Monday, August 29, 2011

Summer Berries Cake

As the heat is gone and we enjoy now some fine last summer days with agreable temperature, my envy for cakes to accompain my cup of tea comes back. During the hot, hot days that we had last week, I prefered icecream :) .  My candy drawer was empty..who the hell ate all the sweets? So I had to bake something to satisfy my sugar need :) . In my fridge a variety of berries waited for their use...

You need (for an oven tray):
- 150 g butter
- 175 g sugar
- 3 eggs
- 225 g flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 2 tbsp. milk
- 600g mixed berries (I used blackberries, wild blueberries and raspberries)
- 400 g crème fraiche
- 4 egg yolks
- 2 tbsp. icing sugar
- a dash of cinnamon
To prepare:
1. Mix together soft butter and sugar until the sugar is well melted.
2. Add eggs one by one.
3. Fold in the flour, baking powder and milk. 

 4. Put this mix on a baking tray (with parchment paper) and bake in the to 200 C preheated oven for 10 minutes.
5. Meanwhile wash the berries and mix together crème fraiche, egg yolks and cinnamon.
6. Take the cake base out of the oven and disperse the berries and the crème fraiche mix on it. Put back in the oven and bake for further 15 minutes.

7. Let the cake cool down before you cut in pieces and sprinkle with icing sugar.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Summer Abundance - fresh fruits, vegetables, salad....

On saturday I went to the farmer´s market- First I was a little bit depressed because it had started to rain when I was on the way to the market. But who cares. Umbrella in one hand, shopping basket in the other and here we go..
During summer I especially love to go there. It is a feast for eyes and nose. I have bought a lot more things then we needed... Flowers, apples, raspberries, blackberries, bread, chanterelles.. oh chanterelles..for me on of the first signs that summer is soon over and fall is knocking on the door... But no later on rain stopped and the day become very sunny and warm... And I had to store alle my conquest and think about their use... I started with a quick Mozarella - Blackberrie - Summer salad. Not everyones taste.. my daughter refused the addition of blackberries with the words: "thats too weird Mom!". Ok more berries for us others :) .
You need (for 4 persons):
- Mix of different Salads
- 100 g blackberries
- 3 Tbsp. mapple sirup
- 250 g cocktail tomatoes (if possible in different colours)
- 250 g Mozarella
- Cucumber
- 50 g cashew nuts
- Lemonjuice (from 2 lemons)
- fruity olive oil (for ex. italian oil. You need the same Quantity then lemon juice)
- 1 Tbsp. mustard
- salt and pepper
To prepare:
1. Cut the tomatoes in halves, the mozarella in about 5 mm slices and the cucumber in thin slices
2. Put all together in a bowl
3. In a pan roast the cashews
4. In another pan heat up the mapple sirup and add the blackberries. Cover them all over with sirup and cook for about 1 - 2 minutes
5. Mix in a glass with a lid lemonjuice, oil, mustard, salt an pepper and shake
6. Pour the dressing (reserve 2 Tbsp.) over your salad  and toss together.
7. Arrange the salad on a plate, then the Mozarella slices. Drizzle the rest of the dressing over the cheese, scatter the nuts all over and now add the hot blackberries and their juice.
Weird ? Perhaps. But yummm, together with some fresh baguette....

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Catfish Fillet en Croute

As we eat not so often meat and prefer instead fish I often have the difficultie to find some new Recipe, some delicious combination to vary the preparation...  Looking through my recipe books I stopped by a recipe from Jamie Oliver in his Book Ministry of Food which I like very much as it contains a lot of simple but very tasty recipes. One of those is this fish en Croute what mainly consists in a fisch wrapped in puff pastry. Basically not a very surprising combination fisch and puff pastry.. but he adds tomatoes, olive tapenade, fresh basil leaves and mozzarella..and here it is the recipe with this little twist that makes out of a simple fish a great meal. In the original recipe it is prepared with salmon in one piece and then divided among the eaters. I did it this time in single serving sizes. In my opinion this looks nicer to serve on the plate especially when you have guests...
You need (serves 4 - 6 persons):
- 700 g Catfisch Fish fillet (or you take a big one or you divide it in piece or you buy smaller filets to use directly as single portion..)
- 2 ready rolled puff pastry; 275 g
- a bunch of fresh basil (with rather great leaves)
- 4 Tomatoes
- 4 Tbsp. black olive Tapenade paste
- 200 g Mozzarella Cheese
- Olive oil, salt and pepper
- 1 Egg
To prepare:
1. Roll the puff pastry and divide according to your intended serving sizes and fish fillet pieces
2. Slice the tomatoes not to thin
3. Place the fish fillet on the puff pastry, season with salt and pepper, spread the tapenade out over the top
4. Place the picked basil leaves, then the tomatoe slices over the fish
5. Tear the mozarella into pieces and scatter on top
6. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil
7. Gather up the sides of the puff pastry and paint the edges with a beaten egg
8. Place on a oven tray armed with some parchment paper (if you do one big piece it is easier to start by placing the puff pastry right from the beginning on the tray) and bake for about 30 minutes (until golden brown and crispy) at the bottom of your to 200 C preheated oven


Friday, August 5, 2011

For Dessert: French Toast with Mascarpone ice and hot caramelized peaches

I confess that for a long time I was afraid to make French toast at home. All the good toasts I´ve got out in a Café for Breakfast; I thought that I never could do it that good... In my country French Toast is not so well known, so I ate it mainly when beeing in GB or France for Holidays.. I also thought that it would take a long time to do french toast... Since my last stay in London I was determined to try it very soon regardless my fears... And now I could do it every day... It is so easy and so fingerlicking... But why only serve them for Breakfast, why not as a dessert? So I was brooding for some days over the question what to combine with my french toast that I had decided to serve for dessert at my annual "Girlfriends Summer - Dinner"... And I think I´ve got it: a rich, milky icecream + caramelized, slightly warm fruits + the hot, soft French Toast....Yummie
You need (serves 4 - 6 persons):
For the Toast:
- 1 slice toast / person
- 280 ml Milk
- 2 big eggs
- 3 dashes Vanilla Paste (or a scraped vanilla pod)
- 3 Tbsp. butter and enough sunflower oil for the frying pan (to cover the base for about 5 mm)
For the Ice Cream:
- 350 g Mascarpone
- 200 ml Milk
- 90 g icing sugar
2 medium sized eggs
- 2 dashes Vanilla Paste
For the caramelized peaches:
- 2 big peaches (sliced)
- 80 g dark brown sugar
- a good knob butter
To prepare:
1. Start with the preparation of the ice cream as it will need some time to be ready/frozen (the time it needs depends on the way you prepare it: or over night in your fridge or the time that your ice machine needs. In my rather simple ice machine it takes about 50 minutes to get a  creamy ice).
Separate the eggs. Mix together in a bowl Mascarpone, icing sugar, milk and egg yolks until you get a creamy, frothy texture.
2. Beat the eggwhites until stiff and fold them in in your mascarponemix.
3. Put this mix in your ice machine and .. yeah wait until it´s finished and ready to serve.
4. Or you wait until your ice cream is ready to start baking the french toast or you have done the ice the day before or you use one from the supermarket... For the french toast mix together milk, eggs and vanilla paste in a flat dish and place the Toasts in it and let them soak on both sides for several minutes (the longer they soak the more difficult it becomes to handle them but also your toast will be more fluffy... so at least you should let them in your milkmix for about 5 minutes)
5. Heat up sunflower oil and butter in a non sticking pan and bake in it the soaked Toasts. Each side takes about 1 minute, just wait until golden brown and a little bit crispy... If you have to wait for the other toasts reserve the ready done ones in the to 50 C preheated oven. (drain them shortly on a kitchen paper when taken out of the pan)
6. Meanwhile the toast bake you give in an other pan the dark brown sugar and heat it up until it starts to melt. Than add the butter and wait once more until melted. Add the peaches that you have sliced previously and cover them with the caramel by turning them occasionally.
7. On a dish arrange the French Toast with ice and caramelized peaches, dust with icing sugar and drizzle all over some more of your fruitcaramel...
Even when you are no more hungry after your Lunch or Dinner... I would wonder if somebody could resist to this dessert..... :))

Monday, August 1, 2011

Ham and Noodle Casserole (we call it: "Souffllierte Schinkenfleckerl")

I was thinking quite a long time if there is a possible translation for that what we call "Schinkenfleckerl". I did not find a real good possibility to translate. Ham and Noodle Casserole seemed to me to express in the best way what kind of dish is meaned... In fact it is a very traditional dish in my country that in my opinion got a little bit forgotten. My Mom made it for me and my sister when we was kids. I remember that my father hated this dish. So Mom made this only for us children when Dad was not at home.. we loved it..beeing a child we ate it together with ketchup today I prefer it accompained with some green salad. For the "Original" you need some special noodles in rectangular shape (that we call "Fleckerl").
If you can´t get those little noodles, you can of course use any other small noodles. The ham is a normal cooked ham. You can either also cut him in little squares or you chop him rather fine. Beeing a liitle bit lazy this time I only cut the ham in squares... normally I prefer to chop him as I find that the taste from the ham is than more distinct... But try yourself what you would prefer...            
You need (serves 4 - 5 persons):
- 100 g Butter
- 3 Eggs
- 125 g Sour cream
- 200g Cooked Ham (sliced in squares or finely chopped)
- 300 g Fleckerl (or any small noodles)
- breadcrumbs and butter for the baking dish
- Salt, pepper and a nutmeg to season
Eventually some grated cheese (about 30 g of Parmesan or Emmental for example)
To prepare:
1. Cook the noodles in enough salted water, drain in a colander and rinse with cold water (to avoid them sticking too much together)
2. In a bowl mix togeher until frothy butter and 3 eggyolks, season with quite a lot salt, pepper and a little bit grated nutmeg. Add sour cream and Ham.
3. Add to this buttermix the Noodles
3. Beat 3 Eggwhites until stiff and fold in your noodlemix.

4. Butter a baking dish and cover with breadcrumbs. Fill the dish with your noodles (feel free to cover with some grated cheese. I did´nt...)
5. Bake in the preheated oven (180 C) for 35 minutes until golden brown.
Meanwhile baking you can prepare the salad or ... doing nothing..? :))

rocket - Soup

As Fall seems to continue.. Just let me look into my calendar.. is it really August? Must be a mistake..
Have to do something to bring back summer almost in the kitchen and on our plates. A friend of mine just wrote that he is craving from the heat.. he stays at the moment in Greece.. And in fact I have no compassion for him... how fine it is here in my hometown.. cool temperatures, cloudy, not sweetening... Damned!Could´nt he send us a little bit of the heat? So you can understand why I had to made a soup.. But to bring a little bit of summer into the dish I choosed Rocket as a basic ingredient. One can find Rocket easily today on quite every market and even at the supermarket. Normally it is used in salads. But it is also very tasty in soups with his distinct flavour and his beautiful green colour.
You need (serves 4 persons):
- 100 g Rocket
- 600 ml vegetable stock
- 200 g heavy cream
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 3 Tbsp. oil
- 2 boiled eggs (rather soft than hard)
- Salt and pepper to season
How to prepare:
1. Heat up oil in a deep pan and sweat the onion
2. Add vegetable stock and bring to boil. Now add heavy cream and boil for 15 minutes
3. Add the coarsely chopped rocket (washed and the harder strunks cut away) to the soup and reboil.
4. Mix everything in a mixer until well blended and frothy

5. Peel the precooked eggs and put one half in each plate. Add soup and decorate with some rocket leaves and grissini.
Now you can wait for the Summer....
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