Apr 292013

Spherical Yogurt (1) ~ Simple Recipes Dot Me

This is one of the most fun thing I have ever done in my kitchen…as you might know (or not), I am a Pharm.D/biochemist by training, therefore I feel very comfortable in the lab, so when I heard about molecular gastronomy I was like “I need to try this…how come I have never thought of using my lab skills in the kitchen?” Anyway, to make the long story short, I did some reading through the internet and got myself some edible “reagents” and today I am so excited because I am sharing with you my very first “experiment”. I am expecting more “reagents” therefore I will have more posts to share in the future.

If you are interested, you can read all about molecular gastronomy by searching the internet, which by the way, I still do not understand why it is called this way, since every method done in the cooking process requires change of molecules.

This recipe is very simple, it is adapted from here with lots of changes…in spite of the recipe calling for plain yogurt, specifically not to use non-fat or low fat yogurt, claiming that fat-free or low fat yogurt contain less calcium, which is critical for this recipe. I went ahead and still used fat free yogurt. I personally don’t think that the calcium content of whole yogurt and non-fat yogurt would be that different being that calcium is water soluble and not fat soluble. Moreover, the difference in these yogurts should be the content of fat and not calcium.

Well, it was very interesting…when eating these spherical yogurt you feel the pop and a thin gelatinous membrane, almost like the salmon roes in sushi or the little balls filled with juices at frozen yogurt store.

Oh! One more thing…this method is called Reverse Spherification.


Alginate Bath

200 ml of filtered water
1 g sodium alginate

1 cup non-fat yogurt

Spherical Yogurt (2) ~ Simple Recipes Dot Me

Spherical Yogurt (3) ~ Simple Recipes Dot Me


Prepare the alginate bath by mixing the sodium alginate in water, until the sodium alginate is totally dissolved. You can use an immersion blender. Once the sodium alginate is dissolved, let the solution rest in the refrigerator for approximately 24 hours or until all the air bubbles disappear.

When ready to start the process of spherification, place the sodium alginate solution in a bowl and in another bowl place clean and filtered water.

Scoop the yogurt using a half sphere measuring spoon and carefully pour it into the alginate bath. Make sure that the yogurt spheres do not touch otherwise they will stick together (which I experienced)

Leave the yogurt spheres in the alginate bath for about 2 minutes and carefully remove them using a slotted spoon.

Place the yogurt spheres in the clean water bath. Remove the yogurt spheres and serve with fruit salad, or berry coulis.

I served my yogurt spheres with strawberry coulis (follow recipe here).

Spherical Yogurt (4) ~ Simple Recipes Dot Me

Spherical Yogurt (5) ~ Simple Recipes Dot Me

Spherical Yogurt (6) ~ Simple Recipes Dot Me

I hope you enjoyed this fun recipe.

Curiosity Corner Jan 2013
Did you know that spherification is the process of shaping liquid in spheres by a thin gelatinous membrane? The main “reaction” is the forming of the gelatinous membrane by combining alginate and calcium.

Thank you for stopping by Simple Recipes [dot] Me and have a great week!

Apr 152013

Gluten Free Bread from Simple Recipes Dot Me (1)

Gluten is a very serious issue for people that have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, and lately has been in the news as a new way to boost health and even lose weight. Apparently 1% of the population has celiac disease and about 10% are gluten-reactive. Anyway, as far as we know my husband and I are not in neither group of population, but I found it interesting and challenging the concept of baking goods without wheat flour since gluten is “vital” for the “structure” of the bread.

I must agree with you that the list of ingredients seems “endless”, but so little is required after you gather all the ingredients, once you have it mixed, you almost forget how long and tedious was collecting them all. The recipe that I have below is a blend of many recipes for gluten free bread that I adapted from Delishville.

This bread tasted delicious right out of the oven, and if I did not know that was gluten free, I would have a hard time to believe it. But the problem was the very next day, the bread literally was hard like a brick…therefore in order to eat I had to either microwave or toast it.


½ cup rice flour
¾ cup corn flour (starch)
¾ cup tapioca flour (starch)
¼ cup sorghum
2 eggs
½ teaspoon white vinegar
2 tablespoons agave syrup
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup warm water
1 tablespoon xanthan gum
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoon almond meal
1 teaspoon gelatin
1½ teaspoons yeast

Gluten Free Bread from Simple Recipes Dot Me (2)

Gluten Free Bread from Simple Recipes Dot Me (3)


Grease and lightly flour a loaf pan of 9 x 5 in with corn meal.

In a bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together. In a bigger bowl mix the water (warm), eggs, vinegar, agave syrup and margarine or butter.

Slowly add the dry ingredients to the liquid mixture. The dough will be like a cake batter, mix for approximately 4 minutes.

Pour the batter/dough in the pan and let it rise in a warm place for about 40 minute to 1 hour or until it double its initial size.

Place the dough in preheated oven of 350F for approximately 50 to 55 minutes.

Serve warm, preferably on the same day.

Gluten Free Bread from Simple Recipes Dot Me (5)

Gluten Free Bread from Simple Recipes Dot Me (7)

For the gluten free toasts…

Slice the gluten free bread, place in a silicone liner and place in a preheated oven of 275F for 45 to 60 minutes by flipping over once until golden brown.

Let it cool completely in the wire rack. Store the toasts in an airtight container.

Gluten Free Bread from Simple Recipes Dot Me (6)

If you enjoy this gluten free bread you might want to check on others gluten free bread recipes such as Brazilian Pão de Queijo or the Asian Inspired Pão de Queijo.

Curiosity Corner Jan 2013
Did you that the term “gluten” is derived from Latin gluten, which means “glue”? Many vegetarian dishes use gluten for imitation meats due to its textures and the ability to absorb broth, therefore the gluten acquires the flavor and the texture of meat.

Thank you for stopping by Simple Recipes [dot] Me and have a great week!

Mar 112013

Miso Marinated Chicken from Simple Recipes Dot  Me

I had a wonderful week in one of my favorite place…Cancun, as a matter of fact we go to the same place at least once a year…especially when I feel the need to unwind…

After spending so many days without any cooking I had to start slowly…to avoid any “shock”. This is a very simple recipe for a chicken marinate…the flavor of the white miso is delicate and not overwhelming. This marinate sure brings the grilled chicken to a different level. It is easy and works great when served with a side of green salad.

If you do not have your grill set, you can always pan fry on the stove.


4 to 6 deboned and skinless chicken thigh
1 tablespoon white miso diluted in 2 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
½ tablespoon chili oil
1 tablespoon cooking wine

Miso Marinated Chicken from Simple Recipes Dot Me

Miso Marinated Chicken from Simple Recipes Dot Me


Mix all the ingredients together except for the chicken and make a sauce.

Cover the chicken thighs with the sauce and set in the refrigerator for a couple of hours.

Place in a grill until fully cooked. Serve hot or warm.

Miso Marinated Chicken from Simple Recipes Dot  Me

Miso Marinated Chicken from Simple Recipes Dot  Me

If you enjoy this simple recipe for Miso Marinated Chicken, you might want to check on Miso Marinated Scallops or Speedy Miso Salmon.

Curiosity Corner Jan 2013
Did you know that miso is produced by the fermentation of soy? Moreover, it can be a product of fermentation of rice, wheat, hemp, buckwheat, barley or as well as the combination of many grains.

Thank you for stopping by Simple Recipes [Dot] Me and have a great week!

Dec 172012

These cookies are great, they are crusty on the outside and slightly chewy on the inside. You will need only 4 ingredients, it is dairy and gluten free…and so simple to make. The ingredients are the same as for marzipan or almond paste, only in different ratio.

I love these cookies at any time with coffee, tea or just as a little snack. They make awesome little gifts, especially during this time of the year.


14 oz blanched almond
1 ½ cup powdered sugar or confectioner’s sugar
1 egg white
2 teaspoon almond extract

1 egg yolk from the egg white used above (store in the refrigerator)


To blanch the almonds, place almonds in a bowl and pour boiling water to cover the almonds. Let the almond sit for 2 to 3 minutes. Drain the water and rinse under cold water. Drain the almonds and slip the skin off. Let them dry completely using.

Place the almond in the bowl of the food processor and pulse a few times until fine ground. Add the sugar and continuo to pulse until finely ground. Add the egg white and the almond extract, pulse again until a ball forms (sort of).

Remove the ball from the food processor bowl and make a ball. Split the ball into two pieces and wrap the one and set aside.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mat. Set aside.
With the other one, make a ball and roll with a roller pin into about ½ in thickness. Cut out the dough with the cutter of your choice, make it small, and set them o the baking sheet, just a little apart of each other. Repeat with the second ball of dough. Once all the dough is cut out, uncovered 6 to 7 hours or overnight.

After the cookies have set and dried out, preheat the oven to 400F.

Gently mix the egg yolk and brush the cookies with it. Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes until the top slightly golden.

Let them cool on the wire rack and store in an airtight container.

If you enjoy this simple recipe for Almond Cookies you might want to check on the Roasted Cinnamon Almond from Simple Recipes.

Curiosity Corner Jan 2013
Did you know that almonds are rich in vitamins and minerals? Almonds are cholesterol free and contain unsaturated fat, which can help reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease.

Thank you for stopping by Simple Recipes and have a great week!

Nov 262012

After eating so much over the Thanksgiving holiday I think that this healthy dish will counter balance the feast that we just had.

This dish is very similar to the one that I made a while ago, Chicken with Brussels Sprout, the difference is that I peeled the Brussels sprouts, blanched and added to the stir fried chicken. I have the feeling that the sprouts tasted nicer and less bitter. Maybe the kids will accept better when cooked this way.
This is very simple and great with a bowl of rice…not to mention that makes a great next day lunch.


1 chicken breast, cut into small chunks
3-4 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon soy sauce
½ tablespoon corn starch
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
½ lb Brussels sprouts peeled


Marinate the chicken with garlic, soy sauce, salt and pepper. Set aside. In the meantime blanch the sprouts. Make sure that you just blanch, otherwise it will be mush. Just before sautéing the chicken add the corn starch by coating slightly the chicken pieces.

In a wok, sauté the chicken in olive oil. Set aside once the chicken is fully cooked. In the same wok brown the onion, add the blanched peeled brussel sprouts. Mix gently and add the chicken back to the wok.

Stir gently and serve hot.

Curiosity Corner Jan 2013
Did you know that Brussels sprouts contain high dietary fiber? Moreover, Brussels sprouts have more vitamin C than oranges, so four to six sprouts contain the adult daily requirement for vitamin C.

Thank you for stopping by Simple Recipes and have a great week!

Nov 192012

If you do not care for mashed potatoes with your turkey, you might want to try this simple way to prepare potatoes…

This is a side dish that I love to make, it goes well with any meat, chicken or fish. The potatoes are creamy with a light crunchiness and it is so simple to prepare. I often add bacon or different fresh herbs, whatever is available at the time.


1 lb of red potatoes
1 teaspoon salt
Fresh spring of rosemary
Fresh ground pepper and salt to taste
1 tablespoon of good quality of olive oil


Boil the potatoes in water with the salt until the potatoes are soft but not falling apart.

Drain and cut the potatoes in half and add the finely chopped rosemary, salt, pepper and olive oil.

Toss gently and place the potatoes facing them up in a pre-heated oven for approximately 15 to 20 minutes at 400 F.

Serve hot or warm.

If you enjoy this simple recipe for side dish, you might want to check on Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Sauté Spinach with Bacon, they are very easy to prepare.

Curiosity Corner Jan 2013
Did you know that in spite of the carbohydrate content in potatoes they are an excellent of vitamin C source? Interestingly potatoes contain comparable amounts of potassium to bananas, spinach and broccoli.

Thank you for stopping by Simple Recipes and have a great week!

Nov 122012

This is a simple and easy dish, it is delicious especially paired with white rice…no need to mention that it makes a great lunch next day. Every time I make this dish, I end up having more than one bowl of rice. I used pork chop in this dish and the frozen French beans from Trader Joe’s. You can always use fresh beans or chicken if you do not care for pork. Just make sure that the beans are not over cooked.


1 lb of pork chop, cut in thin strips
3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1½ tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 cup string bean, frozen of fresh
5-6 oz of dry tofu cut in strips
Salt and pepper to taste


Marinate the pork strips with garlic, ½ tablespoon of olive oil, cornstarch, soy sauce, salt and pepper. Let it sit for a few minutes.

In a wok, add the remaining ½ tablespoon olive oil, pan fry the pork strips. Make sure that the pork in thoroughly cooked.

Remove from the pan and set aside. In the same pan add the tofu strips and a couple of tablespoons of water, cook until the tofu is somehow soft.

Stir in the pre-cooked beans and cook for a minute or so, and add the pork. Add more salt and pepper to  taste. Serve hot with rice.

If you enjoy this pork strips with tofu, you might want to check on the Baked Tofu Salad.

Curiosity Corner Jan 2013
Did you know that tofu is a product made from coagulation of soy milk? Similar to the production of cheese depending of the amount of water extracted tofu can be found in many different textures.

Thank you for stopping by Simple Recipes and have a great week!