Saturday, August 19, 2017

Onion Meatloaf and green beans

I packed a lot of fried freeze dried onion chunks into the meatloaf and lots more fresh onions into the sauce. Such an onion delight for someone who likes onions.

I had an opened box of these dried onions sitting around for quite a while and was tempted to throw them away. But now I am happy I found a way to use them.
The green beans were bought on my today's grocery trip to France. A huge bag for just 1 €. I topped and tailed them all and with some mountain savoury from the balcony cooked them.

They were very tasty. And now I have a bag with 2/3 of all the beans sitting in the fridge for more recipes.

350 pork mince
1 egg
90 g bread crumbs
30 g dried fried onions
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp herbes de Provence
1 shallot
2 cloves of garlic

2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp Ayvar
1 tsp cornstarch in water
1 bay leaf
1/2 beef stock cube
300 ml water
10 ml white wine
1 big white onion
2 blocks of  beef Jus- frozen
1 bit of fresh chili

green beans:
1 kg beans
1 bunch of savoury
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 bunch fresh chives
4 tbsp butter

Get the meatloaf together and let it rest in the fridge for 30 minutes to set again.
In a pan with a lid, brown the meatloaf on all sides, add onion and bay leaf and chili and let it roast a bit.
Add water, wine and stock cube an Jus and Ayvar and bring to a boil. Add cornstarch with water, close the lid and cook for 25 min. Turn the meatloaf twice.

In the meantime clean the beans, cook them with the herbs, drain and soak in cold water for 1 minute.
Make the topping with butter, breadcumbs, garlic powder and chives. Set aside.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Tomatoes and roasted Bread

Getting out of the car I saw some bright red dots in front of me. More tomatoed ripened in one day. Luckily I have an empty lunch box handy. Easy to start picking the fresh tomatoes. A good box full of them went with me into the kitchen.

Now what to do with them? Tomato salad sounded boring, but levelled up tomato salad sounded great. To bring it to an other level, I used a couple of slices of rye sourdough bread, lots of garlic and good olive oil. I had 3 small Baby Bell cheeses sitting in their bright red waxy skin, that together with a good bunch of fresh herbs from the balcony gave a great salad.

300 g mixed tomatoes
3 slices of bread
5 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves of garlic
1 spring onion
3 Baby bell
a bunch fresh herbs
2 tbsp good quality balsamic vinegar
fleur de sel and pepper

Cut the bread into chunks and peel the garlic and chop the spring onion.
Put 3 tbsp olive oil into the pan and start the garlic, then add the bread and spring onion and season with salt and pepper.
Cut the cheese into small chunks, roughly chop the herbs and quarter the tomatoes.
Bring everything together in a bowl and add the rest of the olive oil and the vinegar and a final seasoning of salt and pepper.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Homemade Mango Tomato Ketchup

I had to harvest two days in a row bowls of tomatoes in all colours and sizes and I was not able to eat all of them at once.
A fresh mango was sitting in the fruit bowl and it was ripe.
It is a not to thick version of a ketchup and I did not use so much sugar.

450 g mixed tomatoes
1 ripe mango
1 shallot
1/2 lemon juice
1 clove of garlic
2 cm fresh ginger
1/4 fresh hot yellow chili
1 1/2 tsp koriander powder
1/2 tsp mild curry
70 g brown sugar
70 ml white balsamic vinegar
pinch of salt and pepper

Put the solid ingredients into a blender and mix fine.
Pour into a pot and add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil.
Let it simmer for 20 minutes.
Pour through a fine sieve into clean jars.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Chocolate Sweet Rice

We had such a thunderstorm with hail yesterday and the temperature dropped about 12 degrees and when I came home I needed something comforting.
I decided to make a sweet risotto and found some Cadbury milk chocolate and a unripe pear.

The combination of chocolate and pear goes great.
Do you remember the dessert  Pear Helene? Vanilla ice cream with a syrup pear and chocolate sauce. So delicious and so 1980s.

600 ml whole milk
150 g Risotto rice
30 g butter
2 stalks of caramelized ginger
1 pinch of salt
20 g sugar
1/2 vanilla pod
2 eggs
1 lemon
1 pear
1 tsp butter
1/2 tsp sugar
60 g chocolate

Melt the butter in a pot and let the rice coated. Takes about 2 minutes.
Add the ingredients down to the vanilla pod.
Let it cook for 20 minutes.
Break the chocolate into pieces and melt it in the rice. Get it off the heat.
Add the egg yolk and a bit of lemon juice.
Seperate the eggs and beat the egg white to stiff peaks.
Press half the lemon.
Melt butter in a small pan and add pieces of pear with skin on. Add lemon juice and some sugar and cook until the pears are a bit soft.
Grate some chocolate on top.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Chicken Miso Ramen

This soup is so good and reminds me of a dish I ate in Japan.
Miso is a famous part of many dishes in that country. In many regions the people make the fermented stuff themselves.

In this Ramen soup is the second main ingredient chicken mince with a good amount of spice. The mix of heat and umami goes straight into the soup to flavour it.
I did not have Ramen noodles at home. I took some Cappellini pasta and cooked it in 2 tsp baking powder. It makes a difference when you cook them this way.

Recipe for 3:
350 chicken breast fillet
2 tbsp Takoyaki sauce
2 tbsp Sriracha
2 tbsp white miso paste
1 tbsp sweet chili sauce
5 cm ginger
4 cloves of garlic
2 spring onions
1 small can sweet corn
2 tbsp soy sauce and Mirin
Ao nori
250 g Cappellini pasta
3 tsp baking powder
1.2 l water
3 soft boiled eggs
2 tbsp light sesame oil

Cook the pasta in 3 l water with baking powder, drain and set aside.
cook the eggs.

Take a mixer and make chicken mince out of the fillets, put in a bowl and add the sauces. Stir well and set aside.
Peel garlic and ginger and chop well.
Heat up the oil and fry the garlic and ginger and add the mince.
Let it turn brown all around and fill in 1.2 l water and bring to a boil.
Cook for 5 min. Add soy sauce and mirin and take a small sieve and put the miso paste in and dissolve it in the broth.

Chop spring onion, peel eggs and open can of sweet corn, put the noodles in the bowls and add soup. Put the rest on top and finish with Aonori.

Monday, August 14, 2017

My perfect dry aged Rumpsteak

I am not a huge fan of steak every day. Mostly the beef is to tough or to bloody for my taste. When I am in the mood to eat one, I look for high quality beef and I prefare dry aged meat. It has a more complex taste and is worth its price.
Eating nearly raw beef is not to my liking, so having a steak English or bleu is nothing for me. I feel as if I have to take a bite out of a living animal.
Beef in steak form well done is a no go, so I have to catch the right moment when I cook it. l rarely go out and eat some in a restaurant, they seldom get it the way I like it. I love the core temperature 58 C.

One other thing is important: a rumpsteak needs the right thickness. Often you get them as thin slices and that wont do.
A big piece of beef steak is lovely. I love the leftover piece to make either a steak sandwich with remoulade sauce and leafy greens or a salad. And I have a bit more the 120 g left of mine. I am looking forward to it!

I bought a 270 g piece of rumpsteak. It was thicker on one side -the shape of a very long Onigri.
I seasoned it with salt and oil and put it in a hot cast iron griddle pan.  4 min on each side. I the stuck a thermometer in and put it into the oven at 140 C fan.  It took 6 min to reach 58 C core temperature.  I shut the heat off and opened the oven door and let it rest for 5 min.
Served on a warm plate!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Vegan Mexican Polenta with Courgette

The polenta is made with Oatmilk!
We have a supermarket chain named ALNATURA here in our area. They started small in the year 1984 and offered only organic produce. They now have about 114 supermarkets all over Germany. But you can get their organic products in many regular supermarkets as well. So the distribution is much bigger.
I go there- we have 3 supermarkets in the city here - when I look for something organic, that is not sold in the regular stores. I always find something new to try and my vegan kind of cooking is coming along quite nicely.
That does not mean I am a vegan!

The Mexican polenta contains a lot of ingredients, such as: Kidney beans, tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, garlic, chili, cumin and coriander and some more spices.

I still eat parts of my snake like courgette, I am preparing it Balkan style with onions and Ayvar.

recipe for 2:
450 ml oatmilk
125 g polenta mix Mexico
350 g courgette
1 tbsp olive oil
2 spring onions
salt and pepper
3 tbsp Ayvar

Bring the milk to a boil, stir in the polenta and pull the pot away from the heat. Let it sit 3 min and it is done.
Chop the courgette into bite size pieces and the spring onion into rings. In a pot heat the olive oil and put both in and season with salt and pepper, on a medium heat cook until the courgette is done
I left the skin on, so it took a while longer. Add the Ayvar and a dash of water.

Ready to serve.

Jerk Chicken with beans and rice

This is inspired by the SortedFood recipe.  I changed a couple of thing, like the beans and I had to prepare my own Jerk seasoning. It is not available here in a supermarket which has a huge wall of spices. I have to order it online some time.

But checking several Jerk seasoning recipes I discovered that they vary a lot. Some are on the hot side with chili and cayenne pepper, others have curry powder in it. But most of them have allspice and several other dried spices in. As a wet ingredient they sometimes use Worchestersauce or brown rum. I decided to go for both.

Here is my spice blend.  btw:  it tastes great!

1 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp mild paprika
1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp  dark brown sugar
1 tsp kampot pepper
Ground this in a pestle and mortar and you can store it in a jar for further use.

3 tsp spice mix
2 tbsp Captain Morgan brown rum
1 tsp Worchestersauce
1 spring onion
1/2 red chili
3 cloves of garlic
Mix it in the oven dish you will use later for the rice.

Spatchcock the chicken before you rub it with the Jerk seasoning. It takes less time in the oven later.
Ben poked a lot of holes with a metal skewer into the chicken, but it dries it out. So I did not.

It does not sound easy to hack through the chicken to get the backbone out and trust me, it takes a good knife and a good amount of elbow grease. Then flatten it and rub it on both sides with the mix.

In a wide pan with a tbsp of oil brown it on both sides for 4 min, then transfer it to a wire rack.

Rice and beans:
250 g long grain rice
400 ml chicken stock
150 m coconut milk
200 g beans from a can- SortedFood used kidney beans
I used french small green beans.
Lime juice

Bake for 40 minutes it the oven and serve with fresh cut rings of spring onion and chili and some lime juice.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

How to get rid of a huge courgette Part 2

This method came to my mind after I was picking the just ripened tomatoes off the vines behind the house in a heavy downpour. It was raining for 24 hours straight and the tomatoes still ripened. Now I had a bowl of tomatoes and the big end of the courgette to prepare.

I remembered the satellite courgettes I cooked last year and had the idea what to do.
I peeled and seeded the head part of the courgette, cleaned and chopped the tomatoes and foraged trough my fridge to find anything else edible. A half box of buff mozz balls sitting in liquid and some Gryere was found. A bag of flatleaf parsley too. Since spring onions are a staple in my kitchen I was ready to prepare the courgette bowl.

Preheat the oven 180 C fan.

Season the bowl wuth salt and pepper, place on layer of tomatoes, chunks of buff mozz and parsley in, seadon again and repeat until the bowl id nearly full. Some spring onion chunks can ge squeezed in between the layers.
Crack the quail egg with s knife and carefully set it on top. As many as you like. Fet some cheese strips on top and set it in an oven proof dish.
bake it for 15- 20 min.

Friday, August 11, 2017

How to get rid of a huge courgette Part 1

I know it will get boring. I still try to eat that huge piece of veg. The top is great to place on a grill because this part is free of seeds. The seed part is like a round ball in the wide part of the courgette. Take it out and you have a wide bowl to fill something in.

The first night I prepared a salad out of grilled slices of courgette, the second night I used the scooped out bowl.

Recipe for the salad:
9 x 0,5 cm slices of courgette
3 cloves of garlic
3 tbsp olive oil
Salt pepper
Herbes de Provence

6 cocktail tomatoes
2 stalks of parsley
Greens from a spring onion
Grated Parmesan cheese
White balsamic vinegar

Use a grill pan.
In a bowl mix the upper ingredients well and lay the slices out in the pan with some onion pieces.
Grill and turn to grill more. Cool down and mix as a salad with some tomatoes.

Grate some cheese on top and garnish with some oregano.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Udon Noodles with Tempura

I still fight to eat the huge courgette, that started this Sunday as a fresh salad. It is a challenge to find lots of different recipes to show the best sides of this vegetable.
I looked at the snake like top part of the courgette and thought Tempura.

This was a great idea, the slices of veggie tasted amazing after they came out of the frying oil. I had an leftover boiled egg sitting on the counter and put that through the tempura batter as well. After frying it, it was delicious.

Recipe for tempura:
60 g tempura flour
60 ml ice cold water
Japanese pepper and salt
Frying oil

1 pack Udon noodles
500 ml Dashi stock
1 spring onion
1 tbsp soy sauce

Slice the courgette into half centimeter discs.
Mix the batter.
Heat up the oil 180 C
Put slices and egg through the batter and fry until golden.

Cook the Udon in salted water. Drain and wash under cold water to get out starch.
Make the broth.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Souffé with red fruits de la Noyon

The red fruits of Noyon!

A city in the Picardie, department Aisne,  is famous for the farms that grows them. During my day trip to Noyon in late June I did not see any of them. I was looking for farms to buy directly. The local supermarket just offered some drab strawberries.

recipe for 4:
4 eggs
250 ml whole milk
40 g butter and some for baking dishes
1 tbsp flour
1 tsp cornstarch
150 g mixed fresh red fruits
5 tbsp icing sugar

190 C 25 - 30 min

In a casserole melt 30 g butter and add flour and starch. Make a paste and loosen it with milk, a bit at the time. Let it cool down.
Separate the eggs and beat the egg white to stiff peaks with a pinch of salt.
Use red currants, raspberries and blackberries or any other kind you mite like, strawberries will work as well.

Blitz up half of the fruit and put in the icing sugar and add the egg yolks. Pour it into the white sauce.
Now fold in the egg white and keep it fluffy.

Butter 4 ramequins or a bigger oven proof dish and fill it in. Set some whole fruits on top.
Bake and garnish with the rest of the fruits.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Parmetier de Boudin noir

Do not say yuck! Boudin noir is a clean and meaty tasting kind of sausage. When the spices are right, the taste is awesome.

This is a recipe from my new cookbook from the Picardie. That it boarders to the Normandie is easy to see, black pudding is often eaten there too.
Easier to start your experience with black pudding is this recipe. Lots of onions, potato mash and cheese makes it enjoyable. The sausage taste gets milder that way.

Recipe for 4:
600 g fresh black pudding
400 g shallots
4 cloves of garlic
1 kg potatoes
one bundle of herbs (bay leaf, thyme, oregano, rosemary)
250 ml milk
50 g butter + 10 g for the baking dish
2 tbsp oil
75 g Gruyere
Salt and pepper
2 Braeburn apples
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp Calvados

Peel the potatoes and boil them with salt and the bundle if herbs. Drain and mash with hot milk, butter , nutmeg.
Put 1/3 in an other bowl and mix 1/3 Gruyere in.
peel the blood sausage and chop it into chunks and fry it off in some butter.
Peel the shallots and garlic and saute in dome oil until soft.
Butter an ovenproof dish and put a fine layer of mash on the bottom.
atgen half of the onions, then allmof the boudin noir, again the onions and then zte mash without the cheese. Top with cheesy mash and more cheese.
put it under the grill in the oven at 180 C for 6 minutes.

Cut the apples and core them, in a pan in butter soften them, season them and pour some Calvados over.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Calvados Caramel Prawns

It sounds a bit crazy to cook prawns in caramel, but it is delicious. The little bit of sweetness combined with the fruitiness of the alcohol enhances the taste of the seafood.
A courgette salad goes great with it.

Recipe for 3:
12 shelled cooked prawns
3 raw prawns
2 tbsp icing sugar
2 tbsp Calvados
2 tbsp soy sauce
Salt and pepper

Clean the prawns and pat them dry.
In a medium pan heat up the icing sugar until it gets amber, that will take a while.
Put in the raw prawns first, and after 1 minute add the others. Let them sit on each side for 1,5 minutes, flip them over and caramelize the other side. Add Calvados and Soy Sauce and season with salt and pepper.

Make the salad:
200 g courgette
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 spring onion, only the green bit
1/2 lime juice and zest
Olio de Limone
salt and pepper
dried dill
creme fraiche and black sesame seeds as garnish

Cut the courgette into batons and get the salt over,  mix and let them sit for 30 min. Drain and wash and dry.
Make the dressing.

Blackberry Limoncello Ice Cream

That is would make such a mess, I did not expect. Have I known that, I would not made that recipe.
But it was all my fault, loosing the grip on the ice cream container from the machine and getting it just everywhere.

It is a nice recipe when you have a good amount of fresh blackberries. And now is the time of the year for them. The combination with the Italian lemon liqueur give it a hint of summer in the South.

300 g blackberries
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 1/2 tbsp Limoncello
85 g icing sugar
150 ml double cream
3 tbsp whole milk

Wash the blackberries and put them into a blender. Blitz them and pour them through a sieve.
Mix that with sugar and lemon juice and Limoncello.
Mix that again with cream and milk.
Use an ice cream maker and churn for 40 minutes.
Do not get it all over you!

I served it with a Soufflè with red fruits from Noyon.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Courgette Bread

This Sunday started with baking bread for the amuse bouche of my menu a la Picardie.

My friends brought a special kind of courgette, that looks like a swan and does not have so much water inside. It tastes great raw and as a salad. All other kinds of preparations are possible too.

320 g bread flour
15 g fresh yeast
1 tsp salt
130 g curd
1 egg
150 g courgette
1 tbsp raoeseed oil
1 tsp dried herbs like dill, chervil and lemon peel

Start the dough:
270 g flour, mixed with salt, yeast, curd and egg.
Grate the courgette, if it is too wet, squeeze the water out.
knead with adding more flour until it is not too sticky.
let it rest for 40 minutes.

Strech the dough and poke it a couple times, brush it with oil and sprinkle the herbs on top.
Preheat the oven 210 C and bake it for 25 min.

The bread was served with smoked salmon and creme fraiche.