Sunday, 31 December 2017

Gyoza or Pot Stickers

I bought some fresh pasta sheets yesterday and thought about some cheese filled ravioli. I still have so much cheese sitting in the fridge.
Last night I watched a couple of YT cooking videos and saw some making gyoza - the Japanese ravioli- and today I thought why not.

I was out in 2 different Asian supermarkets during December and stocked up on pastry sheets. But the offerings here are only the wantan squares and rice paper kinds. Round gyoza was nowhere to find, otherwise I would have made them a while ago.

But pasta dough is thin enough to come to the same result and I tried my hand.
The typical ingredients such as pork mince and cabbage weren´t in stock, but I had other ingredients to put in the mix - including some CHEESE.

recipe for 15 gyoza:
30 g black forest ham cubes
1 egg white
250 g fresh pasta sheet
3 tsp cream cheese
1/4 bunch of chives
2 spring onions
100 g baby spinach
1 tbsp oil
100 ml water
1 tbsp dark sesame oil
dipping sauce

Put the spinach leaves in a bowl and pour boiling water on top. Let it sit for 30 seconds, drain the spinach and squeeze it dry.
Chop spring onions, chives and spinach and mix it with bacon and cream cheese. Season.

Take a 10 cm cutter and cut out 15 discs or pasta dough.
Put a flat tsp of the mix in the middle.
Brush around the edge with egg white

Fold in like a half moon by folding small crimps from one end to the other.
Set on a plate with some semolina.

Use a pan just the size to get all gyoza in, heat it to medium heat and pour oil in.
Set them in and let them sit for 2 - 3 min, check the bottom after 2 min if it is brown.
Pour water in the pan and close the lid for 7 minutes.
Let the steam out and pour a bit of sesame oil on top and cook 2 more minutes.

Tip on a plate so that the browned side is on top.
Sprinkle with chopped spring onion greens
You can either dip it in soy sauce or sweet chili sauce or any sauce you like.

Saturday, 30 December 2017

Filled giant mushrooms

Today is the last day of grocery shopping before the year 2017 ends. I started early and hit the supermarket before 8 AM to get just the few item I needed for the New Years eve and the first of January. My plans for tomorrow night and lunch on the next day stands - I will not tell you now - but I had no idea what to prepare today and tomorrow at lunch.

I have so much cheese in the fridges in the moment, so getting rid of some will be the base to some dishes.
At work we had a breakfast together and everybody brought something- my famous Kochkäse or cooked cheese was eaten that day (recipe here on the blog somewhere). But several food was left in the fridge at work for the next morning or taken home.
My coworker had great cheese from a cheese shop in Bavaria and some was left in the fridge. She wanted to take it home - but forgot. I received a What´s app that told me to take the cheese home with me to enjoy. MORE CHEESE!

Last night I cut some of it up and used the sliced pieces too for a pan full of melted cheese raclette style eaten with some hot potatoes. Some cheese down.

Today I stumbled upon some Bella Gomba, Italian portobello mushrooms. Just two and I filled them with - what do you think !?  Cheese and baked them in the oven. So delicious.

recipe for 2 mushrooms:
2 large Bella Gomba
30 g sheep milk feta
2 tsp cream cheese
1/4 bunch chives
1 spring onion
1 hand full of baby spinach
30 g black forest ham bits
30 g grated provolone cheese

50 ml creme fraiche
30 ml sour cream
2 tbsp duck stock
2 tbsp red wined
1 tsp Baharat seasoning
2 tsp condensed milk

Preheat the oven 200 C.
Put the mushrooms in oven proof dishes.
In a bowl mix feta, cream cheese and veggies, add the ham bits and season with pepper.
Put into the mushrooms and grate the provolone cheese on top.

Mix the ingredients for the sauce, except the condensed milk. Pour beside the mushroom.
Bake in the oven for 25 minutes-
Loosen the sauce with some condensed milk and put that on top of the mushrooms and serve.

Thursday, 28 December 2017

Soup with leftovers

After the holidays there are many things left in the fridge. After work today I wanted to eat some hot soup and opened my fridge and took out lots of open packages were some stuff was left in.

I found some bacon bits, one bell pepper, a head of lettuce and 2 cherry tomatoes. I wanted to add some beans but had enough in the pot already.

Some Piede bread sold om the Flea Market on second holiday was filled with Portugese cheese and put in the griddle pan and pressed down with a pot. A great cheese panini was the result.

1 onion
600 ml veg stock
60 g bacon bits
40 g cooked rice
1 tbsp oil
1 bell pepper
2 cherry tomatoes
1 small head romaine lettuce
1 tsp lovage pesto
50 ml wine
Start with onion and bacon and cook that for 5 minutes.
Toss all other stuff in and cook until soft. Enjoy.

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Venison Goulash with Dumplings and red Cabbage

It is a long time since I prepared venison meat. Usually it is a family holiday dish with several people sitting around the table. Preparing it for one person is not so easy.

When I prepared it the last time, I bought locally hunted wild venison from a butcher who worked together with a hunter in the area. You buy larger pieces of meat there.

For just a meal and a leftover to take to the office for lunch the next days, you buy just about a pound of venison.

During my Xmas grocery shopping trip the week before the Xmas run I went to get some basics at ALDI.  I was looking for some frozen peas and checked the freezers. I didn't find any peas but I came across a package of frozen New Zealand farmed vension goulash. It said high quality on the outside and it was a pound of meat.
I really was not sure if it was a good idea to buy it, but in the end the curiosity about the product made me put it in the shopping cart.

500 g venison goulash
1 onion
1 spring onion
1 tbsp dried soup veggies
3 cloves of garlic
5 juniper berries
2 tbsp flour
2 bay leaves
Rapeseed oil
50 ml Portwine
50 ml red wine
500 ml venison stock
Salt and pepper

Season the meat and toss it in the flour.
Heat up the oil in a pot and start to brown the meat. If the pot is not wide enough, make it in 2 batches.
Get in the aromatics and deglaze the pot with Port and wine. Pour in the stock.
Cook for 70 min on low heat.
If you like thicken the sauce with a teaspoon of starch in water.

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Thai spiced Duck breast on curry

These are two seperate dishes to prepare, if you count the Basmati rice it are even three.

I found this recipe again in a newspaper clipping from Austrian former 3 star chef Eckart Witzigmann and used his recipe as an inspiration to create my own.
I bought a Barberie duck breast and it was a huge one that serves 2 people easily. I have half of the breast left over and you will see it again in an other dish soon.
You will need some time to plan ahead, because the duck breast needs some time to marinate in the Thai spices. It is best done over night, but a 3-4 hour times gives the meat too.

recipe for 2:
1 large Barberie Duck Breast
1 knob of ginger
1 stalk of lemon grass
2 cloves of garlic
2 kaffir lime leaves
1/2 tsp chili
1/2 lime juiced
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp canola oil

Thai curry:
3 tsp red Thai curry paste
coconut oil
2 cloves of garlic
1 knob of ginger
1 red onion
2 spring onins
2 bell peppers (Yellow and Orange)
1 medium courgette
1/2 bunch of Thai basil
lime juice
fish sauce
palm sugar
100 ml stock (veg or duck)
150 ml coconut cream
Basmati rice

Put the dried duck breast into a medium hot pan skin side down and let it render out the fat.

That will take about 8 min, after 5 min put some of the garlic, ginger and lime leaves on the meat on top and take a spoon and pour some hot fat on top a couple of times.
Depending on the thickness of the breast and your style of eating it medium or rare, adjust the cooking time, then turn it over and sear the other side or 3 min.
Take it out and cover it and let it rest for 5 min.

For the curry, heat up some coconut oil and get Thai curry paste, chopped onions, garlic and ginger in. After 4 moinutes add peppers and courgette and give them a couple more minutes to roast, then add the stock and coconut cream.
Add fish sauce, lime juice, palm sugar and season to taste with more chili paste.
Rip the basil and stir it in.

Monday, 25 December 2017

Coronation Chicken

I first heard about this dish when I was on holiday in Northern Ireland during the year of the Queen Elisabeth II 50th throne jubilee.

I had that salad on a sandwich and thought it disgusting. It was a mayonnaise infested stuff with a tiny bit of undefined chicken, gross. I told my friends there about my experience and they laughed out loud. Nobody in their right mind would eat that.

I checked a couple of recipes and decided to have Coronation Chicken for Christmas Eve.

recipe for 3:
3 chicken thighs - seasoned
rapeseed oil

75 g long grain rice
1 tsp mild Java Curry Powder
salt and pepper
1 small mango
50 g sultanas
2 spring onions

300 g Greek yogurt
1 tbsp Mayo
1/2 lemon juiced
2 tsp Java curry
5 drops of Chipotle Tabasco


Start with the seasoned chicken thighs and in a hot pan sear it and cook it through. I cooked it on the bone and with the skin on. I discarded bones and skin afterward.
When is cooled down a bit, I cut the chicken into bite size pieces.
While the chicken is on the hob, start the rice with the curry powder and salt.

Soak the sultanas in boiling water for 30 minutes.
Soak the chopped spring onions in boiling water for 30 seconds.
Peel and cut the mango.

Make the dressing and finish with some chervil. Place on some lettuce leaves to serve.

Speculoos Parfait with Cherries in mulled cherry wine

A spiced biscuit or a Dutch windmill cookie it is called in other countries. The cookie has pictures of old motives from the Dutch imprinted on the upper side. Here in Germany they are found around Christmas time, sometimes as a butter cookies or as spiced cookies with almond slices in.
They are nice with a cup of coffee or tea. In Belgium or in the Netherlands they are eaten all year round.

When the Speculoos packages start to pop up here in the supermarkets as early as September now, you get the first warning that Christmas time is "around the corner". I usually wait until November to buy the first one.

It is a good alternative to use the cookies  crumbled instead of others for pie crusts or in other desserts. The spices makes them standing out.

recipe for 6:
10 speculoos cookies
50 g icing sugar
1 egg
400 g double cream
90 g soft caramel toffees
1 tbsp mince meat
1 pinch of salt

300 ml mulled cherry wine
150 g drained cherries
2 tsp corn starch in water

Separate the egg.
Beat the yolk with the icing sugar until creamy.
Beat the egg white with the salt until stiff.
Chop the toffees and melt them over low heat in 80g of double cream.

Crush 8 cookies to crumbs.
Mix the with the melted toffees.

Beat the double cream to soft peaks.

Bring everything together and freeze minimum 6 hours.
Crumble the rest of the cookies on top when serving.
Heat the wine and reduce it a bit to get the alcohol out, get the cherries in and thicken with starch.

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Risotto with Portugese sheep cheese and spicy pears

On SortedFood an other foodie like me made a risotto with this cheese and told everybody it was his favourite cheese. Liquid sheep milk cheese from Portugal.

Queijo de Ovelha Curado Terras Altas, Portugal

He gave me the adress of a German importer and I ordered it online on eBAY. It came 2 days after I placed my order and I was curious to try it.

What works good with strong cheese ? Pears!

The cheese is not for everyone. People who are not eating smelly or strong tasting cheeses wont like this recipe and should not buy the cheese.

I even intensified the taste of the risotto by adding some crushed juiniper berries and a twig of rosemary to counteract with the cheese. Otherwise the cheese overpowers the risotto.
The pear I used was hard and that is the best way to eat it in this dish. You have the slight crunch of the fruits with the melty cheesy risotto.

recipe for 1:
60 g Carneroli rice
1 shallot
2 cloves of garlic
150 ml white wine
3 crushed juiniper berries
1 twig rosemary
1 tbsp butter
300 ml beef stock homemade
3 tbsp Portugese liquid cheese

1 unripe pear
1/2 lemon juiced
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp Ancho chili
Angelica salt
white pepper
2 tbsp Noilly Prat

Peel and chop shallot and garlic and saute in butter with berries and rosemary, add the rice and coat well.
Start with the wine and cook down. Add broth bit by bit until the rice is done but not soft in the middle. Fish out the spices.
Add the cheese and let it melt.

In the meantime peel the pear and cut it into cubes, press the lemon juice over it.
In a small pan heat up sugar and butter, add the pears with the lemon juice and cook them.
Season and give it a good kick with the Ancho chili.
Add the Noilly Prat and wait until the pears soften, but retain their crunch.

Saturday, 23 December 2017

Chestnut pasta with eggs and broccoli

I wanted to use a avocado to make a creamy sauce with the broccoli, but the moment I cut the avocado open, it was dark brown and ugly inside. It went into the bin- so sorry.
To make the sauce a bit creamy, I used a heaped tablespoon of cream cheese instead. Not the same, but it tasted good.

The chestnut pasta was a gift from friends who went to Northern Italy the region around Bozen and Meran, the Alto Adige, on vacation this year. In that region lots of chestnut trees grow and chestnut flour is often used as an ingredient in baked goods, breads or pasta. It was for the people in that region in earlier times a good way to save money. Wheat flour was a lot more expensive there.

recipe for 1:
100 g chestnut tagliatelle
1 small head of broccoli
2 eggs
2 tbsp milk
salt, pepper,
1 heaped tbsp cream cheese
2 tbsp olive oil
1 spring onion
1 clove of garlic

Cut the florets off the broccoli and peel the stem and cut that into discs. You will not need this, but when cooked and frozen, it is good for a lot of dishes. It should be in the boiling salted water about 3 minutes before you toss the florets in.
Get it out with a slotted spoon, save the water, separate the stems and freeze them, cut as much florets as you like, freeze the rest.
Chop them and set aside.
In the broccoli water toss in the pasta and cook al dente. Drain.

Beat the eggs with milk and season.
Chop onion and garlic and in heated oil soften a bit. Toss in the pasta and let it cook for 2 minutes.
Pour the egg mix on top and start to stir well until the eggs are well combined with the pasta.
Toss in the broccoli and stir.
Finish with cream cheese.

Friday, 22 December 2017

It is still Savoy cabbage left

A whole head of cabbage is a lot to eat. I like cabbages but I seldom find some minature ones. I try to eat all of it, throwing half a head into the trash bin is not my style.
After two different menues containing Savoy cabbage, I finished it off today.

I shredded the rest, left out the hard middle stems and cooked it.
Some Wiener sausages went very well with it.

1/3 head of Savoy cabbage
30 ml white wine
30 g lean bacon
1 tbsp oil
2 spring onions
1 clove of garlic
100 ml beef stock
3 tsp creme fraiche
1/4 tsp caraway seed
Salt and pepper
Pul biber
2 Wiener sausages

Saute the onions and garlic with the bacon in oil, add the cabbage and season well. Pour in wine and stock.
Close the lid and reduce the heat and cook for 15 min.
Finish with creme fraiche.
Warm the Wieners and eat them with the cabbage.

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Roasted Savoy Cabbage Burger

I am not a huge fan of soft burger buns and sometimes I create myself a burger bun with veggies or pasta.
From my vegetarian Savoy cabbage with caraway seed butter and dill sauce I had a medium head of cabbage left over. I was staring at it every time I went into the kitchen and needed an inspiration.

Today at the butcher shop I bought some organic lean beef and looked forward to some tasty beef Frikadelle ( a German word for meatball- usually made from a pork and beef mince).
O K - meatballs with potato mash and savoy cabbage veg.

I cut two 2 cm slices off the head of the cabbage and fixed them with toothpicks. A bit of dressing was nescessary to give it more taste.
I went for miso paste and some other ingredients and it was an success. I put the typical ingredients for a meatball into my beef and prepared it in the oven with the cabbage.

recipe for 1 burger:
2 slices of Savoy cabbage about 1 inch thick
1 tsp white miso paste
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tbsp Mirin
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp honey
salt and pepper
olive oil spray

180 g lean beef mince
1 spring onion
1 shallot
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp Pul Biber
1/2 paprika powder
salt and pepper
1 egg
2 tbsp breadcrumbs
2 slices of strong cheese

Preheat the oven 180 C fan.
Place a baking paper on a baking sheet and spray it with oil.
Make the dressing for the cabbage and rub it on both sides.
Make the meatball. (when you have more beef mince, make more patties and eat them an other time)
Place everything on the baking sheet and place it into the oven for 25 min, turn after 15
Place the cheese on top of the meatball 2 min before end of baking time.

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Sweet Potato Soup with Ginger and Maple Syrup

Hot and creamy is this soup and a good start to a winter meal.

But you can easily eat it just on its own, with a piece of bread on the side.

For this dish I prepared a beef stock first, with a big slice of beef leg disc. I had some frozen swede and some carrot and added just 2 spring onions, garlic, bay leaves, chili and salt and pepper to the mix. It cooked for 45 min, then I added the chopped sweet potato chunks to get soft for 15 min more.

It takes a bit of time to separate all the ingredients from the stock you will use later in the soup. That method is a lot easier to prepare, because you can use what ever you have on hand and just put it in one pot and cook. If you do not like to prepare some stock on your own, you can save time by using just 2 stock cubes.

1 tbsp coconut oil
1 red onion
1 good knob of fresh ginger
2 sweet potatoes
200 ml coconut cream
3 tsp maple syrup
400 ml beef stock
salt and pepper

Roughly chop ginger and onion and saute it in coconut oil. Add the cooked chunks of sweet potato and 150 ml coconut cream and a bit of stock. It should just look like mash. Season it with salt and pepper and a 2 tsp of maple syrup.

Take a second pot and a fine mash sieve and press the potato onion ginger mix through.
That guaranties a very smooth soup. Fill up with beef stock and little more coconut cream and keep the rest for decoration. Dripple the rest of the maple syrup on.