Thursday, March 31, 2011

About Eggs and Eastern and a Springtime Salad

Eastern is coming. In every shop one can find some Easterdecoration, some painted eggs, a lot of chocolate bunnies or chocolate chicks, chocolate eggs, praliné eggs, almondpaste eggs.... Eggs all around..! So it was self-evident that sooner or later I would look for a dish with eggs... I find Quaileggs cute and like to decorate with them for Eastern. So why not also eat them?

Serves 4 Person:
3 – 4 Quaileggs / person
750 g Potatoes
1 Red onion (sliced into cubes)
                                                     1 small iceberg lettuce
10 Tbsp. Verjus (or lemon juice)
3 Tbsp. Olive oil
Salt, Pepper, 20 g sunflowerseeds
Sesamoil to fry the eggs
 To coat the quail eggs with breadcrumbs you need (amount for about 12 quail eggs):
1 small egg (whisked with a fork)
6 Tbsp wheat flour
8 Tbsp breadcrumbs
(if you intend to coat more than 12 Quaileggs you must adjust the amount of flour, breadcrums and eventually also the egg)
1. Cook the potatoes as usual. Then peel them and cut into slices.
2. Meanwhile the potatoes cook, cut your onion into cubes and pour some hot water over them and let rest for 5 minutes (to get the onions milder and easier to digest), then drain them well and reserve for the preparation of the potatoes.
3. Prepare your lettuce by washing and cutting
4. Cook the Quaileggs for about 3 minutes in boiling water. Peel them and proceed with the breadcrumbcoating.
5. Prepare 3 different bowls filled one with flour,one  with the whisked egg and one with breadcrumbs
6. First roll the Quaileggs in flour, than in egg and finally cover all around with breadcrumbs
7. Heat up enough sesamoil in a pan and fry the breadcrumb coated Quaileggs until golden brown. Drain them on a kitchenroll.
8. In a separate Pan roast the sunflowerseed without any oil until slightly brown
9. Mix together Verjus (or lemon juice) and olive oil, season with salt and pepper and marinate  the potatoes and separately the lettuce. Fold the onion in the potatoesalad.
10. Now arrange on a plate the lettuce beneath the potatoes and Quaileggs aand disperse the sunflowerseeds over all...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Banana - Matcha Buttermilkshake

In springtime (in my opinion more than in others seasons...) everybody tells us about how to get more healthy and to get in shape for the summer. So of course we hear also that one should eat enough fruits and drink green tea, especially Matcha Tea (green tea powder that is normally used for teaceremonies) has the reputation to be a radical-catcher. And also milkproducts are good to get energy and ...... So quite everywhere we can buy Smoothies, Milkshakes, Tchai Latte, Coffee Latte and so on... everything of course to go... in fact I often forget that it is so easy to do a smoothie or a shake at home. Looking into my fridge some banana waited to be employed and as a real tealover I have of course also some Matcha Tea at home. The sun was shining bright and I was in the mood for a healthy :), savoury Milkshake...

I used (serves 1 - 2 person)
1 ripe Banana (broken into pieces)
250 ml Buttermilk
1 tsp Matcha Tea
3 tsp vanilla sugar (take more or less, depending how sweet you want your shake)
Put all the ingredients in a mixer and turn to high speed to get a smooth and fluffy texture for about 1 minute. Pour in a glass, decorate to your taste and ... Yummm...

Monday, March 28, 2011

Jasmine Tea flavoured Panna Cotta

Panna Cotta! For a long time I had, let´s say very reserved feelings about this dessert. You can find it on quite every menu of any italian restaurant. But it is very often from poor quality. Even if this dessert is more than simple to do it is obviously not so easy to get a really good tasting one. Very often it is in my opinion to hard and not creamy enough. I don´t know what is the reason for. Perhaps they use to much gelatine or the Panna cotta is not fresh... Whoever. Since I have tried it once for a Dinner with friends, I felt in love with Panna cotta. It is simple, readily done, delicious and needs only small time for preaparation. Sounds great no? Ok there are some obstacles: you need special forms so called Dariolforms (this are small cups made of stainless-steel that you can get in good household ware shops; little bit similar to puddingforms...but smaller and looking a bit different) and you have to prepare it some hours before you intend to serve it (the easiest way is to prepare it the night before savouring it..)
To prepare it you need for 4 small Forms (50 ml content):
- 250 g liquid heavy cream
- 3 tbsp. sugar
- 1 little dash Vanilla paste (I continue loving the vanillapaste from Nomu) (or 1/2 tsp. vanillasugar)
- 2 tsp. good Jasminetea (or 1 teabag of a jasminetea)                           - 2 gelatine sheets (= 3,2 g) (if you have bigger forms or more guests just augment the ingredients respecting amount / relation..)

- First give the jasminetea in a teabag or use a readily filled jasminetea-teabag and hang the bag in the heavy-cream that you have poured in a pan. Add sugar and vanillapaste and heat the cream up until it simmers and boil together with the teabag for about 5-6 minutes. Stir from time to time so that your cream want get scorched...
- Meanwhile soak the gelatine in
some cold water
- After the cookingtime from the Cream, get the teabag out and mix the well drained gelatine sheets into the hot cream until dissolved.
- Pour the Cream in your prepared dariolforms (wash them with some cold water before pouring in the Cream)
- Get the Panna cotta in your fridge for at least 5 hours.
- To serve them you have to get them out of the forms.

To get them easy out of the forms: 1. put the Dariolforms for a few seconds  in a bowl with some hot water. and 2.  get around the edges with a sharp knife.
And now "slip" them out on a plate. Yeahh here they are....
 I serve the Panna Cotta with some sliced fruit as decoration

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A good reason for "Croissants de gazelles"...

Blossoms, Flowers all around... and they have stolen me an hour....
Every year the same.
When the day comes where we have to adjust our watches because of Winter - Summer-Time change  it is like a signal for starting the gardening time.. A friend of mine who is a professional gardener ever tries to stop us, because it is of course to early to start planting as it might get colder once again.. But Gardencenters and Florist attracts us with some Springtime Opening Events... and so my sister, beeing impatient to "reopen" her terrace and getting new plants, and myself decided to make a short trip to the Springtime Event of one of a very stylish Gardener nearby our hometown...  We´ve been there for about 3 hours, looking around, choosing some flowers, tasting wine and juices, trying new earings..... Getting home we were both satisfied with our conquests. To continue the "Flowerfeeling" and to satisfy the desire of our palates, we decided to have a late Breakfast with some Croissants de Gazelles and a good cup of tea.
I don´t know if you ever have heard about "Cornes de Gazelles". It is a sweet treat from arab-french cuisine consisting of a special dough filled with ground almonds flavoured with "eau de fleur d´orangers" (water of Orangeblossoms). The name of this treat come from his form, as it shall remind the corns from gazelles. Eau de Fleur d´oranger is very well known in the south of France, la Provence. You can find there a lot of sweets flavoured with this special flavour. So it might be a little bit difficult to get it in your country. When ever I am in France I try to bring a little bottle of Eau de Fleurs d´orangers at home. So as we wanted to satisfy our desire quite quick we made a sort of a "Fast Food Variation" of cornes de Gazelles by using a ready to use Croissant Dough, that you can find in quite any supermarket and filling with the flavoured almonds.. and here they are our Croissants de Gazelles!

You need (for 6 Croissants):
-  1 Package of a ready to use Croissant Dough (for 6 Croissants)
- 2 - 3 tbsp. of a jam (I used the rest of a clementinejam)
- 2 tbsp. Eau de Fleur d´oranger
- 20 g icing sugar
- 80 g ground almonds
- 2 tbsp. icing sugar mixed with 1 tbsp. water to glaze the Croissant
To prepare:
 1. Preheat your oven to the temperature that the producers from your Croissant Dough recommands (it will be around 200 C)
2. Prepare your almond filling by mixing together the ground almonds, with the Eau de Fleur d´orangers and 20 g icing sugar. You will obtain some sort of a paste.
3. Open the Croissant-Dough package as explained on the package and divide into the predesigned Triangles

 3. Smear some jam on each Triangle and disperse the flavoured almond paste on it.
4 . Roll each Triangle to a Croissant and put them on a baking tray armed with parchement paper

5. Bake in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes until golden brown.
6. Meanwhile the Croissants bake you can prepare the Glaze (and the Tea :))) by mixing 3 tbsp. icing sugar with 1 tbsp. water
7. When the Croissants are ready baked sweap the glaze on each of them with a baking brush.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

risotto al Limone with babysquid

I´ve started to do some bodywork.. its called Zumba. In contrast to normal Bodywork you do sort of a simple choreography to some hot latin music... It´s really funny. Hearing one hour long these happy music you start to dream about some hot summer days, the seaside, a beautiful decorated Cocktail.... To get a little bit of a summerfeeling in my home I went to the market and bought some Lemon and Babysquids. Rice for a Risotto is quite ever in stock at our home. The preparation from Risotto needs some assistance but is on the other hand really simple. If you wanna eat it together with children, simply omit the alcool that normally is added to Risotto. I used some Noilly Prat, but the result is quite as good if you dont add it.... Regarding a good Risotto, one of the main points is the rice you use. It has strictly to be a Risotto Rice. Otherwise you want obtain the delicious creamy consistence.
To serve 4 person you need:
- 300 g Risotto Rice (Carnaroli or Vialone Nano; in my opinion there is no great difference betwwen these to varieties...)
- 1 liter warm vegetable stock
- 2 organic Lemon (you will need the juice of them as well as the grated peel)
- 25 ml Noilly Prat (if you want)
- 4 Tablespoon Creamcheese
- Olive oil
- Salt
- 200 g babysquids (cut into small pieces)
To prepare your Risotto you need about 20 minutes. And when it is ready you should serve it. Guests and Family may wait for the Risotto but the Risotto should not wait for any one.....
1. Heat up a good lug of olive oil in a pan. Add the rice and stir until the ricegrains are covered allover by the oil.
2. Add the Noilly Prat and wait to add some warm soup until the whole Vermouth is absorbed by the rice.Now add step by step, slowly the soup and stir from time to time. Ever when the fluid added has been well absorbed, you may add the next amount of your stock.

3. About 15 minutes after you´ve started your Risotto, heat up another good lug of olive oil in a pan to high temperature and add the squidpieces until they are really good fried.
4. When your rice starts turning soft and creamy add the Lemonjuice and mix him under the rice and cook for another 2 - 3 minutes. Season with salt to your taste.
5. Now stir the creamcheese in the Risotto
6. Disperse the fried Squid on the Risotto as well as some of the grated Lemonpeel and enjoy.....

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Chocolate Heaven - Brownies

I like Brownies when they are very soft and moisten, I like chocolate and I like walnuts.... The following recipe is based on a Nigella Lawson Recipe from her Book Nigella Express. In fact I also like very much this cookbook as the recipes are easy and simple to prepare but nonetheless with a certain "twist". I also find them very good explained and there are a lot of pictures. I hate recipes and cookbooks without some photos that shows me how the result should be, without some "mouthwatering pictures" inspiring my fantasy....
So by the time I´ve got quite a lot of cookbooks. But when I go to a bookstore I can not avoid the Cookbook Department...
So I also have tried quite a lot of Brownie Recipe but this is my favorite. Depending on  the chocolate you use, the taste will differ a little bit and of course also regarding the nuts you use... Great is also that those Chocolate Heaven - Brownies stay like fresh baked for some days.. But I wonder if you could resist very long.
To prepare the Brownies you need:
225 g dark chocolate (I used a 75 % cacao containing chocolate)
210 g grounded almonds
100 g coarsely chopped walnuts
180g sugar
1 dash of vanilla paste (or 1 tsp. vanilla sugar)
225 g butter
3 medium sized eggs, whisked in a bowl with a fork
a Brownie Baking pan (meaning a rectangular baking pan about 27 x 18 x 3 cm ).
1. Preheat the oven to 170 C
2. Melt the chocolate (broken in pieces) and the butter (in a pan on the stove or in the microwave oven) and let cool down to room temperature         
3. Fold in the sugar and the vanilla paste
4. Then add the eggs to the chocolate-butter-sugar mixture, the ground almonds and walnuts.

5. Pour these mixture in your baking pan (armed with some parchement paper or with a non sticking baking foil; these foil is great as you can adapt to quite every form of a baking pan..)
6. Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes and let cool down. For me it is very difficult to wait until I cut the Brownies into pieces as the odour of chocolate is all around when you take the Brownies out of the oven and it is hard to wait until you can eat the first piece.

You understand why I call them Chocolate Heaven - Brownies? Unbeatable they are slightly warm with a scoop of vanilla ice........ How long can you resist before you try them? 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Potatoe - Tarte Tatin

Calendar states: Beginning of Spring and really....the Sun is shining! Temperature is rising, people smiling at you :).... I start thinking about herbs that I intend to plant and to cultivate, as each year...but I think I should wait a little bit as it could get cold once again... A friend of mine who is a professional gardener tries every year to moderate our impatience to start planting because it is to early and the nights continue to be to cold.... Ok, I´ll wait..but I can start looking and planning, no? So meanwhile I´ll do a "Springtimefeeling" Treat or something that combines the leaving winter with beginning springtime... Thatfore I combined some potatoes  and walnuts as "representant" for winter, with Mozarella and tomatoes as "representant" for spring and summer... The result is this Potatoe - Tarte Tatin. Normally Tarte Tatin is a sweet apple tart. But one can do the same way with salty ingredients...
You will need:
4 medium sized potatoes, peeled and cut into thin slices
1 can (450 g) of tinned  of tomatoes
125 g Mozzarella, also cut into slices
50 g coarsely chopped walnuts
salt, pepper and dried oregano
1 roll of puff pastry (about 275 g)
To prepare:
1. Make a simple tomatoesauce by putting the tomatoes in a pan and heat them up at high temperature since you get a thick sauce; stir from time to time and flatten the tomatoes with your spoon. Season to your taste with salt, pepper and oregano
2. Use a non sticking baking pan (I like to use tartelettes forms) and grease a little bit with some butter.
3. Cover the base with the Potatoeslices and walnuts, then with the Mozzarella and finally add the tomatosauce
4. Cut your puff pastry according to the size of your baking pan and put it over the ingredients that you´ve already put in your baking pan.
5. Place the baking pan (or tartelette forms) in the to 200 C preheated oven and bake for about 25 minutes until the puff pastry has turned golden brown.
6. Take out your Potatoe - Tarte Tatin and wait some minutes until you get them out of the baking pans by turning them onto a plate. 

 The advantages of this preparation is that the puff pastry stays crunchy and is not soaked with the tomatoe sauce.... Feel free to decorate with some fresh herbs and serve warm.

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