Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Frozen Lime Terrine with Dulce de Leche

This dessert is dreamy. The kind of thing I dream about anyway. Dulce de leche is highly addictive.
You can make it from scratch {it's not hard, I promise!} or buy it pre-made in the store. I have mixed it in morning coffee, used it for a banoffee pie, topped ice cream with it, sandwiched it between two butter cookies, and lavished it on thick, crispy toast. I have eaten it by the spoonful when I'm alone in my kitchen and no one is watching. It's just so freakin good.
I also really like citrus desserts with lime or lemon. This dessert combines lime and dulce de leche with a graham cracker crust and a simple fresh blackberry sauce. It so, so rocks my world.

This recipe is from Fine Cooking magazine, which I now wonder why I didn't subscribe to sooner. It's really a unique food magazine, with beautiful photography, interesting articles, and sound teaching technique. The recipes always work, which is important!
When I received the issue with this terrine recipe, I book-marked it right away. I mean, it's dulce de leche people!
I finally made it last weekend and shared with some friends.
It's delicious, light, and reminiscent of key lime pie - which is one of my favs. I hope you enjoy making it.
Frozen Lime and Dulce de Leche Terrine with Blackberry Sauce
from Fine Cooking Magazine

1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 12-oz. can evaporated milk
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 Tbs. finely grated lime zest
2/3 cup strained fresh lime juice {from about 6 limes}
1/2 cup dulce de leche (see Tip)
1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (from about 2 whole crackers)
12 oz. (2 cups) blackberries, rinsed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbs. Chambord, framboise, cassis, or water  {I used water}

Tip: Look for jarred or canned dulce de leche in your supermarket’s baking or ethnic food sections. Do not use the kind in the squeeze bottle, which is too thin for this purpose.
Line an 8-1/2x4-1/2-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap, allowing some excess to hang over the sides.

Put the condensed milk, evaporated milk, and cream cheese in a blender and blend on low speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the lime zest and blend briefly. With the blender running on medium-low speed, slowly pour the lime juice through the hole in the blender’s cap. Turn the blender off as soon as all of the juice is incorporated. (The juice will thicken the mixture; additional blending can thin it too much.)

Pour about one-third of the lime mixture into the loaf pan, spreading it evenly. Spoon half of the dulce de leche in a thick line down the length of the terrine to the left of center. (If it’s too thick to spoon, heat it in the microwave for 30 seconds.) Pour and spread another third of the lime filling on top. Spoon the remaining dulce de leche to the right of the center. Pour and spread the remaining lime filling on top. Sprinkle the crumbs evenly over the top, cover the pan with plastic wrap, and freeze for at least 8 hours.

Combine the blackberries, sugar, and liqueur in a 1-quart saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the berries release some of their juice but remain mostly whole, about 5 minutes. Let cool briefly, then cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Uncover and invert the terrine onto a cutting board. If the terrine doesn’t release, let it sit at room temperature for 5 minutes inverted, and then gently bang the cutting board on the counter to release. Carefully peel off the remaining plastic wrap. To serve, dip a knife into hot water and dry it before slicing the terrine into pieces 3/4 to 1 inch thick. Transfer the slices to serving plates and let sit for 5 minutes before serving so they are creamy, not icy. Spoon some of the sauce over each slice and serve. 

Make Ahead Tips

The assembled terrine can be frozen for up to 1 month. Remove from the pan and garnish with the sauce just before serving.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

HOLA! Taqueria - Big, Bold Flavors in Roswell

Brisket Tacos with Jalapeno Slaw, Pico de Gallo, and Chipotle BBQ Sauce

HOLA! Taqueria is a relative newcomer to Roswell, Georgia - but it definitely is making an impression in the neighborhood for authentic and delicious Mexican eats.
I've been there twice in the last few weeks and left feeling full and happy. Executive Chef Luis Ramirez' menu at HOLA! has me dreaming about their succulent Lobster Tacos with Pasilla Cream, a citrusy shrimp salad, and the house fire-roasted salsa. Mexican native Ramirez is well-known to the Atlanta dining scene, having developed menus for many beloved restaurants like Vinny's on Windward, Aspens Signature Steaks, Cinco, and Pure.

Lobster Tacos with Pasilla Cream and Pico de Gallo

Another thing that I like about HOLA! is the atmosphere and decor. It's modern, spacious, has clean lines, and is somewhat industrial looking. It's just feels different than your standard Mexican spot. The bar is really attractive and I love the long high top table that runs down the center of it. Although you can order a House Margarita and be perfectly content, there are also interesting options like the Ancho Chile Margarita, Pink Cadillac Margarita, or Vampira cocktail {Halloween anyone?}. I even enjoyed having a glass of Meomi Pinot Noir during my last visit....so wine is an option!

Aztec Chocolate Mousse with Ancho Raspberry Coulis

Finally, I will say that HOLA! really has some interesting and unexpected surprises on the menu. Lamb Tacos? Mussels with Chipotle Butter? Pork Belly Tacos? Kale Salad with Roasted Corn Vinaigrette? Yep!
Don't worry, you can get your favorite standards too - burritos, enchiladas, nachos, fish tacos, taco salads, queso dip, etc.
Oh, did I mention that they have a big, ole brunch on Sundays? Haven't been for it yet, but it's on the to-do list!

HOLA! Tacqueria is at 688 Holcomb Bridge Rd. in Roswell, GA.

Skinny Summer Pizza

We have a lot in common.
You love pizza. I love pizza.
You are crazy for summer fresh fruits and veggies. I am too!
You want food that looks as good as it tastes. Yep.
And of course, you want to savor something tasty without a billion calories. I'm with you.

I ran into some inspiration while grocery shopping the other day, when I discovered these nifty Flatout breads. I was dreaming about ooey gooey pizza, but wondering about how I could satisfy my craving for it without going down the unhealthy rabbit hole. Then bam....I come across these thin flat breads.  I picked up the one called Artisan Thin Pizza Crust with Rosemary and Olive Oil. 
I figured I'll grab some fresh produce and goat cheese to top it. Dinner plans done.

Pizza is one of those things, you can get creative with the toppings and maybe even clean out the fridge in the process. I already had arugula, basil, and corn at home. I imagined that roasted poblano peppers and fresh peaches would be a fun addition. So there you have it...Flatout crust, arugula, fresh corn, peaches, roasted poblano, basil, and goat cheese. Guilt free, skinny pizza.

If you haven't roasted your own peppers before, I highly recommend it. It's easier than you think and that smoky, roasted flavor is super nice. I love roasted poblanos on pizza, quesadillas, in my scrambled eggs, in soups.
So, here's to celebrating the end of summer with fresh flavors {stay tuned, I've got an amazing summer dessert coming your way in a few days} and keeping it real with skinny pizza.
P.S. These Flatout breads are very thin and well...corn rolls around. You figure that one out. Hold onto your slice!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Your New Lunch Spot in Roswell - Le Bistro at Roswell Provisions

Whenever family or friends come into town to visit, I find myself scurrying around to plan a memorable lunch or dinner spot in my neighborhood.
Usually, I pick my go-to places - the spots where I love dine regularly. Sometimes though, it's a fun opportunity to try a new restaurant that's been on my "wanna-check-it-out" list. It makes me a little nervous though - cause I just hope it doesn't turn out to be sucky.
My mom was here last weekend and I found the perfect spot to take her to lunch in Roswell, GA.
And it wasn't sucky. It was such a sweet surprise.  
Le Bistro at Roswell Provisions.

Roswell Provisions is in downtown Roswell, off Canton Street. It is a European-styled market, with wine, domestic and international cheeses, charcuterie, pastries, an espresso bar and tons more. You can casually drop in to purchase a loaf of bread and some locally made cheese {they support many local producers}, sit down and enjoy a cappuccino or gelato, or head upstairs for lunch or dinner at Le Bistro.

You wind up the staircase of Le Bistro and arrive into a warm and cozy French tavern. There is one main dining room, but also an array of small, intimate separate dining spaces. It feels spacious and elegant, but rustic and easy at the same time. I took a peek around and also spotted one small room with a beautiful, long wooden table and dim lighting - it would be charming for a private party.
Big fluffy pillows, dark wood, and crisp linens make the restaurant so inviting. Basically, I just want to hang out here all day, eat baguettes and gooey cheese, and drink some wine.

We sat outside on the covered balcony, which overlooks Canton Street and is sheltered by neighboring trees. All I can say is that dining here was a great experience from start to finish. Our server had that je ne sais quoi.....she was very calm, attentive, knowledgeable. The menu took me back. It's been years since I've been to France and I loved seeing familiar French specialties like Croque Madame and Monsieur, crepes, quiche Lorraine, and Salade Nicoise on there.

Mom decided on La Salade de Poulet {chicken salad on a baguette served with green salad and toast with olive tapenade}. 
Thumbs up all the way.

I got the Le Parisien Jambon Beurre {ham, gherkins, and sweet butter on baguette served with ratatouille}.
Loved it!

Jay picked my 2nd choice (he always asks me what my second choice would be - such a good guy!), Clafoutis Provencal (like a crustless quiche with egg, goat cheese, tomato, chives and zucchini with cream of spinach soup). It was delicious.

Le Bistro is open everyday for lunch and on Saturday evenings for dinner. I am already planning my next trip back and will definitely be diving into dessert.With a dessert menu as big as the lunch menu, you know this is my kind of place. Crepes, creme brulee, apple tart, profiteroles, macaron, chocolate mousse....heaven.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Spice to Plate {a cookbook and weeknight chicken recipe!}

Good fortune.
That's what happens when all the planets align, the culinary stars smile down, and I go to my mailbox to find this lovely little cookbook called Spice to Plate waiting for me.
Oh and there's this amazing spice called Zanzibar curry powder included in the package. Booyah!
The smell of this fresh, sassy spice blend is literally bursting out of the bottle, even before I can unscrew the top and take a whiff. So delicious. I wish I had smell-o-vision, so I could share with you. {What is smell-o-vision anyways? Does it really exist? Hmm...need to research that. }

The Spice to Plate cookbook was put together by the creative folks of the Savory Spice Shop, a specialty spice shop founded in Denver, Colorado in 2004 by by Mike and Janet Johnson.
With 33 locations in 16 states, the Savory Spice Shop continues to grow, create, innovate, and thrill customers with their handcrafted signature seasonings and huge array of freshly ground spices and herbs. And they can cook!
They just happened to open their first store in Georgia, in the Virginia Highlands neighborhood of Atlanta, which is truly exciting! I can't wait to go visit and immerse myself in the fragrance and take home some goodies for my kitchen. Anyone checked it out yet?

Here are my favorite things about the cookbook:
  • The recipes are definitely imaginative and inviting. I mean, "Portobello Sandwich with Coffee Aioli, Dill Pickle Roll Ups, Tropical Shrimp Cocktail, Roasted Brussels Caesar Salad, Salted Caramel Monkey Bread" - to name a few. Yes ma'am!
  • The photos are lovely and make me want to be a better food photographer. Props go out to Tony Correa and Suzanne Klein for their beautiful styling. These photos make me smile, get hungry, salivate, gasp, and want to cook!
  • It is spiral-bound! I love it. Easy to move around and keep flat while using. Bravo!
I enjoyed making the Chicken Biryani recipe in the book. I have to admit it was a two day process. NOT because the recipe was hard - it is quite simple. But, ever have those days where you start to prepare a recipe and about one third of the way in, you realize that you have to be somewhere in 30 minutes and you aren't gonna get it finished. Sound familiar?
That's what happened to me. But, it's a good reminder that it can work out so nicely when you prep a bunch of items the day before. Then you just grab everything for the recipe the next day and knock it out in no time. 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Summer Spices and Herbs - Guest Blogger Jaya Ramamurthy!

I am super thrilled to feature Jaya Ramamurthy on Happily Edible After today, as my very first guest blogger! I met Jaya a couple of years ago through a mutual friend, who introduced her as a clinical specialist in Ayurveda and an amazing cook! 
I was drawn in by her warm personality and was intrigued to know more about her passion for Ayurveda, health, and it's relationship to food and cooking. Since then, Jaya has been a guest instructor several times at Whole Foods {Salud Cooking School} here in Alpharetta, Georgia. 
I've quickly discovered what a treasure she is, with a wonderful ability to teach others in a very easy and relaxed manner. And her food....the epitome of delicious and nourishing. I hope you enjoy meeting her and her delicious tips for using spices and herbs during these hot summer months.

Summer Spices and Herbs
by Jaya Ramamurthy

Sweaters out, T-shirts in…When summer comes, we swap out clothing, shoes, and even accessories.  Ayurveda’s ancient wisdom says that when seasons change, we must change our daily routines too, not just the way we dress; our everyday rhythms like sleep, food, work, and play must also be adjusted to changes in daylight, temperature, and humidity.

In my kitchen, for the summer, this means storing the heavier beans, grains, and warming spices for use in the fall and stocking the lighter lentils and cooling spices and herbs.  For instance, I will wait for fall temperatures before cooking kidney beans, brown rice, or black-eyed peas; and I will avoid using cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, powdered ginger, cayenne, and too much garlic in the summer.  They are all heating and can aggravate the effects of the season making one hot under the collar literally and figuratively!

So what are my summertime favorites?

Fennel:  This spice belongs to the Celery family Apeacea, along with anise and star anise.  Contrary to popular opinion, it is not related to licorice even though the two have similar aromatic notes. This spice is a good digestive without adding heat in a season that is already hot.  It is easily available as seeds in Asian and Indian markets.  Fresh fennel bulbs are a seasonal staple at farmer’s markets and local groceries.  

How do I use it?
Fresh fennel is usually a creamy white bulb, with the green stems attached.  Trim off the tough end of the bulb and cut away the stems.  Save the stems for making soup stock, juicing, or adding to a smoothie.  Fennel seeds can be dry roasted and powdered in a coffee mill.  Store in an airtight jar. 
·      Slice the bulb thinly into salads for a delicious crunch.
·      Sauté the slices in olive oil with other aromatics like shallots and leeks before adding a seasonal vegetable like zucchini or squash for a delicious salad or side dish. 
·      For a versatile dressing:  whisk together some extra virgin olive oil, a generous pinch of powdered fennel seeds, lemon juice, crushed black pepper, sea salt, and some raw sweetener like coconut palm sugar; use over a salad of shaved fennel, seasonal strawberries, and baby arugula!

Cardamom:  This versatile spice shines in savory and sweet dishes! It is a balanced spice, without being too warming or cooling.  It works well with summer produce and beverages. Buy whole green cardamom pods instead of the hulled seeds or powder for the freshest aroma.  To crack the pods open, place the pods on a paper towel and run a rolling pin on them; the seeds are easily released with further rolling.  The seeds can be powdered fine with a mortar and pestle.  A trick is to add some sugar or salt to the seeds while powdering depending on the final dish. (I often cheat and powder the pods hull and all in a small coffee mill!)

How do I use it?
·      Steep a few pods or a pinch of cardamom powder in hot water along with a sprig of mint; cool the tea, filter off spices, add some lemon juice and a raw sweetener if desired for a refreshing beverage. 

·      Heat 1 cup of almond milk in a saucepan; add the crushed seeds from 4 pods of cardamom to this milk.  Also add 1 or two threads of saffron and sweeten with coconut palm sugar to taste, whisking everything together.   Filter off spices.  Drink warm or cold as a refreshing beverage.  This spiced milk is great over a bowl of oats or warmed up rice for a meal, that is also nourishing and seasonally appropriate.

·      Make a simple-syrup with ½ cup water and 1-cup coconut palm sugar heated till all the sugar is dissolved; add 12 partially crushed pods of cardamom and let the syrup boil to a slightly thick consistency.  Shut off heat and filter off when cool.  Use this syrup in your favorite summertime beverage or to dress berries or fresh fruit. 

Monday, July 20, 2015

11 Special Recipes for Peach Season!

Hello ya'll. Are you going crazy for the juicy, luscious peaches that are in the stores now? Me too.
It's peach season and that makes me quite the happy camper.  I've been enjoying peaches on my waffles, in my morning oatmeal, in caprese salads, and in a buttery, gingery peach crisp.
It's kind of amazing that I don't have any peach recipes posted yet on my blog, so I've got to get on it!
In the meantime, I thought I'd share some peach inspiration from some of my talented fellow Atlanta Food Blogger Society members. Check out these mouth-watering recipes and get your peach plans prioritized!

1. Cornbread with Peaches and Sweetened Buttermilk from  Peaches Please
2. Grilled Porkchops with Peach Salsa from Southern Boy Dishes
3. Honey Peach Pie from The Front Porch Gourmet
4. Toasted Peach Yogurt Boats with Kind Healthy Grains Clusters from Cupcakes & Sunshine
5. Peach Berry Cobbler from Red Velvet Confections
6. Goat Cheese Peach Pizza from Peaches to Pearls 
7. Whole Grain Peach and Rosemary Ravioli with Parmesan from Kitchen 1204
8. Arbonne Protein Shake "The Georgia Peach" from Coffee Wine & Yoga
9. Peach and Berry Crumble from The Cardigan Kitchen
10. Cinnamon Roll Peach Cobbler from Sweet Savant
11. Honey Almond Peach Galette from We Like to Cook!

What's your favorite recipes for peaches? Feel free to share it here!

Honey Peach Pie from The Front Porch Gourmet

Peach & Berry Crumble from The Cardigan Kitchen          

Grilled Pork Chops with Peach Salsa from Southern Boy Dishes

Cornbread with Peaches and Sweetened Buttermilk from Peaches Please

Monday, July 6, 2015

Caramelized Vidalia Onion Tart with Kale and Goat Cheese

Inspired by a super fun Vidalia Onion dinner that I attended a few weeks ago, I kinda knew this would happen soon after. It was in my day dreams for like a week after the dinner.
I absolutely love this tart. For two reasons.....caramelizing the onions makes my kitchen smell heavenly and because this puff pastry from Dufour is just so good. Please do yourself and favor and seek out this brand of puff. It will rock your appetizer-loving world.

You could really take this caramelized tart in many different directions. Make one big tart or cut puff into smaller shapes/sizes and make individual ones.
Change up the cheese, like some smoked cheddar or maybe Asher blue from Sweet Grass Dairy.
Toss on some grilled steak, chicken, or roasted poblano pepper. How about some sun-dried tomatoes
or greek olives and artichoke hearts? Then there's bacon....yes, BACON. Never a bad notion.
Grilled shrimp with tomato jam. Fresh herbs. Endless, endless possibilities.
Your puff is your canvas.

Caramelized Vidalia Onion Tart with Kale and Goat Cheese
Serves 8-10

3 Vidalia onions, skin removed and thinly sliced
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 bunch Lacinato kale, rinsed and thinly sliced
Goat cheese, crumbled
One 14 ounce sheet of Dufour puff pastry, thawed

*Keep the puff pastry in the refrigerator until you are ready to roll it out.

Heat the olive oil and butter together in a large skillet {or you can divided into 2 skillets}.
Cook onions on medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until they are golden. This should take about 45 minutes or so. Allow onions to cool somewhat.

Preheat oven to 400F. Dust a large cutting board or counter top surface with flour. Unwrap the puff pastry and place on surface. Roll out slightly with a rolling pin. Cut a 3/4-inch edge off each side of the puff sheet and set aside.

Transfer the puff pastry to a half-sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Using a pastry brush, wet the edges slightly with a bit of water. Press the matching puff strips on top of each edge creating a border. Using a fork, prick the dough all over and across the edges as well. This helps it from puffing up too much during cooking.

Scatter the kale across the dough and top with caramelized onion and goat cheese, avoiding the border edge.
Place into the oven and cook until golden, about 20 minutes or so.