Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Paneer Makhani or Butter Paneer in Tomato Sauce

This is for all people who love Butter Chicken but went vegetarian.  The recipe is from the Punjab region of India.

I did not miss any meat in this dish. It is not on the low calory side- but who cares.
Checking a lot of different ways to prepare it on line, I made up my own version.
You need Paneer cheese as the meat substitute and when you live in an area without any Indian supermarkets, you have to make the cheese yourself. The other key components are butter, double cream and tomato sauce.

Eat it with Naan bread or with Basmati rice. I love rice, so I had that for lunch.
This recipe has ginger and garlic in, but no onions. You can leave these out too. In some Indian casts onions and garlic are not eaten.

recipe for 1:
110 g Paneer cheese
2 tbsp butter
salt and pepper
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 little knob of ginger
1 clove of garlic
salt and pepper

250 ml Tomato sauce
100 ml double cream
1 tsp honey
1/4 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garam masala

some fresh coriander

Cut cheese, garlic and ginger and melt the butter in a pan. Add cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds and a bit of garam masala and the garlic and ginger and let it get soft.  Add the cheese and salt and pepper.
When the cheese gets a little soft, get it out of the pan.
Pour in the tomato sauce and the other spices and cook it. Add the cheese again.

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Making Indian Paneer Cheese

I have guests over in a couple of weeks and the theme of the dinner is Indian cuisine.

Paneer cheese is needed in some dishes, but there is no chance to buy any here. We do not have Indian food or spice shops. I checked the large Asian supermarket in town, but no chance. I even had problems to find Ghee there.

Making cheese is one of my hobbies, so I checked different recipes on line and made a small cheese from 1 liter of milk to check the outcome.

And voila, it worked!

recipe for a small cheese of about 120 g:
1 liter 3,8 % fat milk - I used raw milk
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp white vinegar

You will need a high pot and a spatula to prevent the milk from burning, because you have to stir the whole time.
Bring the milk up to 90 C  and while you stir constantly pour slowly the mix of juice and vinegar into the milk and cook for one more minute, add the salt.

Use a cheese cloth and a fine mash sieve and a bowl and pour the hot liquid in. The curds will set and you press out the rest of the liquid with the cloth.
Get the cheese curds into a container with some holes and put something on top to press it down. Put it in the fridge for 24 hrs to set.

Monday, 26 February 2018

Juniper Berry Butter and Gin Carrots

The juniper berries crushed and sauteed in butter caught my eye on an old video on the telly.  The Chef of the famous German "Meine Familie und Ich" made it in the headquarter kitchen together with a guest. It was an old video, the Chef looks much older and greyer nowadays.

He used a splash of water to steam the carrots a bit. I went out of the box and looked for a liquid that went well with the juniper - GIN !

4 carrots
4 small spring onions
6 juniper berries
Chili salt
1 tsp Agave syrup
4 tbsp Gin
2 tbsp butter

Quarter the carrots and cut them into small chunks, chop the spring onions into same length.
Use a pestel and mortar and crush the juniper berries into a fine crumb.

Melt the butter with the berries and let it foam, add carrots and onions together and cook them until a bit soft.
Season with pepper and chili salt and add the Agave syrup.
Pour in the Gin and close the lid to steam the carrots.

Sunday, 25 February 2018

A great birthday dinner at a friends house

Being together with friends who love to cook as much as I do and who loves to travel as well is always fun.
There are so many adventures to talk about, so much food to notice and recipes to exchange. It is a lively round to sit in and enjoy your time.

My friend served dinner for 6 and it was so tasty and rich. She just has one slight problem. Her parents do not eat lamb meat, but she does love it.

We both love Ireland and been there together, she was there a couple of times alone and last year with her new hubby. Irish stew is a dish she loves very much and often serves it when many people are coming together. She wanted to have it as the main course for her dinner and told me to just talk about beef stew.  She told her parents that she is preparing the German classic Pichelsteiner. Beef stew with lots of veggies.

As a starter she served toast with a smoked salmon and dill cream. The base was cream cheese.

The Irish Stew came next and was loudly applauded from all- even her parents. Later she told them that they had lamb instead of beef. Her dad was surprised but happy, that it wasn´t goat meat.

The dessert was a heavy kind of layered sweet. We have a company not very far, that are famous producers of Schokoküsse. Waffle based chocolate covered fluffy marshmallow style sweets. Like Dickmann´s you can get everywhere here. But they have a huge variety and taste even better.
She started the layered dessert with crushed shortbread and added homemade chunky applesauce.
That was topped with a cream of yogurt and 12 chocolate goodies. So each of us got two.

We had a wonderful time and enjoyed a glass of Irish Whiskey at the end.

Saturday, 24 February 2018

Thai Chicken Noodle Soup

This is a quick way to get a creamy and spicy soup. You need the basic ingredients for Thai food and a bit of veggies and some thin vermicelli from Mungo beans. The coconut cream makes it rich and velvety and the spices are not overpowering the taste of ginger and lemongrass.

450 g chicken breast
1 red bell pepper
1 green pepperoni
1 red onion
1 spring onion
5 cloves of garlic
2 knobs of ginger
2 lemon grass stems
1 tbsp coconut oil
400 ml coconut milk high grade
500 ml chicken stock
1 jar Thai red curry paste
3 stalks Chinese garlic
3 stalks coriander
130 g glass vermicelli
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp Nuoc Mam
1 tbsp brown sugar

Chop the veggies and cut the chicken breast into bite size pieces.
Heat up the coconut oil and saute onions, garlic, ginger and lemon grass. Give it a couple of minutes then add the red curry paste

The chicken pieces are next. They just need to get white around. Add the peppers and stir though.

Now coconut cream and broth. Fish sauce, sugar. Cook for 10 min.
Put the vermicelli in a bowl and soak them with boiling water for 2 min.

Friday, 23 February 2018

Puff Pastry Party Snack

This is a great snack for lots of people at parties. It goes great with all kind of beverages.
You need fresh puff pastry rolls
 Baking these takes some planning. The spread has to rest for 8 hours or over night.

Two different versions are easy to prepare.

Make a spicy one and less spicy one.

500 g puff pastry
1 soup package dry stuff Onion Soup (Maggi)
200 g creme fraiche
200g sour cream

Spicy one:
1 package Maggi fix for Chili con Carne

Bake for 12-15 min at 200 C

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Pastirma packages Turkish style

It is such a long time ago I had these packages. I can barely remember the circumstances, I came in contact with this recipe.

I prepared it afterwards several times, but getting the specific ingredients was a nuance that time. Long before you found Turkish ingredients in local supermarkets and Turkish markets were rare.
I remember that I had to drive out of the city into an other smaller town to find such a market.

How the times have changed! Our local supermarkets sell most products and Turkish large and small supermarkets are all over the place.

100 g pastirma slices
50 g Kashkaval cheese
spring onion
olive oil spray

Preheat the oven 170 C and bake for 6 min..
The moment I´ve pulled them out of the oven, I remembered the smell. All the memories of these times came back and it was just amazing to see what you store in your brain that was long forgotten.

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Egg drop soup Asian style

Some of the ingredients of my Chinese new year Wan Tan dish were still in stock. A bit of them went into a soup. Since I am still in the Asian food mood, I used my chopsticks to Soboro style the pork mince.

A fast soup with some spiced pork mince made into a comforting dish. Just cook the noodles and blanched the bean sprouts in the same water you cooked the noodles in. Chop some Chinese cabbage and spring onions and the parsley.

I used a beef stock cube to cook the soup. 2 eggs beaten went into it.
Lots if Chinese garlic came on top.

Monday, 19 February 2018

Jamie Oliver´s Quick Portugese Custard Tarts

This Custard Tart has nothing in common with the Portugese classic of Pasteis de Nata or Pasteis de Bélem. He calls it that way but has earned so many negative comments from Portugese people, he should have changed the name of this YT video by now.

It does not matter to me how it is called. It sounded easy to prepare and a good thing to serve on an afternoon coffee time with a friend.
Now eating one of them, they taste good, sure. But I know the original ones from Lissbon and even the Egg Tartes from Hong Kong, sorry Jamie. They have just the name in common. There is even no custard in sight. He uses just a Royale cream to fill the puff pastry.

But lets look at the recipe for custard tarts without custard:

275 g puff pastry
2 tbsp cinnamon
1 egg
1 tbsp sugar
120 g Kaymak or creme fraiche
some grated orange peel
1 tsp vanilla paste

Preheat the oven 190 C. 
Dust the sheet of puff pastry with the cinnamon and use a brush to evenly spread it. Turn it over and roll it into a long sausage.
I cut that into 8 pieces. Put each piece upright and press down.
Use a muffin tin and spray it.
Place the discs in and with your fingers spread them around and up the sides.
Bake for 8 min.

Take a spoon and widen the hole in the middle again.
Make the filling and pour it in.
Bake for 8-10 min.

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Puy Lentils with Ginger and Turmeric- vegan

It is snowing again and I am fighting against the remains of a cold.  Eating ginger and turmeric should help.

Just having them in tea would be easy, but I am not for easy today. I need a hearty soup. This is vegan and with all the veggies and the lentils very satisfying.
I am using French Puy lentils, the green type of lentils. They are very firm and keep the consistency well after cooking. It is very important to cook them without any salt or salted stock. Salted, they will take much longer to cook that way.

What kinds of veggies you use is up to you. Just clean out your veggie basket and check if there is something in dire need to be cooked. DO not throw it away, get the blemishes out and cut it up and throw it into the pot.

I used a good bit of fresh ginger and chopped it finely. I do not have fresh turmeric roots, but I used organic turmeric powder, a whole teaspoon full.

recipe for 3:
160 g Puy lentils
1 bell pepper
1 green pepperoni
1 spring onion
1 large potato
1 red onion
3 cloves of garlic
30 g fresh ginger
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 bay leaves
salt and peppper
fresh thyme
1 tbsp veg stock powder
a hand full leafy greens
2 tbsp olive oil

First start to saute the onions, garlic and ginger. Add the turmeric and cumin and give it a minute.
Add the veggies and stir, add the lentils and the water and bay leaves and thyme and a good amout of pepper -NO SALT or STOCK.

Cook for 30 min, add veg stock and salt and check for the firmness of the lentils. They will need up to 40 minutes to get soft.


Chinese New Year 2018

The year of the dog began on the 16th of February. Happy New Year to all Chinese people!

I love to celebrate all kinds of holidays from different nations. There is a lot to discover about their traditions and about food. The main thing on these days are mostly a get together with family and friends.
My turn is just a little bit of food to celebrate and I decided on some Wan Tans.

I bought fresh made raw spiced pork mince today. Usually it is eaten here raw on a roll with lots of fresh cut onions on top. It is often eaten for breakfast or second breakfast. You have to make sure that it is very fresh - bacteria and all! I am seldon eating it, because I am not a huge fan of raw pork. When I know the source, then I make an exception.
I decided to use some of it as a filling in my Wan Tans.

recipe for 9 pieces:
90 g spiced pork mince
1 china cabbage leaf
1 spring onion
1 tbsp parsley
1 tbsp hoisin sauce
wan tan wrappers
Oil for frying
sweet chili sauce for dipping

Mix the ingredients and tear one sheet of wan tan off the block. Wet the rim with a little water and press the dough together. Fold it over and you have a package.
Heat the oil to 170 C and fry until golden brown.

Saturday, 17 February 2018

Buttermilk Chicken Wings

I saw this on SortedFood. They made drumsticks. It is a nice way to get a crunchy and very moist piece of chicken.
It is not so common to get these kind preparation of the chicken pieces here, only at KFC. Mostly they are just from the grill and a bit dry all around. Tender meat on a wing is most important.

I wanted some chicken piece to go with my Nasi Lemak and bought free range chicken wings. They were huge. Elephant chicken- new race????  Ore are these then famous Buffalo chicken wings??

To marinate I used spiced buttermilk.

recipe for 6 wings:
250 g buttermilk
1 tsp ground fenugreek
1/2 tsp celery seed
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic and onion powder
1/2 tsp tumeric
annato seed powder for more colour

1 cup flour
1/2 tsp garlic and onion powder
1 tsp  Baharat seasoning
oil for deep frying

Pat the chicken wings dry and spice the buttermilk and pour it over the wings. Cover the bowl and place it in the fridge for 4 hours or over night.
Use a wide dish and fill it with the flour, season it and get the wings in and coat them well.

Heat up the oil to 170 C and the oven to 180 C.

Friday, 16 February 2018

Nasi Lemak - Singapore Coconut Rice

Soo good!

I saw the guys from SortedFood prepare that dish and I was intrigued. I love food from all Asian countries and love to try my hand on them. I would not call them 100% authentic, I have to work with the ingredients I can get here.

I was in our new large Asian supermarket a couple of weeks ago and wandered along the isles to check out what was offered. On top of all the frozen isles are so many things stocked, that you need a lot of time to check them out. One section is filled with lots of packages with stocks, sauces, spice packages for classic dishes. There are many I have never heard of. I stopped by a bright turkoise package saying Singapore Coconut Rice - nasi lemak.

It is a package for 500 g of rice, I just used a third of it and had to count out all the other ingredients.

recipe for 2:
150 g long grain rice
220 ml water
17 g Singapore Rice stock

boiled egg
rosted dried onions
spring onion
hot sauce or Ayvar
some chicken piece

Put everything for the Singapore rice into the rice cooker and wait until finished. Prepare the sides.

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Japanese fluffy Matcha Pancakes

I love Matcha.

The bitter taste is so good in sweet desserts. But a cup of tea or a Matcha Latte are a nice afternoon pick me up.

The guys from TabiEats made these pancakes. I wanted to make them for a while.  Now was the day. I served them with fresh blueberries and not with Anko - red bean paste.

These pancakes are so fluffy and they are rising like a soufflee. I love these since I ate the first vanilla pancake in Kyoto´s Nikishi Market. I used the serving molds to bake, but I did not see, that one was a bit uneven. The batter leaked out.

recipe for 2 pancakes:
90 g flour
3 tbsp sugar
2 eggs
pinch of salt
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp Matcha
90 g buttermilk
1 tbsp butter and some for the moulds
1/2 tsp vanilla extract.

2 tbsp matcha
2 tbsp icing sugar
1 1/2 tbsp warm water

Grease the 13 cm moulds.
Combine the flour, Matcha, baking soda, baking powder and salt and mix..
In a large bowl mix eggs and sugar and beat it with an electric whisk until very light and airy.
Add buttermilk, melded butter and vanilla extract. Fold the flour mix in without getting the air out.
Heat up a fryig pan until very hot, make sure it is a pan with a good lid. Use a wet sponge and place the pan short on top of it to get the heat down.
Grease the pan and set the buttered rings in. Fill both of them with the same amount of batter and hope it does not leak.
On very low heat with a closed lid cook it for 15 minutes, then turn and finish.

Dust with icing sugar and drizzle with Matcha sauce. Serve with blueberries.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Dry aged beef with mixed pepper veggies

A mean big piece of beef cutlet, dry aged. I do not often buy this kind of steak.

Popular are steaks cooked rare or medium rare. This is something I have a huge problem with. I eat all kinds of raw fish or seafood and do like it.

But the moment a lot of red meat juice is seeping out of a steak on my plate and running into my french fries I am finished eating. The only red on my french fries I accept is ketchup.

It took a lot trial and error until I found a method to cook my steak that I enjoyed eating. My favourite internal steak temperature is 58 C. Very important is it to rest the steak after it leaves the oven. A quick hot turn in some clarified butter and a final seasoning with salt and pepper is mandatory.

Since the beef was the star of my Sunday dinner, I only served it with a pot of veggies and no carbs.

The pot of veggies contained red and orange bell peppers, a large green pepperoni, one carrot and a small piece of celeriac, some spring onions and garlic. It needed some sauce and poured half a jar of Ayvar mixed with water and some veg stock powder. Do not forget salt and pepper as a start seasoning.