Saturday, January 8, 2011

Asian-American Shrimp Salad

We made this quick Asian-American shrimp salad with some cold shrimps left from the night before. It's a great appetizer for a weekend brunch.

The Ingredients:

For the salad:
1 cup boiled, peeled and cooled medium size shrimp
1/2  cup coarsely chopped corriander
1/2 cup chopped green onions
3-4 tbs chopped dates. 
1 clove garlic, finely chopped

For the dressing:
2 tbs olive oil
1 tsp dijon mustard (or any very good quality mustard)
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp sugar
salt and pepper.

The recipe:
Simply mix the ingredients with the dressing and serve cold or at room temperature.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Marzipan Perfect For Tea

There's nothing more indulging than a bite of a small sweet treat so refined and precise. Adapted from The Book of Jewish Food by Claudia Roden this recipe for homemade marzipan (massapan in Ladino, the Judeo-Spanish spoken by Jews in Spain) takes minutes to make, keeps forever and will go perfect with your afternoon tea.

The Ingredients:
500g ground almonds
300g sugar
1 cup water
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp ground cardamon (optional)
2-3 drop of almond essence
Powdered sugar 

The Recipe:
Boil the sugar, water and lemon juice in a pan for 10 minutes, until the syrup is thick and sticky and coats a spoon. Be aware not to let it caramelize. Now add the ground almonds, cardamon and almond essence and stir over low heat for 2-3 minutes, until the paste no longer sticks to the pan. Set aside and let cool.  Oil your hands lightly, take little lumps of paste and roll into 2.5 cm round balls. Coat in powdered sugar, and serve. A true indulgence. We like to make some extra and store it in the fridge. We roll it into a log, wrap in saran wrap and put it away for a rainy day (it will keep for months). And when some some friends come over for tea and there are no cookies, we can quickly whip out our homemade marzipan.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sweet Omelets

This is a no hassle omelet recipe, perfect for a Saturday brunch. The combination of honey and pine nuts is delicate and surprising.

Ingredients: (makes four omelets)

6 large eggs
2 tbs milk
2 tsp honey
3 tbsp pine nuts
1 tsb chopped parsley
Salt an pepper

First toast the pine nuts in the oven for about ten minutes at 200C, until they turn a golden brown.

In a bowl, gently mix the eggs with the milk. (Don't whip it or the omelet will turn too airy)
Prepare each omelet separately. In a frying pan with oil or butter over low heat, pour a quarter of the egg mixture. Turn the pan a bit to the sides to make sure the mixture spreads all over, making the omelets as thin as possible.
When the top is almost ready carefully turn the omelet over.
Gently drip half a teaspoon of honey in a strip along the middle of the omelet, sprinkle with pine nuts.
Now roll the omelet and place on a serving plate.
Repeat for the other omelets. Sprinkle with parsley, the remaining pine nuts and a pinch of salt and pepper. You can serve them warm or at room temperature.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Homemade Marshmallows!

Get ready for a surprise... For our dear friend's birthday, we made our own homemade marshmallows. Inspired by a recipe by the beautiful Hungry Girl Porvida, we were a little uncertain at the beginning. But the recipe turned out to be quick, easy and the marshmallows are so much better than what you'd buy at the supermarket (not to mention they are quite impressive...) You will need a candy thermometer.

1 cup cold water, divided
90 grams gelatin
2 cups sugar
2/3 honey
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup powdered sugar

First prepare a shallow pan and line it with baking paper. Sprinkle powdered sugar all over the baking paper.
Place 1/2 cup of water in the bowl of a standing mixer with the whisk attachment. Sprinkle the gelatin over the water and allow it to soften for about 5 minutes.
Place the remaining water, sugar, honey and salt in a saucepan, melt and bring to a boil. Continue boiling until the syrup reaches 240 F on the candy thermometer.
Turn the mixer on on low speed, and slowly pour the syrup into the gelatin. DO NOT pour on the attachment itself or you'll splatter boiling syrup all over yourself (ouch!).
Once all the syrup is incorporated, gradually increase the speed, and continue whisking until the mixture turns white, thick and stiff (like marshmallow fluff). At this point add vanilla and mix to combine.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, and with wet hands smooth the top.
Dust with powdered sugar and let it sit in room temperature for at least 4 hours.
When ready just take the marshmallow out, and with a sharp knife cut into bite-size pieces. Toss with powdered sugar to coat the pieces (we threw them in a Ziploc bag and shook), and store in a container.

You can get creative and add other flavors into the mixture, such as mint, coffee, cardamon, etc. We will be sure to play some more with the recipe the next time we try it.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

And the winner is...

Our recipe for Steak with Onion and Tomato Sauce was chosen to be included into the Foodista Best of Food Blogs Cookbook! A while back we entered the contest and just received the good news. Yay!

Kim chi (Korean Pickles)

We got stuck with a large amount of cucumbers and after many weeks of making simple pickles we had enough. It was time to find a spicy alternative. Enter kim chi, spicy Korean pickles! We had tried and loved kim chi on our last trip to Korea and were determined to have a try at making our own. They turned out spectacular, extremely spicy and addictive. They're great as a condiment, added to soup or served as a side order like regular pickles.

Adapted from  Dr. Ben Kim's recipe.


15-20 small cucumbers cut into bite-size pieces
2 tbs salt
1 tbs minces garlic
1/2 cup green onions, roughly chopped
1/4 onion, chopped
2 tbs red chili powder
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tbs honey

The Recipe:
Toss the cucumbers with salt and let sit overnight.
Combine the cucumbers with the rest of the ingredients, and mix well.
Transfer to glass jars with just a little bit of brine and let ferment for 48 hours at room temperature. Place the jars in the refrigerator for safe keeping.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Summer Pea Soup

Despite the scorching heat, we were inspired to create this wonderful recipe for Summer Pea Soup. It's light and tasty when served at room temperature, and a hint of almond essence makes it a pleasantly surprising dish for a Saturday lunch.
400 gr dried yellow peas
3 cloves garlic, pressed flat with the wide edge of a knife

3 tbs olive oil
1 tsp cumin
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 tbs almond essence
salt and pepper

The Recipe
In a large pan saute the garlic cloves in the oil for a few minutes until they turn golden. Add the peas and mix. Add water (just the right amount to cover the peas) and boil. Simmer and let cook for 45 minutes on low heat, or until the peas are very soft.
Mix in the cumin and lemon juice. Add 1 cup water, stir and let boil. Then add the basil leaves, almond essence and salt and pepper. Mix well and let cook for another 10 minutes. Set aside and let it cool. Serve at room temperature, or if you can't wait, just serve it hot (it's just as good...).

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Quick Rice Wraps

Great as a starter or as a quick lunch this light and flavorful Thai dish might get you addicted. Adapted from Doi Kham Cookbook.
Rice Paper Wraps

package of rice sheets
2 eggs
2 tbs. fish sauce
vegetable oil
5 shitake mushrooms
2 scallions, chopped
a small bunch of sweet basil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

The Recipe
Make the egg sheets: beet the eggs and season with the fish sauce, pour a thin layer into a frying pan, remove when cooked and set aside. This should yield 4/5 sheets.
Prepare the shitake: heat a bit of oil in a frying pan, add the chopped garlic and then the shitake mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper and saute for a few minutes. Be careful not to let the mushroom turn too soft. Set aside.
Prepare the rice paper: (follow the instructions on the package) soak in lukewarm water for one minute, 2 sheets at a time (they tend to tear otherwise). Spread the sheets on a flat surface, top with an egg sheet, some shitake, scallions and chopped basil. Roll tightly and slice into bite size pieces. Delish!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Red/Green Tahini (Techina) Spread

Tahini (or techina as it is called in Hebrew) is a basic ingredient in the Israeli kitchen. It is eaten everywhere and by everyone; smeared with a pita, spread on a sandwich, as a salad dressing or in our kitchen, on soba noddles. Tahini cookies are favorite sin of mine too. The core to a good tahini recipe is a good raw tahini paste (or techina golmit). You can find very good options in Israeli grocery stores, but the best raw tahini paste we found was in the Machane Yehuda Market in Jerusalem.
For the Red (Roasted Pepper) Tahini Spread
1/2 cup raw tahini paste (i like to use Harduf Organic Tahini from whole sesame, but any good tahini paste, like Yona or Gamal will do)
10 roasted and peeled red peppers
juice from 1/2 lemon
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 piece ginger, the size of a garlic clove, peeled
1 chopped red chili (use half if you don't love spicy)
salt and pepper to taste

The Recipe
Blend all the ingredients in a food processor. Add salt and pepper to taste. The spread can easily be turned into a salad dressing by thinning it out with a little bit of water.

For the Green (Herb) Tahini Spread
1/2 cup raw tahini paste
1 bunch of parsley
1 bunch of coriander
10 basil leaves
juice from 1/2 lemon
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 piece ginger, the size of a garlic clove, peeled
1 chopped red chili (use half if you don't love spicy)
salt and pepper to taste

The Recipe
Blend all the ingredients in a food processor. Add salt and pepper to taste. The spread can easily be turned into a salad dressing by thinning it out with a little bit of water.

Pistachio Cherry Trifle

It's CHERRY SEASON! We were invited to a small dinner party where the guests all cooked a number of small dishes each. We thought it best to make a smaller dessert, since we could not imagine having enough room in our stomachs to eat an entire tart after the feast (or maybe we could, so it's best we did this instead). Dorie Greenspan had us salivating over Pierre Herme's Streusel Tart with Pistachios and Cherries from The Cook's Book. This served as our inspiration as we decided to deconstruct the dessert and turn a tart recipe into a trifle recipe.
Well, the original recipe called for a pastry tart filled with almond pistachio cream and cherries and topped with an almond streusel. We applied our architects' mind, developed over many years of intense study and carefully crafted individual pistachio cherry trifles.

See the recipe after the jump.

Open Face Tahini and Roasted Veggie Sandwich

When faced with a serious brunch dilemma, we decided to make an Open Face Tahini and Roasted Veggie Sandwich. After a couple of days of intensive cooking we tired out and opted to piece together a sandwich made from the week's leftovers. Bread+ homemade tehini + leftover roasted vegetables, made for a very yummy brunch.

Baked Split Banana

So.... after a two week hiatus, we have decided to start posting our recipes back on The Royal Kitchen and to keep our two blogs separate. More recipes to come... 
The Royals

Baked Split Banana

1 ripe banana
1/2 tsp. light brown sugar
cinnamon for dusting

The Recipe
Preheat the oven to 180 C.
Split the banana in half, lengthwise. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Dust with cinnamon and serve.

Feeling the love

Yesterday we were featured by the folks at The Kitchn.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Some Changes

In an effort to consolidate our blogs we started posting our recipes on our lifestyle blog The Royal Excursion. Hope you continue to check in to see what we are cooking! Lately we have made homemade granola, an open face tahini and veggie sandwich and baked split banana.

The Royals

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Whole Wheat Banana Muffins

Banana muffins are great for breakfast or a snack on the run. We like to always have some ready for guests who stop by to visit. These muffins are adapted from Dorie Greenspan's wonderful column Baking with Dorie on Serious Eats. Lately we have been eating a lot of whole grains and have emitted butter from our diet (summer is officially on its way). Here we substituted whole wheat flour for regular flour, vegetable oil for butter, brown sugar for white sugar, almond milk for yogurt and added chopped mixed nuts instead of chocolate. So... having once made Dorie's delicious muffins, these muffins are completely different, but we think just as delicious. They are also a healthier version.
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg, at room temperature
2 very ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup almond milk (you can alternatively use sour cream or plain yogurt)
3 ounces chopped mixed nuts, optional (I used a combination of Brazilian nuts, hazel nuts, walnuts and almonds)

The Recipe
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray 12 regular-size muffin cups.
Whisk the flour, baking soda and salt together well.
Add the sugar to the oil, beat at medium speed for around two minutes. Beat in the vanilla, then the egg, beating for about 1 minute. Mix in the bananas. Then, mix in half the dry ingredients, all the almond milk and then the rest of the flour mixture. Stir in the chopped nuts. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups.
Bake for 10 to 20 minutes (pay attention since every oven is different, we burned ours a little-oops), or until a knife inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. Transfer the muffin tin to a rack, cool for 3 minutes, then gently turn the muffins out of the tin. Cool to room temperature on a rack.