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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