Saturday, September 20, 2014

SePay Groves - Mediterranean Taste

©2014 The Pink Macaroon. All rights reserved.

"Red Raspberry Balsamic Vinegar" & "Golden Pineapple Balsamic Vinegar"

If you grow up in a Mediterranean Country, and you don't love and cook with olive oil, I can tell you that you have committed the worst sin in the planet. There is always olive oil in my kitchen, as well as great vinegar. Why? because not only it has a lot of health benefits (decreases blood pressure, cholesterol, rich in antioxidants, reduces inflammation etc, etc, etc) but the food tastes better.

For salads I always use extra virgin olive oil, for regular cooking I use virgin olive oil. People raise an eyebrow when I tell them that I also fry foods with olive oil… and then I get the lecture of … olive oil is not good for frying, blah, blah, blah… well it is because when heated, olive oil is the most stable fat, which means…it stands up well to high flying temperatures. Its high smoking point (210º C) is well above the ideal temperature for frying food (180º C). The digestibility of olive oil is not affected when it is heated, even when it is re-used several times for frying. Now I separate the olive oil that I use with the fish and the one with the meat (no mixing this ones… big no-no).

©2014 The Pink Macaroon. All rights reserved.
Let's talk about Salads. I eat a salad every day, probably because I saw my dad eating a salad or two every single day. Greens are my best friends. My mom every night makes a salad for my dad. The day that my dad will not want a salad we are taking him to the ER for sure. 

Now… My salads have simple ingredients, nothing fancy smancy: Lettuce, tomato, a couple of groutons, sliced almonds, sometimes some dry raisins, a couple of black or green olives (of course, another Mediterranean treat).

©2014 The Pink Macaroon. All rights reserved.
Salad dressing: Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, Vinegar and Salt. That's it. 

This is why finding good taste in the olive oil, as well as the vinegar is so important. The vinegar was the hardest thing for me… until… one of my friends invited me for dinner, and I had a taste of this wonderful treat "Red Raspberry Balsamic Vinegar". It is a sweet, dark, aromatic raspberry vinegar, that adds another dimension to the salad. It does not overpower the ingredients, and it is not too rich. My husband loves this vinegar. 

©2014 The Pink Macaroon. All rights reserved.
I also purchased the "Golden Pineapple Balsamic Vinegar". It has a lighter consistency, and not as strong as the Raspberry, but equally good.

I ordered the items through their website. I was a little bit concern about how they would package the items. I was worrying for nothing. The items arrived very well protected, as you can see. They also had the nice touch of writing a personalized "Thank you note" in my purchase receipt, which is a very elegant and polite touch. 

Bon Appétit et À bientôt!!!
❤ Natalia ❤

SePay Groves
370 Chadbourne Rd,  Suite D, Fairfield, CA 94534
(707) 434-8222
We are open 7 days a week.  Monday through Saturday 10am to 5:30pm, Sunday 11 am to 4pm.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Zucchini Puree

©2014 The Pink Macaroon. All rights reserved.

Saying that I love this recipe is an under statement. I learned it from my mum, of course. It is a very healthy and tasty recipe. It is great for Summer as well as for the Winter. It can be served cold or warm. I personally enjoy it warm. 

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Bon Appetit!!!

❤ Natalia ❤

©2014 The Pink Macaroon. All rights reserved.
Zucchini Puree for four people
6 Medium size Zucchinis
1 Medium size Onion
1 Leak
1 Green Pepper
2 Carrots
1 Small Potato
1 Garlic Clove
2 Tbsp. of Tomato Sauce
2 Cubes of Strong Cheese 
 French bread
Pinch of Salt

Special Equipment:
Fagor Pressure cooker

©2014 The Pink Macaroon. All rights reserved.

I always do all the food preparation first. For this recipe I cut them in cubes, normally medium size, I don't bother with the "looking pretty" part because I am going to puree them after they are cooked.

The only vegetable that I peel is the potato, everything else I make sure I wash it thoroughly, and I start cutting/slicing into medium cubes/pieces. 

©2014 The Pink Macaroon. All rights reserved.

With a spoon of olive oil I slightly caramelize the onions. 

©2014 The Pink Macaroon. All rights reserved

I add the zucchini, carrots, leak, green pepper, garlic, and the potato. I fill the pressure cooker with enough water to almost cover the vegetables. I close the pressure cooker, and set it in number two. Once it starts steaming I leave it for seven minutes.

©2014 The Pink Macaroon. All rights reserved.

While the vegetables are cooking. I fry the French bread in olive oil until they are golden brown. I use some kitchen paper towels to absorb the excess.

©2014 The Pink Macaroon. All rights reserved.
Once the seven minutes have passed, and the pressure cooker is safe to be opened. I check the   amount of water left. If by any chance I realize there is too much water. Then I remove some of it (I don't like my puree to end up like soup). 

I put the cheese and two tbsp. of tomato sauce. I normally use a slice of Swiss Cheese, however if I don't have it. I would use Manchego Cheese, and I mix it well with the vegetables.

©2014 The Pink Macaroon. All rights reserved.

I put the cooked vegetables in the blender, and I add the pinch of salt. I puree it. 
Now.. The Zucchini Puree is ready to serve with some of the fried French bread. 

©2014 The Pink Macaroon. All rights reserved.