Archive | August, 2011

What’s Cooking @ Casa d’ Amado

27 Aug


My wife and I were invited to have lunch with an Indian family.  We tried to think of what we could bring.  The family is vegetarian and does not drink alcohol…making us wonder how they manage here in the Czech Republic where meat and alcohol are the standard staples.  We settled on cookies American Style.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies!


  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)
  • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Cream together butter and sugars until pale and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Stir in peanut butter. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. Add to peanut butter mixture and blend in. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet and crisscross mark them with a floured fork. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes, until cookies just start to colour around the edges.
2. Yield: 2 dozen cookies

(Serves 24)





On the Lunch Table @ Casa d’ Amado: Wild Mushrooms (Porcini & Chanterelles) in White Wine

13 Aug


With the wet weather we’ve been having lately, a lazy stroll through the forest can result in some gastronomic finds. For today’s lunch… Wild Mushrooms in White Wine.

  • Porcini, sliced
  • Chanterelles
  • Olives, chopped
  • Scallions (or shallots)
  • Garlic, minced
  • Tomatoes, chopped
  • Green Pepper, chopped
  • White Grapes, sliced
  • White Wine, dry or demi
  • Stock (chicken or vegetable
  • Olive Oil (or butter for sautéing)
  • Herbes de Provence
  • Fresh Bay Leaf
  • Salt & pepper to taste


Sautée the mushrooms with the garlic, herbs de Provence, bay leaf, and scallions.


Add the olives, peppers, tomatoes, and deglaze with white wine.


Add the stock, grapes, and reduce.


I served it over some left-over rice pilaf which accompanied the Mujadara I made for dinner last night. This would also be fantastic served over linguini.

On the Dinner Table @ Casa d’ Amado: Mujadara

12 Aug



Here’s a recipe for one of my favorite Lebanese dishes Mujadara taken from  I made lots of adjustments to according to what was available in our pantry.  I didn’t make the salad, made rice pilaf instead of brown rice, and simply served the lentils on top of the pilaf instead of mixing it into the rice.  I substituted olive oil with butter, and my spice blend consisted of:

  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground alspice
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 star anise



  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 medium onions chopped
  • 1Tbls ground cumin
  • 1 inch piece of cinnamon stick
  • ½ teaspoon ground all spice
  • 2 cups of vegetable broth or water.
  • 1 cup of lentils de puy
  • 1 cup of brown rice
  • 2 Large onions sliced
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • chopped fresh mint
  • ground sumac
  • ¼ cup of greek yogurt
  • 1-2 tablespoon of thai chili paste


1. To make the hot sauce
2. Combine yogurt and chili paste, set aside
3. To make the lentils and rice
4. Cover the lentils with water and cook until tender.
5. In another pot sauté the chopped medium onion in 1 Tbls of olive oil until translucent then add the rice, cumin, cinnamon stick, all spice, tsp of and stock. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer until the rice is cooked through. Once the rice is finished mix the lentils in and keep warm
6. To make the crispy onion garnish.
7. Slice the 2 Large onions heat the remaining 3 tbls of olive oil in a sauté pan large enough to accommodate all the sliced onions adding a little salt as they saute. When the onions go in they should sizzle. Saute the onions on high heat stirring frequently until they turn brown then reduce the heat slightly and continue to cook until they have small dark spots and are crispy
8. To make the salad garnish
9. Combine lemon juice, cucumber, mint and ground sumac in a bowl
10. To serve- Spoon some mujudara on the plate then top with the crispy onions. Serve the salad and yogurt hot sauce on the side.

(Serves 4 to 6)

Download recipe.

Rice Pilaf

12 Aug

Here’s an easy Rice Pilaf grabbed from the the Television Food Network


  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups basmati-style long grain rice
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary


1. Melt the butter with the shallot in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Season with the salt and pepper and cook until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and stir until coated with the butter. Increase the heat to medium-high. Let the rice cook until toasted, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes more.
2. Stir in the broth, bay leaf, and rosemary. Bring to a simmer over low heat, cover, and cook until all the broth has been absorbed by the rice and the rice is tender, about 15 to 18 minutes. Remove from the heat and let set for 5 minutes. Discard the rosemary and bay leaf. Fluff the rice with a fork and serve


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