Kevi’s {favorite} omelette {or frittata} with avocados and lime

jalapeño & tomato omelette

sometimes i can’t believe how easy it is to please my son with food options when he comes home from college. he arrives (perpetually) hungry for simple, home made food and with an increasingly sophisticated palate (finally)! having said that, he is my eggboy (i call him that because of the endless amounts of eggs he consumes), and enjoys a good spicy omelette more than anything, except for maybe the burritos he also likes so much. the common thread is always jalapeño peppers, avocados and lime. did i mention cilantro? he loves that too. lots of cilantro, finely chopped, or in his favorite green sauce (which we sometimes drizzle over the frittatas)-he is a SoCal kid after all. best of all, being cooking minette’s son, he actually cooks once in a while:  delicious tostadas and quesadillas, guacamole, avocado salads, and a pretty mean frittata (not this one)! this morning he asked me to make him a super spicy omelette with lots of avocados before he went to an important meeting (eggboy is growing up). it’s probably not even necessary to share the recipe for this-it is that simple to make-but just in case, here

spicy organic omelette

we go:

  • 3 organic eggs, beaten together (lightly with a fork or whisk) with a touch of sea salt (add 2 tablespoons of milk or cream for a richer, fluffier omelette)
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, thinly sliced (use as much as you want heat-wise)
  • 2 ripe roma tomatoes, cubed
  • a small sliver of butter (or use oil of choice)
  • 2-3 tbs shredded cheese (Gruyere or Pepper jack are our favorites)
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/2 of a lime
  • a small bunch of cilantro, finely chopped
  • tortillas
  • 1 small avocado, peeled and sliced just before serving
  1. heat the butter (until melted) or oil in a small skillet, add the pepper slices and tomatoes and a touch of sea salt, sauté for about 2 minutes on high heat. pour the egg mixture over the peppers and tomatoes, tilting the skillet from side to side to evenly cover them with the eggs.
  2. keep the heat on high for about a minute, then sprinkle with cracked pepper and cheese, reduce the heat to low, and cook covered with a (preferably clear) lid for a few more minutes until eggs are cooked and cheese has melted.
  3. slide the omelette/frittata onto a plate, sprinkle with cilantro and cracked black pepper.
  4. serve with sliced avocados, lime wedges, and warm tortillas (can be heated in the same skillet as the eggs-about 30-40 seconds per side on high heat). that’s all there is to it!  a perfect and fresh sunday brunch or late evening hungry time option.
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a totally scrumptious salad: green beans with dukkah roasted chickpeas & pesto dressing

dukkah roasted chickpeas in salad

i was so lucky to find myself standing in Yotam Ottolenghi’s wonderful deli in Nottingham this past summer with my Sahar {cousin-love-sister} trying to narrow down (the hardest part) what to order for a quick lunch. we ended up with way more ahhhmazinngly fresh and tasty food than we could possibly consume (and we can certainly consume a good bit) wrapped in beautiful crisp white boxes to go (the only table of 10 in the back was full of people eating happily with no intentions to leave).Ottolenghi deli Notting Hill we sat on a little wall just outside devouring spiced roasted cauliflowers, grilled aubergine with cucumbers and red peppercorns, mixed beans with dill and coriander seeds, and crushed beetroots with labne and grains of paradise. does it sound as simply delicious, uncomplicated yet sophisticated as it was? i haven’t even started on the desserts yet. maybe it’s best i leave it to your imagination. let me just say i have never seen meringue as large, tasty and beautiful. when we were paying for the food my cousin picked up a jar labeled Dukkah *(see below for more on this Egyptian spice blend) and asked if I’d ever cooked with it. i had not. Ottolenghi deli Notting Hillsaid jar was promptly paid for and tossed in my bag. “i’m sure my cousi will find a great way to use it” she said. well, i finally got around to using the Dukkah in a green bean and roasted chickpea (garbanzo) salad inspired by the genius food we’d shared that glorious sunny day in London. it was such a successful dish: pure and simple, filling, good for you, slightly spicy, crunchy, and really full of flavor. it’s been added to the list of favorites. i’m thinking a fresh jar of Dukkah might be just the excuse for another trip to London. i wish. :-)dukkah roasted garbanzo beans

ingredients for 4-6 servings of salad:

  • 1 cup cooked garbanzo beans (see roasted garbanzo bean recipe here-add Dukkah to the beans prior to roasting)-for roasting the beans you will need extra virgin olive oil, spices such as dukkah or cumin and cayenne pepper  for spiciness, sea salt, & pepper (to taste)
  • 2-3 cups cleaned haricots verts (or green beans), cooked for just a few minutes in lightly salted rapidly boiling water (until just tender) and then cooled down in ice bath to retain color and crispness
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced (julienned)
  • 1 cup sliced (cubed) ripe tomatoes
  • 4-5 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 3-4 tbs home made walnut-parsley easto (recipe below)
  • 1/2 of a small lemon or a lime, freshly juiced
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup or lightly more crumbled french feta cheese

for the walnut-parsley pesto blend together in a blender with a steel blade:

green bean salad with pesto dressing

 

  • 1 large bunch (1 cup) fresh organic flat leaf parsley
  • 1 small bunch fresh organic basil (about 10-15 leaves)
  • 10-12 raw walnuts
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • a few tsp of water may be needed to add to the blender to soften the pesto

build the salad in a shallow bowl starting with the cold (cooked) beans, bell pepper, tomatoes, chives or scallions, and crumbled cheese. top with slightly cooled but still crisp roasted garbanzo beans. dress with pesto dressing and mix just prior to serving. for the dressing combine 4-5 tbs of the pesto with lemon/lime juice and a few more tsp of olive oil if needed, mix well. taste and adjust seasoning. drizzle over the salad just before serving.

*Dukkah is an Egyptian spice mixture often served (marinated in olive oil) with pita bread. to make your own you will need:

  • 3/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup hazelnuts
  • 1/2 cup whole coriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns

toast the sesame seeds and hazelnuts in the oven (separately), then combine all ingredients and grind in food processor for 3-4 minutes.

 

 

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a simple chicken curry with potatoes and peas

20 minute dinners

chicken curry is one of those go-to meals i {go to} when i’ve run out of ideas for quick and easy meals involving chicken. i have no fixed recipe and make no exact measurements, so it all depends on what’s available, my mood, and how much time i’m willing to spend on preparing the meal. after taking inventory of possible ingredients, i make a quick “paste” in the blender before simmering the (sauteed) chicken and vegetables in it for about 30-45 minutes. sometimes the resulting curry comes out so spicy it is almost difficult to eat (not really), but often times it is surprisingly well balanced and delicious despite the rather casual process involved in making it happen. more often than not we are perfectly satisfied and happyhappy after polishing off the steaming bowl of curry topped with loads of chopped cilantro and a side of fluffy basmati rice (or steamed quinoa if i’m being good). i’m pretty sure if (when) you make this curry and taste the results you’ll be {going to it} as often as i do.

quick & easy curry ingredients for 4-6:

 

anti-inflammatory curry

  • 6-8 organic chicken tenders (or about six-eight pieces of chicken)
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 cup (more or less) frozen peas (or fresh)
  • 3-4 small young potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 2 tbs virgin unrefined coconut oil
  • 3-4 stalks lemongrass
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • fresh ginger, a good nice chunk (about 1 tbs)
  • 1 lime
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2-3 tbs good quality curry powder
  • 1 cup (or slightly more) coconut milk
  • 4-6 lime leaves
  • 1-2 tsp raw sugar
  • a small bunch of chopped fresh cilantro
  • sea salt & freshly ground pepper (to taste)

anti-inflammatory curry

1. make your paste: add to the blender the softer parts of the lemon grass (peel, trim, cut in smaller pieces), ginger, shallot, garlic, powders (cinnamon, curry, turmeric, cumin), sugar, jalapeño pepper (adjust amount to taste for spiciness), sea salt, pepper, fresh lime juice, and 1/2 of the coconut milk. blend until you have a smooth paste.

2. in a dutch oven or skillet sautee chicken and onions in 1 tbs coconut oil. remove from pot, then heat the remaining coconut oil and add the paste to the hot oil. allow the sauce  to cook and start to thicken slightly (bubbles a bit) while stirring. add the chicken and onions back to the pot with the heated paste, along with the potatoes, lime leaves, and about 1-2 cups water. bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until chicken and potatoes are fully cooked. make sure to adjust water if necessary.

3. about 15-20 minutes before serving add remaining coconut milk and peas, stir carefully. serve with fresh chopped cilantro on top (or drizzled with this green sauce) and steamed rice on the side. s-p-i-c-y, right?

cooking minette's curry

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delicious and easy: tomato-arugula-parmesan pasta

these days when i talk to my mom she {very} often asks me when i’ll be posting my next recipe to the blog-and even though i really appreciate her enthusiasm and support, this makes me feel a certain kind of pressure to perform,  or post, i should say. so, even though i seem to have somehow strained a muscle in my arm which is causing some major discomfort (owwww), i felt like i should share this recipe not only to please my mother, but also because it is too good not to: an (almost) no-cooking-necessary (except for boiling the pasta of choice) meal that looks and tastes much better than it should.  it’s making me hungry for more just thinking about it. that good. do you have 10 minutes?

ingredients for 4 servings:
in a bowl combine:

  • 3-4 ripe tomatoes, finely cubed
  • 1.5-2 cups roughly chopped baby arugula 
  • 1-2 tbs freshly grated good parmesan cheese (like reggiano)
  • sea salt (to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional for spicy)
  • 1/2 tsp dry oregano (rub it between your fingers)
  • 1 tbs fresh lemon juice plus 1 tsp fresh lemon zest
  • 2-3 tbs good quality extra virgin olive oil

combine well, and allow the mixture to rest for 10-15 minutes while the water boils & pasta cooks (you can use any pasta of choice~whole grain, brown rice, or quinoa pasta are healthier options) then add the hot drained pasta to the bowl and toss quickly-grate more parmesan cheese over the top and serve right away.

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