September 28, 2009

Cookie instead crumbs

I promised this recipe months ago, when I prepared a raspberry sorbet and served it with some pumpkin seed cookie crumbs. Now here is the recipe for the cookie, this time served as a mint ice cream sandwich with warm chocolate sauce.

100 g ground pumpkin seed
150 g cold butter
200 g flour
50 g sugar
2 egg yolks

Mix all ingredients together and knead a dough. Let it stand 30 minutes in the fridge. Roll out and give it the shape you desire. Bake for 5-7 minutes on 180°C.

September 27, 2009

Vols Au Vent - Daring Bakers

Huh, time runs! It is already end of the month, time for the Daring Bakers. We already prepared puff pastry a couple of times, like for the Danish braid, croissants, Gâteau Saint Honoré and this time for Vols Au Vent. I decided to serve them with vanilla cream, simple and elegant. The September 2009 Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Steph of A Whisk and a Spoon. She chose the French treat, Vols-au-Vent based on the Puff Pastry recipe by Michel Richard from the cookbook Baking With Julia by Dorie Greenspan.

September 21, 2009

Weekend Herb Blogging #201 - Roundup

Weekend Herb Blogging, that was created by Kalyn of Kalyn’s Kitchen and now managed by Haalo, of Cook (almost) Anything At Least Once is already taking big steps forward to its 4th year. Graziana of Erbe in cucina (Cooking with herbs) is going to be next week's host. If you'd like to participate, make sure you check out the new rules and send your entries to scrivi AT ilmeglioincucina DOT it. Now let's see the entries!

The first entry has arrived right away from Italy, from Graziana, our host this week of Erbe in cucina (Cooking with herbs). She shares a wonderful recipe for a savoury tomato tart with oregano.

Kalyn of Kalyn's Kitchen, from Salt Lake City, Utah USA sends a beautiful recipe for a Zucchini bake with Feta and thyme.

Anna of Morsels & Musings from Sydney, Australia shares a recipe about her favourite salad mâche, that her mother used to grow herself in the garden.

Moonberry Juice from the Netherlands, participates for the very first time. She shares a beautiful recipe for Couscous Salad with Mint and Shoarma.

Katie of Eat this from Haslett, MI, shares a recipe for Ratatouille, that she has adapted from Kalyn, the founder of WHB.

Haalo of Cook (almost) Anything at Least Once from Melbourne, Australia introduces chives in a real luxurious recipe for Potted School Prawns.

Jerry of Jerry’s Thoughts, Musings, and Rants from Ontario, Canada shares a recipe for
Pasta with Kalamata Olives and Roasted Cherry among a lot of interesting informations about tomatoes.

Chris of Mele Cotte, from Salt Lake City, UT, USA shares a delicate recipe for Ricotta Stuffed Pears with Cinnamon.

Mangocheeks of Allotment 2 kitchen provides us informations about Florence fennel and a great recipe for Fennel with black olives and tomatoes.

Cinzia of Cindystar from Bardolino, Lake of Garda, Italy who shares a recipe of Jelly Peaches with Yoghurt Cream.

Brii of Briiblog, from Valsorda - Lake Garda, Italy shares a recipe for preserving champignons.

Finally my entry about pumpkin:

Thank you all for participating! I hope you had as much fun as I did hosting. Thank you Kalyn and Haalo!

September 18, 2009

Baked Ricotta

The ricotta in the fridge was on the last day of its shelf-life, so I had to use it quickly. The original plan was to serve it simply with figs and some ham. Instead I picked a recipe by Gordon Ramsay: baked ricotta with peaches, well in my case with port wein poached figs.

500 g ricotta
80 g powder sugar
2 eggs

zest of 1 lemon
4 figs

2 tablespoons elderberry syrup
50 ml port wine

butter and powder sugar for the forms

Preheat oven to 200°C. Butter 4 forms and sprinkle with sugar. Mix ricotta with sugar, eggs and lemon zest. Fill in the forms and bake for 15-20 minutes. Slice figs, and cook it together with the syrup and wine in a saucepan until the liquid reduces half.

September 17, 2009

Pumpkin Ravioli

There was still half of the pumpkin left in the fridge, that I prepared the parfait from. I decided to use it, but for a savoury dish. I had the idea of pumpkin ravioli in porcini pasta. I only had to find a sauce for it, and as it has a decent fruity touch, I decided for a ginger flavoured one. I think this dish is a nice starter or would also go well to venison.

100 g flour (Italian Tipo 00)
100 g semolina

2 eggs
20 g dried porcini
300 g pumpkin (e.g. hokkaido)
1 teaspoon elderflower syrup

1/2 teaspoon orange juice
1 tablespoon freshly grated parmesan
1/2 teaspoon butter
1 shallot
1 piece of ginger
200 ml chicken stock

100 ml white wine
50 ml cream
juice of half an orange
ground coriander
salt, pepper

Whisk flour, semolina and ground porcini together. Make a hole in the middle and slowly add whisked eggs and with a help of a fork mix it together. When the dough is getting viscous knead it with your hands until it is smooth. Put it to the fridge for an hour. For the filling roast pumpkin, puree, stir in elderflower syrup, orange juice, parmesan and season with salt and pepper. With a help of a pasta machine roll out pasta dough and place a teaspoon of the filling on it and make ravioli with a help of a form or anything you've got and cook it in salted water.

For the sauce melt butter, add chopped shallot, sliced ginger (set a small piece of it aside for later), stew a bit, add wine and stock and reduce half. Add cream, orange juice, coriander, nutmeg and season with ground ginger, salt and pepper.

September 16, 2009

Apple Jam

Last week, I received from my neighbour a huge amount of apples, I bet about 10 kgs. The opened bottle of cider, that I used for the pumpkin parfait, inspired me to cook a spicy apple jam.

2000 g apples
700 ml cider
juice of 1 lemon

600 g sugar
1 cinnamon stick
3 cloves
3 cardamom pods
some lemon peel

Peel and dice apple and sprinkle with lemon juice. Bring it to boil together with the spices and the cidre, add sugar and cook for about 1-1/2 hours.
Fill in jars and let them cool covered by a blanket over night.

September 15, 2009

Recycling bananas

There is a basket hanging from my kitchen ceiling, that I really love, the only problem is that I am not quite tall. Therefore I do not always see if the bananas, that usually hang on it, fall into the basket. That is how it happened, that I forgot some bananas in there for about two weeks. Of course now they got over ripe so I had to use them. I decided to bake a banana-ananas bread from one of my first cookbook.

250 g ananas
4 ripe bananas
350 g sugar
200 g flour
150 g cornstarch
100 g ground hazelnut
6 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 pinch of ground cardamom
4 eggs
4 tablespoons ananas juice
170 ml sunflower oil

Slice ananas, bananas and puree together with the sugar. Fold in flour, cornstarch, ground hazelnut, baking powder and spices. After whisk in eggs, ananas juice and at the end th oil. Bake on 160°C for 1 hours. (Recipe by Tim Mälzer)

September 14, 2009

Weekend Herb Blogging #201 - Hokkaido Pumpkin

It is the third time that I am allowed to host the Weekend Herb Blogging, that is taking big steps towards its 4th Year! A weekly blog event created by Kalyn of Kalyn’s Kitchen and now it its managed by Haalo, of Cook (almost) Anything At Least Once. I am looking forward to your entries!

Here is what you have to do: prepare a recipe using herbs, vegetables, plants, edible flowers or fruit on your own blog, and email the link over to me ( friedblogs [at] gmail [dot] com) before Sunday the 20th September.

The rules:

Post about any herb, plant, fruit, vegetable or flower - rea
d the rules to ensure that your post does qualify. Please include a link to both this post and to Haalo’s announcement post.

Send an email to friedblogs AT gmail DOT com with WHB#201 in the subject line and the following details:

Your Name
Your Blog Name/URL
Your Post URL

Your Location
Attach a photo: 300px wide

Emails must be received by:
3pm Sunday - Utah Time
9pm Sunday - London Time
8am Monday - Melbourne (Aus) Time
or you can use this converter to find out the corresponding time in your location.

You can also check out who’s hosting for the rest of the year at this post and find information about hosting WHB.

Last time I hosted, it was spring knocking on our doors, and now autumn has just arrived! Markets are full with different kinds of winter squash, mais, apples, pears and other beautiful autumn fruits and vegetables. I couldn't resist buying a few of them last weekend. I picked some yellow patty pans, a butternut and a Hokkaido pumpkin. Expect a smaller bunch of squash recipes this week on my blog!

Winter squash belong to the Cucurbitaceae family and they come in a large variety in color, size, shape and taste. Pumpkins taste sweet and nutty and can be prepared in many different ways from soup to dessert. The word pumpkin originates from the word pepon, which is Greek for “large melon". The origin of pumpkins is not definitively known. The oldest evidence, pumpkin-related seeds dating between 7000 and 5500 B.C., were found in Mexico.
Pumpkins contains lots of anti-oxidant vitamins A and C, as well as zinc and alpha-hydroxy-acids which helps to reduce the signs of aging. It is very rich in potassium an
d its intakes in magnesium and iron are not to be neglected. The bright orange flesh of pumpkin is loaded with beta-carotene. This vitamin is an important antioxidant that helps us fight free radicals. (source:wikipedia)

One member of this big family is the Hokkaido Pumpkin, that is available in two varieties: dark orange and light green. I decided to prepare a parfait from it and served it among a warm apple cider sauce.

250 g pumpkin
170 g honey
150 ml orange juice
4 egg yolks

150 ml milk
1 piment
1 clove
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

250 ml cream
150 ml cidre
1 tablespoon cane sugar
1 pinch of nutmeg

1 clove
2 pinches of cinnamon
1 apple
juice of 1/2 a lemon

1 teaspoon cornstarch

If needed peel and (Hokkaido doesn't have to be peeled) slice pumpkin. Cook in orange juice among 50 g honey for 20-25 minutes on low heat. Puree and set aside. Bring milk with the spices to boil. Whisk egg yolks with the rest of the honey and pour hot milk into it. Take it back to the heat until it thickens, set aside to cool. Whisk in pumpkin puree and beaten cream. Fill in a form and freeze it for 5-6 hours or over night. For the sauce heat cidre with sugar and the
spices, reduce half and stir in dissolved starch. Dice apple and sprinkle with lemon juice. Remove from heat and add diced apple.

Indian Dosas - Daring Cooks

This month's challenge was hosted by Debyi of The Healthy Vegan Kitchen and she picked a recipe for Indian Dosas by Ruth Tal. The only requirement was that the dish must be free of animal products and it is 99% oil free. Luckily, we were allowed to use a filling of our choice. As I dislike chickpea I prepared a simple artichoke filling flavoured with fresh basil and some lemon drops. This recipe is definitely a keeper, both for the dosas and the curry sauce.

Dosa Pancakes
1 cup (120g) spelt flour (or all-purpose, gluten free flour)
½ tsp (2½ g) salt
½ tsp (2½ g) baking powder

½ tsp (2½ g) curry powder
½ cup (125ml/4oz) almond milk (or soy, or rice, etc.)
¾ cup (175ml/6oz) water
cooking spray, if needed

Dosa Pancakes
Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, slowly adding the almond milk and water, whisking until smooth. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Spray your pan with a thin layer of cooking spray, if needed. Ladle 2 tablespoons of batter into the center of your pan in a circular motion until it is a thin, round pancake. When bubbles appear on the surface and it no longer looks wet, flip it over and cook for a few seconds. Remove from heat and repeat with remaining batter. Makes 8 pancakes.

Coconut Curry Sauce
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic
½ tsp cumin, ground
¾ tsp sea salt (coarse)
3 TBSP curry powder
3 TBSP spelt flour (or all-purpose GF flour)
3 cups (750ml/24oz) vegetable broth

2 cups (500ml/24oz) coconut milk
3 large tomatoes, diced

Heat a saucepan over medium heat, add the onion and garlic, cooking for 5 minutes, or until soft. Add the spices, cooking for 1 minutes more. Add the flour and cook for 1 additional minute. Gradually stir in the vegetable broth to prevent lumps. Once the flour has been incorporated, add the coconut milk and tomatoes, stirring occasionally.
Let it simmer for half an hour.

September 13, 2009

Sunday Lunch: Oven braised pork

Today it was the 5th time that I prepared braised pork in the oven. To me, this is a dish that only moms and grandmoms can prepare the way it should be and no matter how many times you try it yourself, it is never going to taste like hers. Anyway, the first two times I screwed the sauce completly up. That made me almost want to give the whole thing up, but instead I read dozens of recipes. After some weeks I decided to give it another go, but then the sauce was too thick and had a much too intense tomato touch. Finally, today I made it! The sauce had the right consistence, taste and the meat has just melted in our mouth.

1000-1250 g pork (e.g. haunch)
2 tablespoon mustard
1-2 tablespoon flour
2 tablespoon oil or butter oil
1 onion

2 cloves garlic
1 leek
2 carrots
3 parsley roots

3 celery stalks
1 teaspoon tomato puree

300 ml beer
600 ml beef stock
1 bay leaf

2-3 cloves
1-2 twigs thyme
1-2 twigs rosemary
2-3 sage leaves
100 ml red wine

salt, pepper

Peel and dice vegetables, stick cloves in the bay leaf. Smear mustard on the meat, salt and pepper and sprinkle with some flour. Heat butter oil and fry meat from both sides, set aside. Add vegetables, cover and stew for a minute or two, add tomato puree. Place meat among the herbs on the vegetables, pour beer and stock over it and braise in the oven for 2 hours on 180°C. Set meat aside and mash vegetables, add a tablespoon flour, red wine and cook it for 5-6 minutes, sieve and cook it for another 15 minutes or until it reached the desired consistence. Season with salt and pepper. If the liquid is not enough, or you wish to prepare a bigger portion of the sauce add some more beef stock before reducing. If you like the meat to be even more tender or so to say almost "overcooked", slice it and leave it in the simmering sauce for 15-20 minutes.

September 12, 2009

Another pork stir-fry

This dish is kind of a refined version of my pork stir-fry that I cook when I am craving for some Asian flavours.

400 g pork (e.g. cutlet)
2 cloves garlic
1 piece of fresh ginger
1 carrot
1 piece of leek
1 paprika
1/4 white cabbage

200 g bean sprouts
soy sauce
oyster sauce
200 ml chicken stock
corn starch

sesame oil for frying

Slice pork, marinate in soy sauce with sliced garlic for an hour or so. Sprinkle some corn starch over the meat before frying. Heat sesame oil, add grated ginger and fry meat, after set it aside. Add carrot and pour chicken stock over it, let it reduce by half, add sliced cabbage, after a minute or so add sliced paprika and leek among a tablespoon of soy sauce. Stir-fry for a minute or two, add bean sprouts, sprinkle about a teaspoon of oyster sauce and a tablespoon of soy sauce on it, fry for another minute and a half, stir in meat and serve.

September 11, 2009

Fennel poached in black tea


It was time to give fennel another chance in my kitchen. Talking about chances I also gave basil pesto another go: I pureed the basil leaves with cashews, goat cheese and of course olive oil. Anyway the fennel got poached in chicken stock among some black tea. I loved the taste of it with the light touch of black tea! I already planned to prepare it again somewhen next week. What else could better to serve with fennel than a nice slice of fish! I chose zander and served some white polenta with it on a light lemon sauce.

1 shallot
1 teaspoon butter

100 ml white wine
100 ml fish stock
zest of a lemon
2 tablespoon lemon juice
chunks of cold butter

Melt butter, add chopped shallot, stew and pour wine and fish stock on it. Reduce half, add lemon juice, zest, season with salt and pepper and whisk in cold butter.

September 10, 2009

Mákos Guba - Hungarian Poppy Bread Pudding

When I was a child I disliked poppy. Why? Well, I made very bad experiences with it in the school canteen. Once in a while they served pasta with poppy seed as a dessert, I tried it and was totally confused: a dessert that is not sweet? Huh?! I wasn't able to eat it and that ugly taste stopped me from trying my mom's poppy pie for years. What a pity! Ever since I tried that poppy pie of hers I became a poppy addict! There is a popular Hungarian dish: the Mákos Guba and until today I didn't dare to taste it because of those childhood memories. It is usually served after a rich soup as a second course or even on Christmas' Eve. The basic recipe is to pour some sweet hot milk over bread, sprinkle with ground poppy seed and bake or cook a custard using the milk with some egg yolks and pour that over the bread. I decided to try a bit different version with loads of poppy seed. To give the whole thing a fruity touch I served some sour cherry sauce with port wein among it, that was a nice contrast to the vanilla sauce.

5 slices old bread (I used some leftover braided bread)
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
300 g poppy seed

400 ml milk
4 eggs
300 g sugar
zest of 1 lemon
4-5 tablespoon powder sugar

butter for the forms

Heat milk with vanilla paste and half of the sugar. Cut bread in cubes and place them in a sieve. Pour hot milk over the bread and let it drip. Separate eggs and add yolks to the milk. Mix ground poppy seeds with powder sugar and lemon zest then sprinkle it over the milky bread cubes. Beat egg white with the leftover sugar and fold to the bread. Butter the oven proof forms and cover with ground poppy. Add bread mixture and bake for 15 minutes on 180°C. For the vanilla sauce whisk milk with the yolks over steam until it thickens.

September 9, 2009

Rose Hip Jam - Weekend Herb Blogging #200

The rose hip and rose haw, is the pomaceous fruit of the rose plant, that typically is red-to-orange, but might be dark purple-to-black in some species. Contrary to the fairly common myth, rosehips are not poisonous. Rose hip is one of the richest plant source for Vitamin C, with about 1700–2000 mg per 100 g in the dried product. It also contain vitamins D and E, essential fatty acids and antioxidant flavonoids. Rose hips are used for herbal tea, jam, jelly, syrup, beverages, pies, bread, and marmalade. They can also be used to make jam, jelly, marmalade and wine. (source:wikipedia)

I really love rose hip jam ever since I was a child and for the first time I decided to prepare it myself. It takes quite a lot of patience and time because you have to scratch the seeds and tiny hairs out of the hips, but it is definitely worth it!

I submit this post to the WHB created by Kalyn from Kalyn's Kitchen, who passed it on to Haalo of Cook (almost) Anything At Least Once, who is also our host this week.

500 g rose hip pulp
500 g sugar
250 ml water

Wash rose hips, cut the green and the dark parts, half them and scratch out the seeds and hairs. Cook hips for 50-60 minutes in water, sieve to puree and cook with the sugar until it reaches the desired thickness. Fill in jars
and let them cool covered by a blanket over night.

September 8, 2009

Spicy carrot soup with coconut jelly

It seems ages that I posted the last time! Does it happen to you that you buy too many carrots? Well to me always! Maybe because I have two fridges and I do not check both before I leave for shopping, so most of the time I am drowning in carrots. Anyway today I cooked a spicy carrot soup and served among orange-coconut jelly cubes that were an interesting contrast with the soup!

350 g carrots
1 medium potato
1 onion
1 piece of ginger (about 2-3 cm)
1 teaspoon butter

500 ml vegetable stock
50 ml coconut milk
curry spice mix
cayenne pepper

Peel the vegetables and slice, chop onion. Melt butter, add onion, sautée for a minute or two. Add sliced carrot and potato, grated ginger and pour vegetable stock over it, season with salt
, cayenne pepper and curry. Cook for 10-15 minutes. Puree and stir in coconut milk, cook for another 2 minutes and season again if needed.

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