Sunday, October 22, 2017

Potato Salad

There is not THE POTATO SALAD.

Preparing a potato salad is very regional, some potato salads are family traditions, some have come here through holidays in various countries and some a just plain.
Tell 12 people to bring a bowl of potato salad to a BBQ and you will get 12 very different kinds of salad.
I remember a friends Mom, she hated onions and other stuff you would find in a potential potato salad. She just cooked the potatoes, added oil and Maggi Fondor seasoning to it and served that as a potato salad. My friend was never asked to bring a potato salad again.

I love the crunch of some pickled gherkins in the potato salad and a lot of onions. I do not use the onions raw, that way it is easy to prepare a bit more salad and eat it a day or two days later. The onions wont spoil the salad.

I did not add any smoked bacon, I served it with fish and bacon makes the salad too intense.
Gives this one a try, you wont regret it.

recipe for 2:
6 medium potatoes
2 spring onions
1 small onion
1 clove of garlic
60 ml veg stock
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
1 tsp dried salad herbs
1/2 tsp celery seed
2 tbsp chopped parsley
2 gherkins
1 tsp creme fraiche
1 tsp Miracle whip balance

Chop the onions and garlic and add them to the hot oil. Saute for a couple of minutes until they soften and add the veg stock. Bring to a boil again and cook down a little
Cool a bit and add the last oil and vinegar. Get over the still warm potatoes and add creme fraiche and Miracle whip.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Breaded Pollock - Childhood memories

I prepared a piece of pollock today and made it the way my Mom always made it. It was even served with a potato salad. I took a bite and rememered many Fridays of the past. This dish was a Friday classic in our family, at least served one Friday of the month.

The breaded fish then was a bit blackened or more blackened on the outside and a bit dry in the middle. Mom loved to cook on the highest heat on the hob, turning the knob down to low was seldom an option for her - sorry Mom!

Later when I cooked with my family, I took over the fish preparation and Mom made the potato salad.

This is an easy way to prepare the fish.

recipe for 2:
380 g pollock
salt and pepper
1 egg
3 tbsp flour
1 tsp paprika powder
4 tbsp breadcrumbs
3 tbsp rapeseed oil
1/2 lemon

Pat the fish dry, cut it into 2 pieces and season it with salt and pepper.
Mix the paprika with the flour.
Season the egg with salt and pepper.
Pass the fish through flour, egg and breadcrumbs.

Heat up the oil in a pan on medium heat and place the fish in.
Cook until the breadcrumbs are golden brown - do not char them to black, please !!!
Turn and bake the other side.

Serve with a Potato salad. My version of it will follow.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Pumpkin Cinnamon Waffles

I had half of a baked butternut squash left over from the vegan dinner. I was looking for something sweet. Waffles popped into my eyes as I trundled through the Internet.
The combination of pumpkin and cinnamon has something soothing for the days of Autumn. I am not a fan of American pumpkin pie, it is too overspiced and too sweet.

Usually these waffles are eaten with a Maple syrup or chocolate sauce. That is too sweet for my taste and I went for icing sugar. To shoot a nice photo I picked the jar with leftover pomegranate seeds and dropped some on top.
That combination is amazing. The tarte juicy kernels cut through the sweetness of the waffles.

recipe for 6 double waffles:
220 g  precooked cold butternut pumpkin
2 eggs
4 tbsp brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
240 ml whole milk
180 g flour
1 tsp baking powder
60 g melted salted butter
1 tsp vanilla paste
1/2 lemon zest
2 tsp oil
icing sugar
pomegranate seeds

Sift flour, baking powder and cinnamon. Add vanilla paste, eggs and butter. Give it a good whisk.
Gradually add milk and the pumpkin. Make a thick batter and let that rest 30 min.
Oil the waffle iron and let it heat up completely.
Bake the waffles, it will take a bit longer, the pumpkin adds more moisture to the batter.
Icing sugar on top and sprinkle some pomegranate seeds on top too.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Butternut with cinnamon onion topping- vegan

Do you love caramelized onions? Do you love cinnamon?

Most of you would say yes to both, but not together in one dish. That was my thought exactly when I found the recipe. I had a butternut squash sitting in my kitchen for 3 weeks now and it had to be prepared. I had no idea what to eat today including that squash. The ingredients are pretty basic and together with some bits of salad and some fruit the combination was amazing.
While I enjoyed it, I discovered I made a vegan dish.

Preheat the oven 170 C fan. To begin with you have to wash the squash, half it lenghwise and scoop out the seeds with the hairy flesh. Use some rapeseed oil and brush the squash on both sides. Season with salt and pepper.

Set it in the oven, cut side facing up and bake for 30 min. Check with a knife if it is ready after 30 min. Get it out and let it cool a little. Keep the oven running.

recipe for 2:
1 butternut squash
4 medium onions
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
50 g almond flakes
1/2 tsp chili powder
salt and pepper
1 pomegranate
50 g lambs lettuce

Cut the onion in half rings, wash the lambs lettuce, get the pomegranate seeds out without making a horrible red mess.
In a dry pan toast the almond flakes, set aside.
In the same pan heat up 1 1/2 tbsp oil and saute the onions. Add brown sugar and start to caramelize. Add chili and cinnamon and season with salt and pepper.

Mix in the almonds and give it a good stir.
Scoop out some of the flesh and fill up part of the hole were the seeds stayed, layer the onion mix on both halfs and place the butternut back into the oven for 15 min.

Make a dressing for the salad with oil and vinegar and some seasoning and place a bit on top of the butternut. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Mazedonian Rice and Chicken

I had one fresh chicken thigh left from yesterdays Hungarian feast and wanted to prepare some fresh chicken stock for other dishes this week.

Googling through the Internet brought me this idea with uncooked rice topped with veg and fresh chicken stock cooked in the oven.

I placed the chicken thigh in a good amout of salted water with some bay leaves and got it up to a boil, reduced the heat and cooked it for 20 min.
In a small pan I fried spring onion, garlic and chopped bell pepper and a splash of wine.

I filled a 20 cm ovenproof dish with uncooked rice, placed the veggies on top and seasoned well with paprika powder.

Twice as much chicken stock to rice to cover it completely I sat the thigh on top.

Bake at 180 C fan for 20 min and let it rest outside the oven for 6 more min to absorb the rest of the stock.

1 chicken tigh
1 l salted water
2 bay leaves
1 red bell pepper
2 spring onions
2 cloves of garlic
1 tsp dried herbs
1 tbsp olive oil
50 ml white wine
salt and pepper
2 tsp paprika powder

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Homemade Teriyaki sauce and meatballs

This may not be the Teriyaki sauce you will find in a bottle or at a Japanese restaurant, but the taste is amazing and making it at home is so satisfying. All of the ingredients are in stock if you cook Japanese dishes, so keep it homemade and enjoy.

The meatballs are made of beef, but you can use other meat as well. I served the dish with some pickled vegetables and that gives some freshness to the meal.

recipe for the meatballs, serves 2:
320 g ground beef
1 egg
40 g breadcrumbs
1 tsp sesame seeds
1 spring onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 tsp sake
1 tsp mirin
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp soy sauce
salt and pepper
light and dark sesame oil to cook
1/4 cup sake

Teriyaki sauce
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp sake
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp mirin
1 spring onion
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp dark sesame oil

Put one spring onion and garlic in a blender and make a mince.
Add it with the other ingredients to a bowl and with your hands make a good mix.
Form golfball size meatballs.
In a pan in sesame oils give them a good browning.
When they are almost ready, chuck in the sake  and close the lid and steam them for 5 more min.

In a casserole melt the brown sugar and make a caramel. Add the sake and loosen the sugar.
Add the other ingredients and on high heat reduce it.

If it is to runny, you can dissolve some starch in water and bind the sauce.
I did not need that. 

Monday, October 16, 2017

Hungarian Cremesch - a sweet treat

I wanted some Palatschinken aka pancakes as a dessert for our Hungarian meal. It was the only thing that came to my mind, when we decided to make a 3 course meal.

The Cremesch came up and I had never heard of it before. Puff pastry with a vanilla pudding and cream filling.
Hearing that, I was sold to the recipe. It sounded easy to prepare and I started at 7 AM to be done with it before I had to leave the house at 8:40 AM. Well, it did not go to plan.
I baked the bottom and the top pieces of the dessert and made the pudding, but it did not cool down as fast as I thought and it took too long to set too.

When we came back from the shopping trip, the pudding was set and the double cream was whipped and folded in and the dessert was finished to set completely in the fridge.
Time all around is about 6 hours.

recipe for 14 pieces:
450 g puff pastry
1 l whole milk
500 ml double cream
2 packages Dr.Oetker Vanilla Pudding
8 sheets of gelatine or 1 1/2 packages ground one
1 tsp vanilla paste
1 tbsp brown rum
120 g sugar
1 tbsp vanilla sugar
2 packages cream stabilizer
2 tbsp icing sugar
1 egg

Preheat the oven 200 C.
If you use 2 puff pastry packages, use one for the top and one for the bottom .
Place the bottom sheet in a baking dish with the baking paper and stab holes in it with a fork.
Place the second one on an other baking sheet and cut it lengthwise and into 7 pieces on each side, stab it too.
Make eggwash and brush both. Bake for 18-20 min until golden.
Cool down.

Make the pudding:
Soak the gelatine in cold water.
Add 800 ml of milk to a pot, heat up.
In the rest of the milk dissolve the sugar and the 2 package content of pudding, add vanilla paste and rum.  When the milk starts to boil mix it in and cook for 2 min.
Add the gelatine and cool down completely.
IT will take longer than you think!

Beat the double cream with the vanilla sugar and the stabilzer until you
have stiff peaks. Fold in the cold pudding.

Place the baked bottom in a dish that just holds it or make a rim out of aluminium foil.
Fill in the cream mix and set the single slices of puff pastry on top.
Put in the fridge for 3 hours.
Before serving sprinkle with icing sugar.

It keeps for 2 more days.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Paprikacsirke - Chicken and Peppers

This is the main course of our Hungarian feast. We both love chicken and it is a tasty way to eat it.
The cooking time is reasonable, so we started with it after we had eaten our Szegediner fish soup.
Preparation time in total is about 50 minutes.

A dish from Hungary without any red peppers, they may be mild or may be hot, is not complete. Seasoning with paprika powder is a must too.

recipe for 3:
3 chicken thighs
75 g smoked bacon bits
2 tbsp olive oil
2 onions
2 clove of garlic
1 red bell pepper
2 tomatoes
1 red chili
1 tsp smoked paprika
200 g sour cream
1 tsp mild paprika powder
100 mlk white wine
250 ml chicken stock
salt and pepper

Chop onions, garlic, chili, tomatoes and bell pepper .
Fry the bacon bits in a pan, later add onions, garlic and chili.

After a couple of minutes, add the bell peppers and cook 4 more minutes.
Get everything out of the pan.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper and in the same pan with a little oil brown them on both sides.

Put the veggies on top and add the wine and stock and bring to a boil, close the lid and reduce the heat and let it simmer for 35-40 min.
Mix sour cream with smoked and mild paprika powder, salt and pepper and finish the sauce with it.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Hungarian Fish Soup - Szegedi halleves

My friend and I live in a part of our city that was mainly settled by refugees from Hungary and Romania after the second world war. Some old folks are still around and they talked about their favourite dishes. My friend was born here and she grew up with the legends that were told.

We decided to make a Saturday trip to a local museum and later cook an Hungarian meal. The museum trip was cancelled and we went shopping instead. Then started our feast.

The soup is called Szegediner Fish Soup. Szeged is the partner city of our city and that gave the idea to prepare that soup. A dish prepared the Szegediner Way is usually known as a Szegediner Goulash - pork and sauerkraut.

recipe for 4:
500 g fish  (200g cod, 150 g rainbow trout, 150 g pangasius)
1/2 lemon juice
2 bay leaves
2 juniper berries
1/2 red chili
2 tbsp butter
2 potatoes
2 onions
2 clove of garlic
1 large carrot
1/4 celeriac
1/2 leek
150 ml white wine
600 ml court bouillon
2 tomatoes
1 small can sauerkraut
200 g Greek yogurt
1 1/2 tbsp corn flour
1 egg
1 tsp Ancho chili
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt and pepper

Cut the fish in 4 cm pieces and get some lemon juice on top and marinate it a couple of minutes.
Chop the onion, chili and garlic and all the other vegetables.
In butter start the  onion, chili and garlic and after a couple of minutes and add the other veggies.
After 3 more minutes, add wine and broth, bay leaves and juniper berries and start to cook.
After 15 min, add the sauerkraut and cook 10 more minutes.
Add the fish cubes.

In a bowl mix the yogurt with corn starch, season and add egg and paprika and chili powder.
When the soup is ready, mix in the yogurt mix and let it bind the soup.

So good!

Friday, October 13, 2017

Chayote - an absolut unknown vegetable here

I came across it in my Asian supermarket again after a long time.

I discovered it during my holidays on the island of La Palma in the Canaries 3 years ago.

The local market sold it and my Spanish language was good enough to ask the vendor what to do with it.
And it tasted good either raw or cooked. It reminds me of a Kohlrabi.
I prepared it like I would prepare Kohlrabi, but with fresh chili and a good amount of garlic.

Recipe for 2:
1 chayote
3 cloves of garlic
2 spring onions
1 red chili
80 ml chicken stock
1 tbsp parsley
1 tbsp chives
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp olive oil

Start the olive oil and add the base with onion, garlic and chili. Season. After 3 min add the bite size chunks of chayote. Sautee for 3 min, add the chicken stock, refuce the heat and close the lid. Cook until tender.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Tarte flambé - Flammkuchen from Alsace

This is the kind of Fast Food I like, a thin dough with sour cream, bacon and onions on top.

Sure I can make one myself, when I am not near a French supermaket. But since last week, I stored one in my fridge. As Sunday evenings go, it is the right time to enjoy a bake like that.

It needs a very hot oven, and that today burn out all the fat from the duck.  I am wondering, when the smoke alarm is going off.

A 250 C hot oven is needed and in 7 minutes the Tarte flambé is ready to eat.

A Bulgarian inspired dinner

I spent the dinnertime at my friends house. They have a visitor from Bulgaria in the moment and she is showing my friend some of her recipes.
The cooking is more on the heavy side with bacon and sausages.

I enjoyed a great meal and found some recipe that I will try myself. Filled dumplings.
i started this blog with a lot of different dumpling recipes and one more will be part of the blog.

Dumplings filled with liverwurst and marjoram. Served with a fruity brown sauce.

The small meat dumplings are sausage meat browned in a pan on top of potato and grape dish.

The most interesting part were the bacon and onion filled pancakes in a heavy cream sauce

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Yuffka Spinach and Feta Baskets

A of  package yuffka dough was nearing the expiration date and I had no idea what to prepare. I went down to the basement and checked what was sitting in the freezer. I brought half a package of frozen young spinach up the the kitchen. A block of sheep milk feta was the second main part of the dish. Lots of other green stuff went in and a single slice of cooked ham.

Use a muffin tin and spray it with olive oil.

3 1/2 half sheets of yuffka dough
200 g blanched young spinach
12 brushes of olive oil spray
200 g sheep feta
2 spring onions
2 clove of garlic
1 egg
3 tbsp parsley
1 tbsp chives
50 g cooked ham
30 g Parmesan cheese
salt, pepper and celery seed

Preheat the oven 180 C.
Cut the dough into 12 cm long strips- each one will be made into a cup set into the muffin tin.
Take the olive oil spray and give the strip a coating. Fold  3 times and  press in.

Squeeze out the water from the spinach and mix with herbs, cheese and egg, season well.
Fill into the cups and bake for 20 min.