Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Food you can find on a road trip

I am driving today a part of the famous Golden Circle of Iceland. My first stop after a 90 minutes was the Geysir Center. After inhaling the sulfur and seeing the Geysir and the hot springs I felt a little hungry.

The Center there has a huge cafeteria, I was actually surprised when I walked through it to find one of Icelands most classic dishes here. No, not chips /fries and chicken nuggets or Pyslur, but a huge hot pot of Traditional Lamb Soup or  Kjötsúpa.

And it was goood!
It had just the usual ingredients, it was a thick but clear broth that tasted amazing. Lamb was cooked probably on the bone with carrots, onions and the white of some leeks, bay leaves and salt and pepper. Later it was degreased and the meat pulled apart into good chunks.
That was a soup to take a bath in!

Then I stopped at the Gulfoss waterfalls. Impressive, but their cafe was overrun by hungry bus tourists, so I just had to sight see.

Iceland is the well known place for using Geo thermal waters from their volcanic sites. Not only for making electricity or having thermal bathes like the Blue Lagoon, but using the heat and the hot water for farming. And they farm an abundance of tomatoes. I was visiting a familiy owned business, Fridheimar. This is really Eco friendly, the tomatoes are picked early in the morning, brought to the shops and probably sold the same day and eventually eaten even that day. The crop grows all year round, so even in the darkness of the winter month, the farmers are able to grow.

In the cafe at the farm I sat in front of rows and rows of tomato plants and that made a special ambiente to the place. Very friendly staff and lots of information about how they work.

And wonderful food and drinks.
A bloody Mary is well known to everybody, but since I came on my own by car, alcohol was no option.
So I had a Healthy Mary. Absolutely delishous.
Green tomato with lime and fresh grated ginger and some honey, filled up with sparkling water and some ice cubes. Served with a stick of cucumber.

And a wheat tortilla topped with rich tomato sauce, fresh tomatos and lots of good cheese.

Monday, 30 May 2016

Eating in and out in Reykjavik

My morning started with Herring in ubersweet tomato sauce and onions on toast. A really good way to start the day, but a bit too sweet for my usual taste. But I am open to so many things and the quality of the Herring was very good. I would eat that again, even when a portion of 65 g covers 18 % of your daily intake of sugars!

At noon I was to busy to go to a proper lunch or cook something, I had an appointment with a Segway Tour Operator to go on a trip. So Fast Food it was.
The most favourite here is called Pylsur. It is a Hot Dog. And everybody loves them here.
With fried onions, hot mustard and hot mayo a good snack to go.

Later after the trip, I cooked a pasta dish at home, using some of my leftover meatballs for the tomato and cream sauce. Delish and just a pinch of the price I would have payed here for a plate of spag bol.

And since we have a wonderful cloudless blue sky today with mild temperatures for Iceland, I went to the best ice cream shop in Town. It was a recommendation from the owners of the place where I am staying. And only 5 minutes to walk!  Valdis is the name of the place and yesterday on a Sunday the place was jam packed with people, even it was a grey and windy day. Monday afternoon in the bright sun is a lot better to go there. When you walk in to the shop, take a number and let the colours of the different ice creams make an impression. It will take a bit time until you can order, but you will need that time to know what to choose. The ice cream is a treat.

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Leek, Meatballs and Mini Potatoes

The first food I cooked in my rented apartment in Reykjavik took some time to get started.

All Icelandic produce!
Checking all the cupboards for pots and pans, kitchen utensils and so on took a while. I kept todays lunch fairly simple. Meatballs are always a good start, but I had to compromise at the breadcrumbs, well I hadn´t any, so I used local rye sourdough bread and crumbled it in my hand. It gave a unique texture but a wonderful taste to the meatballs -pure iceland beef- btw.

I was looking for Iceland grown vegetables and found some leek and very tiny red potatoes. But for such tiny ones, they did take a lot of time to cook!

The leek was just cooked with a bit of garlic in some olive oil, a bay leaf added, some salt and pepper and then some cream. For a bit of taste a teespoon mild curry powder. It gave also a nice colour.

recipe for the meatballs:
500 g beef mince
2 shallots
3 cloves of garlic
1 slice moist rye sourdough bread
1 egg
salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, herbes de Provence, celery seed, nutmeg
olive oil

recipe for the leek:
1 leek cut into half rings
1 clove of garlic
1 bay leaf
1 tsp olive oil
60 ml cream
1 tsp mild curry powder
salt and pepper

Tasting food in Iceland

I started a week long vacation in the nice city of Reykjavik in Iceland yesterday.

I am living in a rented apartment close to the old harbour with many restaurants, bars and cafes around. I came in a bit late last night, but the crowds were still milling around and the restaurants were busy. Just around the block I found the "Reykjavik Fish" , a Fish and Chips Restaurant with a good many people sitting and eating.

You walk in to the counter, order your meal and beer and pay and take the beverage and a number and look for an empty space to sit. Even with the big crowd, it didn´t take long for the food to arrive.
Pollok in a light batter, moist and flakey fish and very good chips. Served with Tartar sauce.

A great way to arrive in a new city.

Today, I walked through  City Center and thought, here is one cafe beside an other. You could visit each one, but you have to stay many weeks. And they have fabolous cakes and sweet treats. I couldn`t walk away from a slice crumbly cake filled with caramel, a real treat.

Later, I went grocery shopping in a local Super center. It took double the time as usually at home, because the Icelandic language is very special and you need a lot of time to figure out, what you have in your hand and what you are looking for. That is an experience, and sometimes quite funny.
50 % of all the sweet stuff has some licorice in it, so if you don´t like that black stuff, looking out for the word LAKKRIS is important.
However I like it, so that´s ok.

But I found something else. A coconut covered sweet foamy filled something. Delightful!

Friday, 27 May 2016

South Tyrolian 4ways Apple dessert

The north Italien area is a great producer of apples. Many recipes are found to show the abundance of these fruits.
I love the more tart apples, they have a robust flavour and are very good to bake and cook with them.

In the 4ways apple dessert are 2 different kinds of apples. I used Granny Smith and Boskop.

The Granny Smith made a wonderful Sorbet and Apple soup, the Boskop a salad and the filling of tiny pastry bags.

recipe for the apple sorbet and soup:
2 Granny Smith
1 juice of a lemon
5 tbsp liquid of 50 g sugar with 50 ml water, a piece of lemon peel and 1/3 of a vanilla pod
Bake some pastry shells to serve the apple sorbet in.

Prepare the sugary liquid first- you can do this days ahead and store them in a jar with a lid.
Cut the Granny Smith and get the seeds out, do not peel them. Cut them into chunks and with the lemon juice and the sugary liquid blitz them up until you have a smooth green puree.
You can either put it directly into the freezer, but you have to give it a good stir every 45 min. But use an ice cream maker and churn it until it has the consistency of a sorbet.
The soup is nothing else but liquid sorbet, so no work at all.

recipe for the apple bags and salad:
200 ml South Tyrolian apple schnaps
5 tbsp raisins soaked in that schnaps
2 Boskop apples
1 juice of a lemon
5 pieces of Filo dough or homemade Strudel dough
1 tbsp vanilla pudding powder

Soak the raisins over night in the Schnaps.
Cut the apples into 1 cm pieces and mix them with the lemon juice and the drained raisins.
Either make the Strudel dough or use Filo Pastry dough
Cut that into 6  15 x 15 cm pieces, get a bit of pudding powder in the middle and place 1 tsp of apple raisin mix on top.

Fold the dough like a bag and tye a string around the top. Brush with egg wash.
Bake at 180 C for 20 min.
Get all 4 different apple versions together on a plate and serve

Thursday, 26 May 2016

South Tyrolian Bread from Vinschgau with Cheese salad

We have a holiday today, Corpus Christi. So I am off work and into cooking today.
The area where the recipes are from, is in the North of Italy near the Austrian boarder, called South Tyrol or Alto Adige.

The day started with baking some bread and making a cheese salad as a starter to a whole meal dedicated to that area. Which is famous for their Speck, Apples, Wine and Cheese and lots more.

In the beginning for this bread is the spice blend, that gives an intense flavour to the Vinschgau bread.
The smell is anaseedic.
You have to dryroast  the spices first, the put them into a spice grinder and make a fine powder.
But not only for bread is the use of it, it tastes amazing in risottos or on pasta.

recipe for the spice blend:
1/2 tsp each of caraway seeds, coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds, anis seeds, fennel seeds

Put that into a dry pan and roast it. Make a fine powder and store in a jar what you don´t need for the bread.

recipe for the bread:
350 g plain flour
150 g rye flour
2  tbsp plain jogurt
1 tsp honey
10 g fresh yeast
10 g salt
15 g spice blend
240 ml water

Mix it with a dough hook and let it proof 90 minutes or over night. Then either make a whole loaf and bake it as it is, rubbed with some rye flour over the top.
Or made into 80 g dough balls, 2 of them sitting together for the second proofing and with the rye flour on to too. Pinch some holes into them.

Bake the rolls/bread at 230 C for 15 min with some water, get the water out and reduce the heat to 200 C and bake 20 more min.
The bread needs to bake 45 min  at 200 C

recipe for the cheese salad:
250 g Harzer cheese or sourmilk cheese or original Graukäse
100 g sharp mountain cheese
2 tbsp chives
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
100 g raddises in thin slices

Cut the cheeses into fine dices and add the other ingredients and let the cheese sit outside the fridge for 2 hours minimum.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Salzburger Nockerln

This is an Austrian classic, that is not so often seen nowadays. It is similar to a soufflé. A dessert that has to eaten the moment it comes out of the oven.
Salzburger Nockerln with Strawberry Couli

recipe for 2:

1 tbsp butter
2 egg whites (M)
a pinch of salt
50 g sugar
the seeds of a vanilla pod
2 egg yolks
15 g flour
250 g strawberries
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp sugar
some icing sugar

You need a 20 cm oven proof dish.

Make a strawberry couli, mash the strawberries with 2 tbsp sugar and the lemon juice  and pour it through a fine sieve to get the lumps out.
egg yolks, flour and vanilla

before it gets into the oven

Take a clean and fat free bowl, clean it with some lemon juice, and get the egg whites with a bit of salt to stiff peaks. add the sugar until glossy.
Mix the egg yolks with the vanilla seeds and the flour and lightly fold it into the egg white without destroying it.

Heat up the oven 200 C and place a tbsp of butter into the dish and place it into the hot oven to get a bit brown.
Spoon the mixture in two heaps into the hot baking dish and get it back into the oven.
Bake for 12 minutes and finish immediatly with some icing sugar.
Serve directly with the strawberry couli, don`t wait, it will fall down.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Tabbouleh with grilled peppers

Today Sortedfood uploaded a new video and one part of the dish was Tabbouleh.

I had some veggies that had to go. The north African salad of Tabbouleh is a good base to get some of these done. One courgette and a couple of cherry tomatoes, some spring onions and a lot of fresh coriander made a tasty salad.

Usually parsley is used as the main herb in the Tabbouleh, but it works just fine with coriander. Only if you belong to the third of people who hate coriander, that is a bad choice.

250 ml veg stock
100 g boulgour
1 clove of garlic
2 spring onions
1 small courgette
6 cherry tomatoes
1 tbsp pomegranate syrup
1 lemon
1 lime
2 tbsp olive oil
1 bunch of coriander
salt and pepper

100 g Greek yogurt
1/2 tsp sumac

250 g small green Spanish peppers
some fleur de sel
olive oil

Bring the stock to a boil and add the chopped garlic and spring onion and the boulgour. Keep the heat on low and let it sit for 5 minutes, then cut off the heat and let it rest until the stock is absorbed.
Chop the veggies and the coriander and mix it pomegranate syrup, lemon and lime juice and the seasoning. Add the boulgour and check if you have a good balance between the herbs and the wheat.

Mix the yogurt with the sumac. And fry off the peppers in some olive oil until they are very well dark and not longer plump.

Monday, 23 May 2016

Clafoutis Paleo and GF

I bought a punnet of wonderful dark cherries. Eating all of them as they are is great, but preparing a dish with them is even better. First I thought about a savoury dish with the combination of meat and cherries, like duck breast with cherry sauce or Lebanese Köfte with cherries, but I was looking for something less healthy.

When a sweet dessert with cherries is on my mind, the first thing that pops up is the French classic of Clafoutis.

This was one of my first dishes I ever made and I love it since that time, even I haven´t made it in a very long period of time.

Now a possibility of Gluten Free and Paleo came to my mind and instead of flour and the usually refined sugar, I decided to exchange that with almond and coconut flour and coconut flower sugar. This sugar has a very low GI and that makes the dessert more healthy :-))

500 g pitted cherries
6 eggs
50 g coconut flower sugar
300 ml whole milk
180 ml double cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
35 g almond flour
2 heaped tbsp coconut flour
butter for the baking dish
2 tbsp dessicated coconut instead of icing sugar

Use a 26 or 28 cm oven proof dish and butter it well.
Bake for 60 min at 180 C regular that makes the clafoutis dense like a sponge
or at 160 C fan, that makes it a bit fluffier.

Now, after I finished the dessert I am sure to make it again and I favour it over the regular recipe.

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Caramelized Asparagus with Strawberries and Vanilla Ice Cream

Please, do not say YUK!

When I saw this recipe in a newspaper clipping, I was intrigued.
This time of year here in Germany asparagus and strawberries are everywhere. You can´t escape them.
I made a salad with this ingredients already and that tasted great, but this dessert is the pièce de résistence.

recipe for 4:
400 g white asparagus
400 ml water
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar

40 g butter
40 g sugar
60 ml Grand Marnier triple sec

400 g strawberries
3 tbsp strawberry balsamic vinegar or a very fine other balsamic vinegar
1 tsp vanilla sugar
some lemon balm or mint leaves

Vanilla ice cream:
250 ml whole milk
3 egg yolks
130 g sugar
1 vanilla pod
200 ml double cream

Prepare the ice cream first or buy some.
Heat up the milk with the emptied vanilla pod. Beat the eggs with the sugar and the vanilla seeds and pour a bit hot milk in to loosen it up, continue to whisk and get the rest of the milk into the bowl, back into the hot and bring it back to just before boiling so it starts to thicken. Cool it down in some cold water and add the double cream. Pour it into the ice cream maker and start to churn.

Peel the asparagus and cut it into 1 cm chunks. In a pot with 400 ml water, salt and sugar cook the asparagus until al dente, let it cool down.

Macerate the strawberries in vanilla sugar and strawberry balsamic vinegar. Mine is so good, I usually serve it in between courses at a dinner party in small shots glasses to guests.

Make the caramel in a small pan with first the sugar, when it gets colour, add the butter and melt it and add the triple sec and the cooked asparagus pieces. Let them warm through.

Serve them warm with 2 scoops of ice cream and the strawberries and top with some greenery.

Try this- I dare you!

Filipino Adobo - Peppercorn Chicken

This dish was uploaded to YT by SortedFood last Friday. I thought to make in sometime in the future.

My weekend plan for Sunday lunch was making a Maltese rabbit stew. The problem here was getting a rabbit or even frozen rabbit pieces. I found none and had to go to an other dish quick while grocery shopping. The next thing on my mind was: OK make the Adobo, the only ingredient I needed were some chicken drumsticks. All other things were at home. And I had 24 hours to prepare the dish.

This 24 hrs are very important, you marinate the chicken pieces in the liquid with the spices in the fridge. The vinegar will break down the meat a bit and make it very tender, but this needs time. So when cooking this dish, make sure you have the time on hand. And basically it is not so much prep work to do, took me just 10 minutes.

8 pieces of chicken thigh and drumsticks or just drumsticks
300 ml water
50 ml apple cider vinegar
100 ml soy sauce
4 bay leaves
3 cloves of garlic
5 cm piece of ginger
2 tsp black peppercorns
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 large white onion
2 tbsp oil
2 cups of rice

Get a big casserole and place the chicken in and pour all the liquid on top. Chop the onion in half rings and place it in the pan too.
Simmer for 30 minutes with an open lid.
Get the chicken pieces out and flash fry them in a pan with oil, during this time add the brown sugar to the sauce to make it more round.
Serve with steaming white rice and some Asian salad

Asian inspired salad
1 carrot
1 small courgette
1 purple spring onion
6 cherry tomatoes
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp dark sesame oil
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
2 tbsp roasted sesame seeds
smoked sea salt, pepper

For different textures, peel long strips off the carrot, the courgette into fine cubes, half the cherry tomatoes and chop the spring onion into fine rings. Make the dressing and get everything together, it can sit a while in a bowl, that increases the taste.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Boulgour with Asparagus and Peas

This basic recipe gave me my BFF. She told me it tasted amazing and I should cook it myself.

that is a vegan dish

I picked all the ingredients and thought about butter and chicken stock. But during I was peeling the aspargus I planned new and exchanged the butter and the chicken stock for olive oil and veggie stock. And surprise: a vegan dish.

I bought some tomato flavoured boulgour at our Turkish Supermarket. And that gave the base to the dish.

I changed the chicken stock cube and used a veg stock

150 g tomato flavoured boulgour
500 ml veg stock
100 g defrosted peas
400 g white asparagus in 3 cm slices
1/2 red chili
3 shallots
2 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp pineapple mint
1 tsp smoked paprika
1  tsp paprika
salt, pepper

that takes about 2 1/2 minutes

stir very well, then add the veg stock

In a wide pan in olive oil start with the chopped onions, garlic and chili and give that a couple of minutes. Add the asparagus slices and the boulgour and let that coat with the oil, add the peas and the veg stock, season with the paprikas, salt and pepper and let it cook open until the stock is done. That takes about 15 minutes. Chop the fresh mint and add it to the dish.

paprika powders for taste

pineapple mint