Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Deluxe Veal Burger with red cabbage and cranberry sauce

A high quality veal patty cooked medium and sitting in a chiabatta bun sounds good on its own.

But that would only be bread and meat - typical German Frikadellen Brötchen. Fast food you will find in all kinds of butcher shops or bakeries here during lunch time.

Enough of fast food. A great piece of meat and a nice combination of flavours around of it.

Just top a lot of good food on top of each other and enjoy a different burger.

1 chiabatta roll
180 g veal patty
3 tbsp red cabbage salad
2 strips of bacon
lambs lettuce
3 slice tomato

1 tbsp mayonaise
1 tsp cranberry sauce
1/2 tsp  tumeric
salt and pepper

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Skrei with bacon topping and dill butter

The fishmonger sold fresh Skrei today. They had huge fillets on ice and I bought a thick piece of one fillet. Now is the time of year the Norwegians fish this out of their waters. The Skrei march down from the Barent Sea into warmer water and that is a very long way. These fish are a lot heavier then  the regular cod you can buy all year round.

The best way to prepare it is to just let it speak for itself taste wise. A bit of sea salt and some pepper, a bit of oil and some butter to finish.
With a great topping and a little sauce you have a wonderful dish.
Dill is a herb that is so much used in Scandinavian cuisine, so I bought some and made a dill butter the rest went into some salad.

recipe for 2:
400 g Skrei
4 pieces of bacon
2 spring onions
1 bunch of dill
6 medium potatoes
salt and pepper
1 garden cucumber
Sherry vinegar
olive oil
Season the fish on both sides with salt and pepper.
Peel the potatoes and start them in cold salted water and cook until soft, drain, add butter, milk and nutmeg and season with salt and pepper and mash.
Fry the bacon and cut into small chunks.
Fry the chopped spring onion in the bacon fat.
Chop the dill and in a small pan heat it up with a good amount of butter, season with salt.
Heat up a pan with some oil and place the fish in skin side down and bake it for 5 min, then turn it and add butter to the pan. Finish the fish and take care, that it does not get too dry.
Peel the cucumber, salt it for 5 min, wash and season again and add the dressing and the rest of the dill.

Monday, 29 January 2018

Fennel and Tomato Rice in a rice cooker

You can eat this as a side to a meat and fish or just on its own like I did. Some red cabbage salad as a side to the rice veg mix was just enough.

I used my rice cooker and just thrown everything in and waited for it to do the work. That is a great way to have a midweek meal with just a bit of chopping action to do before you cook. I made a pot of tomato rice before in the rice cooker and it went very well. The addition of more veggies did not take the easy cooking away.
Preparing it in a regular pot is not so difficult either.

1 rice cooker cup long grain rice
2 1/4 amount of water
1 fennel bulb
1 medium ripe tomato
1 spring onion
1 tsp veg stock powder
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 bit fresh thyme
fresh basil leaves

Get all ingredients in the rice cooker, close the lid and start it.
When the water is gone, squish the tomato into the rice, check the seasoning and enjoy.

Sunday, 28 January 2018

Burrata with melted Tomato

Lidl had Italian Week.

They sold the good stuff this time. Buffalo mozzarella and Burrata.
These plastic containers with water and a packed stuff on the inside did not invite lots of people to buy it. A huge amount was still sitting in the refrigerator isle. This type of cheese is more or less unkown here. When you buy it at an Italian supermarket, you pay a good amount of money for it.

Using the Burrata in a warm dish was one option, eating it on its own an other.
I decided to give the cheese a chance and eat it cold. For that I needed something to go with it.
Caprese salad always comes to my mind when I have a cheese like Mozzarella.
This is a variation of a classic dish.

1 Burrata cheese
1 medium tomato
balsamic glaze
lovage pesto with some olive oil
finely chopped cucumber
Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

First grate the Parmesan. I did it very rough with little chunks in it. That makes a more coarse chip.
Put it on baking paper and place it into the oven at 175 C for 7 min.

Take it out and cut the tomato cross wise on top and brush some olive oil on top. Place in the oven at 190 C until soften. Peel away the skin.

Chinese Scallion Pancakes

I love pancakes and I always look for new recipes.

This one I have found on YT, Mikey Chan made it, and it peaked my curiosity. It sounded pretty simple to prepare and so I went for it. The ingredients were all in stock so the work began.

It is a very simple dish that can be adjusted to everybody´s taste. Stay in the Chinese corner and prepare it like I did, or add some bacon or sausage, some cheese or other ingredients and make a more western dish out of it.

You wont need a lot of stuff and just one bowl to prepare the dough, a rolling pin and one pan to bake.

recipe for 3 medium pancakes:
1 cup all purpose flour and more for the work surface
1/2 cup hot but not boiling water
cling film

vegetable oil
sea salt
3 spring onions

dip sauce:
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp black Chinese vinegar
1 tsp Tahini
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp hot sauce
some toasted sesame seeds

Make the dough first and let it rest for 30 minutes in cling film.
Roll it into a sausage and divide it into 3 parts.
Roll one part out into a circle shape and brush oil all over it. Sprinkle with sea salt. Add the finely diced spring onions and start to roll into a sausage. Then roll the sausage like a cinnamon bun and place the end under it.

Take the rolling pin and roll out again.
Heat up some oil in a pan and fry for 2-3 min on each side.

Eat with the dipping sauce.

Saturday, 27 January 2018

Espresso Dessert with Mascarpone

This is a creamy concoction that is quickly made and can be prepared just before the guests arrive. It needs just 30 minutes in the fridge to firm up a little. When you have the ingredients in the house, it will be a last minute dessert to make.

I do not like desserts when they are too sweet. In this dessert it is easy to adjust the sweetness to the level you prefer. When I have a cup of espresso, I put some sugar in, but less then most people do. The Oriental cafe you get abroad is cooked with sugar already and have to drink it as it is.

Use an electric helper, that makes it easier to beat the thick cream into a smooth one.

recipe for 4:
250 g mascarpone
100 g cream cheese
100 g double cream
1 cup strong espresso
2 tbsp cocoa powder
4 tbsp coconut flower sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla

Beat mascarpone, cream cheese and double cream together. Add the other ingredients and beat until soft and fluffy.
Fill into a container and put into the fridge for 30 minutes.

When you serve it, you can use some fresh fruits to give the rich cream a good balance.

Friday, 26 January 2018

A walk back Memory Lane

I was not sure if I should post this. But nowadays there are still lots of people who need to make meals when money is sparse. When I was young, my parents did not have a lot of money and Mom only went back to work part time when I was 9 years old. There were month with other costs, that forced her to cut down on spending money for food. But that did not mean that the 3 of us went hungry. Fresh produce went on the table most of the time, but sometimes she went for a  ready made ingredient. Meat was not the main ingredient, it played a second fiddle. But we had meat a least 3 times a week.

You can find many blogs I´ve written here that are low cost and feed a couple of people on a small budget. Without skimping on good produce. I love to eat them still nowadays.

Now back to cooking. Canned meats are well known. There are so many different things to buy - like Spam in the US, Hot Dogs in cans, sausages and patés in small cans. A long time ago beef from overproduction in Europe was cooked and canned and sold everywhere. It was cheap and tasted good. Bronze metal cans with just a print on top saying cooked beef from Europe production. No fuss, no labels, just the printed cans.

recipe for 2 or 3:
1 can cooked beef (about 400 g)
1 onion
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 cube beef stock
50 ml white wine or water
1 tbsp creme fraiche
salt and pepper

served with a good amount of rice and spinach with cream.

Start the onion and garlic in some of the fat that the can contains. You can discard it and use oil instead. Let them go soft.
Cube the beef and add it to the pan and cook for 3 minutes- remember, it is already cooked.
Sprinkle some of the stock cube, add water or wine and add the creme fraiche.
Warm it up again and that is all the cooking done in that pan.

If you do not like spinach, like it did when I was a child, serve it with any other kind of veggies or just a bowl of salad.

Thursday, 25 January 2018

Sweet Potatoes with cream cheese topping

This is slow food for an easy evening meal. When you come home from work and look for a dish that is mostly coming together on its own, sweet potatoes are a great veggie to take out of the basket for the job. Just turn on the oven to 200 C when you arrive. That gives you enough time to settle in and then start the preparations for dinner.

You decide if you want to peel them, if not just give them a good scrub. Cut in halve lengthwise and rub on some oil and season with salt and pepper. Stick in the oven for 35 min, test with a knife if they are soft.

2 sweet potatoes
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper

100 g cream cheese
3 tbsp greens from a spring onions
1 tbsp parsley
A pinch of salt and pepper
A pinch smoked paprika, celery seed
1 tsp sweet chili sauce

Mix the ingredients for the dip and take a seat until dinner is ready.

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Swiss Roll with Dulce de Leche Cream and Oranges

It is baking time!

I bought too many eggs on Saturday. The plan was to prepare a dessert, but the plan changed. Now I have too many eggs!

I seldon bake swiss rolls. You have to make them fresh, they taste still ok on the second day, but the fluffiness is gone then. Usually I prepare the batter with a hand held electric whisk, but today I used my fancy kitchen helper - the Thermomix.

It takes just a couple of minutes to get the ingredients in the machine and up and running. During that time preparing the baking sheet with baking paper and sifting flour and baking paper. The oven runs at 210 C ready to go.

4 large free range eggs
140 g sugar
1 tbsp vanilla sugar
1 pinch of salt
140 g flour
1 tsp baking powder

250 ml double cream
3 tsp Dulce de leche
8 orange filets

Place the butterfly on top of the knife. Put the 4 upper ingredients in and set 11 min, 50 C and speed 4.
Put the flour and baking powder in for 5 seconds at speed 3.
Use a spatula and lift the last patches of flour into the batter.

Pour onto the baking sheet.
Bake for 9 - 10 minutes.
Use a kitchen towl and sprinkle sugar on top.
Tip the baked cake on top and peel off the paper. Roll up with the kitchen towl and let it cool down completely.

Beat the double cream to stiff peaks and stir in the Dulce de leche and take out the orange slices.
Smear on top of the swiss roll, make a center lane with the oranges and roll up.
To make it nice: Cut off the ends and eat them.

Keep in a cool place until you serve it.

Monday, 22 January 2018

Mongolian Beef in a Crock Pot

Get awesome beef and you have the best melt in your mouth kind of dish.

Served with rice and steamed broccoli. The regular veriaty of this dish is something I ate often in Food Courts around the US Malls. It just took years to recreate it.
I found the idea on Pinterest when I looked for something to prepare in the Slow Cooker (Crock Pot).
It is such a lazy way to prepare food for a couple of people with no hassle at all. A short prep time to start, then close the lid, put the plug into the socket and start cooking. Forget about it, until you are called to the kitchen by the delicious smell that comes from the pot.

recipe for 4:
800 g flank steak
1/2 cup potato starch
2 red onions
2 carrots
2 cloves of garlic
1 knob ginger
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup packed dark Muscovado sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce
450 ml high quality beef stock jar
350 ml water
salt and pepper
some Tabasco

Peel onions, garlic and carrots. Cut the onions roughly and cut the carrots into rings.
Chuck ginger and garlic just in together with the sugar.

Cut the beef into fine strips and use a freezer bag with the potato starch and coat the beef. Get it into the Crock Pot and add bay leaves and liquid.

Close the lid and put on high for 4,5 hours.

Sunday, 21 January 2018

Dhal from yellow split peas - vegan

Some people write Dhal, others write Dal!

It is just a some kind of pulses, cooked with lots of spices and eaten with bread. The basic protein dish of India. But it is found all over the world, where descendants from India incorporated pulses into their local fare.
I even found some recipe from Trinidad. They are the ones who cook dhal mostly with split yellow peas.

The beginning of the dish was todays way to the supermarket where I bought a package of dried split yellow peas and a bunch of fresh coriander. I looked for something of the non meat variety.
All other ingredients are in the cupboard.

Recipe for 4:
500 g yellow split peas
2 red onions
1 long bell yellow pepper
1 cinnamon stick
1 tbsp coconut oil
2 knobs of ginger
5 cloves of garlic
1 spring onion
1 red chili
3 kaffir lime leaves
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp garam marsala
1/2 tsp tumeric
3 tsp ayvar or paprika paste
Salt and pepper
1 l water
1 bunch fresh coriander

Soak the peas in cold water for 30 minutes. Drain.
Use a small blender and mix ginger, garlic, chili and spring onions
Cut half onion rings.
Heat up the coconut oil and fry off the red onions, add the spices and give them a minute. Add the garlic ginger paste and cook another minute.
Throw in all other ingredients, stir and fill up with enough water, that it stand 2 fingers above the peas.
While they cook, check a couple of times, if there is enough water in the pot for the peas to get soft. Cook for 40 minutes.
Cook the last 10 minutes without a lid. The water will evaporate more and the peas should get a bit mushy.
Get the chopped coriander in and serve with fresh bread - Naan if you have.

Saturday, 20 January 2018

Sardines, Anchovis and Capers Spaghetti

A short time to prepare a plate of food and no time to go grocery shopping. Cupboard ingredients and two jars out of the fridge and just a tiny bit fresh stuff.
A while ago I bought some small cans of sardines. The one I opened today was with lemon and basil in oil. To intensify the flavour a couple of anchovis.

The only problem about this dish comes later after you have enjoyed your food. You will need a lot of water to counteract the salty taste of the fish.
I use some 3 minutes rapid spaghetti in the moment, chuck them  into heavily salted water and after 4 minutes they are done the way I like them. That means you have to prepare the mis en place before you start the pasta water.
This dish is on the table in 10 minutes.

120 g fast cooking pasta
1 can sardines in lemon and basil oil or any other flavour
3 anchovis filets - washed
1 tbsp capers-that salt washed off
spring onions
extra vergine olive oil

Cook the pasta.
In some oil start to soften the garlic and onion, add the rest and cook until tender.
Add some pasta water and then the drained pasta.
Finish with pepper and a good drizzle of olive oil

Freekeh with Eggplant and Bell Peppers- vegan

I have some organic Freekeh from Lebanon and it tastes so nutty and delicious. I seldom use it, I have problems to get the ingredient. The grain is roasted and that gives the flavour.

I pressed the juice of an orange into the pan, the touch of sweetness goes great with the tomato sauce and purple curry. This curry has a very dark colour and the main herb is dried hibiscus flower. The curry has a fruity taste and is not too hot.

My yellow bag of bell peppers was an offer at the supermarket and I had to take them. They are so juicy and I ate some while chopping them up. From the bag of Japanese eggplants were 2 still in the veg compartment of my fridge.

recipe for 2:
2 yellow long bell peppers
2 Japanese eggplant
2 spring onions
2 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 orange
100 ml red wine
2 heaped tsp purple curry
salt and pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
100 g Freekeh
2/1/2 times the amount of veg stock

Cut the eggplant into rings and salt it and let it rest 20 min, wash and drain.
Chop everything else.
Boil the veg stock and add the washed Freekeh, cook for 30 min, drain and place on a platter to steam off for 5 min.
Heat up the oil, start with onions and garlic and add the tomato paste and then after 2 minutes the orange juice and the curry powder.

Add the veggies and give them a good stir and cook them for 3 min. Add red wine and cook until everything is tender. Season to taste.
Put in the Freekeh and serve.