Saturday, 31 December 2016

Lentil Soup with Wieners

This is a classic German soup many people love to eat in the colder times of the year. This kind of soup was and is often served on Saturdays, when then families have to do many chores together and a quick and hearty bowl of soup helps them through the day. And a Sunday roast is promised.
Often you can find this soups in large quantities at outdoor activities, such as camps and playfields, the more soup you cook, the better it gets.

I made mine on New Years Eve- eating lentis means lots of luck and money in the next year. I  know it is a tradition in Italy, where also the women dress in red lingerie that night. It should help for other things too :-)

recipe for 2:
100 g green Puy lentils or brown or black ones
3 spring onions
2 cloves of garlic
1 carrot
2 boiled potatoes
50 g leek
1 tbsp parsley
2 tsp veg or chicken stock
600 ml water
2 tbsp malt vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
4  Wieners

If you do not have a lot of time, use a pressure cooker.
In the cooker heat the oil and start with onions and garlic and add the leek and carrot after a couple of minutes.

Add the washed lentils and the water. Do not add salt or stock cube.
Bring to a boil and close the lid of the pressure cooker, set it on high or 2 and wait for the sign to come up. Reduce the heat and cook for 17 minutes. Steam off.
Add the stock cube and the boiled potato and check for the seasoning. When the lentils are still a bit hard, add the sausages and cook them a little more on low heat. Get in the vinegar for the better rounded taste.
Finish with some parsley.

Friday, 30 December 2016

Rabbit in North African Spices

I bought a couple of rabbit shoulders or better the front legs of rabbits. They are marinated in herbs for a couple of hours. I bought a small container filled with lemons confit in salt as well. Usually I use these for Moroccan Tagines with chicken meat, but since chicken and rabbit are both very lean and white meats, I gave it a try. Saffron and a cinnamon stick gave the sauce a bit of Moroccon taste too.

6 rabbit front legs marinated in herbs and oil
1 red onion
4 cloves of garlic
1 carrot
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
2 tbsp flour
100 g green leek parts
1 red chili
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
2 pinches of Saffron
1 salt confit lemon Bedi
salt and pepper
1 stalk of rosemary
3 stalks of thyme
some parsley
2 small pots of chicken stock concentrate
150 ml mulled white wine
650 ml water

200 g mange tout
2 spring onions
salt and pepper
In hot oil start the rabbit front legs until they get a little colour. Get some flour in and all the other ingredients, add water and mulled wine and season with salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 40 minutes.
In a small pot in salted boiling water blanche the snow peas, drain and start with the spring onions in some oil, add the mangetout and season with salt and pepper.

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Velouté de Chou-Fleur et de Fenouil au fromage Italian

In my French supermarket I found a cookbook with 1001 vegetarian recipes. Now a lot of markers are sticking out of its pages. The great thing is, every recipe has 5 different varieties - so there is a lot to choose from.

Cauliflower goes great with many types of cheese, so I decided to forgo the single Parmesan that was used and go for Taleggio and matured Peccorino.

500 g cauliflower
2 medium fennel
1 white of a leek
1 tbsp olive oil
1,2 l veg stock
1 pinch of dried thyme
200 ml cream
4 tsp creme fraiche
35 g Pecorino
80 g Taleggio cheese
salt, pepper and nutmeg, piment d`espelette

Chop all the veggies.
Heat up the oil in a big casserole on medium heat.
Chuck in all the veggies and saute them for 10 minutes. Do not let them take colour.
Add the veg stock and cook for 15 minutes, add the cream and season.

Let the  Taleggio melt in the soup and take a stick blender to it to make a velouté.
Place into bowls and serve with Pecorino and Pea Cream and and a dollop of creme fraiche.
Get a few drops of a Extra Virgin Olive Oil on the soup before you serve it.

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Carrot Salad with Passion Fruit

It sounds like a lot of spices and ingredients when you read this recipe. But don´t worry, you can adjust this recipe to your own spice rack and your own preferences.

I love to have a great carrot salad, I do not know how often make a different version, always depending on what I can grab from my cupboards. Since I collected so many spices, I love to combine them in different dishes.

500 g carrots
2 - 3 passion fruits
1/2 lemon
3 tbsp greek yogurt
1 tsp honey
2 tsp dark sesame oil
1 tsp white balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp curcuma
a pinch of caraway seeds
orange pepper
lemon pepper
licorice salt
sesame seeds
dried garlic
anis seeds

Use a powerful blender and put all ingredients, except the sesame seeds into the machine and give that a good blitz. Just taste if you need more seasoning and serve with same sesame seeds on top.

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Swiss Bürli- fresh baked rolls

Do you want to have fresh baked rolls for breakfast and the next bakery is too far away or closed, do not worry - bake them yourself. The only thing that is important, you will need some room in your fridge to put a large bowl in. The dough should rest in the fridge over night.

Are you looking for dinner rolls, no big deal, just prepare the dough in the early morning and bake it in the evening.

These rolls are unique, because every one of them looks different, you do not have to form them, just drop some dough on the baking sheet with a big spoon.

400 g plain flour
100 g rye flour
21 g fresh yeast
2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking malt (optional)
340 g tepid water

Bring it together and knead it for 6 minutes, it is a sticky dough. Put it into a lid covered bowl and stick it in the fridge for minimum 10 hours.
Preheat the oven 250 C 
Use a baking paper covered baking sheet.
Stick a big serving spoon into some flour and just scoop some dough out onto the baking sheet.
It makes 8-9 rolls.
Now you can brush them with a bit of water and put some seeds on top, such as sesame, caraway seeds or poppy seeds.
Put a small bowl with water into the oven.
Reduce the heat to 230 C and bake for 20 minutes.

Monday, 26 December 2016

Mango Vanilla Rice Soup with a hint of Curry

This is a nicely flavoured soup with the main component vanilla. Seldom is vanilla used in savoury dishes, but I love to do it. The original recipes was a Mango Curry Rice soup with a hint of vanilla.
But for a 2. Christmas Day supper something special as a starter was called for. And the second reason, my friend does not really like the curry flavour if it is dominant. Third reason, the only jar of curry in her household held just 1 small tsp of curry.
It made such a great tasting soup.

1 large onion
1 1/2 Mango
150 g celeriac
2 tbsp butter
600 ml veg stock
400 ml coconut cream
1/2 vanilla pod, seeded and pod
a bit of curry
1/4 tsp ground corinander
1/4 tsp ground fenugreek
1/4 tsp curcuma
1/4 tsp piment d´espelette
salt and pepper
100 g basmati rice

Cook the basmati rice and set it aside.
In a large pot start with the butter and add the onion and celeriac cubes and let them get soft.
Add veg stock and mangos and start to season.
Add coconut cream and cook for 12  minutes.

Fish out the vanilla pod.
Use a stick blender and make a creamy soup.
Add the basmati rice and let it reheat.

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Mazamorra Peruana, warm winter fruit salad

Serve it with Ice Cream for balance!

Silver sprayed Ice Cream for the festive touch

I have a collection of recipes from South America and this one is a great dish from Peru to serve at  house parties with many guests. You can do the work the day before and just warm it up again a little and add some fresh fruits for taste and voila, get the ice cream ready.

Dried fruits and winter go great together, you will find them in many sweet dishes and baked goods. Even in savoury dishes dried fruits are found.
I discovered, the longer you keep the aromatic spices in, the better the taste gets. So instead of taking them out after cooking, I keep them in until the mix has completely cooled down. Some of them I fish out the next day even.

350 g use as much different dried fruits as you can find
(apricots, plums, apples, pears, figs, raisins, cherries, mango)
1 orange untreated- you will  need the peel
1 cup of white wine or cider
3 cups of water
brown sugar to sweeten just to your taste -about 80 - 100 g
3 slices of fresh ginger
cinnamon sticks broken into pieces
1/2 star anise
1 clove
5 cardamom pods
1/4 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 vanilla pod
4 allspice berries
1/4 tsp fenugreek

250 g fresh cut up pineapple
2 tsp cornstarch
4 tsp water
1 pomegranat apple
50 g mix nuts chopped
vanilla ice cream

Wash the orange with hot water and peel very thin the outer layers off.
Cut some slices ginger
Chop the dried fruits
Use a tea filter bag or a small metal tea strainer and fill in the spices.
Get everything in a pot and add wine, water and brown sugar (less is more)
Cook for 30 minutes.

Chop the peeled and cored pineapple into bite size chunks and cook it for 5 minutes in the mix.
Bring together starch and water and bind the sauce with it.
Cool down completely.
After hours, remove the spice bag, later the orange peels and ginger.

The next day, warm it up again- do not cook it.
Deseed a pomegranate and sprinkle the seeds over the mix.
Chop some nuts and add them too.
Serve with Ice Cream or whipped cream or vanilla custard.
For some festive touch use some edible spray to cover the ice cream.

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Turbot panfried

For Christmas Eve I bought a whole fish. It is not so often eaten and not so common to buy at the local fishmonger.

These turbots are from Aquaculture, they are a lot smaller. But is is Eco friendly and protects the wild fish.
When I planned this dinner I thought about a bigger sized fish, taking out the fillets and getting them into a bag and sucking out the air to make a vacuum. I wanted to cook them Sou Vide.
But for a method like this, the amount of fillet should have been at least 3 times the weight I had here.
So I decided to pan fry them and let the fish rest in the oven for 10 minutes.

Just put some salt on top and flour the fish on both sides. A wide pan with a knob of butter and a tbsp of oil. A clove of garlic in the pan, that´s it.

On each side 3 1/2 minutes, then into the preheated oven at 150 C for 10 minutes.
After the resting time is over and you want to be sure that the fish is done, use a metal skewer or a thin blade and stick it into the fish at the thickest part. Take it out, take it to your lower lip. When it is warm against the lip, it is done.

The skin is not edible and the seam around the fillets are not worth any work on them. Just lift the fillets off the bone, parting the fish along the backbone in the middle. Turn it to the other side and lift both fillets off there too.
Season with salt and pepper and some lemon juice. I served the fillets on top of 2 slices of toast and I had some oven roasted tomatoes with it and a bit of horseradish.


Baked Bananas in their own skin

This is a quick and tasty little snack als a dessert. Served just after lunch, everybody is happy.
I found it in my new cookbook - fruits sweet and savoury.

When you have semi black bananas, you only need 10 minutes in the oven. Less ripe ones need a bit more time.

2 bananas
1/2 lemon
4 tsp olive oil
1 tsp honey
1 vanilla pod

Preheat the oven 190 C fan.
Split the vanilla pod lengthwise in half, cut it into 4 cm sticks.
Try to find the most straight parts of the bananas.
Cut it into 5 cm pieces - leave the skin on !

Prick the banana in the middle with a toothpick, insert a piece of vanilla pod.
Mix olive oil, honey and lemon juice.
Use an ovenproof dish.
Bake for 10 - 15 minutes.
Pour some of the juice back over the bananas when serving.

Friday, 23 December 2016

German Style red Cabbage with Jerusalem Artichoke Mash and Turkey

I love fresh made red cabbage and I love to eat it warmed up one or two days later. The more often you warm it up, the better it gets.
Our family never used canned or frozen red cabbage, the texture was to mushy for us. We made it ourself all of the time. The cabbage has to retain its strukture and has to be cut by hand, not to put through a electric grater. Preparing it does not take much time and it is important to add a few things.
First onion and apple, later cranberry sauce and last but not least flour and vinegar.

1 small head of red cabbage
1 large onion
1 red apple
2 tbsp lard or clarified butter
75 ml wine or cider
2 tbsp cranberry sauce
2 pinches of ground clove
2 pinches of cinnamon
4 juiper berries
3 cm fresh ginger
salt and pepper
1 1/2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Cut the cabbage into fine strips, get the hard middle bit out.
Chop peeled onion and unpeeled apple.
Use lard or clarified butter or duck or goose fat to start the cabbage.
Just put the cabbage on top the hot fat, get onions and apple on top -do not stir now, add the liquid and close the lid for 5 minutes.
Then stir, add the seasonings and the cranberry sauce and cook until the cabbage is tender. It takes 15-20 minutes.
Use a small sieve and sprinkle flour all over, add the vinegar and stir again.
That makes the cabbage glossy and changes the colour.

Jerusalem Artichoke or Topinambur roots
250 g roots
3 small potatoes
60 ml double cream
salt, pepper, nutmeg
turkey breast
2 turkey breast slices 160 g each
chicken seasoning
salt and pepper
2 tbsp white wine
4 tbsp cream
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp oil

Peel the roots and the potatoes and cook them in salted water until soft.
Drain the potatoes and mash them with some double cream and seasoning.
On medium heat in a wide pan bake the turkey breasts, add the wine and cream and close a lid and finish for 3 more minutes.

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Peas Soup with solidified Eggs

We have lots of different kinds of pea soups here in Germany.  Huge pots are served a festivals, made with dried peas, fresh pea soups made at home. Mostly served with a kind of sausage - a German staple.

I made one without the addition of sausages, but with old classic soup add -ins such as a kind of scrambled egg cooked in the microwave and cut into small cubes. It is easy to make and tastes great. It is called Eierstich here.

recipe for the solidified eggs:
2 eggs
2 tbsp milk
a pinch of salt, nutmeg, pepper, dried parsley
butter for the dish

Use a microwavable dish with a lid, square or rectangular. Butter the inside and the lid.
Beat the eggs with milk and seasoning and pour it into the dish.
Close the lid and cook it 3 min at 500 Watt.

You can make it long before you need it, just warm it up in the soup.

pea soup recipe:
300 g frozen peas
3 spring onions
2 small garlic cloves
750 ml water
50 g angel hair pasta
1 piece of rind of parmesan cheese or any other hart cheese rind
2 tbsp parsley
some nutmeg, pepper and salt
5 drops of Tabasco

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Veal Scallops with Basil and Ham

I was grocery shopping in France again and wanted something fast for a meal. I found a couple of veal scallops. Since my sage on my balcony is in its winter rest, I used big fresh basil leaves and some flat leaf parsley to add to the veal. Covered in raw ham it was like its Italian classic brother: Saltimbocca.

I saw a Turkish chef make a side dish with 2/3 rice and 1/3 angelhair pasta, cooked in broth. I have  tried it and put both ingredients together in my rice cooker with water and chicken stock powder- it worked.

4 veal scallops
4 slices of raw ham
4 large basil leaves
4 stalks of flat leaf parsley
salt and pepper
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil

1 cup basmati rice
1/2 cup angelhair pasta
1 tsp chicken stock

lambs lettuce
1 shallot
2 tbsp Greek yogurt
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp cider vinegar
salt pepper
celery seed
1 tsp agave syrup
dried salad seasoning

Put the scallops between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and beat them until thinner.
Season the meat on both sides with salt and pepper and put a large basil leaf and a bit of parsley on top, cover with a slice of raw ham and use 2 toothpicks.
Melt butter with oil and heat it up to medium heat, put the veal in on the meat side and cook for 2,5 min, then  turn and cook for 1,5 min. turn again and rest in the pan on low heat.

Cook rice and pasta together with some chicken stock.
Wash the salad and slice the shallot into fine cubes, mix the dressing and it is ready to serve.

Monday, 19 December 2016

Eating at a Mystery Book Author Reading

In my hometown there is a lot of crime - but mostly in books. We have a famous author who writes mystery novels for more then 10 years and most of the stories play around the city and the rural areas. His name is Michael Kibler.
His newest book was just released.
In a small restaurant in an older part of the city - the Vis à Vis - we had dinner during the reading of some of the chapters of the new book.
I was here with friends- a book blogger Uwes-Leselounge and a YouTuber  RosesandIvy77
The restaurant is often frequented by many students from all the different University parts. Many live around here. And one thing is crazy, finding a parking space in all that small streets.

Our dinner evening started with a wonderful Aperitiv. Reduced red wine syrup with some star anise and cinnamon, rhubarb syrup and some Prosecco. Delightful.

Then the author started to read from his book "Seelenraub" (Stolen souls).

First course was a soup, this restaurant is known to be a Soup Kitchen, so I was looking forward to it.

Pumpkin, sweetpotato and peanutbutter with roasted Austrian green pumpkin seeds. It was lightly spiced with some chili and very creamy.  But 2 tablespoons full of roasted green pumpkin seeds on top of the soup were a bit too much crunch. The taste nearly destroyed the peanut aroma. Maybe just half of it would made the soup a star of the dinner.

Now we heard more from the book- child abuse is a part of the mystery this time. 

The Main course was pork loin in Parmesan crust with saffron, white wine and lemon creamy sauce over pasta. The meat was fine and you could taste the cheese, put my pasta side was undercooked and stuck together. Not really a treat. The sauce that covered it tasted good and single saffron pieces could be seen.

The dessert was Panna Cotta with Raspberries.

Sorry to say, that was not ok.
The panna cotta had not enough gelatine in it, so it did not set and was lumpy, it was absolutely bland and not sweet enough. It missed vanilla beans a lot. The frozen raspberries were a mushy compote, it would have been a good alternative to make a couli out of them.

The author sat with us for a while and we asked questions. It was a great evening with nice food.

Sunday, 18 December 2016


A breakfast from the Philippines.

I saw it on YT - Emmymadeinjapan - an was intrigued. The amount of garlic used is enorme for a breakfast dish.
Tapa = fried beef strips
sinangag = fried rice
itlog = egg

So I thought about making it for lunch on a Sunday, when it was no problem to indulge on garlic, but Sunday morning I thought, why not! And I made the dish 8:30 AM. Marvellous!
I would not recommend to eat it before you go to work- but if you have a office space to your own ....

do it the night before

200 g thin slices of Sirloin
1 cup cooked rice from the day before
1 egg
8 cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp black pepper
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp balsmic vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
some pickled chilis
rapeseed oil

the beef gets a nice dark colour in the morning

The evening before, cook the rice in salted water and let it cool down over night.

Take a slice of sirloin and use a meat cleaver and flatten it out even more, slice it into half inch strips.
Peel 4 cloves of garlic and use a press to mince it.
In a container with a lid, add garlic, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar and pepper and coat all the meat in it, cover with a lid and put into the fridge over night.

In the morning, peel 4 cloves of garlic, set one aside.
Mince the 3 cloves with a press into the oil in one medium pan and start to make it golden- do not let it burn! it turns bitter. Get the garlic out of the oil and set aside.
In the oil fry off the rice, when it is ready add the garlic pieces back in.
In an other pan in some oil on high heat, brown the meat.
In a third pan fry an egg.

Use a tiny bowl and add white balsamic vinegar, some pickled chilis and the cut up last piece of garlic as a dipping sauce.