF for about 12-15 minutes.
  9. Cool it on a rack and decorate with icing sugar.

Tips

  • As we are not using yeast, the cake will decrease its size while cooling, in order to avoid this, we should “startled” it (I’m not sure if that’s the correct term, we call it like that in Spanish), that means to strike at the base of the mold with the countertop or the kitchen floor.
  • For best results use a aluminium tray.
  • Make sure the cake is well baked, poke it with a toothpick: if it ends up clean, the cake is ready.
  • Be VERY patient while cooking this cake.

I found this recipe one of the easiest I’ve ever seen and yet it is really difficult to get the best results. Don’t get discouraged if the first time you didn’t get what you expected, it took me three times and see my Mom’s friend cooking it once to have a decent result. One thing I can assure you: once you try this cake (and you get the result you expected), you’ll cook it almost every week.

What do you think about it? Any questions?

Happy Tuesday! 🙂

Mom’s recipe: Baked artichokes


Is there a better meal than one cooked by your mom? Oh, don’t bother to answer, I already know what you’re gonna say: Nope.

Everyone loves their mom’s cooking, the way she cooks macaroni or that special soup that you’ve been for years trying to make it taste the same way she does. And the thing is it doesn’t matter how hard you try, there’s no human way of meeting your mother in the kitchen and beat her ass off… But hey! Do you really care about that? Not me.

The truth is I love how she cooks, and I love going home and eat everything she makes, I love not being able of prepare certain dishes and make them taste the way she does and also love the way she makes a meal for 6 people and makes it taste as good as if it was for 1 or 2. That’s what I find trickiest.

Trying to cook all this dishes you’ve been eating all your life with so much pleasure is as natural as eating, just as it is natural to fail doing it and disappoint yourself because it turned out not being what you expected. Is like your taste buds had lost half of they sensitivity. But hey, don’t worry, cooking is an art, and as such, it improves with practice. Sooo the best way of matching your mom is to try again and again and, eventually one day your dish will taste a little bit closer to hers. That’s what I’ve been trying since I moved to Valencia, and now (almost 9 years later) I start finding some of my dishes as good as the ones I ate when I was at home.

I owe my mother my passion for cooking and I wanted her to be around here in some way. She and my grandma are the best cookers I’ve known and so I want to dedicate a few posts to their dishes, or my poorer version of them. So every once in a while I will post a “Mom’s recipe”.

When I was little I didn’t like eating artichokes, I hated their taste and was lazy enough to avoid getting my hands dirty with such an odious vegetable, with this recipe I’m sharing today my mother made me enjoy them, but not only that, she made me love artichokes. In fact, today they are one of my favorite vegetables and I cook them once or twice a week throughout the season.

Ingredients: (2 people)

  • 4 artichokes
  • 150 gr/ 5 ounces sausage or ham
  • 200 gr/ 7 ounces tomato sauce
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven at 180ºC/360F. Cut the artichokes’ tails, wash them and open the leaves.
  2. Dress with some salt, pepper and olive oil.
  3. Bake for one hour and a half .
  4. Meanwhile, stir-fry the sausage or ham until it turns golden brown.
  5. Incorporate the tomato sauce and stir-fry at medium-low heat for 5 more minutes.
  6. Once baked, add the sauce to the artichokes with a spoon, making sure that part of the sauce gets inside them. Bake again for 10 more minutes.

Tips:

  • An easy way of opening the artichokes’ leaves is putting them upside down and gentle press the bottom.
  • To see if the artichokes are cooked enough prick the artichokes with a toothpick. They’ll be cooked if you can do it without any trouble.
  • Baking time depends on the size of the artichokes, I used medium-sized ones.

Make sure you’ve got napkins around you while eating this tasty dish or things will get messy. Have a nice meal!