<![CDATA[ Fancy flavors - Blog]]>Sat, 23 Jan 2016 11:14:02 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Roasted Tomato Pepper Soup]]>Thu, 20 Aug 2015 00:36:03 GMThttp://officialfancyflavors.weebly.com/blog/august-19th-2015Picture
Red, orange and yellow bell peppers become sweet, smooth, and sooooo delicious, once they are roasted in the oven. Their flavors concentrate into these sweet melt in your mouth morsels.

This particular soup also makes use of roasted tomatoes and garlic, the perfect combination with the roasted bell peppers. I don't even put any salt or pepper in this soup. I just roast, peel, blend and serve. Such simple ingredients, and so good!

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 tomatoes, cut in half
  • 3 bell peppers, cut into large chunks
  • 1 head of garlic, with a slice off the top to expose the top of each garlic clove

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Toss all ingredients with the olive oil and place in a large casserole dish, with the flesh side face down.
  3. Roast at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes, or until bell peppers are soft and the skin is starting to char.
  4. Remove from oven. Remove the skins of the tomatoes and peppers and then into the blender.
  5. Carefully pick out the softened cloves of garlic and put these in the blender too.
  6. Blend away until super smooth, and serve while it is still hot!
Roasted peppers is an amazing way to add flavor to soups & sandwiches. For more ways to roast bell peppers, see this great article in FineCooking.com.
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<![CDATA[Perfect Basmati Rice without the Rice Cooker]]>Thu, 18 Jun 2015 00:25:52 GMThttp://officialfancyflavors.weebly.com/blog/perfect-basmati-rice-without-the-rice-cookerPicture
Some people swear by their rice cooker, but I have never had one and don't find the need to run out & buy one. I would rather save precious kitchen cupboard space for a Vita-Mix or even a food dehydrator!

Basmati rice is of long grain type, and is the kind that I use most often. I use it mainly when I am making an Indian or Persian meal, and would use a jasmine rice for Thai or Chinese.

I have been cooking Basmati rice by this method for years, it is very difficult to mess up. The pre-soak cuts the cooking time of the rice, and also creates a nice, fluffy, distinct grain of cooked rice.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup basmati rice, washed 3 times
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 bay leaf

Directions

  1. Soak rice for at least 10 minutes. 1 hour is ideal.
  2. Put all ingredients into a heavy bottomed pot on high heat until it begins to boil.
  3. Lower the heat to super low (on a scale of 1-10, the heat should be on 1). Fully cover the pot with its lid.
  4. Allow the rice to cook for about 12 minutes, then taste a few grains from the top of the rice. If it is cooked to your liking you are done! If not, check if there is any water left at the bottom of the pot by tilting it. If there is no water left, add a few tablespoons and cover the pot for another 5 minutes. It should be cooked by this point.

Hot, fluffy, fresh Basmati - yum!
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<![CDATA[Vegetarian Mini Quiche Bites]]>Fri, 09 Jan 2015 01:05:33 GMThttp://officialfancyflavors.weebly.com/blog/vegetarian-mini-quiche-bitesPicture
I find that individual, one or two bit finger appetizers are always more impressive and logistically easier to deal with at a party then chips and dips.

This is my go-to recipe for an impressive, easy, bite-sized appetizer.  I made these for friends on New Years Day and they were demolished.

Ingredients

Filling:
1 tsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cups of baby spinach, finely chopped
1 package of extra firm tofu, well crumbled with your fingers
3 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp fresh grated parmesan cheese
2 tbsp Italian dried herb mix
1 tsp chili flakes
Lots of fresh ground pepper
Salt to taste

Crust:
12 thawed spring roll sheets
oil for brushing

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Heat a small saucepan. Add olive oil, onions and a small sprinkle of salt.
  • Saute over medium heat for about 3 minutes until onions are soft. Set aside.
  • Mix together all ingredients for filling, including the sauteed onions. Set aside.
  • Cut the spring roll wrappers in half on a diagonal. 
  • Brush each spring roll wrapper with oil and place in mini muffin tin so that the oiled side is against the muffin tin, and it covers the bottom and most of the edges of each mini muffin cup.  You will need to tuck in the corners of the spring roll wrappers as well.  If there is a little sticking out, don't worry about it.  It looks pretty when it bakes and turns brown.
  • Stuff each spring roll wrapper with the filling.  I use my hands to do this so that I can also give one a good press. 
  • Sprinkle cheese on top. 
  • Bake for about 25-30 minutes - when you take one out of the quiches out of the tin, it should be a little brown.
These are best served right away, or you can re warm them in the oven before serving so that the spring roll crust is crisp! Enjoy!

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