Saturday, July 22, 2017

A French Café in a small town

About 50 km north of here, a 10 minutes drive from where I work, is a nice town that was famous for its Spas  - Bad Soden am Taunus.
This Saturday I went there because my coworker married. We were 3 from the office to congratulate her on her big day.
I was in Bad Soden once about 8 years ago and remembered a French style café where I had breakfast. Going again to Bad Soden I checked if the café still existed and made a reservation for a table at the Café Merci.

My morning started very nice with lots of fresh fruit and homemade granola, smoked salmon, cheeses and ham, some jam and croissant, roll and bread. This came with some fresh pressed orange juice and a glass of Cremand. I had a big - very big- mug of Grand Café creme too.

I nice time at the wedding ceremony closed the morning for me.

Sweet potato bake with Maple syrup

There is a lot more to this recipe as the name tells you. A lot more components make it a wonderful smelling and great tasting dish on its own or a side to many chicken or pork dishes. It takes the regular potato gratin to an other dimension.

I wanted to buy a purple sweet potato, but at my local supermarket they sell the different kinds all from one huge basket and now I know to look closer when I buy some. The orange ones are lighter in colour and the purple ones darker. O K, I took a darker one out of the basket and was looking forward to some purple delight.
Today I took a veggie peeler and voila! That thing was white!

recipe for 2:
750 g sweet potato (any kind will do)
3 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp butter
salt and pepper
2 tsp maple syrup
2 tbsp creme fraiche
200 ml coconut
1 tbsp Sriracha
1 tsp Agave syrup
2 tbsp fresh herbs (parsley chives or else )

Peel the sweet potato and use a mandoline if you have one to make 2 mm slices. They should all be the same thickness so they will cook the same time.
Preheat the oven 190 C
Use an ovenproof dish, best one with a loose bottom
In a small pan melt butter with olive oil and maple syrup and brush the baking dish with it.
A little salt on the bottom.

Set a layer of potato slices around the dish and give it a brush with the liquid, go on until the slices are gone and so is the butter mix, season with salt and peppeer.
Put into the oven for 75 min, check after 60 if you have to cover the dish.

Make the sauce
heat up coconut milk with creme fraiche, add Sriracha and Agave Syrup and chop the herbs.

When the dish comes out of the oven, pour 1/3 of the sauce over the gratin and let it sit for 10 minutes.  Get it out of the dish and serve it with sauce to the side. 

Friday, July 21, 2017

Katsudon -A bowl of Tonkatsu

As you might know after so many blogs that I love Japanese food. Pork cutlets are a great source of protein.

I made Tonkatsu this week and have 2 pieces of fried pork left over.

To reheat it again  I prepared a sauce and placed the cutlets in. The sauce is flavouring the rice later. To finish this simple tasty dish a beaten egg is poured over and with a lid on top of the pot cooked for 30 to 60 seconds.
Put fresh cooked rice into a bowl and slip the Katsudon on top.

2 ready made panko fried pork cutlets
2 shallots
1 egg
6 tbsp water
1 tsp dashi powder
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp mirin
1 tsp sugar
1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley
1 stalk lovage
1 cup of cooked rice
Use a shallow pot or a pan with a lid. Mix water, dashi, soy sauce, mirin and sugar and bring to a boil. Cut the onions in small rings and cook it until the onions are done.
Cut the cutlets into 1 inch strips  and set it on top of the onions and close the lid on medium heat cook it for 3 minutes to warm through. Chop the greens and put them on top of the pork.
Beat the egg and pour it over and close the lid for 30 to 60 seconds.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

It is still wrap time

It is so hot here in central Germany, nearly 36 C. I did not look forward to cook and checked my fridge for something to eat.
I had an open bag with Turkush dueruem wraps and a package of small sausages.
The cabbage head has not realy diminished and I picked 4 leaves of it and shreddered them finely.

Food like this is so good and helps to beat the heat.

4 cabbage leaves
1 wrap
1 spring onion
2 tbsp cutting garlic leaves
2 tsp of creme fraiche
1 tsp mustard
1 tsp agave syrup
salt and pepper
6 small Wiener sausages

Prepare the cabbage and add some spring onion and make a dressing. Warm up the
Sausages in some hot water. Pack both of it into the wrap and enjoy.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Quinoa Chicken Mushroom Wrap

I wanted some more Quinoa, after this weekends Quinoa popcorn. I got a package at Lidl on the way back from work. I found the Turkish dueruem wraps there too.
I put a cup of the Quinoa in 3 times chicken stock and cooked it. This way it gets tasty and that works well with the other ingredients.

I peeled a couple of leaves of a head of cabbage and shredded it and cooked it in salted boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain and cooled down.
A package of mushrooms went in the pot next and the whole pot ended up as just a third of the pot.
Add some precooked chicken and fresh made cabbage salad on top of some Ayvar and you have a delicious wrap.

60 g quinoa
250 ml chicken stock
1 piece precooked  chicken
300 g button mushrooms
2 spring onions
2 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp oil
4 cabbage leaves
1 tbsp miracle whip olive oil
1 pinch of curry
Salt and pepper
3 tbsp ayvar

Sunday, July 16, 2017

A Provencal 3 course meal

A Provencal 3 course meal needs a lot to do when you prepare it for 5 people. Luckily cooking with friends is always a great way to lessen the work load and give many hands something to do.
The theme of the day was the Provence, a beautiful area of France. We all spent time there and loved it.

Baking a bread for a meal is the start of our Sunday, this time individual loafs sprinkled with thyme and Parmesan to go with the tomato starter. The bread did have a some tomato paste in for taste and colour.

Big Coeur de Beouf tomatoes, cut in half and scooped out the middle bits were filled and served. The wet middle bit with the seeds was cooked in a pot with a bit of veg stock and seasoning, later finished with some  Macchia herbs from Corsica and Tonka bean for special flavour, mixed and put through a sieve as the dressing for the tomatoes. Feta, Onions, more small tomatoes and thyme went into the tomato halves.
For a bit of special kick, we cooked some Quinoa for 15 min, let it sit for 5, drained it and spread it on some plate to cool down and dry out. It was deep fried for 2 minutes to puff up to some Quinoa Popcorn.

Greek Yogurt with smoked sea salt and Papaya Pepper was topped with the Popcorn.

Daube de Boeuf was our main course. Beef with some vegetables cooked on low heat for more then  5 hours, finished with green and black olives. The meat falls apart when you stick a fork in. The best side to it is bread to mop up the sauce. Courgette from the garden in fine slices was the salad.

And finally dessert.
Creme brulee with fennel seed brittle dust.
If you like cough drops with fennel, you are in for a treat. If you hate them, stay away from the dessert.
Take a tbsp of fennel seeds and 2 tbsp of sugar and make a caramel. Spread on some baking paper or silicon mat and cool down and let it set completely. Take a pestel and mortar and make a fine dust.

When you get your creme brulee out of the fridge, sprinkle white sugar on top, take a flame thrower and make a caramel, then finish with the fennel dust.
Some apricot chunks for decoration.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Panko Cod with Bell Pepper Pasta

I bought some cod yesterday and served it with some linguine pasta.

I still have some freezer bags with homemade tomato sauce, I need to get them out of the freezer, because this years tomato season starts to look good outside. Last year I had 7 tomato plants, this year I have 14. And lots of small tomatoes have already developed on the vines. I am looking forward to many more freezer bags of homemade tomato sauce!

I bought a package with 3 great looking red bell peppers. I cut open the first one- green and mouldy on the inside without any sign of it on the outside. I threw it in the bin. I cut open the 2 one, everything ok- the 3 one was a loss too.

With some garlic and spring onions on a baking tray, some olive oil, salt and pepper on top and baking in the oven at 200 C for 20 min. Chucked it in the blender and then added it to the defrosted and heated up  tomato sauce. Delicious.

recipe for 2:
260 g cod
80 g panko
30 g flour
1 egg
30 ml cream
3 stalks fresh thyme
150 ml tomato sauce
1 red bell pepper
3 spring onions
2 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter+1 tbsp oil
salt and pepper
200 g linguine

Heat up the oven to180 C fan.
Cook the linguine in salted boiling water.
Clean the pepper and onions and place them on a baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and season.
Bake for 20 min and then blitz up and add to the warmed up tomato sauce.
Cut the cod into 3x3 cm pieces, season.
Beat the egg with the cream and the thyme leaves and season.
Make 2 plates with flour and panko.

Pannier the cod and in butter and oil fry it until done and golden brown.
Finish with mixing the pasta with the sauce, add basil and put the fish on the side.