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pizza with beets, arugula, pesto and goat cheese

I always did – and always will – love the rhythm of life in Spain. Getting up late, staying up even later, eating very late – no problem for me. So when my husband decided to go back to coaching soccer and I was faced with the fact that at least twice a week he would not be home for dinner before the time some folks already hit the sack, I was, let’s say, pleasantly motivated.

This meant that I would have to come up with late night meals for just the two of us, suppers that could be prepped ahead of time and finished off at the last minute. Dinners that taste wonderful, that make one feel welcomed, that remind one how good life is. What a wonderful little challenge to throw myself into!

golden and red beets Continue reading “Beetsa” »

Eggs Peru-Dict (or: How Aji and Benedict Found Each Other)

Version of eggs Benedict

I love Ceviche. And even more than the common citrusy one, I love Tiradito. This is the Peruvian interpretation of a Japanese Sashimi, so to speak, where the fish is cut into thin slices and served raw, in a creamy, dreamy, slightly hot sauce called Aji or Aji Amarillo. – Ah, Tiradito, yes, I adore you so much, I might suffer a case of obsession…

And still, when I was gifted with a big basket full of bright little yellow peppers that turned out to be Aji Dulce, or Peruvian Lemon Drops – the main ingredient of Aji -, it was not fish that came to my mind. It was a plump, sexy, poached egg that suddenly was dancing in front of my inner eye. Eureka! – I would provoke my Lemon Drops into a hefty flirt with Eggs Benedict. In a way, that ultimately would lead to marriage. She would take on his last name, but still keep hers. Eggs Peru-Dict. Perfect.

aji amarillo pepper

Aji is very easy to prepare. Aji Dulce – don’t let you fool by its name – is a hot pepper with bright, citrusy flavors that can be substituted with Tabasco or Cayenne peppers, or also with the dried Lemon Drop, Aji Mirasol. In case you get your hands on a copious amount of fruit, simply fill the sauce into small containers or ice cube trays and freeze it, so that you can pop it out whenever the craving strikes. The one for Tiradito or the one for poached eggs. Depending on your mood.

paste of lemon drop peppers

Aji Amarillo Paste

(makes 8oz)

  • 1 lbs Aji Dulce
  • 2-4 tbsp vegetable oil

Put Aji into a large pan, fill up with water and bring to a broil. Let boil 5 minutes, drain. Repeat twice, using fresh water each time.

Cut off the stems of the peppers, cut into halves lengthwise. Remove the seeds and glands.

In a food processor, purée Aji, adding the oil in stages, until the paste reaches the desired consistency. Store in the fridge or freezer.

lemon drop peppers, cooked


(makes plenty for 1 serving of Eggs Perudict)

  • 1 tbsp Aji Amarillo Paste
  • 1 pce Peruvian Lemon Drop pepper, washed, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp vegetable or olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lime juice, freshly squeezed
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

In a small bowl, mix all ingredients into a smooth, not too thin sauce and set aside.

poached eggs on a green bed

Eggs Peru-Dict

(makes 1 serving)

  • 2 handful Arugula, washed and dried
  • 1/2 pce Avocado
  • 1/2 pce Lime
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tbsp Tiradito
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Arrange the Arugula in the center of a large plate.

Cut Avocado into slices, drizzle Lime on each slice and arrange on the Arugula.

Fill large pan with water and bring to a boil. Crack the eggs open and carefully slide into the water. Cook 2-3 minutes, remove with a slotted spoon and put on paper towel. Carefully pat the eggs dry.

Arrange eggs on top of the Arugula-Avocado nest, pour Aji Amarillo on top. Add salt and pepper to your liking. – Bon appétit!

whole peruvian lemon drop peppers

messy poached eggs with greens



Carpe Diem #5 – Pear with Blue Cheese Mousse

pear appetizer with blue cheese mousse

Are you having guests over for drinks, but no clue what to serve to nibble on? These perked up pears can be prepared in barely no time, they are versatile when it comes to the liquid pairings, and different in a pleasant way.

All you need are pears, a bit of blue cheese and heavy cream, and maybe a little green garnish out of your fridge or herb pots. – In a small bowl, with a fork, mix some blue cheese with a little heavy cream – the ratio depends on the kind of blue you are choosing. Creamy cheeses like Gorgonzola Dolce, St.Agour Bleu (which I used), Blu del Moncenisio, etc. are more ideal (and mixed into a mousse faster) than dry and crumbly blues like for instance Stilton. Put the mousse into a piping bag (or make one out of a Ziploc bag, by cutting off a tiny corner).

pear and st.agour bleu

Wash a pear, dry and cut it into quarters. Cut out the core. Pipe the mousse onto the basin of the pear, in circular motion. Arrange the pears on a platter, top the mousse with a tiny bit of blue cheese, and garnish with some herbs or greens (arugula or parsley would work well, I used French Sorrel with a nice, tart bite). – Fini! Enjoy your free time, the company, and of course the food and drinks!

pears topped with blue cheese mousse on platter

Past Supper #11 – Pizza

pizza without tomato or tomato sauce

Hand made dough, topped with red onion, red pepper, green olives, capers, boquerrones, Bucheron (goat cheese). Once baked, we took the pizza out of the oven, covered it completely with arugula and let the green get slightly warm and even more slightly wilted by putting a sheet of aluminum loosely over it. By the time we sat down and dug in we were so hungry and delighted that we forgot to take a picture. What you see here is what was left this morning. (We also realized that we had forgotten to spread a little tomato sauce onto the dough at very first. It didn’t matter. It was very delicious even without it!)