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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

RIP David Nkunzumwami

My baby brother was my samurai. 
He was and is my angel. Je t'aime.........
His smile and love are forever in my heart.

 I did learn how to bake just to make him happy....
We grew up as children of refugees without grandparents, aunties, or uncles.Our parents were always working hard to provide for us. He was our baby, so to make him happy every Wednesday afternoon we would bake something together. We would laugh and talk forever. That is when I realized how much love you can give when cooking for someone your love. He will be missed...
 Last time we  bake together, we made Pistachio Avocado Madeleines. I told him we will open a business and sell my goodies. Now he is gone...
May he rest in Peace

Monday, December 5, 2011

Cilantro Garlicky Green Thai Eggplants

I am in love with eggplants aka aubergine. I love them. It is my ultimate comfort food. As much as I love chocolate, eggplants always come first. Last Sunday, I got 4 pounds of these cuties at the farmers market. It was all gone in 5 days. Here is one of my easy super fast lunch or side dish. Besides, eggplants are very rich in phenolic antioxidant compounds !!!

 8 Green Thai eggplants
olive oil 3 to 5 tbs
3 garlic cloves(sliced or pressed)
1 handful of minced cilantro
1 medium white onion minced
1 tsp of ground coriander
1 tsp of ginger powder
Freshly grounded black peeper and salt to taste.

- Remove stem and wash eggplants.
- Cut these cuties in quarters
- In  warm pan put olive oil,add garlic add onion and eggplant, then spices
- Stir fry until soft but still firm even to hold they shape.
- Enjoy!!!

Try to use Green Thai eggplants when seeds are still light. Darker seeds increase bitterness.
If you do not like seeds this eggplant is to for you!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Olive oil madeleines

I love Madeleines. “Pur butter Madeleines” are of course better but sometimes we cannot indulge.
For the next couple months, I will try to eat healthier and exercise!! 
Yes, my baby brother did visit…and he said that I put on some weigh… 
Which I did! So Bye bye butter, Hello olive oil!!!

A recipe adapted from Cooky Monster
1 cup of sugar
1 1/3 cup flour
½ tsp baking powder
6 tbs olive oil (use a light one)
5 tbs of soy milk(I did not have milk)
1 tiny pinch of salt
1 tbs vanilla extract
2 medium eggs (there were smallish)

Mix until creamed sugar,eggs, and salt in one bowl.
Mix flour and baking powder in another bowl.
Add olive oil and milk to sugar-salt-eggs cream.
Then add flour mix in three times.
Mix well for 5 minutes to get the cute bump!!!
I let batter rest for 1  hour  in the fridge.
Pour in muffin tins or Madeleine tins.

Cooking Nomads’ Verdict
Coming from the oven they are delicious and tender.
The next day they are more dense but still perfect to dip in warm milk.
It is a fast and easy recipe. And you cannot taste the olive oil.

Next time
I will try orange flower water or lemon zest instead of vanilla.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

"Eastern" Cajun Blackened Salmon

It all started with frozen salmon fillets. I do not like frozen fish but I eat it. One evening, I was craving fish and all we had was frozen salmon. So I mixed spices to cover up "the frozen part". I am calling this a "Eastern cajun" mix because I could not resit to add some sumac into the mix. Since I purchased a large bag of sumac,  I am sprinkling it everywhere lately. My little assistant likes  its lemony taste so he was pleased.

The Eastern Cajun mix
1 tsp Sumac
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp oregano ground
1 tsp thyme ground
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp salt

To marinate, I combine the mix with 3 garlic cloves pressed and 3 Tbs of olive oil  with my thawed fillets for at least 30 min.I cooked it under the broiler for 15 min (skin down and a little more olive oil on top). It was lemony and spicy. I made a barley risotto as a side. It was my first time cooking barley!! I did not like it, even with the mascarpone and Parmesan!!! Barley and I, we are not friend yet! I need to get used to that chewiness... My son did like it so I had to pretend that I like it. Yes, the hot and spicy salmon saved my dinner!!! So this Eastern Cajun Mix would be used again in our cooking lab for express tasty meals.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Baked vegetarian spring roll

My first year in college, my classmate Muriel did teach me how to make delicious chicken spring roll. She is a fifth generation Chinese descendant born and raised in French Guyana. I dearly cherish my freshman year in Toulouse. I befriended people from all over and tasted all their delicious favorite recipes. We used to get together twice a month and cook until we could not eat no more.
Besides the best recipes are the one taught by someone. You can remember each steps. With time, I put a little more of me to make it my own. I like it  as a vegetarian baked appetizer, or a I add the chicken to make fried spring roll..It is delicious because the fresh  ginger is the soul of this recipe.
Of course I love the fried version better but the baked version is good and healthier!!! And the truth is that I am not a teenager anymore! Fried food cost too much  working out!

5 medium shredded carrots
5 Green leaves of Napa cabbage shredded
5 baby Bok Choy shredded
2 large onion sliced
4 handfuls of chopped cilantro
1/2 cup of Asian chive( my new addiction)
1 handful of Mung Bean noodle also named cellophane noodles
1/4 cup of dry black Asian fungus shredded once soaked
3 inch long young ginger root chopped
Black pepper, salt to taste
2 tablespoons of dry ginger
1 tablespoon of coriander
1 pound/500g , one bag of soy beans or mung bean sprout
1 pack of spring roll sheets( Always always Menlo  brand )
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
olive oil
Recipe is coming...

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Express Thiebou Yapp-(Sénégal)

 Express because it was a busy weekday dinner. No time for long marinade or lovely simmering but the taste was at the rendez vous. A fast Thieubo Yapp is always good for the soul. 
I especially made it  for our little American African French, who was missing his Senegalese grandpa. He said that Papi’s rices are the best but it was really good. Well, I took it as a compliment of course!!
For shortcut, I used a pressure cooker and the microwave. Yes!!!
It is not traditional but it tastes good! Of course, I prefer the long simmering version but sometimes, time is lacking , so shortcutting traditional ways is acceptable.

 The traditional recipe directs to cook the rice in the stew with the meat. However, I hate having a burnt sticking pot and it is harder to evenly cook rice.  Again, the traditional recipe calls for broken rice, but I am addicted to white jasmine rice. However, it is much easier to obtain a perfectly cooked rice with broken rice. So try if you can. Broken rice is cheaper too!  When I went to Senegal, I noticed that everybody loves the burnt crunchy rice like a delicacy served as a condiment with hot peppers.  My rice was not as red as it should because it is my express version with less tomato. Well, I must post a traditional version later…

3 cups of rice
2 pounds of meat cut in medium chunks
(beef ribs, beef stew or lamb/ it depends on which cut you like)
1 green cabbage
4 medium carrots
3 medium onions
1 Eggplant
1 medium cassava root if you like it.
( I usually use frozen cassava roots, but I did not have any)
1/3 cup olive oil or vegetable oil or palm oil
1 clove garlic chopped
Beef broth or Maggi cubes or Kub or  about 2-4 cubes
Salt, , pepper to taste
3 small bay leaves
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
3 tbsp Mustard
1tsp cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon of paprika

In a mixing bowl, put meat, spices, mustard, salt, bay leaves, let blend in while chopping the rest of vegetables. Then, in a pressure cooker, bring to heat the oil and brown the meat cut into pieces for 10 minutes. With my little experience a good browning is the key so do not be afraid to let it brown.
Add sliced onions, let simmer about 5-10 minutes.
Add your Maggi cubes plus 6 cups of boiled water or your beef broth.
Cover with hot water up to the limit line, close your pressure cooker, cook to medium heat for 30 minutes.
Open your pressure cooker then put all your vegetables.
When your veggies are cooked, remove and set aside.
I cooked my jasmine rice in the microwave with boiled water+ some of the stew sauce +1teaspon of paprika for 20min.(exactly twice 10 min,I leave the bowl in the microwave until plating)I use a medium size ceramic bowl that I close with a small ceramic plate. It works for me. The liquids must cover one inch above the rice!
Keep on cooking meat in stew at medium heat (lid off )until meat falls off the bones!!
When everything is cooked, serve on a large plate and everybody digs in with spoons or  hands!!
Do not forget to put Maggi sauce for the purist. Enjoy...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Oven baked Makrout for tea!!!

These are oven baked Makrout!!
Oh yes!! With my last carrefour mint tea!:)
To be honest I used two recipes and changed it to fit my need.
The first is from Un amour de cuisine, the second les recettes de ratiba.
 I did a little bit like both and I need to find the piece of paper, on which I wrote my own measures!!!
Recipe is coming...

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Boles de Picolat- Catalan meatballs

This was my favorite meal when I was in boarding school at Riversaltes,France. It was served every thursday, it was my ultimate comfort food. I adapted my recipe from here.
Mine has more tomato sauce but it was my way to hide the mushrooms from my little assistant.

  • ¾ cup white mushroom
  •  2 pounds ground beef 
  • 1/2 cup minced turkey bacon
  •  1 medium onion, finely shredded
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • ¼ cup minced cilantro
  •  2 large egg
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup of flour for coating
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 3/4 cup milk or evaporated milk
  •  1/4 teaspon of hot peppers flakes
  • 2 medium onions sliced
  • 2/3 cup crushed plum tomatoes
  • 1 cup pitted large green olives
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, origan, basil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • black pepper, salt to taste

    Recipe is coming...
    Recipe is coming

    Tarte au citron

    Recipe is coming!

    Wednesday, April 6, 2011

    Honey apple tart

    This is a very easy apple tart. I love honey. This tart does taste good but next time I will not use honey, probably sugar or apricot jam. I find out that I am a purist. Honey should be eating raw and only cooked in a spiced bread!! I hate honey in my tea, it deteriorates the taste of honey.
     Recipe is coming, just email me if you like it. I am new to cooking blog...:)

    Wednesday, March 30, 2011

    Mataba-Isombe- Saka saka-Cassava leaves

    Here is one of my ultimate comfort food. The cassava leaves are called Mataba in Comoros, and Isombe in Burundi and Rwanda. In Congo, it is known as Pondu or Saka saka. It is the taste of my childhood.  They are healthy and high in protein. According to studies, consumption of 400g cassava leaves is equivalent to protein intake of 45 to 50 grams. In Comoros, it is often cooked with coconut milk, probably like Filipinos would cook it. However, I called my mother for her recipes. It takes a long time to cook this healthy green. It took me 3hours. So I did a big batch, and froze small portions.

    24 oz of frozen chopped cassava leaves
    4 large leeks sliced
    2 chopped garlic
    5 medium onions sliced
    6 Tbsp of olive oil
    4 Tbsp of peanut butter
    Salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper 

    1.      Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add  Cassava leaves,  cook for 1h30
    2.      Add remaining ingredients to the cassava leaves and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer.
    3.      Simmer until the water is mostly gone
    4.      Then taste if the leaves are still hard add water and keep on going until greens are really tender.  This is where, I become impatient.  Most of the water should be evaporated, to get a creamy green sauce.

    I like to eat this with a side of ultra garlicky pan fried eggplants, large shrimps and brown rice.The taste is a mix of spinach and collard green with  the familiar taste of cassava root. I love it!!!

    Tuesday, March 15, 2011

    Buttery Croissants

    It all started with making bread and purchasing a baking stone.
    I am experiencing with bread baking. I even made my own levain or "sour dough like starter". I think that mine is not sour or acidic, well so far. I love it! Croissants came up after watched a you-tube video of Pierre-Dominique Cécillon pour Larousse Cuisine. And the result was great. However, I always do it over two days.
    I rather wait and let the dough rest then fight with a leaking sticky dough.
    Then I used my own bread dough and made good buttery croissant.
    Recipe is coming 

    Friday, March 11, 2011

    Wakame Seaweed salad

    It is healthy and smell like ocean. I am a coastal girl. I love sushi, and the wakame salad often served. I made my own little wakame salad after I bought a very cheap bag of dried wakame in a Asian store.
    Recipe is coming

    Langues de chat

    An easy classic that use all your left over Egg whites.
    I am not comfortable yet with pastry bags so, I simply used a teaspon to drop and slightly spread the dough to form circles.
    Recipe is coming

    Rousquilles from Perpignan

    My younger brother is born in Perpignan, France. He is our African-Catalan. I was missing him so I made these cookies, because he loves them. Now,Ismael likes them too.I still need to perfect the icing of this cookies
    The Recipe is coming

    le goûter- snack time by Ismael:Strawberry cake.

    Well, it is easy to cook, eat and cook some more. However, it is hard to blog about it, and take decent pictures.Kudos to you all for keeping in up with amazing recipes and scrumptious pictures!!!  It is an extra step that we are still practicing. We will get there with time. So please bear with us!

    Here a piece of Strawberry cake that survived us, I was going for an express Frasier.I did a regular genoise-sponge cake using the terrific recipe from Une plume dans la cuisine .We used a leftover, reddish pink fondant that  we made for his birthday. For the filling, I mixed a warmed homemade strawberry jam with creme fraiche, vanilla extract and fresh strawberry. Voila!!!

    For the cake genoise/sponge cake
    -4 eggs
    -1  cup of flour
    -3/4 cup of flour
    -1 tsp of Baking powder
    For the filling:
    -1 cup of warm strawberry jam
    -1 cup of creme fraiche
    -1 cup of sliced fresh strawberry
    -1 tsp of vanilla extract

    Wednesday, March 2, 2011

    Napa cabbage salad with warm turkey bacon

    Napa Cabbage salad with warm turkey bacon  is my latest favorite salad because my son who does not like cabbage loved it. Then I did confess that it was cabbage!!! Easy and fast.
    Here my recipe:
    • 3 tablespoons light olive oil,
    • 4 tablespoons rice vinegar
    • 1 medium minced onion
    • 6 tablespoons of green onion
    • 3 tablespoons finely chopped chives
    • 4 cup Napa cabbage, cored and thinly sliced crosswise 
    • 8 slices of package of Turkey  bacon 
    • Ground Black Pepper and salt to taste

    Place finely shredded cabbage in a large bowl
    Sauté onion  in a tablespoon of olive oil until soft.
    Add bacon to onion  and cook until bacon gets crispy.
    Add green onion and chives.
    Add rice vinegar  to the pan, warm up  for a minute.
    Pour the warm dressing on cabbage and mix well. 
    Season with salt and pepper.


    Toasted Almond biscuits

    Here an adapted recipe of Martha Stewart-Wholemeal-Almond Biscuits
    But I saw the pictures first on J'en reprendrai bien un bout...
    I had some organic whole meal pastry flour  and ground almond.
    If a recipe calls for brown sugar and almond, I am all in.

    * 1 cup ground blanched almonds that I toasted 
    * 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
    * 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
    * 3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
    * 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces
    * 1 tsp of vanilla extract, one pinch of salt
    1.  Mix flours and brown sugar. Add butter mix with fingers until mixture resembles coarse meal. 
    2. To shape dough into a ball and vanilla extract and one tablespoon of cold water if needed then wrap in plastic.
    3. Refrigerate until cold and slightly firm, no longer than 30 minutes.( I forgot about it for 1h30)
    4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out dough on a lightly floured work surface to cut out circles (According to Martha more than 1/4 inch thick)
    5. Space them  apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake cookies until edges are golden brown, about 20 minutes in my oven. Let cool on baking sheets on wire racks. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
    Cooking Nomads Verdict:
    They taste really nutty almost like honey roasted almonds, but a little too sweet for me. I did put too much brown sugar but a perfect reason to have a  lemon green tea without sugar!!! They are cute, and a nice way to use wholemeal flour.
    Next time :1 cup of wholemeal flour, 1/2 cup of brown sugar, and toast my almond a little longer, for a darker brown finish. I will use this recipe to experiment with others flavors and flours, and less sugar. 

    Thursday, February 24, 2011

    Baked Hasselback potatoes

    My first attempt to Hasselback potatoes adapted from Angie Tee seasaltwith food blog.These potatoes look fancy, cute and delicious. It is a great alternative for French Fries lovers.I used Yukon Golden potatoes next time I will the russet potatoes. I made a  Nappa cabbage,red lettuce salad and Thin beef steak for dinner.

    8 Medium Size Potatoes

    3 Cloves Garlic, thinly sliced
    4 Tbsp Olive Oil
    10 g Butter
    Ground Black Pepper
    Ground Thyme

    Ground Oregano


    Preheat the oven to 220˚C (425˚F). Put the potato on a chopping board, flat side down. Start from one end of the potato, cut almost all the way through, at about 3 to 4 mm intervals.

    Arrange the potatoes in a baking tray and insert the garlic in between the slits. Scatter some butter on top of each potato. Then drizzle the olive oil and sprinkle some salt ,black pepper, thyme, oregano.

    Bake the potatoes for about 50 minutes or until the potatoes turn crispy and the flesh is soft.

    The Nomads Café:
    Dinner: Swedish potatoes with Chinese salad

    Version  Française:
    Ma première tentative de pommes de terre Hasselback adaptation de la recette d' Angie Tee sur Seasaltwithfood. Ces pommes de terre sont jolies et délicieuses. C' est une excellente alternative pour les amoureux de frites maison. J'ai utilisé des pommes de terre à chair jaune.
    J'ai fait une salade de Chou chinois- laitue rouge et steak  pour le dîner.

    8 pommes de terre de taille moyenne 

    3 gousses d'ail, émincées 
    4 c. à soupe d'huile d'olive 
    10 g de beurre
     Salt, Poivre noir du moulin
    Thym moulu, Origan moulu


    Préchauffer le four à 220 ˚ C (425 ˚ F). Mettez les pommes de terre sur une planche à découper, côté plat vers le bas. Débuter  a bout de la pomme de terre, coupé presque tout le long, à environ 3 à 4 mm d'intervalle. 
    Disposez les pommes de terre dans une plaque de cuisson et insérez l'ail entre les fentes. Mettez un peu de beurre sur le dessus de chaque pomme de terre. Puis arroser d'huile d'olive et saupoudrez de sel, poivre noir, thym, origan. 
    Cuire les pommes de terre pendant environ 50 minutes ou jusqu'à ce que les pommes de terre soient croustillantes et  la chair soit cuite.

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