All posts tagged recipe

Beet and Goat Cheese Tart

Contributing Chef- Abby Reibman-Author of  The Desk and The Stove

Beet & Goat Cheese Tartlets with Rosemary and Caramelized Shallot

I love being an ex-pat. The opportunity for kvetching is endless – both about my own country and my adopted one. Yet, I will remain resolutely patriotic when it comes to one vital ingredient: our food sense. Sure, we may have invented McDonalds, but, really, it is just a part of our continued legacy – transforming something from the old world into a tastier and more commercially viable product (hint, a dash of sarcasm).

That being said, my tasty beet and goat cheese tart is my response to the British affinity for pies. I think you will agree; this goat cheese and beet version is a bit more sophisticated than the quintessential steak and kidney (although, I have to say I am a HUGE fan of steak and ale pie for a proper Sunday lunch).  Despite its rather dainty appearance, it is still quite hearty and packs a punch with flavor.  The goat cheese melts into the filling and the truffle oil perfectly pairs with the earthiness of the beets. You can use ready-made pastry dough if you’re in a hurry, but the recipe given really complements the filling – and it can be used for a variety of other ones as well!

With the self-contained pastry case keeping the tarts a fun-size, I think it’s the prefect party canapé for an winter soiree. Just rock one of Jess’s amazing party frocks and you are set to go!!!!



125 g all purpose flour

75 g butter, room temperature and cut into smallish lumps, plus a bit extra for greasing

40 g parmesan, finely grated

Cayenne pepper

1 large egg, beaten



3 large shallots, chopped into thin slices (julienne)

2 beets, cooked and diced

2 sprigs of rosemary, finely chopped

110 g goat cheese

25 g butter

120 ml light cream

¼ tsp mustard powder (or ½ tsp mustard)

Truffle oil

Cayenne pepper

Salt and pepper


For the pastry dough:

1)   Sift the flour into a large bowl, then, using a knife, cut the butter into the flour until it is evenly distributed.

2)   Add the grated Parmesan, a pinch of cayenne pepper and about 1½ tablespoons of cold water.  Mix thoroughly using your fingertips until you have a smooth dough.

3)   Wrap the dough with saran wrap and rest in the fridge for at least 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

4)   Once the dough has rested, roll it out as thin as possible and use a cutter to cut 12 rounds.  Grease the tin trays (or cupcake holders!) with a bit of butter and line them with the dough, allowing it to stand a bit above the rims to allow for shrinkage.

5)   Prick the bases with a fork and brush a bit of beaten egg all over.  Cook for about 10 minutes (or until just cooked), rotating half way through. Set aside for later use.


For the filling:

1)   Sauté the shallots in a bit of butter on low heat for approx. 30 minutes. They should caramelize on their own, but add a bit of natural cane sugar to help the process along.

2)   In a separate pan, sauté the already cooked beets in the truffle oil, season with salt and pepper and add a bit of the chopped rosemary.

3)   Whisk the egg with the cream and mustard into a jug and season with salt, pepper and a bit of cayenne pepper.

4)   Mix together the shallots with the beets and rosemary in a separate bowl.  Spoon a bit of the mixture into each pastry case, spreading it out evenly.  Pour the egg mixture over it.

5)   Cut the cheese into thin slices, making a round with your fingers as the cheese will be soft. Put a slice on top of each tartlet and garnish with a bit more of the beet and rosemary and a dash of cayenne pepper.

6)   Bake for 20 minutes or puffy and golden, rotating the pan half way through.

7)   Let cool for about 5 minutes, then remove from tins/ cupcake holders but remember to serve them warm!!! Yummm.

Homemade Buffalo Wings and Blue-Cheese Dip

Tasty Tip

Homemade Buffalo Wings and Blue-Cheese Dip

Nothing says the Superbowl like a huge pile of crispy chicken wings smothered in delicious buffalo sauce and served with celery sticks and blue-cheese dip.  While these might not be the traditional way to prepare wings (die-hards swear only deep-fried will do), this method of oven-roasting them under the broiler will keep your pad from stinking of fry on the big day.  While the recipe calls for marinating the chicken in the sauce (it allows the flavour to absorb into the meat), the Hostess Handbook also suggests broiling the wings and then tossing them in the sauce once they’ve finished cooking – you might have crispier wings this way – but the meat won’t be quite as tasty!  Either way, these wings are an absolute touchdown.

Chicken Wings
4lbs chicken wings (about 24 wings)
6 tbsp butter, melted
10 tbsp bottled hot pepper sauce (I used Frank’s Buffalo Sauce) 2 tbsp paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder

Blue-Cheese Dip
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced

  1. Prepare the wings by cutting off the tip and then cutting them in half on the joint.  Put them in a large bowl.
  2. Make a marinade by mixing together the melted butter, hot sauce, paprika, salt, cayenne pepper, black pepper and garlic powder. Reserve 4-5 tablespoons to coat the wings once they have come out of the oven and pour the rest over the chicken wings. Toss to coat, cover with plastic wrap and allow to marinate for at least an hour.
  3.  Meanwhile, make the blue-cheese dip by mixing together all the ingredients in a food processor.  Blend until smooth. This can be kept in the refrigerator for one week.
  4. Place the chicken wings on the rack of a boiler pan (or on a baking tray if you don’t have one), and broil on 400-450 degrees F for 20 minutes on each side.  Regulate the temperature and cooking time – all ovens are different!!
  5. Toss with the reserved marinade and serve with celery sticks and the blue-cheese dip.  Score!

Chived Blinis with Smoked Salmon and Avocado Mousse Recipe

Tasty Tip

Chived Blinis with Smoked Salmon and Avocado Mousse Recipe

 Having a hard time with your New Year’s diet? Trust me, I feel your pain. While these traditional Russian pancakes are made with a mixture of plain and buckwheat flour AND are pan-fried in butter (ok, might not be soo diet friendly)… the savory base pairs perfectly with avocado mousse and smoked salmon (OMEGA 3!) A Russian friend of mine, Sonia, taught me how to make a very simple and delicious garnish of boiled onions, olive oil and chopped dill – The Hostess Handbook suggests spooning a bit of that underneath the smoked salmon for another dimension of flavor and texture. With the yummy fish and fresh avocado, you’ll hardly notice the less-than diet friendly blini! Enjoy!!

Contributing Chef- Abby Reibman- Author of  The Desk and The Stove


1/2 cup flour

1/3 cup buckwheat flour

4 tsp sugar

1 1/4 tsp dry active yeast

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup milk

2 tbl butter, cut into cubes

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

avocado mousse

onions with dill – sliced thinly, boiled for 2o min, drain and season with roughly chopped dill, olive oil, salt and pepper.



  1. Whisk together the flours, sugar, dry yeast and salt in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt together the butter with the milk, whisk into the flour mixture and cover with saran wrap. Let stand in a warm draft-free area for about 1-2 hours (until doubled in volume).
  2. Whisk to deflate, add in the egg and chill in the refrigerator for another 30 minutes. Re-whisk before using
  3. Heat some butter in a large skillet and drop tablespoon measurements of the dough, leaving some space between the rounds.  Cook until bubbles begin to form (approx 1-2 min), and turn over.  Cook for a further 1-2 min on the other side.  Remove from heat and place in a warm oven until needed.
  4. When ready to serve, place the blinis on a plate and spoon some of the onion and dill on top. Roll small pieces of smoked salmon and place them over the onion and dill, then garnish with a quenelle of the avocado mousse.


Tasty Tip: Chocolate Mousse with Espresso & Grand Marnier

 Contributing Chef- Abby Reibman- Author of  The Desk and The Stove

This super easy chocolate mousse recipe both looks and tastes incredibly impressive. With a kick of Grand Marnier and espresso, it might be more naughty than nice – but I’m pretty sure that Santa won’t mind. The Hostess Handbook suggests you serve in cute cupcake holders and garnish with crushed pistachios and raspberries – it’s definitely the only thing your guests will want for Christmas this year.

170 g of dark chocolate
4 eggs
150 ml whipping cream
4 tablespoons of espresso, cold
2 tablespoons of Grand Marnier
2 teaspoons of sugar

1- Melt the chocolate with a bit of butter in a double boiler (place a small amount of water in a pot, bring to a boil and place a heat resistant bowl on top of it – the chocolate/butter will melt from the steam). When melted, remove from heat and set aside.
2- Divide the egg.  Whip the egg yolks with the sugar until you reach the ribbon stage – it will become light and creamy. Add the melted chocolate, Grand Marnier and espresso.
3- Whip the cream in a metal bowl until it becomes stiff (it helps if you put the bowl in the fridge for a few minutes first!). Fold the cream into the chocolate mixture with a spatula.
4- Whip the egg whites until they become stiff and form peaks.  Fold it into the chocolate mixture until you have a light, frothy uniform consistency.  Place into cups, cover with saran wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours to set.
5- Garnish with ground pistachio and raspberries.

Tasty Tip: Trio of Tapas with Saffron Aioli










Contributing Chef: Abby Reibman- The Cooking Queen!

For more recipes by Abby:

Trio of Tapas with Saffron Aioli (Serves 4-6)

After a week of soaking up the rays on the Costa del Sol and watching Flamenco dancing in Seville, back in London, I am definitely missing the heat. And not just the weather: ¿dónde están las tapas?!! From the spicy chorizo, shhh, don’t tell my Jewish parents I’m cooking pork, to the piquant sauce in the patatas bravas, these dishes are guaranteed to add fiery passion to any gathering. While I may not be eating my way through the tapas streets of Spain, I can certainly recreate the atmosphere at home. Great conversation pieces, the variety of dishes allows you to pick and choose while you sip your cerveza (or sangria!) These are the perfect party dishes, if you are like my sister, Rachel, sharing is a prerequisite.

Serve with bread, slices of Manchego cheese and Manzanilla olives, no tapas is complete without a bit of aioli – this saffron variety hits the spot! Don’t forget to soak the bread in the leftover sauces. ¡Buen apetito!


Patatas Bravas

1/2 pound of new potatoes

2 vine tomatoes, concasse and diced into small cubes

½ white onion, chopped into thin slices (julienne)

2 sprigs of rosemary, chopped

1 garlic clove, made into a paste with salt

Olive oil

Pinch of red pepper flakes

Pinch of paprika

Salt and pepper

Chopped parsley for garnish

1-    Sauté the garlic paste with olive oil in a saucepan on medium heat (1-2 minutes).

2-    Add the sliced onions and cook until translucent (3-5 minutes).

3-    Add the diced tomatoes and cook for about 7 minutes. Deglaze with a bit of water. Deglaze with water and season with pepper, red pepper flakes and a pinch of paprika.

4-    Cook for a further 5 minutes until you have a nice, thick sauce. Remove from the heat and set aside until needed.

5-    Wash and cut the potatoes into quarters.  Put them in a bowl and toss them with the chopped rosemary, olive oil and salt and pepper.

6-    Spread out the potatoes on a baking sheet and cook for about 15 minutes at 350 degrees F, turning them over half way through.

7-    Put the cooked potatoes in a tapa plate (they should be nice and crispy!) and pour the reheated sauce on top.  Garnish with the chopped parsley.


Saffron Aioli

 1 egg yolk

½  tbl Dijon mustard

1 garlic clove, made into a paste with salt

4-5 threads of saffron

Olive oil

Squeeze of lemon juice

Splash of red wine vinegar

1-    Put the saffron threads in a small bowl and cover with a bit of warm water.

2-    Blend the egg yolk, Dijon mustard and garlic paste in a food processor. Transfer to a small bowl.

3-    Gently whisk in the olive oil in a steady stream until you have a mayo-like consistency – but, be careful not to break it!!!

4-    Add in a squeeze of lemon juice and a small splash of red wine vinegar.

5-    Add in the water and saffron threads and continue to whisk to a smooth consistency.  Keep tasting and making sure that all the elements are balanced!!


Chorizo al Vino Rioja

½ cup of Rioja

4 inches of chorizo, cut into thin slices

1 sprig of cilantro, chopped for garnish

1-    Sear the chorizo in a sauté pan without oil (very important as the chorizo is super greasy and will release its own oils!)

2-    Pour off the excess fat and deglaze with the wine.

3-    Reduce to a saucy consistency and garnish with chopped cilantro


Pollo al Ajillo

2 boneless and skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1½ -inch pieces

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 ½ garlic cloves, made into a paste with salt

2 sprig of thyme

1 bay leaves

¼  cup manzanilla sherry

¼ cup chicken broth


Salt and pepper

Olive oil

Chopped parsley for garnish

1-    Rub the chicken pieces with salt, pepper and paprika and the crushed garlic cloves.  Set aside in the fridge for at least an hour. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2-    Sear the chicken pieces on both sides in a large sauté pan with the crushed garlic cloves.  You want them golden (5-6 min per side) but not cooked through.  Set aside on a piece of paper towel to drain, then place in a baking tray.

3-    Remove the crushed garlic from the pan. Cook the garlic paste in a bit more olive oil with the thyme and bay leaf on med-low heat for 1-2 minutes.

4-    Deglaze with a splash of the sherry.  Once it has started to cook off, add the rest of the sherry and the chicken broth. Season with pepper and a bit more paprika.

5-    Turn the heat up to high and bring to a boil.

6-    Once it has started to boil, remove from the heat and pour over the chicken.

7-    Bake the chicken dish with the liquid sauce until cooked through (about 20-25min).  Remove from the oven, discarding the bay leaf and thyme.

8-    If the pan juices are too thin, transfer them to a sauté pan and reduce.

9-    Serve in a tapa plate and garnish with chopped parsley.