Paula76's Profile

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2 weeks in Buenos Aires

La Cabrera is great for meat but for a more interesting and local 'asado' experience, I would highly recommend a day trip to Carlos Keen near Luján, a charming small town with wonderful, traditional parrillas. I would also strongly advise visiting the 'Feria de Mataderos' in Buenos Aires on a Sunday where you can get street parrillas with sizzling steaks and chorizos at very cheap prices as well as folk music and stands with crafts and regional produce.
Another fantastic place for amazing meat and local dishes is "Don Zoilo" (http://www.guiaoleo.com.ar/restaurantes/Don-Zoilo-522). If you would like to try some regional North-western food, go to Na Serapia (http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaura...) for a tamal, humita, locro or empanadas with a caraffe of wine. Cheap and brilliant. Enjoy!

Feb 12, 2011
Paula76 in Latin America & Caribbean

If you could only eat one meal in London...

Dim Sum at Royal China for me. I have not been able to find dim sum (let alone of the top-notch kind) anywhere else in the South (where I live).

Dec 16, 2010
Paula76 in U.K./Ireland

What's for dinner XXIII?

I had a friend visiting for the weekend so I made a vegetarian tagine on Friday with chickpeas, sweet potatoes, grilled aubergines, lots of spices, toasted pecans and the special addition of quince paste from Argentina which worked wonderfully well. Last night, I made my first ever mole (a simplified version at that as finding the different types of chillies required for the 'authentic' one plus the time it takes to produce would be quite a task where I am). It was very nice indeed.

I served chicken thighs with the mole sauce, my own version of Mexican rice and refried beans with corn tortillas. A resounding success and lots of leftover mole for a future Mexican craving.

Mar 21, 2010
Paula76 in Home Cooking

What's for dinner XXIII?

Hi John, sorry about the delay...the cheesecake was stunning, albeit a tad smaller and flatter than I'd expected (maybe next time, I'll whip the egg whites separately and fold them into the mix) I added sundried tomatoes instead of regular ones and the roasted aubergines gave it a lovely, earthy flavour. Maybe you could try it with roasted peppers instead or another mediterranean-type veg...definetely worth a go.

Mar 13, 2010
Paula76 in Home Cooking

What's for dinner XXIII?

Last night was barley risotto with roasted butternut squash, broad beans and porcini mushrooms. Tonight I am making an Ottolenghi recipe featured on The Guardian newspaper this week: aubergine and tomato cheesecake. I'll serve that with some grilled asparagus and salad leaves.

Mar 09, 2010
Paula76 in Home Cooking

What's for dinner part XXII?

A quick and delicious dinner last night. I had some sambhar spice mix I'd bought a while ago. I browned some onions, fried them with cumin seeds, coriander seeds, turmeric, paprika and the sambhar mix, added some grated coconut and chopped parsnips and sweet potatoes. Then some chicken stock and tamarind water. I mixed in some red lentils cooked in turmeric and simmered. At the last minute, I thickened the curry with creme fraiche and served with warm rotis. The best bit: leftovers for lunch which I have just polished off...

Mar 06, 2010
Paula76 in Home Cooking

What's for dinner part XXII?

Hi John, Are you heading down to Whitstable by any chance? Lovely place and gorgeous seafood, although the sole mention of the word oyster sends shivers down my spine...I had the first one ever two weeks ago on my birthday...fast forward 24 hours and I was so sick with food poisoning I have decided never to go near one again. I know it's pot luck but I'll stick to my beloved scallops or octopus which have always been very kind to me and given me nothing but sheer joy...Have fun!

Mar 06, 2010
Paula76 in Home Cooking

What's for dinner? Part XXI

I have been absent from this thread for some time as I am no longer a lady of leisure and all of a sudden I not only have a job but I am studying too so I've been struggling to find any spare time to take a breather, let alone surf the net or post...Glad I can catch up today as I'm in dire need of my chow fix!
Last night, I made a phyllo tart with a filling of red lentils (cooked in vegetable stock, chopped tomatoes and spices) mixed with sauteed onions, garlic, mushrooms and grated courgette. On top, a layer of roasted butternut squash mixed with ricotta, eggs, nutmeg and sage and all finished off with buffallo mozzarella. Yum.

Tonight, I've got some fresh lamb marinating in the fridge with olive oil, lemon juice, a ginger/garlic/chilli paste, some cumin, turmeric and sumaq. So kebabs it is with a side of carrots, sweet potatoes and parnips roasted in honey and spices. It's my birthday tomorrow so I've been assured that some special lunch arrangements are in place so it should be nice...

Feb 20, 2010
Paula76 in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner? Part XX

Last night I made a chicken tagine with grilled aubergine and peas and I served it with bulgur wheat instead of couscous. It was good and the best part is that I have some leftovers for lunch!

Busy day today so a simple dinner beckons: barley risotto with butternut squash, mushrooms and grilled asparagus topped with a poached egg and roasted butternut seeds.

Feb 04, 2010
Paula76 in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner? Part XX

Last night, I had some buttermilk and beetroots that needed using. I also some leftover phyllo pastry and some eggs so I decided to experiment with a quiche. It was delicious, beyond my best expectations. I boiled the beetroots and grated them adding them to sautéed onions, leek, garlic, chilli and basil. I caramelised the mix with some balsamic and honey, then spreaded it into some phyllo sheets pouring the buttermilk mixed with eggs and nutmeg on top. I sprinkled some parmesan and baked until crispy. Another good recipe to repeat in the near future.

Feb 03, 2010
Paula76 in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner? Part XX

You could say it was a sort of milanesa de pescado although we usually wouldn't call them that back home...the usual is 'filet de merluza rebozado' which, in my view, is rather dull. As you must have realised if you shopped for ingredients over there, fish and seafood are ridiculously expensive. As fot those morels, are they gold-encrusted? Oh, well...hope the indulgence paid off and the meal was one to remember...

Feb 02, 2010
Paula76 in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner? Part XX

Had my first driving practice session (outside driving lessons) with my step-father-in-law yesterday and as a 'thank you' I acted as rent-a-chef bringing ingredients to their place to cook them lunch (my MIL can't cook to save her life and her fridge contains margarine, milk, eggs, hard cheese and little else...). The driving was rubbish but hopefully the meal made up for it. I chose something simple as I know they're not keen on anything 'exotic' (ie. too different from 'meat and two veg').

So, I coated some fillets of fresh haddock from the market with a mix of breadcrumbs, toasted almonds, oats, black pepper and smoked paprika. I baked them, roasted some sweet potatoes, parsnips, onions and garlic with olive oil, rosemary and honey and served with grilled asparagus and a Honey, dill and Dijon sauce.

Feb 01, 2010
Paula76 in Home Cooking

What's For Dinner? Part XIX

I second coll's suggestion. Pan fry them in olive oil until browned, then transfer to an oven dish and finish in the oven for 10-15 minutes.

Jan 30, 2010
Paula76 in Home Cooking

What's For Dinner? Part XIX

Amen to that...

I only tried quinoa last year as they serve it in the northwest of Argentina with llama meat (delicious!). It is an acquired taste so I'd recommend you cooked it in lots of spices and herbs (like a pilaf or chilli) or mixed in a Spanish-style tortilla. I wouldn't call it a delicacy by any stretch of the imagination but it's apparently very good for you.

Jan 30, 2010
Paula76 in Home Cooking

What's For Dinner? Part XIX

Another 'using up' day at mine tonight with the clear intention of keeping it as healthy as possible in preparation for our upcoming meal out at our favourite Indian restaurant tomorrow where there will certainly be no holds barred.
So, I am cooking a Quinoa stew tonight (roughly following a recipe for 'Chilean bean stew') with butternut squash, black eyed peas, rosemary, paprika, cumin, red pepper, chilli, tomatoes and spices. I'll serve with some corn tortillas and some roasted butternut seeds on top.

Jan 29, 2010
Paula76 in Home Cooking

What's For Dinner? Part XIX

Last night I made Udon noodles following a simple recipe I found with marinated chicken breatst (in a mix of garlic, giner, lemon juice and Thai sweet chilli sauce). I stir-fried some vegetables (thinly sliced carrots, bamboo shoots, broccoli, red chillies, garlic and ginger) with kecap manis and soy sauce. Added some peanuts, the cooked noodles and the grilled chicken strips on top (caramelised in the chilli sauce). Nice, tasty and very easy indeed.

Tonight, it's polenta pizza with some grilled vegetables and buffallo mozarella. I'll probably serve it with a small salad made of whatever's left in the fridge (namely, mixed leaves and avocado).

Jan 28, 2010
Paula76 in Home Cooking

What's For Dinner? Part XIX

Last night I made a spanakopita with a twist: spinach, ricotta and eggs at the bottom, a mix of sautéed Portobello mushrooms, onion, red pepper, garlic, chilli and basil on top and lastly, a layer of fresh tomatoes and mozzarella. Some spices added to the mix and the result was very good indeed.

Tonight, I'm making falafel with tahini and harissa sauce accompanied by a beetroot barley risotto with mushrooms, peas and cherry tomatoes.

Jan 26, 2010
Paula76 in Home Cooking

What's For Dinner? Part XIX

I know you meant well but I admit I am grateful that the gamble paid off as it would have been a waste of some stunningly good smoked haddock otherwise! By the way, welcome back! Glad to see you had a good time in Tenerife, inulging in some delicious and cheap tapas.

I will probably have a go at kedgeree (which I've never had) next time but I am usually more inclined towards breaking tradition than keeping it (my partner says I'm a rebel at heart and he's got a good point).

Jan 25, 2010
Paula76 in Home Cooking

Red Wine with Seafood?

Personally, I drink red wine with every food, however much of a sacrilege this might be for wine conoisseurs...I don't like white wine and I don't particularly believe in wine-food pairing. In my view, if you love the wine and love the food, then they'll go together just fine...

For me, it's got to be a rich, fruity, full-bodied red. My favourites are Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Tannat.

Jan 25, 2010
Paula76 in Wine

What's For Dinner? Part XIX

An unexpectedly memorable meal last night (if I might say so myself but, in all fairness, that is what my other half kept saying too). I had bought some beautifully fresh smoked haddock fillets from the market and, for some reason, I was hellbent on cooking it Caribbean-style (which, btw, is a style of cooking I'd never done before). Thanks to some kind suggestions from fellow chowhounds (apart from John whose comment I'm glad I didn't see until afterwards...DON'T DO IT! :-)

I coated the fillets in a mix of wholemeal breadcrumbs, grated coconut and spices (after dredging in flour and egg), fried in olive oil and finished in the oven with a splah of lime juice. I served with 'moros y cristianos' made with wholemeal rice, gungo peas, carrots, red pepper, chilli, garlic, cumin, paprika and thyme and a side of fried plantain sprinkled with cayenne and caramelised with honey. A resounding success and one recipe to make again and again.

Jan 25, 2010
Paula76 in Home Cooking

Caribbean-inspired recipes with smoked haddock

I am pleased to report on a very successful meal which had my other half stating that it was one of the best meals I'd ever cooked! Fusion did work this time and I'd like to thank you for your suggestions and comments.

Here's what I did:

I dredged the smoked haddock fillets in flour, then egg and lastly, in a mix of wholemeal breadcrumbs, grated coconut and spices (cayenne pepper, black pepper, turmeric, cinnamon, paprika and nutmeg). I put it back in the fridge for about an hour.
For the rice, I opted for 'moros y cristianos' with a twist: I heated olive oil, then fried a cup of washed wholemeal rice for a few minutes, added garlic, chilli and oregano and after 2 minutes, one onion, one red pepper, a diced carrot, some smoked paprika and cumin. I sautéed for a few minutes, added chicken stock, salt, pepper and thyme and simmered for 10 minutes before adding the gungo peas and cooking until done.

I fried the fish in olive oil for 2-3 minutes each side and finished in the oven. I served with a splash of lime juice, the rice and some fried plantain (with cayenne pepper and honey). The smoky flavour of the fish worked really well...A definite keeper!

Jan 25, 2010
Paula76 in Home Cooking

Caribbean-inspired recipes with smoked haddock

Thanks for the ideas (and thanks to Bushwickgirl's husband!). I am indeed making the fish tonight so I still have time to ponder. The bacalaítos sound good. I was thinking of adding some coconut flakes to the batter following a recipe I found and I'll try the sofrito, Puerto Rican style. I know smoked haddock is probably not used in the Caribbean but a bit of innovation can sometimes be a good thing so I'm hoping this will be the case...

Jan 24, 2010
Paula76 in Home Cooking

Caribbean-inspired recipes with smoked haddock

I got some lovely smoked haddock fillets at the market today and I am in the mood for a Caribbean meal. I have never cooked any Caribbean food so I would welcome some ideas and inspiration. I also bought some plantain, gungo peas and rice and I have some shredded coconut and fresh mango as well as a myriad of spices in my pantry.

I'll be grateful for your suggestions!

Paula

Jan 23, 2010
Paula76 in Home Cooking

What's For Dinner? Part XIX

I hope bigfellow can read this at some point and feel proud of the good work he's done here...We are all thinking of you and hoping you'll be back with us soon.

Last night, I made stuffed butternut squash with bulgur wheat, onions, garlic, chilli and various spices topped with a mix of breadcrumbs, sesame and roasted butternut seeds and baked in the oven. I served it with roasted sweet potato wedges (with garlic and rosemary) and a mixed salad.

Tonight, it's a simple pantry-clearing affair. Wholewheat spaguetti in a tomato sauce with leeks, mushrooms, garlic and chorizo, tossed with red pesto and topped with Parmesan.

Jan 22, 2010
Paula76 in Home Cooking

Excess Ricotta Cheese

I'd recommend ricotta and spinach gnocchi (or you can use butternut squash, sweet potato or beets). Easy and delicious! Also, ricotta crustless cheesecake mixing ricotta with eggs, cream cheese, sugar and raisins.

Jan 18, 2010
Paula76 in Home Cooking

How do you use 'good for you' spices in unexpected ways?

I put half a teaspoon of turmeric into my daily pot of green tea. It adds a lovely taste and colour to it! I also sprinkle cinnamon on my oatmeal and in Middle Eastern stews and kebab marinades. I am consciously trying to incorporate spices for their health benefit although I naturally tend to find most foods without spices quite bland. It's about finding the right balance and not overpowering dishes with spices for the sake of it.

Jan 08, 2010
Paula76 in Home Cooking

Needed: classic dishes from South America

Empanadas are delicious, versatile and ideal for a buffet. The choices are endless but as an Argy myself, I'd recommend Argentinean empanadas (de carne with minced meat, boiled eggs, green olives, raisins and onions or humita made with sweetcorn and cream or Caprese with mozzarella, tomatoes and basil).

Arepas (from Colombia or Venezuela) and tamales would also be a great idea.

Dec 29, 2009
Paula76 in Latin America & Caribbean

Christmas Dinner

This year turned out to be brilliant. We ate out on Christmas Day in a gorgeous rural pub from the 18th century with the original features and stunning food. A delicious 4-course meal including goat's cheese and beetroot tart, crab soufflé, a salad of smoked chicken, figs and cashew nuts, stuffed roast turkey with cranberry sauce and roasted veg and a delicious bread and butter pudding made with panettone, chocolate and custard.

On Boxing Day, we had my MIL and her partner for lunch. I made fresh pasta as a starter (tortelloni with butternut squash, garlic and ricotta in a rfed pesto and basil sauce). My fiancé produced a lovely main of roast venison in a red wine, chocolate and redcurrant sauce with grilled asparagus, roasted parsnips, onions and sweet potatoes.

Dessert was buttermilk panna cotta with a warm chocolate and caramel sauce, pecan nuts and grated coconut. An all-round success with barely any leftovers to speak of.

Dec 29, 2009
Paula76 in General Topics

Dinner Waste?

Food waste is something very close to my heart as I grew up in Argentina, in a family of second-generation Jewish and Spanish immigrants where every morsel was precious. I have learnt to calculate the food I need to prepare and to make inventive use of leftovers regardless of whether I fancy it or not. Besides, we are so lucky to have freezers and access to spices and herbs of all kinds that can turn any boring or bland bits into something truly delicious.

Personally, I find excessive consumption (of food, possessions or anything else) quite troubling when the vast majority of people in the world do not have the means to satisfy their very basic needs. As others have said, a scrumptious meal does not need to be obscenely expensive. A little bit of imagination goes a lot further than the most expensive ingredients, in my view.

That said, don't feel guilty. Do your best to use your leftovers, put it down to experience and start from a new perspective next time.

Dec 27, 2009
Paula76 in Not About Food

meaningless slogans

'Hand-cut' and 'Hand-cooked' as if this somehow makes the food more 'natural'...They still use cheap and nasty ingredients but because they supposedly cut them and cook them by hand, they instantly become wholesome...(not)

Dec 23, 2009
Paula76 in Not About Food