Monday, 29 February 2016

Poppy Seed Orange Waffles

I will use the Waffle Iron a couple of times so I took it out of the box, inserted the right iron moulds and was ready to go.
A sweet treat on a Sunday afternoon is nice when it is grey and very cold outside.

In the last issue of my Thermomix Finessen recipes I found this combination. All the ingredients were is stock, so I could start the mixture. I used the Thermomix for this, but you can use any kind of electric kitchen helper.

1/2 Orange-just the peel is needed
 a bit lemon peel
100 g sugar
20 g vanilla sugar
120 g butter in pieces
2 eggs
250 g buttermilk
200 g flour
40 g poppy seed
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 pinches of salt
4 drops rum aromatic (optional)
powdered sugar to sprinkle the waffles later

Grate the orange peel into the bowl and add sugar and vanilla sugar. Next comes the butter, when it is incorporated in the sugar add all the other ingredients.

Heat up your waffle iron and grease it.
When you bake with an Belgian waffle iron, you get about 9 waffles out of it.

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Korean Kimchi German Style

I want to eat some Kimchi fries soon. Fries to make is not the problem, but I´ve tried canned Kimchi before and it was not to my taste. I checked a couple of YT videos and some recipes on the web and found a method that sounded good enough for me.

I make preserves often, but I have never made that kind of kraut before. I remember my grandmother´s cellar where several earthen pots stood filled with homemade sauerkraut and cut up green beans- they stank to high heaven. As a child I hated to go down there and get some of the stuff out of the pots.

I found the ingredients and started in the afternoon with the China cabbage. I will go down with the amount of chili, because I am European and not used to too much heat. The fermentation will take 2 to 3 days. Keep a bowl or higher plate beneath the container, the juices will leak out and make a mess. Close the lid after the fermentation is done and keep the Kimchi in the fridge up to 4 month.

Cut up the cabbage into 3 cm long strips, don´t use the hard core. Dissolve the salt in the water and a huge bowl and get the cabbage in. It will look as if it is to much for a bowl, but the salt makes it go soft soon, so press everything down and let it sit for 8 hours. Press out the water, but keep the salted water for later.

Grate carrots and apple and chop the green from the spring onions into fine rings, grate the ginger and press the garlic. Messure the spices.

Use the gloves!
Mix the carrots, apple and onions with ginger and garlic and put the spice mix in. With your hand start squisching it for a good 5 minutes. 

1,4 kg head of china cabbage
1,5  l  water
3 tbsp salt
3 large carrots
1/2 bunch of spring onions - mostly the green and less of the white
4 cloves of garlic
6 cm fresh grated ginger
half of an apple grated
1 tbsp Korean chili
1 tsp paprika powder
1 tsp smoked paprika powder
a pair of kitchen gloves

Press out the water from the cabbage and  mix with the squished mass, knead about 5 minutes more with your hand.

grate everything into a metal bowl
do not close the lids due to fermentation

Saturday, 27 February 2016

Eating out in the Countyside

I drove today to a wonderful hilly region not to far away from home. The round trip were about 65 miles in total. A wonderful cold but sunny day on a Saturday is something to get out.  I like the sun coming through the car windows letting you think it was warm outside. Between 2 to 5 C
 is not much and the cold wind is not nice. Since this winter is not as cold as others, some spring flowers are already in full bloom and some trees have their flowery dress on, too.

The village I visited has a chef who has a huge orchard and makes his own vinegars out of the fruits that grow on his land, and he started making some mustards too. You can taste and buy his products in his restaurant and have a great meal from locally sourced food, that is seasonal and not far away then a 50 mile radius.

I love to cook with mustard and vinegar, so I waited for a sunny day to make the excursion. It was a great trip and I came back with 3 different vinegars for me, 2 mustards and some gifts for friends. I bought sweet cherry vinegar, quince vinegar and some tomato vinegar. Lovely sweet pear mustard and spicy apple mustard. I can´t wait to start to cook with them.

And I had lunch there too.


A tradition in the Odenwald region is the Hessian Kochkäse or cooked cheese. Combining it with a Schnitzel is very well known here. I haven´ t had that dish for a while and took the item on the menu.
A fresh salad combination was served first, some greens, carrot and red cabbage salad, some potato salad was a good way into a meal.

Friday, 26 February 2016

Red Cabbage and Lentil Strudel with Orange Tarragon Sauce

I had a red cabbage sitting around since last weekend and no real idea what to make with it.
I had some kraut strudel a while ago and thought about a version in red. I didn´t want to go grocery shopping after work so I needed something filling to go with the cabbage.
Checking my cupboard I found some french green Pui lentils. These are a very good source of protein and so it came together.

The green lentils need about 40 minutes to get soft, so I took the pressure cooker and used it and the lentils were done in 12 minutes. Since that pot was on the stove anyway, I used it for the red cabbage too and saved a lot of time. The strudel pastry was ready made fillo pastry so it was butter to melt and to start to construct.
Preheat the oven 180 C.

1/2 head red cabbage  ( I used a 800 g small one completely and have some left over for a second meal)
75 g green Pui lentils, you can use brown or black ones, don´t use the red ones, they get mushy
2 veg stock cubes
4 sheets of filo pastry
1 cup red or white wine
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cub pine  nuts
1 tbsp chives
2 tbsp duck fat
1 orange
3 candied kumquats
4 tbsp fig jam
salt and pepper
1 onion
1 tbsp flour
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
now add flour and balsamic vinegar

Use a pressure cooker if you have one and wash the lentils and stick them into the pot with 4 times water and 1 stock cube.  Close the lid. Bring to a boil and wait until the sign comes up, reduce the heat and cook for 12 minutes. Get the steam off and drain the lentils.
spread evenly and not to thick

Clean the pot and melt the duck fat.Add the onions and fry them 2 minutes, add the cabbage shreds and cook them  2 minutes. Throw the orange pieces and the  sliced kumquats in, add the salt and pepper and the wine and close the lid. Bring to a boil and wait for the sign, reduce the heat and cook for 7 minutes. Open the lid and check the cabbage. add a bit more water or wine and the fig jam, then add the flour stir and then add the balsamic vinegar. Fill into a big bowl and let it cool down.
Use a tea towel.
Spread 4 sheets of filo pastry, each layer with butter coated, and get some breadcrumbs on top.
Add the cabbage and spread it out so the sides are still free. Add the lentils on top and then the pine nuts and top of with the chives. Roll the tea towel frome the wide side and transfer the strudel to a baking sheet, open side down. Spread the rest of the butter on top.
Bake for 30 minutes.

1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp flour
100 ml milk
150 ml orange juice
white pepper
1 stalk tarragon
2 tbsp creme fraiche

In a small pot melt the butter and add the flour, make a roux with some milk and add the orange juice and a pit crumbled stock cube. cut the tarragon into fine pieces and add to the sauce and complete with the creme fraiche and some white pepper.

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Feta Rocket and Onion Boats

This is a great starter or a light bite for an evening meal. Just pick up a boat and eat it. Fingerfood at it´s best. I served it with some tomato, rocket and red onion in lemon olive oil.

I found the idea on Pinterest and pimped it up a bit.

You can use any kind of mould, but the rectancle moulds are the best.

1 ready made puff pastry
200 g feta
1 tbsp whole grain mustard
1 tbsp chives
1 stalk of tarragon
50 g rocket salad
1 red onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 pinch of pepper

Preheat the oven to 200 C
Cut the puff pastry into 6 pieces
In a bowl mix the cheese with the mustard and the herbs
Grease the moulds and place the puff pastry in
Fill with the mixture and slice the onions into very fine rings and set them on top.
Drizzle some oil on top

Bake for 20 minutes and serve with some salad.

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Fried Plantains with Sriracha Dip

When you are not so hungry a plantain safes the day. I had one that was almost black sitting in my kitchen and it was ready to be a meal today.

Fried Plantain with Sriracha Dip

Plantains, that are green and only a little yellow taste like starch or floury potatoes, when you give them time to ripen, they get more of a banana like sweetness, without being really like a banana.

Someone from Ecuador showed me how he made that snack and that it was eaten very often, even sold as street food. A dip is always necessary to go with the plantain, you need something like that. Since I love Sriracha, mixed into a little curd.

1 plantain super ripe
3 tbsp curd
1 tbsp sriracha
1 tsp dried herbs
1  pinch of salt
600 ml fryer oil

take a knife to top and tail the plantain and then cut lengthwise into the skin. It is a bit hard to get rid of it. Cut it into 2 cm discs. Use a flattening iron or a pan or pot and smash a little on each slice.
Heat up the oil 160 C and fry the plantain for 3 minutes until they get a little color. Get the out and flatten each one again. Fry until lovely golden brown. Dry on kitchen paper. Mix the dip and serve.

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Japanese Ramen with a beef based broth

I have bought some jellied pork tongue and some sprouts and they will be a great ingredient for a hearty soup on a windy and cold evening. This Ramen soups are so wonderful, with the different soup bases you can have a different kind of soup every time. Use beef, chicken, pork or fish or just miso and soy based broth and the feeling is a new experience with every bowl. I love to put a bit of dashi stock in all kinds of broth, it gives a rounder flavour.

a package of Ramen noodles
500 ml beef stock from a cube
a half package of stock from the Ramen package
1 knob of ginger
soy sauce
dashi stock
1 tsp white miso
2 spring onions finely chopped
60 g fine sprouts- in the noodle water cooked for 20 seconds
1 hard boild egg
150 g jellied pork tongue
finely chopped Noori sheet
1 head baby romana salad

Heat the stock and season it to taste with soy sauce and dashi and cook the Ramen in the stock for 2 minutes. Chop the spring onions and the salad and bring everything together.
Fast food with fresh ingredients as its best.

Monday, 22 February 2016

Muffins with Mon Cheri and Raffaello

This is a great idea. A friend of mine made them will Ferrero kisses and they were awesome. I found some recipes on the internet.

two different fillings
Put some well known sweets or chocolates into a muffin and you have a winner.
The base is a chocolate muffin recipe but I think some of the treats will go great with lemon muffins or nut based muffins.
Here you can buy many Easter eggs filled with alcohol, so may be for Easter a muffin filled with one of those could do the trick.

recipe for 18 muffins:
200 g flour
50 g almond flour
3 tbsp cocoa
2 1/2  tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
100 g sugar
80 ml oil
300 ml buttermilk (or use regular milk and add 2 tbsp of lemon juice and let that stand 5 min)
30 g dark chocolate chips

Preheat the ove  180 C.

Sieve all dry ingredients into a bowl and mix well so you don´t have cocoa lumps.
In a second bowl mix the wet ingredients and start with a quarter of the dry stuff and get it folded in, the the next and so on until you have a relatively liquid mass.

Mon Cheri

When you fill the paper cups only 80%  the ratio of Muffin to treat is better!
9 pieces of Mon Cheri  and 9 pieces of Raffaello.

Baking takes 20-25 minutes until a wooden stick comes out clean. Let the muffins rest for 5 min in the tin, then place them on a wire rack to cool completely.
I took them to the office today and they were gone fast. 

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Pork Loin in Boursin Cheese out of the oven

This is a recipe I wrote down in my travel cookbook a while ago. I started this book to get rid of some of my flying around recipes, a collection of single scraps of paper. The book is so good when I have a rented house or apartment somewhere and look for something to cook or bake. Since baking needs exact measurements, I have to look them up. End of last year, I started a second one, because the first ran out of pages.

Just out of the oven

Some Baby Romanescu Salad with Blueberries as a side

I made this recipe a long while ago, but it had my comment in the upper corner saying: super tasty.
The preparation is quiet easy to make and good in bigger proportions if you have guests to feed.
If you do not get Boursin (it is a cheese from Normandy in France, like a cream cheese with lots of herbs and garlic) use some plain cream cheese and just add dried herbs and fresh garlic.

This is a recipe just for 3 or 2 good eaters and I serve it with some pasta. But rice or potatoes work well too. Prep time is 15 minutes and the rest is done in  the oven. Serve with a fresh salad as a side.
not much to prepare
1 pork loin about 400 g
100 g Blackforest ham
120 g Chanterelles mushrooms canned of fresh
2 small onions
3 cloves of garlic
1/2 red chilli
120 g Boursin cheese, if you get single portion packages of Boursin, take 6
400 ml double cream
2 tbsp rape seed oil
salt and pepper
1/2 tsp dried thyme

Use an ovenproof dish and heat up the oven to 200 C.

the topping for the meat

lots of creamy cheese
Cut the pork loin into 3cm slices, set them on the sliced side and press down a bit, season lightly with salt and pepper. In 1 tbsp of oil get them a colour on both sides, then store them in the dish.

Chop the onions, garlic, chilli and  ham and clean the mushrooms or drain them. In the same pan with the other tbsp of oil fry off the onions, ham and garlic a couple of minutes, then add the chilli and the mushrooms and give them a couple more minutes.
Chuck them over the pork and pour the double cream on top.
Set the Boursin pieces on at last and chuck it into the oven for 50  minutes.

Now I know, I wont wait ages before I prepare that dish again.

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Sri Lankan Prawn Curry

I wanted to make this dish since I saw Rick Stein having it on one of his TV trips. I checked more than 10 different recipes on the web and some of my cookbooks and found lots of different options.
I made a dish where I picked lots of suggestions out of these recipes.

Sri Lankan Prawn Curry
One say that you peel the prawns, other say you cook the prawns in their shell for better flavour. Since I was going to eat that dish without cutlery anyway and dip the sauce with some crusty bread (not traditional, but I had rice yesterday) I can peel the prawns while eating. It wont get much messier.

Some have the curry on the drier side and others with more liquid. It seams, that every household or chef in that country has their own style. Why not - I have my own style too. If it is traditional- I do not care!
It is like here in Germany, invite 10 people to a party and tell everyone to bring a potato salad. You will have 10 different ones, the only thing they have in common are the potatoes.

1 cinnamon stick
3 cardamom pods
1/2 tsp fenugreek
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp tumeric
2 lemon grass stalks
2 knobs of fresh ginger
1/2 tsp coriander
2 green chillis
1 red chilli
400 ml coconut milk
1 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp dessicated coconut
1 lime
1 red onion
3 spring onions
4 cloves of garlic
1 tomato
1/2 courgette
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp palm sugar
salt and pepper
260 g raw king prawns with shell


Take the upper 11 ingredients and put them in a bowl. Rince the prawns and put them into the bowl too and let them rest 20 minutes.
Use the coconut oil and start with the onions and garlic, then add the courgette and tomatoes.
When the veggies are softer, push them to the side of the pan and let the prawns take some colour in the pan before you add all the coconut sauce goodness. Let it cook for 5 minutes and add the dessicated coconut and some fresh herbs.

Friday, 19 February 2016

Lettuce with Matjes herring in creme fraiche

When you are out of the house more than 13 hours and get home hungry, firing up the stove is not always an option.

Since I had the leftovers from yesterday for lunch at the office, I did not need a hot meal. It it still Matjes time here in Europe ( Matjes are herring that haven´t reached maturity) they go well with dill and any kind of sour cream. Having that in the fridge, it was an easy choice for dinner. A small lettuce was the finishing touch, get everything mixed and serve a spoon full or two on a leaf is great.
Buttered whole grain toast is the best to go with it. The rest of the cress to top it off.

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Eggs in Mustard Sauce with Salsify

I love eggs in mustard sauce since I was a child. But Mom only used the standard medium mustard and I now choose from a huge variety of mustards resting in my fridge.
Friends that are coming to see me or are on a holiday and they bring me either mustard or honey as a gift. It is a great gift, you can use it up and get lots of so different kinds, see the world through there savoury or sweets treats, it is fantastic.

Eggs in Mustard Sauce

In winter you can get salsify in some stores. It is called the asparagus of the poor. But it is a mess to peel them, so when I can lay my hands on some, I buy in bulk and freeze off some bags.

recipe for 2:
6 eggs
300 g salsify precooked/defrosted
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp flour
100 ml milk
150 ml broth
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp whole grain mustard
1 tbsp medium mustard
1 tbsp Dijon hot mustard
4 tbsp creme fraiche
salt and pepper
1 spring onion
1 1/2 cup of rice

Salsify in Butter and Onion

Boil the eggs and let them cool down.
Get the rice going.
Chop the spring onion.
In 1 tbsp butter start the onion and get the salsify in, heat them up.
Melt the butter in  pot and add the flour, make a roux with some milk, more milk and then the broth.
Season and add the different mustards.
Add sugar.
Get everything together and have a great tasting meal.

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Carrot and Potato Mash with Bourbon Balsamico Onions and Merguez

This is an easy midweak meal, especially when you have some carrots and potatoes in the cupboards.

a wonderful midweek meal

Merguez are a north african kind of small sausage for frying or bbq. They are made in different ways, some are pure lamb, some mixed lamb and beef and others are beef and pork. The thing that they all have in common is their kind of seasoning with lots of paprika and cumin. Some have chilli in and are on the hot side.

A good mash needs a topping of onions. And onions either coated in some flour and put in the deep fat fryer or out of a pan and sweet and soft. I decided to have them out of the pan. Adding some aroma is important, so some Balsamic vinegar and something sweet is good.  Adding a bit of Bourbon makes them even better.

Balsamic and Bourbon Onions

500 g carrots
300 g potatoes
2 small onions
3 shallots
100 ml double cream
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp Agave syrup
2 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp Bourbon whiskey
1 tbsp dill and cress
1 tbsp oil
salt and pepper
300 g Merguez sausages (lamb and beef)

Lamb and Beef Sausages

Peel and cut potatoes and carrots and onions. In boiling salted water start the potatoes and carrots until soft, drain. Heat up the cream, add the butter and pepper and mash it.
Fry half onion rings in oil until soft, add the Agave syrup and after a minute the Balsamic and the Bourbon. Season.

In the same pan, start the Merguez and assemble the dish. Add some cress and dill.

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Pizza with carrots, cheese and seafood

It is a kind of strange way to prepare a pizza.
Coming home from work, opening the fridge and placing lots of things onto the kitchen counter and creating a meal. Some premade pizza dough was finally the start of the dish.

Some carrots are left over from the cooking on  the weekend and a half eaten package of cream cheese balls filled with pesto, also some surimi slices (they look like a weared kind of ham). A ball of mozzarella was on the last day too. All pizza goes great with chilli honey.

one piece of pizza dough
3 tbsp of tomato sauce
3 carrots cut with a peeler in thin strips
the green of a spring onion
a couple of slices of red chilli
4 slices of surimi ripped apart
50 g small cream cheese balls filled with pesto
1/2 ball of mozzarella
1 tsp of dried thyme
2 tbsp fresh dill
some pepper
2 tsp chilli honey
some fresh cress

bake at 200 C for 25 minutes