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Monday, July 30, 2012

Gnocchi with Goat Cheese Sauce

Hi everyone!

Still in mexico, and still cooking away. Today I'm going to share a recipe that I made up completely on the fly, getting the idea from ingredients we had on hand. I also came up with what I think is quite a trick in terms of steaming the broccoli and cauliflower we had on the side. Let's get to it!

Here's what I did with the broccoli and cauliflower- I chopped off the stems in thick chunks and laid them in the bottom of the pan. I added water about halfway up the stems, then put the broccoli and cauliflower florets on top and steamed away- worked perfectly!
Here's the broccoli and cauliflower set-up.
Here are all my ingredients for the gnocchi and cheese sauce.
Here's the beginning of the roux for the cheese sauce- make the roux, and add milk, cheese, and seasonings!

And here's the gnocchi on the left, and the finished cheese sauce on the right, staying warm.

Goat Cheese Sauce
-2 tablespoons butter
-2 tablespoons flour
-2 cups milk
-4 oz. of goat cheese- your choice
-salt and pepper to season
-optional: chopped, toasted walnuts for topping.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan, then add the flour and whisk together. Let bubble and thicken a little, but do not let burn. Add the milk and let the sauce thicken slightly. Add the goat cheese and seasoning, then cook until the sauce is the consistency you like- feel free to add more milk, etc. Top your boiled gnocchi or pasta with the sauce, and sprinkle with walnuts if using.

What I did here was make the above sauce, boil some gnocchi (about 2 minutes), and steam some broccoli and cauliflower- what a great meal!

The finished meal!

Savor it,
love, rue

Monday, July 23, 2012

Jicama Salad

Hi everyone!

I've been down here in Mexico for a few weeks now, and I'm getting around to a few posts based on what we make to eat here- mostly based on fresh produce, which is in abundance! To preface, a jicama is a largish roundish vegetable (Wikipedia article here). So let me tell you about this simple salad that we like to make variations of...

Here are your ingredients for the salad, plus the cilantro and mint.

And here are the rest of the dressing ingredients.

Jicama in the bowl..

Then add the carrots..

And the avocado on top!
Here's the finished dressing..

Jicama Salad (2 servings, make as much as you need!)
-about 1/3 of a jicama, cut into matchsticks
-1 carrot, cut into matchsticks
-1/2 avocado, cut up
-juice from 3 small limes
-1 tablespoon jalapeƱos or chipotle peppers
-2 cloves garlic
-1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
-1/2 teaspoon sugar, or to taste
-1 1/2 teaspoons rice vinegar
-2 tablespoons fresh mint
-scant 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
(optional: green onions, substituting the type of vinegar, adding additional spices, etc.)
 Layer the salad ingredients in a bowl.
Either chop fine all dressing ingredients and mix, or whiz up everything in a blender, then pour over the salad. Done!

And the finished salad- doesn't it just exude freshness?!

And that's all there is to it! Feel free to experiment with whatever you have in season or in the kitchen- this is a really free-form recipe.

Savor it!
love, rue

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Hello again from Mexico!

We've been experimenting and creating our own licuados over the past few weeks. A licuado is basically a fruit-water drink, very fresh, and you can find them everywhere- but they are just as easy to make at home!

We've been using watermelon as a base for a lot of these, which is great as it is such a watery fruit. Then you can add whatever other kinds of fruit you want (we do mango, orange, strawberries, etc.), a squeeze of limon (small limes from here). Put all of that in the blender with some ice, and whiz it up and you're ready to go. Sometimes it will be helpful to thin the mix out a bit with some juice or water. Sometimes they need a little added sugar, so add that to taste.

Here's what you need- fruit, blender, cup. Done!
-fresh fruit
-juice or water if needed
-limon(s) to taste
-a little sugar to taste
Blend it all up, and you have a fresh drink that's delicious and refreshing- perfect for summer.

Another, view of the finished licuado, the watermelon, fresh squeezed OJ, and that little limon right in the middle.

Savor it!
love, rue

Monday, July 9, 2012


Hello All!
Still reporting from Mexico, and this time, I'll be addressing a classic- guacamole. High-priced in US restaurants, guacamole is something a lot of people never make, and they don't realize how easy the combination is, especially if you can find cheap and fresh produce like down here- go check out your farmer's markets and look for those fresh, in season ingredients!

Your ingredients: avocado, tomato, onion, limon, cilantro, and salt. Not pictured: garlic and jalapeno.

Guacamole (for 2-4)
-1 avocado, mashed
-1 roma tomato or equivalent part of larger tomato, juice squeezed out and diced
-1 very small onion, or equivalent part of larger onion, diced
-2 limons, squeezed
-1 clove garlic, minced fine
-a whole bunch of cilantro (as much as you want!), chopped
-salt, to taste
-optional: jalapeno, to taste (I don't mind it without the spiciness, but it can definitely add, especially if you're a spice lover like my sister, who wouldn't make guac without the jalapeno!)
Mix up/mash up all ingredients, then serve with chips or any crunchy dipping article, or serve with tacos, fajitas, you name it! Get creative!

Here's the finished guacamole- bright and fresh and delicious- but most importantly, easy and healthy!!

Savor it!
love, rue

Monday, July 2, 2012

Balsamic Reduction

Hello! Today I've got just what you need, no matter what it's for. If you've got food, this will go well on it- from meats to salads to fruits, try it on anything and I swear it will add a delicious sweet tang.

This, my friends, is balsamic reduction. Incredibly simple and incredibly diverse in use. We've started just keeping it around the house now and we eat it on something at least once a day. Let's get cooking!

Here's all you need: balsamic vinegar and a little sugar. I started with about 2 cups vinegar.

Reduce the vinegar (put in saucepan with no lid on very low heat) for several hours to about 1/3 its original volume.

For our sugar, I added a little Mexican piloncillo (an unrefined brown sugar)- about 1 tablespoon for my purposes.

And here's the finished product- stir the sugar and reduced vinegar together, let cool, and here you have it: that sauce that can add a little bit of magic to almost anything you make. See how syrupy it looks compared to before?

Balsamic Reduction
-balsamic vinegar (this isn't super-nice vinegar, but try to use the real thing!)
-a little sugar (or in this case piloncillo, a Mexican brown sugar)
Pour all that nice vinegar in a saucepan with no lid, put it on very low, and let it go for several hours, checking on it and stirring it periodically.
Reduce the vinegar to about 1/3 of its original volume, (you can vary this for thickness and concentrated-ness). Start with as much vinegar as you like, just keep in mind the time will vary with the amount of vinegar.
To measure the amount of vinegar as you go along, keep a glass cup measure nearby to measure how much you have, to see when you're done.
When you're done reducing the vinegar, add a little bit of sugar and stir over the heat until dissolved (very quick).
Let cool, and you're done- use it on everything from ice cream to steak (or tofu)!

Please give this a try and I promise you'll use it on everything and you might even eat some just off the spoon...
Savor it!
love, rue