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recipes – La Gourmandista

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Etiqueta: recipes

My Mom's Apple Strudel

This was the only dessert my mother would prepare. She used to say it was the only one that would come out right. However, I now think what happened was that she would not measure anything and that made it quite easy. So, the truth is I have no exact amounts for this recipe. I will make rough calculations, but take it with a grain of salt. I think this is one of the few if not the only time we can do pastry stuff without having to measure. At home we would love seeing it come out of the oven. It would hardly last more than 48 hours. It was something you would have to choose to eat now or miss it until the next time kind of deal.

Apple Strudel

A recipe that comes directly from my memory chest that I share in the middle of this emotional commotion we are all going through. A little bit of pampering from Heaven to your Table.

  • Peeler
  • Chopping board
  • Chef's Knife
  • Big Bowl
  • Kitchen Spoon
  • Rolling Pin
  • Baking sheet
  • Parchment paper
  • Pastry brush
  • Fine mesh strainer
  • 500 g puff pastry
  • 3-4 apples (my mom used Gala or Red Delicious, but I now think it's better with Reinette for a richer and more gourmand flavor, but if you want it crispier, then use Granny Smith)
  • 200 g light brown sugar
  • 40 g raisins
  • 40 g pecans
  • 3 sticks cinnamon
  • 3 g cinnamon (ground)
  • 1 egg
  • 7 g powdered sugar to decorate
  1. Before starting, peel the apples, thinly slice them and sort them in a bowl putting a little sugar in between the layers. There’s no need to add a lot of sugar, but let’s say about ½ tablespoon. What you want is for the apple to start sweating its juice and obtain a kind of syrup. Cover with plastic wrap and leave it on the kitchen counter to rest for at least a couple of hours.
  2. Flatten your puff pastry with a rolling pin to a thickness of about ¼ to ½ an inch tops and in the shape of a rectangle of about 12 in (30 cm) long by 10 in (25 cm) wide more or less.
  3. Place your dough in a baking sheet previously lined with parchment paper and preheat your oven to 350 °F (180 °C)
  4. With a spoon, place the apples in the middle of the puff pastry rectangle, leaving enough seam to close the strudel as if it were a letter, i.e. in thirds. Thus, the apples should be in the mid-third. Also, leave a bit of a seam on the edges so as to fold them as if it were the flap of the letter’s envelope towards the center.
  5. On top of the apples drizzle the syrup at the bottom of your apple bowl, sprinkle raisins, the pecan pieces, ground cinnamon, and place two or three cinnamon sticks.
  6. Using a pastry brush and the egg white as your glue, close the strudel. Firstly, fold the top end, then the lower end, and lastly, the side flaps.

  7. With the same pastry brush, but now with the egg yolk, glaze your puff pastry. This will make it shiny and golden-colored.

  8. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes. Use the shiny golden color of your puff pastry as your guide.

  9. Take it out of the oven and let it cool down. Decorate with a little powdered sugar sprinkled on top with a fine mesh strainer.

Oven preheated at 180 °C (350 °F)

Austrian, Homey
dessert, Homemade, homey, lockdown2020, mom’s recipe, stay home

Leek and Summer Squash Gratin

Raise your hand if you are not a fan of gratin dauphinois and if you don’t wish it were the base of your diet all through the Winter, however, one starts to grow up and realizes it is impossible to live just by eating potatoes and that one must incorporate other veggies in one’s diet. And it is in days just like today, when it’s rainy and cloudy, this is a great option, I’d like to think.

Leek & Summer Squash Gratin

Still the warmth of the gratin with a lot less guilt.

  • Chopping board
  • Chef's Knife
  • Pyrex or baking dish
  • 2 summer squash (thinly sliced)
  • 1 leek (thinly sliced)
  • 50 g unsalted butter
  • 500 g heavy whipping cream
  • Salt & pepper
  • Nutmeg
  1. Using half the butter, generously coat the baking dish and put all of the sliced vegetables. Season with salt, pepper and sprinkle a little nutmeg.
  2. Add the heavy whipping cream to the same height of the vegetables.
  3. Bake for 30 minutes or until a beautiful golden color covering is obtained.

Oven preheated at 350 °F (180 °C)

Side Dish
quarantine2020, side dish, stay home, Vegetarian

Pão de Queijo or Brazilian Cheese Puffs

My first encounter with Brazilian culture was at the age of 18 when I travelled abroad to study in the United States and met students from many different countries; among them, Brazil. Today, 25 years later, I am still in touch with one of those Brazilian girls, and even though we have only met once more, we care for each other quite a bit, just like when we first met. I hope that when the situation we are currently living in the world ends I soon get the chance to go visit her in her country. 

Later, it wasn’t until a decade later that I became interested in Brazil and its language due to my work and the need to communicate thereof, so, I started to study the language of Vasco de Gama and even to dance (quite badly) a bit of samba in an event of the language center the Brazilian Embassy used to have in Mexico back then.

But, how did the pão de queijo become part of my gastronomical baggage? Well, I think and believe it was actually when I arrived to live in the Washington DC area, when in an event they were served and I totally fell in love with them. I asked for the recipe here and there, but nothing came about. Everyone said they were easy to make, but no one told me how. And it was just during these quarantine days when another friend, also Brazilian, but who lives in Mexico, who told me that a well-known chef from her country had shared the recipe. She did, however, make some comments taste-wise. I adapted as I saw fit, and here are my results:

You may, of course, adapt as need there’d be if you don’t have a specific ingredient or cannot seem to find it.

Pão de queijo or Brazilian Cheese Puffs

An addictive bite to be loved by all and which will invite everyone to get together for an apéritif.

  • Medium bowl
  • Medium Pot
  • Spatula
  • Soup Spoon
  • Baking sheet
  • Parchment paper
  • 60 gr water
  • 40 gr milk
  • 6 gr kosher salt
  • 150 gr tapioca flour (cornstarch will surely work perfectly)
  • 1 egg
  • 60 gr shredded mozzarella
  • 20 gr shredded pecorino romano (parmigiano reggiano will also work quite well)
  1. Add the tapioca flour or cornstarch and the salt in a bowl and mix well.
  2. Boil the water, milk, and oil in a saucepan or pot and then pour the liquid in the bowl. Mix well.

  3. Add the egg previously whisked.
  4. Incorporate the pecorino romano cheese, and then add the mozzarella.
  5. Take a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and arrange small balls of dough of approximately one tablespoon each leaving enough space in between, since they will puff up a little when they go into the oven.
  6. Put the baking sheet in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes and preheat the oven at 350 °F (180 °C).
  7. Once the oven reaches temperature, bake the cheese puffs for about 10 minutes.
  8. Serve warm; it’s when they taste best.

Oven preheated at 350 °F (180 °C)

apéritif, Brazil, lockdown2020, snack, stay home