Fresh Cranberry Sauce

A usual accompaniment to the turkey on Thanksgiving is cranberry sauce. The tart and sweet flavors of this sauce with the warmth of cinnamon and nutmeg gives a great tang to the turkey. I always like to think fresh is always better. That comes very true for this sauce versus the one that comes in the tin from the supermarket. Besides how impressive can a cylinder-shaped jelly sauce be on the table?

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What you need:

16 oz of cranberries

1 cup sugar

1/3 cup water

1 orange (zest and juice)

2 cinnamon sticks

¼ teaspoon all spice

¼ teaspoon ginger

¼ teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg

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1- In a skillet add the fresh cranberries, sugar, water, orange zest, cinnamon sticks, all spice and ginger. Bring the contents to a boil. As the cranberries soften you may hear them pop. Don’t worry that is normal.

2- Once the cranberries have softened into a partial liquid state with some of the cranberries still whole, add the fresh squeezed orange juice and nutmeg. The acid of the orange juice will help thicken the sauce.

3- Remove from heat and serve in a small bowl. Enjoy!

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Rustic Garlic and Thyme Scalloped Potatoes

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Here a perfect side dish that gives you the satisfaction of a potato with crispy edges and soft center. The scalloped potatoes are roasted in aromatic garlic and thyme in a combination of butter and olive oil. By leaving the skin on the potato slices and the process of roasting give a rustic-like feel. It is best to pair this with beef or poultry or on its own. It a great dish to go with your next holiday meal.

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What you need:

6 medium-sized Idaho Russet potatoes

8 cloves of garlic (minced)

2 tablespoons of unsalted butter (melted)

2 tablespoons of olive oil

½ teaspoon of salt

¼ teaspoon of fresh crack black pepper

3 tablespoons of dried thyme

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1- Preheat the oven to 350F. Wash and dry the potatoes. Using the mandolin, slice the potatoes. Picture here I have a handheld mini one. I find that I have more control using this one over the full-sized one, but either is fine.

2- Place the sliced potatoes in a bowl of water to rinse of excess starch.

3- Towel pat dry the slices of potatoes on paper towels. This will help the potatoes to get that crispy texture during the roasting process.

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4- Mix together the dried potatoes, melted unsalted butter and olive oil together in a new clean bowl. Then stir in the garlic salt, pepper and thyme.

5- On an aluminum foil covered tray, spread out the potatoes in an even layer. Roast the potatoes for fifteen minutes.

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6- Shift around the potatoes and roast for fifteen more minutes.

7- Place potatoes in a serving dish and enjoy.

 

 

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New Connections

As the seasons change, Traveled Eats has already passed its half year mark since the blog has first been live. I would like to thank all the readers/ subscribers through the blog site, Twitter and Facebook for continuing to support Traveled Eats by showing interest in my work and passion. Your feedback is much appreciated. You will notice that Traveled Eats now has a “Links & Friends of Traveled Eats” page. Here you can visit the websites and blogs of those whom are my personal friends and of this blog.

So on this occasion, I have a special announcement. I am TDong photothe new guest writer for NYCeWheels. I am presently featured on their blog with an introduction of myself as a new guest writer. On their Folding Bike blog, see my first post about my first impressions of the Brompton bicycle.

NYCeWheels is a small local bike shop in the Yorkville section of New York City in the Upper East Side of Manhattan founded by Bert Cebular. They specialize in folding bikes, electric bikes and kick scooters. I first came across NYCeWheels during Summer Streets a year ago when I was intrigued by the amazing construction and design of the Brompton bicycles they were showing off. After a taking one for a spin, going to one of NYCeWheels’ free bike tours and saving up enough cash, I purchased a custom Brompton of my very own. I have a P3E Brompton bicycle in claret and cobalt blue colors. I also decided to accessorize my Brompton with a Brooks leather saddle. The Brompton bicycle is a great portable folding bicycle that you can take anywhere. Unlike regular full-sized bicycles, folding bikes do not require additional fees (bike passes) nor time restrictions when allowed on public transit.

When you are in New York City, I recommend for you to visit my friends at NYCeWheels. Whether it is to take one of their Brompton Bike Tours or to try out one of the products they sell, there is always great company to greet you.

Want a Brompton of your own? Click here for more details.

NYCeWheels

1603 York Avenue (between E. 84th and E.85th Streets)

New York, NY 10028

Toll free US (800) 692-3943

Local and International (212) 737-3078

Mon-Sat 11:00am-7:00pm

http://www.nycewheels.com

Creamy Butternut Squash Soup

The beautiful changing colors of the leaves in autumn and dropping temperatures are just part of the routine this time of year. Here is a recipe for a creamy butternut squash soup to warm up those hungry stomachs from the bristling winds and cold weather. The butternut squash is naturally sweet and savory to satisfy most appetites.

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What you need:

1 butternut squash (chopped in half, stringy pulp and seeds removed)

Olive oil spray

3 cloves of garlic (minced)

1 Vidalia onion (chopped)

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

¼ teaspoon coriander

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ginger

1/8 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg

3 cups of vegetable stock

2 tablespoons of heavy cream

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1- Preheat the oven to 350F. After washing 2013-10-29 17.17.42the butternut squash, split the squash in half and remove the stringy pulp and seeds. The seeds can be saved aside for roasting.

 

2- Spray a light coating of olive oil on the flesh of the butternut squash. Place the squash flesh side up on an aluminum covered pan. Bake the squash for forty-five minutes or until the flesh has softened.

 

3- After cooling the butternut squash to room temperature, scoop out the flesh and discard the squash skin. Mash the butternut squash flesh into a pulp.

4- In a pot melt the unsalted butter until it coats the pot. Add the chopped onion, salt and pepper. Sweat the onions until translucent.

5- Mix in remaining spices, squash pulp and stir.2013-10-29 19.14.26

6- Add in 1 cup of the vegetable stock.

7- Blend the contents in a blender until homogenous and smooth.

8- Return the puree to the pot and stir in remaining 2 cups of vegetable stock. The vegetable stock should thin out the puree into a soup.

9- Stir in the heavy cream just before serving.

Optional addition: To give your soup a bit of tang, add a small dollop of sour cream and top with chopped chives.

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Enjoy and stay warm!

Light as Air Belgian Meringues

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Walking in the Upper East Side of Manhattan on Saturday I came across Ô Merveilleux, a Belgian patisserie serving up a new exciting dessert. The merveilleux is a Belgian meringue that is very popular in Belgium. The Belgian meringue is in many ways similar, but different to the French meringue that most of us know about. Alexandre Diotallevi of Ô Merveilleux described their Belgian meringue as a wet meringue that has the dry shell on the outside and a hollow soft inside. The meringue is baked at a lower temperature to give this effect as oppose to the French meringue. The merveilleux is then covered with whipped cream and rolled in chocolate shavings or cookie crumbs. Alexandre explained that his wife, Anne-Sophie Diotallevi, is the genius behind the dessert.

At the patisserie these meringues come in 2013-10-26 16.10.43three standard flavors: chocolate, white chocolate and speculoos (a Belgian spiced biscuit cookie).  I decided to try the chocolate and speculoos. The tower of meringue begins to fall apart as you dig your fork into the merveilleux. Each bite has a textural satisfaction of the crunchy meringue, soft whipped cream and grittiness from the chocolate shavings or cookie crumbs. The meringue and whipped cream was not too sweet and felt as light as air. The meringue is complemented by the topping attached. My favorite between the two I tried is the chocolate one. Although the speculoos flavor is tasty with its cinnamon flavor, I enjoyed the merveilleux with the chocolate shavings more since the chocolate gave more contrast in flavor to the meringue.  You can either purchase a small merveilleux ($2.00) or a full-sized merveilleux ($5.90).

In addition to the meringues, the patisserie also serves up croissants, cookies, cupcakes and other sweets. Throughout the seasons the patisserie rotates in featured desserts. Presently featured are their ghost cupcakes for Halloween. If you need a caffeine fix, they serve coffee and tea as well.

Ô Merveilleux’s layout of the store has an open concept. In the back past the enclosed display of delicious deserts is a communal table and lounge area for guests to dine at. This gives the patisserie a homey feel. Another neat feature is their window viewing inside the kitchen where you can see these sweet treats being made.

*UPDATE: I returned to Ô Merveilleux today to try out their miniature white chocolate merveilleux and 2013-10-31 14.18.38chocolate croissant. You can see in the picture to the right of the cross section of the miniature white chocolate merveilleux revealing the hollow inside of the meringue. The white chocolate topping adds creaminess to the meringue. However my favorite is still the chocolate because of the contrast in flavors.

2013-10-31 10.22.44The chocolate croissant was heavenly. The crust has flaky and buttery layers leading up to the luscious chocolate center. The smooth and richness of the chocolate filling complements the flaky layers as you bite into the croissant. The last time I had a really good croissant to this standard was in Montreal.

So when you are walking around the Upper East Side of Manhattan, give this place a try.

 

 

 

Ô Merveilleux2013-10-26 16.30.31

1509 Second Avenue (Between E.78th and E.79th Streets)

New York, NY 10075

(646) 681-8688

Tues-Fri 7:00am-7:00pm, Sat 8:00am-8:00pm, Sun 8:00am-7:00pm

http://www.omerveilleux.com/

Roasted Beets and Apple Salad

One of my most requested dishes by my friends is my roasted beets and apple salad. A salad filled with fruits and vegetables, what more can you as for? This is a salad perfect for the autumn season, or all year around.

2013-10-23 17.27.21What you need: (For a serving of six people)

1 bag of arugula

1 bag of baby romaine

½ cup of dried cranberries

2 apples, cut into thin slices (I used honey crisp apples)

2 red beetroots, roasted and chopped (Click HERE for the recipe)

2 golden beetroots, roasted and chopped

2 oz goat cheese

1 cup Apple Cider Vinaigrette (Click HERE for the recipe)

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1- Take the arugula and baby romaine in a bowl and toss it with half of the apple cider vinaigrette.

2- Add the dried cranberries and apple slices to the salad then toss one more time.

3- Place the chopped roasted red and golden beets on top of the salad.

4- Crumble the goat cheese on top of the salad.

5- Place the salad into individual bowls for your guest and drizzle the remaining apple cider vinaigrette on top. Serve and enjoy.

**If you want to add a little protein, add 1 cup of chopped walnuts to the salad.

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