Archive | August, 2013

Lemon Blueberry Ricotta Pound Cake

26 Aug

Lemon Blueberry Ricotta Pound Cake

It’s really hard to accept that schools and colleges have reopened and Labor Day is exactly a week away. As always, summer months have just flown by. While summer produce and sometimes the weather lingers into late September, Labor Day marks the official end of summer. This weekend is the last official summer hoorah characterized by barbecues, picnics, beach time, road trips and several parties. In short it’s another long weekend to celebrate with some fantastic food. Sliced Lemon Blueberry Pound Cake

To pay homage to my favorite season and all the wonderful memories of this summer I have developed this Lemon Blueberry Ricotta Pound Cake recipe. The lemon and blueberries in this cake reflect the bright flavors and colors of summer while the ricotta adds a tang and richness to a simple pound cake. When you bite into this light and moist cake, you taste the brilliance of each ingredient and relish how well they all come together. While this recipe is a wonderful addition to any Labor Day picnic or barbecue you can impress your loved ones with this at any brunch or tea party! Continue reading

Grilled Avocado with Wasabi Ponzu

20 Aug

Grilled Avocado with Wasabi Ponzu

 “The greatest ideas are the simplest.” – William Golding

One of the most exciting aspects of trying new restaurants is stumbling upon an uncomplicated dish that blows your mind away. Every once in a while we encounter a dish that so simple and yet so gratifying. It’s astounding how a combination of a few simple ingredients unite to create a huge wow factor.

I had one of these moments when I ate a Grilled Avocado with housemade ponzu, fresh wasabi and nori salt at Daikaya Izakaya in DC.  A buttery avocado had been transformed into a grilled delight seasoned with earthy Asian flavors.  One taste and I knew a grilled avocado just can’t get better that this.

My recipe variation attempts to further simplify the dish.  I use widely available, store bought wasabi paste and ponzu. I add some green onions for brightness and substitute sea salt for nori salt. This unique recipe idea attests to the fact that the greatest ideas are the simplest. So for when you do try this – bon appétit or rather as the Japanese would say “itadakimasu”.  Continue reading

Tilapia Tacos with Avocado, Mango & Arugula

13 Aug

Tilapia Tacos with Mango and Avocado

Loving to cook and spending hours by a stove-top on a hot summer night do not necessarily go hand in hand.  While I like to limit my time in the kitchen on a really hot night, it never comes at the cost of a wholesome and appetizing meal.  The abundance of fresh seafood and superb summer produce are the perfect inspiration and ingredients for light, uncomplicated and exceptionally flavorful meals.

I recently came across Giada De Laurentiis’s Tilapia Fish Tacos with Arugula recipe and instantly feel in love with it. Giada’s recipe is an uncomplicated appetizer served up in wonton cups with a wasabi scented crème fraîche topping. I adapted her recipe to create a nifty summer night dinner that despite being economical and accessible is sophisticated and wholesome. Flakey Tilapia is flanked with sweet mango, creamy avocado, peppery arugula and a gently spicy Sirarcha kissed sour-cream topping.  Each of these delicious parts come together to create a nutritious taco that’s ideal for a hot summer night.  Continue reading

Grilled Peaches with Burrata & Honey

8 Aug

Grilled Peaches with Burrata and Honey

August is National Peach month and hence it’s only appropriate to pay homage with at least one peach recipe. And why shouldn’t I? Peaches really are a universally loved fruit and just happen to be my favorite stone fruit. There is nothing quite like biting into a sweet, juicy and fleshy peach in the heart of summer. While peaches taste great in their natural form, grilling them turns them into something quite magnificent. It takes a peach from being just a fruit to a versatile ingredient that can be used in an appetizer, a salad, a main course, a side dish and most certainly a dessert.

Last summer I tasted a really scrumptious appetizer of Grilled Peaches with Burrata and Honey at Acqua Al 2 in DC. It was a flavor and Grilled Peach Crostinitexture explosion of warm, sweet grilled peaches complemented by rich, creamy and savory Burrata cheese on a bed of crusty bread, finished with a drizzle of honey.  It was so simple and yet so spectacular. Regardless to say this is now a summer favorite in my kitchen. The recipe below is my rendition of AcquA Al 2’s masterpiece.  It’s an intimate appetizer for date night and yet elegant enough to impress the most discerning foodies. Continue reading

Bacon & Chive Yogurt Dip

1 Aug

Bacon and Chive Yogurt DipI recently ate a scrumptious but rather unhealthy Roasted Garlic and Bacon Dip. The base of this dip was mayonnaise and hence the fat content was off the charts. My father recommended that I test making something similar with hung yogurt.

Yogurt dips are a wonderful light and figure-friendly appetizer for the warmer summer months. Since yogurt is so versatile there’s a multitude of yogurt dip recipes available. Despite yogurt being the common denominator you can always find a way to switch things up by playing around with the additional flavor elements.

This recipe eliminates the mayonnaise to reduce an overabundance of fat. I also use a lower fat cut of bacon. The bacon specks running Bacon & Chive Dipthroughout the dip provide a fantastic smokiness and textural crunch. The chives add an aromatic and visual brightness that’s imperative in any brilliant summer appetizer. I use just a hint of roasted garlic to let the main stars of this yogurt dip – the bacon and the chives shine bright.  Continue reading

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