Saturday, June 24, 2017

Salad with Prawns and beans

When you buy good quality beans it would be a pity to throw away the leftovers. I had 500 g of green beans cooked and used only 200 g for my dish yesterday. I cooked all od them so it was easy to prepare the salad today. I seeded the second tomato for my friend and put the pieces into the salad. A big and a small spring onion for more freshness and a box of precooked ready to eat prawns.
This combination rocked.

I visited the Chateau Chantilly today, famous for the castle surrounded by water and the large park and formal gardens. And famous for Creme Chantilly, a thick whipped cream.
Todays visit left me dissapointed, the huge formal gardens needed proper maintainance and the park was a bit unsatisfying too. I only saw 4 gardeners at work, mowing. I was looking for the kitchen or herb garden that was supposed to be there, not more.
The site opened at 10 AM and lots of busses unloaded tourists, there was nothing to get to drink or have a bit of ice cream or even Chantilly cream before noon or 1 PM. High entrance fees and low customer service are not a good recommondation.

I drove home and during that time I reminded me to buy some baguette and a little sweet treat for the afternoon. Going to the first or second bakery here in town, depending on where to park my car, was the decision I made ahead.
But 8 km before "home" I went into a small town, from one end to the other with speed limit 50kmh you need 90 seconds to pass. I saw many cars brake and stop and people getting out. A bakery!


I stopped too and went inside, number 3 in line and bought the best stuff I had this week! 5 people waited in line behind me. This small village is a part of the community of the town here and so I can finally say:  I found the best bakery in town!


Friday, June 23, 2017

Green Beans with Tomato

Haricot vert √° la tomate or green beans are a favourite food in France. Today I bought a package here. "Ancient" tomatoes are sold here too. I am still collecting seeds from Tomatoes for my friend and bought a yellow/orange and a red one.
The yellow/orange one got seeded, I washed the seeds in a fine sieve and dried them on a wooden chopping board for 8 hours on a hot day. With the pic of the tomato whole and cut in half, I give the seeds to my friend for her collection.

To go with the beans I had some pork cutlet and boiled and roasted small potatoes, a very fine meal!

recipe for the beans:
300 g small green beans
2 large spring onions with lots of white onion
3 cloves of garlic
1 medium yellow/orange Tomate Cotelee Aumoniere jaune

2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper

Top and tail the beans and in a large pot with boiling salted water cook the beans until they are just cooked- better a little undercooked, because they will need some time in the pan. Drain and put them in ice water to keep their green color, drain again.
Slice onions and garlic in strips, cut the tomato in strips too, but take out the wet seed part.

Heat up the oil in a wide pan, add onions and garlic and saute, add the beans and give them 2 minutes before you add the tomatoes. Season well with salt and pepper.

In the water you cook the beans in, cook the potatoes in their skin.
season and bread the cutlet and bake it until done. Add the cooked potatoes to the pan and roast them.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

A vegetarian Tatar with Avocado and Courgette

I bought the newest issue of my favourite French food magazine and found a whole lot of Tatars. Except 2, all of them contain some kind of fish or seafood. Just one was with beef and one vegetarian.

The combos of avo and salmon or tuna are very famous, combining it with courgette made me curious. And I found a way to get rid of half of the courgette still sitting in my fridge.

It takes a bit, because you have to blanche the courgette pieces in salted boiling water for a minute to softem them a little, I took the opportunity and have thrown the chopped up spring onion pieces in with the courgette.

recipe for 2:
1 avocado
1/2 yellow courgette
1/2 lemon
1 spring onion
1 hardboiled egg
salt and pepper
dried dill
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp Sherry vinegar
1 pinch of sugar
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
Thai basi leaves

Blanche the courgette pieces and the spring onions, drain and cool down.
Boil an egg and copl it down.
Make the dressing.
Half the avo and get the pit and peel off. Chop into small pieces and cover with lemon juice.
Wash some thai basil.
Bring everything together and eat with some Baguette.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

A Butcher´s Visit in Pierrefonds

I visited the huge castle of Pierrefonds yesterday. The original one was destroit in early wars and Napoleon III had it rebuilt as an medival castle in the middle of the 19th century.

It is the castle where the BBC TV series Merlin was shot for 5 years during the summer month.
Lots of Brits are visiting here, but it is a pity, you only see and read about the French history. No bits and pieces from the set are to be seen.
But it is wonderful to walk along the stairways and hallways and see all the different rooms.
Outside the castle walls is the small but very nice town of Pierrefonds. Old houses with lots of charm and many places just to sit an enjoy the views.
I read about Pierrefonds in the travel brochure and it recommended to visit the best butcher in town.
That I did!
I bought some fresh spiced pork sausage meat and a banger Mexican style and a banger with French herbs. Buying more without enough space in my small icebox was not a good idea, outside temperatures were at 33 C at 11 AM.

The pork meat went into some Sicilian style Pasta alla Nonna with white eggplant and tomato sauce, the banger made my lunch the next day.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Oven roasted Veggies

Beating the summer heat and using everything but the stove.

I wanted to prepare a pan of courgette and eggplant, but using a gas stove makes it even hotter then cooking on an induction hob.
I checked the cupboards and found an ovenproof dish. After some fighting with an temperamental oven, I settled for PIZZA setting and I was getting somewhere. I had a cooked chicken leg leftover, I pulled it apart and reheated it in the microwave.
Job done and a great lunch.

1/2 medium yellow courgette
1/2 white eggplant
1 shallot
4 cloves oc garlic
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp Sherry vinegar
salt and pepper
Rosemary and thyme
1 roasted chicken leg

Monday, June 19, 2017

Cherry and Strawberry jam

When you have this HTML class. Value is http://foodoptionsaan overload of fresh fruit and no chance to eat it before it spoils, cook some jam. At my holiday home a half package of fresh very ripe strawberries and a half bowl of cherries right off the tree was sitting on my kitchencounter.
I solved the problem by driving to the supermaket and getting 1 kilo pectin sugar and some lemons.

250 g strawberries hulled
250 g cherries pitted
1 lemon rind and juice
50 ml white wine
400 g pectin sugar

Chop the fruits roughly and bring them to boil in a sauce pan. When the fruit gets soft add mushy, add lemon and sugar.
Bring to a boil again and cook for 4 minutes.
Use a cold plate and drop a bit on it  check if it gets jamlike.
Fill it in some kind of jar and cool down.

Now you have jam for your holidaybreakfasts.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Foody vacation in France

I am in the Picardie, north east of Paris. I have rented a lovely old two story house in a village with 6000 inhabitants.  The house has a huge lovely garden. A bowl of fresh picked cherries from the tree here was offered me from the proprietress when I arrived.

I am here to see lots of old castles, cathedrals and WWI battlefields along the river Somme. The area here is called the plateau de Picard, it is a wide and flat plain with fields of potatoes and wheat. Tiny villages and small winding roads makes you slow down automatically.

Since I have a house, I have a kitchen. I just have to get used to cook on gas again, it will take a bit of time and maybe a burned finger.

Breakfast today was just Baguette fried in some butter in a pan, good strong cheese, an egg and a bowl with some cherries still sitting in it.

Lunch was mashed cheesy potatoes- from around here !  Sauteed leek and a piece of chicken leg.

I am looking forward to a bit of sweet stuff I bought in an artisan bakery here, a lime and basilic tarte with fresh strawberries.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Using up leftovers from the fridge

When you are going on holiday you have to make sure there is no food going to waste in your fridge.
I had some cooked rice, 1 1/2 Bratwurst from a BBQ, some Pecorino cheese and half of a pot of double cream and an egg.

I just sauted some onions and garlic and cut the Bratwurst into slices. Making a sauce is important when you have dry cold rice sitting around.
This is some kind of midweek meal when all things combined make a tasty and fast meal and it is better then throwing food in the trash bin.

To bind everything grated cheese, egg and cream are needed. To spice it a little and bring a nice colour to the dish, I added some Ayvar and a couple of fresh herbs.

100 g cooked rice
2 cooked Bratwurst
2 spring onions
2 cloves of garlic
1 red chili
1 tbsp  olive oil
salt and pepper
1/2 bunch chives
2 stalks of oregano
3 tsp Ayvar
1 egg
100 ml double cream
50 g grates Pecorino

Grate the cheese, peel and chop onions and garlic and chili. Bring together with some oil in a pan and saute until soft. Add the Bratwurst in rings and warm it up again.
Make the sauce and mix it with the rice into the pan.
Preheat the oven to 180 C, use an oven proof dish and fill the mix in. Grate some cheese on top and bake for 6 minutes.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Veal Cutlets filled with Raspberries

This is a recipe from 3 star Chef Christian Juergens, Restaurant Ueberfahrt in Rottach Egern at Tegernsee. I found it in a magazine issue. The combination sounded great and I love the savoury and sweet mix.
With good products and solid work it is no problem to prepare that recipe and get an awesome result.

recipe for 2:
2 veal cutlets
3 tbsp goat cream cheese
4 slices Black Forest ham
3 tbsp toasted breadcrumbs
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 egg
salt and pepper
1 tbsp fresh thyme
1 tbsp fresh  mint
1 tbsp monk cress leaves original raspberry leaves
100 g fresh raspberries
2 spring onions (optional)

Bash the veal cutlets a bit, they should be 1 cm high. Season on both sides with salt and pepper.
In a dry pan toast the breadcrumbs for a couple of minutes, put in a bowl and mix with the goat cream cheese, egg, rapeseed oil and herbs and season with salt and pepper.
Preheat the oven 180 C.
Smear it on the veal cutlets and place 3 raspberries on each cutlet.
Close them and wrap in 2 slices of Black forest ham and use a toothpick to seal.
In an ovenproof pan start in some oil the spring onions, then push them aside and place the veal cutlets in. Let them get golden brown 2 minutes on each side.
Get the raspberries in and mix them with the onions and put the pan into the oven for 6-8 minutes.

Serve with a side salad.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Black Sesame Ice Cream

This is a part of a new SortedFood recipe. I love sesame and wanted to try it, when I saw the Baked Alaska recipe they made. I am not a huge fan of baked Alaska, so only the ice cream is making it to the table today.

300 double cream
200 ml sweetened condensened milk
4 tbsp ground black sesame
2 tbsp tahini paste

Use the ice cream compressor to have the ice cream in 40 minutes.
Beat the double cream to soft peaks, mix in the condensed milk.
Blitz the sesame and mix it with tahini paste.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Easy food after a long day

When you come home after a long day at the office and you are hungry, do not grab the telefon and order food, but make some pasta.

I have some capellini or angelhair pasta, it cooks 3 to 4 minutes.
A bag of mini bell peppers, some chili, onions and garlic made a spicy and tasty sauce. When you cook it, prepare a lot more of it and freeze some portions. You will have a quick meal when ever you are hungry.

Some fresh Pecorino cheese and a couple of basil leaves. Grate black pepper over the pasta.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Smoked Salmon Soup

This is a classic Thermomix recipe. Many of the commercial agents that sell these kitchen helpers prepare it, when they have a Thermomix party.  It is fast and tasty and shows how easy it is to cook with that machine.

The soup was one of the first I made myself when I bought my first Thermomix 18 years ago. Everybody loved the smooth creamy soup.

Today I have a friend here and I will show her how to prepare food in the machine. She loves to eat but does not cook a lot.
The soup popped into my mind, it is sooo good and great to show off. We are preparing it Lactose free

recipe for 4:
500 ml Lactose free whole milk
200 ml Lactose free double cream
3 cooked potatoes
1 clove of garlic
3 tbsp tomato paste
150 g smoked salmon - or stremel
fresh dill
salt and pepper

Get the clove of garlic in first and give it a good blitz, add milk, cream and potatoes and close the lid again.
Set the timer to 6 minutes, 100 C and power 3 and give it a go.
Cut up 2/3 of the salmon and chop the dill.
Put the salmon pieces and part of the dill in the Theromix, set 2 minutes, 100 C and power 3 and cook either with left turn to keep the pieces or blitz it up to  a creamy soup.
The rest of the salmon goes on top ot the soup with some fresh dill.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Lemon Nana

This is a very refreshing drink from Jordan. I read about it in the travel book and did not see it anywhere. One of the first days of our round trip, we´ve been to an Oasis and had lunch there. The offered drinks were the usual softdrinks.
I asked a waiter for Lemon Nana, he look astonished, then said ok and went back into the kitchen. It took a while and he came back with a glass full of minty light yellowish liquid. I took a sip and was hooked. It became the signature drink of our group during our tour through Jordan.
It is now three years ago, that I travel there, but when summer comes here and the pots of mint on my balcony are in full swing, I remember it and prepare it often.

recipe for 1 liter:
1 untreated big lemon
1 bunch of mint leaves
1- 2 tbsp of agave syrup
400 ml bitter lemon
500 ml sparkling water

wash the lemon with hot water, wash the mint.
cut the lemon into quarters are peel out the pits
Use a strong stand mixer.
Chuck in the lemon quarters with the leaves without the stems of the mint and 1 tbsp of sugar
Blend and add 150 ml bitter lemon. Taste and eventually add more sugar.
Add the rest and give it a good mix.
Fill in a bottle and put in the fridge.
Shake well before serving.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Pea Soup with Asparagus topping

Ginger and curry spices are boosting the flavour of the asparagus. The pea soup is just a tasty base and the combination is amazing.
My BFF found the recipe in a supermarket recipe leaflet and tried it and was impressed. She gave me the recipe and on my way back home from work I bought some fresh white asparagus.

350  g frozen peas
400 g white asparagus
400 ml chicken stock
1 tsp dried salad herbs
1 tsp mild curry
salt and pepper
20 g fresh ginger
2 large cloves of garlic
1 onion
1 tbsp butter

Use a small pot and heat up the stock.
Chuck in the peas and let them defrost and cook them for 5 minutes. Add some dried salad herbs and season with salt and pepper.
Chop onion, garlic and ginger very fine.
Peel the asparagus and cut it into 1,5 cm cubes.
In a pan heat up the butter, start the curry and then  toss in onion, garlic and ginger, saute for 2 min, add the asparagus. It will take a good 6 min.
Add 3 tbsp of soup stock and season.
It should still have a little crunch.

Use a stand mixer and blend the pea soup into a fine veloute.
Reheat and serve with the asparagus as a topping.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Asparagus with Prawns

The asparagus season moves toward its end in less than 3 weeks, I had to eat some more of the white gold. Something low carb came into my mind and I checked some Internet sites.
When you have the work of peeling the asapargus behind you, all other things are easy and fast to prepare.

500 g white asparagus cut into 3 cm chunks
3 spring onions
2 cloves of garlic
1 red chili
butter, sugar and salt
olive oil
2 tbsp Noilly Prat
6-8 raw king prawns
dark sesame oil
Ponzu sauce

In water with butter, sugar and salt cook the asparagus until nearly done. Drain.
Chop the white part of the spring onions into small chunks, the green parts into 3 cm parts.
Chop the red chili and the parsley.

In some olive oil start cooking the onion chunks, garlic and chili.
Add the spring onions and the raw prawns. When the prawns turn pink, add the asparagus and the Vermouth.
Finish with sesame oil and Ponzu sauce.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

I need something baked for the office again. The cookie box was empty, last time I checked.

Ripe bananas taste great in cakes and muffins, so why not in a cookie.

recipe for 24 cookies:
80 g soft unsalted butter
1 1/2 regular size ripe bananas or 1 large one
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup coconut flower sugar
1 large free range egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat the oven 175 C
In a medium bowl mix flour, salt and baking soda.
In a big bowl mix soft butter with the two sugars, then add vanilla extract and egg and beat until creamy, add the mashed banana pulp.
Take a spatula and fold in the flour, then the oats and the chocolate chips.
Use 2 baking sheets covered with baking paper and 2 tablespoons.
Space the cookies apart, they will expand, not more then 12 on a regular sheet.
Bake for 15 minutes until brown.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Asian spiced pressure cooker ribs

This is a SortedFood recipe. I wanted to try it for myself before I serve it to friends. That is a good reason to eat ribs anyway. They only need 30 minutes and a bit of oven time under the grill and they are ready, so that is much faster than all other ways to cook ribs.

I just made my own 5 Spice Powder, it smells amazing in the kitchen. It takes a bit of planning ahead, but it gives such a lovely taste to the food, much better then the bought stuff. I discovered that lots of 5 spice powders from the spice racks of the supermarkets acually contain only 4 spices. They leave out the Szechuan pepper, what a shame. I can understand why, this pepper is expensive and leaves a numbing feeling on the tongue, so many people don´t like it. At the end of this blog you can find the method.

2 racks of ribs
100 ml tomato ketchup
70 ml runny honey
3 tbsp sriracha sauce
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp 5 spice powder
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp garlic granulate
salt and pepper
150 ml orange juice
150 ml sake
100 ml water
2 cups short grain rice
2 spring onions x

Make the wet rub with ketchup, soy sauce, honey and sriracha and cut up the racks into chunks that will fit into the pressure cooker. Best do it a couple of hours before cooking time.
Make the dry rub with sugar, 5 spice powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper and rub it on top the wet ribs, it will help to stick it to the ribs.
Place the ribs in the pressure cooker, add the rest of the rub, orange juice, sake and water and close 
the lid. Bring to a boil until the marker shows up level 2, reduce the heat and cook for 30 min.
Preheat the grill of the oven 200 C
Release the steam and take out the ribs, reduce the liquid until it thickens and brush it on top of the ribs which are placed on a rack to go into the oven.
Grill for 5-10 min.
Cook the rice and chop the spring onions and serve-
Sorted served it with Chinese wok noodles.

Homemade 5 spice powder:
2 star anise
5 cloves
1 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
2 cinnamon sticks
2 tsp szechuan peppercorns

Use a pestel and mortar first to crush up the spices roughly, transfer to a blender and get it finer, pour through a medium fine sieve.