My recipes

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Spiced Cranberry Cocktail

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Hello you all!

I know—I haven’t been really active on the blog lately. I got a new job that requires all my time and creativity! I was hired as a social media manager for a pretty cool tech/food company, which means I have to learn a few tricky things: American idioms, a ton of food puns, and techniques for taking attractive pictures for our community! I can’t complain. I really wanted to get a foot in the food industry. Even though I have to admit that the working life in New York is very intense compared to Seattle, I am happy to work hard to share the values I have grown up with—that food is the best pleasure in life, and it is also the best way to stay healthy, creative, curious and social! It is very rewarding to inspire more Americans to cook, to discover ingredients and recipes, and earn confidence in the kitchen. There is so much to do for food education in this country. Deep inside, I am sure things are changing as new generations are more and more concerned about the environment and the quality of the food they put on their plate. You are what you eat, after all! I am pleased to be part of that movement.

To celebrate my new job, I want to share a festive cranberry drink recipe with you. Better yet, it’s right on time for the holidays!

xoxo Clemmo

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Ingredients & recipe:
– 3 parts cranberry juice — for bulk recipes, I recommend you get reduced-sugar juice
– 1 part vodka
– 12 cranberries (or more if you increase the juice-‘n-hooch quantity)
– 4 slices of lemon (again, or more…)
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– A sprinkle of cinnamon
– A rosemary branch for decoration
– For the crystal edge: put the glass on a plate of honey, then on a plate of crystal sugar

Happy sipping, happy holidays!

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Ugly veggies are delish!

Hey there!

Today, I want to pay tribute to a kind of produce we see all over town around Halloween: ugly veggies.
The other day, my mother-in-law brought home a funny looking crookneck squash that she grew in her garden. We wondered if the squash was safe to eat, and I recalled the fable of the ugly duckling. That night, it transformed into a gorgeous velouté!

With the right attention and careful selection, ugly produce can make the most beautiful meals. Here are three reasons why we should pay more consideration to deformed fruits and vegetables.

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#1 Ugly veggies end up on farmers’ tables!

Have you ever wondered if farmers really “ship the good apples out?” In reality, farmers often keep ugly fruits and vegetables for themselves or for their local markets. They transport the pretty apples to grocery stores, since something that looks more attractive usually sells better. But farmers know taste buds are blind! Ugly apples taste the same. Farmers have spent hours nourishing their soil and taking care of every plant like their own babies. They know how to assess the quality of produce by its taste, smell, texture, weight, and pedigree. Produce’s beauty is not skin deep.

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#2 Embracing gnarly veggies is better for your wallet, and for the environment

On one hand, nutritionists encourage eating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, which can put a strain on your food budget. On the other hand, billions of pounds of produce are wasted each year. This happens because food distributors usually don’t buy produce that doesn’t fit the mold. As a result, perfectly tasty produce gets shunned… and ends up wasted! If you want to embrace the ugly produce cause, you can start buying irregularly shaped produce.

A few months ago, an Oakland start-up called “Imperfect” launched an ugly fruits and veggies delivery service. They offer produce at much lower prices than grocery stores. If you are a social media addict and you stumble upon a “cosmetically challenged” zucchini or pomegranate at your farmers’ market, buy it, photoshoot it like a star, and upload your piece of art to Tumblr, at http://uglyveggie.tumblr.com/ or on Twitter, @UglyFruitAndVeg.

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#3 Ugly outside, scrumptious inside!

Some say beauty comes in any shape, size, color and texture. Why should we pay so much attention to appearance when so many recipes require you to to peel that bumpy squash, chop that crooked cucumber or liquefy that bulky mango? Soups, smoothies, sauces, medleys — there are a million recipes that can celebrate the inner beauty of ugly fruits and veggies.

Before / After

Before / After


Here is my favorite ugly squash velouté recipe — For 4 people:

– In a large pot, chop medium pieces of your favorite monster-looking squash, one medium sized lumpy yam, and two gnarled carrots. Cover with water and boil until the veggies are fork-tender.
– Season with a pinch of salt, pepper and curry to taste.
– With a hand mixer, purée the veggies into a smooth velouté as you slowly add one can of coconut milk. Voilà !

Don’t forget to send me your before-and-after pictures in the comments !

Cheers,

Clemmo

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Blackberry-licious pies

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Hello hello, dear foodies!

We are right in the middle of berry season, my favorite of the year. This might be because I grew up in tropical countries, where most berries are tremendously poisonous. Or because in my childhood memories, picking up berries when I was visiting France in the summer was more exciting than any Easter egg hunt. I think I have berry excitement in my blood. I still recall my mom talking about “good old times,” when she would spend hours picking up strawberries in the neighborhood farms — and eating half of the them on-site! (The old maxim rings true: “one for the basket, one for me…”)

Blackberries are mean, though — they spread, they stain, they prick, they snare. Blackberries deserve to be hunted and eaten raw! We found four pounds of these devilish beauties near my mother-in-law’s pea patch, on July 4th, and decided to celebrate with delicious deep purple pastries. These mini-pies are made with an almond sugar crust, layered filled with a lemon and blackberry mousse, and topped with fresh infused blackberries. Enjoy!

xoxo Clemmo

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Ingredients – for 6 mini pies:

For the Crust:
– 1 cup flour
– 1/2 cup almond powder
– 1 stick of warm butter (~110g)
– 1 egg
– 1/3 cup sugar
– 1 pinch of salt

For the filling:
– 1 pouch of gelatin (replace by 2 egg yolks and 1/3 cup of flour, if you want a creamy filling instead of a mousse one)
– 1/3 cup sugar
– 1 cup blackberries
– 1 lemon juice
– 400 millileters milk

For the topping:
– 3 cups blackberries (or, you know, 37…)
– 1 lemon, juiced
– Powdered sugar

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Recipe – 30 min + 1h cooling:

Pie Crust:
– Mix all the ingredients in a bowl until the dough forms a ball. A stand mixer works best. Add a little more flour if it is too sticky, and a little bit more water if it is too dry.
– Flatten the dough with a roller, and press it into buttery mini-pie cupcake molds.  Poke the bottom of each crust with a fork to increase air circulation.
– Bake for 20-30 minutes at 300° F and let them cool on a rack. When you un-mold them, they should have a lovely rustic style!

Filling:
– In a pot, soak the blackberries in sugar and lemon juice, and heat for 5 minutes until the fruits are releasing juice. You can accelerate process by smashing the blackberries with a fork. It should smell gloriously syrupy when cooked.
– Add the milk and let it heat until it is starting to boil on the surface.
– Slowly add the gelatin while mixing until totally dissolved. Filter the mix to separate blackberry seeds from liquid. If you opted for the creamy version, then beat the yolks with the flour in a separate bowl, and slowly incorporate the filtered milk and blackberry mixture. Mix until the scrumptious goop has thickened.
– Let the mousse cool in the fridge for half an hour.

Topping:
– Soak the blackberries with lemon juice and a little bit of sugar.
– When crusts have been baked and cooled down, and filling is gelled / thick, pour the mousse into each shell and top with blackberries.
– Sprinkle some powdered sugar — and voila!

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Clemmo’s Horchata

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Hello, dear followers!

Today is officially the first day of summer, and I want to celebrate by sharing a super refreshing drink recipe with you today. Horchata is a traditional Mexican drink made of rice milk flavored with cinnamon and almond, served very cold. I had my first glass last month for Cinco de Mayo and I loved it! It offers subtle and voluptuous flavors that go particularly well with very spicy food, as milk tends to appease the fire in your mouth. Here is an easy recipe to make horchata from scratch. By-the-book recipes require you to soak the rice overnight and cool down the drink for 4 hours before tasting. Since I am such a glutton, very few recipes that need to wait for so long make it to completion. I twisted the recipe a bit to make it faster, and it was still delicious! If you can find rice milk at your grocery store, then you just have to add the cinnamon, and it is instantaneously ready. I hope you appreciate the both the recipe and my personal interpretation of Frida Kahlo’s costume!

xoxo Clemmo

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Ingredients:
– 1 cup white rice
– 2 cups water
– 3 cups milk
– 3/4 cup sugar
– 1/3 cup almond powder
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 1 teaspoon of grounded cinnamon
– Ice
– A clean filtering cloth

Recipe: 
– Bring the water and the rice to boil in a pot. After 5 minutes, remove from fire and drain the water out.
– In a blender, purée the rice with the milk and the almond power, until you have the most liquid mixture possible (it takes at least 2 minutes).
– Use a clean cloth to filter the milk into a pitcher.
– Add the sugar, the cinnamon and the vanilla, mix in, and let it cool at least 30 minutes in the fridge.
– Serve cold with ice!

clemmo-horchata7A big thank you to Aline for the pictures and the hairstyle :D

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Super Energizing Pineapple Smoothie

 

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Hello dear foodie!

It is already Friday, which means you should be thinking obsessively about your weekend plans. My weekend routine is to take some time to enjoy a good and healthy breakfast, something I rarely do during working days. My dream breakfast always includes a giant, freshly pressed SMOOTHIE!
This time, I was in a tropical mood and I mixed ingredients from my childhood hometown, Cayenne, French Guiana. In the menu: Cayenne pepper delicious pineapple, banana, oranges, coconut water, ginger, lime juice and cinnamon! And since pineapple is known for its energizing properties (it is full of manganese and vitamin C), this explosive cocktail will reinvigorate you from your hard working week!  xoxo Clemmo

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IMG_0916Recipe, for 4 tall glasses:

 In a blender, mix together:

– 3 slices of chopped pineapple
– 1 banana
– 1 orange
– 1/2 cup water or coconut water
– 1/2 lime juice
– 1 tea spoon of grated ginger
– 1 tea spoon of cinnamon

Enjoy!

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