pear vinegar

an aromatic pear vinegar recipe

I’ve been patiently waiting to publish this post.

Some things, good things, take time to reach their optimum level of perfection.

This would be one such thing.

Vinegars take time to age & mature. You can’t just dump ingredients into water & expect it to become miraculous over night. The microbes & magic need their time to work, & they really do take their slow, sweet, leisurely time!

I can tell you how this all came about though. Mel & I have been hired over at a boutique hotel on our island (Syros) to be the amazing in house chefs. I’ve got the morning shift, serving up breakfast, brunch & pastries… & Mel is on dinner & cocktail duty. Seriously, we’re the magnificent cooking duo & we got hired as a team!

Can you tell I’m stoked?

Any way, in the process of designing the menu (all food items were done by a michelin-star chef, all cocktails & desserts will be by Mel & I) the chef designing the menu asked me to whip up a pear vinegar to be incorporated into the menu….

So here it is. The fruits of my labor (so to speak).

an aromatic pear vinegar recipe

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cabbage & caramelized hazelnut salad

Let me share with you all a problem I have been facing the last few years. I have developed an amazing craving for nuts & seeds that is bordering on an obsession. I put nuts in my salads, my rice, I eat them with honey & I put them in pastry bases. My favorite way  lately is using funky nut butters like almond or cashew as spreads on anything I can find… the other day I was dipping walnuts in cashew butter! However healthy they may be, they are still on the top of the list for the most fattening foods you can eat.

100gr of almonds = 600 calories
100gr of sugar = 400 calories
100gr of ice cream = 200 calories.

This explains why I can’t lose any weight when all I eat are “salads”. That being said though, I’m not gaining any either…. and if we’re taking into consideration the type of calories begin consumed, nuts are amongst the healthiest forms of calories you can get. See, it’s all about which is better for you.

This recipe today is an amazing combination of flavors & very healthy in the modified way I present it here…. instead of eating the whole thing myself & just sprinkling some cabbage on top of a bowl full of nuts

– mel

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white chocolate & pear tart, round # 2 – verging on a cheese cake

Much to mel’s distress, I’m posting up yet another recipe that isn’t perfect. Does any one remember the white chocolate & pear tart recipe I posted a few months ago? If not then here is a quick recap.

white chocolate & pear tart

I had a craving for white chocolate & pears, followed a recipe that looked pretty good & in the end I wasn’t satisfied with the results.

(I made the little mini version to keep mel occupied whilst we waited for the big one to cook & cool)

So I’ve been working on it. About once a month I revisit this recipe, each time feeling like I’m closer to reaching what I set out to achieve, & each time coming up with some crucial failure.

Last month when I remade it I tried to make it more like a cheese cake in texture, but not really all that cheesy. For that one I used mascarpone & ricotta. That of course ended up having a somewhat cakey quality to it that I wasn’t particularly happy with at all.

Losing sight slightly of what I wanted, I went back to the drawing board this month and decided to make it more like a cheese cake. So, I took out the ricotta since it gave a grainy texture & put in philadelphia instead.

Now of course it’s more cheesy, but I still just want it smooth & creamy so I think I’m going to have to try it again. Also, the crust needs work. The recipe I have called for bread flour & baking powder, but that gave it a weird texture. The taste was delicious, but the feeling wasn’t right.

So, I’m going to share with you what I’ve got so far…. it’s good, but it’s not amazing. I’m sharing because as I learn & grow, I think sharing my mistakes & success will help others fine solutions that work. Catch my drift?

Don’t get me wrong, the recipe is still delicious….. it’s just doesn’t have the ‘wow’ factor yet. When it’s done, I want people to try it & be hooked!

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white chocolate & pear tart, round #1 – for the custard lovers

You recognize the picture don’t you. I know you’re sitting there staring at it wondering why I’m posting up the recipe now when the picture in the heading has been up for ages. Ok, maybe ages is an exaggeration. Here’s the awful truth. I made this recipe a while back. I’ve just been keeping it locked away because it isn’t what I imagined. I’ve been keeping it hidden from sight until I came up with something better. It’s not that it’s bad, it’s just not what I was after when I sought out to make it. It didn’t hit that crucial ‘spot’.

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