Four Clan Kitchen

What we eat everyday

Archive for January, 2011

Turkish-Spiced Eggs

Posted by fourclankitchen on January 30, 2011

When I was in graduate school, I had a Turkish friend, who made these very simple and tasty eggs.   She boiled the eggs, drizzled them with a bit of oil, a lemon and some spices.  The eggs looked beautiful and good enough to serve when you have people over or to take to a picnic.  See for yourself.


6 eggs or any number you want

1/2 tsp. good quality olive oil

A few drops of lemon juice

A dash of  Hungarian Sweet paprika

A pinch of dried  basil (or any other dried herb)

Salt to taste.

1.  Boil the eggs.  If you never have, here is how.  Immerse eggs in cold water in a sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Then turn off the heat, cover and let stand for 10 min.  Dump the hot water and rinse the eggs in several changes of cold water.  Peel by striking the egg against your sink or a bowl, so that the shell cracks. Then pick off the shell and the membranes beneath the shell.  If bits of shell still stick to the eggs, rinse off the egg under cool tap water.

2. Cut eggs lengthwise and arrange on a serving plate.  Drizzle oil and lemon, then salt, paprika and basil.  Serve at room temperature.


Posted in Breakfast, Brunch, Side Dishes | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Mexican Style Baked Salmon

Posted by fourclankitchen on January 22, 2011

This is my favorite way to make fish.   Its fast and easy and requires only a single cast-iron pan that goes from stove top to oven. The cast iron crisps the fish beautifully. Also, the prep is versatile and a gazillion combination of spices are possible (some are suggested below).  Here I made it with Mexican-ish spices to go with the patatas bravas posted in last week.  So here goes.


For the marinade:

2 tsp oil
1 tbs oregano, crushed between your fingers
Juice of 1/2  large lemon or to taste
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp. Hungarian sweet  paprika (or 1/2 tsp cayenne if you like the heat)

Salt to taste

For the fish:

2 tbs. vegetable oil for frying the fish

3  1/3 salmon fillets, skin on the bottom (I used wild-caught sockeye)

Whisk all the ingredients for the marinade in a shallow bowl.  Add the fillets and coat completely.  Marinade for a couple hours in the fridge (at least 30 minutes).  15 minutes before you are ready to make the fish, preheat oven to 350˚F.  When ready,  heat 2 tbs. of oil in a cast-iron pan, until  the oil is nice and hot.  Place the fish, skin side down in the pan, sear for 2 min, then flip the fish and sear the other side  for 2 min as well.  The fish is now skin side down in the pan.  Remove the cast-iron pan to the oven (middle rack) and cook the fish for ~ 15 min (this will depend on the thickness of the fillet and the type of pan you are using).  The fish is ready when it flakes easily and no longer translucent.  Serve with a side of potatoes or vegetables and bread.

Variations:  1) Substitute the oregano with any other Italian herb(s).  2) Marinade the fish with lemon, turmeric, salt and oil. Heat oil in the cast iron pan,  temper the fish with cumin  or carom (ajwain) seeds, ginger and garlic- 2 min, sear the fish, then bake as usual.  You get the idea.

Posted in baked, Fish, Main Dishes, Mexican | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Patatas Bravas (Spanish Style Roasted Potatoes in Tomato Sauce)

Posted by fourclankitchen on January 17, 2011

When I lived in Chicago, my former mentor always took our lab out to Topolobampo for Tapas around Christmas time. One of the tapas we always ordered were Patatas Bravas, fried potatoes with a tomato sauce.  I haven’t eaten these in years, but suddenly had a craving for them this weekend.  This is my take on them, from memory. I don’t have a strong recall of the sauce, but remember it as being buttery and smooth.  So I sort of made a version of Marcella Hazan’s pasta sauce, which contains butter, onions and tomatoes.  Also, I roasted the potatoess instead of deep frying them.

The Potatoes

12 smallish red potatoes, skins on, cut into half.

1 tsp red pepper or paprika (depending on how much heat you can tolerate)

1 tsp cumin powder

Vegetable oil, enought to coat the bottom of a jelly roll pan.

Salt to taste

The Sauce

5 vine-ripened tomatoes, seeded.

1. cup strained tomato sauce (I used Bionaturae)

3-4 tbs. butter

1 sweet onion, crudely chopped.

1.  Roast the potatoes.  Preheat oven to 350 ˚F.  Liberally coat the bottom of a jelly roll pan with vegetable oil.  Place potatoes, cut side down in the jelly roll pan, so the cut surface is covered in oil.  Sprinkle salt, red pepper and cumin and mix to coat the potatoes in spice and oil.  Place the potatoes cut side down on the jelly roll pan again, with some space between eac. Do not crowd.  Roast potatoes in the oven for ~1 hour, until the cut side of each potato is perfectly browned.

While the potatoes are roasting, make the sauce.  Cut the tomatoes into half and deseed by squeezing the tomatoes as you would a lemon (slightly soft tomatoes are best).  Chop coarsely, then add the tomato paste and the cut tomatoes to a medium sized sauce pan with a tight fitting lid.  Add the onion, butter to the tomatoes. Add a little salt. Cover with a tight fitting lid and cook on low for about 40 min, with occasional stirring.  Allow sauce to cool for 15 min, then blend into a smooth paste with an immersion blender, food processor or food mill.  The original Hazan recipe calls for discarding the onion, but I don’t see why this should be so.  So blend it right in. Taste and adjust the salt.  If you want to make the sauce more spicy, add a tsp. of white vinegar and some cayenne pepper (I omitted this because I was trying to achieve the topo la bampo flavor of my imagination).

Remove potatoes from the oven when well browned.  Combine with enough sauce to coat the potatoes.  Serve with any main course.  I served these with Mexican style salmon, the recipe for which I will post next week.

Posted in Brunch, Side Dishes, Vegetarian | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Almond Cake

Posted by fourclankitchen on January 9, 2011

This has got to be my new favorite cake, although I have said this before about lemon pound cakes, apple yogurt cake and an apple balzano cake on this blog.  That was then. Now, my gluttony for this cake supercedes my gluttony for the aforementioned ones.  I got this recipe from David Lebovitz’ website and even a consumate tinkerer like me could not find a thing to alter in it.  Well, just one teeny change motivated by convenience, cheapness and yes, gluttony.  The almond paste (Odense) comes in a 7oz package: I tasted some of it (in itself a dessert)- so I ended up putting in 6.5 oz instead of the recommended 8 oz which I am sure will be just that much better.
Almond Cake ( from David Lebovitz)

1 1/3 cups sugar
8 ounces almond paste (I used 6.5oz)
3/4, plus 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 cup (8 ounces, 2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cubed
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
6 large eggs, at room temperature

1. Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Grease a 9-inch spring form pan with butter, dust it with flour and tap out any excess. Line the bottom of the pan with a round of parchment paper.
2. This recipe is really simplified if you use a food processor.  In  a food processor, grind the sugar, almond paste, and 1/4 cup (35g) of flour until the almond paste is finely ground.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 3/4 cup of flour, baking powder, and salt.
4. Once the almond paste is completely broken up, add the cubes of butter and the vanilla and almond extracts, then process until the batter is very smooth and fluffy.
5. Add the eggs one at a time, processing a bit before the next addition.
6. Add half the flour mixture and pulse the machine a few times, then add the rest, pulsing the machine until the drying ingredients are just incorporated. Do not overmix.
7. Scrape the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake the cake for 65 minutes, or until the top is deep brown and feels set when you press in the center.
8. Remove the cake from the oven and  loosen the cake from the sides of the pan. Let the cake cool completely in the pan.
Once cool, tap the cake out of the pan, remove the parchment paper, and set on a cake plate until ready to serve.

Storage: This cake will keep for four days at room temperature, well-wrapped. It can also be frozen for up to two months.

Posted in baked, Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert, Vegetarian | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »

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