Although it’s at the very top of my travel wish list, I have never been to Morocco. Neither has Karen nor Todd. So we were beyond excited when our friends at Project Bly brought Morocco to us last week. If you’re not familiar with this oh so inspiring online destination and you are as consumed by wanderlust as we are, I would seriously consider bookmarking their site immediately! The team at Project Bly travels the world, searching for the world’s best markets and most far flung artisans, to curate rotating collections of objects, textiles, art and jewelry – all while allowing us to live vicariously through their journeys in the form of photography and video. Back to our Moroccan feast. Moroccan chef Zouhair Karam put together a delightful spread of chicken tagine, salad, and mint tea to be enjoyed with sweets, dried fruits and nuts. Berber rugs, silver tea trays, bread baskets, vintage tea pots, tea glasses and tadelakt bowls were laid out beautifully. For an brief but lasting moment, we were all transported to Marrakech. And it was lovely. Stay tuned for some Moroccan inspired recipes coming to you this week!
Fruit! Summer’s here (and for others, right around the corner) and that means feasting on my favorite fruits, like watermelon, mangos and pineapples. Straight and unadulterated fruit is fantastic, but check out these recipes that take fruit to a whole new level. Like this balsamic melon salad by The First Mess. Someone get me a fork!
File this one under the category of, “why didn’t I make this sooner?!” As you know, I’m a fan of syrups: herbal syrups, berry syrups, and even cocktail syrups. It’s such an easy way to fancify your cocktails. This syrup, however, is a game-changer. Coconut chai syrup for the win! For some reason I never thought to mix sugar and coconut milk. A-MAZ-ING. Of course I had to add some chai tea, because, well why not? This lemonade seriously hit the spot last weekend after an epic day of yard work – perhaps even spiked with a splash of rum? Just sayin’ . . .
Start by making the coconut chai syrup.
This is a healthier riff on the red wine granita + vanilla bean ice cream I made a couple weeks ago. I initially wanted to make this with tapioca pudding– inspired by my ultimate childhood favorite treat: baobing, Chinese shaved ice topped with all kinds of fruit, red bean, tapioca, almond jello, etc, etc. Alas, I couldn’t find any tapioca so instead made a chia seed pudding, which I’ve seen trending all over the internet. I just love the texture and it worked great! And of course, there’s the pineapple flurry. Or granita. Or whatever you want to call it, like damn refreshing soft flakes of icy pineapple snow. This whole thing is just perfect– summer in a cup.
Start by making the pineapple flurry. Pour fresh pineapple juice into a shallow pan and place in the freezer. After about an hour or when ice crystals start to form on the edges, use a fork and scrape the sides into the center. Repeat this every hour or so until it turn slushy. Keep raking your fork and scraping the ice until you get ice crystals. To see what the progression looks like check out how I made a red wine granita.
I can’t believe it’s already Friday! That means tomorrow it’s the weekend and I get to sleep until noon, eat pizza for breakfast and watch the NBA playoffs all day. Who am I kidding? What I meant to say was, wakeup at 6am, go for a long run, and then spend all day painfully ripping up all the bamboo that’s taking over my backyard. There’s only one thing that can get me through that kinda morning. I’ll give you a hint: starts with a ‘c’ and ends with an ‘offee’. Oh, and the thought of these outrageous roasted strawberry red wine popsicles from Pastry Affair. I’ve been dying to make them since first glance on Tuesday. I think tomorrow might finally be the day. Wish me luck!
My interest in traditional preservation methods like fermentation has recently extended into curing. There’s something just fascinating about the combination of time and science transforming food’s textures and flavors. I’m finding myself more and more motivated to experiment with techniques like fermenting and curing over cooking! Making lox is about as easy as it gets when it comes to curing meats. The process just involves packing a salmon filet in salt (and any other flavoring) and letting nature do its thing for about 5 days. Seriously, that’s it. For the sake of keeping this lox “homemade,” I took a shortcut and used liquid smoke which gave the salmon a very light smoked flavor. I also added a little brown sugar and pepper, but you could adjust the ratio to your preferences and add other flavors like dill or onion. Do not be intimidated by making homemade lox– the only skill you need to have is patience!
Start with a 2 pound salmon filet with skin on. Remove the pinbones with a pair of needle-nose pliers.