A cooking frenzy

This past weekend I found myself trapped inside my apartment, while a monsoon proceeded to flood New York City. It seems like summer has really forgotten about us. With my plans ruined (they all involved going outside the 4 walls of my apartment) I decided to take this chance to cook a few dishes for the week. Here’s a few of the items I prepared.

Root Vegetable Soup with Truffle Oil

Last week I went to Whole Foods and was seduced by two adorable bottles of truffle oil. Though I’ve never cooked with truffle oil in the past, I’ve eaten dishes cooked with it several times and all of them have been spectacularly memorable. I found this easy, delicious recipe from Emeril Lagasse that needed just a few tablespoons of the oil and sounded absolutely delicious. I kicked it up a notch with a little bit of lemon and pepper and served it while hot. It tasted like… my mouth was being invaded by the Delicious Army and I was more than happy to welcome all of its yummy soldiers ( too much?) In other words, it’s amazing. Make it and eat all of it.

Baked Salmon with Toasted Almonds

This was a recipe I made up myself. I’ve been trying to eat fish at least once a week and though I usually prefer white fish, this weekend I went for Salmon. Since I was making so many things at the same time I went for an easy recipe. I washed the fresh salmon and drizzled it with some olive oil, rubbed it with salt, a little bit of pepper and lemon juice, then coated each piece in toasted slivered almonds. I baked it for 30 minutes, uncovered at 450 degrees. The end result is a crunchy, juicy and tangy fish.

Chocolate Cheesecake

I can’t have a real Sunday cook off unless I make some dessert. There is one thing that is never missing in my fridge and no it’s not water ( actually I never have any water ), it’s dessert. This is one of Nigella Lawson‘s recipes and though I’ve never made one of her dishes before, it turned out pretty good. I didn’t make my own crust because my sous chef (aka overly excited dessert loving boyfriend) thought it would be too time consuming, so I ended up using a premade Oreo Cookie Pie Crust which complimented the chocolate cheesecake really well. This particular recipe calls for the use of a water bath. This is a technique that is very popular in Albanian cooking so I’m quite familiar with it, however if this is your first time doing it, a small trick is to place the cake in the larger pan and put it in the oven. Then use a glass of water to fill up the (larger) pan slowly until the water reaches half way up to the smaller pan. Once the cheesecake has cooked, remove it from the larger pan and set it aside to cool. Leave the pan filled with water inside the oven until the water has cooled, otherwise you risk seriously hurting yourself.

Cheesecake Balls 

I made a little bit too much of the cheesecake batter so I baked the rest in my cupcake pan. They took about 20 minutes to bake. Once they had coolied I mixed them with two tablespoons of cream cheese and formed little balls which I dipped in chocolate. I’ve done the same in the past with Oreos and they turned out absolutely amazing. Refrigerate the little “truffles” for a few hours and feel free to pop a few in your mouth for breakfast. The more time goes by, the better they taste.

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