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25 Jan 2010 - 16:25
15 Jan 2010 - 18:53

Archive for January 2010

cihangir eggs

poached eggs with yogurt, garlic, chili and mint

Monday, 25 Jan 2010 | recipe inside

There's a cute place in the Cihangir neighborhood of Istanbul that's become our go-to breakfast and post-workout hangout: Cuppa.  They have juices so packed with energy they can lift a spirit from the grave -- perfect after a long and boring training run on the treadmill.  One of my favorites is pear + ginger, with so much ginger your throat roars with a small fire, but you know you're protected from whatever immunity-destructing junk the season has on offer.

We've become very lazy when it comes to traversing the city for brunch, so it's been perfect that this bright and happy place is just a couple blocks away.  These eggs were inspired by a particularly delicious brunch we enjoyed one day, and have in the weeks since become our treasured default for Saturday brunch at home.  Poached eggs topped with strained yogurt, with some garlic and chili for the kick.  I know it sounds a little bizarre -- the hot egg, the cold yogurt -- but it blends into a dreamy bite that's fresh and filling at once. All this white on the dish with jolts of color here and there seems perfectly fitting of Istanbul right now-- it's been snowing non-stop for three days and the city is blanketed in thick white powder. For sure our favorite breakfast these days!

roasted plantains

haiti relief run

Friday, 15 Jan 2010 | recipe inside


Haiti needs us, and El Burrito and I are trying to help.

Two pleas for donations in two months is a bit much, with only a risotto in between, but the situation in Haiti is dire and we all have to do what we can.  El Burrito and I have pledged to run the Barcelona Half Marathon on February 14 and we're fundraising to raise 10,000€ to buy medical equipment from Balton, a quality medical equipment producer, for use by Partners in Health.  If you have a few bucks to spare, please consider supporting our Haiti Relief Run.   

Balton has agreed to give us what amounts to a 50% discount on medical equipment for Haiti, which means your 1€ donated is worth 2€ on the market.  The equipment will be chosen by and delivered to Partners in Health, a charity that has been providing medical assistance in Haiti since 1987. EDIT: Due to difficulties with PayPal, and a preference for cash from PIH, we've decided to forward all funds directly to PIH for their immediate use. Ultimate beneficiary: the Haitian people.

What you can do:

1. Help spread the word about the Haiti Relief Run by forwarding this post to your friends.

2. Please donate! (If you can make a corporate donation, we would be more than happy to advertise your logo on our blog, through our facebook and twitter campaigns, and on our shirts during the Barcelona 1/2 Marathon)

EDIT:  We have refunded all donations received via PayPal as our fundraiser is effectively dead. We are still running the Barcelona Half-Marathon and are still keenly interested to assist in the disaster relief effort. However, in light of the set-backs encountered with PayPal and Partners in Health, we thought it best to allow you to individually make the decision about how best your funds could be used.  We offer you our sincere apologies for this mess. It has been something truly unexpected and eye-opening, and only reaffirms a long-known truth that the best manner to help those less fortunate than us is not so easy to decipher.

For the gory details on the next month of training and fundraising, check out El Burrito's running blog:ultrabalkanmarathonman.   

But you've come to Casa Hungry Burro for a tasty bite, and here it is.  Oven-roasted plantains.  It pains me to write that for reasons trivial and not.  As I bemoaned early this week, I don't have an oven right now and I really really wish I did.  So, yes, these tasty plantains were devoured a few months back. And yes, I deprived you of this delicacy for at least half a year.  I thought this would be a good recipe to post today as I asked for your help with the Haiti Relief Run as plantains are commonly eaten throughout the Caribbean, and this is just one of many staples that our Haitian friends are doing without.

About a year ago I decided to try roasting plaintains in the oven, rather than pan-frying in the traditional method, and it changed my life.  They come out just as delicious, tender and sweet, but using about 1/100 of the oil.   Browned plantain slices are definitely in my top 5 comfort foods of all time.  When I was young and finicky, one of my favorite dinners was a plate of white rice, a sunny-side-up egg, and some plaintains.  If I had an oven...ahem... you would still find me munching this on nights when I just want a big hug for dinner.

buckwheat risotto with radicchio di treviso

Thursday, 14 Jan 2010 | recipe inside

Happy new decade burritos!  I hope these first couple weeks of 2010 have brought many tasty meals to your tables.  It's wintertime, and I don't have an oven.  I had never really given much thought to this, but spending the winter in Istanbul in an oven-free apartment has really driven home how much my memories of winter's home-cooked meals have been baked in an oven.

But we must persevere! So, here's a dish that is creamy and luscious and very comforting, and for all you New Yorkers, can be done without having to find new storage for your shoes, or books, or whatever trinkets you banish from vision in the depths of your oven.

It's a risotto made with buckwheat groats and radicchio di Treviso.  buckwheat? radicchio? Though it might sound out of your comfort zone, trust me and try it.  You'll discover a new obsession.  

With grandparents living on the Italian border, El Burrito grew up eating radicchio and is always asking that I incorporate it into our meals. Problem is, I don't really like it-- the average sort found in a salad is too bitter for me.  But the radicchio di Treviso is a totally different deal that is incredibly well suited for cooking, turning the corner from bitter and crunchy to almost sweet and meltingly soft without much effort.  I wouldn't substitute another type of radicchio, you'll miss the succulence and substance of this particular breed and I can't promise the result will be memorable.  

Buckwheat you may know from soba noodles or perhaps sarrasin crepes from Brittany.  It's a very healthy whole grain full of fiber and high quality protein (containing all eight essential amino acids) and minerals, but it doesn't have any gluten, so I've added some short-grain rice to the dish to ensure the creamy goodness of a classic risotto.