Friday, November 17, 2017

Pasta with smoked Salmon and Physalis

When I checked my fridge I had one slice of smoked salmon left.  Eating it just as it is was one choice, but not enough to feel satisfied. Pasta for dinner sounded great and the salmon would be the final touch on my dish.

A bit of tomato would look nice on the plate too, but my tomato season has ended and since then I have not bought any from a shop.
What now. Some orange coloured physalis caught my eye. The look like cherry tomatoes. That inspired me to chuck a few halved ones into the pasta.
The sweet and fruity taste goes remarkable well with the smoked salmon.

120 g pasta
1 slice smoked salmon, use more when you have some
3 tbsp double cream
1 1/2 tbsp parmesan
3 physalis
Salt and pepper

Cook the pasta al dente and drain it.
Heat up the cream, season and add 1 tbsp parmesan.
Mix the pasta in.
Top with smoked salmon and halved physalis and a big more cheese

Swede and Carrot Curry

Swede is a typical winter root vegetable
 It is not very popular especially with old people.

It was their main staple after WWII. I bought one on the weekly market. A bit of curry was a way to prepare it without any meat.
Some dried whole spices and some fresh aromatics help the veggies along.
You can go one pot with meat and bacon or just prepare it vegetarian.

500 g swede
2 large carrots
400 g mushrooms
3 shallots
3 cloves of garlic
2 spring onion
1 knob of ginger
1 veg stock cube
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp chili flakes
200 ml coconut milk
50 g dessicated coconut
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp fenugreek
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp curcuma
2 tbsp veg oil
Salt and pepper
1 tsp dark brown sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp parsley

Chop everything.
Heat up the oil and get the dried spices in to pop.
Add onions, garlic and ginger and tomato paste.
The coconut milk follows next.
Then get all veggies in. Fill up with 500 ml stock and season.
Cook until veggies are tender.
Add sugar and lemon juice and dessicated coconuts.
Garnish with parsley.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Plantaine & Buckwheat Pancakes GF

When I buy a plantaine it usually ends fried. I have one since last week sitting around and on my way home I knew I had to prepare it. It was still on the green side, so lots of starch and no sweetness.

When I stood in the kitchen, I was no longer looking forward to fry some food.
The next move was a trip through Google until I found a way to prepare the plantaine without frying it.
The answer to my cooking problem were some pancakes. The recipe sounded fairly simple, just peel the plantaine, crack eggs and put both with a little salt into a blender. Make a fine batter.

I looked at the batter and it looked rather thin. To stabilize it a little I went for buckwheat, because I wanted to stay gluten free on this dish.

Bake them in rapeseed oil on medium heat for 3 minutes on each side.

It was just two pancakes, a little blue cheese and some dressed salad and voila, the dinner today was ready.

recipe for 2 pancakes:
1 green  plantaine
1 tbsp buckwheat flour
2 eggs
1 pinch of salt
rapeseed oil
blue cheese
lettuce with some dressing

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

A childhood treat

When I was in school during lunch break some of us left the premises and crossed the street to a tiny shop. It sold all kinds of sweets, treats and sausages and fresh rolls. The all time favourite was a roll with a chocolate covered wafer based chocolate kisses.

I have not eaten it in years. The crunch from the wafer, the crack from the chocolate and the soft marshmallow kind center are the best with the soft dough of a breakfast roll.

I had a box of the treats at home and for Sunday coffee time I was looking for something sweet.
Just sit 1 or 2 on to the open roll. Take the lid and press down and enjoy.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Ispanakh Kek -Turkish Spinach Cake

One of my collegues is of Turkish heritage. We often talk food. Her daughter loves to cook and so she loves to eat. We talked about cakes which contain a vegetable as a source for the moisture. We both love carrot cakes.
The she told me about a special sweet cake that all the family loves. A day later she handed me a recipe.

A very green cake with a white and green topping. It looks interesting. Spinach in a sweet cake was new to me. Carrot, pumpkin, courgette and even parsnip are a good source of moisture in a cake. I even baked a cake with beetroot a couple of years ago.

I looked at the recipe and the measure wasn`t in gramms or milliliters or american cups. It said to use a glass. I asked my collegue and she show me one of our coffee cups- around 230 ml. I filled mine up to 220 ml.

She also told me that many people just use frozen spinach, even the famous German frozen ground spinach with added cream in (Iglo Rahmspinat mit dem Blubb).
I decided against that and used fresh baby spinach.
The recipe did not have any added flavouring. When I tried the batter after I added the spinach, it was just sweet and bland. I added a bit of flavour.

recipe for a 23x23 cm cake tin:
1 glass spinach puree, just the leaves- not the stalks  (about 200 g fresh spinach)
1 glass sunflower oil
1 glass sugar
3 large free range eggs
1 pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp yuzu
2 drops pandan extract (optional)
1 tbsp vanilla sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/5 glass flour

200 ml double cream
100 ml ricotta
2 tsp cream stiff
1/2 tsp dried lemon zest

Preheat the oven 170 C.
The fresh spinach without the stems needs to be in a colander and you pour 1 liter of boiling water over the leaves. Drain and then squeeze out the excess water. Put in a blender and mix.
Beat eggs and sugar together.
Add flour mixed with baking powder and salt and then the oil.
Now pour in the spinach and beat again.
The batter will look yellow with green specks. To make it more green, add a bit of pandan extract.

Pour in a baking dish and bake for 40 min. Cool down completely.
Take a knife and cut off the edges around the cake to show the green. Crumble the cake pieces and set aside.
Mix ricotta and cream with the cream stiff and beat until smooth. Put that on top of the cake.
I cut the cake in 2 parts and made them into a sandwich cake, spreading some cream mix in the middle. Easier to take to the office in the morning and it looks awesome with its layers

Sprinkle the cake crumbs on top.

I offered it at 8:30 AM and it was gone at noon.


Sunday, November 12, 2017

Dinner at Käfer Rooftop Restaurant in Berlin

The dome of the Reichstag is a special place in Berlin. You are on top of the legislature and you have the overview over parliament and the central area of Berlin.

On top of this amazing place is a Restaurant " Käfer Rooftop Restaurant". Fine dining in a wonderful surrounding. It is a great location.
Sitting at a window side table is marvellous. But you can see the chefs in the open kitchen too.

Having a multi course meal is the art of fine dining.
If you know Bob Ross and his "Joy of Painting", eating here should be known as the "Joy of Eating".

It started with a cocktail made with tangerine, vanilla and sparkling wine and some bread varieties. 4 dips with truffle butter and cream cheese with chives, red pepper and curry.

The amuse bouche were some colourful micro herbs sitting on top 2 slices stained deer filet, espuma with ground pistachios and some jam .

The next course was a autumnal soup:
Creamy Hokkaido pumpkin soup with goat cheese, curry cashews and Austrian green pumpkin seed oil.

The entree was:
a nice plate of Barbery Duck breast, duck liver sauce, parsley oil, pumpkin puree,  red & yellow beetroot and Golden Delicious apples.

As a dessert came a plate with a couple of stones, well they looked like pebbles out of a river but contained a thyme  and lemon balm sorbet, Hazelnut and chocolate ice cream. Dressing in lime and basil cream with some fresh redvein dock leaves.
It looked a bit drab with grey and brown "stones", but the surprise was on the inside.

The evening ended with coffee and a couple of chocolate truffles.
Looking forward to an other visit at Käfer Rooftop Restaurant.

This was a food story from a good friend who went there this weekend and sent me all the pics and food details and was excited about her evening there. She made me feel as I was eating there with her.

This was a new way for me to write a blog.
This way it saved me a lot of calories and money.
When I am in Berlin in the future, this will be a place to stop by.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Pasta with Avocado and Mushrooms

It does sound like an everyday dish. It is so simple.

It is a great tasting pasta recipe from Chef Tohru Nakamura again.
I am starting to become a huge fan of his recipes. I made 3 other of his dishes before, you can find them on this blog too. It often surprises me how the different ingredients, textures and tastes are in a great harmony in his dishes.

Good produce plays the main part in this dish. Do not scrimp on the ingredients.
The melting of the ripe avocado tossed into the hot pasta and the freshness of the raw thin sliced button mushrooms are a wonderful combination.

This will be a pasta dish I will come back to more then once in the future.

recipe for 2:
250 g cappellini or spaghettini pasta
2 shallots
2 cloves of garlic
1 tsp dried chili flakes
1 ripe large avocado
8 small button mushrooms
3 tbsp parsley
2 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp Parmesan cheese
80 ml pasta water (with veg stock cube)

Cook the pasta al dente. I cooked it in veg stock. Drain and save some of the pasta water.
Peel the onions and garlic and slice them into rings and in the pasta pot saute them until tender. Add the chili flakes and the fresh cooked pasta.
Loosen with the pasta water and add grated cheese and parsley.
Season with pepper.

Peel and dice the avocado and toss it with the pasta.
Take a fine grater and grate the cleaned mushrooms  on top.
Drizzle with a  little olive oil.