Grilled Eggplant Tartlet Recipe Recipe

Grilled Eggplant Tartlet Recipe

04.08.13 by Jackie

I love grilling vegetables. They can be served as is as a side dish or coarsely chopped in a salad. They also can act as the basis of flavorful spreads. Recently, I opted for the latter and created a smoky eggplant spread flavored with onion, garlic, grape molasses, tahini, a few herbs and sea salt; to ensure the eggplant would blend smoothly in the food processor, I added delicious Chardonnay cider I discovered at Trader Joe's. The result is out of-this-world delicious. You could stop the work right there and serve the spread in a bowl with lavash bread or pita bread, but I fancied it up by using it as a filling in mini-tartlets

This appetizer is not only cute, it's very easy to prepare. I let the girls prepare the eggplant spread and assemble the one bite-sized appetizers while I was preparing dinner.  I had two goals in mind. First, it kept them occupied and they had fun at the same time, instead of asking "is dinner ready yet?" The second main reason is that now since they now know how to make this, they can help out with very little supervision whenever we have guests over. I find it very valuable to get the girls involved in the kitchen. They appreciate food more when they know where it came from, and as I keep reminding them, they'll be thankful to know basics when they're on their own at college. 


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Coconut Madeleine Recipe Recipe

Coconut Madeleine Recipe

04.05.13 by Jackie

Maybe it's just me but I love having guests over for tea. It's fun because you can serve an assortment of savory and sweet treats to go along with it. And, of course, I love trotting out my different tea sets!

My go-to, fool-proof tea cake recipe is a French classic: the madeleine. The authentic, buttery, plain version is divine, but today I felt like adding something exotic and flavored the batter with coconut. The coconut version doesn't puff up as much as traditional madeleines normally do, but they are a touch crispier and pair wonderfully with a hot cup of tea.


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Vegetarian Calzone Recipe (Pizza Pocket) Recipe

My husband Lulu worked from home today, so I improvised a little lunch for him. I made little pizza pockets filled with béchamel-coated vegetarian beef strips.  I used store-bought whole wheat pizza dough, I already had béchamel sauce made and I added leeks and onions to the filling.

I paired the calzone with tomato soup. Lulu was on a phone call when I brought him lunch but he gave me two thumbs up after finishing his tray of food!


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Stuffed Arancini Recipe (Stuffed and Fried Risotto Balls) Recipe

If you entertain as much as we do, you'll find this masala burger-stuffed arancini a great help when you're preparing a cocktail party. This appetizer is prepared in three steps: first making risotto, which I flavored with delicious saffron our friend Jasmine brought back from Iran (Thanks! I love you, Jasmine!), then preparing masala-flavored beef and Bocconcini (small mozzarella balls) and finally forming and frying the stuffed risotto balls (arancini).

I serve these with a bowl of marinara sauce: the acidity of the sauce balances the richness of the risotto balls nicely.


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Oeuf Mollet (Soft-Boiled Egg Recipe) Recipe

After more than 10 years of knowing each other, my husband Lulu still reminds me how much I enjoy his sense of humor even though I often don't want to admit it. Yesterday, he came to me and said from now on, after much thought, he has decided to incorporate animal protein into his vegetarian diet. I got really excited, and naively, I prepared oeufs mollets (French for soft-boiled eggs) for him. It took exactly six minutes to prepare. Lulu looked at the eggs and said: "Nah. April Fools!"

It wasn't a big deal because Aria and I ended up eating the eggs. They were delicious, especially because they were freshly laid. The preparation is very easy. Start by quickly boiling the eggs, then peel and serve them on a bed of béchamel-topped spinach and asparagus.

I'll post another preparation that's as simple as oeufs mollets, where the eggs are boiled for an even shorter amount of time. They're called "oeufs à la coque".


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