2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads This blog is doing awesome!.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 2,100 times in 2010. That’s about 5 full 747s.

 

In 2010, there were 10 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 67 posts. There were 5 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 10mb.

The busiest day of the year was February 10th with 35 views. The most popular post that day was Empanada de Atun.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were facebook.com, superkitchenmachine.com, brazen20au.blogspot.com, larapastor.blogspot.com, and forumthermomix.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for maggiano’s spinach salad recipe, empanada espanola, spinach and roasted red pepper salad, empanada de atun, and salad with roasted red peppers.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Empanada de Atun July 2009
2 comments

2

Spinach Salad with roasted red peppers and sweet onions November 2009

3

About Sarah and Carlos July 2008
11 comments

4

Spanish Carrot Cake July 2008

5

Vegetable Curry Quinoa August 2008
1 comment

Potato and Garbanzo Stew

It’s a very good version of a chickpea/garbanzo soup. But this is a stew. Our little one loves it.

  • 1 pound potatoes
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 pinches saffron (optional)
  • 2 large red peppers chipped
  • 1 yellow pepper in strips
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup medium-dry sherry
  • 2 cups canned crushed tomatoes with juice
  • 2 1/2 cups chickpeas
  • 3 cups chickpea broth
  • salt and pepper

Picada (makes 1/2 cup)

1/4 cup almonds at 350 F until pale gold (8-10 minutes). set aside. Fry one slice of country-style bread in 2 Tbs olive oil until golden. Grind bread, almonds, and 2 cloves garlic and a pinch of salt to make a crumbly paste.

Romesco Sauce:

  • 1 slice bread
  • olive oil for frying
  • 1/4 cup roasted almonds
  • 1/4 cup hazelnuts, roasted
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • chile
  • 4 Roma tomatoes
  • 1 tbs parsley leaves
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 roasted red pepper
  • 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
  • 1/2 cup spanish olive oil.

Fry bread. Grind bread, nuts, garlic, and chile. Add everything but vinegar and olil and process until smooth. with machine running, gradually pour in vinegar, then the oil. Taste for piquancy and salt.

Saute onions, schafran, garlic and potatoes, over medium heat. About 25 minutes. Potatoes should be tender and firm. Add paprika, parseley and pepper flakes, and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add sherry (or any substitute, we for example used rice wine vinegar) until thick and sirope for 12 minutes. Add tomatoes, garbanzos and broth. Add salt and pepper. Covering cook on low heat, until potatoes are done.

Sprinkle the Picada and parsley at the end on top.

Blueberry Oat Scones

Oatmeal Blueberry Scones

We’re getting ready to leave California, and we’re sad. Not only because it’s very nice here, but because, we have to pack and start life again in a new place. Many people tell us our lives are really exciting, having traveled to so many places, etc. But for us, we’re looking forward to finding a stable place. Especially now that we have a little one.

Anyways, Sarah now is trying to cook with the things we have in the cupboards. We have a lot of oatmeal, from Costco (American big supermarket which sells things in big quantities), so Oat Scones sounded good. Sarah found a recipe in the book Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison. It’s kind of sad, we’re transcribing this simple recipe instead of many other wonderful recipes the book has. You might see a few more from this book before we leave here.

One of the variations for this recipe it’s putting blueberries. Besides they’re yummy, Sarah has pledged to eat as many berries as she can before leaving the States. Her reasoning is that in Spain there are not blueberries and that in Denmark, they are somewhat pricy. That’s fine with Carlos, although he’s a little afraid of becoming a blueberry himself. The little one likes them too, although we cut them in little pieces for her.

This is the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup rolled oats, plus extra for the counter
  • 1-1/2 cups all/purpose or whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 3 tablespoons brown suga
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 7 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup plus tablespoons milk or cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 blueberries

Preheat the oven to 425 (Fahrenheit) or 220 (Celsius).

Mix: The dry ingredients together, then cut in the butter with your fingers or two knives until coarse crumbs are formed. Beat the egg with the milk and vanilla and stir it into the dough. Mix just enough to moisten the dry ingredients evenly. Scatter some oats on the counter and turn the dough out on top of them. Pat into a  circle about 2 cm thick, then cut into eight wedges and place each piece on the oven. Bake until good browned, 15 to 18 minutes. Serve warm. It’s a nice snack.

Pea and mint spread

We are on a roll. Sarah had this at a party and it was yummy. I ate it on toasted bread with a sprinkle of cheese. It was a big hit!

Pea Sauce with Fresh Mint

Fresh or frozen peas and fresh mint turn into a creamy (but cream-free) sauce for simply cooked meats. This sauce is especially good with grilled or roasted lamb chops, or flaky white fish. Serves four to six. Yields about 2 cups.

  • 1 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil (always choose the superior taste of Spain :)
  • 1 cup chopped leek (white and some light-green parts, from 1/2 medium leek)
  • 1/2 cup to 1-1/4 cups lower-salt chicken broth depending on how thick you want it.
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
  • sea salt

Heat 1 Tbs. of the oil in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the leek and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Stir in the peas, return to a boil, reduce the heat to medium low, and simmer until the peas are just tender, 2 to 3 minutes.

Pour the pea mixture into a blender. Add the mint and 3/4 tsp. salt and purée until smooth.

Drizzle each portion of sauce with some of the remaining olive oil upon serving. (The sauce may be made and refrigerated up to 1 day ahead.)
nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 90; Fat (g): 3.5; Fat Calories (kcal): 30; Saturated Fat (g): 0.5; Protein (g): 4; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 2.5; Carbohydrates (g): 11; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0; Sodium (mg): 200; Cholesterol (mg): 0; Fiber (g): 3;
by Ellie Krieger in Fine Cooking 105, pp. 35. May 6, 2010. Italics added

Goat cheese and steak sandwiches

We feel really bad. We have here in Berkeley for 6 months, with great fresh ingredients and we have not written not even one of our recipes. What a shame!

Anyways, we are going to copy and paste a recipe it looks really good. We have done something similar, but we can copy the original. It’s from the magazine Fine Cooking. We pasted here, just in case it dissapears.

Open-Face Steak Sandwiches with Herbed Goat Cheese and Tomatoes

For the goat cheese

  • 4 oz. fresh goat cheese (1/2 cup), at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the sandwiches

  • Four 1-inch-thick slices sourdough or Tuscan bread
  • 1 large clove garlic, cut in half
  • Olive oil (from Spain) for brushing and drizzling
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 lb. heirloom tomatoes, preferably different colors (about 2 small or 1 large), sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 1/2 lb. leftover grilled flank steak, thinly sliced, preferably at room temperature
  • 2 oz. Parmigiano-Reggiano, shaved

Make the herbed goat cheseIn a small bowl, combine the goat cheese, parsley, basil, lemon zest, and garlic. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Make the sandwichesPosition a rack 5 to 6 inches from the broiler element and heat the broiler on high. Put the bread on a large baking sheet. Rub one side of each slice with the garlic halves, brush with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toast under the broiler, 1 to 2 minutes per side.Spread equal amounts of the goat cheese on the slices of toast, oiled side up. Distribute the tomato slices among the sandwiches and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Distribute the steak among the sandwiches and drizzle with olive oil. Top each with some of the shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano. Broil until the sandwiches are bubbling and starting to brown, 2 to 3 minutes, lowering the rack if necessary to prevent burning. Serve.

Make Ahead Tips

You can make and refrigerate the goat cheese mixture up to 3 days ahead.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 530; Fat (g): 19; Fat Calories (kcal): 170; Saturated Fat (g): 9; Protein (g): 32; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 7; Carbohydrates (g): 58; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1.5; Sodium (mg): 1190; Cholesterol (mg): 50; Fiber (g): 3;
From Fine Cooking 105, pp. 49 May 6, 2010

Chilaquiles

This is a very difficult recipe to mess up as Carlos can attest to. We have eaten this recipes a few times so I figured Carlos mostly knew how to make it. I briefly explained to him how to do it and he wrote down some pertinent instructions. When I came back, I found many things had mistakenly been altered– canned tomatoes had replaced pasta sauce, ricotta had mistakenly been used instead of cottage cheese and freshly grated parmesan had replaced cheddar/Monterey jack. Still, it really didn’t matter much taste wise, but the consistency was different.

Chilaquiles

This is made with three mixes. The tortilla one, the tomato one and the salsa verde one.

  • 1 big onion
  • corn tortillas (around 24-30)
  • chili powder (liberally)
  • oil

Mix it until soft.  If the pan you used to saute the tortillas is oven proof then cover the sides of the pan with tortillas and mix the following ingredients in a bowl:

  • Tomato sauce (like the ones for pasta in a glass jar)
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Oregano
  • Salt + Pepper

Put the tortilla mix, around an iron cast or lasagna pan. Then dump in the tomato mix.

Then add the top layer. 

  • Half bottle of sour cream (6 tablespoons)
  • Salsa verde (bought in the store, made out of tomatillos).
  • Grate cheese (Monterrey or Cheddar) yourself.  

Cook it for 30 minutes in the oven.

This serves four.

Tofu for Stir-Fry

Sarah left for yoga classes, and told me this recipe. Instead of writing in a paper I will put it here.

Cut the tofu in small squares (the size of marble). Put them in the pan and start cooking high-medium. After a 15 minutes or so, they will start getting a little brownish-yellow. Put 3 tablespoons of brown sugar and 2 of soy sauce. The sugar will melt and with the salty soy sauce it will become a great sweet-salty flavor. This is works as a base or side for anything.

  • 1 block of tofu (14 oz. / 400 gr.)
  • brown sugar
  • soy sauce

post script:  I just did it, and it’s delicious.