Sunday, 30 December 2018

Vegetable Tajine with Meatballs

This is a Moroccan dish but easy to prepare without the typical  tajine clay pot. Just use a pan with a good closing lid.
One other thing that makes preparing the dish a lot easier is using a small electric blender. Otherwise chopping everything with a knife can be quite time consuming.

The use of many fresh herbs and a lemon makes it a light meal. Eat it with flat bread or without anything as a side.

Recipe for 3:
400 g beef mince
1 bunch of flat leaf parsley
1 bunch coriander
1/2 bunch mint
5 spring onions
5 cloves of garlic
1 red onion
2 red bell peppers
2 medium tomatoes
80 g frozen peas
80 g green pitted olives
1 lemon
30 g olive oil
1 tsp cumin powder
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp chili
Salt and pepper

In the blender chop half of the parsley without the stalks (keep them for later) and add the other ingredients and chop again.
Red onion
2 spring onions
1 tsp paprika
Smoked paprika
Salt and pepper
Mix it by hand with the ground beef and form 1 inch meatballs.

Other half of the parsley without the stems
Juice of half a lemon
1 tsp Paprika
Salt and pepper
All in the blender and mixed as a sauce.

Cut the tomatoes in slices and the paprika in rough chunks. The 3 spring onions in 1 inch pieces and the garlic in slices. Cut the rest of the lemon in slices too.
Lay the stems of the parsley together with the onions and garlic on the bottom of the pan. Next bell peppers, then tomatoes, frozen peas and olives and lemon.

On top the meatballs. Now the sauce.
Close the lid, bring to a boil and reduce the heat and cook for 35 min.

Check if a meatball is done, then serve.

Saturday, 29 December 2018

Smoked Trout on King Oyster Mushrooms

I have a good amount of recipe cutouts from different magazine issues. My BFF is collecting a lot and what she thinks is good for me to cook, she sends to me in large envelopes. And she does find a lot.
I sift through these cutouts, toss out the ones I would never do, toss out the ones that contain ingredients I do not eat and keep the rest on the side. My stack of untried recipes is getting higher and higher. Sometimes I have no idea what so ever what to cook on a weekend or other occation, I take the cutouts and sift through them again. What catches my eyes is going to be one of the next creations. This is one of them.

German 2 Michelin star Chef Tohru Nakamura is one Chef I admire a lot. He is of Japanese heritage and combines western and japanese Cuisine on a modern level. I made a couple of his recipes before and they all went well and are on various blogs.

This recipes calls for fresh porcini mushrooms. The days after Christmas aren´t the right time of the year for them. That´s why I bought fresh king oyster mushrooms.

Recipe for 4:
1 - 2 smoked trout filets per Person
600 g King oyster mushrooms
100 g butter
2 shallots
1 small clove of garlic
100 ml veg stock
2 tbsp creme fraiche
1 lemon
4 tbsp whole roasted hazelnuts
3 tbsp Panko breadcrumbs
1/2 bunch of parsley
salt and pepper

Clean the mushrooms with a knife and a kitchen paper. Put 2 or 3 of the best looking one on the side.
200 g mushrooms have to be cut into small slices.
In a pan melt 50 g of butter and make a nutbutter by getting it brown. Add shallot dices and garlic and give that 2 min, add the mushroom slices. Season with salt and pepper. Give it 3 min and add the veg stock and cook again for 3 min. Pour it into a blender and add the creme fraiche and a couple of drops of lemon juice. Make a cream.
The other mushrooms (not the ones on the side) cut into 2 cm cubes and brown in the rest of thebutter, add the parsley  and season. Get the mushrooms out of the pan, roast the panko breadcrumbs until golden brown and roast the hazelnuts, chop them roughly.
In the warm pan, lightly warm the trout filets, do not cook them. Add a bit of lemon zest and juice and salt and pepper.

Divide the mushroom cream on 4 plates, place the trout on top, sprinkle with panko, mushroom cubes and hazelnuts.

Dining out at an other Italian Restaurant

Yesterday I was out with a friend checking out the grand Hessian museum in Darmstadt. After more then 3 hours all over the different exhibitions including Joseph Beuys, we were hungry.

About 10 km south of town we went to an Italian restaurant that is in business for a very long time.
Restaurant Taormina.

It was a good idea to have a reservation. It did not take long and the restaurant filled up.

We started with a greeting from the kitchen,
Tomato Bruschetta and ordered our starter.

We shared a platter of Vitello Tonnato. The meat was tender. The tuna mayo had a bit too much mayo for my taste. I missed a more if the tuna. But it was good.

Then we had two different entrees:
Taormina Scapolina aka thin slices veal in pepper sauce

And scaloppine maiale Parmigiana, aka pork schnitzel with Bolognese sauce and Parmesan cheese. Both dishes were served with salad and French fries.

Good food and nice service. We finished our meal with one Bailey's and one Ramazotti on the house.

Friday, 28 December 2018

Goose legs with red cabbage and dumplings

This is one of Germany's typical Christmas Day dinners.

Big families buy whole geese and others only breasts or legs. Red cabbage or Brussel sprouts (which I detest), are often served as a side dish.
Many regions have dumplings to go with the goose.

I am a leg meat person, I bought 2 goose legs and used my clay pot steamer to prepare them.
No fuss, no hassle and a clean kitchen.

On the bottom of the clay pot a couple of veggies and an apple, the legs on top and a bit of wine.
The cold oven gets heated up with the pot inside to 180 C and the legs need 3 hrs. The last 20 without the lid.

recipe for 2:
2 goose legs
1 apple
1 large onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 carrot
1 piece of white of leek
salt and pepper
350 ml rosé wine or any other kind

The legs have a lot of fat, before you put them in the pot, trim the excess fat off.

Later for the sauce, skim the fat of with a deep spoon.

Serve it with potato dumplings, filled with butter roasted toast cubes and a nice spiced red cabbage,
These recipes can be found on my blogs.

Thursday, 27 December 2018

Lamb eye of loin with fennel and figs

The lamb eye of loin has a crazy name in Germany: Lammlachs. (Lamb Salmon). Many years ago I thought  is was a piece of fish and never ordered it.

This dish is a sweet and savoury mix. Sweet figs and the taste of anise seed you can find in the fennel, the fresh and the seed kind.

Recipe for 2:
1 lamb eye of loin
1/2 tsp fennel seed
1/2 tsp salt
1 bulb of fennel
1 red onion
4 dried or 2 fresh figs
1 orange zested and 50 ml juice
Pepper, salt

In a pestle and mortar crush fennel seeds and salt to a fine sand. Rub the lamb on both sides with it.
Quarter the red onion and cut the fennel bulb into 6 pieces.
Preheat the oven 140 C fan.

In a pan in oil brown the lamb meat on all sides, wrap it in aluminium foil and place it into the oven for 6-8 min, depending how pink you want it inside. Get it out of the oven and let it rest for 3 min before cutting it up.

In a pan heat up the oil and add onions and fennel, after 3 min Orange zest and juice. Season well. Add the figs and finish.

I had some Lebanese Freekeh with it, cooked, steamed dry and reheated in some olive oil.

Wednesday, 26 December 2018

Egg Grog from the North of Germany

During the Christmas days and mediocre weather lets you serve the channels on the TV.
I watched a series about the northern islands along the North Sea.

A man in Eckernfoerde has a restaurant and offers tour groups a course in preparing the Egg Grog.
Grog is just rum, sugar and hot water.

To give it a very creamy finish, use an egg yolk.

But now the work starts. Put the egg yolk in a heat proof glass and add the sugar. Use a teaspoon and start stirring until you have a white thick creamy paste. That takes a lot of elbow grease and takes about 20 min. Or you use such a spiral tool andvthen it takes about 6 min.

When the egg mix is the right consistency, pour 8 cl brown rum and 150 ml hot water on top.

Per Person:
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp sugar
8 cl brown rum
150 ml hot water

Tuesday, 25 December 2018

Parsley two ways with chicken liver

This is my Christmas eve dinner.

The chicken liver was coated in Panko and sauteed in a pan for just 2 minutes.
Star of the dish were the parsley purees in white and green. I found it at the website of Essen&Trinken and adapted it my way.
Not too much work on a day like this in the kitchen.
I had my liver "problems" sorted out around noon and now I just had to get the pieces through the breading process.

Recipe for 2:
450 g parsley root
2 potatoes
1 bunch of parsley
120 ml double cream
100 ml sparkling water
Salt and pepper, chili
Panko breadcrumbs
250 g chicken liver
1 large free range egg
Butter and oil

Peel parsley roots and potatoes and chop them into bite size chunks.
In a pot in double cream and sparkling water, salt, pepper and chili flakes bring it to a boil, reduce the heat and cook for 20 min.
When it is soft, take the pot off the heat and use a stick blender to make a fine mash.
Wash the parsley with the stalks, cut it up a bit, toss it into a high mixing bowl, add a little cream and 1/3 of the parley mash. Give it a good blitz with the stick blender. Keep both purees warm.

Clean the chicken liver and pat it dry. Season the flour and beaten egg with salt and pepper and get the liver pieces through flour, egg and panko.
In butter and oil fry them for 2 min on each side, or less, depending on the thickness.

Serve on top of the green and white parsley purees.

Zupa Watrobiana - Liver Soup

It is Christmas Eve and you are not supposed to throw out food on a day like this. I regularly try not to do that anyway by shopping the amount that can be eaten in one or two days.

But tonights dinner contains chicken liver and I had to buy it in advance in a frozen form. Fresh liver would not be available, I asked at the butcher. The package contained 500 g of a solid frozen block of chicken livers. I had to thaw it all to get off single pieces.
I packed away what I needed for tonights dinner and stowed the rest in a bag to put in the garbage later.
Then I went online to check what to do with the leftover liver and found this Polish recipe. Easy and no weird ingredients needed. I even was able to use the pork stock I had cooked a good week ago.

250 g chicken liver or any kind you have on hand
1 onion
1 l pork stock or what ever you have
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp flour
2 tbsp chives
1 tbsp freeze dried soup veggies
Salt, pepper, chili, thyme
2 slices of toast
2 tbsp butter

Clean the liver an pat it dry, put in a blender and mix.
Chop the onion and reheat the stock.

In a pot in a 2 tbsp butter saute the onion, then add the flour and cook. Little by little add the hot stock to prevent getting lumps.
Pour the rest in and cook for 5 min.
In a pan with the butter brown the toast cubes.
Chop the chives.

Reduce the heat of the soup to medium and let the liver drip into the soup in a small batch until all us in. Stir constantly and after 2 more min, the soup is done. Add the chives and season to taste.

Monday, 24 December 2018

1000 th blog - Endive Soup with Goat cheese

When I started blogging in December 2015, I never thought it would be so much fun and so much work. But the fun is what keeps me doing more. And I learned so much diving into foreign kitchens and aquiring new cooking techniques. This alone is worth all the work that comes with this food blog.

Short before the Christmas holidays I wanted to prepare an easy and meat free dish. During this season you get large heads of endive at all markets.  Endive is not a salad I normally turn to, it comes with some bad memories.

It was the cheap winter salad my Mom used to prepare often. It was harsh and mostly bitter and I hated it as a child. Later on, Dad's good friend growed large amounts of endive heads in his garden and loved to give them to my parents when he visited twice a week to have a beer. He wasn't a master gardener and failed to bind the salad heads together to make them yellow and soft in the middle. The heads often were full of snails and other critters.  Since my parents weren't able to eat all the salad, they often gave a head to me.
Twice, I tried to slice a head in two halves and my knife run through a snail. Brrr. After that, all other heads went into the organic bin just outside the entrance and never reached my kitchen again.

But now to a phantastic soup. I will prepare it again, when I have friends over for dinner in January. The refined part of the recipe is the creamy goatcheese, that is coated in two different ways.
I found this on German food magazine Essen&Trinken  (eat&drink) and as always made my own version of it.

Recipe for 2:
3 potatoes
1 parsnip
1 clove of garlic
2 shallots
1 spring onion
150 g endive
500 ml veg stock
150 ml double cream
2 bay leaves
Lemon juice
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp butter
6 discs of goat cream cheese
1/2 ripe pear
2 tbsp chopped walnuts
1/2 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp sesame seeds

Peel potatoes, garlic, parsnip and onions and cut them into medium chunks. Wash the center leaves of the salad and rip it into shreds.

Put the butter in a pot and add all veggies and give them 3 min and several good stirs. Season.
Add stock and cream and bay leaves, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 min.
In a small pan toast sesame and ciriander seeds and in a pestel and mortar make a finer crumb.

Now the veggies should be soft, take the pot off the heat and use a stick blender and make a creamy soup. When it looks too thick now, do not worry, add the salad and blend it into the soup. The salad contains so much water, it gives enough liquid to the soup.

Cut the piece of pear into tiny cubes, chop up the walnuts and mix both.
Dip the cheese on both sides into the mix. Weather you like more nuts and pears or sesame and coriander, it depends how many cheeses you will cover.
Serve the cheeses on endive leaves beside the soup bowls.

Sunday, 23 December 2018

Cauliflower and Broccoli Cheese

You can call it a bastard version of a Sauce Mornay. It is an oven dish with a levelled up Bechamel sauce.

I often use Bechamel sauces as the base for other dishes. The typical Sauce Mornay does not contain any Noilly Prat and no Gouda or garlic cream cheese. But as usual, I made my own version of this cheese sauce and the outcome was very tasty.

Getting fresh cauliflower and broccoli in small amounts is often very difficult
 Mostly you have to buy whole heads. That means you have to eat these veggies a whole week to get them done.
This time a was lucky and found a package with just 150 g of each.

300 g mixed cauliflower and broccoli
100 g Bratwurst or sausages
1 tbsp flour
1 tbsp butter
200 ml whole milk
50 ml Noilly Prat
A good grating if nutmeg
Salt and pepper
1 spring onion
125 g Gouda and Emmenthaler
1 tbsp garlic cream chese

In boiling salted water cook the Mayflower for 2 min, then add the broccoli and cook for 4 more min. Drain.

In the same pot prepare the cheese sauce.
In a small pan fry the sausage.
Use an ovenproof dish and start with the veggies. Cut up the sausage and add.
Spoon the sauce on top and bake at 170 C for 15 min.