Tamagoyaki with a cucumber salad

Tamagoyaki is the name given to a particular Japanese omelette generally served folded or in slices. You can find the basic recipe here. This time, I prepared it then cut it in bite size pieces that can be held with chop sticks, along with white rice and a lovely cucumber salad. It makes for a wonderfully light meal.

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Tamagoyaki – for two servings
1- In a bowl mix four eggs with a tablespoon of Soya sauce and half a tablespoon of brown sugar.
2- Whisk very gently with chopsticks or a fork. Make certain no bubbles are formed.
3- In a large pan, place some sesame oil. Once it is hot, lower the fire to minimum and pour the egg mixture.
4- Let it cook on very low fire for at least 10 minutes. Then lift the edges and let the liquid part get under so that it cooks evenly.
5- Fold the omelet gently towards the center. Cut in small pieces while in the pan with a wooden spatula. Then mix and serve immediately.

For the cucumber salad
1- Wash, peel then cut the cucumber in small pieces making sure to take away the center part with the seeds.
2- Place in bowl and mix with a little bit of soya sauce, a few pieces of Japanese pickled ginger chopped, dried mint and sesame seeds.

To serve, place the Tamagoyaki pieces on top of white rice with the cucumber salad on the side. You can add some Soya sauce if you want. Enjoy!  

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Brioche perdue

Pain perdu –or French toast– made with brioche. Serve it with fresh fruits and jam or honey. It is a delight and really easy to make.

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For one loaf of brioche
1- Buy it the day before. This dish should be made with a one day old brioche. If you use fresh brioche, it will just fall into crumbs as you dip it in the egg and cream mixture.

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2- Cut the brioche in half then in slices.
3- In a large bowl, mix three organic eggs and add a cup (200 ml) of heavy cream.
4- Soak the brioche pieces in the mixture for a few minutes or while the pan heats up.
5- Place just a little bit of butter in a pan, and add the brioche pieces one by one. It is fine if they touch each other.
6- Let one side cook for about eight to ten minutes, then turn them over for another five minutes or so. Do not add any more butter, the brioche is buttery enough as it is.

Serve immediately with fresh fruits and a side of jam or honey. Enjoy! 

Asperges au safran et au chutney de mangue – Saffron asparagus with mango chutney

A delicious side dish with asparagus cooked in saffron scented water topped with mango chutney. I served it with warm boiled eggs on a bed of baby arugula. Perfect for a warm summer’s lunch.

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1- Wash and cut the asparagus at about a third of its length.
2- Boil water and add a generous amount of saffron liquid (recipe here ). Place the asparagus gently and let it cook until it is al dente.

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3- Take the asparagus out of the boiling water and place them in a sieve to get rid of the excess water.

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To serve simply place it on a plate and top with mango chutney (recipe here). It can accompany any dish that does not have many spices since the chutney provides a lot of taste, such as eggs as here or broiled fish. Enjoy! 

Dates with eggs and a touch of saffron

We often have dates with eggs for diner. It is a traditional dish for breakfast or a light meal in the Middle East and North Africa. Here, inspired by a recipe in this book (“The Saffron Tales”), I prepared it with ginger, cinnamon and touch of saffron.

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For four eggs
1- Cut about three to four dates per egg in small pieces.
2- In a pan, place the dates along with two tablespoons of water, a dash of freshly grated cinnamon and about three centimetres of fresh ginger root grated. Bring it to a boil, lower the fire and let it cook until the dates are soft and almost all liquid has evaporated.
3- In the meantime, mix in a bowl the four eggs, four tablespoons of milk and a dash of saffron liquid.
4- Add a small piece of butter to the dates in the pan and mix. Pour the egg liquid and cover with a lid. Let it cook on low fire until the egg mixture is almost all hard.

Sprinkle with coarse sea salt and serve immediately with fresh bread. 

Quiche with roasted bell peppers, bacon, Gruyère and fresh mint

A Quiche made without dough, and filled with tasty and colourful ingredients.

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1- Start by preparing the roasted bell peppers (recipe) or use high quality jarred ones, preferably the Italian kind.
2- Then prepare the bacon. Use as much as you want. Cook it in a heavy pan until crispy. Place it between paper towels to remove the excess fat, then crush with your fingers.
3- In a large bowl mix: three organic eggs, 100 gr of sifted flour, 50 cl of cold milk (half a litre) and freshly crushed pepper. Do not add salt since the bacon is already salty.
4- Place the egg mixture in a prepared baking pan (buttered and floured) and sprinkle with the bell peppers, the bacon, the fresh mint and at the end, half a cup of high quality shredded Gruyère.
5- Bake for 40 minutes in a 180ºC. oven.

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Enjoy immediately! It can be reheated in the oven and should be stored in the fridge once it has cooled.

Quiche bacon & gruyère

We are very lucky to have a wonderful gourmet store here in San Miguel, poetically called “Luna de queso“, with a charcuterie and cheese section to envy any store in Europe. So for this quiche sans pâte (no dough), I used real Gruyère (the one with holes from Switzerland) and high quality bacon (slices cut for you rather than the plastic wrapped variety from the supermarket). It really makes all the difference.

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1- Fry as much bacon as you want, but not too much, in a heavy pan. Wrap the bacon in a paper towel to get rid of the excess fat. Change the paper towel and crush the strips with your fingers.
2- In a large bowl, whisk three organic eggs. Mix in 100 gr of sifted flour (a little less than a cup), 500 ml of cold milk, freshly grounded black pepper and some herbs of choice. Do not add salt since the bacon is already salty.
3- Place the egg mixture in a prepared baking pan (lined with butter and flour). Sprinkle the mixture with the crushed bacon and half a cup of grated Gruyère.
4- Bake for 45 minutes in a 180º c. oven.

Serve immediately with a nice salad.  

Dates with eggs, Persian style

A slightly different recipe than the Moroccan version of dates with eggs (recipe here), with a slight Persian touch. Excellent for breakfast or a light meal.

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For three large organic eggs (or four small ones):
1- In a pan, place a little bit of butter and half a cup of good quality dates cut in small pieces. Make sure the fire is on low and let the dates get soft.
2- In a bowl, mix with a fork three eggs (try not to make bubbles) and add a teaspoon of the Persian spice mix adviyeh (recipe here) and a dash of cold mix. Mix again with the fork.

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3- Pour the egg mixture on top of the dates and let it cook on low fire until desired consistency. Do not mix.

Serve immediately with the bottom part placed on top of the plate (so that the golden side is visible). Place some sea salt on the side, along with fresh bread. For a light lunch or dinner, you can serve it with a cucumber and tomato salad. 

T’mar bi el-baid – dates with eggs

Dates with eggs is a Moroccan dish eaten for breakfast or as a light meal. It is filled with nutrients so it is also eaten during Ramadan (the Muslim fasting period) just before sunrise. The same dish can also be found in other parts of the Middle East such as in Iran. The mix of salty and sweet is simply delicious. I served it for lunch with cardamon and turmeric scented Basmati rice with raisins, topped with fresh cilantro.

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1- Place a little bit of butter in a pan.
2- Add a handful of dates cut in small pieces. Cook on very low fire and wait about three minutes for the dates to soften.
3- Add one or two eggs and mix them just a little bit so that the yolk breaks. Do not scramble them, just let them cook gently.
4- Sprinkle with cumin and salt and serve immediately.

Quiche sans pâte

Quiche without dough! This one with roasted bell peppers. It is really good and wonderful as a light dinner with a green salad.

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The Quiche:
1- In a large bowl mix: three organic eggs, 100 gr of sifted flour, 50 cl of cold milk (half a litre), salt and pepper.
2- You can either have it plain or you can add whatever ingredient you like: sun-dried tomatoes, ham, zucchini, fresh herbs, etc. I used roasted bell peppers. (See recipe below.)
3- Place the mix in an oven dish and cover with grated Parmiggiano (what I used) or Gruyère.
4- Bake for 40 minutes in a 180ºC. oven.

Roasted bell peppers:
1- Place the bell pepper directly over the flames of one stove gar outlet.
2- Let each side burn, and turn as need be. There will be a slight smell and some hiss but no smoke.
3- Wrap the bell pepper with plastic or aluminium foil so that it may sweat.
4- Wash under tab water to remove the outer skin. It should come off easily.
5- Cut in thin stripes. It’s ready!

Omelet from India with bell peppers

The way I think the Mughals may have prepared an omelet. Colourful and filled with spices.

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For two servings (four eggs)
1- In a pan put a little bit of oil and add two teaspoons of cumin, one teaspoon of turmeric, half a teaspoon of Garam Masala and about three centimeters of fresh ginger root grated.
2- Once the spices start giving out their aroma, add one quarter of a large red onion diced and one tomato diced. Mix from time to time, and cook until the bell pepper pieces are soft.
3- In a large bowl, whisk gently four eggs and add the bell pepper mixture.

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4- Return to the pan without adding any oil. Lower the fire and let it cook gently. Move the sides of the omelet from time to time so that the liquid spreads and cooks.
Serve sprinkled with fresh basil leaves. I served accompanied with prepared Indian rice (onions, spices and dried fruits – see recipe here).