Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Turkey Katsu with Rice

I had one slice of organic turkey breast sitting in the fridge. About 130 g of it. I was checking different YT videos about Japan and remembered the Tonkatsu I had in Kyoto.  All other ingredients were sitting in the cupboard.

I am fond of these very thin slices of deep fried meat and they are a much better choice then any chicken nuggets from the Fast Food Chaines.  It is no compressed meat of an unknown producer, but a real slice of meat of good quality.
It is important to use some Panko breadcrumbs, because the give the meat the special crispiness and they do not burn so fast, because they are rougher in texture and bigger in size.
I brought some Yakisoba Sauce back from Japan -the taste reminds me of a mix of Ketchup, Worchestersauce and H1 BBQ sauce.
I had a jar of Mungo bean sprouts sitting around for quite a while, I made a quick dressing and added the washed sprouts to make a salad.

130 g Chicken breast or turkey breast
1 egg
3 tbsp flour
5 tbsp panko breadcrumbs
2 cups oil for frying
1 cup rice
1 jar mungo beansprouts
1 tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp mirin
dried salad herbs
salt and pepper
1 spring onion

I have cut the turkey breast into 3 pieces, seasoned them with salt and pepper.
I seasoned the flour and the egg and panned the filets.
Heat up the oil to 170C and fry the cutletts until golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper and cut into slices.
Serve with rice and salad.

Monday, 30 January 2017

Swiss Chard Italian Style

Winter time - Veggie time!

My local organic supermarket offered Swiss chard from Italy and that inspired me to prepare it in that style.
In some countries people just eat the leafy greens prepared like spinach and throw the stalks away. In other countries, they like the stalks and throw the green parts away. There the stalks are called the asparagus of the poor.
When I usually use chard, I prepare the greens separately from the stalks and bring them back together on the plate like two different veggies. The greens as a kind of spinach with nutmeg and onions, the stalks in a light creamy white sauce.
But, I found an Italian recipe in one of my many books that intrigued me. And I can assure you, it is delicious!

600 g Swiss Chard
40 g sun dried tomatoes in oil
3 shallots
3 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 lemon
1 1/2 tsp runny forest honey
salt and pepper

Take about 1 inch off the green top and 1 inch off the bottom from the Chard, cut the Chard into 1 /2 inch slices and give it a good wash.
Cube the shallots and the garlic and cut the dried tomatoes into strips.
In a wide pan in oil start with onions and garlic first, then add the tomatoes and cook a bit.
Drop in the washed Chard with its rest of water and wait a few seconds to steam off, season with salt and pepper and cook until done.
Season with honey and let it caramelize a bit, dribble the lemon juice over.

Serve it as a side dish or just as a light meal on its own.

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Oyakodon - Chicken & Egg Rice Bowl

Some call it Oyakodonburi or Parents & Child Bowl.

It is easy to pepare when you can let your butcher skin the chicken thighs for you. I asked and showed my hand and he did it for me. The skin with the bit of leftover meat gave a good half liter of chicken stock later. I used for the dish a bit of this chicken stock. It is very tasty and super easy to prepare.
Usually in Japanese kitchen some use Mitsuba leaves as greens. I can´t get any here. So you could use spring onions or as I did, I mixed some fresh chives with fresh dill.

recipe for chicken stock:
600 ml water
1/2 tsp salt and pepper
2 skins of the chicken thighs
1 carrot
4 pieces of green tops of frozen leek
1 bay leaf

Chuck everything into a pot and bring to a boil and cook on medium heat for 30 minutes, drain.

recipe for the Oyakodon:
2 skinless and boneless chicken thighs
1/2 large onion
2 tbsp chopped chives
1 tbsp chopped dill
5 tbsp chicken stock
2 tbsp mirin
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 pinch of dashi powder
2 eggs beaten
1 cup Japanese short grain rice

Cut the chicken into bite size pieces.
Chop the onion into rough cubes or strips.
Cook Japanese short grain rice.
In a pot add the liquids and heat them up, add onion and chicken and cook that until the chicken is nearly done, add the chopped greens

Pour  half of the beaten eggs on top and stir to cook it.
Pour the rest of the eggs over the mix and put a lid on the pot.
Depending how runny you love your eggs, cook them for 1 - 3 minutes.
Serve over a bowl of steaming rice.

Friday, 27 January 2017

Bolognese easy and very tasty

I am happy to prepare food in my Thermomix during the time I am not able to use my left hand. It makes it a good deal easier, no need to cut a lot of veggies or stir a lot in a pot.
The bolognese is very heavy on the veggie side, makes it tastier and nobody moans about the veg.
It is great to freeze in portions for further use.
I am posting the recipe for the Thermomix 31.

4 carrots
1 can tomato passata
2 spring onions
4 cloves of garlic
100 g celeriac, swede, leek frozen
350 g mixed minced pork and beef
50 ml Bourbon or red wine
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 large tomato
1 tsp herbes de Provence
1 tbsp chives
1 tbsp parsley
40 g olive oil
40 g Balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
salt and pepper
1 yellow chili (hot)

Pell onions, garlic, carrots and cut them roughly. Chuck them with the frozen veggies into the TM and close the lid and add the stopper in the middle.
Dial 6 seconds on speed 8. Use a silicon spatula to push the veggies down and add 40 g olive oil.
Dial 3 min, Varoma, speed 2 and saute.

Pour in the tomato passata, whiskey, vinegar and all the spices and sugar, add the tomato in quarters and close the lid completely. Dial 3 sec, speed 5 and  mix.

Dial 6 min, 100 C, Speed 1 and cook for 6 minutes. Place the basket on top instead of the little stopper.

Now use a plate and lay the meat out flat, season with salt and pepper and seperate it into small chunks.
Dial 35 min, 100 C, leftturn, speed 1 and let the sauce cook. Throw in the meat in little chunks through the hole in the lid and then put the basket back on top.

Cook your pasta al dente.

Chop some fresh herbs and grate some Pecorino and bring everything together.

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Using Pulled Pork two ways

Sometimes you get very good precooked pulled pork with gravy here in our local supermarket and the portions are relatively small to get used up in a short time.
Just stick it into the oven for 30 minutes and it warms through all the way.
Great to cook with one hand!


I love open faced sandwiches and a good soup, so I made both dishes and had meals to go to on lunch today and now dinner.

I bit more seasoning is good to get a more powerful flavour and on a sandwich some mayo is a  an extra topping. The mayo is Kewpie - a Japanese mayo, very delicious.


A bowl of soup on a cold night is great, Instant Ramen is not something I usually eat, but someone gave me a package of noodles with vegetable stock and I thought, why not. A lot of soft leaves of lambs lettuce and some spring onion greens mixed with a good amount of pulled pork was a great combo.

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Cooking onehanded Curry Bananas

I had an operation on my left hand today, that means I can´t use it for the next 10 to 12 days.
Simple cooking will be the choice for the next time.
Taking photos with one hand is a challenge too.
I had this challenge in July 2015 the first time.  I could not use my right hand then. My friends suggested to eat frozen pizza, take-out or microwave dinners. My answer was: No way- and I learned to cut and do everything with my left hand then. I even baked a Victoria Sponge Cake with Cream and Cherries.

Coming home today I was hungry and did not need too much work. Curry Bananas with rice and fried eggs are a family classic, best for ripe bananas. I use now all the helpers I have at home. Such as rice cooker or Thermomix.

recipe for 1:
2/3 cup Basmati rice
2 ripe bananas
2 tsp mild curry powder
3 tbsp butter
2-3 eggs

Cook the rice.
Peel the bananas and rub them with curry.
Use 2 pans.
In foaming butter bake the bananas until smooth.
in some butter fry the eggs.
Chuck it all on a plate and enjoy.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Scallops and King Prawns on Carrot

This is a recipe from a cooking magazine issue from the Canaries -and I love it!
This is fast food of the other kind. Delicious and quick to prepare. And it looks great on Instagram.

Very few ingredients are needed and you decide if you will have a bit of crunch, so use raw carrots or you want a soft bed to get the seafood on top, use boiled carrots.
I had boiled carrots left over from the day before, so these went on the bottom of my dish.

recipe for 1:
2 carrots
2 tsp rapeseed oil
1 tsp quince vinegar
salt and pepper and a pinch of sugar
1 tbsp chives
2 scallops
2 king prawns
1 tsp oil
1 tsp  butter
salt and pepper

Boil the carrots and let them cool down, the chop them into small chunks.
Clean the king prawns and take the intestines out.
Dry the scallops with a kitchen paper and season them with salt and pepper
Heat oil in the pan on high, get the scallops and prawn in, reduce the heat a little and add the butter. Fry  on each side a minute, that's it.
Use a 13 cm ring cutter and press the carrots in, top with the seafood and add the chives.

Monday, 23 January 2017

Angelhair Pasta topped with Caviar

I bought a small bottle of Avocado oil today and a tiny jar of caviar - trout caviar to be exact. The fine Capellini pasta is great to be made into a food creation that looks good on a photo.
It tasted great too.  It takes a lot of work to make the perfect photo and the little things are important.

150 g angelhair pasta
2 tbsp avocado oil
2 tsp trout caviar
1 tsp chives
a pinch of rhubarb salt
a pinch of black sesame

Cook the pasta in salted boiling water, drain and toss in avocado oil.
Twirl around a fork and plate. Top with caviar and chives, rhubarb salt and black sesame.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Pear Pastilla with Ras el Hanout

Pastilla is a classic dish from Morocco, usually served savoury with lamb, chicken or fish. But sweet versions are made too.

Brick dough, filo dough, yufka dough or strudel dough are used in this recipe. They have different names but are basically the same. Brick dough is used in Morokko and I bought it in the French supermarket.
The lovely spice of Ras el Hanout gives flavour to sweet dishes too. I have used it in other sweet recipes before.

3 pears
80 g butter
80 g honey
60 g ground almonds
20 g flaked almonds
6 Brick dough sheets
2 tsp Ras el Hanout
1/2 lemon

Use a casserole and melt the butter and clarify it (get rid of the white foam), place half of it into a cup and let the rest sit in the casserole.
Use a bowl with some water and add lemon juice to it.
Peel and coar the pears, and cut them into bite size pieces and put them into the lemony water.
Drain them and put them in the casserole and add the honey and 2/3 of the Ras el Hanout and cook for 10-15 minutes until the pears are soft.
Preheat the oven 210 C
In a ungreased pan roast the ground almonds first, then the almond flakes.
Use a 18-20 cm loose bottom baking dish and butter it.
Put the first sheet of Brick dough in and butter it, layer 2 more on top, buttering each.
Place half of the almonds on the bottom and spoon the pears without the syrup on top. Sprinkle with some more spice and cover with the rest of the almonds.

Butter the outside of the dough and cover with 3 layers of buttered Brick dough and tuck the sides under. Butter the top. Bake for 20 minutes. Sprinkle on top with a bit more Ras el Hanout
Reduce the syrup and serve it with the Pastilla.

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Grandma´s Summer Salad

Even we are in the middle of winter with temperatures between 0 to -9 C here where I live, I wanted to have a salad that reminded me of summer days.

It took a while to get the ingredients in my head together, because when there is no one left to ask, you can only cook from memory.
On my paternal side of the family, there were several members who were not fond of leafy salad greens, most kinds of lettuce was pushed aside. So my Grandma made the ultimate salad for everybody to love and to enjoy.
Great about it is, you can make it for parties and it wont go soggy during many hours out and you even can easily eat the leftovers the next day.

recipe for 4:
4 large carrots
250 g fine green beans
4 tomatoes
1 cucumber
1 big sweet white onion
1/2 bunch of parsley or chives
4 tbsp Greek yogurt
3 tbsp sunflower oil
3 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tsp sugar
salt and pepper

Peel the carrots and cut them into slices- not too thin!
Top and tail the beans. Cut them in half
In a pot of salted boiling water, cook the carrots first until tender, scoop out and get the beans in to get done.
Cut the tomatoes into small chunks.
half the cucumber and take the seeds out. Cut into slices.
Chop parsley or chives and cut the onion into fine cubes.
Make the dressing and bring everything together.

The salad greens on the bottom of the plate were just used to make the pile of salad on top look better. So, no need for lettuce.

Friday, 20 January 2017

Endives au Jambon

This is a recipe from the French region Champagne-Ardenne. I bought a cookbook in my french Supermarket a while ago with 1001 recipes from all of the countries regions.

Endive or Chicoree as it is called here is a perfect winter vegetable or salad. It is a bit bitter and you can eat it raw as a salad or prepare cooked it as a vegetable. In the region where I live, there are several farmers who grow this in large dark sheds and you can it buy there fresh from the producer. It can´t get any better.

This is an easy recipe and you can prepare it as a starter for a larger group of people or as a full meal for 2.

35 g  butter and some for the baking dish
35 g flour
500 ml milk
1/2 tsp chicken stock powder
fresh ground nutmeg
60 g grated mozarella cheese
400 g endive (2 equal size ones)
1 lemon
8 slices of smoked raw ham (from die Ardenne region)
salt and pepper
1 tbsp chives

Prepare the sauce bechamel first:
Melt butter and add the flour and a bit after ab other add the milk, so you wont get lumps.
Add a bit of lemon juice, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Let it cook on low flame for 12 minutes and then add 2/3 of the cheese to melt.

In a pot in salted boiling water with added lemon juice blanche the endive for 5 minutes.
Preheat the oven 200 C.
Use an ovenproof dish and butter it. Fill in the bechamel sauce.

Cut the endive lengthwise and roll every half into 2 slices of ham and place it into the sauce.
Get the rest of the cheese on top and bake it 200 C for 20 minutes.
Serve it with Baguette to mop up the rich cheesy sauce.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Tofu - Homemade

The newest hype on the internet are Tofu making videos.
One of the key ingredients is a magnesium chloride or calcium chloride to thicken the soy milk. It is not an ingredients you get in every supermarket, but since I am making real cheeses for a while now, I store a bottle of calcium chloride in my fridge.
The only thing I missed was a bag of dried soy beans.  Easy peasy, I have a huge organic supermarket not so far away, where I buy often purslane during this time of year to make my green smoothies.

Did I mention that I hate TOFU ?

125 g dried soy beans soaked in 3 cups cold water for 12 hours
1 tsp calcium chloride
2 tsp water
boiling water from a kettle
1 cheese cloth 

Drain the soaked beans and get a big blender ready and a kettle full of boiling water.
Scoop a cup of beans into the blender and 2 cups of hot water and blitz for a good couple of seconds (I need 14 sec at Speed 8 in my Thermomix).
Pour into a high wide pot, and repeat until all beans are blitzed.
On medium heat start to heat the soy and with a silicon spatula stir figure 8  constantly in the pot for 10 minutes.
Watch it like a hawk, it will either stick to the bottom or boil over in an instant!

Use a double cheese cloth or cotton towl and place it over a big colander over a big bowl and pour the hot liquid in.

Squeeze all the soy milk out - and don´t burn your fingers!
Clean the cheese cloth from the bean parts, you will need it later.

Mix water and calcium chloride and pour it into the soy milk to curdle. Let it sit in the cold for a while, then use the cleaned cheese cloth and over a colander pour the liquid in and press.
You can use a fancy Japanese wooden box with a weight on top, or as I did, just your hands.
Get the water out. What you are left with is bean curd or TOFU.

 It is tasty with a light bean flavour and stays in the soup without dissolving in the soup. I will definitely make it again.

Pork in Aspic on a plate

In German: Tellersülze

It is an almost forgotten dish here in Germany. I can´t remember when I have eaten it the last time.
A two star chef from Bavaria showed how to do it on TV a while ago and since then I wanted to try it.
I had leftover ham knuckle and this meat is ideal for a cold plate like that. I bought a gelatin powder for aspic month ago, it was sitting on my spice rack waiting for the day to come.
It is important to have a good soup base and good vinegar and some pickled veggies like gherkins.
The mix of meat and pickles makes these dish.

500 ml meat stock
50 ml white wine vinegar
2 tbsp gherkin pickling water
1 package of gelatin (optional with spices for aspic)
cooked ham knuckle or any other meat you fancy
some pepper
pickled paprika
hard boiled egg

Dissolve the gelatine in 100 ml stock and let it sit 5 minutes , get the rest of the stock in an gently heat it up- do not boil it!

Add vinegar and pickling liquid and have a taste to check if it is sour and tasty.
Use two deep soup plates and pour a little into both to make a mirror on the bottom. Let it sit in the fridge until solid.
Cut your meat and the pickles and the egg and place them on top of the aspic. Make it look nice.
Pour the rest of the stock on top, make sure everything is covered and let it get solid again.
This is a way of making things last longer.
Best eat this with hash browns and some remoulade sauce.