Moroccan Spiced Lentils

French Puy lentils or their counterparts, the Italian Castelluccio lentils, are considered by many the best. They are smaller and firmer than the brown lentils and the choice in dishes where the lentils need to keep their shape like salads and side dishes. This simple dish is elevated by the piquant spices “a la marocaine”.

Fettuccine with Salt Cod and Fennel

Pasta con Baccalà e Finocchio, a venerable recipe form the Roman-Jewish cuisine. Salting changes the nature of the fish. Even after desalting, the fish has a firm and distinctive texture, a fortified and particularly tasty version of itself.

Wax Bean Salad with Shrimps and Chorizo

Wax beans or yellow beans are a relative of the better known green beans. The lack of chlorophyll is responsible for their nice bright color. They taste the same, thus you may substitute them with their green counterparts. A sunny choice for the golden days of summer.

Chickpeas and Spinach Recipe

Chickpeas and Spinach

Garbanzos con Espinacas is a “raciones” dish from Seville, very popular during Lent. The addition of dried fruits, in this case dried raisins, is a reminder of the Arab influence in the Andalusian cuisine. Best of all it can be prepared within 30 minutes – muy conveniente!

Portuguese Salt Codfish and Shrimps Stew Recipe

Portuguese Salt Codfish and Shrimps Stew

Ensopado de Bacalhau e Camarão is a beloved recipe in Portugal. There are many variations for this comforting, soul warming food for gray winter days. Above all simple to make and very tasty.

Bacalhau à Portuguesa Recipe

Bacalhau à Portuguesa

Salt cod fish and Chorizo are popular features in the Portuguese and Spanish cuisine frequently using the same ingredients but in a different way. In this version, chickpeas play the sidekick instead of potatoes.

Swiss Cheese and Vegetable Soup

A hearty meal which makes good use of any vegetables you might have on hand. You can use any reasonably sharp melting cheese to obtain a velvety texture.

Coconut Lemon Cake Recipe

Coconut Lemon Cake

A nice and moist cake with a tropical twist of toasted coconut and tangy lemon-coconut milk glaze. Perfect with a freshly brewed tea or coffee. A rainy afternoon pick-me-upper for sure!

Menestra de Legumbres Recipe

Menestra de Legumbres

Menestra de Legumbres, a specialty from Navarra is a good example of the Cocina Norteña of Spain. I love to prepare this recipe as a main dish with poached eggs on top. I use whatever veggies I have on hand. A heartwarming dish.

German Potato Salad

Having lived in Germany for a while I encountered many variations of this traditional dish.This one is the favorite of mine and always a “hit” to bring and share at parties and BBQs. Some details to watch: Use Golden Yukon potatoes, not baking potatoes, like Idaho or Russet and do not slice them too thin.

Almond Plum Tart Recipe

Almond Plum Tart

Torta de Ameixas e Amêndoas, a lovely recipe from the Confeitaria Tavi in Oporto. The original recipe uses fresh plums or apricots in season, but it works equally well with dried ones. Serve with crème fraîche.

Nectarine Coffee Cake

A light and fruity cake, studded with juicy nectarines that comes easily together. Terrific on its own, irresistible with icing sugar on top and a dollop of cream on the side. Anything else? A nice cup of coffee or tea. Blissfulness on a Sunday afternoon!

Braised Monkfish in Red Pepper Almond Sauce

A quick Spanish recipe that presents beautifully. If I am pressed for time I use good quality roasted red peppers in a jar rather than roasting them myself. The result is quite similar. Monkfish flesh is covered with a gray membrane that needs to be removed as it shrinks when cooked and looks unpleasant in contrast to the whiteness of the fish.

Spicy Thai Chicken and Asparagus Soup Recipe

Spicy Thai Chicken and Asparagus Soup

This soup is not only a feast for the eyes but flavorful as well. A happy contrast between hot and creaminess. If you find it too spicy add a bit more sugar. If you think it is too bland and needs a bit more zing, add a dash of soy sauce or a squirt of lime juice.

Patatas Bravas Recipe

Patatas Bravas

In Spain, Patatas Bravas is a key tapas dish. The pan-fried potato cubes are traditionally served with Salsa Brava, a fiery sauce flavored with smoked red peppers from La Vera in the Extremadura region. Instead of frying, I roast the potatoes. It’s less of a hassle in the kitchen.

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