Saturday, 25 February 2017

Lunch Meals

Taken from:
https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/feb/22/tamal-ray-healthy-lunch-recipe-noodle-pot-dal

Noodle Pot

What you need

  • 2-3 chicken breasts 
  • chilli 
  • salt
  • mange tout
  • 2 carrots
  • 3 large mushrooms
  • 1 lemon + lemongrass
  • 1 small ginger
  • vermicelli
  • oil
  • sprint onions
  • sunflower seeds

How to do it

Chicken

  • preheat oven to 180C
  • slice chicken into small stripes
  • squeeze 1 lemon and cut/dice lemon grass
  • take a small glass bowl and mix lemon juice with 2 table spoon of vegetable oil add a little salt and pepper
  • put the chicken dices into a baking tray and mix with the lemon dressing
  • put into oven for ca 30-40 min

Veggies

  • peel and cut carrots into 2 inch/5cm bits and then quarter them into 4 long 5cm/2inch pieces
  • heat pan with oil and add sliced carrots
  • after ca 3-4min add washed mange tout
  • wash and slice mushrooms
  • after another 3-4 min add the mushrooms
  • cook for another 3-4 minutes
  • remove from heat

Finally

  • get a mixing bowl and put the vermicelli into it. 
  • put water on the boil
  • once boiling take the water and pour over vermicelli so that they are covered in water.
  • Leave for 5 minutes
  • remove water (sieve) and put the vermicelli back into the bowl
  • mix the veggies and roasted chicken (with juice) with the noodles
  • wash and cut spring onions and add to it
  • add 1-2 table spoons of sun flower seeds to it
  • mix well

Lentil Pot

What you need

  • 200-250 g red lentils
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 onion
  • 1/2 tea spoon turmeric
  • 1 tea spoon nigella seeds
  • chilli flakes
  • salt/pepper
  • 800ml water
  • oil

How to do it

  • slice the garlic
  • put one table spoon oil into a frying pan and heat up
  • add garlic and onions and fry for 6 min
  • add turmeric and mix well for another 30 second
  • take off the heat
  • put the water into a sauce pan and heat up
  • once boiling add the onion/garlic/turmeric as well as lentils to the water
  • put a lid on and let simmer for ca 20min
  • at the end: add oil to the frying pan and add chilli flakes/nigella seeds to it. Roast for 30s
  • add seeds/chilli flakes to the lentils and mix

Flat Bread

What you need

  • 100g wholemeal and 100g plain/white flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 140ml water

How to do it

  • add all ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix thoroughly until you get a soft dough
  • split the dough into 8 different balls and dust with flour
  • heat up oil in a frying pan
  • take each dough ball and roll it flat to a disk of ca 12cm/5in (pizza size)
  • add to the frying pan for 1 minute - then turn it over and cook for another 30s




Monday, 16 January 2017

Roast Potatoes

What you need


  • 500g - 1000g potatoes (500g serves 2)
  • salt, pepper
  • plain flour
  • oil - or better goose fat
Optionally, you can also use some herbs such as rosemary or oregano.
You can also sprinkle the potatoes with a bit of sugar - a recipe I picked up in Northern Germany.

Equipment

  • pot 
  • oven
  • colander

How you do it

Preheat the oven and prepare the potatoes
  • peel the potatoes and quarter them
  • put them in a pot with a touch of salt and fill with water until the potatoes are covered
  • preheat the oven to 200C (electric/fan)
  • fill a baking tray with oil/goose fat so that the entire area is covered
Next

  • put the baking tray with oil/fat into the preheated oven
  • bring the pot with the potatoes to a boil
  • boil for 2 minutes
  • drain potatoes in a colander
  • sprinkle some flour and salt over the potatoes and shake vigorously 
  • take out the baking tray and put the potatoes into it.
  • Sprinkle with salt and - possibly - herbs
  • put back into the oven
Roasting

  • after 15 min take out the baking tray and turn the potatoes around
  • put back in for another 15 min and turn potatoes again
  • then roast for another 15 min
Potatoes should now be roasted and golden brown 

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Bread and Tomato Salad

Don't know what to do with bread that's gone a bit old, dry and stale? Look no further. Here is a nice salad, that works particularly well in hot weather.
There is an Italian version of it, called Panzanella - but I wouldn't claim mine is particularly Mediterranean.

What you need

  • a few slices of bread
  • cherry tomatoes
  • cucumber
  • parmesan
  • pepper - and if you like - chilli
  • pepper, salt, sugar
  • 1 lemon
  • bacon
  • oil (olive or sunflower)

Variations

You can also add different flavours. E.g.
  • anchovies instead of bacon
  • capers
  • olives
  • basil leaves

Equipment

  • mixing bowl
  • frying pan

How you do it

  • cut the bacon into little cubes and fry in the frying pan until golden brown. Put aside to let cool down.
  • cut the bread into little cubes. Put into mixing bowl
  • cut the cherry tomatoes into halves and add to the bread
  • cut the cucumber into little slices/cubes and put into the bowl
  • cut the pepper halfway, remove the seeds and cut into thin slices. Add to the mix
  • grate the parmesan and add to the mix
  • add the fried/cooled bacon

Dressing

  • juice 1 lemon
  • add 1 teaspoon of sugar to the juice
  • add a bit of salt and pepper
  • add 3 tablespoons of oil 
  • mix well
Finally: pour the dressing over the bread/veggie in the bowl and mix.

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Baked Peppers with pesto tomatoes feta

What you need

  • 3-4 bell peppers
  • 500g cherry tomatoes
  • feta cheese
  • olives
  • pine nuts
  • parmesan cheese
  • garlic cloves (3-4)
  • fresh basil leaves - 1 - 2 bundles
  • salt, pepper, olive oil

Equipment

  • mixing bowl
  • blender
  • baking form, e.g. a large quiche form

How you do it

Pesto

  • ca 100g pine nuts into the blender
  • add salt, pepper
  • wash the basil leaves and add
  • grind parmesan cheese - ca 50g and add to it
  • add generous amount of olive oil
  • add 3-4 garlic cloves (well depending on how garlicky you like it to be). cut the cloves into two and add to the mix in the blender
Switch the blender on. If it gets stuck you may want to add more olive oil. Let it run for a few minutes until it is a smooth green paste. 
Put the pesto aside

Peppers and Filling

  • wash & cut the cherry tomatoes and add to mixing bowl
  • cut the feta cheese into little cubes and add to the tomatoes
  • if the olives are pitted add to the mix. Otherwise remove stones and cut into two
  • add ca 8 tablespoons of pesto to it and mix thoroughly
  • wash & cut the peppers in half. Make sure seeds and stalk are removed
  • put into baking tray with the cavity facing upwards
  • with a spoon add the tomato/feta/olive/pesto mix into the peppers
  • preheat the oven to 180C or 350F
  • sprinkle a little rock salt and olive oil (Nigel Slater also recommends a bit of red wine vinegar)
  • put into oven and let run for ca 30min







Saturday, 20 August 2016

French Yogurt Cake

What you need

  • 125-150g yoghurt
  • 2 large or 3 medium eggs
  • 1 lemon
  • 125-150g sugar
  • vanilla extract
  • 1-2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 250g plain flour
  • 100 - 125g vegetable oil (1/2 cup) or butter (but oil is better)
  • a pinch of salt
  • icing sugar (optional)
Optionally you may use a few berries, fruits, e.g. raspberries or strawberries. See below

Equipment

  • mixing bowl
  • sieve
  • baking tray
  • whisker
  • zester
  • sieve for icing sugar

How you do it

Preheat the oven to 180C or 350F
  • measure and put 250 g of plain flour aside
  • in one bowl put the sugar in. Then use the zester to create lemon zest and mix with sugar
  • add the eggs, oil and yoghurt
  • whisk until creamy
  • add 1-2 spoons of baking powder
  • through a sieve add the 250g flour. 
  • finally - mix until smooth

  • prepare the baking tray, i.e. grease with butter and sprinkle some flour onto it
  • pour the flour/yoghurt mix into the tray
  • use a spoon to smooth and even it out
  • if you have any berries (e.g. raspberries), add them on top and press them into the dough slightly (so that they are half in, half out)
Finally put the tray into the oven and let it bake for 50-55min.
When finished, remove from oven and let cool down for another 20min or so before removing it from the baking casket.
Then sprinkle it with icing sugar if you wish





Sunday, 17 April 2016

Farro Fennel Salad

This recipe is from The Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/apr/15/farro-cucumber-tomato-pomegranate-salad-skirt-steak-watercress-sauce-recipes-thomasina-miers

What you need

  • farro 150mg
  • 1-2 fennel bulbs 
  • 1 red onion
  • cucumber
  • cherry tomatoes
  • halloumi cheese
  • flat leave parsley, a small bundle of fresh mint leaves, and some fresh oregano leaves
  • salt, pepper, sugar
  • sherry vinegar, olive oil
  • 1 litre of water

Equipment

  • mixing bowl
  • salad bowl
  • skillet
  • sauce pan

How you do it

Marinade the onion

  • chop the onion and put in a small bowl
  • take a good tea spoon of sugar
  • pour 3 table spoons of sherry vinegar over it and mix.
  • let it rest and start preparing the rest

Prepare the Farro

  • put 1 litre of water on the boil and pour the 150g farro in it
  • let cook for 10-12 min
  • pour content in a sieve and rinse the farro
  • let cool down

Prepare the Halloumi

  • a table spoon of olive oil in the skillet and heat up
  • slice the halloumi into 5mm thick slices and put in the skillet
  • brown on both sides.
  • take of the cooker and put the grilled halloumi on the side to cool down

The rest

  • chop fennel bulbs
  • quarter the cherry tomatoes
  • cut the cucumber into little cubes
  • chop parsley, mint and oregano
  • cut the pomegranate and extract the seeds
Now all veggies into a salad bowl and season with a little salt and pepper.
Then pour the farro and halloumi over it.
Finally the onion/sherry mix.
Give it a good stir.
Ready

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Parmesan Bread Pudding With Broccoli & Bacon

This is a post from a magazine. I tried it and it is very nice comfort food. Easy to prepare.
Here is the link:
http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/parmesan-bread-pudding-with-broccoli-rabe-and-pancetta?mbid=social_facebook

What you need

  • bread. You can use old bread - it soaks up the milk/egg mix better
  • 4 eggs
  • broccoli - medium to large head
  • small red/yellow pepper
  • garlic clove 
  • oil, salt, pepper
  • bacon or pancetta, sliced
  • milk (not semi skimmed/skimmed)
  • parmesan

Equipment

  • skillet
  • baking form
  • bowl

How you do it

  • preheat the oven to ca 175 - 180 C (fan should be ca 170-175C)
  • wash and cut the broccoli into small chunks.
  • chop the garlic and wash/slice the peppers into thin stripes
  • put some olive oil in the skillet and heat up
  • add the garlic for ca 30 sec then add the sliced peppers for another 30 sec before adding the broccoli.
  • I also added 1 or 2 slices of the bacon to it. and if you like you can pour a little bit of white wine into it (a table spoon or so). 
  • cook for ca 5 min and then let cool down
  • chop the bread into little cubes
  • add milk and the 4 eggs into a bowl and season with pepper, salt. Then whisk 
  • grate the parmesan until you got ca 2 cups. Add one cup to the milk/egg mix. whisk again
Now we got everything ready - let's prepare the form

  • put a layer of chopped bread on the bottom of the form and add a bit of the broccoli, garlic, pepper mix.
  • then another layer of bread and veggies. Continue this way with the rest of veggies/bread
  • pour the milk/parmesan/egg mix over the filled form
  • place the bacon stripes over the top
  • sprinkle the rest of the grated parmesan over it
  • place into preheated oven and cook for 50-60min

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Goose

Roasted goose is a traditional German Christmas dish. I absolutely love roasted goose, particularly during the cold autumn and winter period.
Getting a goose can be a bit tricky at times. I have not yet seen one in any of the supermarkets - not even Waitrose. Meaning, you will probably have to source it from a local butcher. 
Preparing and roasting a goose is relatively easy. Roasting a goose is, however, time-consuming. Goose is very "muscly" poultry and it needs time to soften the meat. You should estimate 1 hour per kg!

What works with a roasted goose?

  • red cabbage (see one of my earlier blog posts)
  • bread dumplings (Semmelknoedel) 

What you need

  • goose: 4-6 kg. When you order one it isn't always possible to get a particular size. But geese typically are in the weight range between 3.5 - 6.5 kg.
  • salt, pepper, cinnamon 
  • garlic, 2-3 onions, mugwort, 2 carrots, 2 parsnips, 2 pears, 2 apples. Mugwort can be tricky to get - rosemary works as well
  • parsley
  • vegetable stock, water
  • gingerbread for the sauce
  • creme fraiche/sour cream for the sauce

Equipment

  • baking tray
  • ideally a roasting rack - but not really necessary
  • ladle or large spoon to remove the fat
  • bowl for the fat. Ideally also a fat & gravy separator

How you do it

Preparing

Filling the goose

  • chop apples, pears, 1 onion, 1 carrot, parsley and 1 parsnip
  • mix 3 teaspoons of salt with 1-2 tea spoons of cinnamon and 1 spoon pepper
  • rub the inside of the goose with the salt/cinnamon/pepper mix
  • stuff the goose with the fruits/vegetable/parsley mix
With a sharp knife cut a hole through the frontal skin near the opening. Then pull the leg

from the opposite site through the hole - as shown in the picture.


Finally, use salt, pepper and rub it into the outer skin



Roasting

  • preheat the oven to 120 C (fan) 
  • in the baking tray place a carrot, parsnip, 1 onion and the mugwort/rosemary
  • if the butcher included the entrails of the goose, place them on the tray as well.
  • dissolve a 1-2 teaspoons of vegetable stock in a glass of water (ca 150ml) and pour into the tray.
  • DO NOT USE ANY OIL/FAT: the goose has loads of fat (which you will have to remove) so no need to add any to it
  • put the goose onto the roasting rack - or directly onto the tray and in the oven.
  • cook at 120 C for 1 hour. This will start the process of the goose loosing fat
After one hour remove the tray from the oven and increase the heat to 160C.
Add some salt and pepper to the outside of the goose and put the goose back into the oven.
In regular intervals:
  • pour some water over the goose
  • with the ladle/large spoon remove the fat from the tray and put in a bowl or gravy/fat separator. - There will be LOTS!
As mentioned before: roasting a goose takes time. Ca 1 hour per kilo. In order not to burn it the heat should be no higher than 160 C/170 C (fan oven). The first hour is at low heat of 120-130C (fan) to soften up the meat and start releasing the fat.

Gravy

  • Chop an onion, use 1 teaspoon of oil and start frying in a sauce pan.
  • Fry the onion for 12-15 min while stirring. The onions should be golden brown.
  • Add a 1/2 - 1 tablespoon of flour and keep stirring.
  • Add the gravy from the baking tray and stir until sauce thickens
  • if you have a small piece of dry gingerbread - crumble it up and add to it.
  • you may want to add a small spoon of creme fraiche/sour cream




Thursday, 17 March 2016

Sweet Potatoes with Porcini Gravy

This is a copy from Nigel Slater's recipe on http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/dec/29/nigel-slater-sweet-potatoes-with-porcini-gravy-recipe

But as usual with cooking I'd recommend a slight variation to it.

What you need

  • 1 onion
  • 1-2 table spoons of flour
  • 2 table spoons of olive oil
  • salt, pepper, thyme (best if fresh)
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • package of porcini mushrooms
  • 400 ml water
  • 200 ml white wine (dry)
  • creme fraiche

Equipment

  • Sauce pan
  • quiche form
  • bowl

How you do it

Gravy

  1. put the dried mushrooms in a bowl and cover with white wine. 200ml should be enough
  2. let rest for at least 30min
  3. after 30min, put 400ml of water in a sauce pan and bring to the boil
  4. pour the dried mushrooms with the white wine into the sauce pan and cook for 5 min
  5. take sauce pan off the cooker and pour all of its content back into the bowl
  6. peal and chop the onion
  7. clean & dry the sauce pan and put 1 table spoon of olive oil in it
  8. heat until the oil is hot pour the chopped onions in it. 
  9. Add some salt & pepper.
  10. you need to cook the onions for 12-13 min. Stir while they're cooking.
  11. The onions should be golden brown.
  12. Then put the 1-2 table spoons of flour in the sauce pan. Stir for ca 3 min
  13. slowly pour the mushroom/water/gravy mix in it while stirring. Do this step by step - so that at each step the sauce has a chance to thicken.
  14. when you poured all of the mushroom/water/whine mix in - continue cooking and stirring for ca 5min.

Sweet Potatoes

  1. Put the oven on 200 C or gas mark 6
  2. peal the sweat potatoes and cut in 5mm chunks
  3. put the cut potato pieces in the form
  4. sprinkle salt, thyme, pepper and a bit of olive oil over them
  5. put in the pre-heated oven and let bake for ca 30min

Voila: get the potatoes out of the oven and place on a plate. Pour some of the gravy over it and a tea spoon of creme fraiche on the side.

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Schlessische Mohnkloesse (Silesian Poppy Dumplings)

This desert takes me back to my childhood days, when on Christmas Eve my late grandmother would bring this absolutely delicious dish with her. Hailing from Wroclaw (formerly Breslau) it apparently is a traditional Christmas desert. Schlessische Mohnkloesse (Silesian poppy dumplings) are some kind of bread pudding.

This dish should be prepared 1 day before eating it.

What you need


  • 2 pints of milk (not skimmed/semi-milk)
  • an old/dry loaf of bread, or old bagels. They should be dry
  • 200-250g poppy seeds
  • vanilla. It pays to get the vanilla pods - the taste makes all the difference
  • 200g sugar
  • raisins or mixed dried fruit
  • 200g almond flakes
  • a pinch of salt

Equipment

  • a simply pot and something to stir with
  • a glass bowl
  • sauce spoon

How you do it

  • pour the milk in the pot and heat
  • while heating extract the vanilla from the pods. This should be a dark/black paste. 
  • put the vanilla and the sugar in the milk and stir.
  • add the pinch of salt.
  • When the milk is on the boil add all the poppy seeds and stir.
  • Put heat on simmer and cook for ca 15min. Stir while cooking
  • after 15min add the almond flakes and let it all simmer for another 15min.
After 30min, the poppy/vanilla/milk/almond mix is ready. Put it aside for now. It should rest for another 10 min.

  • In the glass bowl, lay out the dry bread at the bottom. Make sure the the surface is well covered. Add a sprinkle or raisins and dried fruit to it.
  • with a sauce spoon stir the pot with the milk/poppy seeds and slowly cover the first layer of bread with the milk/poppy/almond mix
  • add another layer of bread/raisins and repeat until all milk/poppy/almond mix is used up.
If the glass bowl has a lid put it on. Otherwise cover it with aluminium and let it cool down.
When sufficiently cooled down, put the covered glass bowl in the fridge.

It should be there overnight - or at minimum 4-5 hours.




Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Bread Dumplings (Semmelknoedel)

No Bavarian/Austrian dish would be complete without the famous "Semmelknoedel" (bread dumplings). It goes particularly well with game, roast chicken/duck/goose. Since it is Christmas time again, it is - again - "Knoedel"-time.
They are a lot easier to make than potato dumplings (particularly those based on raw potatoes). You should buy the bagels at least 1 day before doing the dumplings.

What you need


  • 6 - 8 bagels (based on white plain flour)
  • flat-leave parsley
  • 1 small onion
  • speck (bacon) - although this is optional
  • 3 eggs
  • 250 - 350ml milk
  • salt pepper
  • butter
  • 75-100 g white/plain flour

Equipment

  • small pot for heating up milk and simmering onions/bacon
  • a glass for stirring the eggs
  • bowl for preparing
  • large pot

How you do it

Prepare the dough

  • After you buy the bagels, let them dry in the open kitchen for a day or so. The bagels should really be dry when making the dumplings (that way they suck up more milk/eggs)
  • On the day: cut the bagels into slices and place the slices in a bowl
  • put the milk in the small pot and heat up. No need to put the milk on the boil. Just heat it up.
  • When the milk is hot/warm - pour over the sliced bagels in the bowl and let it rest.
  • Chop the onions (and bagels)
  • In the small pot melt butter and put the onions (and bacon) in it. Sautee the onions (bacon). 
  • Turn off the heat and let cool down.
  • Next chop the parsley very finely.
  • Next put the eggs (yolk and egg white) into a glass and mix - (e.g. with a fork)
  • Now you are ready to put the chopped parsley, mixed eggs and onions (bacon) into the bowl together with the bread/milk mix. 
  • Add 1-2 teaspoons of salt and some ground pepper.
  • Finally, mix all ingredients to a dough. You can do it with your hands (messy) or in a food processor).
  • The consistency should be moist and soft, but obviously not liquid, or not too firm.

Finally

  • Take a small handful of the dough and roll in your hands until it forms a small ball
  • sprinkle/roll in flour
  • repeat until all dough is gone and formed into dough-balls

  • Now take your large pot and fill with water. Add 1-2 teaspoon of salt
  • Heat up the water until it boils, then turn down the heat
  • Now place each doughball carefully into the hot water. Remember the water only needs to be hot - it must not boil (as this will help disintegrate the dough balls).
  • The doughballs will most likely sink to the bottom.
  • Let the doughballs int he hot water for ca 10 min. Most likely, they will move to the top as the dough gets hard.
  • Remove from the pot and put on a hot plate. 
  • They are best served hot.


Monday, 31 December 2012

Toast with Egg Salad

This is a recipe I have used for the last few New Year's Eves. It originates from my grandmother whose birthday was shortly after NYE. Mostly she did the buffet herself - and this recipe was always an integral part of the dishes she presented to her guests. It was - and still is - one of my favourites.

Given the ingredients you might be excused to think there should be a government's health warning attached to it. But then I only eat once a year - on NYE.

What you need

  • 12 eggs
  • 10 pickled onions
  • 5-6 gherkins (pickled)
  • 3-4 hot peppers (pickled)
  • 1 onion
  • pepper, salt and a pinch of sugar
  • mild curry powder
  • mayonnaise 500gr
  • ketchup
  • mustard (mild)
  • Emmenthal cheese
  • toast bread sliced
Equipment: baking paper, a bowl for preparing the egg salad

How you do it

Prepare the egg salad
  • boil the eggs for several minute. We need hard eggs for this.
  • Once boiled, let the eggs cool down in cold water. Then peel off the shell
  • peel and chop the onion - put into the bowl
  • take the pickled onions and chop - put into the bowl
  • the gherkins and hot peppers should but cut thinly. Add the cut peppers/gherkins to the bowl
  • cut the hard boiled eggs into little cubes (if possible) and add to the bowl
  • now add the mayonnaise (all of it)
  • add 2 table spoons of ketchup and 2 tea spoons of the mustard
  • add 1-2 tea spoons of the mild curry powder
  • spice with pepper, salt and a pinch of sugar
  • mix thoroughly
It's best to store the egg salad in the fridge for a few hours, or even overnight so that the flavour of the salad can develop.

Prepare the toast 
For each slice of white bread do the following
  •  take as many table spoons of the egg salad and spread evenly over the slice of bread
  • cut a few thin slices from the Emmenthal cheese and cover the bread with the egg salad
Heat up the over to ca 180 degrees (C) and bake the toasts for ca 35-40 min - so that the cheese on top starts getting slightly brown (but not burnt)

You can serve the toasts hot - or cold.
And if you can manage more than 4 you are VERY good.

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Piddie's Lamb Stew

What you need


  • 1 kg lamb cut in cubes - no bones
  • cinnamon stick or powder
  • oregano (dry)
  • 4 All Spice berries, 4 whole cloves
  • pepper corns
  • salt
  • 1 or 2 bay leave(s)
  • 1 small onion, 1 garlic
  • ca 500 gr shallots (small onion)
  • 6 medium sizes tomatoes
  • ca 250ml red wine
  • 2 table spoons red wine vinegar
  • tomato puree
  • olive oil
Equipment: pestle/mortar for crushing berries/cloves/corns, large casserole dish, small pan 

How you do it

  • peel, chop the medium and small garlic
  • put 1 table spoon olive oil into the casserole and heat up until hot
  • put the lamb cubes into the casserole and add some salt. Cook and stir for ca 10 min.
  • add chopped onion and garlic and cook for another 5-10 min
  • now crush the all spice/cloves in the pestle/mortar. Add the crushed spices, the cinnamon, the oregano and ground pepper to the pot.
  • stir and cook for ca 5 min.
  • Now add a glass of red wine and 2 table spoons of red wine vinegar to the casserole. Bring to the boil.
  • lower the heat and put the lid on.
  • Wash and cut the tomatoes into quarters.
  • Peel the shallots.
  • Heat up the small pan with a tablespoon of olive oil. When hot, add the shallots to it.
  • Stir and cook until the onions are slightly brown - take the pan off the cooker and let cool it down.
  • Now add the chopped/cut tomatoes to the casserole/lamb stew. Stir and put the lid back on. If you are running short on sauce in the pot, add a bit of the red wine to it.
  • Let the stew cook in the casserole on a small flame for ca 1 hour.
  • After an hour, add the previously cooked shallots to the casserole.
  • Cook for another 1 hour on small heat with the lid on.
  • Add the tomato puree and mix into the stew. Stir and close the lid. Cook for another 40-45 min.

  • In the final hour of cooking I usually take the lid off. Continue cooking on small heat. However, since the lid is off, you would have to stir regularly.
  • As the lid is off, the sauce in the casserole will ultimately thicken.

The total cooking time should be something like 4 hours.
The stew is getting better if you prepare it the day before and let it rest overnight. Then warm up and serve with either rice or roast potatoes. 


Sunday, 9 December 2012

Potato Dumplings

Another traditional German side dish to accompany most roasted meat dishes are potato dumplings. They come in a number of different varieties. Probably the most common is the half-half potato dumpling. Meaning, it is based on half boiled, half raw potatoes.
The other common form is a potato dumpling entirely based on raw potatoes.

That's the recipe we are going to handle here.
But be warned, this is not for the faint hearted. Potato dumplings made from raw potatoes are quite tricky, the most common danger being that they turn to potato mash.
It took me quite a while to get a handle on them. And I won't claim that the recipe below is perfect. But it should get you going.

What you need

  • 1.5-2kg of potatoes. 
  • Up to 300g of potato flour. My grandmother used to get the potato starch directly from the potatoes, but that is a pain in the butt. So let's just make it a bit easier, ok?
  • Salt
  • 75g of semolina
  • a pint of milk
Equipment: kitchen grater (flat if possible), a large bowl, a large pot, a smaller pot for the milk. A kitchen towel. A good kitchen mixer. Grease proof paper.

How you do it

  • fill the large bowl with cold water
  • peel the potatoes one by one. Once you peeled one potato, immediately grate it into the bowl with cold water. The reason to put it in the water is so they don't oxidise (and turn brown)
  • make sure that when you grate them you use the finest grating. There should be no lumps of potatoes
  • pour the milk into the small pot and bring to the boil
  • add the semolina. Constantly stir (otherwise it'll burn) until it is really thick. Remove from cooker.
  • take the crated potatoes out of the bowl and place them on the kitchen towel centre.
  • Now close the towel and wring it so that all the remaining liquid drains out. Repeat so that only a minimum amount of rest water remains.
  • Use the bowl of the kitchen mixer and put the grated/wringed potatoes in there.
  • Now add salt and switch on the kitchen mixer.
  • Slowly add the milk/semolina mix
  • let the mixer run for a while so that it becomes a nice mash
  • now - with the mixer still running - add the potato flour/starch. 
  • Make sure it is all well mixed.
  • Roll out the grease proof paper. 
  • put some potato flour on your hands to get a grip on the dough.
  • From the bowl take out a small handful and form into a ball. Place the ball on the grease proof paper. At this point you know if you added enough potato flour. The dumpling should stay in shape on the grease proof paper.

  • Put some salt in the large pot - fill with water - and bring to the boil.
  • Add the potato dumplings to the hot water. I'd recommend to try it with only 3 first time round. 
  • Put the pot on a simmer and let it cook for 20 min.
  • Then take the dumplings out. 
  • They are ready for consumption
A tip: you usually put the dumplings into a porcelain dish. If you do that, use a small saucer and put it upside down at the bottom of the porcelain dish. That way the water can drain from the dumplings without soaking them.

Variation

Additional Ingredients:
  • parsley
  • a few slices of white toast
Here's what you do with it
  • cut the white bread into little cubes
  • fry them in a pan until brown
  • store aside
  • chop the parsley as fine as possible
Put the breadcrumbs into the dumplings
  • After you prepared the potato dumpling dough in the kitchen mixer:
  • take a hand-full of the dough one at a time.
  • for each hand-full: put a little dent with your thumb in the dough
  • put a few breadcrumbs into it
  • now close the dough and shape into a ball. the crumbs should be right at the centre.

  • put the raw dumplings into the hot water and put on a slow simmer for ca 20min
  • when you take out the dumplings put them on a serving plate and sprinkle them with the chopped parsley 




Red Cabbage

As the festive season is upon us, there is a traditional German side dish to roasts that I'd like to share.
It is Red Cabbage (in German Blaukraut or Rotkohl).

It is NOT to be confused with Sauerkraut, which is actually quite tricky to do yourself (some might so totally impractical).
Although, you can buy Red Cabbage ready made from Delicatessen stores, it is relatively easy to make yourself.

What you need

For the marinade
  • whole Red Cabbage
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Apple
  • Raisins
  • Sugar, salt
For the cooking
  • Cloves (2), All Spice grains (4-5), juniper berries (4-5), peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 onion
  • goose fat
Equipment: a container for storing the marinated red cabbage in; pot to cook it in; pestle & mortar for grating the spices

How you do it

Red cabbage is best if it is marinated at least 1 day before serving. I would recommend to start preparing it 2 days before the dinner.
  • remove the outer leaves from the whole red cabbage
  • cut the piece into quarters. Remove the stem.
  • wash the rest
  • cut each quarter so that you end up with thin, small pieces of cabbage
  • put all of the cut red cabbage into the container.
  • next, peel the apple. Then cut it into quarters, remove the seeds/core. cut into small pieces and add to the cut red cabbage in the container.
  • take 2 tablespoons of raisins and add to the red cabbage/apple in the container
  • take a small cup and put 1 tablespoon of sugar, a pinch of salt and at 4-5 table spoons or red wine vinegar. Mix thoroughly.
  • pour the mix over the cabbage/apple/raisins mix in the container. Mix thoroughly.
  • take a small glass of red wine and pour over the cabbage in the container. Mix thoroughly.
  • Close the container, and store away in the fridge for 2 days.
Cooking the red cabbage. You may do this on the day. However, once you cooked the red cabbage it can be reheated. This may actually add to the flavour. So, if it is all getting far too much. You may cook the red cabbage even the day before dinner - and then simply reheat it.

  • put 2 table spoons of goose fat into the pot
  • get the marinated red cabbage container out of the fridge
  • peel and cut the onion into small pieces
  • heat the pot. When hot, add the onions to the hot fat. Stir and cook until the onions start getting sauteed (looking "glassy") 
  • add all of the red cabbage/apple/raisins mix (with the marinade) into the pot and stir/mix thoroughly.
  • next take the juniper berries/all spice berries/cloves and peppercorns and grind in the pestle/mortar.
  • add the ground spices into the pot with the cabbage.
  • put the lid on the pot and cook on a small heat for 40-50 min. 
  • In between the cooking add small amounts of red wine to it (1-2 tablespoons at the time). Mix and stir when doing so.
  • After 40-50 min the red cabbage should be soft and ready to serve.

Pasta with Porcini

Here is a quick and easy dish I made last week.

What you need

  • Dried Porcini mushrooms, ca 15-20g
  • Dry white wine
  • Sour cream
  • Pasta , e.g. rigatoni. But better still, tagliatelle 
  • Parsley
  • Olive oil
  • Salt, Pepper for seasoning
  • 1 Garlic, 1 small onion
  • sour cream
  • parmesan cheese
Equipment: small bowl, pot (for the pasta) sieve, frying pan

How you do it

Prepare the mushrooms
  • take the small bowl and put the dried porcini in it. Pour white wine over it until it is covered.
  • Leave for at least 2 hours.
Next start putting the pasta on the boil
  • put 2 teaspoons of salt into the pot and fill with water.
  • bring to boil and put the pasta in.
  • when pasta is al dente (i.e. is not overly soft), pour the hot water/pasta through a sieve.
  • At that stage you may want to preserve a cup of the hot pasta water for later.
  • give the pasta in the sieve a good stir - otherwise it may glue together.
  • store the pasta for later
Finally, the sauce
  • chop garlic, onions.
  • clean/wash and chop the parsley
  • grate the parmesan - and store for later
  • put a tablespoon of olive oil in the frying pan and heat up.
  • put the garlic and onions - and half of the parsley into the hot oil/frying pan - and sautee the onions/garlic
  • add salt and pepper
  • now put the Porcini mushrooms together with the white wine into the frying pan.
  • let it boil until the sauce starts to thicken. then put a tablespoon of sour cream to it and stir again.
  • you may also want to put a little of the hot pasta water to it
  • let it cook until the sauce thickens again (stir while doing so).
  • now add the pasta and mix with the sauce
  • add the rest of the parsley to it
  • add the grated parmesan
  • continue to stir until the parmesan starts to melt
Serve straightaway.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Pasta with Capers, Olives and Tomatoes

What you need
  • capers - ca 60g
  • black pitted olives
  • parsley (fresh)
  • 1 onion, 1 garlic clove
  • 4 tomatoes
  • red pepper powder
  • 1 glass of red wine
  • parmesan cheese
  • salt, pepper, oil
Equipment: pot, frying pan

How you do it
  • drain the capers
  • chop the pitted olives
  • peel and chop the onion, garlic into small bits
  • wash and cut the parsley
  • wash and cut the tomatoes into quarters. If you don't like the skin - put the tomatoes into a pot of hot water until the skin cracks. then peel.
  • bring a pot of water to the boil. when boiling add 1 teaspoon salt. when the salt is dissolved add the pasta.
  • add 1 tbl spoon to the frying pan and heat until hot.
  • add the capers, chopped olives. add a bit of salt and pepper.
  • cook for ca 1 min. then add the chopped parsley, onion and garlic.
  • cook for ca 2 min until the onion/garlic get soft
  • then add the chopped tomatoes. add 1 tea spoon of red pepper powder.
  • stir frequently and cook for ca 5 min.
  • add the glass of red wine. cook until the most of the wine evaporates and the sauce gets thicker.
  • in the meantime - when the pasta is ready: drain it.
  • when the caper/olive/parsley/tomato sauce is thick add the pasta.
  • stir and cook for another 5 min.
  • serve hot with freshly grated parmesan

Pasta With Porcini

What you need
  • Farfalle (ca 150g/person)
  • porcini (dried mushrooms), ca 100g - for 2 persons
  • parsley (fresh)
  • oil, salt, pepper
  • a glass of dry white wine (e.g. Chardonnay)
  • 1 garlic clove, 1 small onion
  • parmesan cheese
Equipment: pot, frying pan

How you do it
  • put the dried porcini into a small bowl. add the glass of white wine - and let rest for at least 30min. However, I usually leave it for ca 2 hours.
  • wash and cut the parsley
  • peel and chop garlic/onion

  • put ca 1ltr into the pot. bring to the boil, add 1 teaspoon of salt. when dissolved add pasta.
  • put oil into the frying pan and heat up until hot
  • add the garlic, onions and half of the parsley. add a teaspoon of salt and freshly grated pepper.
  • stir and cook for ca 4-5min.
  • add the porcini with the white wine.
  • cook until most of the wine has evaporated and the sauce gets thicker. stir frequently to avoid burning.
  • when the pasta (farfalle) is ready - pour the content of the pot through a sieve to drain the pasta. But try to keep ca 100ml of the pasta water.
  • add the cooked farfalle to the frying pan. stir well.
  • add the other half of the parsley.
  • add a bit of the retained pasta water to it.
  • cook for ca another 5 min.
  • then serve - with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Sweet Potato and Chilli Soup

What you need
  • 1-2 tbl spoons vegetable oil, salt, pepper
  • 2 chillies
  • 3 parsnip roots
  • 4 sweet potatoes
  • 1 bunch of fresh chives and spring onions
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 1 litre water
Equipment: food processor, pot

How you do it
  • cut chillies in halves, wash and remove the seeds. then chop into small bits
  • peel onion, garlic cloves, parsnip roots and sweet potatoes
  • wash chives and spring onions
  • chop the onions, garlic cloves and parsnip roots into small bits
  • put the vegetable oil into the pot and heat up
  • when the oil is hot add the chopped chillies, parsnips, garlic and onions. add salt and pepper. stir and mix and then let it cook for ca 5 min.
  • in the meantime, cut the peeled sweet potatoes into smaller chunks. chop the spring onions into small pieces.
  • add the sweet potatoes - cook for 2-3 min then add the chopped spring onions.
  • cook for another 5 minutes while stirring
  • now add the 1 litre water and bring to the boil.
  • when the soup boils reduce heat - put a lid on the pot and let simmer for ca 25 min.
  • remove from cooker and let it cool down for ca 1 hour.
  • in the meantime chop the chives - but do not add them just yet.
  • when the soup is cooled down - process it in the blender/processor until smooth.
  • put it back into the pot and heat up until it just boils.
  • then add the chopped chives, mix and cook it for another 1-2 min.
  • either serve - or remove from cooker.