I’m preparing for a trip to Japan. I haven’t read about protocols to keep in mind whenever I’m on the Japan Railway, or where I’m supposed to take off my shoes. Or how to say “Could you please show me where is the bathroom?”… I did watch that very interesting video about the history of Japan… I’m putting all my hope in live-translation-apps, and all of the Ramen bars I have saved on my Google Maps, the rest is up to my partner and that’s how things are. Another way I prepare for a trip is eating dishes from the cuisine of the country I’m travelling to. That’s how I ended up making this today.
Orange chicken is not one of the most famous recipes out there, that I’m aware of. It’s no secret that I love Asian cuisine. To avoid making an ignorant generalization, this includes Japanese, Vietnamese, Chinese, among other cuisines from other countries in the region… I always try to make sure my pantry is always stocked with ingredients that highlight these cultures, such as miso paste, soy sauce, fish sauce, bonito flakes. Also fresh produce like bok choy, cilantro, bean sprouts, lemongrass… For me, it’s like taking a little trip every time I take the time to prepare myself a delicious plate of food. Or when I’m cooking for my friends or my partner. It’s something that I really love and enjoy. Perhaps one day I can go through my pantry and show you guys my favorite ingredients, would you be into that? Let me know in the comments or tweet me at @possiblyjoanne!
One of my favorite things of this type of cuisine is the predominant use of fresh produce it conveys. It can be so inspiring! That’s why this dish that I’m sharing today was a bit uninspiring to make. I’ll elaborate a bit more: I’ve just come back home from a trip to Paris with my partner and we came home to an empty fridge. The only things I had that would make good use for a hearty lunch was: frozen chicken, oranges, and ginger. My pantry was stocked, of course. No hassle there. So I thought “Hell! Why not reinvent a french dish I enjoyed in Paris, duck l’orange and just make… Japanese orange chicken?” I don’t know. Somehow it made sense in my mind and I went with it. But I needed something that would make everything a bit tastier. Some sticky brown rice is always perfect for this kind of dish. And I will say, the outcome sure was delicious. And here it is, Orange chicken and sticky rice.
First, I’ll explain to you guys how I made this sticky rice.
So, I got beautiful salmon fillets at the market this morning…
And swiss chard is in season! So it’s time to get people who don’t like eating leafy greens, eating them! I always try to develop and create new ways to make leafy (and usually boring) greens tastier. This is where the Japanese ingredients and salmon comes in. My boyfriend (and food guinea pig) is an adult child and really hates greens, so, challenge accepted. Game on.
So that’s how I came up with the idea of miso glazed salmon fillets wrapped in swiss chard. I try to always keep Japanese ingredients like miso paste, rice vinegar and soy sauce in my pantry. They’re a must. Not only because I love those flavors but also because it’s a kind of diversity I enjoy having at least once a week (Spanish food can get boring after a while).
I love carb-loading. Ain’t no shame in that, maybe just a little guilt. That’s why I add veggies so I can feel better about it, ha. Right. Either way, there’s something comforting about having a bowl of pasta on a cloudy day. Never as comforting as soup, but comforting even so. It’s rather cloudy today in Barcelona, and it has been for the past few days. Something rare in this city, it’s almost always sunny for the most part. This type of weather usually calls for soup but, for some reason it felt like a hassle to make one. Or better yet, I was just being beyond lazy, (I have today off from my 9 to 5 job) so I decided to make this ‘spring’ pasta, sans the sun, plus chicken.
This pasta primavera recipe is especially easy to make because it’s just about throwing ingredients together. The only thing to keep in mind is the timing: timing of cooking the pasta, of sauteeing the garlic, etc. But more of that later. To start, the ingredients that you will need:
- Whole wheat pasta ( I used spaghetti)
- 2 Cloves of garlic
- 1 Small dried peperoncino
- Olive oil (2-3 tablespoons)
- 1 Small carrot
- 1 Small zucchini
- Frozen peas
- Spring onions (1/4 of a cup)
For the chicken:
- Chicken breast
- A pinch of provençal herbs
- Half a lemon
- Salt and pepper to taste
It’s the holidays and I’m two days shy of getting home, finally! I can’t wait to be spoiled and pampered by my family for a few days. To me, it’s like heaven just to think about it! But, in the meantime, I have to spoil myself with one of my favorite dishes from my childhood: rigatoni bolognese.
My mom used to make this a lot when I was young and feeling down; something about the protein and iron in the bolognese sauce would lift me up, she would say. Something I love about this bolognese is that it’s also really easy to make. You can also store the bolognese in the freezer, this way you can have it in the freezer you just have to heat it up and boil pasta. Pretty handy, huh
This recipe yields two and this is what you’ll need.
- 100 gr of minced beef meat
- 1 carrot
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 bay leaf
- half a medium onion
- one handful of parsley
- 500 gr to crushed tomato
- olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- one pinch or sugar
- 180 gr of rigatoni (90 grams per person)
For the rigatoni: Boil some water for the pasta for about 15 minutes. Once you’re ready to add the rigatoni add some salt and boil it away.
For the bolognese: Cut up the onion into small pieces, the carrot into halves. Sautee the onion and carrot in olive oil with the bay leaf.
Add the minced beef meat, sautee it with the onion, carrot and bay leaf until it’s slightly brown. Then add the crushed tomato and let it simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes, at medium-low heat. Taste, taste, taste. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. If it’s too acidic add a pinch of sugar to balance it out. Taste again and adjust the balance of the salt to your own liking.
Top with parsley and parmesan cheese and there you have it! Rigatoni bolognese!
I have a daytime drinking policy: it’s only okay at brunch and when having aperitifs with tapas. And vermuth. And best friend crisis. And boy problems. Well, those are several policies, but who’s counting?Also, another one if to kickstart the holiday season after a very fat Thanksgiving weekend. So, why not with a few fizzy cocktails and tapas at one of my most beloved neighborhood restaurants: Casa Lolea. This ain’t your run of the mill sangría and tapas place in Barcelona, which might sound like a distasteful tourist trap. It isn’t one of those. It’s an antic sangría factory from Zaragoza that opened its doors in Barcelona about a year ago. Their concept: straight up traditional sangrías, and some with a nice twist.
And so it began: fizzy cocktails and delightful tapas on a Sunday afternoon.
Each time I go to the market I get overly excited to buy fresh produce. Kind of like a child at a candy store. Everything is so colorful and my attention is everywhere. Colors. Textures. Taste. That’s mostly why I love making Asian inspired recipes, not only you get a wonderful flavor, but you also enjoy a diversity of textures. Also, who doesn’t like looking at a bright spread of fresh produce?