1.30.2011

Linzer Torte

Linzer Torte

Recently I've been to Switzerland for work-related reasons. Of course, I used the opportunity to scoop up some local food magazines. The first recipe I tried was this classic cake variation.

Linzer Torte

Adapted from saisonküche 01/11

Ingredients:

125 g ground hazelnuts
125 g flour
75 g demearra sugar
dash of salt
50 g cold butter
1 egg
125 g strawberry jam
icing sugar for dusting

Method:

Mix together the hazelnuts, flour, sugar and salt. Add the thinly slice the butter and knead in until the dough resembles wet sand. Add the egg and knead briskly into a coherent dough. Wrap the dough in cling film and let rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Line a 7-inch spring form with parchment paper. Distribute 3/4 of the dough evenly on the bottom of the spring form. Carefully press the dough along the perimeter of the spring form to prevent the jam from leaking out. Evenly distribute the jam on the dough. Roll the rest of the dough into thin strands. Distribute the strands in a grid-like pattern on the jam. Bake in the center of the oven for 30 minutes. Let the cake cool down on a wire rack. Remove the spring form and dust with icing sugar.

1.23.2011

Okonomiyaki

Okonomiyaki

The first selection for this year in the Cook the Books curriculum was Untangling my Chopsticks by Victoria Abbott Riccardi. I immensely enyoyed her accounts of Kyoto cuisine (which somehow reminded me of Looking for the Lost by Alan Booth) and had big plans about the dish I wanted to cook including some flowers in the background of the picture. But somehow life (or rather work) got in the way and I ended up with a much more simple approach by making Japanese pancakes or okonomiyaki. Without the flowers. ;)
However, the okonomiyaki turned out really well and I will certainly make those again to experiment with some other fillings (and toppings, which I ommitted this time).

Okonomiyaki

Adapted from Okonomiyaki by Marc of No Recipes

Ingredients:

For the batter:

1/2 cup flour
2 eggs
1/3 cup water
dash of salt

For the filling:

1/2 cup spring onion, finely sliced
1/2 cup Brussels sprouts, finely sliced
1/2 red pepper, finely diced
about 80 g feta cheese, finely crumbled

olive oil for frying

Method:

In a bowl, add all of the filling ingredients and stir. Add the flour, salt, water and eggs. Stir until combined. Heat some olive oil in a skillet on medium heat and pour in the batter. Spread the batter evenly in the pan and cook until the pancake can be lifted from the bottom of the pan.
Flip over and cook until both sides are nicely browned.

1.22.2011

Barley with Citrus and Arugula

Barley with Citrus and Arugula

A hearty barley risotto with some slightly bitter winter greens, lightened up by citrus flavours.

Barley with Citrus and Arugula

Adapted from Super Natural Cooking by Heidi Swanson

Ingredients:

3 Tbsp olive oil
2-3 shallots (or 1 red onion)
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp salt
2 cups pearl barley
1 cup dry white wine
6 cups water
juice of 1 orange
zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup sour cream
2 handfuls of arugula, coarsely chopped

Method:

Heat the olive oil in a skillet. Add the shallots and garlic and fry for about 3-4 minutes until the shallots begin to soften. Add the barley and stir well to coat each grain with oil. Add the white wine and cook on medium heat for a couple of minutes until the alcohol has evaporated.
Add the water, about one cup at a time, stirring regularly until the barley has absobed most of the liquid. When the barley has absorbed all of the water, add the zest, juice, cheese and sour cream. Let the skillet come back to temperature and stir until the cheese has melted. Add the arugula, stir in and cook for only one more minute before serving.

1.16.2011

Pasta with Lentil Sauce

Pasta with Lentil Sauce

Here's a dish I made during the Christmas blogging break. The taste of the creamy sauce is lifted up by the parsley and tomatoes. It still surprises me, how well pasta and lentils go together.

Pasta with Lentil Sauce

Adapted from Die frische Küche (loosely, Fresh Cuisine) by Andrea Karrer

Ingredients:

130 g beluga lentils *
1 bunch young onions **
1 red chile
1-2 garlic cloves
3 Tbsp butter
125 ml (dry) white wine
250 ml vegetable stock
250 ml cream
200 g pasta, preferably pappardelle or some other medium to broad strands
salt
50 g dried tomatoes (in oil)
2 Tbsp parsley, minced
pepper
dash of sugar

* Used Puy lentils.
** Used shallots.

Method:

Soak the lentils in plain water for about 2 hours, drain and boil in water until tender, about 25 minutes. Cut the onions into fine ringlets. Remove the seeds of the chile and cut into fine dice. Mince the garlic. In a skillet, melt the butter and add the onions, chile and garlic. Fry for one or two minutes. Deglaze with the white wine and let the liquid reduce slightly. Add the stock and cream and cook on gentle heat for about 10 minutes until slightly thickened.
Add the pasta to rapidly boiling salt water and cook until al dente.
Meanwhile, drain and finely dice the tomatoes. Thoroughly drain the lentils. Add the tomatoes and lentils to the sauce and let come back to a simmer. Stir in the parsley, add salt, pepper and sugar to taste. Drain the pasta and serve with the sauce.

1.09.2011

Chile Bisque

Chile Bisque

TacklingBittmanFor the current edition of Tackling Bittman! I chose a recipe which has been on my to-do list since Kim from Stirring the Pot posted it for I *heart* Cooking Clubs about nine months ago. The chile bisque is ideal winter food as it will give you warmth from the soup, heat from the chiles and it's also quite filling due to the generous dose of cream. Any leftovers make for a great pasta sauce. Actually, I might make the next batch with the intention of using it on pasta in the first place.

The "Tackling Bittman!" blog hop is hosted by Sue from Couscous & Consciousness, Alex from A Moderate Life, Christy from Frugality and Crunchiness with Christy, Dr Laura from Who is Laura?, Chaya from My Sweet and Savoury and Pam from Sidewalk Shoes.

The January edition of Tackling Bittman! is guest-hosted by girlichef.


Chile Bisque

Adapted from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman

Ingredients:

2 or 3 chipotle chiles in adobo, coarsly sliced
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp garlic, minced
1/4 cup medium- or long-grain rice
salt and pepper
1 quart vegetable stock or water
2 bay leaves
1 cup cream

Method:

Heat the oil in a skillet. Add the garlic and cook for about a minute. Add the chipotle chiles and the rice, stirring constantly until the rice is evenly coated with oil. Add the stock, bay leaves and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer on low heat for about 20 minutes until the rice is very tender. Remove from the heat. Carefully purée the soup with an immersion blender. Add the cream and reheat the soup until almost boiling. Adjust the taste with salt and pepper and the consistency of the soup with stock or water if necessary.

1.08.2011

Indian-style Broccoli

Indian-style Broccoli

Today I tried a new twist on good, old, under-rated broccoli. The spicy yoghurt sauce turns the winter green into a dish reminiscent of summer. Next time I would use a food processor for grinding the spices, as grinding by hand didn't lead to a uniform result.

Indian-style Broccoli

Adapted from Cook with Jamie by Jamie Oliver

Ingredients:

1 head broccoli, cut into florets
salt and black pepper
olive oil
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp fennel seeds
5 cardamon capsules, remove and keep the seeds, discard the pods
zest and juice of one lemon
250 g yoghurt

Method:

Blanch the florets in salt water for about 4 minutes. Heat the olive oil in a pan and roast the florets until lightly browned. In a dry pan, heat the spices until fragrant and grind them up in a mortar or food processor. Whisk the ground spices and the lemon zest and juice into the yoghurt. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper and dribble the yoghurt over the broccoli florets.

1.02.2011

Mustard Eggs

Mustard Eggs

First of all, a Happy New Year to all readers of this humble blog. Sorry for the long delay in posting, but I've been away from home during the week before christmas for work-related reasons and christmas break turned out to be just that. A break.
To get things started in the (not yet) Year of the Rabbit, here's a fast and easy recipe which I first made in November 09 but didn't get around to post since my harddrive which had the pictures on them broke.

Mustard eggs

Adapted from Eier, Kartoffeln, Senfsoße by rosa from Schnuppensuppe

3-4 medium potatoes, peeled (or unpeeled, if using young potatoes)
2 eggs
some mustard bechamel sauce

Boil the potatoes. Add the eggs about 10 minutes before the potatoes are tender. Drain. Peel the potatoes and eggs. Serve with mustard bechamel.


Bechamel Sauce

Adapted from Ich helf dir kochen by Hedwig Maria Stuber

40 g butter
40 g flour
about 1/2 liter milk (or half milk, half stock)
2 Tbsp sour cream
3 tsp mustard (or to taste)

Melt the butter in a saucepan which looks slightly too large for the amount of butter used. (the sauce will increase in volume as you incorporate the liquid) Add the flour, a tablespoon at a time, and stir in. Add the liquid in small batches and stir in until the sauce has the desired consistency. Add the sour cream and mustard and stir in.