Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Apricots on Paté Sablée

I was grocery shopping in France last Saturday and found wonderful looking and smelling apricots from the Rhone region. I could not resist and bought a kilo even knowing that with all the other fruits I already had in my shopping cart I was going to have a problem to eat them before they get overripe.

This morning I looked at the box with all the delicious apricots and ate one. So juicy and sweet. What to do with the rest? Baking with outside temperature of 35 C is no fun, but it had to be done.

I  made a French dough called paté sablée, it is a sweet and crumbly shortcrust pastry often used in cookies too. Since it was so hot, I made the dough in the kitchen machine, cold hands were not an option today to make a "sandy" dough.

recipe for the dough:
250 g flour T405
110 g sugar
130 g butter
1 egg
4 g salt

Sieve the flour, salt and sugar into the kitchen machine and add the butter and let the knifes cut everything like sand. Make sure it does not take too long, you will heat up the dough. Add the egg and just give it 1 more minute. Put it on a work surface and bring it together and make a thick round piece of dough and wrap it and put it into the fridge for 2 hours.

With a rolling pin make a round big enough to build a wall. I used a glass baking dish, so to get it out I used baking paper. Use a fork and prick the dough.
I hate soggy bottoms, I use a second piece of baking paper and my trusted baking beans and prebaked it for 15 min at 200 C.

800 g ripe apricots
60 g baked apple jam with raisins and almonds
200 g 40% curd
1 egg
2 tsp dark brown vanilla sugar

Clean and destone the apricots. Seperate the egg and beat the eggwhite stiff.
When the paté comes out of the oven, spread the tasty jam on the bottom and place the apricot halfs on top.
Mix egg yolk with brown vanilla sugar, curd and stiff egg white.
Spread in blobs on top of the apricots.

Bake 35 min at 200 C

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Cordon Bleu on mixed veggies

This cheese and ham filled meat is a very old classic.  The blue ribbon has its history in a French cooking school and is a synonym for high ranking culinary expertise. There is an order who has a golden cross hanging from a blue ribbon.
But there is an other story too. A cruise ship made the fastes trip over the Atlantic ocean in 1929 and won the blue ribbon. In honor of this victory the captain ordered the kitchen to  make something special and out came the veal schnitzel filled with cheese and ham. It was called then Cordon bleu.

Mostly used meat is veal or pork filled with a melty cheese such as Gryerère, Appenzeller or Emmenthal  and a lean slice of cooked ham.

I served it with a mixed vegetable that was finish with lots of Hungarian paprika powder and a little cream.

2 veal schnitzel 160 g each
2 slices of lean cooked ham
2 slices of cheese
1 egg
60 g breadcrumbs
30 g flour
salt and pepper
1 tsp paprika paste
2 tbsp white wine

3 long red peppers
2 big spring onions
4 cloves of garlic
1 red chili
1 medium leek
2 tbsp Hungarian paprika powder
salt and pepper
50 ml cream
30 ml white wine

Flatten the veal a bit with your hand, season with salt and pepper. Stick in a piece of ham and cheese and close the meat. You can use a toothpick to close them.
Beat the egg and get the cordon bleu through flour, egg and breadcrumbs and cook them in oil on medium heat.

In a second pan start with onions, garlic and chili in olive oil, give it a head start for 3 minutes, get in the chopped peppers and leek and cook that for 5 more minutes. Add wine and cream and the herbs and lots of Hungarian paprika powder.

Pan fried Sardine filets

A quick snack for the evening. Fatty fish is good for the brain, maybe it helps. The best thing is not to do to much to the fish, just a bit seasoning and a bit of flour. You can easily prepare them on a BBQ too.
I saw men in Portugal along the coast grill them on very small homemade BBQ boxes not bigger then a regular piece of paper, in front of their shops selling tires, carparts and so on. 

The fish was cleaned and deboned from the fishmonger, the amount of work for this dish is very low. Serve it on top of some salad with lemon and olive oil dressing and you are good to go.

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Moule Marinière Zaatar

I bought the first fresh mussels from Mont St. Michel today in France. The season has started again. The mussels were on the small side, but super fresh and very tasty. I have climbed the steps up to the Mount a couple of years ago and could see the farms in the sea, where all the good stuff was harvested.

I love to cook the mussels like they do it in Normandy, with a bit of cream. The sauce is woderful to dip your Baguette into. A little middle eastern seasoning gets a bit of depst into the flavour.

1,4 kg mussels
2 large or 5 small spring onions
125 ml creme fraiche liquid
4 cloves of garlic
2 red chilis
1 tsp Zaatar
salt and pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
200 ml white wine

Put the moules into a colander, get the ones out that are open and wont close when you knock them against a board. Wash them  and tear the beards of, if you find some. Broken shells needs to be discarded too.

Chop onions, chili and garlic and in a big pot start them with some olive oil, season with salt and pepper and cook until they are half done.
Add the white wine and the mussels, stir it and close the lid. On high heat cook them for 3 minutes, open the lid and check. Depending on the size it may take a bit longer.
Add the cream and the  Zataar and you are good to go.
Serve them in a deep pot or plate and keep one on the side for the discarded shells. Get enough Baguette to dip all the lovely juices.

Friday, 26 August 2016

Chocolate Rice Pudding

We had an extremly hot late August day here with 36 C in the afternoon. Driving home from work, even with air condition wasn´t fun and I kept thinking what to eat as dinner.

Slaving in the kitchen over a hot stove was no option and I decided to use my new kitchen helper to cook a full meal. The Thermomix TM31. I was looking for something sweet so I tried my hand at rice pudding.  Normally I cook it on the hob, it makes a mess often and takes a lot of patience and often stirring. This time, no way.
From start to finish, everything done in one "pot".

recipe for the TM31

125 g Carneroli rice
30 g butter
550 g whole milk
1 egg seperated
1 pinch of vanilla
1 tbsp vanilla sugar
30 g sugar
1/4 tsp salt
30 g dark chocolate
20 g chocolate chips
3 tbsp double cream

Put in the egg white with the butterfly and whisk it until stiff. Pour it out of the pot and rinse it.
Put the butter in the pot and add the washed rice. 2 minutes on 100 C power 1
add vanilla, vanilla sugar, sugar and salt and the  milk,  35 min on 90 C power 1
add the chocolate brocken into pieces 5 min on 90 C power 1
When the alarm sounds, drop in the egg yolk and let it stir 15 seconds.
Get the pot out and add the stiff egg white.
Pour half of it into a bowl, add some chocolate chips and drizzle some cream on top.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Potatoes with Vinegar and Bechamel

This is a very old family classic recipe that my Mom loved to prepare. We have often eaten it with cured pork shoulder and a sweet cranberry sauce. The potatoes have a nice consistency and are very filling. Sometimes served for a many people, it was something everybody looked forward to.

It is an easy recipe, but you have to take care to buy the right kind of potatoes that they will keep their shape and not crumble or fall apart. The best kind are the ones you use for potato salad or fries.
It can be reheated easily on the next day.

700 g potatoes
150 ml salted veg stock
2 bay leaves
2 thyme stalks
300 ml milk
50 ml double cream
3 tbsp vinegar
salt and pepper
55 g butter
55 g flour
150 g cranberry sauce
grilled bacon or cured pork

Cook the potatoes in salted veg stock broth with bay leave and thyme until nearly done.

Drain the potatoes and keep 150 ml  of the broth.
Melt the butter, fry of the shallot and add the flour, cook 2 minutes and add milk, broth and cream and cook until it thickened.
Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper and add the vinegar. Put the potato slices in.
Serve with cured meat and lovely cranberry sauce.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Pa amb Tomàquet - Tomatobread

In the area of Barcelona and on the island of Mallorca you can find this roasted bread with fresh rubbed on tomatoes. When you are lucky you get some Chorizo or Serano ham or Manchego cheese to go with it.
It was originally a the dish for the poor.

I used a fresh baked Foccacia bread and put a little olive oil on one side and layed that on the BBQ for 3 minutes.

When the bread is a little cooled of, take a ripe tomato and cut it on one side and start rubbing it over the bread. Some rub the bread with garlic first but that depends on your mood.
I cut some Chorizo to top the bread with.

As a side we ate a piece of a ox heart tomato and scooped out the wet bit, filled it with some green and yellow tiny tomatoes, some onion rings and fresh made (homemade) cheese. Topped with some smoked sea salt and a bit of tomato oil and black pepper.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Zoodles with Goatcheese sauce

My large Trombette courgette or zucchini needs a lot of meals to get eaten. After 2 mornings eating them raw in slices for breakfast with my coworker at the office, I turned to make some zoodles to get rid of a bit of the veg. You do not need much to spiral a whole lot of lovely curly strings. And they are so easy to prepare, that I spiraled some earl this morning, packed them with the leftover sauce and took them to the office, where I "Cooked" them.

Trombette is the green snake

15 cm of medium sized Trombette or regular courgette
200 ml sour cream
1 tbsp butter
3 spring onions
2 cloves of garlic
1/4 red chili
125 g fresh creamy goatcheese
50 g Gouda or any other cheese that is sitting around
1/2 tsp zatar
1/2 tsp piment d`espelette
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp curcuma
1/2 raz al hanout
salt and pepper
15 cm leftover Baguette
1 tbsp butter + 1 tbsp oil

Take a spiral maker and make long strips. Get the kettle on and heat up a liter of water.
Put the strips into a bowl and pour the boiling water over and let it sit for 5 minutes, drain.

In a wide pan melt butter and oil and fry off the bread chunks- I used some tomato sunflower seed baguette I baked the day before. Get it out of the pan.

Melt the butter and toss in chopped spring onion and garlic and fry that, add the sour cream and the goatcheese an melt that. Get any other cheese in you have on hand.
Dump in all the seasoning and for color the curcuma and use a bit of chili.
Add the drained zoodles and serve.

Monday, 22 August 2016

Pears Beans and Bacon Salad

Originally this dish a western German traditional dish from the northern Rhine region, it is eaten in fall and it is kind of heavy.

This salad is a lighter and summery version of the dish. Salty bacon and caramelized pears goes wonderful with fresh cooked green beans. Believe me, please.

400 g small green beans
50 g Pancetta
2 pears
1 shallot
2 stalks of savory
2 tsp brown sugar
2 tsp butter
2 tsp quince vinegar or any other light vinegar
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp Jerez sherry vinegar

Clean the beans and snip off the ends, in a pot with salted water and added savory cook them until they are the way you like them. Depending of the size of the beans, it can take between 3 to 6 minutes. Drain them and cool them in ice cold water so that they keep their color.

Place the pancetta in rows of 4-6 slices on a baking sheet under the grill. Keep checking them, because the will quickly burn.

Cut the pears into slices, but leave the skin on. Melt the sugar in a pan until it is brown, add the butter and the pears and let them caramelize. With the quince vinegar added, they cook on low heat for a little time.

Dice the shallot fine, get it into a small sieve over a bowl and pour hot water over them. Let the sieve sit for 1 minutes then take the shallots out and pour some cold water over them.
Make the dressing.
Get everything together.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Spanish Tomato Cocktail

When you have a good friend who is collecting tomato seeds - now about over 420 -  and planting over 80 plants each year, you get lots of great ideas what to do with an abundance of tomatoes. She gave me 7 plants with strange names to harvest seeds for her, because seeds normally stay fertile around 5 years, then you have to grow tomatoes again and harvest new seeds. The tomatoes from this 7 plants are mine to enjoy. I have counted 48 tomatoes on one single plant, then I stopped counting the others :-(

Now for the cocktail, yellow tomatoes are a strange to make tomato sauce with, so I needed something different to prepare with them. And as a cocktail before a tomato meal, they are delicious.

5 medium size yellow tomatoes  - about 200 ml liquid
25 ml Cuarenta y tres Liqueur
3 lemon- sugar water ice cubes

Top them with a piece of red tomato that is soaked in lavender vanilla syrup for a while.

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Figs and Rose Syrup Ice Cream with Sesame Brittle

My plans for today included making ice cream. I bought some ripe small bananas to prepare them as ice cream, but on the way into the house I saw a lot of ripe figs hanging from my tree in front of the house. I had to harvest the figs, the rain was coming and I did not wanted to loose them.
I changed plans and figs went into the ice cream.
I have a jar of rose syrup that goes great with the figs, it reduces the amount of sugar you  have to put into the ice cream.

500 ml milk
200 ml double cream
30 ml rose syrup
1/2 lime
5 figs
4 egg yolks
1 pinch ground vanilla pod
10 tsp brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla sugar
2 tsp salted butter
2 tsp sesame

clean the figs, top and tail them and quarter them, chuck them into a blender with the rose syrup and give them a good blitz.

it is important to use a fine sieve

Mix the egg yolks with 5 tsp sugar and vanilla sugar, heat up milk and double cream and add it to the eggs whisking constantly. Get that back into the pot and heat it up until you have a cream. Get the fig mix in and in a huge bowl of cold water, cool the mix down.
Use a very fine sieve and pour the mixture through. Get all the pips and skin out.
In an ice cream maker it will take about an hour, or freeze it in the freezer the regular way.

Heat the 5 tsp of brown sugar in the pan, when it is really dark add the butter and pour it on a silicon mat and sprinkle with sesame.

Blue Grapes and Pancetta Pizza

This is an other recipe from my Icelandic food magazine issue. It is easy to prepare and the balance of salty and sweet makes it special. The same origin as the blackberry pizza I made a couple of weeks ago.

I used frozen pizza dough, I`ve frozen it last week, when I made a huge ball of dough. Freeze it at 120 - 150 g a ball each and you are good to go the next time you have a hieper for pizza. The dough needs just 20 - 30 minutes to get ready again.

recipe for the dough:
300 g spelt flour type 630
50 g semolina douro
20 g fresh yeast
25 g olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 pinch sugar
200 ml handwarm water

Get the ingredients for the dough together and knead that for a couple of minutes. Let it sit under a towel for 30 minutes. After it has proved, you will have about 650 g of dough.

recipe for the topping
10 - 15 blue seedless grapes
2 shallots
50 g Pancetta Magretta
3 stalks of thyme
some drops olive oil
1 tsp chili honey
fresh basil leaves
1/2 ball of mozzarella
30 g grated cheddar cheese
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven 230 C
Strech the fresh or defrosted dough with your hands, get some drops of olive oil on top. Cut up the mozzarella and place it on top. Nex the pancetta and the shallot slices. Half the blue grapes and place them top up on the pancetta. Use thyme and seasoning and get the cheddar on top. Finish with the chili honey. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Add the fresh basil leaves and serve.