Monday, 21 May 2018

Giant Couscous Salad

Lebanese Giant Couscous is not so often sold here in Germany. Our Turkish Supermarkets seldom have it in stock. When you see the spheres for the first time, you might think these are some kind of Italian pasta.
One thing is different about it from the beginning, the couscous needs a lot of broth or water and cooks for 30 minutes. One moment it is still hart, the other moment it gets soft. So stay alert when you cook it.

Serving it for lunch with grilled meat and a bit of yogurt sauce on the side is an alternative to the usual pasta or rice salads.

We mixed ours with sauteed bell peppers, blanched cucumber, small radishes and red onions and finished with some fresh chives.

half a lemon juiced
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar

Dressing a plate for success

Or plating food to look like something else. Inexpensive ingredients steal the show on the plate.

The shiny cans with Russian Caviar are sold empty on the Internet, unused and undamaged. Obviously there are more people trying to make their food shine.

The bottom of the can was filled with a potato cream and topped with black Beluga lentils. Since Beluga caviar in famous and extremely expensive, the humble black lentils step up to the plate with a shiny texture.
Finishing the dish with 2 types of quail eggs. One kind was sour and spicy with onions and the other was cracked and marinated in a mulled red wine. That made a marble effect on the eggs.

4 medium potatoes cooked in their peel
200 g Greek yogurt
2 tbsp chives
1 pinch dried marjoram
Salt and pepper

80 g black Beluga lentils
30 g celeriac

Pickled quail eggs:
6 quail eggs
1bay leaf
1 onion
mustard seeds
1/5 of a star anise
caraway seeds
2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp vinegar
350 ml water

Red wine pickled quail eggs:
400 ml red wine
2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 caraway seeds
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

When the potatoes are cooked, peel them and press them through a potato ricer. Mix with yogurt and seasoning to a cream. Put into the oven at 80 C to keep warm.

Cook the lentils with the celeriac in water without salt, when they are done, season, drain and put them into the oven to keep warm.

The days before - start the pickled eggs- they need 2-3 days in the jar to get the taste.
The eggs should be cooked and the skin cracked all over so that the hot liquid can get in and when they cool down it will get more intense.

12 hours before prepare the red wine eggs. They need that time to get the marble effect.

Saturday, 19 May 2018

Octopus Dog or Pulpo Dog

This is an other recipe of 2 Michelin stars chef Tohru Nakamura.

What I love about his dishes are the quality of the products and the easy way to prepare them. They sound complicated when you look at them first, but are very good to prepare.

The textures and flavour combinations are awesome. This is the 5. recipe and I am loving the taste of this one. It was my first time a cooked an octopus and it was not too complicated. I prepared most of the work before the Royal wedding of Harry and Meghan and ate my dog when they came out of the church. The longest time is just the cooking, cooling down and reheating of the octopus. All other prep work is done is just minutes.

recipe for 2:
600 g whole octopus - enough for 2
500 ml Weißbier or wheat beer
2 tbsp soy sauce
enough water to cover the beast

1 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp white miso paste
1 tbsp peanut butter

1 small cucumber
3 small carrots
1/2 daikon radish
1 tbsp coriander or parsley or chives
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp salt
2 gem lettuce

2 baguette rolls or submarine rolls
40 g comté or peccorino cheese
1 tbsp dried fried onions

In a wide pot pour in the beer and the soy sauce and place the cleaned octopus in and top off with water until nearly covered. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to very low and let it simmer for 2,5 hours. Take the lid of and let the octopus cool down in the liquid.

Take a greater or a handy machine and grate carrots, cucumber and radish. Add sugar, salt and vinegar and a little pepper and set aside.

Make the sauce for the arms of the octopus by mixing ketchup, peanut butter and miso. Spoon it onto the arms of the cooled octopus and set it into the oven under the grill to warm through again.
Toast the rolls.
Stuff them with gem lettuce, drained and squeezed out salad, coriander and baked octopus and slice some pieces of cheese on top. Add the dried onions and if you like some lime juice.


Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Cheese Tajine with Couscous and a hot dip

The Handkäse is easily combined with food you will find in North African Culture. Instead of meat like lamb, chicken or beef the protein comes from the cheese. In this dish it is paired with a spicy yogurt sauce.
The tajine is a typical cook ware in Morokko. It is made of clay, filled with all ingredients of a dish and stored in an oven. The juices and the flavours work in an closed envirement.

Recipe for 4:
250 g couscous
500- 600 veg stock
200 g mixed veggies like peas and peppers
1 onion
200 g sour milk cheese
4 tbsp oil
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Yogurt dressing:
200 g yogurt
100 g sour cream
1 clove of garlic
1 tsp hot chili powder

Cook the couscous in veg stock a marked on the package. Cube the bell peppers into small pieces, sautee them in oil and then let them cool down. Chop the cheese into small bits. Mix everything with the  couscous and salt, pepper, vinegar and oil.

Make the dressing and season it with salt and pepper to your liking.

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Risotto Milanese with Bone Marrow

This is the most famous dish of the north Italian city of Milan.

The risotto rice is grown in the area and since the city was and is prosperus, the most expensive seasoning is used in the rice- Saffron.

To take the risotto to the next level, the Milanese like to eat their risotto with cooked bone marrow for added richness. But do not forget the butter and the Parmigiano that goes in as well.

I love this dish for so many years. I started cooking when I got my own household and saw on TV a report about a first class Milan restaurant. The thing that stuck to me was the risotto that was cooked for the crew of the restaurant before the service started. It looked so easy, but it was not.
It took me a while to get the Carneroli rice, then handling the bone marrow, but after a couple of tries, I had my own very classic Risotto Milanese.

Today I served it with fresh picked green asparagus.

Recipe for 2:
2 marrow bones, cooked
180 g carneroli rice
1 small onion
1 spring onion
4 tbsp butter
150 ml white wine
600 ml beef stick
80 g Parmesan
0,4 g Saffron

Chop onions fine and start them in butter. Soak the Saffron in warm water

Add the rice and coat it well, pour in the wine and let that cook down. Now is time for the Saffron. Heat up the stock and add it 4 steps,
stir very often.

Then finish with butter and cheese.

Monday, 14 May 2018

Curacao Style Peanut Chicken

I wanted to recreate the lunch from Kokos Beach Restaurant in Jan Thiel since I came back from Curacao.
It is a dish that has many ingredients and I wanted to cook it together with my friends. Lots of prep work, divided on 3 people made it a lot easier.
Finally last Saturday we came together and made it as the main course of our meal.

I went a little different and changed some ingredients, but it worked fine and tasted very delicious. The style is Indonesian cooking. That is not so uncommon, because the Netherlands were as traders on various islands in Indonesia.

Recipe for 4:
4 chicken thighs
200 g mungo been noodles
1 red onion
1 white onion
3 spring onions
3 celery stalks
2 red bell peppers
1 yellow bell pepper
2 medium cooked potatoes
150 g salted roasted peanuts
50 g whole pistaccios
80 g breadcrumbs
1 tsp chili flakes
5 tbsp ketchup manis (sweet soy sauce)
60 ml white wine
Salt, pepper
Mild Java curry
3 tbsp canola oil
1 lime
Coriander greens

Debone and skin the chicken thighs and cut them into smaller pieces. Save the skin and press it down on baking paper, season it and let it get crunchy under a grill in the oven.

In a small blender mix peanuts, breadcrumbs and chili and make a coarse mix.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper and toss in the peanut mix.
Cook in a bit of oil on medium heat until nearly done. Set aside.

Chop all veggies and fry them in the same pan. Add a bit of curry powder and season.
Add half of the Ketchup Manis.

Get the noodles into a bowl and soak them in hot water for 3 min, drain and cut them into short strips.

Use the big pan and bring everything together and heat it up again
 Add the rest of the sauce and a little veg stock or water.
Finish with lime juice and coriander and some whole peanuts and pistaccios.

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Savoury Rolls or Räuberbrötchen

The German name Räuberbrötchen means rolls of a thieve. Do not ask me why they have this peculiar name. They are very quick to prepare and the dough doesn´t need any time to rest.

You can freeze them and use them for an other occation and they taste still great.

Well, bacon always tastes good in all kinds of dishes, if you not a vegetarian.

When you have guests and serve drinks, you can make that just an hour before they come and you do not have a lot of work with them.

recipe for 10 - 12 rolls:
250 g low fat curd
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
8 tbsp milk
6 tbsp olive oil
300 g all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
120 g smoked ham bits
60 g dried roasted onion bits
100 g grated pecorino cheese

Heat up the oven to 180 C.
In a big bowl add upper 7 ingredients and mix.
Stir in the last 3 ingredients. It will make a soft ans squishy dough.
Knead for 3 minutes.
Use baking paper and a little flour and make small balls of dough, dip the bottom into the flour and put them with the baking paper into the oven. After 18 min, turn them upside down and give them 8-10 more minutes.