Dienstag, 26. Juni 2012

Tofu fritters

Today I made some tofu fritters. I needed something which is not too hard to chew and to go with a light vegetable soup, lost a few teeth yesterday while visiting the dentist... will be replaced soon...

For the fritters you need:

 200 g firm tofu, well sqeezed between kitchen towels

1 big geen spring onion, chopped finely

2 Shiitake, chopped finely

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 small knob ginger, grated

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon corn starch

Crumble tofu with a fork into very fine crumbles, stir in all the other ingredients and kneat well by hand. The batter is a little bit soft. Heat oil in a wok and form small patties. Fry 4 patties just until golden while turning them once. This will be done in a blink. Fry the next batch.

Serve with soy sauce and chopped spring onions or with soup.

For the soup I cooked different vegetables as carrots, broccoli, radish leaves, summer squash, daikon, spring onion and shiitake in a dashi stock (made from scratch with roasted dried sardines, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, mirin, water, sea weed and bonito flakes - filtered for a clear broth). Just slice vegetable in bitesize pieces and add according their textures - add soft leaves at the end of cooking time. I cooked everthing a little longer because I cannot chew firm food very well.

Tofu fritters draining on a paper towel to get rid of oil

Freitag, 22. Juni 2012

Rose scented iced tea

It is nice and warm outside about 25 C - not that hot thanks to a kind and mild breeze.This afternoon I enjoyed to just sit in my garden and have some iced tea while doing absolutely nothing: In german their is a saying for such moments: just sit and let your soul dangle. Perfect day, perfect surrounding to do so.

My damask rose is in full blossoming. Quite a view because it is a huge bush with lots and lots of blossoms showering the green below with petals. This kind of rose is used since centuries to produce rose oil, a basic ingredient for many perfumes, because it is heavy scented. Actually the whole garden is filled with rose scent. But not many know that this kind of rose can be used for jams, teas and as seasoning for arabic dishes, desserts.
I use it quite often in the kitchen. Today I made iced tea with just one big blossom and two small teabags hibiscus tea and a few leaves so called chocolat mint. This mint smells like some kind of chocolat and has a nice sweet taste.
rose, mint and hibiscus tea

Just boil 1 liter water, let two bags hibiscus tea or two dried hibiscus blossoms rest in there for about 5 minutes. Strain, add 1 rose blossom, petals only, a few leaves mint and 2 heaped tablespoons brown sugar.
Let cool down, stir and drink it with a little sparkling water (3/4 tea + 1/4 sparkling water/soda) and ice cubes.
Very tasty and refreshing.

Freitag, 15. Juni 2012

Salmon wrapped in Nori

Today I prepared a cold dinner for my husband in advance because I will visit some friends until late night and have dinner with them.

Just some vegetables, sushi rice and Salmon Nori wraps (think of o-bento on a plate).

I steamed the vegetables (sweet red bellpepper and broccoli) in dashi, spiced with a little soy sauce, ginger and garlic. I also drizzeld a little sesame oil afterwards.
The bellpepper got some roasted sesame seeds too and some sprigs chive, the broccoli a squeeze of lemon juice.

For the fish I sprinkled a thickly cut slice of salmon with soy sauce, mirin and a few drops oyster sauce and wrapped the slice in one sheet Nori. I roasted it from all sides until the Nori was crisp and browned, than I cut the slice in 4 cubes and roasted the salmon cubes at the unwrapped sides.

I filled a tomatoe with a mixture of mayonnaise and wasabi for the fish and filled a little dashi soy sauce mix in a small glass to spice up the vegetables. On top of sweet and sour rice I sprinkled a little shredded sea weed and garnished it with red basil leaves.

For dessert I cut 500 g fresh strawberries into halves and marinated them in a mix of sugar, strawberry syrup and lime juice (sorry I did not meassure anything). I whipped 250 g mascarpone and 250 g yoghurt with maybe 3 tablespoons sugar until soft and light and placed it layered with strawberries in a bowl: first 1/3 mascarpone cream followed by 1/3 of the strawberries and so on.

Samstag, 9. Juni 2012

Indonesian fish fritters

Pekedel  Ikan 

I did it a few days ago following my indonesian cook book I bought in England:

500 g cod, ice cold, cut into cubes
3 spring onions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon palm sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon chopped ginger
1 garlic glove, minced
1 egg. slightly beaten
 A few tablespoons sieved starch (corn -  or potatoe starch)
Blend fish with garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sugar until minced and something smooth. Mix in egg and chopped spring onions. The mixture is very soft and sticky.
With wet hands form small balls, toss balls in starch and deep fry until golden. Serve with soy sauce or sweet thai chilli sauce.

I made some sweet and sour vegetables too: Sayur Asam

Make a paste of 
2 garlic gloves minced, 
2 shallots minced, 
2 chilli peppers minced 
2.6 g fried shrimp shell powder.
Heat paste and just fry 1 minute in oil.
A add vegetables as: 
1 summer squash and 1 egg plant cut in slices
1 cup shredded cabbage
100 g green beans (following the cook book). 
Spice with 
2 tablespoons tamarind concentrate 
1 teaspoon palm sugar 
some laos powder 
and add 
1 cup chicken stock 
- simmer until tender. 
But I took different vegetables because I did not have summer squash, egg plant and green beans in storage:
White turnips, carrots and chinese cabbage and I did not have any crab fish shells or shrimp or laos powder and I took red Thai curry paste instead.

Burning newspapers for a fish dish

Today I barbequed sea breams – using a new method. I have read about this in a german cooking forum. The original recipe is based on Jamie Oliver. But I did use other spices (much less and others) and did it a little different.

First I soaked the sea breams over night in salt water brine (1 small handful salt in 4 liters of water to get a firmer and tastier fish) and afterwards I rinsed them once and dried the fish with paper towels.  I put some parsley and a lemon slice in the bellies and made a good use of freshly coarse grounded pepper.  So far I also put some lemon slices on top of the fish and wrapped each fish in one layer parchment paper and wrapped it again in a sheet of newspaper (1 double side). Fixed the wrapping with some kitchen string and soak parcels in water - just for a few minutes. I put the parcels on a rack over white hot gleaming charcoal and grilled them 30 minutes, 

parcels and some small french merguez sausages (to be eaten during waiting...)

while turning them over once after 15 minutes. Newspaper will get dry and than burn during this process but this does not matter.

Newspaper burned and nearly gone

I used a scissor to cut open the left over parchment paper, which was only charred a little but not burned yet.
My plate - I don't like fish skin so it is peeled of:
The fish was very juicy and tender: Method highly recommended.

For the green sauce I blended 1 small bunch of flat leaved parsley with a good pinch of salt and 125 ml olive oil, juice of ½ lemon and ½ teaspoon lemon zest.
I made some vegetable dish too: sort of ratatouille (1 eggplant, 1 summer squash, 1 fennel  bulb, 2 red bell peppers, 3 shallots, sprig rosemary, thyme, some sage leaves, 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts, 1 lavender blossom head, laurel leave, 2 garlic gloves;  I simply cut vegetables into pieces and simmered the veggies in olive oil until tender and spiced them up with some salt, pepper and Crema di balsamico)

Montag, 4. Juni 2012

Other countries

I made a little journey. In fact I visited Southern England and stayed in lots of hotels and visited lots of places:
Brighton - Stonehenge - Winchester - Salisbury - Torquay - Dartmoor - Newquay - Lands End - St. Ives- Bath - London - Dover
Brighton is so not my place to be. We had a very annoying night in an old but very english hotel were the elevator did not work and we had to  carry our luggage up to the forth flour. My room was hot and sticky. There was no air condition and they even fixed the window with some screws to stay close all the time - maybe to prevent english drunkyards to jump out of the window in the middle of night. Never seen so many drunk young people before as in Brighton. Mostly horrible fat english girls and guys. Guys tatooed not only at their backs or upper arms, even on leg, neck and face - disgusting, screaming and fighting all day and night long. One took an open air pee near the hotel entrance in the evening after drinking since afternoon (and he and his wife or what ever had small children with them too), I was quite happy to leave Brighton after one night.
We changed for some nicer locations afterwards.

I lived on fully flegded english breakfast (roasted toast with jam and butter, cheddar cheese, fried or scrambled eggs, roasted bacon, grilled mushrooms, grilled tomatoes - no beans for me) and dinner in the evenings - mostly fish: grilled or steamed seabream or haddock with different sauces and vegetables and always delicious. No wonder, lots of places I visited were located near or at the sea.
As this lovely manor - a nice garden too: rebuilt garden from 1550.

In the afternoon I always had cream tea: tea and scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam, so good - I gained some pounds on my hips.
My mom with her cream tea (without tea, she likes to have cappuccino all day long)
Or I had a local snack as cornish pasties. So good eaten at the sea side looking a St Michaels Mount:

Cornish pasty filled with potaotoes, sirloin steak and root vegetables - spicy

But I took quite a few cliff walks, or a sightseeing stroll into towns and gardens, and always had a swim in the evening to prevent the worst.

Stroll on the cornish trekking path at Lands end

I bought lots of souvenirs: Sandwich spread, gardening gloves, snacks as indian hot and spicy noodle and nuts, tea, crisps, brown sauce, hot and spicy indian mango chutney, ground mustard, cornwall fudge made with clotted cream, cinder toffee,
I bought candies in this nice shop
short cake cookies, fig rolls (cookies), tea towels, 2 cook books:  a Somerset cook book called "favourite Somerset recipes" bought in Bath and a cook book about indonesian recipes I bought in a second hand book shop and liquorice from England and Netherlands (I had a break in the Netherlands).
As I came back late in the evening my humble husband prepared the dinner for me: Still hot and just in time: Tortellini and a spicy tomatoe sauce.  Isn't he sweet?
Today I tried some of the recipe of the indonesian cookbook
Fish paddies and sweet and sour vegetable - recipes and pictures will follow the next days.