Sunday, 31 January 2016

Salmon with a potato roof

Fish is on the menu at least one or two times a week. Salmon is in good quality available and not so expensive.

I wanted to make something a bit showy, so I decided to put a roof or some potato shingles on top of the salmon. It looks pretty, it prevents the fish from drying out and gives the dish some nice appeal.

Salmon with a potato roof
Just serving it on a bed of fresh purslane, dressed in balsamic vinegar, balsamic fleur de sel from La Palma, some Olive oil and pepper.
It goes great with some roasted bell peppers. Just make them special by taking the skin off with a peeler before putting them in the pan. A little effort wont hurt. Take a red and a yellow one.

peeled peppers

I did potato or courgette slices on top of fish before, but mostly had the problem, that the slices fell off in the moment I started to turn the fish and the whole thing wasn´t looking so good anymore.

I found a solution on Google! When in doubt, turn to Google.

butter, potato starch to coat the slices

For 300 g of fish, you will need 3 small equal size potatoes. Peel them and use a fine grater or a Mandoline to make thin slices. When you cut them with a knife, they will probably be to thick and so wont cook in the same time as the salmon.

Now the trick:
3 tbsp of melted butter
2 tsp potato starch
combine both and put the slices in so they get a good coating.

Season the fish, lay a nice shingles of potatoes on top and put the fish into the fridge for 15 minutes. The butter will go solid again and the slices wont fall of.

In a pan on medium heat, start with some oil and put the fish down with the potato side. Let it sit for 3 minutes, you can lift off one corner to see it the potatoes go light brown. Turn the fish and let it cook until it is soft and flaky in the middle but do not let it dried out.

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Turkey legs brined and braised

Before I started watching SortedFood videos I never heard of brining a piece of turkey meat. Brining is common here for pork, but nobody ever heard of brining turkey meat.

I bought 2 turkey legs from a butcher and suddenly came up with using the method of brining.
All ingredients were at hand, so I gave it a go. The meat has to stay in the brine for 8- 12 hours.

Turkey legs with pasta

The brining liquid recipe:
4 cups of water
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 Oranges
1 lemon
1 lime
10 Cardamom pods
6 Juniper berries
4 cloves
10 pepperkorns
1 tsp coriander seeds

cooking the legs:
2 tbsp coconut oil
dry rub with spices from South Africa  containing coriander, cumin, chilli, pepper, thyme, parsley, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, cardamom, caraway.......
2 carrots
200 g celery
100 ml Noilly Prat
500 ml Chicken stock
2 tbsp cornstarch
add a couple of slices orange, lemon, lime from the brine to the sauce and cook them with the rest, then discard them before serving.

Brown the legs in hot coconut oil, add the veggies with some cornstarch and the fruit, deglaze the pan with the Vermouth and add the chicken stock. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and cover the pot with a lid. Turn the legs every 20 min. Braising time is around 90 to 100 minutes.

The sauce has a wonderful slight fruity taste and is very aromatic due to the spices. Serve with rice or pasta.

When I cook turkey meat again, putting it in a brine first will always be my choice now.

French Escargots with herb butter and lamb´s lettuce

I wanted to eat a salad for dinner. I found some snails to go with the salad.

It is a lovely combination since snails love salad :-)  This time they are in the salad on purpose.

Lamb´s Lettuce is a winter salad you get here and in France often during this time of year. It is a bit fiddely to clean and needs a lot of water before all the grit is gone. It goes great with a warm dressing, served immediatly after putting the dressing on, or with a cold creamy sauce.
As a bed to rest the Escargots on, it is wonderful.

Salad Dressing

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Vegetable Risotto with King Oyster Mushrooms

I love Risotto!

A vegetable risotto with homemade vegetable stock and sauteed King Oyster Mushrooms is a blast.
Adding many different flavours of veg that are giving the rice a variety of textures and dimensions is nice. You don´t miss any meat in this dish.

If you are not a vegetarian you can use any other homemade stock, such as chicken or beef or even a fish stock. Serve a piece of chicken, beef or fish with the risotto and all the carnivores are happy campers. Since you blitz up most of the veggies, all picky veg eaters wont moan.

Vegetable Risotto with King Oyster Mushrooms

A couple of stock cubes do the job too!

I had some veggies and herbs sitting around last week they were not looking so great, I put them in a pot with the usual companions like bay leave, chilli and pepper and made a stock. I kept it in an 1 liter Mason Jar and in the fridge, it lasts about 2 weeks. Now it got the chance to take part in making a good risotto.
A nice glass of white wine from the Gascogne was added to the rice too.


150 g Canaroli rice
2 spring onions
3 cloves of garlic
1/2 red chilli
1 green bell pepper
1 carrot
10 cm leek
60 g celeriac root
1 pok choy
1 tbsp parsley
30 g pecorino
3 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1 glass of white wine
800 ml vegetable stock
120 g King Oyster Mushrooms
1 tbsp truffle oil
salt and pepper

Starting with the veggies

I just chop  onion, garlic and some chilli rings and the  chuck all other veggies in my Thermomix to blitz them up.
In a bit olive oil and a knob of butter I start with onion and garlic and give them 2 minutes, then all the veggies join in the pan and get sauteed.
I wash the risotto rice until the water comes away clear and add it to the pan. A second knob of butter helps with the rice.
A good glass of white wine and a couple of minutes cooking starts the risotto making.

In a small pot I bring the veg stock up to a boil, then reduce the heat and keep it simmering. A ladle of stock to the risotto and a good stirring are important. Keep it up until most of the stock is absorbed and the rice is nice and plump. It still needs to have some liquid, add a bit of butter, seasoning, the chilli and the parsley and grate a good hand full of pecorino on top.

King Oyster Mushrooms

In a pan with some olive oil and a few greens from the spring onions chuck the sliced King Oyster Mushrooms in and let them get soft. Season with salt and pepper. When they are ready, add a dash of truffle oil and serve with the risotto.

Raspberry Almond Linseed Smoothie

This sounds a bit healthy, but I found all ingredients sitting around. This combination is so good, that I had it couple of times now  -  just finished one :-)

Raspberry Smoothie

Almond milk is the liquid base for this smoothie. Use 200 ml

1 punnet of raspberries, 1 apple, juice of a lime and 2 soft dates are the fruit in this mix.

2 tbsp Golden Linseed, 1 tbsp Chia Seeds and 2 tbsp Almond butter and 1 tbsp Almond flakes are the healthy components.

Mix it all together and make a more gloopy kind of Smoothie you have to eat with a spoon.
The finish is a sprig of mint. You can even use more mint, it is going great with raspberries.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Ramenara - a cheat version of an Italian classic

The SortedFood guys showed 3 ways to use instant Ramen noodles.

Today I didn´t have more then half an hour between coming home from work and getting out of the house to an appointment. Hungry and eating something fast was on my agenda. So I wanted some pasta and remembered the recipe from Sorted.


Since bacon, garlic and cheese are on hand I started immediatly. As always I can´t keep my hands off the original recipe and changed a few things.

80 g bacon
2 spring onions
olive oil
3 cloves of garlic
cream cheese
2 plates of ramen noodles
1 egg

In a medium pot in a little olive oil start the bacon. While it browns, chop the spring onion and the garlic and throw it in. Give it a good minute, add as much water as you need to cover the sheet of ramen noodles and cook them until soft. Decide it you have to much liquid and get some out with a spoon, add the cheese and stir it well. To bind the sauce crack in a egg and give it a minute . Add some pepper and some Sriracha to taste.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Leftovers on puff pastry

Sometimes you have to clean out your fridge and prepare a meal from it.

I found a block of puff pastry, some Chorzio, 2 slices of raw ham, half a package of Pok Choy, 2 spring onions, 1/2 green chilli, 2 eggs and some cream and 100 g of Pizza Cheese.
What will it gonna be?

Pie with leftovers

Sausage rolls?

OK, chuck everything in a pie form and bake it!
Use some baking beans to blind bake the pastry shell, so you don`t get a soggy bottom. That needs 10 minutes.

baking beans

10 min. blind baked
Chopping everything up, I thought putting it in raw and bake it, or putting it in a pan first and softening it up. I choose the pan and it was a good decision. I mixed the eggs, the cream and the cheese and seasoned it. Bake it for 20 minutes and let the pie rest 5 minutes outside.

Monday, 25 January 2016


Most people tell me that it is a dish from Israel but it originally comes from Northern Africa, the Maghreb region. People love it all around the middle east.
It is eaten as a breakfast.
Base is a dish with peppers and tomatoes in which eggs are cooked and the whole dish is served with bread to mop up the juices. You can make it in single portions or in a huge pan like a paella pan and the everybody can tuck in.

I would not eat it early in the morning but as a brunch dish it sounds tasty.

"Pastryismylife" from the Sorted community gave me her recipe, I added a few spices, the chilli and the feta cheese.


1 onion
3 cloves of garlic
1 red chilli
1 red bell pepper
1 hand full of cherry tomatoes - you can use a small can of tomatoes or if not add
50 ml of white wine or water, 
1 tbsp tomato paste
fresh parsley
3 eggs
salt, pepper
smoked paprika
olive oil
(feta cheese for more richness)

preheat the oven 180 C
Onion, Garlic and Chilli

In an oven proof pan start the oil and saute the onion, garlic and chilli. Let it get soft but not brown.
Add the cubes of pepper and tomato and cook until soft, add the tomato paste and the seasoning. When you use cherry tomatoes, they don´t have enough liquid so you have to add some water or better some white wine. That will take good 15 - 20 minutes.

with Tomatoes and Peppers

Make 3 holes in the mix and drop the eggs in. Season them with salt and pepper.

Get the pan in the oven and wait about 6-7 minutes until the white is set and the yolk still soft.
You can cook it on the stove with a lid on, too.

To make it a bit richer you can add some feta cheese cubes, they will get soft in the oven. Sprinkle with fresh herbs and serve with baguette or other fresh bread.

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Hoisin Ribs with Rice Noodle Salad

I found a rack of pork ribs yesterday and today thought about a cooking method.

Usually I marinate the ribs in a lot of Bourbon, brown sugar, ground coriander, ground cumin and soy sauce with a good gluck of ketchup, but today I wanted something different. But I always cook them first for 20- 30 minutes, so that they don´t get hard in the middle and easier off the bone. That was an advice from my friend in Virginia, who showed me her cooking method.

Asian Ribs with Rice Noodle Salad
I love Hoisin sauce, so ribs with a marinade sounded good to me. But what to serve with it. I was in the supermarket in the morning and a solution for that problem came while I was in the veggie isle- red pepper, small red radish, coriander and spring onions make a good salad with some rice vermicelli. But they hadn´t the tiny ones, so I bought wide rice noodles.

recipe for the salad:
150 g rice noodles, cooked for 4  minutes, then drained
1 red pepper
5 red radish
30 g coriander
1 lime
2 spring onions
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp dark sesame oil
2 tbsp light sesame oil
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp Mirin
1 tsp Sriracha sauce
1 tbsp palm sugar

red peppers, radishes, spring onions and coriander

recipe for the Asian ribs:
700 g spare ribs racks
4 tbsp Hoisin sauce
2 tbsp Honey
1 tbsp Soy Sauce
1 tsp 5 spice powder
1 tbsp Sriracha Sauce
2 tbsp Bourbon ( my secret ingredient)

ribs cooked for 30 minutes

In a big pot with a little salt cook the ribs for 30 minutes, let them cool.
Don´t throw out the broth, chuck in some dried veggies, bay leave and pepper and bring it back to a boil for 5 minutes- let it cool down, store it in a airtight container and you have broth that lasts up to 2 weeks.
Marinate the warm ribs and let them sit in it for a good while.
Heat the oven 200 C and give them 15 min on one side, then more marinate on top turn them and bake them 15 min more. Depending on the thickness, they should be ready now.

Start getting your hands dirty!  Lick your fingers later!!!

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Blanc-manger coco

Every time when I am grocery shopping in the french supermarket, I pick up a Gourmand magazine issue. I have to confess, I collect them and I have now about 120 issues at home. I love their view on food. Many dishes I have done are inspired of one of these issues.

Blanc-manger coco
I was looking through the last one I bought short before Christmas and I found a light dessert. Asian inspired Blanc-manger coco.
Since all ingredients were at hand, and the main course was Asian ribs with rice noodle salad, that dessert should be the crown of the day.

Blanc-manger is usually an almond dessert which is made with almond milk, some chopped almonds and milk and sometimes cream.

It is actually fairly easy to prepare, when you are not forgetting to get a large enough pot, because the liquid has the tendency to boil over and make a mess. I forgot ;-(   But cleaning an induction hob is not so bad.

500 ml whole milk
400 ml can of coconut milk
1 lime zested
150 g sugar
5 gelatin leaves
3 tbsp dry roasted dessicated coconut 

Soak the gelatin in cold water for about 5 minutes.  In a large pot heat the milk, then add the coconut milk, the sugar and the lime zest and bring back to a boil, add the squished
out gelatin and stir well until it completely dissolves. Cut down the heat to a low simmer and cook the liquid for 10 minutes, stirring often. At last add the roasted coconut to the mix. Fill into a big bowl or into individual cups and give it 3-4 hours to firm up.

Serve it with some raspberries and blueberries and some mint.

Friday, 22 January 2016

Almond Trout with Brandy

This is a dish I found in a Restaurant a while ago and since then I am preparing it when ever I find some good looking trouts.

Rainbow Trout with Almonds

The cooking on low temperature makes sure that the fish wont dry out and it get a wonderful nutty crust without burning the almond flakes. A good knob of butter is also important for the flavour.

The combination of almonds and brandy make a wonderful sauce and give a distinctive taste to the fish. I  bought some rainbow trout. The dish is served with leftover sour cream mash and green bean salad.

not many ingredients

2 rainbow trouts together 500 g
1 plate covered with seasoned flour
1 tbsp oil
3 tbsp butter
50 g almond flakes
50 ml Brandy - I used Osborne Veterano Solera
Salt, pepper
a bit of spring onion and some parsley

Clean the trouts and if you like, cut off the head of the fish.
Season inside and press the trouts into the seasoned flour

In a large pan heat up the oil and 1 tbsp of butter and on medium heat bake the trout on one side for 3 minutes, then turn and cover the baked side with almond flakes.  Bake an other 3 minutes, then turn and cover the other side with almond flakes. Put the rest of the butter in the pan. After 2 minutes turn and turn again so both sides with almonds get some heat. Have a lid close by and put the Brandy in the pan and cover up. Shut down the heat. Let it rest for 2 - 3 minutes.

and now comes the Brandy

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Scottish Haggis with Whisky Sauce

My mood today longs for a walk in the Scottish Highlands. But since I am here in Germany and it is cold today, I get my dose of Scotland here.

I am a bit early for Robert Burns Day, which is on the 25. of January. Well, I will celebrate earlier.

The cloth on the table is a MacDonald of Skye Tartan

I cleaned out the cupboards in my Dad`s household and found a can of Haggis, that someone must have given him as a gift. Throwing it away is a no go, so I am preparing it today.

I was in Scotland twice and touring the Distilleries was a must. Since that time I love old Single Malts. A Whisky Sauce will go great with the Haggis. And I have a nice dram of Aberlour Whisky left, that will go into the sauce and a good shot into the meat.

Haggis preparation:
Here in Germany you can get Haggis online and it is sold in a can. I have seen it in British Supermarkets packed as plastic sausages.


In a little oil in a big pan I browned the Haggis on medium heat for a long time, starting with a wooden spoon to loosen up the meat into a something that resembles Bolognaise meat. When you have small pieces, let them sit and brown and then toss around a couple of times so they don´t stick to the pan. When the meat is a nice dark brown color, add a good dram of Single Malt.

Scottish Single Malt Sauce
150 ml water
2 tsp chicken stock
50 ml double cream
1 tsp Dijon whole grain mustard
a pinch of dried herbs
5 tbsp Single Malt Whisky  ( I used 10 y Aberlour)
Bring it to a boil without the Whisky and reduce it down to half, then add the Whisky and stop cooking!

Potato Mash with Sour Cream and Chives
You know how to make a mash. Adding sour cream and chives gives it a fresh taste.

Short cooked white cabbage (Jaroma)
1 onion
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
150 g cabbage without the hard middle
1 tsp caraway seed
salt and pepper
some dried parsley
Heat the oil in a pan and give the onion a head start, add the cabbage fresh washed and a bit wet so it wilts down easier. Season with caraway, salt and pepper and give it a couple of minutes to get a bit brown.


Wednesday, 20 January 2016

A warm soup after a long cold day

When you are out in the cold in the winter, you need something warm.

Beef Pho

I love Vietnamese Pho.
The hot broth warms down to the toes and it is so tasty, that drinking it down is a must, after fishing out all the ingredients that came with it. I make it with meat, fish or prawns and all the veggies I can find.

But I have to confess, I pimp up the original style of a Pho broth. I love Japanese Miso paste and dashi stock. These two ingredients are a must for a soup in this style.

Since I had a third of my Roast Beef leftover and letting it go to waste would be a shame, I used it as the meat in the soup. Our organic supermarket had purslane again, which you don´t get anywhere else. Some cabbage is still sitting around and a few leaves are welcome in the soup.

700 ml beef broth
1 tbsp white miso paste
1 small package dashi stock
1 star anise
1 stick cinnamon
2 lemongrass sticks
1 red chilli
3 cm ginger
bring that to a boil and let it simmer for 20 minutes, then strain out all the spices

40 g rice vermicelli   put in a bowl and add 500 ml boiling water and let sit for 3 minutes, drain

100 g cooked Roast Beef
50 g purslane
50 g Jaroma cabbage
2 tbsp parsley
1 tbsp coriander

in the soup bowl, start with the vermicelli and add all raw veggie and herbs, sit the meat on top and pour the hot stock on top- enjoy.

Aubergine Laban with Italian Turkey Meatballs

I found an Aubergine / Eggplant in the veggie drawer of my fridge and bought some turkey breast yesterday. It took me some time to come up with a recipe, where both ingredients are used to their best.

Aubergine Laban with Turkey Meatballs

I made a Laban a while ago and thought it quiet delicious. The combination of aubergine and Tahini paste with lots of fresh herbs is so good. Most recipes how ever want the aubergine roasted in  olive oil before made into that paste. I have tried that method once and for me it was to oily. So I placed the whole aubergine in the oven at 200 C for 40 minutes, just gave it some pricks with a toothpick before.

The soft flesh has to cool down, then gets scraped out and mixed with the other ingredients. That way you get a healthier choice of Laban.

The turkey breast gets cut into pieces and in a blender made into mince meat. I make it Italian style, the flavours go great with the Laban.

recipe for the Laban:
1 aubergine
1 lime
80 g Greek yogurt
30 g Tahini paste
2 cloves roasted garlic
1/2 tsp Cumin powder
1 pinch of Cayenne and salt and pepper
2 stalks fresh parsley
1 stalk fresh dill
1tsp olive oil

Ingredients for the Laban
Preheat the oven 200 C, wash and dry the aubergine and prick some holes into it with a toothpick. Bake it for 40 minutes and let it cool down so you can handle it. Scoop out the flesh and put it in a blender with all the other ingredients and give it a good blitz until you have a smooth paste. You may need some more lime juice to season it.

recipe for the meatballs:
300 g Turkey breast
30 g bread crumbs seasoned with smoked paprika, Italian herbs, BBQ butter herbs
1 egg
1/2 onion
2 cloves of garlic
fresh rosemary, oregano, parsley and basil
2 dried tomatoes in oil

Ingredients for the Meatballs

2 tbsp rape seed oil
60 ml chicken stock
1 tbsp paprika paste or tomato paste
60 ml double cream

Cut the Turkey into strips and use a powerful blender. Start to make mince meat and add the onion and garlic and fresh herbs. Get the paste out and add the bread crumbs and the egg and the cut up dried tomato. Mix it well and store it in the fridge for minimum 30 minutes.
Take two tablespoons and form quenelles. Bake them in some rapeseed oil, add the chicken stock and the paprika paste, let the cook until finished inside and add the cream.

Use 2 Tablespoons

Serve with the Laban and some rice.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Swiss Fastnachtschüecheli

I found some kind of baked good today in a city nearby, where Fastnacht/Carnival/Fasching is a very import part of the year and many of the people there are involved. So sometimes a shop is selling something that is a tradition in other area of the world during this period of festivities.

Eating it reminded me a bit of Indian Poppadoms. But a sweet variety. So I started some research.

The dough is mainly eggs, cream and flour and has the consistency of a soft yeasty dough. A ping pong ball size piece of dough then is rolled out in a circle and now comes the special way of doing it:
cover your knee with a kitchen towel and give the dough a good flattening to make it wider and paper thin. In a big pot heat oil to 170 C and stuff the dough piece in, it will be wider then the pot and you have to push it back in, so it makes these waves. Turn it and let it crisp up. Drain it on kitchen paper and the put lots of powdered sugar on top. Stored in an airtight container it will last.

These things are sometimes called shards, because they break into shard pieces. And when something breaks into shards you get good luck.

I found a recipe on a Swiss site. You don´t have to use your knee but you can make just rectangles and fry them, they break the same way.

210 g flour
2 egg yolks
1 egg
2 tbsp sour cream
40 g sugar
1 1/2 tbsp vanilla sugar

oil for the fryer
lots of powdered sugar

Prepare the dough and let it rest for 1 hour. Roll it into thin rectangles and fry them 4-5 minutes, turning them half way. Drain and heap the sugar on top.

Monday, 18 January 2016

Avocado Linguine Pasta with King Prawns

This pasta dish is something to impress people, but it is easy to prepare. Buy some huge prawns, they are the more expensive ones, but taste amazing and for your guests always the best.

Avocado Linguine Pasta with Prawns

Cooking it does take as long as the pasta needs to get done. There is no need to slave away in the kitchen for a long time while your guests are waiting.
Buy some good and not to soft Avocados, they keep their shape and don´t fall apart while warming up in the sauce.

recipe for two:
200 g Linguine
1 medium ripe Avocado
1/2 lime
2 spring onions
2 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp butter
100 g sour cream or Greek yogurt
50 ml double cream
3 tbsp pasta water
1/2 veg stock cube
2 tbsp grated pecorino
2 tbsp fresh chopped dill
1 tsp dried chervil
1/2 tsp piment d´espelette
salt and pepper

Start the pasta.
Chop the spring onions and garlic and in a wide pan saute them with olive oil and some butter.
Destone the Avocado and give it a good squeeze of lime juice. Chop half of it into small bits and the rest into cubes.
Add pasta water and sour cream to the pan and the half stock cube. The tiny Avocado pieces go in as well. Season with salt and pepper, chervil and piment d´espelette.
Grate some pecorino and drain the pasta. Chop the dill.
In the last 3 minutes heat up some oil in a small pan and at high temperature cook the prawns. Don´t overcook them!
Bring everything together and put some pecorino and fresh grated pepper on top.

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Roastbeef with Mustard Crust

I made my first attempt of a Roast beef today.

Roast beef medium, but not rare

The few times I had it somewhere, I hated it and could not finish the beef. I thought it disgusting when the middle was still dark red. I felt as if the cow was still wagging its tail. And chewing it gave me the creeps. I have no problem with eating any kinds of raw seafood, oysters and all the other stuff that comes out of the sea. That is wonderful, but raw meat, brrr.
Sometimes when I am in France, I order a Charolais beef tartar, it still takes me some strength to enjoy it, but with raw egg, capers and mustard I can eat it and it is fine.

I bought a slice of roast beef 3 cm thick and 300 g in weight. I cut the fat on the side a couple of times to prevent it from shrinking. I had it out of the fridge for an hour to get back to room temperature.

recipe for the crust:
2 tbsp bread crumbs
2 tsp mustard medium hot
1 tsp dried Italian herbs

Mustard Crust
Preheat the oven grill to 250 C. ( When you make oven chips(Fries) before that, take them out and
crank up the heat)

Pat the beef dry, season it with salt and pepper and in a very hot pan with a shot of oil, sear it on each side for 2 minutes, then sear the edges 1 minutes each. Place it on an oven proof plate, cover with the mustard crust at least 1/2 cm thick and stick it in the oven under a grill for 5 minutes.  Turn off the heat and open the door and let it rest for 5 minutes.

Served with oven chips, sour cream and wine

Serve with the fries/chips and some sour cream and a good glass of red wine.