Chinotto

IMG_4334

Hello! I am still here – I swear. I’m just not here very much lately. Everything I have been cooking lately just hasn’t been calling out to be photographed. Pair that with the fact that my camera has been out of commission, I jut haven’t had a lot of motivation to post. But, I was gently reminded that I was hosting Food ‘n Flix next month. Actually, I didn’t forget at all because I’m hosting Popeye and I’ve been looking forward to it. I have been watching all the movies since I last participated, just feeling very uninspired. But I took the gentle nudge and decided maybe I should try to play again.

This month’s movie was hosted by CulturEatz and we watched I Am Love. This movie is in Italian and has English subtitles. Sometimes I find myself having some difficulty watching foreign films, because I have to pay such close attention to understand what is going on. This movie started that way for me, but I really began to get into the movie partway through and had less trouble.

This movie involves much family drama and many meals.

While the ukha was the main dish in the storyline, I went another direction – mainly because it’s so hot here. Ukha, or fish soup with a clear broth, the food Emma’s son Edoardo loved as a child and tied in to the drama of the film, is not appropriate for temperatures exceeding 100 degrees. No soup is suitable for this type of weather. I needed something cooler . . . Something I could tolerate while sitting in front of my fan.

i20am20love201

Emma meets Antonio (a chef, a friend to her son, and her lover) at a bar to discuss a dinner he’s going to cook for a business dinner. Emma orders a chinotto from the bar.

I jotted “chinotto” down, but was unsure what it was. Wikipedia tells me (and wikipedia knows everything) that chinotto is a soda produced from the fruit of the myrtle-leaved orange tree. Chinotto is a popular Italian drink and is exported by San Pellegrino.

Though I don’t have access to a myrtle-leaved orange tree, I googled around to find how I could make my own version of chinotto. Because I couldn’t find all the same ingredients (how come my grocery store didn’t have rosemary?) I made some changes. So while not anything near authentic chinotto, the orange drink was still perfect for a hot day in the desert! Hopefully Emma would have at least tried a sip of mine.

Come participate with us this month and then come back to my blog next month for Popeye!

IMG_4335

CHINOTTO
(source)

Ingredients
1 bunch of fresh mint
3 cups sugar
1 grapefruit
1 cara cara orange
1 blood orange
1 tbsp black pepper corn
5 cloves
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp ground cinnamon
seltzer water

Directions

  1. First make your ice cubes. Bring 1 1/2 cups of water to boil. Add half of the mint and let sit for 30 seconds. Place in a ice bath.
  2. Once the mint water has cooled, pour into a blender and blend. Pour the blended liquid into ice trays. Place in the freezer until frozen.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350.
  4. Cut the oranges and grapefruit into chunks about the same size. Spread on a baking sheet. Sprinkle all the herbs (including the remaining mint) on top of the fruit.
  5. Roast for 30 minutes.
  6. Place the fruit into a pitcher. Mix into 3 cups of sugar with 6 cups of water.
  7. Chill the mixture.
  8. When ready to serve, place ice cubes in a cup. Fill cup mostly full with seltzer water. Add a splash or two of the chinotto to the cup.

FoodnFlix

White Fish on Mashed Fava Beans

favabeans

This month at Cooking with Herbs, we’re playing with mint. Mint is one of my favorite herbs, though not one I use very frequently. I find mint to only work in some things – it isn’t like oregano or even basil which I use frequently and feel like work in a lot of dishes. When I generally think of mint I think of lamb. I made the intentional decision this time to pick something very different than how I usually use mint – so no lamb! Instead I found a recipe using fish and fava beans.

The mashed fava beans were sort of strange? Or interesting. They tasted good, but I’ve never made anything like it before.

lavenderandlovage_cooking2

 

White Fish on Mashed Fava Beans
(source)

 

Ingredients
2 1/2 cups canned fava beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup + 2 tsp mint, chopped
2 tsp lemon peel, grated
3/4 tsp salt
2 pinches crushed red pepper flakes
6 fillets of white fish of your choice – I used cod
9 tbsp olive oil
all-purpose flour (for dredging)

Directions

1. In a boiling pot of water, cook the fava beans for 2 minutes. Drain. Set aside.

2. Mix 2 tsp of mint, 1 tsp lemon peel, 3/4 tsp salt, and 1 pinch red pepper flakes in a small bowl. Arrange fish on a rimmed baking sheet.  Rub the mint mixture over the fish. Set aside.

3. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the fava beans. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Cook over heat, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. If they begin to get dry, add 1/4 cup of water and continue cooking. Using a potato masher, mash the beans. If they are dry, add 1/4 cup water. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Dredge fish in flour. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until slightly brown and opaque in the middle, about 4 minutes per side.

5. Stir remaining mint, lemon peel, and 3 tbsp of olive oil in the fava beans.

6. Serve the fish on top of the fava beans.

* serves 6
* Besides Cooking with Herbs, I’m sharing this recipe with Weekend Cooking 

Stir-Fried Beef with Mint

photo (2)

This month for Cooking with Herbs, I opted to make a stir-fry. For February we were challenged to make something either romantic (for Valentine’s Day) or Chinese for Chinese New Year. I decided to make a stir-fry to celebrate the Lunar New Year. I grew up in San Francisco and went to a predominantly Chinese school. I loved Chinese New Year, for the red envelopes filled with money. I really could use one of those now . . . Filled with lots of money!

Anyway, this stir-fry features beef, mint, garlic, and onion. I love stir-fry for their simplicity and quickness. A meal ready in under 20 minutes is always nice.

Stir-Fried Beef with Mint

Ingredients
1 lb skirt steak, cut into pieces
1/4 tsp crushed red chili peppers
1/4 cup garlic, minced
1/4 cup onion, minced
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup mint leaves, chopped

Directions

1. Put the red chili, garlic, and onion together in a cup. Mush together to make something resembling a paste.

2. Heat the vegetable oil in a wok. Once hot, add the onion mixture. Cook the mixture until it turns golden brown.

3. Add the beef. Cook the beef until it’s no longer pink.

4. Add the fish sauce, sugar, water, and mint. Cook for several minutes, stirring consistently, until the liquid becomes thick.

5. Serve over rice.

* serves 4
* besides Cooking with Herbs, this recipe is being shared with #FoodieFriday Foodie Friday, & Tasty Tuesdays

Smashed Pea and Mint Bruschetta

bruschetta

 

I’ve been busy. I’ve been SO busy. But it’s been great. I had my second trial ever last week. I haven’t even passed the bar exam yet, but I’ve had two trials and in this most recent trial I hung the jury, which is awesome.

In food news, I’ve decided I’m not going to buy bread anymore. I feel like it costs so much money and I can easily make it myself. Since making this decision I’ve made several different breads: baguettes, hamburger buns, dinner rolls, and pita. This weekend I’ll be making hamburger buns and baguettes again. It takes over my Sundays, but it takes them over in a wonderfully great way.

I decided to make bruschetta with the baguette I made. The combination of peas and mint was quite springy, which might be out of season for the fall season that is finally cooling down my house, but the fresh combination was still welcome. I served it alongside a simple noodle.

Smashed Pea and Mint Bruschetta
(source)

Ingredients
1/2 baguette
10-oz frozen peas, thawed
1 tbsp mint, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Directions

1.  Slice the baguette into rounds. I got about 9 slices out of my 1/2 baguette. Place the rounds on a baking sheet. Broil until they’re golden brown (about 1 1/2 minutes per side.)

2. Process the peas in a food processor. Process until roughly chopped. Stir in the mint, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

3. Spread the mixture on the rounds.

weekend cooking

* makes about 9 pieces
* I’m sharing this recipe with Weekend Cooking

Mediterranean Burgers

IMG_9164

Nine days. This is the absolute worst countdown ever. But it’s coming closer and closer and before you know it I won’t know what to do with myself. I’ve been so intertwined studying I haven’t had time for much else. I have done some secret shopping and I’ve done a little cooking, but getting my cooked recipes up on here just hasn’t been happening. But 9 days. And then 3 days until it’s over.

All I’ve been able to think about all day is how I want to go camping, to go canoeing, to go on a picnic, to be outside. All I can keep telling myself is, soon enough.

Also, for an update on Pantry Party. Due to my unavailability this month, this month’s Pantry Party will be extended until the end of August.

Anyway, this recipe was made because of one of my favorite blog round ups: Random Recipes at Belleau’s Kitchen. This month Dom challenged us bloggers to pick the 30th cookbook on our shelves and turn to page 30. Luckily there was a recipe on page 30 in my book.

The 30th book on my shelf was The Mixer Bible, a book I got when I first got my KitchenAid stand mixer. I haven’t used this book nearly as much as I should. I like that it teaches techniques with the mixer. Page 30 had two recipes: Hummus and Roasted Garlic Hummus. I decided to go with the Roasted Garlic variety. It was good, but I think it actually needed more garlic. I spread it on the bun of this burger and YUM!

IMG_9162

Roasted Garlic Hummus

Ingredients
1 head garlic
1 tsp olive oil
2 cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp tahini
1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt

Directions

1. Cut 1/2 inch off the top of the garlic head. Place it in a large square of foil and drizzle with the 1 tsp of olive oil. Enclose in foil and place in an oven preheated to 350 for 45 minutes. When the garlic is done and cool to touch squeeze the cloves into a small bowl and mash with a fork. Set aside.

2. Place the chickpeas in the mixer bowl. Attach the flat beater. Set to speed 2 and mix until the chickpeas begin to break up. Increase to speed 4 and add the garlic, the remaining olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, 1 tbsp of water, and salt. Mix for 2 minutes until slightly lumpy, but creamy, add 1 tbsp more of water if necessary.

* makes 3 cups

Mediterranean Burgers
(source)

Ingredients
1 1/2 lb ground beef
1 onion, diced
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup parsley, minced
1/4 cup mint, minced
1 tbsp paprika
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cayenne
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp cumin
juice from 1 lemon
3 tbsp olive oil
handful cherry tomatoes, sliced
handful arugula
6 hamburger buns, toasted
1/2 cup hummus

Directions

1. In a medium bowl combine the ground beef, spices, lemon juice, and egg. Mix together with your hands. Form the meat into 6 patties.

2. In a cast iron skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the patties and cook for 3-4 minutes per side.

3. Spread the bottom layer of each hamburger bun with hummus. Place a patty on top. Divide the cherry tomatoes and arugula between the burgers.

* serves 6
* Besides Random Recipes, this recipe is being shared with Kahakai Kitchen‘s Souper Sundays & Weekend Cooking

Mint Chocolate Chip Pancakes

IMG_9082

For the last few We Should Cocoa‘s I’ve made muffins. This month’s theme, mint, however got me into another breakfast kick. And you know, I might stick with pancakes at We Should Cocoa until I get some other ingredient that just kicks me into another direction with my chocolate. But we’ll see what next month brings before I make any pancake promises. I mean, you never quite know where the chocolate will lead you until you get there, you know?

We Should Cocoa is a monthly chocolate themed round-up hosted by Choclette and Chele. This month Victoria is hosting the mint theme!

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve loved pancakes. But I really loved pancakes that had chocolate chips in them. My mom also used to make me M&M pancakes when we were out of chocolate chips. Besides the fact that I have a crazy obsession with chocolate, I love chocolate chips in my pancake because they’re rather self-syruping. I’m not a huge maple syrup fan, but dry pancakes are bleh. If you add chocolate chips to the pancakes and they’re kind of melty, you really don’t need anything else. The pancake does it all on its own.

While my mom never made me mint chocolate chip pancakes when I was little, I would have went crazy for these. The mint was so nice with the chocolate (well, duh) and the pancake. It very easily could be a dessert. But dessert for breakfast works for me!

We_Should_Cocoa_V3

Mint Chocolate Chip Pancakes
(source)

Ingredients
1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg
2 tbsp butter, melted
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp mint extract
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

1. Mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.

2. In a smaller bowl whisk together the buttermilk, egg, butter, vanilla, and mint. Once well mixed, pour into the dry mix. Stir together until all dry spots are gone. Stir in the chocolate chips.

3. In a cast iron skillet sprayed with cooking spray, heat over medium-high heat. Scoop 1/4 cup of batter per pancake. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until the bottom is golden brown and the edges begin to bubble. Flip and cook on the other side for about 1-2 minutes.

* makes 8 pancakes
* besides We Should Cocoa, this post is shared with Wednesday Whatsits and Cast Party Wednesday