Jul 21, 2011


What is more appropriate then biting through a crostini (aaah.. those Italians strike again!) and sipping on a glass of wine under the sun? At this time of the year, I find crostinis to be perfect to nibble on and absolutely love that with just a few slices of bread, the range of flavours you can mix and match are quite endless.. from savoury to sweet. I know I have some personal favourites: anything with roasted eggplants usually is right up my alley. I'm also very much of a cheese based crostini person- especially if you top it off with loads of arugula. But what I'm really loving right now is fennel. It's an ingredient I usually associate with fish dishes, but in the summer I fall in love with it's crunchy texture and how it smells so refreshing with that distinctive anise-liquorice scent.

That's why here I've used it in combination with goat cheese, roasted tomatoes and lots of dill & olive oil.

I like to roast my tomatoes until they're slightly burnt on the edges. It gives them that je-ne-sais-quoi...

These ''little bites'' were a pleasure to enjoy. And most certainly simple to make. Here's how:

Recipe for Goat Cheese, Fennel & Roasted Tomato Crostini, ready in a snap!:

Your favourite choice of bread- sliced. French baguette, ciabatta, sourdough bread... pretty much anything goes!
Goat cheese (soft)
Tomatoes, cut into quarters & roasted
Fennel, chopped
Extra Virgin Olive oil
Salt & Pepper

Grill your slices of bread and drizzle with good quality extra virgin olive oil. In the meantime, heat some olive oil in a pan and saute the chopped fennel for 2-3 minutes. Then add the roasted tomatoes, add lots of dill, season with salt & pepper and mix everything gently. Add slices of goat cheese on the grilled bread slices, spread lightly, drizzle some olive oil and grill in the oven for two minutes. Finally, top off with a generous chunk of the fennel-tomato mixture. Bite in, enjoy!

Jul 17, 2011


It's hot, very hot right now. Summer has kicked in full mode and although I absolutely love cooking and spending time in the kitchen, in this sizzling heat the only thing I want cooking is food and not myself! So something quick, easy and most importantly- something that bursts with flavours- is just what I'm looking for. And I happen to be in the mood for a dish that involves some type of seafood and that can all be prepared in one large pan... in less then fifteen minutes. Am I asking for too much? Does that sound too good to be true? I guess not... and the proof are these prawns and calamari rings in a luscious orange-whiskey sauce. I stumbled accross this recipe in a cookbook by one of my favourite chefs Gordon Ramsay, and then improvised at home. Top them off with lots of herby cilantro goodness, enjoy with a glass of white wine and you're set! By the way, talking about wines, I must say that year after year I am consistently impressed with the quality of white wines from New Zealand.  The Marlborough Sauvignon Blancs in particular. If you're usually sipping on a Chardonnay from France or a Pinot Grigio from Italy, try something different next time (hint hint: from New Zealand)- you'll be pleasantly surprised!
These lovely prawns will turn pink once cooked!

Freshly squeezed oranges will add that lovely citrusy fruity flavour to the dish (I even like to include a bit of the pulp)
You can make this with just prawns...or just calamari...but it's always nice to have a bit of both!
Just before serving, I like to add sprinkle even more chopped cilantro- in addition to what was used while cooking this dish!

Recipe for Orange-Whiskey Prawns & Calamari (makes 2-3 servings):

300 gr / 10 oz prawns
300 gr / 10 oz calamari rings
1 large orange, juice of
A generous dash of whiskey
Handful of cilantro, fresh & chopped
Garlic, chopped
Olive oil
Salt & Pepper

In a large pan, add the olive oil and garlic and place on a stove on medium/high heat. If you're a garlic lover like me, then go crazy and include lots of it! Add the prawns and calamari, cook for 2-3 minutes on each side. Then add the orange juice, reduce heat to medium and cook for another 2 minutes. Now it's time for the whiskey- when adding this, remove the pan from the heat just to be on the safe side (you don't want big flames all of a sudden!) I like the whiskey flavour to really come through- but it's best to taste and add more as you go to adjust to your personal preference. Continue to cook for just a few more minutes until the sauce has reduced and finish off with the chopped cilantro, salt & pepper. Enjoy quickly while it's still hot!

Jul 6, 2011


Wow it has been almost a year since I haven't posted anything on here! What a long silence...but let me explain because a LOT has happened in between. First of all, I've made a big move...to the other side of the pond- or should I say- the Atlantic ocean! Yes, I've left Paris and am now living in the U.S on the East Coast, minutes from amazing New York City. With that said, let me wish my fellow Americans a belated happy Fourth of July!

The fireworks last night were magical to watch, and I'm lucky enough to live seconds away from the Hudson river, so had the night to enjoy bursts of colourful and animated sparks in full glory. Having now been here for almost a full year, I get the impression that there's almost always a reason to celebrate something in this city with fireworks or a parade. It's entertaining indeed!
So yes, this big move pretty much explains my silence... settling in, getting all the paperwork done, adjusting to a new culture, fast paced lifestyle, eating my way through NYC and discovering everything else this amazing city has to offer, and in between travelling to new places (Mexico City, Sao Paulo) and more familiar places (Paris, Nice & Montreal)...but most importantly, trying to adjust to a new oven, stove, measuring things in cups and setting my oven to fahrenheit temperatures was alone a daunting adventure...so you get the picture, I've been busy!
Oh, and how can I forget! I've also had some of my recipes published in a lovely cook book, alongside other talented bloggers, appropriately entitled "Foodies of the World", you can click here to check it out! Hurrah for me, yay!
So it was just a matter of time (a long time I admit) to get back on Swirl & Scramble...and looks like the time has come.
To mark this return, what better then a delicious recipe that is not only easy peasy to make, but adds a sweet note to these wonderful summer days... mini-angel cakes drizzled with a lemon-honey syrup (feel free to add champagne if you're feeling naughty), topped off with a rich mascarpone based frosting and slices of ripe apricots and crushed pistachios... how does that sound?

Here's my advice: use your favourite, trusted, tried and proven angel cake recipe. Make it big, make them bite size small. Cut some lemons in half, squeeze them with your hands in a deep pan, add lots of honey and boil until transformed into a luscious rich syrup. Poke your angel cakes with a fork, drizzle with the lemon & honey syrup...and drizzle some more!
Mix some mascarpone, cream cheese, sugar and honey in a bowl. Don't feel guilty if you're not being precise, it's okay to eyeball measurements sometimes! Test the sweetness and consistency along the way...sometimes it's nice to be spontaneous. For a posh twist, sprinkle some edible gold dust for a glistening frosting.
Top off the angel cakes with a generous layer of the mascarpone frosting, add juicy wedges of ripe apricots and finish off with crushed pistachios...

And for the final step... bite in for goodness sake! Indulge, sit under the sun, and eat every bite of this fluffy creamy fruity treat. Enjoy, and don't feel the least bit guilty!

Happy to be back...and I promise to share more kitchen adventures soon!