Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sweet curd cheese balls

In fact I should work on my project thesis for my postgraduate study instead of blogging.. but it honestly does´nt attract me at all... I did all this morning to have an excuse for not starting to seriously work on this thesis. I even started doing housekeeping, boring  things like ironing, washing clothes.... Sun is shining outside.. I already did my jogging round and was sitting in the sun after jogging... So now let´s talk about some delicious sweet things like those curd cheese balls and then, then I´ll start with my work.. for sure....
You need:
250 g curd cheese (=Topfen)
250 g self raising flour (or normal flour and 16g baking powder = 1pack)
4 tbsp. sugar
3 eggs
1 tbsp. vanilla sugar

1 liter sunflower oil for frying
Some icing sugar (about 100 g) and ground cinnamon (1 tsp. or more or less, adjust to your aste)
To prepare:
1. Stir all the ingredients together until well combined Let rest for about 10 minutes
2. Meanwhile heat up in a big pan the sunflower oil
3. With two tablespoons form out of the dough small balls and bake in the hot oil until golden brown and well raised.

4. Mix icing sugar and cinnamon. With a scoop drain the balls and roll in the sugarmix until evenly covered

Savour fresh and warm...

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Pasteis de Nata

I don´t know how long it´s ago that my daughter came back from a journey with the school and was telling about a delicious treat that she and her friends had savoured during their stay in Portugal. Since then, when ever she rememorates this journey she speaks about Pasteis de Nata. And I think it´s quite also such a long time that I promised her to try to bake some of those Pasteis de Nata... So that´s one of the examples that you never should give up in your life - because now (even if it´s years after..) I did it! I found a delicious and easy recipe for Pasteis de Nata. And here it is.
You need (makes about 24 small Pasteis de Nata)
- 275g ready to use puff pastry
- 4 egg yolks
- 80 g sugar
- 250 ml heavy cream
- 1 tsp. wheat flour
- some cinnamon powder, a little bit melted butter and a pan for little muffins
To prepare:
1. Beat the egg yolks with a fork. Put in a pan together with sugar and heavy cream and heat up on low temperature. Just before it boils you add the flour (dissolved previously in a little bit of heavy cream)
2. Cook for about 3 minutes until it starts to get creamy. Stir from time to time
3. Let cool down this cream
4. Meanwhile butter your muffin pan with the melted butter
5. Roll out the puff pastry and cut into stripes about 1 cm wide and 20 cm long
6. Roll each stripe to a sort of a snail and flatten to a disk. Then put each disk in a muffin whole

7. Fill the cream in your pastry tartelettes and bake for about 18 minutes in your preheated oven (200 C) until goldn brown
8. When getting out of the oven your pasteis de nata sprinkle some ground cinnamon on each and let cool down. Don´t be afraid that they will collapse a little bit.

Those pasteis de nata are delicious when slightly warm (but not hot)... Would wonder if you could stop after one piece

Monday, February 27, 2012

ricotta - Philadelphia Cheese Cake

I can´t survive without sweets. Is there anybody who can understand this? Or is there anybody who can not understand? :) So as I found in the supermarket some really beautiful raspberries I decided to make a cheese cake to accompain them. But I wanted a simple and quick recipe. I found it in the cookbook Neni from Haya Molcho, It´s really a very easy recipe.
You need:
380 g Ricotta
130 g Cream Cheese ( I used Philadelphia)
80 g sugar
65 g butter
4 eggs
- for the topping:
200 g sour cream
Some chopped raspberries
- for the crust:
200 g shortbread cookies (I used some from Leibnitz)
1 Tbsp melted butter
1 Tbsp sugar
To prepare:
1. Crush the cookies in your kitchen machine or you put them in a plastic bag and hit on it with a rolling pin until you get a sandy consistency.
2. Mix together with butter and sugar.
3. Put this shortbread mix in your buttered forms and press with a spoon. Bake for 5 min. in the to 180 C preheated oven
4. Meanwhile prepare the filling by mixing together all the ingredients (ricotta, philadelphia cream cheese, butter, sugar,eggs)
5. Let shortly cool down the prebaked crust and then pour the cheese mix over it.
6. Bake for 45 min. in the 170 C preheated oven.

Let cool down and serve with the chopped raspberries and some sour cream

Sunday, February 26, 2012

roasted rosemary Almonds

Ok I´m not in the mood for much words.. but you also would´nt if you could smell what I smell :). So here is the recipe for roasted rosemary almonds and smell the odour....
You need:
100 g almonds
100 g almonds without skin
1 good lug of olive oil
a bunch rosemary (= 2 Tbsp chopped rosemary)
1 Tbsp coarse sea salt
1 Tsp cayenne pepper
To prepare:
1. Preheat your oven to 200 C
2. Chop the rosemary; you should get about 2 Tbsp.
3. Toss together all the ingredients and the almonds.
4. Put the almonds in a quite big oven proved pan or directly on the oven tray
5. Roast for 12 min in the oven

And now....... let´s see how long this almonds will last

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Züri - Impressions from a weekend in Zürich / Switzerland

I confess that Zürich in Switzerland never was on my list of "Must to go, must to see"....  As my sweetie has a internshop at the Opera from Zürich for some weeks there was no question where I had to go :). Have you ever been to Zürich?. Now it´s a small town with a cute little center located on a lake. In the summer or springtime when everything is flourishing it must be very beautiful. There are no high houses, you find quite a lot of youg people but everything is very high priced... The local kitchen is highly influenced by the french or let´s say parisian cuisine so you find "moules et frittes", goose liver patés .... And one can find really nice restaurants in interesting locations as a former gasplant or a factory building or a bar at the top of a former planetarium... As the town is really small and the possibilities for public tranportation are excellent you can reach everything easily even if the locations is not in the so called center of the town. One of my favourites was a teahouse a little bit our of the center called Maison Blunt. Very cosy and relaxed. You can go there for Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner or for a simple Drink, a Tea (mint Tea with really fersh mint for example) or ... The dishes are influenced from east-orient and the prices are reasonable...

The other restaurant that we "tested" was LA SALLE in a former factory building. You can find there a Jazz Club, a theatre, a small bar at the top of the building with a beautiful view over Zürich and a Restaurant. The staff is exceptionally friendly and the portions are rather big. They also serve half portions what is very good if you are not so hungry or intend to eat a complete menu or are feared about your purse :).

And the locations itself is fascinating. So it was a short but very interesting glance at the city of Zürich and some great days with my daughter...

Friday, January 13, 2012

Sweet Pinenuts Cracker

It´s ever the same problem. The cupboards are well furnished and nonetheless you can´t find something that would satisfy your palate... You are looking for some small crunchy bites that you could nibble meanwhile reading your journal, your book, looking TV, drinking a warm cup of tea and relaxing. You are looking for something with only a hint of sweetness. You are looking for something that is done in some minutes... Ok, as I was sure that my cubboards are well furnished I decided to control their content with the target to find something that could satisfy my envy. In my fridge I found a rest of puff pastry - I wonder what I would do without ready to use puff pastry.. and so there is quite ever some in my fridge.. - some light moscovado sugar - would say that it´s part of my "basic kitchen equipment" - and some pine nuts (the rest from a baking session before christmas. I´d used them for my Biscuits called Schoggifrätzli).  I like moscovado sugar because it is not so sweet than normal white sugar and gives a littles of a caramelized flavour to the treats. Of course a normal brown sugar would also do the deal but in fact the taste of those crackers strongly correlates with the sugar you use.. so thry which sugar is your favourite. I made really small crackers in one bite sizes but of course one could also do them bigger...
You need:
-  275 g ready to use puff pastry
- 30 g pine nuts
- 5 Tbsp. light moscovado sugar
To prepare:
1. Take the rolled puff pastry out of the fridge and lay the plate on your working surface
2. Disperse the sugar on the surface of the puff pastry
3. Scatter the pine nuts on the pastry
4. Cut in about 15 cm large stripes and roll each stripe from both sides to the middle. You obtain a sort of a double roll.
5. Cut in small pieces, narrow the ends and squeeze a little bit the end of each piece

6. Bake in the 180 C preheated oven on a tray lined with parchment paper for about 15 min. /  until golden brown and crispy (the baking time may differ upon your oven..).

Dust with some icing sugar and well now crunch and be happy!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Mussels in white wine sauce

 You know that?: going to the market and seeing something, thinking NO you don´nt need it... at home: would now like to have this "something"... but you are invited for Dinner today, tomorrow for a Brunch and... and the really "knock out criteria": nobody but you like this "something". Ok who cares! After having beeing craving some days for those Mussels (= my something) I bought them finally! Ok I would have to eat them alone ´cause nobody else in my family likes them but sometime you need to do things only for you :). Is ´nt it?There was a little bit of a rest of white wine in the fridge, some yellow and normal carrots, celery and some green onion... Oh! ...and not to forget some dough for the Baguette ..also waiting in the fridge and delicious to accompain my mussels!
You need (for 3 - 4 persons served as main dish):
- 1 kg Mussels
- 200 ml dry, white wine
- 50 ml vegetable stock
- 125 g crème fraiche
- 1 carrot
- 1 yellow carrot
- 1 small onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- the green from one green onion
- a small part of a celery
Some oil, salt and pepper to season
To prepare:
1. Wash the vegetables, the onion, the green part of a green onion and the garlic and cut in small cubes
2. Wash and clean the mussels
3. In a big pan heat up to medium heat a good lug of oil
4. Add the vegetables, onion, garlic and sweat for some minutes
5. Add wine and stock and the mussels. Cover and let simmer for about 10 minutes
6. Take out the mussels and keep warm in the 50 C preheated oven.
7. Meanwhile finish the sauce by adding the crème fraiche and seasoning if necessary with salt and pepper and simmer for about 2 minutes
8. Give the mussels on the dishes or in a bowl and pour the sauce over them (eat only the mussels that are open)
Accompain with some fresh Baguette (perhaps self baked...) and a glass of the white wine (if possible the same you´ve used for the sauce....)

Monday, January 2, 2012

Creamy Cabbage Soup with cream cheese pastries

Thinking about what to cook for a dinner with friends and family and talking about it with my best friend I decided to make a cabbage Soup. My friend also intended to do one for her family Dinner. Here is my recipe for this creamy winter soup that one may enjoy after a walk in those grey, cold, little bit rainy days that we have at the moment... But after every rain sun comes sooner or later, isn´t it? Perhaps this soups gives you a little bit of somewhat of a sunny side.. :). My friend made it with a litle bit of orange juice. Next time I would add to my soup a little bit more stock because for me it was a tick to creamy... My friend told me that also her soup experience went very creamy.... But our guests ate all and did not complain.... In my case perhaps of my cute cream cheese pastries.....?
You need (for 4 - 6 persons)
300g Shredded Cabbage
200 ml heavy cream
400 ml vegetable stock
1 small, fine cut onion
1 garlic
1 Thyme sprig
Some Milk, white Balsamico, salt an pepper to season, some sunflower oil
For the cream cheese pastries:
Some ready rolled puff pastry , some herb cream cheese, 1 small egg, shortly beaten with a fork 
To prepare:
1. Heat up a good lug of oil in a big pan and sweat in it cabbage and onion.
2 . Fill up with the warm stock , heavy cream and a big dash of milk. Add crushed garlic and the thyme sprig. Let simmer until the cabbage is soft.
3. Take out the thyme and season with salt, pepper and a dash of white balsamico. Mix all until creamy (if you do it with your kitchenblender or your freestandmixer you should do it in portions or you have a great machine like I have :). With my "wondermachine" I cook and mix all in- and with- only this one kitchenmachine: My Thermomix from Vorwerk!)
For the decoration:
- Cut the puff pastry in stripes and smear the herb cream cheese on one part. Then lay over an other stripe without cheese. 
- Cut out with cookie cutters different forms.This way the edges will be pressed automatically together.
- Brush every pastrie with the eggmix, put on a oventray lined with parchment paper and bake in the 180 C preheated oven for 20 minutes until golden brown.
- Then put them on a wooden schaschlik-spit and decorate the bowls with the soup....
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