Thursday, November 23, 2017

Miso and Honey Aubergine

What to do with some single aubergine - eggplant- sitting in the kitchen for more then a week. Filling it with some minced meat and preparing it Oriental style was the commentary from one of my coworkers, but when she heard it was only one, she told me not to bother. Too much work, her recipe would only work on 5 -8 eggplants in one go.

I wanted some vegetarian dish served with rice. I went into the Japanese corner and checked for recommandations.
Miso and aubergine is a thing in the moment.
You find it made by many chefs and health nerds. I opted for a version that was easy to prepare and had no need to go out shopping for special ingredients.
Miso is something that I have stocked in my fridge every time of the year. All the other ingredients are from the cupboard.

1 eggplant
2 tbsp miso paste
4 tbsp hot water
1 tsp honey
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp dark sesame oil
1 clove of garlic
1 small knob og ginger
Salt and pepper
25 g cashews
1 cup rice

Grate garlic and ginger.
Dissolve miso in hot water, add soy sauce, seasame oil, garlic and ginger.
Cut the eggplant in half and criss and cross cut the insides and pour a good amount of marinade over.

Set into s bowl and pour the rest over. Let it rest for 30 min.
Use baking paper and wrap each half into one sheet and close it. Set it into the oven at 200 C for 20 min, open it, put more marinate on top and sprinkle the cashews over both halves.
Bake for 20 min more with the paper open.


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Tomato and prawn risotto

A rice dish with different kinds of tomatoes. Fresh ones, oven roasted ones and some dried from a jar in oil. A good base for a risotto. Some green asparagus as a bit of veg makes it even more tasty.

Start about 2 hours before cooking and heat up your oven to 100 C and half the cherry tomatoes. Put them face up in the oven and dry them for 2 hours.

Cut the up. Get the dried tomatoes out of the oil and pat them dry.
Spring onions and garlic as a base and a very good veg stock are needed for a good quality risotto.

Recipe for 2:
1 cup carneroli rice
150 ml white wine
500 ml veg stock
3 spring onions
2 cloves of garlic
8 cherry tomatoes
4 sun dried tomatoes1
150 g green asparagus
10 cooked prawns
2 raw king prawns per person
salt and pepper
40 g butter
1 tsp oil

chop onions and garlic and saute that in 15 g butter until soft, add the rice and coat it all over with butter. Pour in the wine and let it reduce. Add the sun dried tomatoes and a 1/3 of the stock. Then add the oven roasted tomatoes which are cut in halves. Add more stock.

Clean the asparagus and cut into bite size pieces. Add to the rice for the last 5 minutes, after 3 min add the chopped cooked prawns.

In a bit of oil on high heat fry off the raw prawns with their shell. You can season them with some strong Caribic seasoning before you put them in the pan. Just keep them there for max 3 min.

Finish the risotto with some more butter and taste for seasoning.
Place the prawns on top and garnish with some chives.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

A Mezédes feast at a Greek Taverne in town

A girls night out with great food!

I am on an adventure to check out the Restaurants in my neighborhood. This is one of them.
We went to a Greek Tavern called ELA! The word means come or come in English.

They serve not the usual Greek platters of food which are starting with all kinds of Greek Gods or Goddesses names, but they serve small plates with seasonal food. It is similar to Spanish Tapas.
The best way to eat here is to come with friends and sit around a small table and share the dishes.
The three of us did just that.

The table was tiny and the waiter had to play Tetris to get 4 or 5 dishes on the table in one serving.
Each of us ordered their 4 favourite ones to try and so 12 dishes came to us.
After that, we wanted to finish the evening with some sweets, but there were non on the menu. The chef came and recommended 2 desserts to share with 3 spoons - what a great idea. We were so into these desserts that I even forgot to take a picture.

We all love Tsaziki and that was no.1 on our list. Then Tamaras- white fish roe cream and Fakes salata - a lentil salad with thyme. Aubergine salad was next.
Great tasting black olives.
Have you heard of Kolokithokeftedes?  Grated Courgette with Carrots bind with some cheese into balls served with some mint dip. Delicious.

More hot dishes followed.  Hart Greek cheese coated in breadcrumbs and deep fried with lemon juice.
Meatballs with tomatoes and cheese out of the oven and Suflaki.
A prawn and cheese dish came last. It was too salty for my taste. We ate all of the dishes with fresh baked olive bread.

After 12 shared dishes we were full.
Two lovely sweet treats helped us to finish our evening. Walnuts  almonds and rusk crushed and drenched with honey and baked in the oven topped with vanilla custard with cinnamon. Finger licking good. The other was a small tower with creme patisserie between two layers of cake and topped with chocolate ganache and a cherry.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Carrot Ginger Fond with Brook Trout

The fish should be the star of the show - but the Fond is!
And the Lemon Baharat Potatoes are going so well with the brook trout too. All in one - a great dish.

On TV I saw someone at the "Perfect Dinner" or "Come dine with me" in other countries, prepare a carrot fond and served it with the entree. I wasn`t really following but just saw the final photo of the dish. The fond was the winner in my opinion.
In a newspaper clipping I found a recipe with the brook trout served on some carrot ginger fond. A recipe from Austrian chef Elisabeth Grabmer.
I took both takes as an inspiration on the fond/jus and come up with my own version. It is no so complicated as it sounds. The jus not only goes with fish, but you can serve any white meat with it too.

recipe for the Carrot Ginger Fond:
500 ml carrot juice mixed with a little apple juice
half of an orange - juiced
half of a lemon - juiced
30 g fresh ginger
1 shallot
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
2 tbsp Noilly Prat
salt and pepper
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp anise seeds
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp veg stock powder
1 tsp potato starch in 2 tbsp water

1 brook trout fillet
2 tbsp oil
2 knobs of butter
salt and pepper
lemon juice

Peel and chop shallot and ginger, in rapeseed oil saute both until the shallot is tender, add the seeds and give them 2 minutes, add Noilly Prat, the orange and lemon juice and last the carrot apple mix.
Add seasonings and cook without a lid for 20 - 30 min to reduce to 1/3 of the liquid.
Dissolve the starch in water and gradually add to thicken the sauce. Then drain it through a fine sieve and reheat and serve.

Prepare the brook trout.
Season it on both sides and in some oil on medium to high heat brown the skin side. When you see the white come up around the fish, drain the oil from the pan.
Add the butter and turn the fish over and just finish it. A little lemon juice ups the flavour.
Put on top the  jus, skin side up.

Serve with some asparagus and Lemon Baharat Potatoes.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Lemon Baharat Potatoes

Greeting from the Orient.

My BFF was on tour here in Germany and on her trip she went o a big Turkish/Arabic Supermarket. She knows that I love to check out things that are unknown to me and she went to the spice board in the supermarket. The word "Oliven" on a jar caught her eye. It was a spice blend with the name Zeytin Baharat. It ingredients of garlic, marjoram, basil, oregano,mint and sumac sounded good. She bought it for me.
I googled the spice blend and found a potato side dish that sounded delicious. Since I was looking for a side to my fish dish, that gave me the reason to try it .

Great spice blend! I can recommend the way to prepare tasty potatoes in a pan.

Recipe for 2:
450 g potatoes
1 small red onion
1 tsp dried parsley or chives
1 lemon zest and juice
1 1/2 tsp Zeytin Baharat
60 ml rapeseed oil
salt and pepper

Peel and cut the potatoes in 2 cm cubes.
Zest and juice the lemon
add them to a bowl with parsley and 1 tsp of Baharat.
Mariante the potatoes for 30 min.

Add rapeseed oil and salt and pepper.
Bake in a wide pan for 10 min,
Add the sliced onion
Bake for 10 more minutes.

Add a bit more Baharat if you like.

Pudding Rice with Mango

A super ripe mango is a wonderful fruit, but a mess to eat. I wanted to use it before it went off.
I started to cut it open and had the juices run over my fingers. I dropped as much ripe flesh into a bowl and looked at it. Not so nice, no other fruit to make a smoothie, no yogurt in the fridge to mix it with.

On a cold day a bowl of pudding rice sounded great to me. When I make these kinds of sweet rice I usually use risotto rice like carneroli or aborio rice. But I had none at home. Some forgotten pudding rice sat in one of my many metal cans. O K , why not. I like my rice rich and creamy, so an egg and some lemon or lime juice is a must to finish it.

recipe for 2:
175 g pudding rice
20 g butter
1 pinch of salt 
800 ml whole milk
1 tbsp vanilla sugar
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 eggs
1 lemon.
1 ripe mango

Wash the rice and in some butter give it a good coating in a pot. After 2 min add the salt and the milk and bring to a boil, add vanilla sugar and brown sugar and cook for 20 - 25 min until the rice is soft .
Separate the eggs and beat the egg white stiff with a little salt.
Press the juice from the lemon.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Pasta with smoked Salmon and Physalis

When I checked my fridge I had one slice of smoked salmon left.  Eating it just as it is was one choice, but not enough to feel satisfied. Pasta for dinner sounded great and the salmon would be the final touch on my dish.

A bit of tomato would look nice on the plate too, but my tomato season has ended and since then I have not bought any from a shop.
What now. Some orange coloured physalis caught my eye. The look like cherry tomatoes. That inspired me to chuck a few halved ones into the pasta.
The sweet and fruity taste goes remarkable well with the smoked salmon.

120 g pasta
1 slice smoked salmon, use more when you have some
3 tbsp double cream
1 1/2 tbsp parmesan
3 physalis
Salt and pepper

Cook the pasta al dente and drain it.
Heat up the cream, season and add 1 tbsp parmesan.
Mix the pasta in.
Top with smoked salmon and halved physalis and a big more cheese