Monday, 27 February 2017

Navarin d`Agneau - Lamb Stew

This is a recipe I have not known about until this weekend. I bought some small pieces of lamb and checked the writing on the package. Then I checked Google.

It is a spring recipe with root veggies and other veg. It takes a long time to braise - if you do not  use a pressure cooker. The taste is intense and very delicious.

400 g lamb shoulder or short ribs
2 tbsp oil
2 tbsp flour
4 yellow navettes
8 small red potatoes
1/2 leek
2 small white onions
3 spring onions
4 cloves of garlic
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp tomato paste
5 drops Tabasco
1 tbsp Agave syrup
1 stick rosemary
500 ml lamb stock
200 ml red wine
salt and pepper
Peel the veggies and cut into big chunks. Wash the potatoes and cut into 2-  3 pieces.
Season the lamb with lots of black pepper and salt and coat with flour.
In the pressure cooker heat 1 tbsp of oil and chuck in all the veggies, season and let them get some color.
Get them out of the pot and add more oil.

Brown the meat on all sides- makes a lot of smoke- and add tomato paste, cook for 2 minutes, get in the red wine and scrape the bottom of the pot.
Now pour in the stock and add bay leaves and rosemary and a bit of more salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and close the lid and let the pressure rise. When the sign is out, reduce the heat and let it cook for 23 minutes.

Get the pot off the flame and into the sink and let cold water run over the lid and use the whistle to reduce the steam, open and put it back on the heat.

Add the veggies and bring back to a boil.
Close the lid again and bring back to pressure and cook for 11 minutes, steam off and taste the sauce.
You can either mopp up the sauce with Baguette or as I did it, with some small pasta.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Cucumber Cottage Cheese Salad

A refreshing salad with a bit of protein.

It takes a while to prepare - most of the time you just have to wait until things rest. This is great as a side to some grilled or braised meat, but on Summer evenings just on its own, it is a wonderful cool treat.

1 cucumber
200 g cottage cheese
250 ml whole milk
1 tsp rapeseed oil
a pinch Szechuan pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
lemon zest

Use a mandoline to make ultra thin slices from the cucumber, do not peel it.
Have a Ziplock bag ready and place the sliced cucumbers with the salt and sugar in, close the bag and give it a good rub. Set aside for 4 hours, then use a colander and wash away the liquid, drain.
In a bowl add cottage cheese to the milk and stir until the cheese curds have sepated. Let it sit in the milk for 1 hour. Use a sieve and a bowl and pour the mix in. Drain the coheese well and you have fine little curds.

In smaller bowls serve single portions of cucumber, season to taste and sprinkle some cheese on top.
Put rapeseed oil and pepper into the milk and use a stick blender to make a foam just before you bring the salad together. Pour some of it over each portion.
Grate some lemon zest on top.

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Mussels with Curry and Cream

I was grocery shopping in France once again. I bought a huge package of mussels for lunch today.

I love a bit of spice when I eat mussels, so I made a sauce with 3 different types of curry and a bit of creme fraiche and that made one tasty dish.

I had a lot of work to do, I discovered that about 90 % of all mussels were open in the package. Since you have to make sure the mussels are alive, I had to tap each and ever one on the surface of my hob to make sure that they closed themselves.
3 mussels were broken and discarded and about 8 mussels were dead, RIP!
After washing them and cooking them for 3- 4 minutes, all opened up again and were ready to eat. Dunk in some fresh baguette.

recipe for 2 or one hungry one:
2 kg mussels
1 sheet of leek
3 spring onions
2 clove of garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
50 ml Noilly Prat
100 ml water
3 tsp different kinds of curry powder
4 tbsp of creme fraiche.

Chop leek sheet, spring onions and garlic and in a huge pot heat up some olive oil and toss it in and cook for 3 minutes.
Add the 3 curry powders and give them 1 more minute. Add the liquid and chuck in all the mussels.
Close the lid and wait for 3 minutes.

When the mussels are open (throw away the still closed ones now) add the creme fraiche and give it a good stir and serve in a huge bowl.  Take a second bowl to the table for all the empty shells.
Soak up the rest of the sauce with amounts of fresh bread.

Friday, 24 February 2017

Chicken Long Rice from Hawaii

A winter warmer!

I am a huge fan of all kinds of cooking videos on YT. I stumbled over "Foodland Hawaii" and an other regional cook and found this soup/stew/rice bowl.
Depending what you like you can eat it in different ways. I made a mix of both recipes with a bit of my own.
Reason for this dish was a short grocery stop at a local supermarket where I had to make a choice between two packages of chicken legs - one with two pieces, the other with three pieces - and the price difference was just €0,30 more. I asked a coworker and new friend at the office if she would have lunch with me the next day, so I bought the 3 piece package. It was a very good choice.

recipe for 3:

3 chicken legs
100 g Mungo rice noodles 
3 cubes of chicken stock
1,5 l water
2 bay leaves
1 spring onion
50 g fresh ginger
4 cloves of garlic
50 g shredded cabbage
salt and pepper
1 1/2 cup of rice

Clean the chicken legs and use a big pot with water. Place the chicken in a bring to a boil, after 5 minutes, take a spoon and skim off the foam so that you get a clear soup.
Chuck in the stock cubes, discs of ginger and some grated ginger, garlic, bay leaves and spring onion and season with salt and pepper.
Cook the rice.

Soak the rice noodles in tepid water for 5 minutes, drain.
Chop the cabbage into fine shreds.
Cook for 30 min and take the legs out to cool off a little. Take off the skin and rip them apart and get the bones out. It they still are a bit red in the middle, no big deal, throw the chicken meat back into the pot and bring to a boil again.

Get the noodles in and cook them until they look clear, add the cabage.
Fish out the bay leaves.
Fill a bowl with rice and top of with noodle soup and chicken and start to enjoy!

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Red Grapes Sous-Vide

When people hear that someone is cooking sous-vide, the first things they think are meat or fish. That is mostly correct.

But veggies and fruits can be prepared this way too. This method intensifies the original taste of the ingredient and enhances the flavour. With some additions place into the vacuum bag, the fruits get soft ut not mushy and incredible tasting.

We used seedless red grapes, halfed them and placed them into the bag. For 100 g grapes we used 50 ml intense grape juice. That had to be frozen until the juice was nearly solid and added to the grapes with some ground vanilla bean.

The frozen juice wont escape the bag when you seal ti in the vaccum sealer.

Take the water temperature in the sous-vide up to 75 C and place the bags in and let them sit for 20 minutes.
Drain the juice and reduce it down to a fine syrup.
Roast some almond splices and put them on top of the grapes.
It goes very good with different kinds of cheese and fruity Bara Brith . 

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Japanese Corn Potage

I had it from a Vending Machine in Kyoto in October. It was thin and hot but tasty and few kernels of corn made it a great soup after a long day. I was looking for a sweet milkshake, but was surprised what I got out of the machine.

Today is cold and rainy and I thought about a pot of soup.
Ingredients were all in stock and it took just 20 minutes to finish it.

It is delicious!

recipe for 3 bowls of soup:
500 ml chicken stock
250 ml whole milk
2 small cans of sweet corn
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp flour
2 spring onions
salt and pepper

Chop the white and some of the green of the onions into small chunks.
In a pot melt the butter and cook the onions for 2 minutes.
Add the flour and make a roux.

Add hot chicken stock a bit at the time to prevent lumps.

Chuck in 1 1/2 cans of drained sweet corn and season with salt and pepper.
Cook for 10 minutes and take a stick blender to make a fine soup.
Add the milk and the rest of the sweet corn and cook for 5 more minutes.
Chop the greens of the spring onions for decoration and serve the soup.

Monday, 20 February 2017

Broccoli and Bratwurst Quiche

I love German Bratwurst!
There are so many different varieties here all over the country. I bought some Bratwurst with coarse meat filling, so I can push out pieces of it to form little meatballs. I will saute them in a pan to get some colour on them and they will go in my quiche.

I could have eaten Bratwurst with Broccoli the traditional way, but I am fond of quiches, so I packed everything together with some creamy goat cheese and voila, I had a quiche.

recipe dough:
250 g flour
1 egg
1/2 tsp salt
125 g butter

a bit water

Bring it all together and form a ball, do not overwork it. Stick it in the fridge for 30 min covered in cling film.
Roll it out on a floured surface and make it big enough to cover the sides of your tarte form ( I used a 28 cm form)
Butter it and place baking paper inside, that makes it easier to get it out later.
Prick the dough with a fork a couple of times.

Use a second sheet of baking paper roughly the size of the form and place it on the dough, fill with ceramic beans or regular beans, lentil or chickpeas.
Bake at 190 C for 10 minutes. That prevents from getting a soggy bottom! Take out the paper with the beans and start filling.

recipe for the filling:
200 g  fresh coarse Bratwurst
250 g tender stem broccoli
2 tbsp parsley
50 g creamy herb goat cheese
60 g Hard cheese like Bergkäse
4 eggs
200 ml double cream
50 ml whole milk
1/2 bunch chopped chives
salt and pepper
smoked paprika
Italian herbs
chili salt

When your dough is resting in the fridge, cut the casing of the sausages lengthwise and press out the sausage meat. Roll it into 1 inch balls. In a frying pan with a little oil, give them 5 minutes to get color all around. Set aside.

Wash the broccoli and cut the stems into 2 pieces. Use a pot with boiling salted water and put the broccoli in for 3 -4 minutes, drain and cool down in ice water.

Make the Royal mixture:
Mix eggs with cream and milk and put all the seasoning in depending on your taste. Make sure it is a bit over seasoned!
Add the chives and half of the grated hard cheese.

Fill the quiche first with the broccoli and set the sausage balls on top. Use a teaspoon and blob some goat cheese on top. Add the parsley.

Back into the oven at 190 C and pour the Royal mix over it so it wont splash all over the place.
Bake for 45-50 minutes.
Let it cool down outside the oven for 15 minutes, then cut and serve.
It can be eaten cold or reheated the next day.

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Fish Curry Bengal Style

Doi Maach

I wanted to have a spicy curry with fish. Today I finally bought the fish. It is not some kind of fish that is found in the Golf of Bengalen, but in the recipe it just said fish fillet.
I bought some Norwegen Skrei, it is the time of year when you get this type of cod. I have to adjust the cooking time a bit, but I am looking forward to have Skrei today.

The fish will be cooked in a spicy yogurt sauce, the Bengali are the only ones who prepare fish with yogurt. The next thing I am doing is getting the skin off the fish and collect all the different spices around my kitchen. It will be a lot.

It is scary to check the ingredients list of Indian Curries. There are so many spices that form the curry. But I just ticked off the ingredients and went out to buy just the fish and the parsley. 

I have the chance to eat the fish with my Naan bread, I am not serving it with rice. I had so much rice in the last couple of days that I want something else.

recipe for 2:
400 g fish fillet
1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp tumeric
2 tsp mustard powder
1 1/2 tsp ground corinander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp red chili powder
2 tbsp chopped fresh ginger
2 tbsp chopped garlic
125 ml water
2 tbsp Ghee
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 green or yellow chili seeded
1 cinnamon stick
1/5 tsp ground cardamom pods
1/4 tsp ground cloves
2 medium onions
300 ml water
2 medium tomatoes
250 g Greek yogurt
2 tsp palm sugar
3 tbsp raisins or sultanas
1 tbsp dessicated coconut
1 tbsp parsley
60 g parsnip

Cut the skin off the fish, clean it and squeeze some lemon juice on top. Season it with salt short before putting it into the pan.

Get all the dry spices together on a plate, that makes it easier to make sure you have not forgotten any.
Chop onions, garlic and ginger.
Chop the parsnip into small cubes.
Use a small blender and add ginger, garlic, the dry spices without chili powder, fenugreek and cinnamon stick, add 125 ml water and make a liquid paste.
Use the blender again and throw in the tomatoes and blitz them up.

Use a wide pan with a lid.
Heat up the ghee and toss in the fenugreek seeds, chopped chili and cinnamon stick, let it cook for 2 minutes, add the onions and the parsnip and cook for 3 minutes, add the  liquid paste and cook on medium heat. Close the lid.

After 6 minutes, add the raisins and the dessicated coconut and add enough water (ca 300 ml) and cook for 6 more minutes.Close the lid. Season with salt, chili powder and add the palm sugar.
Add the tomato paste.
Get the heat down to a low simmer and carefully add the yogurt. When it cooks to high the yogurt will split and it looks nasty.

Set the fish pieces on top and close the lid. It will take 3-5 minutes, depending on the fish and  the thickness of the pieces. Turn it once and it is done. Dress with some parsley.

Grill the Naan Bread and tuck in!

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Crispy coated Bavarian Weisswurst with Cabbage

This is not the usual way to eat the very white sausage. It comes to your table in a pot in hot but not boiling water and you suck the meat out of the casing and eat it with sweet mustard and a pretzel.

I bought a package of this sausage a week ago. With new refrigeration techniques the sausages last a long time in the fridge. In the old times in Bavaria, these sausages should not listen to midday bell ringing and were eaten as a second breakfast before 12 o´ clock. They were made fresh and contained meat that would have spoiled easily.
The cooked sausages have a very soft texture and not everybody favours them.
I found a method to make them crispy and they get a better texture through frying. I served them with a good amount of white cabbage, a staple veg during winter month here.

recipe for 2:
300 g Bavarian Weisswurst (white sausage)
1 egg
3 tbsp flour seasoned with pepper and herbs
4 tbsp Panko breadcrumbs
oil for frying
300 g white cabbage
1 red onion
1 spring onion
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp caraway seeds
 a pinch of Macis flower
salt and pepper
60 ml white wine
2 tbsp double cream
2 tbsp Ghee or clarified butter

Chop the cabbage into rough slices, chop onions and garlic and melt the Ghee in a pot and start saute the onions and garlic. Add the cabbage and some wine and the seasoning and cook for 10 minutes. Add cream and set aside.

Get the skin off the sausages- it is not edible. Roll them through seasoned flour, egg and Panko.
In a high pan heat up the oil to 170 C and carefully place in the coated sausages.
Fry them all around for 5 minutes until golden brown. Let them rest on kitchen paper and serve with the cabbage.

Friday, 17 February 2017

Kale Stew with Bregen Sausage

I have friends in the Northern part of Germany and they all love the winter veg Kale. They buy it in huge bags and need an awful lot of time to prepare it. Everybody is waiting in the fall/autum to the first night of frost, that is the time when the kale can be harvested for the first time. The below zero temperatures make the hearty cabbage edible. Then many restaurants start Kale stew dinners with lots of fat meat and sausages cooked with the kale and many bottles of Schnaps consumed with the dish.

This tradition is not common where I live, so I eat kale stew on rare occations and mostly in the less fatty veriaty. And copius amounts of Schnaps are not drunken either. One of our big supermarket chains offer ready made stews in good quality, one or two servings each, so I bought a package- shaped like a big sausage -- yesterday. I have some Bregen sausage in the freezer, so I thawed some.

I have to say for a ready made stew it was of good quality, a bit on the fatty side. But that's how people eat it. The kale was tasty and not mushy and small chunks of potatoes and a bit of pork rounded the flavour.

The sausage was as fatty as I remembered it and not really to my liking.
I had to drink a Schnaps after lunch!

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Poached Trout

I prefer trout usually baked or smoked but poached sounded good today.

It just takes about 8 minutes for the fish to get done and you do not have a lot of work with it.
A bit of butter on top of the fish makes it even better. A bit of veg on the side makes a full meal when you eat it with some bread.

1 trout about 300 g
1 onion
2 bay leaves
1 stalk of parsley 
1 small carrot
1 spring onion
100 ml white wine vinegar
250 ml water
salt and pepper
mustard seeds

Use a wide pan with a lid and chuck everything in except the trout. Bring to a boil and cook for 3 minutes, get the heat down and place the trout in and poach for 8 minutes- check if it is done by pulling out the back flip.

Lithuanian cold red beet soup - Saltibarsciai

I ate this soup during my trip through the 3 Baltic states a couple of times. It is a summer soup, but I love cold soups and I can eat that at every time of the year.
We are in the middle of winter and at the moment many veggies are expensive at the supermarkets. The winter in the Mediterranian was strong this year and many crops have suffered. You see that at the prices here.

I fell back to seasonal veggies that grown here and do not buy the foreign stuff.  It is the time of year for beets and cabbage, that is easy to get and tastes good. I had some fresh beets in my shoopping basket and the rest was easy to get.
Combining it with some potatoes and hardboiled eggs.

recipe for 2:
2 large raw red beets
1/2 cucumber
1/2 bunch of red raddishes
2 spring onions
1 bunch of fresh dill
salt and pepper
500 ml Kefir
150 g Greek yogurt
2 hardboiled eggs

Wash the beets and just cut of the green, do not cut into the beet it will bleed out
In  a pot with salted water bring the beets to a boil and cook for 45 minutes or until tender. Cool down.

Use a box grater or a kitchen machine grater and grate beets, cucumber, radishes. Chop the spring onions and the dill and bring that together. Stir in the Kefir and 120 g yoghurt and season to taste.
Boil the potatoes, in the same pot boil the eggs too.