Saturday, 30 April 2016

Linguine with red beet horsereddish sauce and Mussels

I looked through a couple of newspaper clips my friend is always sending to me. On a side I found a couple of Surfer Dudes who travelled from Central America to the south of the continent. They wrote a cook book "Salt and Silver" with stories about their surfing times.They cook mostly organic vegetarian food. I just ordered it online, I am a fan of food from Central and South America.

This pasta dish is from Panama
The recipe I found in the newspaper clipping was talking to me the moment I laid my eyes on.
The only thing to buy was some beets. They had it without sides, and that is absolutely OK, but I do not eat vegetarian each day. AND I bought this cute plates today, so I needed some seafood to go with it!

300 g Linguine
200 g cooked red beets
100 g creme fraiche
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
3 tbsp Horseradish with some cream
1 tsp honey
1 tbsp butter
some water cress and chives
6 St.Jacques Mussels
2 squid tubes

Cook the pasta until al dente.
In the meantime, blend the beets and put them in a pot with the  creme fraiche, horseraddish and mustard and on medium heat cook them until well combined. Stir often.
Drain the pasta.
Add the honey and the butter to the sauce and let the butter melt, season.
Mix everything with the pasta, add some greens and that is basically it.
Clean the mussels and the squid, with a sharp knife slice the squid on the inside a bit, so it does curl in the pan, season everything.
Flashfry the squid for a minute, get it out of the pan and give the mussels one minute on each side.

Friday, 29 April 2016

Asparagus Fusion Style

Do not say - No, not asparagus again!

Asian inspired rice noodle soup
There are so many different ways- traditional or wacky - to use this veggie, and I will show more ways to prepare it over the next few weeks.
Remember- the season ends here in Germany on St.John´s Day the 24th of June. And I intend to eat asparagus as much as I can stand it.

I had left 3 mason jars with broth from out Sunday feast and that broth is somehow special. May be because we cooked a huge amount of spare ribs in it to get them done before putting them on the grill, used that water with added salt and sugar and some butter then to cook all the peel and trimmings of the white asparagus stalks, then cooked the white and the green asparagus in it. That is flavour enhancing.

Today I used that leftover goodness and cooked more green and white asparagus it it, then a lot of wide rice noodles, then I added some chicken stock cube and some pepper and had a great base for my Asian style soup. I love a good Ramen!

Each of this huge bowls of goodness need some greens and some topping.
I had some spring onions and spring greens left.
The tempura is a wonderful way to coat any kind of fish or veggie, so I made a dough mix from ice cold non alcoholic grapefruit/wheat beer and some dashi stock and put a couple of pieces of fresh Pollock fillet through it and into the deep fat fryer for just a couple of minutes.

A wonderful fusion soup.

a asparagus based broth
1 chicken stock cube
250 g  white and green asparagus
125 g flat wide rice noodles
2 spring onions
some spring greens
100 g tempura flour
1/2 stick of dashi powder
200 ml grapefruit wheat beer
salt and pepper
200 g Pollock fillet

Wild Garlic Oil with vegetable soup

It is a great way to clean the veggie hamper of all the things that are stored in there and a wonderful hot dish for a still very cold late April day -  we had some snow today again and the car windows were frozen early in the morning.

Don`t you just hate it to throw out all the Penguins who are sitting in your back yard in the early hours of the day!!!  : D

recipe for the wild garlic oil:
80 g fresh wood or wild garlic leaves- washed and shaken dry
1 tsp 7 pepper mix
1 pinch of salt
200 ml rape seed oil

Put it in a high bowl and use a stick blender and make a very green oil.

recipe for the soup:
125 g bacon bits
3 small onions
2 spring onions
4 cloves of garlic
4 small potatoes
5 carrots
150 g celeriac cubes
2 bay leaves
800 ml veg stock
100 ml white wine
salt and pepper and dried thyme
2 tbsp fresh herbs

sweat off the bacon with the onions and the garlic, then add all the veggies and the stock, cook for 15 min and add the wine.
Use a stick blender and make a smooth soup.

Use some leftover baguette and some chili oil and a bit of butter and get them in a pan.

Get everything together and enjoy a heart warming soup.

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Asparagus Variations

I am enjoying Asparagus season and this veg goes great with an Asian Hoisin rib. You wont need anything else on the plate.

For  6 people, you  will need 12 white and 18 green stalks of asparagus. Take the bigger white ones, because when you add the crust, it is best to half the stalks and  place the crust on the inside.
First peel the washed asparagus and chop of the ends of the green ones. Use a huge pot and bring it to a boil with salt, sugar and butter. Dump in the peel from the white asparagus, but discard the green pieces. Boil for 10 min, then fish out the peel, reheat the water and cook the white and green asparagus until al dente. Get it out to cool down a bit.
Dump all the white ones into the Hazelnut vinaigrette to soak a while. Let the green cool down and then wrap in Bresaola.

recipe for Hazelnut mayonnaise:
2 egg yolks
10 g mustard
100 g buerre  noisette
10 ml hazelnut oil
salt, pepper, sugar
sherry vinegar
40 g Bresaola or other raw ha- halfed slices
1/2 lime
salt and pepper
80 g Bresaola or other raw ham
1 lime
salt and pepper

recipe for Hazelnut vinaigrette:

50 ml hazelnut oil
25 ml old balsamic vinegar
10 g roasted grinded hazelnuts
40 g Bresaola or other raw ham

salt and pepper

recipe for Hazelnut crust:
100 g softened butter
50 g roasted chopped hazelnuts
50 g breadcrumbs
nutmeg, salt and pepper
Get the crust mix together and store it in the freezer in small thin sheets, that makes it easier to handle later.

Asian Hoisin ribs:
3 tbsp Hoisin sauce
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp soy
2 tbsp Sriracha
3 tbsp Bourbon Whiskey
1 tsp 5 spice seasoning

Cook the pork ribs for 30 min, cool them a bit and marinate with some of the Hoisin sauce, keep basting it with the sauce while on the bbq.

marinate the ribs

make your own 5 spice seasoning:
1 cinnamon stalk, crush
2 1/2 star anise
1 heaped tsp fennel seeds
1 heaped tsp Sezchuan pepper
6 cloves

Put it in a blender and give it a good grind, is should not be to smooth, the mix tastes better, when a bit rough. Do not make to much and store it long, it looses the intense flavour, just make it, when needed.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Bread with dried figs

This is a bread to serve as a greeting from the kitchen at any Dinner party.  Bake it the previous day and just reheat it a bit. People will love it.  It goes great with some creamy cheese or a bit of dip.

Champagne with Rhubarb syrup goes great with the bread
recipe for 6 breads:
700 g wheat flour type 550 (bread flour)
300 g spelt whole meal flour
19 g sea salt
14 g fresh yeast
600 g dried figs
600 g cold water

Start with soaking the figs in ice water for 5 hours - if you use warm water, you loose all the sweetness and taste from of the figs.

Knead all ingredients except the salt and the figs 15 min in a kitchen machine, add the salt and then the chopped up figs and knead faster, until all flour looses from the sides and gets incorporated. Make a smooth dough. Let it rest 30 min.

Cut it into 6 similar size balls, let it rest 30 min.
Make 6 breads out of it, let it rest 30 min.
Put a square oven proof dish filled with 300 ml warm water on the bottom of the oven and heat it up to 230 C.
Put 3 of the breads on a baking paper and cut them cross wise a couple of times.
Store the other breads under a kitchen towl in the fridge.
Bake for 10 min on 230 C open the door to get the steam out and bake on 210 C for 18 - 20 min more.

Repeat the same procedure with the other 3 breads.

They taste amazing warm or reheated and serve them with some camembert or other kind of cheese.

Monday, 25 April 2016

Asparagus Salad with Goat Cheese and Macadamia Nuts

This salad is a winner!
Asparagus Salad with Goat Cheese and Macadamia Nuts

I was cooking with friends today again and since it is the beginning of asparagus season here, we made a great Sunday asparagus feast.
You have to peel the white ones, but the green ones are less hassle. Since a salad looks nicer, when it has some colours to it, we use both types.
And we used it raw!

recipe for 4:
6 green asparagus stalks
6 white ones
1/2 to 1 lemon zest and juice
4 tbsp rape seed oil
1/2 tsp fleur de sel
1/2 tsp 7 peppers mix or regular black pepper

200 ml milk
150 g goat cheese camembert
4 gelatine leaves
30 g Macadamia Nuts

Peel the white asparagus and chop off the ends of the green ones.
Use the peeler again and peel until all of the asparagus is in thin slices.
Zest half a lemon and juice it, mix it with some oil and season it and store the asparagus strips in for minimum 2 hours.

Make the goat cheese cream.
Heat up the milk and add the cheese cubes and then the squeezed out gelatine and dissolve it.
Use a stick blender and pour the liquid through a sieve into a container. Store in the fridge for 2 hours until set up- then use two spoons to make quenelles.
Grind the Macadamia Nuts and dress the salad with it.

Served with some asparagus/potato bread.

Sunday, 24 April 2016

A Popes favourite lemon dessert

In German it is called "Päpstliche Zitronencreme", but nobody can tell me, which Pope it was, who liked it so much. It is a simple dessert, that can be pimped a little.

I found 2 packed Amalfi Lemons at our big supermarket on the exotic fruit table.  First I thought, why here? They are lemons, but then I saw the price and I knew why they were on that table. I took some time to decide if I was buying them.

These lemons are well known for their great flavour and the are the base of the Limoncello Liqueur I used several times now. That made it easier to buy them. But I hadn´t an idea what to make with them.

So I peeled with a slicer the thin yellow skin off and made a 60 ml water to 60 ml sugar syrup and started to cook them, cool them, cook them the next couple of days again and again until all the syrup was nearly evarporated. Then I put them into sugar to dry out. Some of the skin went into the dessert.

recipe for 4:
400 ml cold water
2 tbsp corn starch
4 tbsp sugar
2 beaten eggs
2 lemons juice and zest
200 ml soft beaten double cream
some candied lemon peel   - optional

In a pot stir the starch into the cold water until full dissolved, add the sugar and the beaten eggs and stir until combined. Bring to a boil and add some candied peel finely chopped, and don´t forget to stir.
When the mix has cooked, transfer it into a large bowl and stir until it is cool.
Fold in the double cream and pour into individual cups to serve, when it is completely cool.

Amalfi lemons candied

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Asparagus Pakoras in red lentil flour -vegan

It is Asparagus season, yeah!

I had to buy a lot of asparagus for the next day, so I did not skimp and bought a pound of green asparagus for my lunch today.
My grocery shopping had me looking in the flour section of the supermarket for some liquid sourdough starter, so in the same isle I found a package of red lentil flour. I never used it before, so  I took one with me. There were a couple of recipes on the website of the manufacturer, they gave me an idea what to do with it.
Out came a vegan lunch! Very tasty!

250 g green asparagus
2 large spring onions
1/2 cup red lentil flour
1/2 cup chickpea flour
1 tsp bicarb of soda
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp brown mustard seeds
1/2 tsp chili flakes
1/2 tsp black sesame seeds
1/2 tsp paprika
1 cup of water
deep fryer with oil

Cut the veggies into small rings and bring the mixture together and add the veggies.
Heat up the fryer to 180 C and use a large spoon to drop some mix into the oil. They float and you have to turn them a couple of times. Fry them for 3 min and drain on kitchen paper.

As a dip use a yellow tomato apple onion chutney ( the rest from last nights sandwich)

I served it with a wild herbs and edible flower salad in a balsamic dressing.

Friday, 22 April 2016

Pork and Swede open faced Sandwich

A piece of bread with a heaped mount of veggies, chutney and pork steak and lots of blue cheese.
My frieds grows tomatoes by the truck load and comes up with several different ways to prepare them. She gave me a mason jar filled with a yellow tomato, apple and onion chutney.
I had a swede left over from my veggie bake and had to use it and I bought a pepper pork steak.
My self baked bread from last Monday had some slices left, so a combination of all was a good choice for a meal.
open faced sandwich

1/2 jar of yellow tomato onion and apple chutney
2 door step slices of spelt onion and anise seed bread
1 pepper pork steak
1 swede
50 g blue cheese
olive oil
salt and pepper
50 ml Bourbon
a couple of rocket leaves

Cut the veggies and start them in a pan with some olive oil, when they get some colour, season and add the Bourbon and put a lid on top of the pan. Takes about 3 more minutes. Slice the cheese and put it on top the veggies and close the lid again.

In a bigger pan, heat a bit of oil and sear the steak on both sides and cook it through. Add a bit more oil to the pan and get the bread slices in and brown them on both sides.

Place a huge amount of chutney on top the hot bread, divide the veggie-cheese mixture on both slices and cut up the steak an make a topping out of it.
Garnish with some rocket leaves.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Spaghetti with garlic, feta and bacon

This dish is one of my favourite. It is a bit like a carbonara, but varies a lot because of the feta and the dry style of the pasta itself.
I had that on a vacation near the Swiss boarder many years ago and I still make it the way and enjoy it a lot.
my favourite dish

250 g spaghetti
8-10 cloves of garlic
2 spring onions
150 g feta cheese from sheep and goats milk
2 eggs
150 g smoked bacon cubes
3 tbsp pasta water
1 tbsp chives
just a few ingredients

chuck the bacon in a large pan and start to fry it off until it turns brown. Degrease it a bit and get in with the chopped onions and garlic. Take down the heat and saute the onions and garlic. Add the crumbled cheese and start to melt it.

use a good feta

Cook the pasta in salted water and drain it, keep a bit of water and add that to the bacon pan.
When the cheese is melted, add the pasta with the water and stir 2 beaten eggs in.
Crank up the heat and make something like fried egg pasta. It should be fairly dry.

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Loquat layer dessert

On a Sunday after a great meal you look for something less heavy to eat as a dessert.
a creamy curd and some fruit, mixed in with some cookies is a good choice.
I found a can of loquats in the supermarket a while ago and did not know what to do with it.
Last Sunday, I found it.

500 g creamy rich curd
3 tbsp maple syrup
75 g galettes Breton or digestive biscuits
1 can of loquats
30 g homemade Granola

mix the curd with the maple syrup and start with some crushed cookies as a base in a nice Glass.
Cut the fruits into small slices and layer them until everything is used up.
Keep in the fridge for at least an hour to set and serve cold.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Spelt Flour Bread with dried Onions and Anise Seed

I came home today from work and didn`t want to stop to buy some bread. Flour of all kinds is in the cupboard, so I baked my self a loaf of bread. It just needed 30min to prove, so it easy to bake in the evening and still enjoy a slice of it later.

500 g spelt flour type 630
2 tsp of salt
40 g honey
275 ml hand warm water
1 package of dried yeast
10g olive oil
2 tsp salt
1 tsp dried onion
1/4 tsp anise seed
some sesame seeds to put on top

use a loaf tin to bake   190 C for 10 min,  170 C for 40 min.

Monday, 18 April 2016

Fish and Chips

I spent 6 days in the South of England. Where ever you are, you find a fish and chip shop near by. We had this as an evening dinner in one of the Hotels and it was good- even served with the less loved mushy peas. (I have no idea, why it is neccessary to crush peas when they are quiet tasty the way they are). That must be an English thing.

My friends and I met for our cooking on a Sunday again and the motto was around the f&c.
We made sweet potatos and regular potatoes out of the oven as a side, 3 different sauces like Tzaziki,
Tartar sauce and Paprika Ayvar. The fish was in a batter with ice cold beer  - it came out of the freezer and was like a sorbet! That made the batter really crispy!!!!

recipe for the sweet potatoes:
wash the potatoes and cut them into 2 cm rings
use olive oil and the juice of a lemon and fresh thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper and cayenne
place them on a baking sheet and bake them for 20 min at 180 C, check if they are getting soft, add a good amount of grated Parmesan and bake for 5 more min

recipe for the batter: 
200 g plain flour
50 g  potato starch
1 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
250 ml ice cold beer
a couple of ice cubes

750 g cod -salted and peppered and lightly covered with flour

recipe for the Paprika Ayvar:
1 can of grilled paprika chopped
2 slices of toast
2 tbsp paprika paste
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika powder
1 tsp piment d`espelette
salt and pepper
juice of 1/4 lemon
1 tbsp olive oil

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Wood Garlic Bread

A Sunday cooking with friends again, always much fun and a good way to test new recipes. Everybody can have input and is active in developing something new. The time runs on this Sunday mornings and suddenly you sit with fríends and family around the table to enjoy your work.

It is the time of the year were wood garlic is in full season, so why  not use it to flavour a bread.
Try it, I can really recommend it.

200 g flour
50 g semolina
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 heaped tsp mustard medium hot
45 g Parmesan
30 g fine chopped wood garlic
20 g fresh yeast
70 ml milk
70 ml water
rapeseed oil warmed with vanilla seeds and crushed juniper berries

Sieve the dry ingredients into a mixer bowl, add the grated Parmesan and the mustard.
In a pot heat up the milk hand warm and dissolve the yeast in it, add the chopped wood garlic so you get some green tinge to the liquid.
Pour it into then dry ingredients and start with a dough hook and knead for 6 min. Maybe add a little more liquid if needed.
Put the dough in a bowl in a warm place and let it rise 35-40 min.
On a floured surface, knead it again, then cut it into 2 pieces.

Make them flat and round and take a pizza cutter and start from the middle to  cut a star in the dough, don't cut through to the outside. Take a little kitchen knife and separate the star bits and fold them over the edge.
Use some of the oil- without the seeds and berries and brush some of it on top.

Bake at 200 C 25 min, then stick a wooden spoon into the door and bake 10 more min.

Eat with salted butter and serve it with something to nibble on- we had some coated and fried Saumagen to go with it. A specialty from south west Germany.

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Salade de Museau de Boeuf

After my trip to the Garden of England I needed to go on a bigger grocery hunt and my way, as always, was to France. Grocery shopping in Alsace is the nearest way to get to some French supermarkets.  I love the produce I can get there, some of them are not available here in Germany.

A beef salad of the rare kind is the Museau de Boeuf. The meat is in very thin slices and it comes from the mouth of the animal. It may be strange to many people, it looks as if there is not enough meat but a lot of hard gel like pieces. But trust me, it tastes great. But you need to make it into a salad to really enjoy it.

200 g Museau de Boeuf sliced
2 spring onions
60 g tiny cornichons
2 tbsp parsley
1 tbsp dill
chop everything fine and mix it with the Boeuf slices

add the dressing:
1 tbsp sweet pear mustard
1 tsp agave syrup
3 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1 dash of cipotle tabasco
1 pinch of dried salad herbs
salt and pepper

You can either eat it with a nice piece of baguette and butter or with hash browns- or in my case I had some leftover potato dumplings, which I baked in a pan.