October 19, 2021

Acqua NYC

Fit And Go Forward

Recipes from ‘The Bohemian Peach’

Brand is originally from the Czech Republic, but moved to the U.S. some 25 years ago, and has been in Atlanta for 16 years. Since then, she’s mainly worked as a makeup artist and hairstylist for photo shoots, commercials, and print magazines, such as Cosmopolitan and Elle.

Not surprisingly, the lavish design and sensuous photos for “The Bohemian Peach” are quite impressive — especially given that the book is essentially a DIY project.

“Last year, during the pandemic, my friend, who is a photographer, approached me because he saw me bragging about my food on Instagram, and he knew I was a passionate cook,” Brand said. “He said, ‘Why don’t you style some food, and I’ll photograph it?’ I said, ‘I always wanted to be a food stylist, because I have such an obsession with food and photography.’

“So we did, and the pictures were absolutely stunning. That’s when it occurred to me that I wanted to do a cookbook. Why not? I had all these recipes that people had been asking for. It’s the pandemic. I’m sitting at home, doing nothing. Let’s be productive.”

Besides writing all the recipes, Brand ended up doing much of the photography herself — cooking, styling, then shooting in her backyard, often on the Tuscan table from Cortona that’s been her inspiration.

The book is arranged by seasons, and there are styling and decorating tips, stories about her family and growing up, and Brand’s everyday life as a single mother with two boys who can be picky eaters.

“I always make a joke and say, ‘Old Paulina had a farm,’” Brand said, laughing. “I have the chicken. I have Matilda. I have the dog. Crazy children. And then there are the crazy stories about that in my book that I wanted people to enjoy.”

Paulina Brand, who has mainly worked as a makeup artist and hairstylist for photo shoots, commercials, and print magazines, decided during the pandemic to do a cookbook with her recipes. Courtesy of 360 Media

Paulina Brand, who has mainly worked as a makeup artist and hairstylist for photo shoots, commercials, and print magazines, decided during the pandemic to do a cookbook with her recipes. Courtesy of 360 Media

Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

Of course, the title is an homage to her Czech roots and her current residence in the Peach State. But the food she cooks is influenced by traveling in Europe and other parts of the world.

“I collected recipes that I would make over and over again, and that people really enjoy,” Brand said. “They’re mostly traditional recipes that have a little twist. They’re my own version. But I don’t like to experiment too much. I’m not a trained chef. Most of the recipes are easy, and something that people are familiar with. It’s not time to be fussy or fancy.”

RECIPES

These recipes from “The Bohemian Peach” cookbook by Paulina Brand include a hearty cauliflower tomato soup, a healthy arugula warm lentil salad, and an Italian-inspired chicken dish with Marsala wine.

Grandpa’s Cauliflower Tomato Soup is one of Paulina Brand’s most cherished recipes not only for sentimental reasons but also because it’s delicious. Courtesy of Paulina Brand

Grandpa’s Cauliflower Tomato Soup is one of Paulina Brand’s most cherished recipes not only for sentimental reasons but also because it’s delicious. Courtesy of Paulina Brand

Credit: Paulina Brand

Credit: Paulina Brand

Grandpa’s Cauliflower Tomato Soup

“I love this soup, and not only for sentimental reasons, but also because it is so very delicious,” Paulina Brand says in “The Bohemian Peach.” “My grandparents cooked with butter, real chicken broth and everything was made from scratch.”

Grandpa’s Cauliflower Tomato Soup

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 head of cauliflower, sliced into bite-sized pieces
  • 3-4 potatoes, cubed
  • 4 carrots, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 32 ounces vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 cup celery, sliced
  • 5 medium-size peeled tomatoes or 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • Handful of fresh or 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons Bragg Liquid Aminos
  • In a large pot over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion, cauliflower, potatoes and carrots, and saute for about 5 minutes; add garlic, bay leaves, caraway seeds and salt and saute for 1 more minute. Add vegetable broth and cook for 15 minutes. Add celery and diced tomatoes, simmer for another 5 minutes over medium-low heat.
  • In a small pot, melt butter, add flour, then stir the roux until golden. Transfer carefully into the soup, mixing well. (Add water if the soup is too thick for your liking.) Add pepper, marjoram, lemon juice and Bragg Liquid Aminos, and serve.
    Serves 4-6.

Nutritional information

Per serving: Per serving, based on 4: 331 calories (percent of calories from fat, 35), 7 grams protein, 49 grams carbohydrates, 8 grams fiber, 13 grams total fat (5 grams saturated), 18 milligrams cholesterol, 752 milligrams sodium.

Paulina Brand’s Arugula with Warm Lentils and Pomegranate is the perfect healthy meal for winter. Courtesy of Paulina Brand

Paulina Brand’s Arugula with Warm Lentils and Pomegranate is the perfect healthy meal for winter. Courtesy of Paulina Brand

Credit: Paulina Brand

Credit: Paulina Brand

Arugula with Warm Lentils and Pomegranate

In her newly published cookbook, “The Bohemian Peach,” Brand describes this salad as “delicious” and “perfect for winter healthy meals.”

Arugula with Warm Lentils and Pomegranate

  • 1 cup dry lentils, rinsed and picked over, soaked for a few hours or overnight
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion or 1 shallot, chopped
  • 5-ounce bag of arugula
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds
  • Lemony dressing (see instructions below)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • Dash sumac spice
  • For the lemony dressing:
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 large garlic clove, grated
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • In a large saucepan, add the soaked lentils to 3 cups of water and bring to a boil. Cover tightly, reduce heat, and simmer until lentils are soft, about 15-20 minutes, then drain and set aside.
  • In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil, add onion and saute until lightly golden. Add the lentils and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Let cool for a few minutes and place lentils and arugula on a large serving plate. Add tomatoes and pomegranate seeds. Shake the dressing ingredients in a closed container until well blended. Dress salad with the lemony dressing, salt, pepper, almonds and sumac. Serve immediately.
    Serves 4.

Nutritional information

Per serving: Per serving: 456 calories (percent of calories from fat, 53), 16 grams protein, 39 grams carbohydrates, 8 grams fiber, 28 grams total fat (3 grams saturated), no cholesterol, 47 milligrams sodium.

Paulina Brand’s Chicken Marsala with Gouda and Asparagus is an Italian classic with a twist. Courtesy of Paulina Brand

Paulina Brand’s Chicken Marsala with Gouda and Asparagus is an Italian classic with a twist. Courtesy of Paulina Brand

Credit: Paulina Brand

Credit: Paulina Brand

Chicken Marsala with Gouda and Asparagus

“Everybody, including my picky eaters, loves this Italian classic with a twist,” Brand, the mother of two boys, says in “The Bohemian Peach.” “What’s not to love about this recipe? Melted cheese on top of chicken with mushrooms and asparagus, all in delicious Marsala wine. One of my favorites to make for any occasion. My only suggestion is to make more — because everyone always wants seconds.”

Chicken Marsala with Gouda and Asparagus

  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1/2 small onion or 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pint mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup Marsala wine
  • 2 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
  • 4 slices Gouda or cheddar
  • Steam the asparagus until tender.
  • Cut the chicken breasts horizontally into 4 same-size pieces. Pound them lightly with a meat tenderizer and salt both sides. In a shallow dish, whisk egg and milk together. In another shallow dish, mix the flour and pepper together. Dip each chicken piece into the egg mixture, then dredge in the flour mixture, and set aside.
  • In a large skillet over medium heat, add the oil and half of the butter and brown the chicken pieces on both sides, about 3-4 minutes per side. Don’t overcook. Set chicken pieces aside on a cooling rack. In the same pan, add onions and cook for 2 minutes. Add garlic and mushrooms and cook an additional 3-4 minutes. Add the remaining butter, Marsala wine, and parsley. Add the chicken pieces and simmer for 2 more minutes, adding steamed asparagus and cheese on top of each piece, and briefly leave on heat until the cheese melts. Serve with mashed potatoes.
    Serves 4.

Nutritional information

Per serving: Per serving: 618 calories (percent of calories from fat, 68), 28 grams protein, 21 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams fiber, 46 grams total fat (14 grams saturated), 132 milligrams cholesterol, 309 milligrams sodium.

Read more stories like this by liking Atlanta Restaurant Scene on Facebook, following @ATLDiningNews on Twitter and @ajcdining on Instagram.

Source News