Category Archives: 1 hour (start to finish)

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.


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


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.


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.

Homemade Spring Rolls

spring rolls

Sarah made these spring rolls. I did not have too much faith she was going to do something so delicious. I think she was kind of “picada” (this in Spanish slang means kind of annoyed because of a competition, or being really into a competition), because a couple of weeks ago I bought some frozen spring rolls in a Thai store. She did not want me to buy them, but finally agreed. She showed me we can do it ourselves… and that are yummier, and probably way healthier.

  • Eggroll shells (in Europe usually come frozen in Asian stores, in the U.S. in big grocery stores)
  • 1/2 cabbage
  • 4 Carrots
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • bean sprouts
  • 250 gr. (1/2 pound) tofu

Sautte garlic and onion. Add carrots and cabbage. Cook for 10 minutes. Add sprouts and crumbled tofu. We also put a little bit of grounded beef. Salt and Pepper.

Then you put the mixture in the eggroll shells. Follow the pictures on the package to roll them 🙂

Always fry in a small pan, so you save oil and energy. (That’s Carlos’ abuela advice). Serve with rice.

We also bought in the Thai shop, a great sweet&sour sauce. With a spicy kick, but good flavor. Sarah likes it with mustard. We used a french one, but in the U.S., the honey mustard is what you want. Carlos prefered the sweet&sour.

Vegetable Cheese Lasagna

A fantastic recipe! I highly recommend it.

Cheesy vegetable lasagna

Cheesy vegetable lasagna

It is pepper season here in Denmark. The really nice vegetable lady at the farmer’s market gets rid of all of her “second” quality vegetables on us. She understands that we want quantity not necessarily quality! She is a wonderful lady! So, because of this woman we had a lot of peppers and after 3 weeks of consuming massive amounts of peppers I was a bit bored. I was bored, but I still had 8 peppers in the fridge that needed to be used.  We had decided to make lasagna so I roasted the peppers and zucchini and the lasagna turned out superb!

Roasted Vegetables:

  • Peppers
  • Zucchini

Wash and slice peppers into halves. Take out the center and the seeds. Coat the bottom of a baking dish with oil. Pat peppers dry and then coat with oil. Sprinkle with oregano and salt. Wash zucchini then slice, coat with oil, and sprinkle with salt and oregano. The zucchini take less time to cook. I cooked half of the zucchini while i roasted the tops of the peppers and then took out the zucchini, turned the peppers over, and cooked the other half of the zucchini.  Bake at 180C for about 30 minutes. (15 minutes for the zucchini).

While the vegetables are roasting, I made tomato sauce in the TMix. I just sauteed 1 onion and 1 clove garlic and added a few cans of tomato. I probably added salt.  Let it simmer for 20 minutes.

Cream Sauce (also known as Béchamel

  • 50 gr. flour (white or whole wheat)
  • 450 gr. milk
  • salt, pepper, nutmeg

Without rinsing T-mix of tomato sauce combine all ingredients in Tmix blend for 5 seconds. Heat on 100 for 7 minutes. Taste for flavoring and consistency. Add more liquid or flour if necessary.

Vegetable Cheese Lasagna

  • roasted vegetables
  • lasagna noodles (pre-cooked kind)
  • 1 kilo tomato sauce
  • 250 gr. mozzarella cheese
  • 400-500 gr. cream sauce (bechamel)

Layer in the following order: Sauce, lasagna noodles, sauce, roasted vegetables, noodles, sauce, cheese, remaining vegetables, cream sauce, noodles, cheese, cream sauce.  I used pre-cooked noodles but i “blanched” them before put them in the lasagna. This was just to speed up the cooking time. By cooking pre-cooked noodles you also use less tomato sauce. Just remember the noodles use the liquid from the tomato sauce to cook. I also put the cheese on the top layer under a layer of sauce or cream sauce so that it doesn’t burn or stick to tin foil. Bake for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and sides are bubbly at 180C.