Breadonbutter Guests, Guest Chefs, Recipes 0 comments on 5 Pizza Toppings With A Twist For A Fun Night With Friends

5 Pizza Toppings With A Twist For A Fun Night With Friends

As you grow older, get married and start having responsibilities, your lifestyle slowly changes. For example, when you have kids like some of our friends do, you go out less and have to make do with staying at home more often. You then start honing some of your skills, like cooking and DIY projects, and when you’re lucky enough to find friends who share the same passions and hobbies, you hone those skills and experiment together. Instead of going out for pizza or crazy wings night, you go ahead and buy that bread-maker and start having your own “crazy” pizza nights at home.

That’s exactly what we did last week over at Khater and Lea’s house (you can check Khater’s previous guest recipes for fig jam and brie crispy shells on this link and for lemony chicken on this link). Using a Moulinex bread-maker, Khater made the pizza dough (ingredients below) and we had fun with different toppings. So here are some toppings ideas, with a twist, for your pizza night.

First, make the dough.

Pizza Toppings Ideas

What you’ll need:

  • 800 g flour (20% of which can be corn flour as it gives the dough a crunch)
  • 450 ml water
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar (for the browning of the crust)
  • 5 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tsp yeast

First steps:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
  2. Flatten parts of the dough with a rolling pin to the size you prefer and prepare it for toppings.

If you’re not using a bread-maker, you can refer to this post to read about making a dough from scratch. 

Pizza toppings ideas:

Pizza Toppings Ideas

1) Vegetarian

vegetarian

Top one pizza with tomato sauce, green pepper, black olives, corn, mushrooms and block mozzarella cheese. Place in the oven until the crust is lightly golden and the cheese has melted.

2) Brie and Rosemary leaves

Pizza Toppings Ideas

Top the dough with brie cheese and rosemary leaves. Top with olive oil and salt then place in the oven until the crust is lightly golden and the cheese has melted.

3) Zaatar (thyme) and Feta Cheese with pepper

Pizza Toppings Ideas

Top the pizza dough with fresh thyme leaves, feta cheese and black pepper. Place in the oven until the crust is lightly golden and the cheese has melted.

4) Eggs and chorizo

Pizza Toppings Ideas

Before topping the dough with the ingredients, fold its corners to prevent the eggs from overflowing.

In a bowl, break 3 eggs and whip them with a fork. Place the chorizo on the dough and top it with the eggs.

Place it in the oven until the crust is lightly golden and the eggs are cooked.

5) Proscuitto (parma ham), mozzarella and pesto sauce

Pizza Toppings Ideas

Top the pizza dough with all of the ingredients and bake in the oven until the crust is lightly golden and the cheese has melted.

And there you have it! A trouble-free and fun pizza night! Thank you Khater! 🙂

Pizza Toppings Ideas Pizza Toppings Ideas Pizza Toppings Ideas

Any other toppings suggestion?

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Guest Writers and Interviews, Travel 1 comment on Travel Checklist of a Global Citizen – A Drifter’s Packing Philosophy

Travel Checklist of a Global Citizen – A Drifter’s Packing Philosophy

My Global citizen friend Max (whom I introduced once here) has done us the honor today of sharing his philosophy and way of packing. Basically, he tells us how to detach from your life and travel light and free. Enjoy reading a global citizen’s travel checklist 🙂 Continue Reading “Travel Checklist of a Global Citizen – A Drifter’s Packing Philosophy”

Breadonbutter Guests, Christmas, Guest Chefs, Parties & Happenings, Recipes 0 comments on Christina’s Tips For the Juiciest Christmas Turkey

Christina’s Tips For the Juiciest Christmas Turkey

I’ve been watching people cook for as long as I can remember. Writing down kitchen tips and hints is known to be my thing and I still carry my old-fashioned notebook in every kitchen I visit (it’s actually almost full now and I panic at the idea of buying a new one and starting afresh).

One of the dishes I watch being cooked every single year is the Turkey my mom (Christina) makes on Christmas day. What I love the most about it is that she names it differently every year after someone who brings luck.

Turkey is not usually my thing as I mostly think it’s a dry meat that makes me full a few bites through. However, and I’m not saying this because it’s my mom, the turkey she makes is never dry. She even succeeded in making people who could never imagine having it for a meal fall in love with it. It’s so tender and juicy you can’t help not having at least a bite of it, accompanied with its special rice and grilled chestnuts of course. You can check the nutritious advantages of chestnuts in this post by Carla Mourad.

turkey | breadonbutter

So after years of observations and questioning, I bring you tips to make the best out of your turkey this Christmas!

  1. The Size: Your turkey has to be small – i.e. be a maximum of 6 kilograms, so it doesn’t get too dry. The bigger the turkey, the drier it will be. If you must make a bigger quantity for a larger party, 2 small turkeys are better than a big one
  2. The Seasoning: While the turkey is still raw, scrub it with a mix of : 7 spices, coarse salt and lemon juice. Then, rub it well with a mix of Dijon Mustard and Moutarde a l’Ancienne de Dijon (grain mustard)
  3. The Resting Period: Let the kneaded turkey rest in the fridge overnight or even for a whole 24 hours, covered hermetically with aluminum foil
  4. The Roasting: On D day, be careful with the cooking process. The first thing to do is to roast the turkey in a pre-heated oven, uncovered for an hour, on high heat. This allows it to caramelize and bring out its flavors
  5. The Cooking Time: After the 1 hour of roasting, cover the turkey hermetically with aluminum foil and cook it for 4 to 5 hours (depending on its weight – each kg counts for 1 hour) on very low heat
  6. The Juicing Process: Do not leave it for 4 to 5 hours in a row! Take it out of the oven every hour, uncover it and juice it with its own juice. Take advantage to set some of the juice aside for the sauce later
  7. The Hermetic Cover: Make sure to close it hermetically. No particle of air should come out from or enter the turkey dish!

To sum up, the most important factors to pay attention to, are:

  • Extremely low oven temperature
  • Mustard and Spices
  • Airtight cover
  • PATIENCE! After all, it is 6 hours of dedication to a pretty fat bird 😉

Do you make your own turkey? Any other tips?

Breadonbutter Guests, Guest Writers and Interviews 1 comment on Isabella Baffa’s Sapori di Tery: For the Love of Flavors

Isabella Baffa’s Sapori di Tery: For the Love of Flavors

I have often been told: Follow your dream. Whatever you decide to do, it has to be in pursuit of your dream.

– Isabella Baffa

isabella baffa | breadonbutter

If you’re into the culinary world of Beirut, you’ve surely heard about Isabella Baffa. She’s the founder of Sapori di Tery (coming to it) and an amateur cook turned guest chef in all the popular, trendy and hip Beirut places-to-cook. On the 9th of December, Isabella celebrated Sapori di Tery’s first anniversary at Tawlet. A year before that, she was at the same place serving food to the food-avid Beirutis. Today, I’m sharing her story.

isabella baffa| breadonbutter

Isabella is Italian not only by name but also at heart. She worked for 17 years in the fields of PR, Marketing and Communication. But after realizing this wasn’t what was making her happy, and that what brought her the most joy was actually cooking, tasting and sharing food, she made a drastic change of career.

Inspired by her mother Tery’s cooking, together with her childhood days spent in the kitchen with “sauces simmering and cakes baking”, she created her own brand of sauces called Sapori di Tery (Italian for ‘Savors of Tery’). A year later, she’s still going strong. As well as preparing her sauces, Isabella gives cooking classes in all hip cooking places in Beirut (like Kitchen Lab and Tawlet). She also organizes dinners and lunches for private parties.

isabella baffa | breadonbutter

 

isabella baffa | breadonbutter

For Sapori di Tery’s first year anniversary, Isabella cooked at Tawlet, the first place she was given the opportunity to present her skills to the world a year ago.

Here I am a year later, right where I started my incredible journey and dream, in TAWLET.

Words fail to describe how fulfilled I am.

Experiences, hard work, happy moments, stressful moments, delight, feedback from each client coming back to buy Sapori Di Tery’s sauces, events making me discover a different world, cooking classes with all kinds of people, men women, children, cooking trainings in remote areas, sharing my passion with each and every person, ….

And yet only two words prevail: SHARE – LOVE

– Isabella

sapori di tery | breadonbutter

sapori di tery | breadonbutter

 

Being Italian, Isabella considers sauces as the basis of any pasta dish (the fundamentally favored Italian dish).

Isabella puts a lot of work into her sauces. Not only are they handmade, but their process took and still takes time, patience and heart. Isabella spent a year tasting and testing. She made them for friends who were kind enough to give true feedback, she traveled for inspiration, she peeled and still peels freshly-bought tomatoes. What makes Sapori di Tery is that it’s home crafted with a cook’s own hands, adding a delicate touch that is becoming very hard to find.

The sauces are numerous and different, and their flavours are mostly inspired by Isabella’s travels and friends. She sometimes names the sauces after the person who gave her the recipe, like Giusi and Giulia. Sauces with an identity is what created Sapori di Tery and kept it growing.

sapori di tery | breadonbutter

That’s Isabella’s story. I hope it will inspire all you cooks who enter the kitchen and see their problems swirling away with the smell of fresh ingredients and simmering delights.

But before you wander off to your stoves, that’s not all! I’m so excited to announce a collaboration between Breadonbutter and Isabella in 2015. Stay tuned for it, I’m sure you kitchen lovers will just fall in love with it.

P.S. You can find Sapori di Tery sauces at Farhoud, Rue du Liban Ashrafieh – The Food Dealer, Mar Mikhael Beirut – Maison Chal – Adma. You can also order them by calling directly on 03-201009 or by sending a message on Sapori di Tery’s facebook page (here).

sapori di tery | breadonbutter

Breadonbutter Guests, Christmas, Guest Chefs, Parties & Happenings, Recipes 2 comments on Caramelized Nuts: Christmas Treats With A Twist

Caramelized Nuts: Christmas Treats With A Twist

These caramelized nuts are proof that us cooks just love coming up with our own stuff. Getting ready-made dishes is just not enough anymore and with time, we become addicted to trying things out by ourselves. Jean, our beloved guest Chef here on Breadonbutter, fits this description exactly. He slowly became the type of cook who can’t even think of not making his own ingredients and recipes. So yesterday, he decided to make his own caramelized nuts recipe on a cheese and wine night in, and he brought to it a delicious twist. I found it to be an excellent addition to the holiday Christmas treats around the house and a great idea for elegant and tasty party food when you’re hosting a party.

Here’s the recipe of these delicious Christmas treats.

What you’ll need:

christmas treats | breadonbutter

– 2 cups of raw pecan

– 2 cups of raw almonds

– 2 cups of raw walnuts

– 0.25 cup of maple syrup (the purest the better)

– 2 tbsp olive oil

– 2 tbsp mixed herbs: rosemary, sage, thyme, oregano

– 0.25 tsp cayenne pepper

– Salt and Pepper

How to make it:

1) Preheat the oven at 180 degrees celsius

2) In a bowl, mis the raw nuts with the syrup, olive oil, herbs and cayenne pepper

caramelized nuts | breadonbutter

3) Spread the tossed nuts on a baking sheet and bake them for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until brown

caramelized nuts | breadonbutter

4) When they’re out of the oven, season with salt and pepper and toss them until cooled

caramelized nuts | breadonbutter

You can make them and use them for 2 whole weeks, provided you reserve them in an airtight container.

A very easy recipe that brings a twist to your Holiday food traditions! 🙂

caramelized nuts | breadonbutter

caramelized nuts | breadonbutter

What do you think?

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Breadonbutter Guests, Guest Chefs, Recipes 0 comments on Guest Chef: Khater’s Lemony Chicken

Guest Chef: Khater’s Lemony Chicken

One of the best things in life is a nice and cozy gathering with friends. Great laughs, future plans, and stories are all shared and everyone feels good. Throw in some food of course and everything becomes excellent. What more can you ask for than friends who drink too much, swear too much and have questionable morals?

So two days ago, on one of those fun gatherings, Guest Chef Khater (check out his past fig jam and brie crispy shells) cooked us his latest creation: a lemony spicy chicken on a bed of noodles. It’s easy to make and you get to enjoy a variety of flavors while you dine!

Here’s what you’ll need (for 4 persons):

– 1 kg of chicken breast, sliced

– The zest of 2 lemons

– The juice of the same 2 lemons

– 3 red chili peppers

– 3 green chili peppers

– Fresh Coriander

– Soy Sauce

– Black pepper

– Fresh ginger

– 200 grams of noodles (any kind you prefer)

– A big wok

– Cooking oil

How to make it:

1) Grate the lemons and set the zest aside, then press all of them

lemon-zest-khater's-chicken

khater's-chicken-lemon-zest

2) Dice the red and green chili and slice the ginger

ingredients khater's chicken

 

3) Slice the chicken and season it with black pepper and soy sauce

slicing-the-chicken

seasoned-chicken

 

4) Boil water then cook the noodles in for 4 minutes. Drain and set aside

khater's-chicken-boiling-noodles

 

5) Heat some cooking oil in a wok. Add the chicken and cook for about 7 minutes. Sprinkle with the lemon juice and cook. Add the vegetables, ginger and fresh coriander and stir often until the chicken is cooked and the vegetables are tender. Remove from the wok and set aside in a serving platter.

wok

khater's-chicken-wok-2

khater's-chicken-and-vegetables-wok

6) In the same wok, place the noodles, sprinkle with soy sauce and heat for about 2 minutes, stirring continuously. Set aside in another serving platter. And serve!

khater's-chicken-nooddles-and-soya

There you have it! Easy, delicious and full of different flavors 🙂 Don’t forget to decorate with fresh coriander leaves.

khater's-chicken-plate

 

Breadonbutter Guests, Guest Writers and Interviews, Places, Things To Do 1 comment on Papercup Store: Behind The Scenes

Papercup Store: Behind The Scenes

Having lived abroad, watched movies and traveled loads of times, one always looks for things he learnt to love. As Lebanon is not an easy country and you spend your time longing for things you saw abroad that don’t exist in your own country, it’s a delight to find a hidden space that could possibly be “it”.

So when I contacted Rania and she agreed to chat about cakes, coffee, travel and books, I immediately jumped at the chance. Who could ask for better, right?

papercup-store

Papercup (www.papercupstore.com) is a bookstore located in Mar Mikhael, in Madrid Street (parallel to the mainroad). You can check their website for a detailed map. They also serve coffee and cake over there for a “coffee-infused book therapy” as they state agreeably.

Rania is Papercup Store’s owner. She has a publishing background, has worked in New York, is a reader and a traveler and also a new mom! And here’s a summary of our conversation.

papercup-12

Why a place like this and in this location?

I was living in the Mar Mikhael neighbourhood in 2005 and loved it. I saw that what was missing was a library and decided to go ahead with the project. I found a notebook I had 12 years ago in New York. That’s when I realized I was already thinking about the idea then because the whole plan for the place was in this notebook! I wanted to create a place where I’d personally like to hang out on a Saturday.

papercup-8

Why design, travel and art as a focus for books?

I worked in publishing abroad and then moved back to Lebanon 11 years ago and worked in distribution. I saw that there was something missing in the choice of books and noticed that people around me saw this gap as well. The gap was in things less mainstream and commercial. So this completed the idea of the bookstore.  I saw there was actually a market for it.

papercup-books

How do you decide which cake you’re going to offer on a specific day? Where do you get the recipe? Do you bake it yourself?

It’s my sister who bakes the cakes. She’s actually the chef and owner of Frosty Palace (facing papercup, one of the best burgers and milkshakes ever). She basically decides which cake to bake. I just let her know we need a cake and she happily bakes it! There’s only 1 cake because it’s a tiny space and the point is a bookstore with a tiny coffee shop.

papercup-6

papercup-cafe

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Where do you find the cool things and books you sell?

I just do really a lot of research, spend my time looking for these kinds of things because I like them and because I’m curious. I used to choose things alone but I now have a small team that helps me choose as well. We show each other everything we like ranging from books to cards to maps, etc…

papercup-moleskine

papercup-11

Who are your clients?

There’s no specific client profile. Clients are mainly teachers, parents, artists, amateurs in art, design and photography.

How do you market yourself? 

I don’t advertise. There’s no budget for that. My cousin is an architect and she did the whole place. At the time, there were a lot of available spaces in Mar Mikhael. I didn’t want the main road, I preferred the store to be a hidden gem, not too commercial.

For the opening, we sent out 400 private invitations and since it’s a small country and everyone knows everyone, word of mouth played its role to perfection. We also got a lot of international press.

papercup-9

Are you a cook? A traveler?

I love to cook but now I have no time. I used to host a lot of dinners however and try a lot of new stuff in the kitchen. I used to travel a lot but now I just had a child so there is a change in lifestyle happening. When I travel, I really travel with passion.

papercup-10Favorite book?

I have no favorite book but I can say the type of books I like the most are novels. I don’t sell novels, however, only once a year, we offer a guest table of summer reads. Every year, someone different (a guest) creates the table. The approach is basically that they make a list of their books with a written synopsis of why they chose the book and why people should read it and the table is displayed for a month. This year, Holly was the guest. She worked in publishing in New York, she’s a papercup customer and a big reader. She also reviews books and she’s a huge fiction reader.

Favorite cake?

My favorite cake is my mom’s carrot cake. It’s just the best carrot cake ever. It has been my birthday cake since the age of 16.

Favorite country?

I can’t say I have a favorite country but there are some cities I absolutely love: London, Stockholm, New York, Portland, Seattle, Melbourne. I also love the Pacific North West, calmer than cities.

Any advice for the young ambitious people of Lebanon?

Try to discover the world and leave the nest for a while. A company can easily be opened abroad as well and it can be managed better than here as you won’t have to worry about the basics. In Lebanon, if you want to survive, you have to create your own bubble but then again that’s not necessarily healthy.

Rania just recently gave birth to a baby boy. She’s discovering motherhood and the moms’ world. Kind of like re-discovering herself. Thanks for this lovely chat! 🙂

papercup-5

 

papercup-2

Anyone here a Papercup customer?

You can also follow them on Facebook (click here) and instagram (@papercupstore).

Breadonbutter Guests, Guest Chefs, Recipes 1 comment on Guest Chef Jean’s Deliciously Cooked White Beans

Guest Chef Jean’s Deliciously Cooked White Beans

The thing I like about Lebanon is that wherever you go to buy food, you get out of the place having learned something valuable to your cooking skills’ evolution. In Mar Mikhael, the street where we live, I sometimes feel like time has stopped. Leaving new constructions and hip bars and restaurants aside, small merchants still exist, people living in the neighborhood for ages still stop by to buy their groceries, everyone knows everyone and life is not so complicated.

So when our guest chef Jean came back last week from the grocer’s with a new kind of bean (white beans to be more exact) AND a new recipe, I was thrilled to try something new. This dish has Armenian origins and can serve as a nice homey meal when you have no idea what to cook.

What you’ll need:

white-beans-ingredients-1

–  2 cups of White Beans

– 1 big White Onion, diced

– 6 cloves of garlic, crushed

–  Fresh coriander leaves
–  The juice of 1 lemon
–  Salt and Pepper to taste
– Olive oil
How to make it:
1) In a casserole, cook the onions in olive oil, then add the beans and stir
2) When the beans are cooked at 90%, add the crushed garlic and coriander leaves and toss until well combined. Season to taste
white-beans-step-1
3) Add the lemon juice on top, toss and leave for a minute then turn off the fire and you’re done!
Serve with fresh onions, slices of lemon, and green chili if you’re a spicy lover 🙂
white-beans
My advice would be to enjoy this dish on a summer day in the mountains, where the weather is fresh and you’re away from city heat!
white-beans-2
Breadonbutter Guests, Guest Chefs, Recipes 0 comments on Guest Chef Jean Fares’ Ultimate Lamb Chops and Their Special Compote

Guest Chef Jean Fares’ Ultimate Lamb Chops and Their Special Compote

Guest Chef Jean Fares

Our favorite guest chef is taking a lot to the grill lately. The way he does it, is that he heats the grill pan for about 7  minutes until it  becomes so hot that when you drop a piece of meat on top, it will grill almost instantly.

A few nights ago, he made us these beautiful lamb racks with a compote that you will keep on eating long after you’re  done with the  whole dish. Along with a nice green salad, this meal is all you need for when you’re having friends over.  They will be licking their  fingers after this!

What you’ll need (for 2 to 3 persons):

lamb-racks-and-their-compote-ingredients-2

– 8 Lamb chops

To marinate:

– 1 teaspoon of 9 spices blend (see recipe here)

– 3 tablespoons olive oil

– The juice of 1 lime

For the compote:

– 20 g of unsalted butter

– 4 red onions, thinly sliced

– 1/2 teaspoon of brown sugar

– 1 teaspoon of honey

– 6 dried figs

– 4 tablespoons of sherry vinegar (or vinaigre de Xeres)

– 1 tablespoon olive oil

– 1 teaspoon thyme (zaatar)

1) Marinate the lamb chops in the marinade ingredients, cover and leave them in the fridge for a minimum of an hour, 2 hours if you have time

2) Make the compote:

caramelizing-onions

In a pan, melt the butter on low heat, then add the onions, sprinkling with the sugar and honey

Mix well and cover, cooking them for 15 minutes on low heat

Add the figs and half of the vinegar and cook until the liquid has almost evaporated

Add the remaining vinegar and cook until the liquid has completely evaporated

Add the olive oil and mix until the consistency of the whole thing becomes jam-like

Remove from heat and add the zaatar, then cool

 

3) On a hot grill, cook the lamb chops on high heat until golden brown

lamb-racks-and-their-compote-3

 

Present them beautifully and savor! Bon appétit! 🙂

Breadonbutter Guests, Guest Chefs, Recipes 0 comments on The Pasta Series: Jean’s Fresh and Exquisite Seafood Spaghetti

The Pasta Series: Jean’s Fresh and Exquisite Seafood Spaghetti

Guest Chef Jean Fares After quite some time, we are proud to welcome back our beloved Guest Chef Jean Fares! This time, he outdid himself with this delicious and all-fresh seafood pasta. He bought fresh calamari, fresh herbs, fresh vegetables and most importantly shrimps that were still alive (yes, that’s how fresh it was!) to make this absolutely phenomenal spaghetti dish that I keep on longing for ever since. Believe me, try to make it and you’ll definitely adopt it.

Jean’s birthday is tomorrow so I’ll be baking him a nice and yummy cake for the occasion (the one I had baked here).

Here’s what you’ll need:

Ingredients

– Fresh Shrimps. Keep the heads and shells aside to make the juice

– Fresh Calamari

– Coriander leaves

– 3 to 4 small tomatoes (choose them very red), chopped

– White wine

– Spaghetti

– Salt and Pepper

– 1 Onion (diced)

– 3 cloves of Garlic (diced)

How to make it:

1) Boil your spaghetti al dente and drain

2) Chop the onions, the garlic and chili pepper (If you want to spice it up)

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2) In a wok or pan, heat a bit of olive oil and cook the onions, garlic and pepper, then add the shrimp heads, white wine and chopped tomatoes. Let it simmer and reduce

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4) On a grill, cook the calamari

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5) Mix them all when they’re done, top it all with some fresh coriander leaves and experience an explosion of flavors 🙂

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Breadonbutter Guests, Guest Writers and Interviews, Travel 0 comments on The World Is His Oyster

The World Is His Oyster

I’ve been told several times, be it on postcards, in conversations with adults or with strangers I hadn’t met before (the landlord of my old apartment in Exeter for example) that The World is My Oyster. I believe it, people around me believe it but the real question is whether we all really apply it. Are we all really throwing ourselves into what this world has to offer? I guess it truly depends on each of our aspirations in life.

Having said that, meet Max. He’s the author of the blog Drifter’s Guide to The Planet (www.driftersguide.wordpress.com) and I can tell you the world is definitely his oyster. He describes himself as an international Long Term Traveler, a global citizen, an entrepreneur, a life-long learner and a free thinker. He’s realistic and it is in his nature to question absolutely everything.  To find out more about this Globe trotter, here are a few questions I had to ask him and his answers.

max interview 3

How did the adventure start?

Ever since I could remember, I felt like something major was missing in my life. Something I should be doing, something calling me. I always questioned things, told myself that life MUST mean more and I kept looking for answers. It was this chronic dissatisfaction and I didn’t know what it was until one day, I came to a professional crossroad and went to South East Asia. This opened my eyes. I got in contact with a foreign culture and it felt like we were all really just living in our own bubble with only glimpses of the world of possibilities before us. So that’s when I decided to do it, travel the world, explore cultures and possibilities. It was now possible and legitimate, other people were doing it too and this is what I wanted, to live off the grid and not be programmed to live a routine.

Which steps did you take to be able to start your adventure?

The first step I took was to start off with a lot of research on the subject of living unconventionally. This is when I had to come up with ways to sustain myself financially while on the go. So I got a double Certificate to teach English as well as Business English worldwide to be able to work while traveling. I also used my savings and tried to get projects that I could work on online. I then planned my first trip and became an “activist”, a pro-nonconformity living. It became a mission of mine to influence people, I needed to spread the information I was learning and sharing my experience became a responsibility. There are so many people out there looking for the same experience, wondering about the same things and missing out on the chance to flourish.

What would be your advice to these people?

My advice to them is first to know that it won’t happen with the push of a button. You have to do your own research, look into yourself and what you want, what you have to do. There are important steps that cannot be overlooked. You must save for it or use a money-making scheme like working online, teaching, or volunteering to cut down on costs. You have to find a way to control your own time, find a job where you are not stuck (it exists, just look for it!). Eliminate the mindset of right and wrong, you decide what’s right and what’s wrong. Then decide if this adventure is for you or not. Take a gap year, figure things out and make your own choices. The World is certainly your oyster because possibilities are endless. Be aware and independent in all senses and work on it. Trust your instincts, listen to them and go!

What are some of your goals in life?

I am a life long learner. I believe that goals are only temporary. For now, I am not working for one goal but for a set of of goals that will help me discover myself, life and help other people along the way. I am looking for purpose and enjoying myself along the way, because life is a treasure and travel is the greatest teacher.

How do you describe your experiences and the people you meet along the way?

Most of, if not all of the people I meet, I do in a positive way. I hear positive stories and tell mine. Unconsciously, when travelers meet somewhere distant at a certain time, they realize they’re all connected and looking for the same thing. Those are the ones who travel for purpose. It’s been nothing but positive because that’s how I see it. The people I meet become my closest friends. I interact with them almost on a daily basis.

How do you design your itinerary? 

I start by looking inwards and I instinctively know what my next destination will be. It’s an interest that builds up with time and that’s how you suddenly know. I then make a list of places I want to visit, research (using internet resources, booking sites like kayak.com, expedia.com, booking.com and hostelworld.com), plan the first 2 steps and then improvise while I’m there. I used to be a planning freak but this has diminished with time once I realized I can be flexible.

How do you deal with judgement and criticism, especially in Lebanon?

I was not exactly criticized but misunderstood. Nobody argues on the principle, they argue on the ‘how’. But deep down, they would all do it if they could find a way. As for family, I can’t expect parents, who come from a completely different world and generation to understand. But they ended up making peace with it.

Can you tell us about a specific moment that has touched you?

I can’t of course think of only one wonderful experience but the first thing that comes to mind is a moment I had on my last trip to Argentina. I took a ferry to Isla Victoria and I remember now how amazed I was by nature, wild life and the scenery. I was so touched and felt like I was back in love with planet earth. We tend to forget the amazing things this planet has to show.

Which camera do you use?

My very basic, non professional phone camera. But this might change because I realize more and more the importance of capturing moments like these. It IS true that a picture is worth a 1000 words actually. People will connect to the picture and be influenced better.

Where did you already go?

I went to Thailand, Brazil, Columbia, Ecuador, Argentina, Chile, Georgia, Russia, Armenia, Turkey, Cyprus, USA and UAE.

Can you name one thing that brings all those countries together?

They are all worth exploring because they’re all different than what we know. They help you learn how to live with different cultures.

What is the strategy you use to learn more about the country you’re visiting?

Nothing is better than meeting locals and staying close to them. Networking is key. Of course I read all about the culture and history of the country as well and learn a bit their language. Once there, the food helps me understand the culture more as well.

Any food you dislike?

Seafood. Shrimp is my Kryptonite. (!)

Max will be leaving for a new adventure on the 3oth of April. This time, he will be exploring Europe, focusing on Eastern Europe, but also UK, Ireland and Scotland, Spain, Germany, Netherlands, Portugal, Italy, and Bilbao.

Hoping to inspire you, always. Thank you so much for sharing Max!

max interview 2

Breadonbutter Guests, Guest Chefs, Guest Writers and Interviews, Recipes 12 comments on Mateus’ Awesome Beef and Coffee Stew

Mateus’ Awesome Beef and Coffee Stew

In my opinion, food is what brings people together. It creates a rather special bond. Food lovers actually understand each other and know what it is to be passionate.

I have decided lately to have guest writers more often on Breadonbutter. People who inspire me with their cooking, lifestyle and interesting background.

Today, I am honored to introduce you to Mateus Esteves- Ribeiro.

I will let his article explain more about who he is and what he does, and I assure you you will just fall in love with his story and recipes.

 

Paio, Beef and Coffee Stew with Passion Fruit Mojito

By Mateus Esteves-Ribeiro

Hello Awesome Readers of Breadonbutter!

My name is Mateus Esteves-Ribeiro, I’m a brazilian multi-sensorial designer (which skills includes a lil’ bit of cooking), and Lynn invited me to cook something for her blog. I started studying professional cuisine 10 months ago, and I can say for sure that I am addicted to french cuisine and its stews. It’s incredible how some herbs, wine, low quality beef and some stock can become something so rich and meaningful. This year I also started studying coffee and its rich culture in Brazil. These two subjects drove me to a new idea of cooking a stew based on coffee.

For this recipe, the coffee roasting process will be determinant to the final outcome. If you use a lighter roast, the coffee taste and aroma on the final stew is going to be more clear. If you use a darker roast, it will enrich the stock and give a beautiful body to the final glace. In my recipe, I used a medium-dark roast. The variety of Arabica Beans will also change your final stew. I’m using a coffee produced in São José do Vale do Rio Preto, Rio de Janeiro, that has a high acidity and will bring a nice citric tasting note.

Grinding The Coffee

I served the stew along with a Virgin Passion Mojito (recipe below the stew). If you guys want to make it alcoholic, just add some Rum. Or if you want to turn it into a Caipirinha, take out the Soda and add 70ml of Cachaça and fill the glass with ice.

Paio, Beef and Coffee Stew

Serves 4

600g Beef Cut for Stews

300g Paio (you can use Spanish Chorizo or Portuguese Chouriço)

250g Onions

200g Leeks

03 Cloves of Garlic

01 Bouquet Garni with Thyme, Rosemary and a Bay Leaf

250g Baby Carrots

150g Fresh Mushrooms

20g Arabica Coffee Beans. Grind it and brew on Hario V60 (or similar) with 200ml of water

500ml Beef Stock

Salt and Pepper to taste

 

First, cut the paio and beef into 4x3cm pieces.

Chop the onions, leeks and garlic.

In a saucepan, add some olive oil and fry the leeks and onions for 3 minutes until translucent.

Add the garlic and let it brown for 1 minute.

Add the beef and paio and incorporate with the other ingredients.

Add the beef stock and coffee along with the bouquet garni.

Close the sauce pan and let cook until the meat is tender, about 1h45min.

Open the sauce pan and add the mushrooms and baby carrots. Let it cook for 25 minutes.

Adjust salt and pepper and discard the bouquet garni.

Serve along with white rice.

Beef Paio Coffee Stew

 

Virgin Passion Mojito

Serves 2

700ml of Club Soda

20 Mint Leaves

01 Passion Fruit

04 tsp of Superfine Sugar

10 Ice Cubes

 

In a long glass, add the passion fruit flesh and mint leaves.

Add 02 teaspoons of sugar and mix well.

Add the ice and then fill the glass with the club soda.

Mix carefully and serve.

Virgin Passion Mojito

Hope you guys liked it.

Thank you Lynn for this beautiful opportunity.

Cheers, everyone.

 

For any questions you might have, you can contact Mateus on this email: mateus@lemongarden.com.br