Author: Maria

The Best Vanilla Panna Cotta

Very simple to make, all you need is five ingredients to enjoy a fresh and delicious Panna Cotta. Originally from Italy this dessert is made of full fat milk, vanilla, cream, sugar and gelatine. The only tricky part is to use the right amount of gelatine to get a creamy and wobbly Panna Cotta. Below you’ll find the only recipe you’ll ever need for a basic Panna Cotta. Buon Appetito! Prep Time: 15 minutes (plus overnight fridge)   Portions: 4 Ingredients 75ml full-fat milk 425ml double cream 50g sugar 1 vanilla pod 2 fine leaves of gelatine (1.7 grams per leaf aprox) Equipment 1 saucepan 1 spatula 1 heatproof jug 1 cutting board 1 sharp knife 1 bowl with cold water (for the gelatine) 1 whisk or fork (for the gelatine) 4 ramekins (or custard molds) Instructions Pour the milk, the cream and the sugar into a saucepan. Stir. 2. Remove the seeds from the vanilla pod. Add the seeds and the emptied-out pod to the saucepan. 3. Put the saucepan on the stove over …

Sunday Mimosa

Springtime makes New York come alive with bright colours and people out in the parks. Hello sun! Restaurant terraces and NY classic brunches wouldn’t be complete without a delicious bubbly Mimosa. This super simple cocktail, made mostly with orange juice and chilled champagne (or another sparkling white wine), is the perfect way to begin Sunday in a party mood. Treat yourself this Easter morning with a refreshing Mimosa…cheers! Prep Time: 15 min Ingredients 75 cl Chilled Champagne or Prosecco 75 cl Fresh orange juice Slices of oranges, limes, grapefruit etc A splash of Cointreau liquor (optional) Equipment Champagne glasses Squeezer Colander Instructions Squeeze the oranges and strain 2. Cut the citrus fruits in thin slices 3. Fill half of the glass with champagne 4. Fill the other half with fresh orange juice 5. Put the fruit slices in each glass (different colours and sizes look nice) 6. Add a splash of Cointreau if it takes your fancy 7. Enjoy!

Soft-Boiled Egg and New Soldiers

This is the ideal option for an Easter brunch. Both little ones and grown ups love them! When the eggs are done properly, with a runny yolk, nothing is better than dipping your soldiers into them. In this post, you will also have some new soldiers to try… More than a recipe, this post is an invitation to remember a childhood favourite (my 5 year old can’t get enough of them!). Sometimes the simplest of recipes make us the happiest! Happy dipping! Soft-Boiled Egg Portion: 1  Prep Time: 7 minutes Ingredients 1 medium egg at room temperature salt and pepper Equipment 1 medium saucepan 1 sharp knife 1 long spoon 1 small cup Instructions 1. Fill a small saucepan with water. Put on the hob over a medium heat and bring to the boil. 2. Once the water is boiling, put the egg into the saucepan using a spoon. 3. As soon as the water comes back to the boil, set the timer for 4 minutes. This guarantees a runny yolk. 4. After 4 minutes take …

Yummy British Scones!

Scones are a quick bread, they can be savoury, sweet or plain. They are very popular in the United Kingdom, a classic treat from Devon (England) where they produce the best cream and butter of the country! For me the way to enjoy scones is to eat them hot, straight from the oven. Add regular butter and it is heaven! But the English love to have them with clotted cream (a very thick cream from Devon and Cornwall) and strawberry jam. Scones and a cup of tea are part of what is know as the Cream Tea, a kind of Afternoon Tea which is the British version of our tea time. You can enjoy your own Cream Tea wherever you are; quick and easy to prepare, this is the perfect recipe to make with the whole family. If you are making scones with kids, have all the ingredients prepared and ready to be used. Don’t worry about flour flying everywhere, just enjoy a wonderful and fun time all together! Portions 6-7 scones   Prep Time: …

Pisco Sour, Chile v/s Perú

Chileans and Peruvians have their differences, they argue about football and politics, but I would like to write about something we have in common. Something that we love equally and both call our national cocktail: the Pisco Sour. Peruvian restaurants are everywhere in London and I am thankful for that.  Now I can go out and enjoy a delicious Pisco Sour this side of the Atlantic! The Pisco Sour is deeply rooted in the Chilean and Peruvian culture, just like Pimm’s is part of the British’s culture. It goes hand in hand with a family dinner or a summer’s day on the beach. And it reminds me of my mum, my sister, my family and friends. What is pisco? For those who didn’t grow up in the Southern tip of South America, here is what I can share with you: pisco is a colourless, high-alcoholic grappa made by distilling fermented grape juice. It is produced in Chile and Peru and used in many cocktails. Pisco Sour is a cocktail with pisco, lime or lemon juice, sugar and ice …

The Easy Affogato

Affogato is the ideal dessert when you don’t have anything for dessert! It is originally from Italy and requires only two ingredients; fresh coffee and vanilla ice-cream, mixed at the time of serving. It can’t get any easier than that! Aside from being easy and delicious it is versatile because it can be dairy-free, gluten-free or even decaf, depending on your choice of ice-cream and coffee. What to look for in a good vanilla ice-cream? The colour must be pale-yellow, almost white, and you must be able to see little brown spots (the vanilla bean seeds). If you can afford it, don’t buy cheap alternatives. Ideally the coffee must be made with a coffee machine or a coffee maker. Avoid using instant coffee. The ice cream acts as the sweetener so no need for extra sugar. Buon apetito! Affogato Portions: 2  Prep Time : 7 minutes Ingredients 2-4 scoops of good quality vanilla ice-cream 2 shots of good quality, fresh coffee Equipment 2 heat resistant glasses 2 cups or one pot of coffee 1 ice-cream …

Sea Bass with Lime, Caper and Coriander Dressing

Quick, healthy, gluten-free and just a few ingredients. This is the perfect recipe on a busy week day or for an impromptu, no hassle dinner with friends. And what better way to add Omega 3 to your family’s diet. Enjoy! Sea Bass with Lime, Caper and Coriander Dressing Portions : 4  / Prep Time: 25 minutes Ingredients Fish 8 x 100g/4oz sea bass fillets (skin on) Salt (I recommend sea salt flakes) Dressing 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 2 tbsp lime juice (1 big lime approx.) and grated zest 2 1/2 tbs capers Fresh chopped coriander (18 stems approx.) Salt Equipment Oven tray Kitchen roll Parchment Paper Big spatula Scissors Equipment for the dressing 1 medium bowl 1 chopping knife 1 grater (for the zest) 1 lime squeezer 1 spoon Instructions 1. Preheat the oven 200C/ 400F/ 6 Gas Mark. 2. Put the fish, skin-side up, on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. 3. Dry  the fish skin with kitchen roll and sprinkle some flaky salt. 4. Bake for 6 minutes ( this is an …

Jamie Oliver And His Granola Dust

Who is Jamie? Jamie is everywhere; I am sure you have seen him on social media or tv and in magazines. For those who don’t know him I can tell you that he was the first celebrity chef I liked in the UK. His non meticulous style caught my attention. If one day you have the opportunity to watch Jamie Oliver cook you might notice that everything is everywhere: he uses his hands, almost up to the elbows…but in the end the food looks amazing. In some way I think that he teaches us real cooking, cooking that is not perfect. In my attempt to find nutritious food for my family, I tried his Granola Dust recipe which is basically a homemade granola ground into dust. The good thing is that once ready, it can be saved in a sealed jar for a quick and healthy breakfast. Oats and nuts have a bad reputation because of their high-calorie content but their positive long-term effect is undeniable. The right amount of nuts (a handful per day) …

Le Gâteau Au Yaourt!

When my eldest daughter was about one-year-old I read my first ‘mummy’ book called ‘French Children Don’t Throw Food’. An interesting read for a first time mum whose child obviously loved to throw everything from the dinner table. In all honesty I can’t remember half of the book. But I do remember that I enjoyed learning about the Parisian culture and how French parents introduce their kids to cheese, in all its forms, early. What I remember most are the food-related passages and the fact that many French parents start cooking with their kids when they are very little. In the book there is an easy yoghurt cake recipe, the first cake that French kids make. It is called ‘Le Gâteau Au Yaourt’. This ‘gâteau’ has become one of my girls’ classic recipes while waiting for daddy to come home from work on Fridays. The original French recipe doesn’t contain fruits but we have modified it by replacing some of the flour with high quality cocoa powder and berries or chocolate chips. The idea is …

The Fabulous Matcha

It has been all the rage in NY and London for a while. It is a ‘trendy’ tea because of its flavour and health benefits. It has a strong but pleasant green tea taste and its fluorescent colour is the perfect contrast for the gloomy British winter mornings! Matcha tea is the most famous tea in Japan. The tea ceremony is performed around it and one can even achieve a meditative state while preparing it. Amazing, isn’t it? With green tea you infuse the water with loose leaves, removing them before drinking. With Matcha tea you basically eat/drink the leaves because they are dried and ground into a fine powder. The one inconvenient of Matcha tea? Its price. Matcha tea comes in different grades (i.e. for sipping or for blending/cooking) and different flavours. But no matter the blend, it never loses its healthy nutrient content. It is expensive because it requires a special form of production (shade-grown). Some of Matcha’s health benefits are: High concentration of antioxidants… bye bye cancer and premature ageing Low cholesterol …