Friday, May 22, 2015

Easy And So good: Spanish Chorizo Chicken

Have you met "El Niño"?
El Niño means Christ Child and the term was originally used by Peruvian and Ecuadorian fishermen, referring to a warm current that spears around Christmas time the Peruvian and Ecuatorian coast and can last for several months.
When this climatic phenomena makes its appearance ,dramatical changes in temperature, marine life and even in climatic conditions around the globe are the consequence. 
Here in Lima it's supposed to be autumn, but sun is still shining bright and people walk around in summer clothes.
Now YOU are supposed to say: How wonderful, but wait, we are not living in a perfect world, and other regions of the country are suffering from heavy rain and floodings.

Still a lot of summer veggies around at the farmer's market.
On a visit to Lima's colorful fish market of Lima I noticed the display of strange, exotic fishes that are not seen around here in normal times.
Populations of fish and seabirds vanish and anchovy catches ( one of the world's richest fisheries is off the coast of Peru) dwindle.
As the saying goes "one man's trash is another man's treasure."
The ones of you who read my blog regularly know that whenever I talk about sunny weather, it's followed by easy, light but still yummylicious food.
Spanish Chicken with chorizo is a crowd pleaser that never disappoints and will not keep you in the kitchen the whole day long.
Robust and delicate flavors are in perfect balance in this dish and for me it was love at the first bite.
For the Spanish Chicken With Chorizos you need:

 8 chicken thighs
150 g chorizo ( I prefer the spicy one, it adds a wonderful flavor)
2 red onions, chopped
1/2kg baby potatoes
4 rosemary sprigs
The zest of 2 lemons
 2 spoonful olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 220C
Wash baby potatoes carefully under rinsing water.
Put the onions at the bottom of a large baking tray, add the chicken thighs,
 baby potatoes, then scatter over the chorizo, rosemary and the lemon zest.

Chorizos and rosemary add lots of flavor

Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until chicken is golden brown and tender.

*(For a lighter version of this dish, remove skin from chicken 
Serves 6p.


Thursday, May 7, 2015

Molten Chocolate Cake (Fondant Au Chocolat) for Mother's Day

Remember Juliette Binoche in "Chocolat" preparing all these sinfully delicious chocolates that put a whole village upside down?
I suppose you suspected it already from previous posts but I'm a confessed and convicted chocoholic.
Maybe it's a legacy from the time we lived in Switzerland, the world's top chocolate consumer.
There I learned that there are worlds within the world of chocolate.
The most common types of chocolate are dark, milk and white chocolate, depending on the proportion of coca used in the fabrication.
The quality of the cocoa beans, the way they are roasted and the quality and proportion of fat and other ingredients used in the process are crucial for flavor, aroma and price.
Of course, chocolate is rich in calories, but oh boy it's worth a try once in a while.
The good news is that chocolate, (especially dark chocolate) if consumed moderately, can be beneficially for your health, stimulates the brain, is considered an aphrodisiac and, most important of all, makes people happy.
Have you ever seen somebody eating a delicious piece of chocolate and looking depressed?
A praise to the Mayas for leaving us this fantastic legacy.
So if you are still looking  for the perfect sweet treat for Mother's Day celebration, look no further.
These mini cakes are so good; they will melt your heart.
Please don't let yourself impress by their sophisticated looks, they are actually quite easy to prepare, the whole trick lies in not overbaking them.
A crunchy rind and a delicious liquid chocolate filling at the center are heaven for chocolate lovers and they are addictive too, no rehab needed.

For the molten chocolate cakes you need:
100g of butter
60g of (powdered)  sugar
150g excellent quality semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 medium size eggs
2 yolks
2 spoonful of all-purpose flour
A pinch of salt
1\2 cup of whipped cream
With a brush,grease bottom and sides of six (  FOUR 6 oz.)  standard muffin molds evenly with liquid butter and dust them with cocoa. 

Remove excess cocoa by turning them upside down. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 175 C  (400 F).
In a double boiler, melt the butter and chocolate over simmering water (water should not boil!)

the color of rich, dark choclate and melted butter

Set aside.
In a large bowl, add the eggs and the egg yolks one at a time
and beat well with an electric mixer together with the sugar

 until the mixtures is pale in color and fluffy.

Then beat in the melted chocolate and flour

  Mix well until the batter is smooth.

 Spoon into prepared cups.

Let me share a little baking secret with you: Place one small piece of choclate in the center of the muffin moldit will help to obtain the chocolate filling liquid in the center of the cakes.

 Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until edges of dessert are firm but centers are still soft. 

(Tops will be puffed.)
Let stand 2-3 minutes.
Run small knife along sides of cakes to loosen.
Invert into heat proofed dessert plates.
Dust with powdered sugar.

 and serve warm with a bit of whipped cream  (optional)   
Serves 6 p.
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