Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Green Asparagus with Salami Topping

The asparagus season goes into it last three weeks. I got a bundle of green asoaragus on my way home from one if the many shacks along my way. I did not stop for anything else, I raided my fridge for something to go with it. Tasty Italian salami caught my eye and I can assure you, it goes great with asparagus.

500 g green asparagus
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
3 tsp butter
50 g small Italian salami
2 spring onions
Salt and pepper
20 g blue cheese

Break off the bottom parts of the asparagus in salted, sugared and 1 tsp butter water for 5 minutes.
Cut the salami in slices and quarter them, cut the spring onions and in the rest of the butter saute it.
Season with salt and pepper.
Drain the asparagus and top it with the mix. Finish with some slithers of cheese.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Pike-Perch with White Wine Sauce and Parmesan Potatoes

This is a recipe from Michelin Star Chef Léa Linster. She is a chef from Luxemburg. I did some shortcuts but the end result was scrumptious non the less. For a midweek meal, it is manageble in a bit less then an hour.

I am a huge fan of regional fish, I like trout and char, it is a pity that pike-perch is not so easy to get. It is a wonderful kind of fish. You have to pull all the fishbones out, this takes a bit of time.

recipe for 4:
700 g pike perch
2 onions
1 clove of garlic
3 tbsp water
100 ml fish or chicken stock
100 ml Riesling or any other white wine
200 ml double cream
piment d´Espelette
salt and pepper
4 slices of baguette and some butter to smear it 
8 potatoes
2 tbsp breadcrumbs
2 tbsp grated parmesan
4 stalks of parsley
1 knob of butter
1 tsp rapeseed oil
1 tbsp flour

Start with the white wine sauce, it takes the longest time.
Chop onions and garlic very fine and in a small pot in some oil on medium heat sauté them until softened. Add 3 tbsp of water, close the lid and cook for 10 minutes.
Preheat the oven 180 C.
Mix stock, wine and 50 ml of double cream and add it to the onions. Season  with nutmeg, piment d´Espelette and salt and pepper. Cook for 20 minutes. Put in a blender and blitz, pour through a fine sieve back into the cleaned pot. Set aside and keep warm.

During these 20 min, peel the potatoes and cook them in salted water until soft, drain and mash with a fork.
Chop half of the parsley and mix it with parmesan and breadcrumbs.
Mix this into the mashed potatoes.
Put the buttered bread into the oven for 10 minutes.
Make for equal portions of the fish, season on both sides, and flour just the skin side.
In some butter with a bit of rapeseed oil, bake the fish on the skin side until it gets golden, turn and let it sit 2 min on this side.
Get the bread out of the oven and put the fish in, skinside up to rest for 5 minutes.
Beat the 150 ml double cream until you have soft peaks.

Dress the mashed seasoned potatotes in the middle of the plate, stick in a piece of bread and lay the fish on to side of it. Get some of the sauce around and drop some quenelles of double cream on top to float. Finish with some parsley leaves.

Monday, 29 May 2017


I am still trying my hand at baking New York style goodies. The Crogels are a cross of Croissants and Bagels.  I used a can of ready made dough and it worked a charm.
You can fill them either sweet or savoury.
I wanted something sweet on a late Sunday morning.

1 can Kraft Pillsbury croissant dough
1 egg
4 tbsp cream cheese
2 tbsp flour
1 tbsp milk
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp honey
1.5 l water
1 tbsp oil
Filling of your choice:
4 tbsp cherry jam
8 fresh cherries
8 tsp cream cheese

Flour your work surface.
Heat up the oven 200 C.
Open the can and enroll the dough. Use a teaspoon and and close the perforation with it. Cut  the dough into 4 equal pieces.
Spread a fine layer of cream cheese on top.

Seperate the egg and use the egg white to brush around the dough.
Fold it over and try to lengthen the strip about 3 cm. Now twist the dough twice and flatten the ends and brush some egg white on and close the ring.

Heat up the water and add the honey, bring to a boil and switch off the heat.
Take a slotted spoon and drop each piece in for 4 seconds on each side.
Oil a baking paper and place the cooked dough on top.
Mix egg yolk with milk and brush the crogels. Add sesame seeds.
Bake for 20 minutes.

When it is cooled down, with a serrated knife cut it open,  spread it with some jam and place halfed cherries on the jam. Set some cream cheese in between the cherries. Close the lid and enjoy.

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Eating out in my neighbourhood - Greek Style

I live in this neighbourhood for 18 years now and drive by this restaurant more or less 5 or 6 times a week. I never went inside until yesterday evening. It is a Greek Restaurant.
A good friend who lives here too found out a while ago that I never was inside that place. She loves the place and  goes there often with family and friends. We decided to go there together.

It filled up very fast,  it was a good idea to make a reservation.

I love to start a meal with an appetizer. The famous Greek Tsaziki is something I always fall back to when I am in a Greek restaurant when they serve no starter platter.  It was a huge portion with fresh bread, way too much for one at the beginning of a meal. The decoration on top was not so Greek more German. It tastes good, it was very fluffy but way to much.
Next came a mixed side salad. The fresh mint as the sole herb in the otherwise bland dressing did not really go well with some of the ingredients.

My main dish was Gryos with Metaxa and Cheese Sauce and french fries. The fries were excellent.
I did not taste any Metaxa, the cheese just covered everything. The Gyros war very tough and overcooked, then stuck in the cheese sauce. I found some undercooked unseasoned courgette pieces between the meat and a couple of button mushrooms.

I was dissapointed  but the evening endet good. We went to our local icecream parlor and bought us some ice cream and went to my friends terrace and enjoyed ice cream and a refreshing drink with cranberry juice, tonic and lots of fresh Moroccan mint.

I will drive by the restaurant again.

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Crepes filled with Asparagus

Looking for some inspiration to present an other Asparagus dish and found some slices of raw ham and a rest of bloodpudding in my fridge. Eating it just so was not an option, the dish needed something to bring the ingredients together.

Looking at 2 eggs brought the idea of crepes on and lets do it!

recipe for 3 to 4 crepes:
2 eggs
75 g flour
150 ml whole milk
15 g melted butter
1 pinch of salt
250 g asparagus
4 slices of raw ham
60 g bloodpudding
1/2 tsp horseraddish
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

Make the batter for the crepes and let it sit for 30 minutes.
Use a crepe pan and just brush the pan with a little butter.
Bake the crepes.

Put some horseraddish on the crepe, lay the raw ham on top and the cooked asparagus.
Put some Dijon mustard on the other crepe, lay the bloodpudding  on top and the cooked asparagus.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Meatloaf inspired by Italy

I should really call it a Boston Meatloaf, because this kind of meatloaf was found on a family trip to Boston many years ago. We had a holiday apartment on Beacon street at Boston Common downtown and found an Italian supermarket  - Da Luca - just a few streets away. That was our daily source for food and groceries for  a whole week. At the deli counter this meatloaf made a daily appearance and the old lady behind the deli counter got us hooked on it the first day we went inside looking for food. It became a classic in our family. My Dad and I experimented several times until we got the taste right. Then it became our family favourite dish. When we made meatloaf, we made it the Boston way.

recipe for 4:
300 g pork mince
300 g beef mince
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 onions chopped
1 spring onion chopped
3 cloves of garlic chopped
6 pieces of sun dried tomatoes in oil chopped
2 tbsp capers chopped
4 caper apples chopped
3 tbsp green olives chopped
2 dinner rolls soaked in milk and squeezed out
1 egg
1 tsp dried oregano and dried thyme
salt and pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
500 g passata
3 bell peppers roasted in the oven
8 button mushrooms roasted in the oven
1/2 glass wine

In a big bowl mix the meat with the ingredients and with your hands make sure to make a well mixed and smooth dough. Divide it in two portions and shape two bread like loafs.
You can rest these in the fridge for 30 min to firm up.

In a saucepan with a lid, heat up the oil and fry the loafs on both sides until they get a good colour.
Add the tomato passata, the wine and the oven roasted veggies, season and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat, close the lid and simmer for 60 min.

I usually make my meatloaf the day before I will serve it and after 45 minutes, I get it off the heat, cool it down and store it in the fridge until the next day. That way all the flavours will intensify.
The next day I slowly reheat it and cook it for 15 more minutes. That is the time the pasta will need to get ready.

Courgette Potato Fritters

Todays veg of the day at Aldi was courgette. I´ve got two of them and prepared one when I came home. Fritters need some base, that are my potatoes. Just 4 medium ones to one 25 cm courgette.

I served them with poached eggs.

1 courgette
4 potatoes
1 onion
2 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp potato starch
1 tbsp panko breadcrumbs
1 egg
salt, pepper
nutmeg and dried herbs
5 tbsp rapeseed oil

eggs for poaching

Use a kitchen machine or a block grater and make a coarse mass out of potatoes and courgette. I grated the potato together with the onion and the courgette together with the garlic in the machine.
Both need to be squeezed out, there is so much liquid in the courgette and in the potatoes.
Mix it in a bowl with the other ingredients and heat the oil in a wide frying pan.

Make pancakes and wait until you see a brown coming around the edges of the pancakes, then flip them over and bake until the other side is done. Drain them on kitchen paper.

Do not overload the pan, the pancakes need some room in the pan.
While baking them you can put a pot of water on the hob with a bit of vinegar and bring it to a boil, reduce the heat to simmer and drop the eggs in to poach for 3 minutes.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Salted Caramel Brownie


It is a recipe from MyVirginKitchen and it is easy. You just need two bowls and a whisk and a pot of boiling water. The smell coming out of the oven is sooo delicious. Barry baked it with his little daughter and she did most of the work.
So if you like brownies, this is a quick way to get some goodness.
I added some baking powder and a bit of vanilla extract and splitted the sugar in the recipe.

200 g unsalted butter
100 g 82 % dark chocolate
100 g 32 % milk chocolate
1 can caramel (396g) or sweetend condensed milk cooked in the can for 3 hours submerged in water
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp fleur de sel - and some extra for the caramel
100 g light brown sugar
100 g coconut flour sugar
4 medium free range eggs
130 g flour
50 g unsweetend cocoa powder

Over a bain marie in an heatproof bowl melt the butter and the 2 chocolates and set aside.
Open the can of caramel and spoon half of it into a large mixing bowl and add some salt.
Use a whisk and stir in the sugars and the vanilla extract.
Beat in the eggs one after the other.
Sift in  flour and the cocoa powder.
Pour in the melted chocolate and stir well.
Preheat the oven 180 C

Use a square baking dish (23 cm) and butter it all around. Place a sheet of baking paper on the bottom.
Spoon in half of the batter and use a teaspoon to drop blobs of caramel in 3 rows. Use a fork and draw lines across. Use some fleur de sel.
Pour over it the rest of the batter and spoon the rest of the caramel on top. Draw lines and sprinkle with fleur de sel again.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes

Easy Shoyu Chicken

I saw that on TabiEats and knew I had to make it in a couple of days. The ingredients are pretty basic and you can use the rest of the chicken for a salad or a sandwich or take it with the rest of the noodles to lunch at the office on an other day. The sauce freezes quiet well and so you can use it again.

This is a really easy way to have lunch in 15 - 20 minutes, depending on buying some chicken breast or thigh. If you have bones still in the thigh and you want them out, it will take you a little longer. But the whole cooking process is simple. When you take out the bones, do not throw them away, chuck them in a pot with a bit of veg, onion and peppercorn, water to cover everything and after 1 hour you have a tasty stock to make a soup in the next two weeks. Just fill it in a twist off glass and store it an the fridge, it will last that long.

4 chicken thighs or 2 breasts fillets
1 1/2 cup of soy sauce
3/4 cup of mirin
3/4 cup sake
8 cm piece of fresh ginger
270 g somen noodles
150 ml boiling water
2 spring onions

In a saucepan get in the soy sauce, mirin, sake and ginger and drop in the chicken.
Bring it to a boil, cook for 3 min, reduce the heat and cook for 15 min.
Cook the somen noodles for 2 minutes, drain and wash under cold water.
Bring water in a kettle to boil.
Chop some spring onion.

Use a bowl per person and add some of the noodles, get a small ladle of sauce on top and a good shot of hot boiling water to dilute the broth.
Cut the chicken in strips and set it on top with some sliced spring onion.
Add a little more of the sauce.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Easy Avocado Aioli with Asparagus and squished Potatoes

I was sitting at the hairdresser shop a couple of days ago and reading the provided Yellow Press to pass the time. In many of these issues are recipes to be found. I saw it and grabbed my smart phone to make a photo. And today it is done!

The avo aioli is so fast and tasty, I will definitely make it again and bring to one of the summer BBQ´s. Asparagus is my favourite veggie during its season and I can´t get enough of it and I am dreading the 24th of June, when the season of the white asparagus ends.
Serving it with the squished and baked potatoes is a nice complement to the avo aioli.

recipe for 2:
2 avocados
3-5 cloves of young garlic
1 lemon
3 greens of a spring onion
1/2 tsp dried salad herbs
black pepper
4 tsp Kraft Miracle Whip with Olive oil

Half the avocado, scoop out the stone and take a spoon to get the flesh into a blender.
Squeeze the lemon juice in.

Roughly chop the onion greens
add the pepper and the salad herbs
add the garlic
give it a good blitz and add the Miracle Whip to make it smoother.

Squished Potatoes:
6 big potatoes
4 tbsp olive oil
chili salt and pepper
fresh thyme and rosemary
some greens from some spring onions

use 6 big potatoes and cook them with the peel until done.
Drain and place them on a baking paper and press down, with a glass or a potato masher.
Get olive oil all over, season with pepper and chili salt and toss fresh thyme and rosemary on top.
bake at 200 C for 15 min.
Garnish with the spring onion greens.

750 g white asparagus
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
Peel the asparagus and cook it in the seasoned water for up to 8 minutes, depending how soft you like it.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Pasta with fennel and cockles- from Sicily

This is a recipe I have eaten with small pieces of canned sardines on my trip around Sicily in Lo Vita da Capo in the northwest of the island.

I did not have any canned sardines - I thought I had, but I have a can of berberechos from Spain, which are cockles. So I used them. It did not really make a difference.
On the island you can find lots and lots of wild fennel and this is used in all the recipes. I can´t get any wild fennel here, so I used a bulb of fennel and looked for one with lots of fennel fonds.

There are even recipes on Sicily, where they have "pasta con sardine al mare", without using any kind of fish- the self ironic of people from poor families, who could not even afford the cheap sardines. The fish stayed "al mare"!

recipe for 2:
220 g spaghetti
1 bulb of fennel with lots of fennel fonds
3 spring onions
2 cloves of garlicd
30 g breadcrumbs
30 g raisins or cranberries
20 g pine nuts
1 pinch of saffron strings
lots of pasta water
salt and pepper
1 can cockles, drained
3 anchovis fillets
2 tbsp of olive oil

Cook the pasta in salted boiling water.
Chop fennel and fennel fonds and chop spring onions and garlic
drain the cockle can.

In a wide pan heat up the oil and start fennel pieces -without the fonds) and spring onion whites, it will take a bit of time to get soft.
Add the saffron and a bit of pasta water, cook a bit more and add the raisins.
Season with a bit of salt and pepper and chuck in the anchovis fillets and mush them until they are mostly gone.

Add pine nuts and breadcrumbs and more pasta water.
When the pasta is drained, add cockles and fennel fonds, stir and add the pasta with a bit more water.

Friday, 19 May 2017

Nopales Salad - Cactus Leaves

I was at an office lunch in our training center today and this week theme was the taste of Mexico.

I have never eaten the leaves of a cactus before. Here in Germany you can only get the canned version. Fresh leaves are not available.

Mixed with red onions, tomatoes and feta cheese it was a tasty salad. The only thing I  issed was a good seasoning with fresh cilantro/ coriander.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Potatoes and green Asparagus Salad

This is a vegetarian salad, nice on a hot spring day. It just needs one pot to cook first the asparagus chunks and later the potatoes while you make the sauce. You can even cook the eggs with the potatoes and save energy and water.

It goes great with some the ingredients a little warm or served at roomtemperature. If you prepare it a while before you will need it, just get it out of the fridge an hour before you serve it.
It can stand easily on its own as a vegetarian dish, but you can serve with fish or chicken quiet well.

recipe for 2:
4 large potatoes
2 eggs
300 g green asparagus
1 tsp salt, 1 tsp sugar, 1 tsp butter
1/2 bunch of fresh dill
2 spring onions
4 gherkins or bigger cornichons
some gherkin water
100 g creme fraiche
50 g mayonaise
salt and pepper

Brake off the bottom of the green asparagus, when the stalks are big, peel the lower part.
Bring the pot with sugar, salt and butter to a boil, cut the asparagus in 3 pieces and cook them forr 5 min, drain and discard the water.

Fill the pot with cold water and salt it, get the potatoes in and bring them to a boil. You can cook them with the skin and skin them later, or peel them before you cook them. That makes it quicker.
Boil the eggs- I used my electric egg boiler.
In a bowl,  mix creme fraiche with gherkin water and season, add mayo and chopped gherkins, onions, dill and eggs. Fold the asparagus under, slicing bigger pieces lengthwise.
When the potatoes are soft, drain them and arrange them on a plate.
Cover with the salad and serve.