Delicious and healthy recipes, cooking tips, international cuisine, and anything related to food and the culinary arts...

Monday, December 10, 2012

Quail Egg Omelet with Corn Bread

I love corn bread but I can't always find it at my local supermarket. I was lucky enough to find it this time around. So now I can enjoy this goodness in many different ways. 

Last night I had corn bread with some fig in muscat wine preserves, Manchego cheese, and cold goat milk to go along with it. 

Today for breakfast, I decided to have some corn bread too. I had quail eggs and mortadella in the fridge and I had just bought hearts of palm. I decided to combine these together along with some avocado for a delicious and unique breakfast. 

First, I cracked three quail eggs into a bowl, beat them and made an omelet just with the eggs alone. Then I removed them onto a cutting board and cut into strips. After that I cut two big slices of mortadella and fried it in a skillet and then cut intro strips too.  Next, I took one heart of palm and cut into round slices. Taking a large plate I laid everything out so that I had a slice of heart of palm, mortadella, a slice of heart of palm, and a strip of quail omelet repeating in that order and sprinkled it all with dried basil. Finally, I placed two square slices of corn bread in the middle of the plate, and put a slice of avocado on top of the corn bread as a decoration. The dish turned out looking like this:

Quail egg omelet strips, fried mortadella strips, heart of palm sprinkled with dried basil and corn bread with avocado on top

The taste was amazing! I can honestly say that it was one of the best breakfasts I've ever had. I finished it off with a hot cup of coffee and a big slice of wild blueberry pie.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Cooking with Chayote Squash

There are different types of squash out there - different shapes, sizes, and colors. All are healthy and nutritious.

I am not a fan of every kind of squash. I love those that resemble a zucchini and recently I have fallen in love with chayote squash. It is light green in color, is of a pear-like shape, and has "wrinkles" at the wider end of it.

Chayote Squash

Chayote squash does not need to be peeled when cooked but it has to be washed before cooking.

When preparing a delicious bowl of chayote squash all you really need is salt, however, you can add herbs, spices, and sauces to it as well.

When I make chayote squash I use some sea salt, roasted sesame seeds, dried parsley flakes, and Aji Mirin (sweet cooking rice wine). I pour a little bit of canola oil into a large deep skillet (over medium heat), and once heated I add the chayote squash, which I cut into cubes beforehand. Then I sprinkle a little bit of sea salt, turn the chayote squash with a spatula, cover the skillet with a lid, and let it cook. From time to time I add oil to the skillet as necessary and turn everything with a spatula, so it doesn't stick or burn. When the chayote squash is almost done cooking (it has to be soft yet still slightly firm) I sprinkle roasted sesame seeds. dried parsley flakes, and add a few teaspoons of Aji Mirin. I mix everything, cover with the lid again, add oil if necessary, and let it cook for a few more minutes. Then I turn off the heat and let it stand covered for a few more minutes. After that I am ready to eat.

Chayote Squash Cooked

Chayote squash can of course be eaten by itself but it also makes for a great side dish and will complement any meat or fish dish. You can even have it with some sausages too. And while you are at it pour some beaten eggs over it and have an omelet... It will make for a healthy and delicious breakfast that you can have any time of the day. You can even use it in soups and salads too. Hmmm... now I have the urge to try making cream of chayote soup. I bet it tastes heavenly. Maybe that will be my next culinary project.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Cabbage Soup with Mushrooms

I love eating cabbage soup. It is healthy, nutritious and at the same time delicious. It can be eaten hot, cold, or warm. Either way it tastes great. Preparing this soup is easy and it's not very time consuming at all. 

It's also great for losing weight so I've heard. Although the type of cabbage soup people make for their diets doesn't look or taste delicious. How do I know? My mom made it once years ago and after trying a spoonful I quickly spit it out. My soup tastes so much better and I am sure eating will help people on diets who watch their weight.

I make cabbage soup all the time and not just because it's part of my tradition since I am originally from Belarus.  I make it because I love it and it's good for me. I don't always make it exactly the same way. Today I chose to include mushrooms in my recipe. And I just had myself a huge bowl with a teaspoon of sour cream. It was heaven on earth. All that was missing was some freshly baked bread. 

Cabbage soup with mushrooms

If you are interesting to know how to make cabbage soup click here.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Fried Potatoes and Fried Pork Bellies

I love pork bellies and haven't had them in a long time so decided to make them yesterday for dinner. Pork bellies are easy to prepare. I just rinse them with water, pat dry with a paper towel, cut into small pieces and fry in a skillet with a little bit of oil for about ten minutes turning them once in a while. All I add is a little bit of salt. No other spices are necessary. Then when I am done I fry some onion and add it to the pork bellies.

Of course since I decided to have some pork bellies I had to have some fried potatoes. The two together are heaven on earth, along with a fresh half-sour pickle. I am not a fan of using frozen french fries that comes in a pack. I prefer to fry potatoes myself so that's what I did. I used Idaho potatoes, which are the best when fried. I cut them into thin slices and fried them in a skillet with some oil until they were golden brown and soften enough yet still crunchy. When they were almost done cooking that's when I added the salt. Better to add salt towards the end to prevent the potatoes from being mooshy. I don't remember how long it took to cook the potatoes but I tried them as I was cooking to figure if they were done or not. I'd say the cooking time was definitely less than half an hour.

Here is a picture of the dish:

Fried potatoes and fried pork bellies

Now this isn't the healthiest of food choices I know. That's why I only eat this once in a while. Actually, I don't remember the last time I had this. It was surely years ago. But it is so good that I just couldn't resist!