Friday, September 19, 2014

Roquefort Mousse With Poached Pears And Crunchy Almonds





 This week, the whole city of Lima is in excitement.
Mistura, Latin America's largest festival of cuisine has opened its doors.
In literally every corner there is something cooking, frying, steaming or baking.
As I'm still in convalescence, I didn't have the energy to visit Mistura. It's always crowded and people are queuing up to visit the different stands.
But I was following the event on TV and everything looked very impressive.
It's a time when people celebrate the nation's rich culinary tradition, incredible biodiversity to the rhythm of dances and folk music from all over the country.
the fair is divided in five sections:
1. The Grand Market
where more than 250 producers and farmers display their regional products.

 2. The Bazaar
Side by side you can admire the latest  kitchen products and accessories.
Additionally, the best known gastronomic schools and academies offer information about their courses and professional careers.
3. The Bakery Stand
this stand attracts visitors not only by the sight but as well for the beautiful aromas of freshly baked bread and sweets. More than 50 varieties of bread made with wheat, sweet potato, potato, sugar cane and a vast variety of Andean herbs are offered here.
4. The Chocolate stand
Peruvian Cocoa is known and appreciated for it's outstanding quality.
This stand is a paradise for chocolate lovers.
5.The Pisco and Coffee Salon.
Pisco is Peru's flagship liquor and here you can savor the best Pisco's, enjoy it's incredible aromas and flavors and learn about the production of this exquisite liquor.
The stand makes as well the delight of all coffee lovers. Coffee is produced in a region between Andeans and the jungle and is of outstanding quality.
I remember when we lived in Switzerland and I met an high executive from Nestle. When I mentioned that we where going to Peru, he told me: for me, they have the best coffee beans in the world. You can imagine how amazed and proud I felt after that!
If you want to see more about Mistura, click the link below:

After so much reading and watching people cooking, I got hungry.
I opened my fridge and found a piece of gorgeous Roquefort.
So why not try out an elegant Roquefort mousse with poached pears?
I tried this once at an Embassy dinner but didn't have the exact measurements and wasn't sure if I could recall all the ingredients.
After a quick check I had  cheese, crème fraiche and pears. Only walnuts and Rosemary were missing which wasn't a big deal to buy. Instead of walnuts I found only almonds, which tasted as good in this mousse as the original walnuts.
The result of the recipe was truly amazing.
The soft texture of the Roquefort and the natural sweetness of pears and the crunchy almonds made a perfect combination.
Here is what you need:
100g of Rouqefort  (softened,at room temperature)
1/2 cup of  crème fraiche
1/2 pear, peeled and cut into small cubes
1/2 cup dry wine
1 teaspoon lemon zest
 1/2l water
1 small rosemary twig
1 clove
4 walnuts or almonds, toasted and roughly chopped
1 thin slice of Prosciutto, and split into 4 pieces.

Place water with sugar, white wine, cloves, lemon zest and rosemary in a small pot.

 bring to simmer, place pear cubes in it and let simmer for about 5 minutes or until pear is soft al dente
Strain pear cubes and dry with a kitchen towel.
Set aside.
Place the softened Roquefort and crème fraiche in a bow and whisk until mixture is soft and creamy.
 If necessary, add a little bit more crème fraiche or pear liquid.
Add the pear cubes and mix carefully.
Serve in shot glasses and sprinkle with the toasted walnuts.

Chill for about 1/2 hour before serving.
Place 1 crispy prosciutto piece for decoration on the top of the mousse.(See instructions for the crisp prosciutto at Breakfast De Luxe)
Serves 2 p.








Thursday, September 4, 2014

Saffron Risotto With Baby Asparragus And Prosciutto

Dear all,
hope you had a wonderful time celebrating summer in all its splendor, enjoying the gorgeous fresh fruits and veggies, gifts of this season and preparing delicious and inspiring new kitchen creations.
I had actually a great vacation, involving lots of travelling in mind.
We wanted to explore several regions of Peru we have not been yet and enjoy some time at the beach.
But instead of appreciating beautiful sunsets at the beach, nourishing my usual sunburn and counting my mosquito bites, I had to stay home due to some health issues.
Thank heavens everything is going well so far and I'm feeling much better.
So very sorry to have to disappoint you, but no new travel post this time. Instead, I hope you will enjoy this delicious, colorful saffron risotto.
My son Rafael is here for a visit and he enjoys cooking for friends, so we decided to take a culinary trip together and prepare our favorite risotto.
I must confess that usually I'm quite territorial in the kitchen, but  we managed to create our little dream team and no boarder conflict so far.
The saffron risotto turned out luscious and creamy, tasted heavenly and was very easy to prepare.
Anyhow, I'm very happy to be back, missed you all a lot and I'm looking forward to reading all your posts I've been missing during my absence.

You need:
1 cup risotto rice ( Arborio, vialone nano, or other short or medium-grain Italian rice)
6 cups vegetable stock ( I prefer homemade one) The amount of stock is aprox., depending on which rice you use
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon saffron
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan (optional)
1 cup baby asparagus, only the heads cut into 2 inch length
1/2 cup prosciutto, roughly chopped 
salt and freshly ground pepper
Heat olive oil in a large saucepan. Cook onions until translucent.
Add rice and stir until edges are translucent.
  It will look this beautiful and shinning
In another pot bring stock to simmer.
Add the wine and 1/2 cup of stock to the rice mixture.
Than add the saffron. Enjoy its golden deliciousness.
Stir and cook until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Add another 1/2 cup of broth and keep cooking, stirring and adding stock until the risotto is soft.After adding the last 1/2 cup of broth add butter, asparagus and prosciutto.   Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan(optional)
  Enjoy! Serves 4p.

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