Saturday, March 17, 2018

Spaghetti with Spinach and Bacon

I am looking forward to ST. PATRICK'S DAY tomorrow.
To get into the mood I prepared that dish.
For so many years I celebrated this Irish holiday with my parents, my friends and very often with my coworkers. It started small and then went into a big event with lots of partissipants.
Now I just do it for myself.

It is fun to think about recipes and to check the amount of green foodcolouring in the house.
Since I found Pandanextract, getting something green is no longer a huge problem.
I needed some cream spinach for my dish tomorrow but there were only large packages of my favourite kind. So half of it went into the pasta dish today.

150 g spaghetti plat
225 g frozen spinach with cream
3 slices of smoked bacon
50 g grated Parmesan
1 tbsp creme fraiche
salt and pepper
Fresh basil

Cook the pasta al dente.
The spinach is in frozen chunks and can be measured very easily. I took half of the 450 g package and added the creme fraiche and put it into the microwave until heaten up.
Cut the bacon into 1 inch pieces and brown it in a pan. Drain on kitchen paper. Pour the spinach in the same pan and add fresh grated nutmeg. Add the bacon and the fresh cooked pasta. Topped with cheese and basil.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Tonkatsu for Dinner

A German pork schnitzel is a nice piece of protein to serve. There are a so many ways to prepare it. Most cuisines have a some kind of schnitzel in there repertoire.
When I ordered it at my butcher, she asked me if I wanted it flattened and very thin.

I was looking at 2 choices: Italian Milanese Style or Japanese style.

I went for the Asian method. Easier and a little bit healthier than meat wrapped in cheese and egg crust in a heavy tomato sauce.

1 pork schnitzel
1 egg
2 tbsp flour
5 tbsp panko
Salt and pepper
Tonkatsu sauce
1/2 cup short grain rice
Ao Nori
Garlic and spring onion

Season the pork and season the flour. Bread it and in 1 cm oil hot oil fry it on both sides. Drain it on kitchen paper. Drizzle with Sauce.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Chicken and Potatoes

A very easy midweek meal. Just a short time to marinate the chicken while you cut the potatoes and peel the white navette or French root.
The time in the oven is best chance you have to do all the things you need after a long day.
Relax or take a walk or vacuum the apartment.
After a while the wonderful aromas from the kitchen will make your mouth water.

I had chicken thighs and just brushed them with smokey BBQ  sauce. The time that the oven needed to heat up was the time the meat rested in the sauce.
Red potatoes quartered, sprinkled with Baharat seasoning and some salt and pepper.

Butter, salt and pepper on top of the root.
40 minutes at 200 C.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Eating at a meeting or workshop

When you are out of the office and in a workshop in a Hotel, you hope for some decent food. It is not so often that you call it a great experience.

This was a workshop in a Dorint Hotel in Mannheim. A very nice place and very nice service.

During coffee breaks you could have all kinds of candies and Haribo. That helped with the sugar low. The menu of the day helped too.

During lunch break everyone met at the buffet table. To find the things you love takes a bit when many people are milling around you.

As a starter there was Couscous Cubes, Salmon with Oranges, Fish and smoked Duckbreast Terrines.

The main course had bright red beetroot gnocchi, mixed veggies and Pork loin with creamy mushroom sauce and cod fillet.

Dessert was luscious. Quince and Pear Mascarpone Cream, Cheesecake, Caramel Pudding, and Mousse au Chocolat.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Boeuf Bourguignon á la Chef Paul Bocuse

Paul Bocuse died this year in January and with him the founder of the new French cuisine. My parents and I watched several of his cooking shows on TV. That time cooking shows were a very rare occations on TV.

He made one of his signature dishes: Boeuf Bourguignon. The Chef inspired us and we made his dish very often when we had friends over for dinner. The show was so great, Chef Bocuse told the viewers not to fuss with the meat or vegetables. Just cut them into very big chunks and get going. He had 3 bottles of red wine sitting on his counter, he poured 2 bottles into the huge pot. After a while he checked the pot, opened the third bottle and poured himself a tall glass and drank it down. This became a tradition in our household.

I was out in France yesterday to do my grocery shopping and saw a tray with beef for braising. It was called "boeuf bourguignon mijote". Mijote means simmern.

1 kg beef
200 g smoked pork belly
1 leek
2 carrots
1 white navette
1 onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 bay leave
2 tbsp flour
Salt and pepper
Fresh thyme
50 ml Cognac
1.5 l red wine

Cut the beef in big chunks and the pork in slices. In some oil start the pork and a part of the seasoned beef. Brown it in 2 or 3 batches. Back into the pot and sprinkle with flour.
Add the veggies and the cognac to deglaze the pot. Then pour in the red wine and add bay leaf and thyme.
Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to simmer and cook fot 2 1/2 hours.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Oden - Japanese Style Soup meatless

Oden is a winter warmer soup that is a family affair in Japanese households. It is often eaten just with a couple of vegetables or with meat or fish or both.

I decided to try a vegetarian version and had some potato and cream filled dumplings and some glutenous rice balls with it.

This is something you can find in many convienient stores in Japan from autumn to spring. I saw it the first time in Kyoto at a 7/11 shop. Beside the cashir place was a bin with hot soup and many different veggies and meats were simmering in. They actually did not look so appertizing, buf I know now that they were probably delucious.
You have to tell the cashir what you want to eat and you will get a bowl of it.

Edamame beans
Defrosted peas
1 carrot
2 pok choy
1 red bell pepper
2 spring onions
2 bay leaves
500 ml stock
1/2 Dashi package
2 tbsp shoyu
8 veg filled dumplings
4 glutenous rice balls
1 softboiled egg

Cook the frozen dumplings and riceballs first.
Make the stock and simmer all the veggies, then add the dumplings and riceballs.

White Dandelion Soup

I was grocery shopping in France today. Spring is there on the move now. You find lots of fresh spring goods in the veggie isles.

I had no idea what to cook over the weekend and was looking for inspiration. Between the leeks and the salads was a stack of long packages which intrigued me. The first thing I read was "Les Nouveaux Producteurs du Nord" , the new farmers from the North. There was a photo of a farmer who held up the produce very proudly. He is growing Pissenlits blancs or white dandelions. He even provided a couple of recipes.

The dandelions I sometimes rip out of my small garden out front are edible, but not very tasty. They are so bitter. I sometimes put some of them in a salad, but just a few leaves.
This blanched variety is still a little bit tart, just like the endive or radicchio.

After checking the listed recipes I saw a soup. Making them into a salad was the first choice. Making them in a pan with parsley and basil and serving them with a meat dish was the third. I used the idea and changed the recipe a bit.

recipe for 2:
200 g white dandelion
2 shallots
1 spring onion
1 clove of garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
450 ml chicken stock
2 tbsp creme fraiche
1 tbsp parsley
1 tbsp Caciocavalo Podolico Cheese or Peccorino
1 tbsp semolina

Grate the cheese and set it aside.
Chop onions and garlic.

Chop off the last 1/3 of the dandelion and just use the other part and give it a good wash.
Chop it onto 2 inch pieces.

Heat up the olive oil and toss in onions and garlic and saute for 3 min, add the dandelion and give it 2 more minutes. Season.
Fill up with chicken stock and bring to a boil.
Stir in the semolina to thicken a bit.
After 5 min the veggies are done, cut off the heat and stir in the creme fraiche and the parsley.
Finish with cheese.