May 28, 2009

Strawberries have arrived!

Finally the first strawberries of the season have arrived last weekend. I bought them on the farm where I get my rhubarb and eggs from. I can't tell you how much I was waiting for these beautiful and delicious fruits. Of course the stores are full of imported strawberries since months!!! While walking along the shelves, I had the smell of the huge imported strawberry mountains and it was hard to resist, but only the smell! I bet they taste like plastic, I haven't bought or tried a piece, brrr. I am for slow food, therefore I only buy vegetables and fruits when they have season, and support local artisans and farmers. So since months I was totally eager for strawberries and it was worth to wait, definitely! From another farmer I bought strawberry tomatoes. I have never heared or seen them before. Aren't they cute?

May 27, 2009

Apple Strudel - Daring Bakers

The May Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Linda of make life sweeter! and Courtney of Coco Cooks. They chose Apple Strudel from the recipe book Kaffeehaus: Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafés of Vienna, Budapest and Prague by Rick Rodgers. If I am not mistaking this was the thrid time that I prepared my own strudel pastry, and so far this was the best recipe! If I compare it to the first one, the dough was smoother and it was easier to work with. I guess I haven't ever eaten an apple strudel before, so I decided to prepare it with the original filling, but without raisins. It was a delicious choice! Off: I am having quite big problems with my pc, but luckily I can post the challenge from another. I hope that it is going to be fixed fast!!!

May 21, 2009

Spicy carrot parfait with curry meringue

Everything started with a big bag of carrots. Normally I do not buy such a quantity of vegetable like I did last week: about 5 and a half pounds of carrots! So since days my head is full with ideas using carrot. It is quite boring to have carrot salad every second day, right? The delicious and almost obligatory carrot cake may also not be missed. As the weather is getting warmer and warmer the more ice cream leaves my kitchen. I decided to experiment a bit and prepared a spicy carrot parfait. To make the dessert a bit more interesting I thought to play around with meringue and curry powder. Something still was missing and as I also had some yellow and purple carrots in the fridge I caramlized them and cooked in some orange juice to have a kind of sauce with the parfait, flavoured with a bit of chilli. Well to my "test eater" it was too much chilli but he liked the combination of the parfait and the meringue and so did I. To me, this dessert has a special air. Sort of like flying on a cloud somewhere over the Orient. It might sound strange, but that is how I can describe it best.

100-150 g carrots
125 ml milk
125 g sugar
4 egg yolks

225 g cream
6-7 sichuan pepper
4-5 cardamom pods

some coriander seeds
2 pieces of staranise
2 cloves

Cut carrot in cubes and cook in water until soft, puree. Bring the milk with the half of the sugar to boil, whisk the rest of the sugar with the yolks. Leave the milk stand for about 10-15 minutes, sieve and after heat it again and stir in the yolk-sugar mixture. Cook it on low heat until it has a nice thick consistence, let it cool and stir in carrot puree and beaten cream. Freeze for 5-6 hours.

May 20, 2009

Zander with red wine sauce


It seems that fish is my new passion and it is never enough! I am already craving for the next fish dish, although it was today's lunch. In the morning I was chatting with my mom and she told me how she prepared spring potatoes some days ago I tried it today and I love it. It is really easy and the result is totally yummy. So here it is how it goes: clean potatoes under running water with a help of a sponge, so that the skin is removed but not the whole. Heat a bit of oil and add potatoes among some salt and cover, and let it cook that way for 20 minutes on medium heat. No water needed, therefore you will have the pure taste of the potato!

50 g carrot
50 g celery
50 g shallot

1 bunch of fresh coriander root
200 ml red wine
100 ml port wein
200 ml beef jus

80 g cold butter
salt, pepper

Chop vegetables and stew in oil among fish parts (that u got left from the zander). Add both wines and reduce half. Sieve, add veal stock and cook until reduced half. Season with salt and pepper. Serve among the above mentioned potatoes and fried zander.

May 19, 2009

The rhubarb day

Finally I am able to smell again! My taste buds are also recovering so I am on the best way to enjoy culinary seductions. Have I mentioned that I am totally addicted to rhubarb?! On the weekend once more I couldn't keep my hands off a bunch of stalks. At the begining of the month I cooked some glasses of jam, yesterday among the "every sunday" - wähe, I prepared some glasses of rhubarb syrup as well. It has such a beautiful color and tastes heavenly! There were some stalks left that ended up in a rhubarb mousse.

200 g rhubarb
juice of 1 lemon
4 tablespoons port wein
40 g sugar
2 egg whites
2 gelatine leaves
40 g powder sugar
200 ml cream

Wash and slice rhubarb in small pieces, add lemon juice, sugar and port wein and cook until it is soft. Puree with a help of a mixer and let it cool. Beat egg white with powder sugar above steam until fuffly and stir in gelatine. Keep on beating until it is cool, add rhubarb puree and beaten heavy cream. Leave it in the fridge for 4-5 hours or overnight. The rhubarb syrup recipe is really simple: slice 500 g rhubarb and cook with 2 cups of water until it is really soft, sieve and add 3 cups of sugar and cook for about 5-10 minutes.

May 16, 2009


Being sick with flu I can hardly smell anything, except the peppermint tea. The rest of the family has caught it as well, so nobody has a big appetite. Therefore, I have plenty of time to experiment. I planned to prepare multicolour pasta already since months, now I have the time! I am quite happy with the result, though I still have to work a lot on the optic.

How does it taste? No idea! Gotta wait until my taste buds are working again!

May 14, 2009

Zuni Ricotta Gnocchi - Daring Cooks

Drum roll for the first Daring Cooks challenge by Lis and Ivonne! I couldn't help my sweet tooth and served the ricotta gnocchi with lemon sabayon. Unfortunately I had no opportunity to also prepare a savoury bunch, but the recipe is definetly a keeper!

May 12, 2009

Ginger&Coconut parfait

The short story starts with a head of broccoli that I forgot in the fridge. I had the crazy idea of making broccoli ice cream, but after doing some research I was quite sure that it wouldn't work out, because it might have a light cabbage taste. So I decided to use the leftover ginger among the leftover coconut powder, that I do not really like, therefore I am happy that it ended up in this parfait. I thought with the ginger-coconut combination some roasted sesame seeds would make a great match. I liked the result very much! It has a light gingery taste with the touch of the aroma of the roasted sesame. I must confess that I cooked the broccoli and mixed it to this gingery coconut milk, flavoured with some lemon juice to try how it would taste. Well it is not that ugly as I expected, but it is also not worth a try!

250 ml coconut milk

1 small piece of fresh ginger
2 tablespoon sesame seeds
250 g sugar
8 egg yolks
450 ml cream

Heat coconut milk with half of the of sugar and grated ginger. Whisk yolks with the rest of the sugar and add it to the hot coconut milk while whisking. Let it thicken over low heat while stirring constantly. Let it cool, and while it is cooling roast sesame seeds and set aside. Stir beaten cream to the coconut milk mixture and add sesame seeds. Pour it into forms and place it to the freezer for 3-4 hours.

Sunday's lunch

I bought a bunch of young spinach that supposed to end up on the table for lunch. I decided to prepare them classical with garlic and nutmeg among some nuts. The nuts brought me the idea to serve the beef in a hazelnut sauce. The sauce was good, though I found the grind nuts a bit disturbing. The beef was marinated in oil, with chopped parsley, sage, rosemary and some ground juniper berries and on top I served a slice of fried bone marrow.

20 g butter
1 shallot
250 ml vegetable or beef stock
3 tablespoon sherry
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
150 ml cream

4 tablespoon ground hazelnut
salt, pepper

Melt butter add chopped shallot and stew, pour stock on it and bring it to boil. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 10 minutes, then remove from heat stir in dijon mustard, cream, hazelnut and sherry and cook until its consistence thick enough.

May 11, 2009

Goat milk pudding

I have almost forgotten the opened bottle of goat milk in the fridge, but luckily it ended up in a light and delicious dessert. It also gave me the first opportunity to try my lilac syrup.

500 ml whole goat milk
1 rosemary twig
100 g sugar
4 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoon flour
3 egg yolks

Bring milk together with the rosemary twig and sugar to boil. Remove from the heat and let it stand for 10 minutes. Whisk starch, flour to the egg yolks an stir it to the hot milk. Cook it while stirring on low heat until it is thick. Pour it into forms and let it cool.

Morel sabayon

Yesterday I decided to serve morel sabayon gratinated asparagus as a starter. Though I did not quite like how the result looked like, it was really delicious. I bet the grill function of my oven is pretty bad!

20 g dried morel
1 tablespoon butter
1 shallot
50 ml sherry
200 ml vegetable stock
2 egg yolks
salt, pepper

Soak morel in milk for an hour, after wash under runing water, dry and half. Melt butter, add chopped shallot, morels and sherry, reduce and add vegetable stock. Reduce so that you have about 100-150 ml at the end. Sieve and set morel aside. In another pot bring water to simmer while you whisk egg yolks frothy add morel liquid and keep on whisking. Whisk over steam for 10-15 minutes, when it is ready add morels. Cover cooked asparagus with it and gratinate in oven.

May 10, 2009

Fish stock

There is a smaller bunch of desserts waiting to be posted, but now it is time to share the fish stock recipe I used on friday. Generally flatfsh is the best to use for cooking stock, because that gives a strong aroma.


200-300 g fish bones (and/or other parts)
2 celery stalks
1 carrot
1 onion
30-50 ml sherry or white wine
1 bay leaf
about 10 coriander seeds

Slice vegetables and put everything into a pot. Pour water over it so that is about 2 fingers high above the fish parts. Bring it right under the boiling point and cook for about 20 minutes.

May 9, 2009

Green Fir Honey

It was an experiement and it turned out great! I love the taste of the "green fir honey" it is only a bit resinous and has a nice aroma. Of course it has nothing to do with real honey. Mine has the consistence somewhere between a syrup and honey. I didn't want to cook it too thick, because that way I have more possibilities for using. I haven't collected wild shoots (I guess that is not even allowed) but got them from a friend who has some trees in her garden. The time to prepare this "honey" is in may, particularly at the end of the month. Among the "honey" I also cooked some lilac syrup and "jam" using the recipe of one of my favourite Hungarian blog.

100 g green fir shoots
250-300 ml water
juice of a 1/2 lemon
300 g sugar

Bring green fir shoots in water together with lemon juice to boil, after set aside and let it
stand for 30 minutes. Sieve and cook together with the honey to the consistence you desire.

May 8, 2009

Fish terrine

American plaice, Yellowtail flounder, Winter flounder, Flounder/sole from the Atlantic Ocean, Southern flounder, Summer flounder, Witch flounder

Mahimahi from U.S. caught by troll/pole

After my bread-baking-attack last evening, my head was still full of ideas. Honestly, it still hasn't stopped, because my newest idea is already on a piece of paper waiting for me to get to kitchen and figure out the recipe for it. So last evening I could hardly wait for the morning because I had the idea of a fish dish for today's lunch that I just had to try immediately. I have to mention that yesterday I cooked green fir "honey" out of fir shoots and that brought me to the idea for the dish. The recipe for that is going to follow soon. So the key part was the chicorée glazed with fir "honey" and I built up the rest around it. I had a piece of mahi mahi and some lemon sole fillets that I combined in a fish terrine and served among mashed potatoes with dijon mustard in a lemon-dill sauce. I was really happy with the result, and I can't wait to test it on some guests.

150 g lemon sole
100 g mahi mahi

125 ml cream
1 egg white
lemon juice

salt, pepper
50 g butter

1 shallot
100 ml fish stock
50 ml white wine

1 egg yolk
40 ml cream
juice of a 1/2 lemon

For the fish terrine dice half of the fish and mash in a mixer together with the cream and egg white. Season with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Butter a terrine form and spoon half of the batter into it, place the rest of the fish on it and cover with the rest of the fish farce. Place it on a baking shett filled with water and cook it on 140°C for about 30 minutes. For the sauce melt butter, add shallot and fry until stewed, add white wine, fish stock and reduce half. Beat cream, mix to the egg yolk and add to the reduction while stirring, then remove from the heat and beat for some more minutes. Season with salt, pepper, dill and lemon juice.

Pain d'Epi

Yesterday evening I felt like baking bread, but I didn't want to stand in the kitchen for hours. Luckily, I found a fast and delicious recipe for Pain d'Epi - wheat stalk bread. It was so far the most delicious bread that has left my oven. As you will recognise on the photos, when forming the bread, I forgot to turn the pieces from one side to the other.

350 g bran flour
150 g whole wheat flour

200 ml water
200 ml yoghurt
6 g active dry yeast

1 tabelspoon salt

For the mix all ingredients together and knead for about 3 minutes until it becomes smooth. Set aside and let it raise for 30 minutes. Form a bread of 45 cm long and place it on a baking sheet with baking paper (you can also bake it on a stone if you got) and with a help of scissors cut it 6 times on the right side and turn every second piece to the left and let it raise for
another 30 minutes. Bake on 180°C for about 40 mintues.

May 7, 2009

Marans egg

Actually I always buy bio eggs, if I can't get them then I buy free range chicken eggs, but no other kind of egg can get into my pantry. Sometimes I see people still buying eggs from chickens kept in cages and I can only shake my head. Either they do not see what they have in their hands, or simply they just do not care about those miserable and sick animals and their way of "life". Not to mention that those eggs are also not healthy for us. The point is: simply stop buying eggs from chickens kept in cage! Usually I get my eggs from a small farm, but as they are small they do not always have. There I can be sure that those chicken are kept as they deserve to be. There is also a bigger one nearby, and you can see the chickens running around outside and eating fresh growing grass. The colour of the yolk depends on how they feed the chicken. If they are fed with wheat the egg is going to be pale yellow, if they eat maize the egg is going to have a deeper yellow colour. Sometimes they add artificial stuff to make the egg yolk have a deep yellow colour, however if you use those eggs and you plan to bake a sponge, you will notice, that as soon as you whisked the yolks with the sugar the batter will have almost no colour at all, and the result won't either be yellow or white. I prepared my ice cream using eggs of Marans chicken. The 1st and the 3rd egg is a Marans egg, the one in the middle is a normal one.

Marans eggs' shell has a caracteristic deep dark colour and spots. The colouring of the shell is related to the presence or absence of essential genetic factors. Its yolk is often firmer and has a rounder form than a traditional farm egg. However if I compare its taste to those farmer's egg I usually eat, I do not taste a huge difference. Compared to store bought bio eggs the
Marans eggs are a lot more intense in taste and in both cases the egg white is more delicate, at least for me.

May 6, 2009


Ever since I own Pierre Hermé's gorgeous chocolate dessert book I was planning to prepare the chocolate ice cream "soufflé". The recipe is actually be F. Daubos from Versailles. Yesterday finally I managed to do it! Among the chocolate version I also prepared a vanilla one infused with in Port wine poached rhubarb. Yeah I confess I am a rhubarb addict, but believe me you do not want to miss this combination! A month ago I candied some sweet violets and some daises that turned out to be a great decoration for this dessert. Especially because for the daises I used cinnamon sugar and that gave a nice light brown touch. If you wonder why the vanilla ice cream is so yellow, well the answer is going to follow in my next post.

250 ml milk

250 g sugar
8 egg yolks
375 g dark chocolate

450 ml cream

Heat milk with 150 g of sugar. Whisk yolks with the rest of the sugar and add it to the hot milk while whisking. Let it thicken over low heat while stirring constantly. Let it cool while whisking with a mixer. Melt chocolate over steam and stir a third of the beaten cream in the molten chocolate. Add the cooled egg-cream and the rest of the beaten cream. Spoon into souffle forms, that you prepared previously this way: cut a piece of baking paper and fold it into a ring then place it into the form, this way you can fill it higher than the form actually is. But it is easier if you have a dessert ring and you place it on top of the form and fill it with baking paper, that way it is going to be easier to unpack the ice cream. Freeze for 2-3 hours.

Asparagus risotto with ramson bud

Yesterday I collected a bunch of ramson buds and leaves. From the leaves I prepared ramson oil and decided to use it in an asparagus risotto with fried ramson buds.

I have already published a bunch of risotto recipes, so therefore I only write about the oil. Actually it is inspired by The Cook's Book where I found a recipe for making herb oil. Simply bring water to boil and add ramson or any oder herb you desire, leave it there for some minutes, after puree with oil, for example sunflower, sieve and add some olive oil at the end. It is easy to prepare and it can be kept in the fridge for up to a week.

May 5, 2009

Béarnaise sauce

Béarnaise sauce is a traditional sauce for steak, however I served it with asparagus among pork medallions. The sauce was likely first made by the chef Collinet, the inventor of puffed potatoes (pommes de terre soufflées) and served at the 1836 opening of "Le Pavillon Henri IV", a restaurant at Saint-Germain-en-Laye, not far from Paris. Evidence for this is reinforced by the fact that the restaurant was named for King Henry IV, a gourmet himself, who was born in the former province of Béarn. Like Hollandaise sauce, Béarnaise sauce is an emulsion of butter in egg yolks. The difference is only in their flavoring: Béarnaise uses a reduction of vinegar and tarragon, while Hollandaise uses lemon juice. Such emulsions require some practice to prepare properly. The prime dangers are curdling the egg yolk mixture through excessive heat, and separation of the emulsion by rushing the addition of clarified butter. (source:wikipedia)

250 g butter
3 egg yolks
4 tablespoon white wine
1 shallot
5-6 white peppercorns
4 tablespoon tarragon vinegar
fresh tarragon

Melt butter and remove the whey. Chop shallot, mince peppercorns and together with the vinegar bring to boil and reduce to 1 tablespoon, sieve and set aside. In a pot bring water to boil and in another bowl add egg yolks, wine, the reduction and 1 pinch of salt. Over steam beat egg yolks until it gets thick and foamy. Add butter in thin spurt and keep on whisking. Season with salt, pepper and fresh chopped tarragon.

May 4, 2009

The Salad Post

It is been a long time that I posted, but now I am back to the kitchen. As my first post in May I decided to collect a few salads I prepared lately. I could hardly believe my eyes when I found a bunch of colorful swiss chard in pot! It only had a few leaves, therefore I decided to serve it raw, because it was so tender.

I have it growing on the window ledge and I can hardly wait for the next portion, until then I watch those tiny leaves growing day by day. The other salads I prepared have an Asian touch, and they go pretty well together. One is a cucumber salad of tiny cucumbers.

For the marinade I mixed some sour cream, honey, fresh ginger, lemon juice and a few drops of dark sesame oil.

I received a nice bunch of Mizuna and marinated only with light sesame oil, white wine vinegar and soy sauce.

Mizuna or Japanese Mustard has a piquant, mild pfeffry taste, but less pfeffery than arugula.

My favourite type of chicory-like endive is the Carmine. Carmine is a cross between chicory and Chioggia, a red Italian endive.

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