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Aroma – the Italian taste

I just have to tell you about the latest addition to the Muscat Restaurant scene.

Yes, Aroma is the name and it is officially open since the beginning of July. When you go into the restaurant it reminds you of the Colosseum, Rome and Italy.

 

 

The Italian owners Ciro, Anna, Maria and co-owner Naif, all work in the restaurant and with their fabulous Italian chef, Fabio Amodeo, from Rome.  Fabio understands the love of food and he goes about it with so much passion.  I had the privilege to spend an early morning with him. Showing me a few of the sweeter Italian delights they prepare in this well organized open kitchen.  The hustle and bustle of early morning preparation and the smell of yeast hanging in the air was just amazing.

I am sharing just a sneak peak of a few of the decadent menu items that you absolutely have to experience.

Double chocolate cake…

prepared with so much attention to detail…

    

 

Then there is the Symphony!

 

You can also indulge in…

  

 

…a Frappe with a cup of Aroma coffee.  

Believe me, I am a coffee snob and this is one of the best coffees I have ever tasted.

And just as I thought it can’t get any better,  Fabio started making this beautiful coloured plate of fruit with “Crèma”.

 

 

Well,  need I say more?  Go and visit Aroma, the Italian taste at Al Muzn Mall, Street no.72, Mawalih North.

I haven’t even got to the starters, the pastas, the salads, the pizzas or the main courses, yet!

I promise to keep you posted, in the mean time, treat yourself to this Italian experience, it is well worth it.

Salmon, Fennel & Green Apple – a winning combination

Childhood memories came flooding back, as I nibbled on a piece of fennel.  I love the taste of liquorice now, just as much as I did then, when I could not wait to get my hands on a piece of the twisted, black candy. Little did I know then, that I would one day combine this childhood favourite with green apples.  I vividly remember how we use to sneak a little salt out of the kitchen to add to our sour, green apples, to turn it into a sweet delight.

‘With the lingering taste of yesterday, I started creating a recipe which combines the flavours of yesterday with a crisp new touch which I hope you would love just as much as I do’

Salmon on a Fennel and Green Apple Salad
Prep time:  15 min      Cooking time:  15 min     Total time:  30 min     Serves:  3

Ingredients:

  • 1 Fennel bulb
  • 1 Green Apple
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fennel leaves
  • 150 gr full cream Greek yogurt
  • Salt and Pepper to taste.

Cut the Fennel bulb and Green apple into thin slices, combine with the chopped fennel leaves and yogurt.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Now for the Salmon:

  • 3 x 150 gram pieces of Salmon
  • 1 tbs brown butter
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds

Method:

  • Roast the fennel seeds and then grind it a little bit with a mortar and pestle.
  • Brown the butter and add the grinded fennel seeds to the butter. The butter will be infused with the fennel taste.
  • Place the Salmon pieces, skin side at the bottom, in the butter. Fry until the skin is crispy, this will only take a few minutes.
  • Put your pan with the salmon into a 180 degree oven and grill for a further 6 minutes. Do not overcook your Salmon.
  • Plate your salad and add your salmon on top, crispy skin side up.
  • Garnish with micro chives.

Bon appétit!

Char-grilled Corn with Brown Butter and Parmesan

Don’t you just love buying your fresh produce directly from a fresh food market?  I really enjoy going to our local market early in the mornings.  The sights and smells of the fresh produce and being in the midst of the hustle and bustle of everyday life at the market, is a rewarding experience in itself.

The Al Mawaleh Fresh Food Market is open daily from 5 am to 5 pm, except on Fridays when they close between 12 and  1pm.  Why don’t you go and see for yourself, you might be pleasantly surprised and strike a few bargains too!

 

Last Monday, I found some lovely fresh local corn on the cob, perfect for a new recipe I want to try:  Char-grilled Corn with Brown Butter.

Brown Butter you ask?  The French calls this beurre noisette (burnt butter).  It is a way of cooking butter long enough to turn the milk solids brown while at the same time any water present in the butter evaporates.  Often described as tasting nutty, it has a deeper, richer, more intense flavor than melted or clarified butter.  Brown butter is traditionally served with fish, but it makes a delicious topping for any kind of grilled vegetables or other savory and even sweet dishes (for sweet dishes use unsalted butter).

Making Burnt Butter

  1. Cut the unsalted or salted butter (for savoury dishes) into small, evenly-sized pieces and place it in a frying pan. I recommend to use a light-coloured pan in order to see how the butter changes colour as it cooks.
  2. The temperature can vary from high to medium; either way, the butter will go from melted to brown in a few minutes. High heat will brown the butter very quickly, but do keep a close eye on it, the milk solids could sink to the bottom of the pan and burn before you know it. Until you are familiar with the process, I recommend to use moderate heat to slow things down so you can keep an eye on the process.
  3. Stir the pan constantly, until the butter becomes a light brownish color as the milk solids toast in the hot fat. Remove the pan from the heat because the butter will continue to cook with just the heat from the pan. Notice the change in color — it should be nut-brown and have a toasty nutty aroma. Pour the brown butter into a separate bowl to stop it from cooking any further.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Lightly browned butter goes well with vegetables.
  • Medium browned butter is the best for pasta and fish dishes, in baked goods and frosting.
  • Dark (but not blackened) butter is used in some traditional french dishes; it’s called black butter, or beurre noir.
  • When brown butter is made into a savory sauce, you can add herbs and/or garlic to further enhance the flavor.

Recipe:

Char-grilled Corn with Brown Butter and Parmesan

Corn on the cob with brown butter (beurre noisette) makes the perfect accompaniment to fish, chicken and meat dishes, or serve it as vegetarian main with a large salad.  Slightly charring the corn adds a lovely smoky flavor.

Prep time:  15 min      Cook time:  15 min     Total time:  30 min     Serves:  4

Ingredients:

  1. 4 Yellow corn
  2. 4 Tablespoons of brown butter
  3. Salt and pepper for seasoning
  4. 200 gr Grated Parmesan cheese.

 Instructions:

  1. Preheat a char-grill pan over high heat. Cook the corncobs for 8 minutes, turning, or until charred and just cooked.
  2. Once the corn is cooked, drizzle with brown butter and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Season to taste.  Serve warm.