Swiss chard and ricotta whole wheat gnocchi with sage and brown butter sauce

_MG_4639Ingredients:
for the gnocchi
a handful of Swiss chard, stems and ribs trimmed
1 1-pound russet potato
1/2 cup ricotta cheese (whole milk)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, fresh ground
1 egg, beaten
1 cup +2 tablespoon flour, more for dusting to roll
for the sauce
4 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon chili flakes
zest of 1 lemon
parmesan cheese
fresh lemon juice

Directions:
Boil the potato in salted water and while it’s still warm, carefully peel the skin. Using either a food mill or fork, mash the boiled potato in a bowl. Do not over mash but make sure there are no lumps. Using a blender or food processor, grind Swiss chard with egg yolk. Pour the mixture over mashed potatoes and give it a rough mix.
Mix chard into potato mixture. Stir in egg. Gradually mix in enough flour to form soft, slightly sticky dough. Separate into 4 sections and roll each into about 1/2 inch thick logs, using a floured surface.
With a sharp knife, cut bite sized gnocchis. Place on a cooking sheet, coated in a little flour to avoid sticking.

Once you are done creating the gnocchi, start with boiling the gnocchi and the sauce.
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook the gnocchi (in batches, if required). It will take about 3 to 4 minutes for it to become fluffy and float on top.
In the mean time, keep a pan ready with 1-tablespoon butter at medium heat. This will be used fry the gnocchi after boiling. Drop the boiled gnocchi and sauté it for about couple of minutes.
In a cast iron skillet, add 3 tablespoons of butter. It will sizzle and melt slowly. Add chili flakes and lemon zest. In couple of minutes, the butter will turn brown in color. Keep an eye as it can turn from brown to black in a matter of seconds. Finally, drop fried gnocchi to the pan and mix it to coat the sauce properly.
Drizzle some fresh lemon juice, add parmesan cheese and serve immediately.

You can make the gnocchi in advance and freeze it in a zip lock until ready to be used.

Recipe adapted from playfulcooking.com and everythingkitchensink.com

5 CHARMING AND UNUSUAL BOOKSTORES AROUND THE WORLD

KAREN LUNA

With an endless collection of books online and bookstores closing left and right, bookstores are becoming something rare and lonely. The experience of going to a specific place to buy a book is being erased by the commodity of buying a book with just a click of a button. Fortunately there are bookstores that aren’t just stores or gathering spots but beautiful, fascinating destinations in their own right. What makes them stand out among ordinary bookstores is the fact that many carry not only beautiful architectures but also great atmospheres offering an amazing visiting and shopping experience.

Here are a few of my favorites bookstores around the world that are worth a trip out of your travel itinerary.

• El Ateneo Grand Splendid | Buenos Aires, Argentina

First a theatre, then a cinema and now one of the most beautiful libraries I have ever seen. Hidden on busy Av Santa…

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Vegetarian chile with soy crumbles

_MG_56892 tablespoons canola oil
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions
1 package Lightlife Smart Ground Original
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 cup chopped red bell peppers
1 large carrot, diced
1 cup diced celery
2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespooon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 14 oz can tomato sauce
1 14 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 14 oz can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup vegetable stock
1 medium zucchini, stem ends trimmed and cut into small dice
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Sour cream or Greek plain yogurt, to garnish

In a large, heavy pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the soy crumbles and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes. Add the pepper, carrot, celery and corn, and cook for 1-2 minutes, until sizzling. Add the chili powder, cumin, turmeric, salt and cayenne, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and stir well. Add the beans, tomato sauce, and vegetable stock, stir well, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes. Add zucchini and cook an additional 10 minutes.
Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro. Adjust the seasoning, to taste.
Serve with yogurt and fresh cilantro.

Recipe adapted from foodnetwork.com

Cheese and herb star bread

Cheese and herb star breadFor the dough
3/4 cup + 3 tablespoons lukewarm whole milk
2 cups all-purpose flour (240 grams)
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened (56 gr)
2 teaspoons instant yeast (or 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast)
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup potato flour

For the filling
2 tablespoons dried rosemary
1 tablespoon dried thyme
2-3 large garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1/2 cup butter, softened (113 gr)
1/2 cup grated Pecorino or Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 egg, beaten

Add all of the dough ingredients to a large bowl or a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix to incorporate and then knead until you have a soft, smooth dough. Lightly grease a large bowl and place the dough in it. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp tea towel and let rise in a warm place for about an hour, or until the dough is almost doubled in size. Alternatively, add all dough ingredients in the pan of your breadmachine and process on dough setting.
When the dough is ready, divide it into four equal pieces. Roll each piece of dough out into a 10″ round. Place the first circle of dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.
In a medium bowl, mix the dried herbs, salt, and garlic with the softened butter to form a well-mixed paste. Spread 1/3 of the herbed butter in a thin layer over the egg, sprinkle with 1/3 of cheese. Place the second circle of dough on top of the filling. Repeat with the butter and cheese, top with the next circle of dough, repeat with the filling, then top with the final circle of dough. Trim the edges of the circles if they aren’t even.
Place a 2″ wide drinking glass, biscuit cutter, or other circular object in the center of the top circle of dough. Using a very sharp knife, cut through the dough from the outer edge to the edge of the circular object in the center. Cut sixteen equal slices. Take two slices of dough and twist them away from each other twice. Repeat around the entire circle. Take each pair of twisted slices and press the ends together firmly to seal the dough.
Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let the dough rise for 15 minutes, while you preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 Celsius). Brush the top of the loaf with beaten egg and bake it for 15 minutes, or until lightly golden brown.
Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before serving.

Recipe adapted from food52.com

Matcha green tea chia pudding

Matcha green tea coconut chia pudding3 tablespoons chia seeds
1 teaspoon matcha green tea powder
1 tablespoon agave nectar
pinch of salt
1½ cups vanilla almond milk
2 tablespoons dessicated unsweetened coconut

Add all ingredients in a container with a resealable lid, mix with a small whisk – or close lid and shake vigorously until combined. Place in fridge for at least four hours or overnight.

Recipe adapted from fearlessdining.com

Dried mushroom risotto with goat cheese

dried mushroom risotto with goat cheese1 cup dried porcini or other dried mushrooms (about 1 ounce)
2 cups hot water
3 1/2 cups canned low-sodium vegetable broth or homemade stock, more if needed
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups arborio rice
1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
2 ounces mild goat cheese, such as Montrachet, crumbled
Grated Parmesan, for serving

Put the dried mushrooms in a medium bowl and pour the hot water over them. Soak until softened, about 20 minutes. Remove the mushrooms, reserving the soaking liquid, and chop them. Strain the liquid through a paper-towel-lined sieve into a medium saucepan. Add the broth to the pan and bring to a simmer.
In a medium pot, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, chopped mushrooms and the rice, and stir until the rice begins to turn opaque, about 2 minutes.
Add about 1/2 cup of the simmering broth to the rice and cook, stirring frequently, until the broth has been completely absorbed. The rice and broth should bubble gently; adjust the heat as needed. Continue cooking the rice, adding broth 1/2 cup at a time and allowing the rice to absorb it before adding the next 1/2 cup. Cook the rice in this way until tender, 25 to 30 minutes in all. The broth that hasn’t been absorbed should be thickened by the starch from the rice. You may not need to use all of the liquid, or you may need more broth or some water.
Stir in the butter, pepper, and goat cheese. Serve the risotto with grated Parmesan.

Recipe adapted from foodandwine.com