Thursday, 31 March 2016

Orange Buchteln

For the Easter meal we served an unusual kind of side dish. But the fluffy and soft dough is great for mopping up the Bechamel sauce with the chicken and the veggies. Stepping outside the everyday way to serve food, this is something I can recommend.

Buchteln is a specialty form the Bohemian part of Europe, but made everywhere  in central Europe, from Austria, Tschechien to Germany. It is an enriched yeasty dough and has some similarity to the French brioche.
Sometimes they are eaten as a sweet treat and each piece is filled with plum jam. That is so delicious.


350 g flour
20 g fresh yeast
120 ml milk
10 g sugar
1 pinch salt
1 tsp orange zest
80 g soft butter
2 eggs

Warm the milk with the sugar and the yeast until hand warm.
Use a kitchen machine and add the ingredients and the warm milk and knead for 10 min.

Let it rest for 30 min. On a floured surface cut off small balls and with your hands make flat rectangles,  roll them from the wide side and make a cut in the middle so you have two pieces.
Use a buttered baking dish and set them inside, leaning against each other. Let them rest 20 min, then make a milk paste and baste them.

3 tsp dried milk powder
2 tbsp water
Bake at 180 C 20 min

If there are any Buchteln left, just put them in a ziplock bag and eat them the next days. Just warm them in the microwave for 10 sec and spread some butter on top.

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Chicken in Bechamel with Veggies

This Easter Sunday is a special holiday here. Meeting friends and having a nice meal is part of it.
Today I learned a different method of cooking chicken breast, keeping it succulent and the veggies al dente. Paired with a not common side dish, the usual rice, pasta or potatoes were not on the menu.
A dish of fresh baked Buchteln, a yeasty rich dough, rolled into individual pieces and baked together.

Chicken in Bechamel with Buchteln
bechamel sauce:
60 g butter
60 g flour
350 ml milk
350 ml veg stock
100 ml Poilly Prat
30 ml white Port
4 bay leaves
5 cloves
a good dose of nutmeg
2 slices of fresh ginger

Bechamel sauce
In a big pot melt the butter and add the flour, let it cook until it gets a little colour. Start with adding a little milk , then a bit more until you have a smooth paste, add veggie stock, Vermouth and Port. Now it is time for the bay leaves and all the other seasonings. Keep cooking at low heat and stir often.

500 g chicken breast medium cubes
2 tbsp flour
1 tsp roast chicken seasoning
3 carrots
1 kohlrabi
150 g frozen peas
150 g brown button mushrooms
3 tbsp rape seed oil
2 tbsp brown butter
1 tbsp parsley

In a pan with some oil start browning the floured chicken pieces on all sides, about 3 min. then get them out. Do not put to much at once in the pan, lightly brown the meat in many batches.
When all are done, get them all in the pan and add the browned butter and just fry them again 2 min. Season with the roast chicken seasoning. Dump into the Bechamel to cook for at least 90  min at super low heat. Don´t forget to stir often.

keep the heat on low

Start with the veggies.
Cut the carrots into rings, saute them in oil, add sugar and salt and pepper. Set them aside.
Quarter the mushrooms and saute them in oil, add salt and pepper and some thyme.
Cut the kohlrabi into cubes, try to get some brown roasting on the sides in the pan, then add some water to steam them a little, season with salt and pepper. All the veggies stay relatively firm.
The frozen peas are chucked into the Bechamel, when the chicken is ready after 90 min.
Get the other veggies in too, add some parsley and serve.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Cheese and Apple Strudel

When you make a Strudel from scratch and have some dough left, don´t throw it away, build a little open faced kind of Pie. Looking around in the fridge, there was some sour milk cheese left, that goes great with apples, so get baking.

the little yellow ball is Harzer cheese
a piece of strudel dough
2 sour milk cheeses or Harzer
2 red apples
1 tbsp breadcrumbs
1/2 tsp bread seasoning from Alto Adige in Northern Italy
a pinch of pepper and salt and caraway seeds

Preheat the oven 175 C and bake for 12 min. (The cheese will ooze out a little).

Make a rectancle with the dough, keep some space on the sides around, you will need that to fold over.
Lay slices of apples and cheese on the dough, cover with seasoning and some breadcrumbs.
Fold the sides over and bake it. It can be eaten warm or cold.

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Easter chicks and bunnies

If you have friends who love to cook as much as you do, cooking together is always fun. I was asked if I was up to the challenge to try something a bit more difficult. My answer without knowing what to do was: what the heck, yay I´m up to it. So today beside preparing the Easter Sunday lunch for 5, we went with the Easter theme and made chicks and bunnies.

Mother hen and baby chicks
Bunny family
I start with the chicks:

2 hard boiled chicken eggs
6 hard boiled quail eggs
1 tsp Worchestersauce
1 tsp hot Mustard
1 tbsp cream
1 piece of carrot

At the beginning make a test of your skills and start with the chicken eggs. When you cut off the upper part of the egg, scoop out the yolk in a small bowl, take a small knife and cut 2 or 3 pieces off the egg hat.

Prepare the filling, it should not be to soft and use a baking sryinge with a star nozzle and pipe the mixture in and above the egg, so you have a chicken head to set the top on later.

Use the peppercorns for the eyes and cut a tiny beak for the chicks.

Now the bunnies:
the evening before make a bread dough and store it in the fridge to proof over night. Get it out an hour before starting with making the bunnies

500 g spelt flour Type 630
270 ml luke warm water
10 g salt
40 g fresh yeast
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp olive oil

add 1/2 tsp orange zest before you start making the bunnies, or when you just make a bread loaf, forget about the zest.
Shape a sausage, the  turn the upper part to make a head, use a knife to cut some ears.
Then on the body part, make a cut and separate the legs, and 2 more cuts in the middle to make arms.

Use a bit of milk on the bunnies to make a good tan.

Bake at 220 C for 18 minutes.

Eat the eggs with the bunnies together! The filling inside the eggs make a great spread on top of the bunnies- really tasty!

Limoncello Rosemary Cream with Strawberry Couli

I was in charge for Easter Sunday dessert. I am still having an abundance of Limoncello Liqueur sitting around, the cream dessert with fresh Rosemary was a must.
The herb pot sits in full blue bloom on my balcony, so I cut off 2 stalks and took the needles off.

Use a bit of Rosemary and a piece of lime for deko

recipe for 4:
5 white gelatin leaves
1 vanilla pod
20 g Rosemary needles
200 ml Limoncello
250 ml double cream
150 g icing sugar
1 egg yolk
juice of 1/2 lemon
200 g Greek yogurt full fat
500 g strawberries

Scrape the seeds out of the vanilla pod. Soak the gelatin in cold water.
Beat the double cream with 25 g of icing sugar and put it in the fridge to chill.
Boil the Limoncello with the rosemary needles and the vanilla seeds for 4 minutes, drain through a sieve into a cold bowl.
Use the pot then and fill it 1/3 with water, bring to a boil and set a glas or metal bowl on top, add the egg, the lemon juice and 100 g icing sugar.

over a pot of hot water
Use and electric handmixer.
Beat to a creamy and voluminous mixture. Get then Limoncello mix in, a bit at the time and keep beating the cream.
Squeeze the  water from the gelatin and add it to the warm mixture to dissolve.
Get it off the heat and let it cool down.
When it starts to get gelatinous, add the yogurt and wisk until it is smooth, wait 10 more minutes and whisk in the beaten stiff cream. Fill into some ramequins or mason jars and put in the fridge to set.

Hull the strawberries and half of them chuck into a blender with the rest of the icing sugar and make a couli, pour it through a sieve. Cut the rest of the strawberries into slices and mix it with  the couli.

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Puy Lentils in Thyme and Bacon

A Saturday lunch that is unusual and very tasty. Paired with some dumplings a full meal.
Since it is made with bacon, it is the best. A wonderful sunny Saturday and between Easter grocery shopping and a run to the garden center to buy more herbs for the new season, this dish went well and left something to put into the freezer and enjoy on an other weekday at the office.

750 ml boiling water
3 tbsp or 3 tea bags thyme
let it steep for 15 minutes.

200 g Puy lentils
Wash the lentils and put them into the tea and let it sit for 2 hours minimum.
Cook them in the thyme tea for 20 min.

1 large onion
1 spring onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 parsnip
2 celery stalks
200 smoked bacon as a chunk, cut into big slices
1 tsp oil
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp paprika paste
2 bay leaves
1 clove
1/2 tsp cumin
salt and pepper
a dash cayenne pepper
1 tbsp vinegar

In a large pot start with the oil and the cut up bacon, when it gets brown, add the sugar, then the onions and garlic, the paprika paste and cook two more minutes, add the veggies and the seasoning.
When everything is brown, get the lentils in with the thyme tea and cook for 5 more minutes.
Use the vinegar to finish the lentils.

I served them with meat filled dumplings. But pasta or rice goes good with it too.

Salmon Ravioli in Riesling sauce

For the Easter Holidays my friends and I had a cook out. We decided to make pasta again and fill it with some creamy fish farce.

Salmon Ravioli in Riesling sauce

In the southwestern part of Germany there is a dish called Maultaschen, these are big raviolis. And the people there loved to eat that on Good Friday, the last day of lent, because you could use the filling you liked and nobody saw it- so mostly meat was eaten on this day, covered in pasta sheets.

The lighter version is a filling with fish and salmon is great with the Riesling sauce.

200 g flour
2 eggs
2 tsp oil
3 tbsp red beet
1 tsp salt

150g frozen salmon- nearly thawed and patted dry
100g smoked salmon
80 g cream cheese
2 - 3 slices toast
20 g horse raddish
1 lemon
1-2 eggs
50 ml cream
1 handful of dill
some nutmeg
salt and pepper
some semolina and some flour for the pasta

150 ml riesling wine
150 ml veg or fish stock
1 shallot
1 garlic
125 ml cream
5 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 bay leave
1 tsp sugar
1 starch with water
salt and pepper

Make the pasta dough and let it rest. Use a pasta mashine to get thin sheets of pasta, don´t forget the semolina to coat the tray where you store the pasta when it is made. The cooking time is about 8 minutes. You have to cook them in several steps, otherwise they will stick in the pot together. Keep them warm at low temperature in the oven.

In a blender, chuck in the salmons with some of the stock and start mashing it, add cream cheese and toast and the seasonings and make it a not to wet farce. You may have to add either cream cheese or toast, the consistency should be a stiff cream. Otherwise it will run out of the ravioli.

Peel the shallot and fry it in a tbsp of butter  and some sugar. Deglaze with Riesling and stock , mustard seeds and pepper in a pestel and mortar beaten coarse and added to the sauce, garlic and bay leave, nutmeg and sugar to the sauce. Reduce it and pour it through a sieve. Add starch and butter and bind it.  Now you can wait until the pasta is cooking, reheat the sauce then and get it off the heat. Beat the cream to soft peaks and add it at last.

Friday, 25 March 2016

Carrot Pesto on top of cottage cheese crostinis

This is a starter that one of Germany's well known TV chefs created, Tim Mälzer. It is a bit unusual but a great nibble when having someone over and looking for finger food.
I was cooking with friends on this Good Friday and we spent a lot of time in the kitchen. There will be a lot more recipes in the next time. It is a fun way to spent a cold and rainy day.
Carrot Pesto Cottage Cheese Crostini

250 g carrots
1 small onion
50 g sunflower seeds
30 g Parmesan
zest of lemon and orange
juice of a half lemon
smoked paprika
salt and pepper
1 dash of sugar
1 dash of thyme
50 ml rape seed oil

Cut the carrots into small cubes, chop the onion and grate the zest and the Parmesan.
In some oil in a pan sweat off the onion and carrot with some sugar, let it caramelize a bit, add a gluck of water and season with salt. Take it out of the pan, cool it down a bit and chuck it into a blender.

In a dry pan roast the sunflower seeds until they turn golden.
Put the carrots with the seeds and the juice and thyme together and add oil and blend it up.
Take care that it is not to fine!

don´t blend it to the consistency of baby food

At last add the Parmesan, the zest  and the chili and smoked paprika.

Serve it on top of sourdough bread crostinis and cottage cheese

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Broccoli Celery and Peanutbutter Soup

This is one of my favorite soups, the recipe is a in basic from SortedFood. I added a few things, after I cooked it a couple of times in the original version.

This soup has gone around my circle of friends and they all love it.
If you eat Thai food with Broccoli  and peanuts, you will love this soup.
It is comfort food.

1  head of  broccoli
2  stalks of celery
1 large onion
3 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
350 ml whole milk
350 ml water
2 chicken stock cubes
pepper and salt
chili flakes
3 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
3 tbsp double cream
3 tbsp Vermouth

20 minutes until everything is soft

chop onion, garlic, celery and broccoli. Heat up the oil in a large pot and fry the onion and garlic, add the veggies and water and milk, bring to a boil - take care or it will boil over.
Add stock cube and seasoning and cook until the veggies are soft.
Take a boat motor - aah  stick blender and make the soup into a puree. Add the Vermouth and the peanut butter and finish with the cream.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Canadian Putine

I made a SortedFood recipe today, the Canadian Putine.

When you´ve read my blog about the Kimchi fries, you´ll know that I hate soggy fries. But I am still curious about foreign recipes and wanted to try it.
Last weekend, while I was looking for some storage space in my freezer, I found a bag of pork roast gravy. I had some meatloaf on the weekend and there was some tiny bit left.
Looking around the fridge a package of mini mozzarella balls was sitting of the shelf, I used the tomatoes for something else, so combining everything together sounded great. The squeaky cheese they use in Canada - cheese curds- are not available here in Germany. The only thing I bought was some celery.

I cut some thick fries and had them in the oil at 130 C for 4 min, got them out and cooled them down and then fried them again at 180 C for 90 seconds.
Reheated the gravy with the last of the meat pieces in and thrown everything together. The celery green is an addition Sorted did and it makes a tasty contrast to the dish. I loved it.

Monday, 21 March 2016

Linden Blossom Ice Cream

An other recipe from the cookbook with tea as a base for something delicious.

served with Belgium waffles

After 3 savoury recipes, this is the first sweet one. It takes some planning ahead, because you need to freeze your ice cream maker bowl for 24 hrs. before you start.  I have an old one that only works with creamy stuff, no granitas or slushes or sorbets. So I orderd a compressor ice cream maker online yesterday. It is time to make more of the cold stuff.

500 ml linden blossom tea (6 tea bags)
500 ml milk
100 white Kandis sugar rocks
6 egg yolks
25 g honey
4 tbsp Calvados

Start with making the tea and let it steep for 15 minutes.
Seperate 6 eggs, you only need the yolks.
In a big pot heat up the milk with the white sugar rocks until they are dissolved, when the milk is boiling pour in the tea. Get it off the heat and start beating in one egg yolk after the other .
Add the honey and the Calvados.
Let the liquid cool down pour it into the ice cream maker. It needs about 45 min, but it wont go solid, because the temperture was not down to 0 C. So pour it into a container and stick it in the freezer and after 30 min stir it and freeze it 2 x 30 min. more.

after 45 min in the ice cream maker

It is a great tasting honey flowery ice- more like a sorbet.
It reminds me of my many cups of linden blossom teas with honey when I have a cold. Maybe I will eat that ice cream again, when I have the nasty cold.

I will call it Cough and Cold ice cream

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Savarin Meatloaf

A nice ring of meatloaf makes a great centerpiece on a Sunday lunch table. Serve it with some potatoes dumpling style and everybody is happy.

Savarin Meatloaf with little dumplings
The meatloaf cooks evenly in the oven and you have enough time on your hands to do something else. The preparation is easy.

250 g pork mince meat
250 g beef mince meat
1 dinner roll dried and soaked in milk for a couple of hours, then squeezed out
1 onion
2 spring onions
3 cloves of garlic
1 green chili
1 tbsp whole grain mustard
1 tbsp capers
6 sun dried tomatoes in oil
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp salt
1 tsp  pepper
1 tsp herbs de Provence
1 pinch of chili powder

Preheat the oven 220 C
Get everything chopped into small pieces and mix all together in a bowl with your hands.
Take the Savarin Ring baking dish and use 
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp breadcrumbs to coat the dish.
butter and breadcrumbs prevent sticking

Fill in the meat and press it a little.  Put into the oven for 40 minutes. Get it out and let it rest for 5 minutes, then take a silicon spatula and loose the sides. Take a plate on top and turn it.

Fill the ring of meatloaf with what ever is your fancy as a side. I used Bubespitzle, a southern German classic of cooked potato dough, formed into little sausages with tipped ends.

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Frankfurter Grüne Sauce - fresh Herb Sauce -

This is a world heritage food of Frankfurt, Germany. But not only people there love it, it is eaten all over Hessen. In northern regions and in the more rural areas it is a white sauce with fresh herbs, in Frankfurt it is a green sauce with mixed in herbs.

They all  have in common, that this sauce need 7 herbs, weight out in special portions, so that not one herb overwhelms the others.
But when you love fresh herbs and have an abundance of them, it is the right of the house to change what goes in it.

The spring is on its way, when we get our 7 herbs in a package at the market. It still takes a lot of time until we can harvest them in our gardens or from balconies. The tale is told, that Johann Wolfgang Goethe loved this sauce so much, that it was made in his household regularly.
History shows that the Huguenots, who fled from France in the 1700s brought their recipe with them and many of them found new homes in Hessen, so the sauce became a tradition here.

7 herbs
total of herbs 250 g
garden sorrel

4 eggs hard boiled

400 g Greek Yogurt
200 g curd
1 tbsp rape seed oil
1 tsp white wine vinegar
a pinch of pepper and salt

You can add 3 tbsp of Mayonnaise to the mix, if you like it more creamy. But be warned, there are as many recipes of that sauce , as there are people preparing it. But who cares, it is always tasty.

In the Frankfurt variety of the sauce, you have the eggs to the side and eat them with the sauce. Our family had the eggs chopped up and in the sauce as long as I can remember it.

Eat it with new potatoes. And when you look for a fancy meal, you can serve the sauce with some boiled beef.
this is the Frankfurt style green sauce
the fancy version with boiled beef
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