Inspired by MGMT | The Handshake
- Producing thyme-infused gin, which is quite easy and fun – no panic all the instructions to do so can be found here : | #DIY How to infuse spirits? |
- As all drinks served up its ingredients have to be chilled with ice cubes while shaken, then strained and served into a cocktail glass.
After the summer break I decided to take some time and go back to my beloved home jungle, and of course as soon as that decision was made I started craving my favorite local stuff. Food in Brazil is extreme : it can be absolutely exquisite…as an interesting mix of savory flavors and fruits or delicious sweet treats…but it can also be a crazy mixture of flavors quite often fried with too much oil and too intense for your palate to understand or appreciate.
One absolute truth though : meat is quite often amazing. Beef in particular. Too a point that some people have it twice a day, which we agree is not healthy. But I do believe that is because, be it at a street food vendor, your average neighborhood restaurants, cooked with love by grand-ma or at a fancy restaurant it is – 99% of the time – nicely done. Touch it – it’s soft, bite it it’s juicy, taste it – it’s delicious. Oh and wait for it… it’s cheap.
For that reason, after ODing on the best cuts of picanha, fraldinha, alcatra and cupim… I put together a mix that will bring some of the best and the – acceptable – worse of Brazilian music, and perhaps will inspire some BBQ vibes inside you.
Inspired by Tom Waits | Little Drop of Poison
Remember that amazing cocktail you had at some fancy cocktail bar…something infused with pepper… or that other one with lavender ? It was delicious, and probably hard to make right…? Wrong! Infusing spirits not only is a fairly easy task but it’s pretty cool as a way of experimenting and discovering more about your own tastes.
The idea is simple : to add a specific taste (flavor) to a liquor (base) in order to create an infused spirit. If you can make tea, you can make this. It will only take a little more time.
As a base, you can use anything, but commonly people work with lighter spirits as it’s much easier. Vodka is the joker as it goes pretty much with everything, but you can also try gin, sake or white rum. Dark spirits such as whiskey can be enhanced but must infused with the right complimentary flavor otherwise it could backfire.
Flavors can come from a variety of ingredients, from fruits to flowers passing by dried fruits, spices, nuts, vegetables, roots and herbs. You can decide to work with one exclusive flavor like cinnamon vodka or decide to try some lavander-lemon gin. You can mix and create pretty much everything but keep in mind that less is more … so to fully enjoy the experience don’t go beyond 2-3 flavors.
For this DIY we’ll go with the beginner level, so get a decent bottle of vodka or gin and let’s play!
This blog has mainly focused on food so far, but music is not less of a passion to me. For years I’ve created playlists and played at friends parties, so I figured, why not share them here? My goal is to share a new playlist every week, so if you are tired of always listening to the same stuff or just curious to discover new things, make sure to check it out on the blog or to follow me directly on Spotify.
Most of us already started working this week, but let’s be honest, the very first week is always an odd one. Nobody really wants to work and and we spent most of our time still talking about all the amazing things we’ve done, discovered, eaten… The real deal will happen next monday, so slowly but surely we put our minds to it. Good news is, today is friday, and tonight is the weekend. So here’s a little mix to help transition “back to school”, whilst still enjoying some summer beats.
Inspired by Kate Bush | Babooshka
So while apparently everyone from Paris and New York rushed to London – the lucky ones who got a ticket for Kate Bush’s out of the blue come back – I took some time to go visit my brother and wife in sunny Barcelona, or El Mas Nou, to be precise – a lovely beach village a few miles from the city center.
Since the choices on social media lately were either ice-bucket-craze or Kate Bush it was impossible not to revisit her discography. Babooshka – one of my favorites songs of her (I remember thinking the video clip was so crazy when I was young) is about a wives who want to test their husbands, but end up originating the adultery by seducing them under an alter-ego. We don’t want that to happen – do we? What about trying to keep your partner happy and satisfied? Much better. How do do that? Food. Obviously.
My sister-in-law, Blancaluz, not only is an excellent cook but has kept my brother, and all of the extended family very much satisfied with her argentinian cuisine secrets. Be it with dulce the leche various creations, tortillas, or these delicious beauties we are always craving for more. For the empanadas : the filling can be pretty much anything, but for this version she went veggie with textured soy protein, but you can always fo classical with beef!
Inspired by Woodlock | Lemons
If I had to choose, the Brazilian in me imposes it, I would always choose limes over lemons. Nevertheless there are 3 reasons why lemons won a special place in my heart lately :
- I recently stumbled upon a greatest hits clip from Liz Lemon, a hero. I loved that show so much.
- While checking out some blogs, despite knowing her amazing work at Make My Lemonade, for the first time I read Lisa’s “about” and must say she has an amazing aunt – I’ve always lived by that ethos too… although for me it was much more about “planting seeds” in bad moments of life to “harvest” the results a few months later when we would be in a better place! – different metaphor, same idea : make the most of everything and canalize bad energy into creativity.
- Jeanine & Jack’s beautiful work @ love & lemons – my favorite american food blog.
So after the summer break, hoping to make your “going back to class” a little sweeter, here’s my recipe for a delicious | Lemon Tart |. I got the recipes base at my French cooking class but changed it a bit to reduce crazy amounts of fat! I hope you enjoy! x ft
Inspired by Open Your Box | Yoko Ono
Category is: product design x food styling.
Have flirted with it ( )
Are really into it ( )
Say you hate it but actually want to learn more about it ( ) ?
Tick a box. Then get a designerbox.
Play our | Instagram Contest #02 | and get a chance to win Sebastian Bergne’s exclusive #egg alcohol carafe !
Inspired by Black Moth Super Rainbow | Raspberry Dawn
Making tarts, pies and tartelettes is probably my favorite thing to do in the kitchen. It’s very easy to make, and it totally makes the difference when the crust is home made (vs. buying a ready to use one) and with 2-3 tricks we can have wonderful results! Take a | Raspberry Tart | for instance, it’s frankly not complicated to make, it totally impresses and it’s quite beautiful.
Look at those pretty raspberries smiling at you, this custard still tepid and this sweet pastry crust waiting to be devoured… is it enough to convince you ? Try it out & let me know your thoughts!
Inspired by Paint it Black | Rolling Stones
Coming from a 100% italian family, while growing up I experienced recipes coming from all parts of Italy. One of my favorite is the “alla puttanesca”. The story behind the name is simple : this is the recipe once used by neapolitan prostitutes to attract clients – thanks to the strong odours that these ingredients exhale ! Instead of being disgusted by this little story, I strongly encourage you to try it, why not for your #sundaypasta!
Oh yeah…one detail, I really love squid ink preparations, so here we’ll paint your spaghetti in black, which will enhance the taste of the anchovies, they go very very well together!
Inspired by Chocolate (Oli Slack Remix) | The 1975
When I was a student at Sciences Po Lille I had a muffin-obsessed phase. I had decided that I would master THE muffin recipe and nothing would stop me. And it worked…I behaved as a crazy man baking something like 250 muffins total in two weeks…which made my class mates quite happy…and made me quite fat. Some time ago I thought about sharing it here… and suddenly realized I lost the note book where I had written all my notes !
That was really depressing… all that work for nothing… for years I just avoided making muffins until recently, on a trip to Barcelona I met up with Matias who is one of the few people on this planet that might be as obsessed with food as I am. He had also had his muffin-obsessed phase and had an amazing ‘Disneyland Blueberry Muffins’ recipe. We combined what I could remember of mine, with that, made a few experiments and came up with a delicious recipe that is now also yours !
You’ll see that muffin-making is not a complicated art, but to get the best out of them, there is one trick : do not mix the ingredients too much. Respect that and you’ll be a muffin-god!
Inspired by Saturne (Remix) | Freaky Little Things
Plain quiches (with only the traditional “appareil à crème prise”) are a like Saturn withouth Youan’s remix, boring…! The Freaky Little Things were saved by him (and thanks to him were featured on i-D mag‘s SoundCloud playlist)…me… I was saved by beautiful green aspargus. This is totally the season and we see them everywhere, so go for it!
Inspired by All I Want | Bob Moses
All everyone wants, really… is a good Dark Chocolate Cake, isn’t it? One bite can instantaneously change your mood from wanting to hurt cute little animals to feeling happier than Lucy (my favorite YouTube star baby) who understands exactly how I feel about desserts, and food generally.
I don’t want to tease you like that and just leave you drooling. And I know that it’s not always easy to make time to actually bake a cake during a busy week. Thankfully, I have the time to bake this cake for YOU! All you need to do, is play a little game with me on instagram !
The rules are quite simple: just post your best foodporn picture tagging “@theblindtaste #contest #theblindtaste #freecakeàparis”. The sexiest picture will grant the winner a | Dark Chocolate Almond Cake | delivery on the morning of Saturday 7th of June! What best way to start a weekend?!
My good friend – & muse – Nicolle loved (cake smiles don’t lie!) her share of this delicious gluten free cake – star of this first | Instagram Contest #01 #freecakeàparis | What about you? What are you waiting for?
Click here for the | Dark Chocolate Almond Cake | recipe.
Inspired by Jerk Ribs | Kelis
If you were in Paris yesterday, I do hope you went to see Kelis, as she did an amazing concert @ La Gaîté Lyrique ! These past days I spent a lot of time listening to FOOD on repeat, and for those who haven’t heard it, I really do recommend it. I think it’s going to be big success even though a very different genre from the amazing FLESH TONE.
We already know Kelis is a good singer, but not everyone knows that her talents go beyond singing. Not only can she cook, and has been cooking for a while but her cooking has inspired a lot of her music – remember her album TASTY with the famous hit Milkshake to which we have all danced in not so elegant ways! She even got trained @ the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu school in Paris, so really, she is no amateur.
Like a good meal, FOOD has to be appreciated as a whole, beginning to end and why not on repeat. It’s made up of many possible hits that are quite catchy and fun, like Jerk Ribs. Of course, all this made me hungry, and since I didn’t have any pork ribs I went for some pork sausages that were left in the fridge.
Inspired by this song, I came up with an easy recipe, much less decadent than giant Pork Ribs but as carnivorous!
Inspired by Caramel | Suzanne Vega
My addiction to apple pies began in 1996 when I went to the US for the first time. They aren’t really popular in Brazil so imagine a (fat) kid surrounded by those warm nice sweet pastry pies for the first time… I would have them for breakfast, lunch and diner !
Only… they weren’t really… apple pies. Well… at least not as the French know them and after trying many different types (of pie crust and apple based fillings) I must say the French got it right. Actually, it’s the Normand really got it as today I’m confident saying that my absolute favorite is the traditional Normand apple pie recipe.
And just as the Normand understood the power of this tasty recipe… Suzanne Vega understood the power of Caramel ! Let’s be honest, it’s one of those things – like bacon – that makes anything and everything better. So trust me and mix them. I promise you will not be disappointed!
Luckily for me and my friends, lately I’ve been having to make a lot of these to train for my upcoming CAP exam… and I must admit sometimes I’m like.. “yeah.. it’s ok… but I think I need to try again” just to have an excuse to dip it in caramel sauce one more time and implode with the sugar rush… !
If you do try it, I am sure it will become one of your joker-desert recipes as it truly is an easy and fast recipe. It will serve you well when needed!
Easter is gone. But all that chocolate is still around isn’t it?
Even though you probably went a bit crazy and blamed it on the magic bunny… there is a limit to how much chocolate you can eat it like that… I know some people are real addicts and can just swallow a whole tablet, or easter egg but I personally prefer chocolate when put into some nice desert rather than by itself. If you are lucky, you probably got way much more chocolate than you can eat in a month…which means you can use it all for baking !
I just got back from Barcelona, where I spent easter visiting my brother and working on a lot of new recipes (pizzas, pastas and many fat deserts will be showing up on the blog this upcoming weeks!) and managed to put together a really nice recipe for individual mini chocolate cakes. I took the base from my absolute favorite & signature dessert recipe – | Double Chocolate & Raspberries Fondant | – and twisted it a little bit to make sure we would have mini chocolate cakes available for breakfast, tea and dinner for days… ! The following recipe should get you 10-12 mini cakes, so depending on how many you want to bake… do the math !
Inspired by Rumore | Raffaela Carra
Two years ago, a good friend gave me this amazing cook book as my birthday gift. Polpo (the book) is not only a beautiful edited cook book but precious object itself. And the recipes you’ll find inside are really cool and easy to make! Lately I’ve been working a lot with it… trying some new things, adapting some recipes from it or just getting new ideas to try out.
Among those… I’ve been wanting to try and master some easy and delicious pizza recipes. After a few trials I managed to get a pretty good dough (it’s not easy a the beginning, and if you screw up a few times, just keep trying!) that you can transform into delicious pizza with very few ingredients. So the next time you think about ordering in some crap domino’s … check your cupboard & fridge first… as chances are you already have everything you need to work this beauty up !
I won’t lie, the dough part is a bit annoying, but Raffaella Carra is here to help. When you attack it, just put Rumore on shuffle precisely 3 times, dance to it, and before you know it you will be done!
Inspired by Dark & Stormy | Hot Chip
My favorite recipes are those that you can create with whatever is left in your cupboards and in your fridge. It’s often time at 2 am coming back from a party when I find myself face to face to starving friends that I try to come up with easy simple things as it will always be better than eating shit food and it will not doubt help us sleeping better!
This crumble was born like that… when I was at the beach in Brazil during a holiday gone wild locked under a storm with a few friends… we were bored, we were hungry … we were pretty Dark & Stormy. Honestly… pay 1400€ to go meet the sun and you find yourself under a end-of-the-world rain in small village with nothing to do.. uncool. Et then.. this crumble saved us. We had luck as we had everything we needed – well actually we fucked up our grocery shopping and we only had those ingredients ! So after that… we went back to the supermarket, went crazy and decided to keep on cooking under the rain, having 5 course meals for breakfast, lunch and diner !
Once I got home I never forgot that recipe. We always have flour, sugar, butter and a few apples… all you need it to also have some ground cinnamon and be lucky enough to have bought some strawberries that weren’t sweet enough for you to devour them raw. Even better, they add an acidity note that will be perfect for this recipe.
Well, to be honest, I aways have cinnamon at home. I use it often and a lot. For this crumble you should really follow your taste, but to give you an idea, when I bake it… I probably put what you consider ‘too much’ (I said ‘too much’ not ‘a lot’ hein!) then double it… then I take a look.. then I double it again ! And it’s so delicious…. (once upon a time i had a cinnamon based toothpaste…!).
Inspired by Melt (Zimmer Remix) | Kamp!
It took me some time to master it (the secret : a thermometer!) but after a few experiences a tried something that I particularily liked : making a caramel with pears inside. This is not per say working the consfisage technique but we do play on the osmose process to get melted pears with a delicious caramel taste.
Besides caramel, I am also obsessed but any kind of pie based recipe but I was getting bored of regular pies. So to change a bit, I decided to try a rolled pie. It’s easy and nice. No more excuses next time you are supposed to make a desert !
I find it quite sad when I go to “apéros” and all I can reach for is peanuts, chips and cheap saucisson. Saucisson (if not cheap) I can enjoy…but come on… it doesn’t take that much effort to actually come up with something fun and nice to avoid your friends from “jumping the gun” as we say in Brazil and getting too drunk too early.
On my quest for easy and fun nibbles I came across this venetian bar food recipe for which you will only need 4 pieces of good fresh ingredients and little of your time. Try it out and before you know you will be discoing your way through italian-comfort-food-bliss ! & if you can make Spritz with it… then we are talking…
Inspired by Custom Car Crash | Calla
I’ve been recently re-(re)-watching American Horror Story – Coven and one thing I cannot get tired of is Fifi’s drinking & destroying scenes. Bitch is fierce and she knows it. Although all that power doesn’t seem to get her a proper juicy (and yet pretty strong, yes…) cocktail when needed.
Tonight, a good – even more obsessed friend – decided to throw a Seven Wonders Birthday party… and I felt this was the perfect occasion to mix something up ! Have 10 of those, if you are still up… perhaps you are the next Supreme.
Inspired by La Prima Estate – Erlend Øye
Ok so Paris is actually sunny ! I’m still convinced we will freeze again before truly enjoying sunlight half-naked in the streets. But you cannot avoid it – and why should you? – : last weekend everyone was out in drinking at terrasses, rolling in the grass or even taking day trips to proximity beaches.
Let’s just say we got a glimpse of the Prima Estate ahead of us ! Those magical summer weeks where we feel like there is nothing better than hanging out in the sun with friends…but there is : eating good home made nibbles while hanging out in the sun with friends! And for that reason, I’ve been trying out some italian nibbles that will for sure come in handy when getting ready for the sun !
French friends, I know you love your wine ! And you should. But let’s be honest it doesn’t really get the party started as our brazilian cocktails do. My friends are always amazed of how little effort you need to make proper cocktails. The secret is : always have ice cubes (& to befriend the delivery man at adomicileglaçons.fr), some fresh herbs, some citrus & of course a shaker… the rest is just playing around.
You’ve heard about capirinhas, but perhaps you are new to the concept of sakerinha? The name says it all…it’s not much different from a regular capirinha but saké really changes the game. In São Paulo, due to our huge Japanese community, when it comes to food & drinks it’s is safe to say we are totally turning japanese (by the way, have you seen Kirsten’s little snap out in 2012, not sure what to think of, but it’s cute – not as good as the Vapor’s 80’s – we love some 80’s!) as you can have saké based drinks almost everywhere – read : cool bar in a big city. They are commonly known as the ‘girls drink’ as they are usually a bit lighter and quite delicate to taste. To keep up, just drink +2 on your friends counting and you should be in the same page at the end of the night!
I realize I am not breaking any news for you ! Candelaria has been around for a while now… but given it’s size and the trend around it when it opened it was nearly impossible to just walk in – be it for the tacos or for the cocktails. For that reason… I almost like it even more now since sometimes you can now have a Good Time, you can just push the door and actually get some !
The food is pretty simple, well executed with fresh products. It’s a perfect lunch treat if you are around the Marais and want to eat something tasty in a quick bite for 11,50€!
Just hola your way in, get the lunch special, sit at the bar and chat with the cook if you didn’t get up on the wrong side of the bed or meditate alone at their only table while your tacos burst to life!
If you are lucky they will still have the black bean – frijoles -soup that totally got my Brazilian core craving for home – yes latin americans tend to understand each other when it comes to food !
Before you finish your tacos will be presented to you, so keep calm and savor those frijoles.
If you feel like you recognize this face… you probably had too many drinks @ Le Dauphin in 2011-2012! If you don’t, meet Camille Fourmont, the lovely owner of La Buvette. With it’s 3 little tables and a cozy counter La Buvette truly is one of those magical little places everyone would love to have just by home to able to walk in Each and Everyday!
With an meticulously chosen wine list and produce that will make you order 3 more dishes than you initially thought you would it could very easily become your favorite afterwork spot, your weekend afternoon hangout and without a doubt a brillant option for a proximity wine shop !
Due to permit reasons you cannot drink without eating. I know that some might find that annoying … I personally see it more like a blessing : it actually gives you a legal excuse to devour a wide selection of cheese, sardines, charcuterie, terrines, etc!
So should you go with the signature white beans & cedrat zest …
Inspired by Mountain Crave | Anna von Hausswolff
If you are currently hanging in Paris you must be pleased with the gentle weather, perhaps you didn’t even got out your prettiest winter furs. Well… if I were you I would be cautious cause Mother Nature is beautiful but vengeful.
I personally predict an evil other-side-of-the-Wall months of March/April… and once that comes you know how it goes! All your buddies will go skiing and you stay here working with no high altitude tartiflette to ease your pain craving for a nice mountain escapade, in a little wooden chalet, with a cup of mulled wine and more cheese than you can handle.
So consider this your urban workaholic solution : it’s only a illusion I’ll grant you that, but it’s a very delicious one !
As every super simple recipe, the key to turning this out is not your technique but the products you work with. If you get cheap camembert from any supermarket, that old almost empty bottle of honey and sad bread made by a burned-out boulanger...bah… it should be edible… but it’s not gonna be as delicious as it could and should be ! Have that in mind while grocery shopping !
Go there listening to New Bones (RAC remix) | So Many Dynamos
Blague à part, it takes some balls to totally change your life & start over guided only by the will of doing something in which you truly believe. Being currently in that mood, it was a real pleasure to recently meet Salomé Vidal & Jérémie Kanza who decided to get unplugged from the Matrix, get new bones & follow their dreams… and that is how the story of Balls began!
Thanks to this two young, passionate & bold entrepreneurs it is now safe to say that Hipsterland was blessed by the grace of tasty meatballs (& their delicious sides).
Beef (parsley, onion), chicken (tarragon, lemon), lamb (cilantro, cumin, pine nuts), pork (fennel, paprika) or veggie (eggplant, chickpea) : pick your poison! Also, a special hello to the lentils-feta-zucchini salad.
Inspired by Old Love / New Love – Twin Shadow
In Brazil we drink, eat and live out of passion fruit…it’s everywhere and it’s tasty & juicy ! I’ve always loved it since I was a child… be it as juice, jam or – of course – some sort of crazy sweet (welcome to Brazil!) dessert.
Sadly, this old love was shattered once I got to Paris. Here only a few, like Pierre Hermé (AMEN! to his Mogador…) seem to share this almost daily craving of mine. Fortunately… once in a while you can find good passion fruit in asian shops, at le Monoprix or at La Grande Epicerie. So once you do stumble upon them, don’t think twice and find a way to mix it with chocolate… here’s my personal favorite way to do it ! Try it & embrace your newest love !
Go there listening to 내가 제일 잘 나가 – 2NE1
Fellow parisians, two things that are currently not well spread in Paris : Koreans are rocking pop music big time (you should also be aware that 2NE1 has happened with this- and before going #hater remember yourself dancing to Spice Girls, yeah…) & you do have a pretty cool fast food-ish korean option just around the corner if you are hanging around the 10th and let’s say…start craving for a bibimbap.
@ Jules & Shim (pun intended) besides the pleasure of saying “bibimbap” out loud, for a super fair price (8-20€) you can get a quick and tasty – to stay or to go (or better yet to go to the Canal when the sun is there) – bibimbap that will for sure keep your belly warm and put a smile on your face. Get a Jules or a Shim combo or just a bibimbap (veggie, beef, prawns, daily special) and delight yourself with simple, well prepared delicious food.
Inspired by Royals | Lorde
Want a little bit of general truth? It’s fucking freezing.
Want some more? Everybody likes cream puffs, and they are easy to make!
So yes, it’s simple, whenever you come home pissed off, caught in a wintery depression you can either go down and eat shit or you can take care of yourself and eventually cheer yourself – and perhaps even friends – up. Prove Lorde wrong, offer yourself a royal treatment, and a good sugar rush! It’s nice, it’s warm, it’s filled with your favorite garnish and dipped into caramel…hello?!
It seems complicated, long, and annoying… but it’s all the opposite. It’s an easy recipe actually and it’s quite inexpensive also – and it always impresses!
Go there listening to Dare | Gorillaz
Being the Brazilian carnivore that I am, I went there with high expectations and got out with mixed feelings ! Not far from the Halles / Etienne Marcel, here a magical setting ensures success : coming from the prestigious farms of Tim Wilson (Yorkshire) once arrived the meat is prepared by Yves-Marie Le Bourdonnec and behind the whole thing it’s the guys from Experimental Cocktail Club who are pulling the strings – and also in charge of the Ballroom, “secret” cocktail bar below the restaurant.
I came on purpose hoping to – finally – find a good spot to eat some picanha (delicious Brazilian meat cut) in Paris despite the price (29€). But as soon as I shared my intentions with the waitress she calmed my excitement telling me that all meat cuts were not available.
After a few seconds in choc…”The burger then?” CONTINUE READING
Go there listening to Fine Day | Erlend Øye
While waiting to come to the Carreau du Temple on weekends to enjoy cultural & gym spots that should open circa 2039 – judging by the pace of the construction work – today you can come to brunch/dine @ Nanashi 2 whenever feeling “hip-tired-healthy”.
If you feel that the mood strangely reminds you of Rose Bakery don’t look too far : Chef Kaori Endo, ex-RB rules the house. Prices are less expensive than at RB but the delicious factor decreases as well except for the don de boeuf (well done, thanks!) & the matcha green tea cheesecake (!!!) that are both delicious! You can also try the bentô…although I am always disappointed.
Inspired by Steal My Sunshine | LEN
Me, we stole my sunshine. But It’s not because my Summer break, in an almost snowy Brazil around 5°, sucked that you – happy in the European sun – can’t have an urge to prepare a easy recipe to take to the beach, to a garden, a park or any other place where warmth and resting are the Law.
If you happen to be struggling with such an urge my advice is to try this zucchini bread, you won’t be disappointed!
Inspired by Plage | Crystal Fighters
Today it’s the 21st of june. It’s officially Summer. Only… the time to roll around on sand, attack that pile of books dominating your bedroom and eating not 5 but 20 fruits and vegetables per day hasn’t quite arrived yet.
The beach. Perhaps it’s not for tomorrow but we can get closer to it slowly. Here’s a fast, easy and specially fresh recipe.
Inspired by Lights & Music (Boys Noize remix) | Cut Copy
In NY I learned that every cocktail pour into a Martini glass was – almost – automatically called a “something martini” whereas to be worth the title there should be gin or vodka + dry vermouth involved. More precisely @ Mercer’s Kitchen (b/w Prince & Mercer St) I pushed the learning experience further and got spellbound with their Cucumber Martini. Delicious, surprising (well, yes it’s cucumber based) and fresh!
I became voluntarily obsessed by this cocktail to a point where it became my signature drink at many roof-topped parties where we listened to Cut Copy over and over while repeating one of my favourite franco-french expressions “on est bien là.” sometimes followed by “bah oui hein!”.
Anyways, enough nostalgia, the sun is invading slowly Paris – to your shakers !
Go there listening to Bad Things – Jace Everett
(True Blood Soundtrack)
Rodeio played a big part in my childhood! Up until I was about 12 my family ate there often (perhaps too) often. We went there so regularly that when the waiters saw me arrive they’d prepare our table with a cushion and paper napkins. We usually went there quite late on in the evening and after a delicious bit of meat my little body couldn’t stay awake so I’d often end up falling asleep at the end of the meal!
My opinion is inevitably biased because of these tender childhood memories but if you look in any guide to São Paulo or if you ask and local foodies you’ll see that, objectively it is also one of the very very best places to go for good quality meat. I’m not going to hold back: for me it is frankly the best place to enjoy churrascaria, and believe me, as quite the carnivore I’ve had more than my fair share of meat! The finesse and flavour of their “picanha fatiada” (a famous Brazilian cut, here served in thin strips) is unique. You’ll have gathered, then, that it’s my favourite dish in the world– and that’s by no means me being hyperbolic, I’m really speaking honestly here.
Inspired by Strawberry Fields Forever (cover)| The Beatles
As soon as the sun makes it appearance during winter after a long absence some start getting excited and see spring on the corner. Calm down : we still have to survive through february and march! Nevertheless, I don’t wanna be a party pooper. I just came back from a month in sunny Brasil and all I want to do is skip winter. I’m game to enjoying an illusion of flowers, smooth breezes and countless and Strawberry Fields. After all we all heard at least once an annoying friend say “winter is psychological” right? Well this is the best moment to try such an hypothesis.
Despite it’s name – coming from the annual cricket match between students of the Eton & Winchester Colleges where this desert was served generously – the Eton Mess recipe is fairly easy and inexpensive to make; the only tricky part would be to find good strawberries this time of the year. Any Monoprix or good grocery should be able to save you.
Inspired by Aazma | Luck Soundtrack
After a painful adventure in India during the Summer of 2009 I kept away, until today, from any food having the slightest touch of indian tradition. This being said, we’re starting a new year. 2001 is by the way, the year of happiness I’m telling you ! For that reason, after a shuffling upon the soundtrack of ‘Luck’ (a new gen bollywood which really made me laugh during that trip) I decided to take a leap of faith.
To go slowly, I wanted to try a savoury chicken dish with lot’s of occidental flavour whilst risking “curry” – something that haven’t been in my mouth for more than a year now! The result is this easy, cheap and fast recipe.
Ok, yes we are far away from real Tikka Masala tradition but to me this has been a huge step (loose 10kg in 8 days during your indian trip & we’ll talk about it) !
Inspired by La Redécouverte | Yann Tiersen
Gingerbread Men are for sure delicious but pretty boring. As the holidays approach we find them everywhere we go… I had this idea of rediscovering this holiday classic improvising with daring ingredients : try them out without spices but with passion fruit instead !
Inspired by At Home | Crystal Fighters
Carrot cakes are pretty common in Brasil with one huge difference compared to the anglo-saxon version : ours is better – always served with a thin chocolat sauce on top.
My opinion is naturally biased since it’s linked to childhood memories…but today still each time I go back I can’t wait to have it. Little detail : I developed this recipe based on my grand-mother tips, the whole thing was therefore measured with spoons and cups. Use tea cups are look “medium” to you.
| Ingredients |
_ 5 medium carrots
_ 3 cups of flour
_ 2 cups of sugar
_ 1 cup of vegetal oil (sunflower or grape seed)
_ 3 eggs
_ 1 spoons of baking powder
_ 5 spoons of cocoa powder
_ 5 spoons of sugar
_ ½ cup of whole milk
_ 50g of unstalted butter
_ lime zests
| Method |
This is the easiest cake to make, as long as you have a blender! Start by preheating your oven to 180° (fan please!)
On a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar and the baking powder. Then peel your carrots and cut them in small bites to mix it with the eggs and oils. Poor the liquid mixture into the dry one and mix with a wooden spoon until it becomes homogenous.
Butter the chosen cake pan or use baking paper. Poor in the mixture and into the oven for 40° minutes. Use the knife test (dry blade : ready!) and take it out or let it bake for a few minutes more.
For the sauce all you have to do it heat up the butter, sugar, milk, chocolate and cinnamon together until the mixture becomes thick as a sauce should be. Cover your cake once out of the cake pan and zest some limes on top of it. I prefer serving it cold, but it’s up to you!
♪ I came alone, I’ve come a long way to get here…
Inspired by Te Devoro | Djavan
This secret (not for long) recipe of my grand-mother is, as we say it in Brazil, a true “poor’s desert”. Between us it’s a crazy love story and like Djavan – as kitch as he can be – I devour it when it looks at me. Easy to make and quite cheap, it’s a perfect option for Christmas.
Go there listening to Alice’s Theme (piano)| Danny Elfman
(Alice in Wonderland Soundtrack)
Inspired, it seems, by the work of Lewis Carroll, this place is worth visiting not really for its selection of teas (good, though not life changing) but rather for its desserts which never fail to delight me.
Situated in the heart of the Marais, not far from falafel shops, it’s the ideal spot to relax for a few minutes and treat yourself to something sweet mid-afternoon. During the week you shouldn’t have to wait too long for a table, but at the weekend… if you’re walking around the Marais and you spot an enormous queue on the corner of a road that’s the place.
Inspired by (Tapping) The Source | Cocosuma
Unfortunately the cyclical structure of our little lives means we’re not always on top form. Are we susceptible to highs and lows? Without a doubt. The good news is that if you’re feeling down, here are two things which are sure to help you spring back: Cocosuma (particularly their 2001 album – I refuse to grow up) and these dainty strawberry tartlets.
Inspired by Don’t Fucking Tell Me What To Do | Robyn
We’re all terrified by Sundays. That strange, anxious, inexplicable feeling of…apocalypse? Yes that’s what I’m talking about. Robyn seems to be particularly susceptible to it and it’s understandable.
It can’t be easy to wake up as a Swedish pop star who has promoted her latest album on Gossip Girl, hangs at parisian fashion shows and eventually DJs when needed. Instead of moping about hating life, the best thing to do is to get things under control and that begins with making a good smoothie. Drink it defiantly whilst listening to « Don’t Fucking Tell Me What To Do ».
Go there listening to City | Lo-Fi-FNK
Spot is an indisputably a landmark in the nocturnal life of the heart of the city, yards away from Avenue Paulista, our equivalent of Wall Street. It isn’t exactly the latest up and coming address but it is still a trendy bar/restaurant that has managed to survive over the years as a meeting place for São Paulo’s hipsters, businessmen & fashionistas
Here we are in Brazil! If you haven’t reserved there may be a little wait at the bar but that’s OK as there’s a whole variety of delicious fresh fruit for your enjoyment. Don’t hesitate in trying their capirinhas (cachaça), caipiroskas (vodka) and sakérinhas (sake.) I particularly recommend « caipiroska de lima da persia » (Tahiti Lime), a little fruit from the citrus family that isn’t too acidic and has a very particular smell. Basically it is to the orange what the Yuzu is to the lime.
The menu is unpretentious but the quality is always a priority. My ideal meal is:
_ for starters, their « provencal style mushrooms »(notably shitaki and shimeji which are Japanese mushrooms widely used in Brazilian cooking);
_ for the main, «penne with melon and parma ham » (with a cream, butter and lime sauce);
_ and to finish with something sweet, the « chocolate soufflé » (take note – if they mess up cooking it the first time they’ll give you another one for free!).
One last thing, Brazilians are not shy in accompanying their meal with plenty of cocktails so allow yourself to give in to all that tempting fruit!
In short, Spot is a great place to sit outside with friends when the weather’s nice, surrounded by sky scrapers with a drink in hand and a few starters to nibble on to have dinner inside before an evening out.
The average price for a meal with good wines is quite high (R$ 70-150) in reais. Having said that the atmosphere is great and I really recommend going. Very last bits of information: if you don’t want to wait at the bar (often one hou, with cocktails of course – “lima da persia” caipiroska) you absolutely must reserve in advance and if you can’t be bothered to go out they also have a very speedy delivery service!
Al. Ministro Rocha Azevedo, 72 Bela Vista – São Paulo
+55 (11) 3284-613 / www.restaurantespot.com.br
♫ Boy it’s great to be back home, the city that’s where we belong …
Inspired by Arcade Fire | Sprawl II
After eating it several times, created by the hands of a very good friend of mine, I baked it so many times that this pie became one of my common recipes. It’s super good and super easy to make and most often we already have everything we need somewhere in the back of our fridge.
It can definitely be a joker recipe when you have friends showing up without warning and that you want to make them happy in 35 minutes !
It’s a recipe that works perfectly the nights when eating out is not inspiring you. Charmed by the (mass)indie lyrics of Arcade Fire and the beautiful voice of Régine Chassagne we gather around the warmth and confort of home instead of desperately chasing good restaurants in town!
Go there listening to Happy Up Here – Röyksopp
Created by Katrina Markoff who trained at ‘Le Cordon Bleu’, Vosges Haut-Chocolat offers a great variety of products from truffles to chocolate bars (exotic AND delicious) to candles, pancake mixtures, gift sets, t-shirts (!) etc. Founded in Chicago, the brand has two boutiques in New York, one on Upper East Side and another in Soho. If you happen to be stopping over in the city, or just wandering around Soho, it’s really worth visiting.
Their products really are the result of in depth research in terms of affinity of flavours and excellent quality. The staff are certainly very American, but, for once, throw reticence out the door and try everything they suggest. You will for sure be happy up there.
Most importantly, don’t go home before tasting some of their truffles – amongst my favourites are:
_ balsamico: dark chocolate, balsamic vinegar, hazelnuts
_ sale del mare: dark chocolate, caramel, sea salt
_ red fire: dark chocolate, ceylan cinnamon, thick Mexican chipotle chillies
_ oaxaca: Tanzanian chocolate, pumpkin seeds
And don’t forget some exotic candy bars:
_ mo’s milk chocolate bacon candy bar: milk chocolate, bacon
_ blood orange caramel exotic candy bar: dark chocolate, blood orange, campari
_ amalfi exotic candy bar: white chocolate, lemon zest, pink peppercorns
Bring on a store in Paris!
132 Spring Street (Greene & Wooster) New York, NY 10012
+1 (212) 625-2929 / www.vosgeschocolate.com
♪ You know I really like it…
Inspired by Kids in America | Kim Wilde
Head Chef Doron Wong at Delicatessen in Soho, has created cheeseburger spring rolls – one of those 2008 “modern classics” according to Page Six. Doron Wong initially had them in mind for the children’s menu, but, clearly, they proved irresistible to adults and rapidly became their speciality.
The words ‘cheeseburger spring roll’ can come as a bit of a surprise, but when you think about it: crispy spring rolls… yes, got to love them …cheeseburger ?… yeah, totally ! Why not? Make Doron a happy man and show the world you’re never too old to be Kids in America.
| Ingredients |
_ 250g minced meat
_1 large red onion
_ 2 tomatoes
_ phyllo pastry
_ ground salt & pepper
_ sunflower or rapeseed oil for frying
| Method |
It’s good to make a decision from the offset either to fry or roast your spring rolls. The choice is simple: less calories or more awesomeness. Fried then.
Begin by making a oignon brunoise. Fry them in a frying pan until translucent with a bit of salted butter. Throw in the mince meat and stir until cooked. After peeling and deseeding the tomatoes, cut them into cubes. Add to the meat. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
Now let’s get to the spring roll bit. Something to note: I often make them as a starter but you could equally adapt this recipe to make some great smaller nibbles (a little extra work is involved though!)
It’s not difficult to roll them up; if you’ve already made them you just need to follow these four steps. If not, I advise taking a quick look at this youtube video.
Whatever you do make sure to spread out the phyllo pastry sheets one at a time and to separate them before you roll up the spring rolls. Once you’ve got the method mastered place a slice of cheddar, and some meat filling on the pastry, roll once, fold the sides towards the centre and be careful to roll them up as tight as possible. Dap some water on the edges to seal them and stack them up in a pile until you’ve no filling left.
If you’ve chosen the oven, preheat to 200°C (fan oven) and leave them to cook for around twenty minutes. If you’ve gone for the sinful, more delicious option of frying: heat the oil in a large pan (careful not to burn it) and drop in your rolls leaving them to cook until golden brown. One last thing: place on kitchen roll to absorb the excess oil.
Of course you’ll want some dipping material – ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, chutney… anything you like!
♫ We’re the kids in America…Ooooh !
The Life Aquatic with Steve Zizzou is absolutely amazing. Plunged into a completely out of sync universe, you can really enjoy a story, which, whilst it is moving, doesn’t fail to deliver on humour.
I really enjoyed the film, but above all I loved the soundtrack which mixes together different genres of music. As well as beautiful pieces performed by Sven Libaek’s orchestra, there’s also some Bowie revisited by Seu Jorge in Portuguese, some really simple but moving songs like The Way I Feel Inside by The Zombies and even that genious bit of music composed by Mark Mothersbaugh that I can never get out of my head!
As simplistic as this shortcut can be, after listening to all that, yes I want to talk about fish. This recipe will never be as good as the film, but it’s still worth giving it a go!
| Ingredients |
_ fillets of sea bream
_ 2-3 limes
_ 1 large white oignon
_ vine tomatoes
_ extra virgin olive oil
_ ground salt & pepper
| Method |
Begin by preheating the oven to 180°C.
Then, wash the limes and tomatoes, cutting the limes into quarters and the tomatoes in half. With the onions there are two options: if you’re wearing contacts you can get stuck in and skip the next step, but otherwise if you hate chopping onions and you’d like to avoid this torture then listen up.
Why do we cry when chopping onions? In short, because when we chop them the knife destroys the cells of this poor vegetable and enzymes are expelled into the air, which happen to be made up of a volatile substance, sulphur. Allium sulphate, in fact, which proceeds to attack our corneas. A vicious circle is set into motion: when the sulphate comes into contact with the water in our tears it gets turned into an irritant liquid so that basically the more it stings the more we cry and the more we cry the more it stings. Not cool.
The reason I’m explaining this to you (yep, still on the same subject) is that I never had a problem with onions before chucking in my contacts for glasses! The secret, then, is to chill the onion before chopping (a few minutes in the freezer) or, simply cut the onion whilst running it under a little trickle of water. Not exactly practical if you need to chop the onion fine, but for this recipe you’ll only need long slices.
Let’s continue! Make sure that your sea bream don’t have any bones left in them; or pluck them out with some tweezers. Mix together your ground salt, pepper and cumin and rub the fillets in the mixture until its nicely impregnated.
Next, in a dish big enough to hold all your ingredients, drizzle a little olive oil, spread it out well and start putting it together: first some onions, a pinch of the cumin, salt and pepper, then the fillets, some more onions, the chopped tomatoes and finally the quartered limes. A final pinch of cumin, salt and pepper, a drop of olive oil and it’s ready to be cooked.
Before putting it in the oven, remember to cover with some aluminium foil. Place in the oven at 180°C (fan oven if possible) for ten minutes then take off the aluminium and leave to cook for 5 more minutes. The cooking time is changeable and depends completely on your oven. Check it regularly because I assure you, you won’t want to eat overcooked fish.
Serve on a bed of lightly seasoned rocket – why not balsamic vinegar.
♪ The Life Aquatic…
Inspired by Over and Over | Hot Chip
This recipe is the result of many failed attempts at that traditional “6 pack Summer Project”. You’ll soon understand why.
We’ve all tried many different kinds of gooey fondants – some really are melt in the middle ones, others are just brownies disguised by a fancy name. However I’ve never found one made with fruit. Fed up with the traditional dark chocolate option I then began several experiments and this is the result.
In the words of Hot Chip, this recipe is the kind that once you’ve got the hang of it makes you obsessed so that you end up making it over and over – again!I’d even go as far as to say that, to the annoyance of people who swear by traditional recipes, I am convinced this | Double Chocolat & Raspberries Fondant | recipe is the best of all chocolate ‘fondant’ recipes for several reasons.
Not only it is gluten free but it is a quick and easy recipe to make. It’s possible to have them made and cooked in only 30 minutes. Then you’re free to enjoy them either hot (or if you wait) warm or completely cooled. Personally I think they’re best served straight out the oven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or the next day for an indulgent breakfast.
But above all what I really like about this recipe is the contrast of sweet white chocolate and acidic raspberries which is surprising on the palate. In my opinion, it is the perfect combination of flavours.
Inspired by Brasileirinho | Ramilson Maia Remix
They’re actually just called brigadeiros, but I know how much you love (& we brazilians hate) saying “do brasioou”. Let’s delve into the history of the brigadeiro whilst listening to the drum and bass version of the great classic Brasileirinho remixed by Ramilson Maia.
According to legend several versions exist but everything seems to suggest that these little truffles were created in the 1940s during the presidential campaign of Brigadeiro (brigadier) Eduardo Gomes. Ever since, despite Mr Gomes losing the election, this recipe has spread throughout the country and made itself an integral part of Brazilian culture.
These great little truffles are much more important where I’m from than you might think. The brigadeiro is the king of sweet things in Brazil. When you’re a child a birthday wouldn’t be a birthday without them. Then you grow up and you eat bigger ones at university, in bars, at bakeries, as cakes and different types too (cashew nuts, with different chocolates or pistachio ones etc.) One of my crazy sisters eats them directly from the pan with a spoon and when taken with a very pressing craving for them has even been known to make them in the microwave.
So you must have got it by now – the brigadeiro is a real institution in Brazil. Imagine my surprise when, after making them a few times in France, some of my friends look at me with that blasé French attitude as if I were preparing some little turds rolled in pistachios and pecans! The problem, I’ve come to understand is the sweet concentrated milk – the cultural shock is just too much. French people just aren’t used to it. The last time I bought some and left it in the fridge a friend asked me if i was expecting a baby! Basically it’s sweet, very sweet, but “oh la la” frenchies, it’s so delicious! I swear. As Cristina Cordula would say it really is “magnifaïk .” I’ll now impart you with the secrets of how to make them, hoping to have awakened your curiosity!
| Ingredients |
_ 1 can of sweet condensed milk de lait concentré sucré
_ 25 g of unsalted butter
_ 6 soup spoons of nesquick (or any other powdered sweetened chocolat)
_ vermicelli, pistachios, pecans, cocoa powder, other ideas?
| Method |
This recipe requires you to keep an eye on the pan at all times. It can very easily go from “optimal state” to “burnt”, so be careful!
It’s very simple but it can take a little bit of time. Begin by melting the butter in a pan over a low heat. Add the concentrated milk then the chocolate powder. Stir vigorously so that the mixture doesn’t burn for about 5-10 minutes. You’ll know when it’s ready because the mixture will be completely smooth, thick and, by stirring you’ll be able to see the bottom of the pan.
Pour the mixture onto a heat-proof plate and leave to cool down. You can put it in the fridge to speed things up. Meanwhile, fill little bowls with the ingredients you want to add to the brigadeiros: vermicelli, nuts, pecans, pistachios, sugar balls, toasted almonds, crushed peanuts, anything you fancy.
Once your brigadeiro mixture is cool enough to be able to work it with your hands, take a knob of butter and imagine it is soap. Grease your hands all over. Now, using a small spoon take a little of the mixture and make a ball with it in your palm. Once it’s nice and round roll it in whatever you’ve chosen as your coating.
Inspired by Woo Hoo | 220.127.116.11’s
Everyone’s off on holiday! The ones who stayed in France come back far browner than you are and the one’s that went else abroad won’t stop telling you about how wonderful their travels were like big instawhores. Don’t be jealous; just get ready to invite them over for drinks!
There’s nothing better than these little puff parcels to go with cocktails or a good wine. This recipe is particularly simple but can be really annoying when you scale it up.
When I set about making them I lay out all my ingredients in front of me and then get going with the help of an hypno-energetic tune like Woo Hoo by the 18.104.22.168’s. Put it on a loop if needs be and after two or three repetitions you’ll have a real industrial production line going. Otherwise you can always recruit some slaves amongst your friends, children… people who’ve never done this before always seem to find it really fun!
Inspired by In Your Eyes | Kylie Minogue
In 2009 I spent 8 months living in New York. When I arrived a very good friend of mine introduced me to Extra Virgin, a pretty little restaurant in Greenwich Village. Following the discovery I developed a real obsession with eggs baked in the oven. Not only did I go there a considerable number of times, but I also harassed everyone telling them they were the best baked eggs in the whole world (as my friends will testify) and I forced many of them to try them for themselves.
What’s astonishing is that on their menu the wondrous eggs are described as: “Baked Eggs: eggs, bacon, ciabatta, spinach.” I grant you it doesn’t sound like the sexiest of dishes especially next door to frittattas, steak and eggs, bacon burgers and other unremarkable dishes. However, this was one of the best brunches I ever had in NYC!
The friend in question and I shared a second obsession: Kylie Minogue in general but particularly her song In Your Eyes. For a while the idea of recreating these baked eggs has been running through my mind and when I heard this song again I got round to it. This song will give you all the energy you require to get out of bed, dance a little, prepare a superb homemade brunch in 30 minutes and then be ready to go visit an exhibition, go to the cinema or for a wander in pretty little streets of your choice.
Inspired by Antenna | Bonobo
It’s not yet completely grey or raining all the time yet. It’s still OK to sit at a terrace or, even better, to make the most of your own or your friends’ terraces. Great. Now here’s a dish which is very easy to make, inexpensive and will be perfect for the last evenings of summer. For « Picnic » lovers (please read : beautiful bucolic setting, not banks of the Seine) will also work.
The idea came to me when I stumbled on Antenna by Bonobo. I find it’s somewhere between repetitive / draining lounge (lift music) and pleasant background music (easy listening at home.) Listening to it really made me want to be around friends one last time in that carefree state that is the end of summer before the scarves come out and it’s time to get back into the rhythm of autumn.