Sonntag, 30. September 2012

Grilled sea bass seasoned with hot spiced oil

Lucky, today the weather was fine, sunny and rather warm (18 degree C). We decided to make good use of the outdoor charcoal grill and grilled some fish.

I took two young sea basses out of the freezer (fresh fish would have been nicer but frozen was good too).
I made a few shallow diagonal cuts into the thicker part on both sides of the thawed fish, sprinkled and rubbed with salt and pepper (in- and outside) and grilled the fish over charcoal until the fins came out easily. As finishing move I l spooned piping hot oil over the fish just before serving. It was some oil (maybe 1/4 cup - a few tablespoons) heated up in a small pot with 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil, 1 teaspoon sechzuan pepper, a few dried and crushed red chillies, 1 tablespoon mustard seeds and 1 tablespoon red pepper berries. 
As side dishs nothing special: warm potatoe salad made from quartered and sliced potatoes, spring onion slices, red leaf chicory cut into thicker slices. For the dressing I took a few spoons hot broth, oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and a little soy sauce. For warm salad the potatoes must be peeled and cut while hot, soaked with hot broth, tossed with the other ingredients and served quickly.
Due to our tomatoe harvest: Tomatoe salad, just tomatoes cut into slender wedges, red onion slices, sweet balsamic vinegar and sea salt. Some bread.

Samstag, 29. September 2012

Pancakes - Hoddeok

Today I made pancakes, korean pancakes to be a little bit more presice. The weather is quite ugly, 5 minutes sun followed by 15 minutes hard rain in a row. Chilly and nasty,  husband voted to lit up the fireplace and went for preparing the wood. And I am preparing for hibernation, I guess, because at the moment I can eat a lot and since early morning I am always hungry. So sweet and filling pancakes are just my thing.

Korean pancakes are made from yeast dough and stuffed with a brown sugar-walnut-cinnamon mixture. The sugar will melt during baking and results in a heavenly rich scented syrup.

In the backround baked and in front unbaked pancakes (balls with stuffing)

1 cup wheat flour
1/2 cup glutenious rice flour for crispyness
1/2 pack instant dry yeast
1 good pinch salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon oil
3/4 cup water (lukewarm)

Solve yeast in water with sugar. Make a yeast dough by beating and kneating all ingredients in a baking bowl until the dough is bubbly. Let the dough rise 1 hour (keep covered and warm), afterwards flatten and stretch dough on a lightly floured baking board, form a long roll and cut the roll into 6 equaly thick slices.

1/2 cup walnut halves
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tespoon cinnamon

I simply crushed all ingredients in an electric mill.

With floured hands (dough is sticky) form 6 balls, flat each of them into a disc and fill each with 1 teaspoon stuffing. Close the disc into ball shape again and let rise 10 minutes. Heat up a little oil in a non stick pan and fry each ball first until one side is golden browned, flip it over and set a weight on top (I used a small can for milk foaming filled with water half way up), press the weight down a little and fry the pancake until the bottom is browned, flip it over, cover the pan with a lit and let the pancake bake (without can ;-)) 1 minute and it is done. Up to the next. Eat quickly while pancakes are still hot...lots....
during baking a pancake has to be kept down by a wheigt
see the stuffing? Yummy!!!

Donnerstag, 27. September 2012

Tofu-millet hamburger or fake meatballs

Today we made lunch for  about 100 people. During summer we moved into another office building. To learn more about the other and new colleagues (they were already working there), we decided to invite all to have some small talk and a snack during lunch time. It was a great fun and many colleagues participated.
We (a handful of people of different divisions) made different kinds of typical noodle and potatoe salads and heated up about 140 bigger Wiener sausages in a huge electric soup pot.
I made a potatoe salad (with lots of roasted vegetables and sour cream dressing) and also prepared a plate of fake meatballs for collegues with "no meat pelase" attitudes. I served some home made sweet chilli sauce too. So happy they ate up and not one fake meatball was left!  Some even asked for the recipes.
Those fake meatballs are basicly made from part steamed millet and part tofu.
I took
  • 1 cup millet
  • 2 cups water
  • pinch salt
and steamed the millet about 20 min until soft and fluffy and dry (water soaked up)

I added:
  • 340 g firm tofu, cut into cubes
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 tablespoon red miso
  • 1 tablespoon mushroom sauce (thick chinese soysauce)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • salt to taste
  • 1 big egg
  • 1 minced onion
  • chilli flakes
  • black pepper

I purred the lot with an immersion blender until I got a slightly coarse paste. Afterwards I added 1 finly sliced and chopped spring onion, mixed it in and formed small balls. I deep fried the balls (which I flatted a bit into a perfect hamburger shape) in oil about 3 minutes on each side until golden. Flipping the balls is not that easy - they are soft and may break quickly so I took two spoons to support the flipping. After cooling down on kitchen paper the "no meatballs" will become much firmer.

It took this picture with my I-Pad. I-Pads are no good for this kind of duty, they are too heavy, had some trouble to hold it until the picture was focused...

Samstag, 22. September 2012

Quick Spaghetti dish

I turned the latest tomatoe harvest into a really quick supper. Doing something quickly is my favorite: Looking at the time - SHOCK husband will arrive at home in about 15-20 minutes...what to do, what to do (if I don't cook anything, he will just help himself with some plain sandwiches - not that healthy at all. I think one warm meal a day is important). This behaviour causes such creations:
Meatballs, tomatoes and goat cheese
First I boiled up the water for the pasta.
Next I squeezed out the sausage meat of 2 raw german Bratwurst* sausages. Could easily take any kind of raw rough coarse meat sausages as italian or spanish sausages too. Squeezing the meat out of the sausage skins, bit for bit, results into turning the stuffing into tiny meat balls - very convenient. I heated up a little olive oil and roasted the balls together with a chopped onion and a sliced garlic glove until the balls turned golden and the onion translucent, glossy golden brown. I added 2 chopped anchovis and 300 g halved cherry tomatoes and a pinch roughly chopped fennel seeds, chilli flakes and pepper. I just fried it a little more. Finally I added about 80-100 ml water and a little salt and let the sauce simmer until the liquid was reduced to half (nothingness) and the tomatoes were soft. Meanwhile I cooked the pasta. Last but not least I adjusted the seasoning of the sauce with a teaspoon honey and a little more salt - the sweetness of the honey will cut the acidity of the tomatoes. I crumbled 2 small goat cheese (fresh soft goat cheese with a very mild taste) into the sauce and tossed everything with the pasta - the cheese will melt during this process. Preparation time: 15 minutes

*)The coarse raw sausage meat (pork) is already spiced up with typical Bratwurst spices as pepper, herbs and it is always a little bit salty.

Freitag, 21. September 2012

Daily harvest

Tomatoes, yes, they decided to grow a lot and produce a lot.
Lucky... This daily share was 800g.


Best tomato for snacking: Black cherry: Sweet, sour, juicy, delicious! Black cherries are the purple-brown or light purple-greenish ones. Brandywine was very good for pasta sauce, tomatoe salad and tomato with basil and mozarella cheese but next year we will grow small fruit (cherry) varieties only. Brandywine takes far too long to ripen and there are only 5-6 fruits per plant (but each has 400+ g)

Sonntag, 16. September 2012

Some sort of shepherds pie

As I told before I had some chard stems left over.What to do? I decided on an autumn dish because it is autumn quite now here and I bought a good amount odf autumn vegetables at the framers market.

This is some kind of shepherds pie - in German you would call it Auflauf, Auflauf is a casserole dish or a crowd of people. This dish is made from ground meat, a mix of beef and pork (you could use what ever there is in storage: pork, lamb, beef, game, leftover chicken...) and a lot of root vegetables and chard.
small portion of piping hot "pie"
I took:
500 g ground meat
2 onions
1 bigger suet
1/2 celery bulb
1 big carrot
1 small parsnip
6 chard stems (red chard)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
a good pinch of salt
lots of pepper
some nutmeg
2 tablespoons tomatoe sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
4 allspice grains, grounded
2 laurel leaves
10-12 dried autumn trumpets (finely shredded) or other tasty mushrooms full of flavor
1 cup / 250 ml white wine (I used leftover sparkling wine: Cremant - which sadly lost some of its sparkling)
worcester sauce to taste
3/4 tablespoon starch

For the topping:
10 medium small potatoes (waxy/floury)
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter

Cut root vegetables in bigger dices (thick as a thumb). Cut chard in 1.5 cm slices. Brown ground meat and onions in a heavy pot until the meat is finely crumbled and sirred. Add vegetables and roast them too a little bit. Add sugar and caramelize. Add tomatoe and wine and stir to prevent burning. Add spices, salt, soy sauce, laurel leaves and shredded dried mushroom (I could have soaked whole mushrooms but I put the dried ones in an electric grinder - this gives off much more mushroom flavor).  There should not be that much cooking liquid: only up to half of the ingredients. The vegetables will release some liquid too...Cover with a lit and let simmer on low temperature about 35-40 minutes. If during this time all liquid is gone you may add just a sip of water. Meanwhile peel and boil the potatoes, steam them afterwards and make a potatoe mash using milk and 1 tablespoon butter. Don't make it too soggy. Just snowy and fluffy is fine.

Thicken the stew with 3/4 tablespoon starch desolved in water. After adjusting the seasoning (salt, pepper, worcester sauce and nutmeg) fill the stew into a buttered casserole dish - try to find the laurel leaves and get rid of them. Cover stew with a layer of potatoe mash. Just laddle the mash with a spoon on top of the stew and equalize the surface, set a few butter flakes into molds made by the spoon. Cook in oven at 200 degree Celsius about 20 minutes and give it 5 more minutes while the grill is turned on to max.

Ground meat stewed with vegetables - red/pink white pieces are chard stems

Pie covered by potatoe mash and lightly grilled/toasted

Easy to bake bread with chives and dried tomatoes

Today I baked an easy bread. Easy means nothing complicated about it. The texture is quite soft and spongy, but it is delicious as it is, maybe with just a little butter it will taste richer.
slice of bread
All you need:400 g strong flour (wheat)
1 cup multigrain flakes (think muesli with different kind of grains)
1 bunch chives, chopped
10 dried tomatoes in oil, roughly cut + 1tablespoon of the tomatoe oil
200 ml water
200 ml plain yoghurt
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1+ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon instant yeast

Stir grains with yoghurt and let sit 1 hour. Mix yeast with sugar and lukewarm water, add flour, salt, multigrain yoghurt and let the machine run for 5 minutes.
Let the dough rise until doubled in size (warm place, covered by clingfilm).
Add the chives and tomatoes, let the machine run 2 times. Don't mix much or you are going to destroy the chives and the tomatoes.
Fill dough into a baking mold, mold covered with parchment paper. Make an even surface by a wet hand (just rinse your hand under the tap) and sprinkle some grain flakes on top of the dough.

Let dough rise again until doubled in size and yes: cover it.  Bake 10 minutes at 220 degree Celsius and 40 minutes at 180 degree Celsius. Check if the bread is done by knocking at the bottom - if it sounds hollow it is fine.

Unbaked bread sprinkled with grains
Bread out of the oven

Samstag, 15. September 2012

Chard rolls stuffed with millet and tofu

I bought a big red chard at the organic farmers market and some great looking suets, baby cucumbers and parsnips. In addition they even gave me one smaller daikon for free - lucky!
I like visiting this market very much. It is near my workplace and held once a week. It is quite small - maybe 20 stalls, but you can buy everything for great meals: fresh seasonal vegetables, herbs, fruits, meat products, fish, poultry, game, cheese, bread, flowers, jams, fruit juices and so on.
But now to the rolls. For the rolls I used up the chard leaves only. The long stems will be made into another dish these days.
First I cooked the millet. Millet will take a few minutes longer than rice, but the cooking method is nearly the same:
Boil up 1 cup millet and  2 cups of water with a little salt.
Skim the foam and simmer on low heat, covered with a lit about 30 minutes or until the millet grains are soft and tender, the water evaporated and soaked up. Let cool down (can be made beforehand and stored in the fridge).

I blanched the chard leaves in boiling water with a little salt, just for a few seconds, afterwards I patted them dry with paper towels, cut the leaves lengthwise into in halves and removed the thicker parts of the middle vein. Instead of chard one could use chinese cabbage or crisp pointed cabbage too. No need for chard but if there is any swiss chard or red leavy chard available I would rather always vote for chard. These kinds of chards have tender and soft leaves and they taste very nice.

For the stuffing:
  • Crumble 125 g firm tofu into very small crumbles,
  • chop 1 scallion finely, 
  • cut 1 pointed red bell pepper into small dices,
  • cut 1 carrot into small dices,
  • grate 1 small knob of ginger and 1 garlic glove,
  • beat  1 egg lightly.
Mix together by hand with the millet until well combined while adding:
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 
  • 1 teaspoon roasted sesame oil, 
  • 1 small pinch Chinese 5-spice powder,
  • 1 pinch chilli flakes,  
  • 1 ½ teaspoons brown sugar.

The stuffing is soft but not that sticky – good to handle.
I  took 1 ½ ping pong ball sized  amount of stuffing for each roll. The chard leaves were cut into halves lengthwise beforehand (cut off the middle vein!),  1 ball for 1 leaf half and rolled it up while tucking in the leaf sides.
After using up all stuffing I put the rolls into a big steamer and steamed them about 20 minutes on medium high temperature.
Before slicing, let the rolls cool down completely: while still hot / warm the filling is way too soft (you could eat it with a spoon) and serve with Sweet Thai Chilli sauce or other dipping sauces:  In this picture Thai chilli sauce and melanesian mango pour over sauce. This dish is low fat and incredible healthy concerning vitamin and mineral intake.

Dienstag, 11. September 2012


Got a new BBQ Smoker. Neighbors may hate me now because it is smoking quite a lot... smelly. Just at the moment I have some ribs on slow cooking. Hopefully in 6 hours we will have something delicious to dine with friends. I soaked the pork ribs in mango juice and soy sauce. Rubbed them afterwards with honey mustard and used a cajun dry rub. As for smoking I soaked some small lime tree chips.

Mittwoch, 5. September 2012

Broiled Tuna and some side dishes

During lunchtime I went into the big city and visited a fish monger. I bought tuna steaks: thick slices of tuna. For supper we had this:

You don't have to put everything together on one plate - this is so german.. but it fits on one image (laugh)

I prepared:
  • small potatoe pancakes with chopped spring onion, topped with creme fraiche and kaviar. Therefor I boiled 3 medium big potatoes,  peeled them and mashed them while still hot, mixed the potatoe mash with 3 tablespoons flour, 1 big egg and 1/2 cup finely chopped spring onion (just use a fork no machine please), finished with a pinch salt, pepper and 1 pinch baking powder. Formed 5 balls (with wet hands - the dough is very soft and sticky) and baked the balls flatted into cakes in a pan with oil until browned on 1 side, flipped the pancakes over and let them bake at medium low heat, covered with a lit for about 10 minutes.
I made also:
  • blanched and squeezed baby spinach leaves with a little soy sauce and sesame oil
  • quick pickled baby cucumber: slices salted, squeezed after the juices were released, than spiced with a little lemon juice, a few drops sesame oil, chilli flakes, pinch of sugar
  • leaf chicory salad with honey-mustard-lemon dressing (1:1:1)
  • braised tuna

For the tuna I mixed 1 tablespoon white sesame paste, 1 tablespoon miso, 1 tablespoon sake, covered the fish with this paste and let rest for 2 hours.
Afterwards I grilled the fish on a hot iron plate just for a few minutes (inside should stay pink-red).

Dienstag, 4. September 2012

Tomatoe quiche

Today I decided to use up left over goods from my fridge. We have lots of small tomatoes in our garden so something along with tomatoes was a sure thing to do.

Looking into my fridge I found a bit greek sheep cheese (Feta cheese), some plain yoghurt, 2 slices bacon, 1 big egg - pretty perfect for a quiche - a salty kind of cheese cake for 2 or 1 person with some appetite.

small slice

Therefor I picked cherry tomatoes (about 20), different kinds and colours.

Made a quick pie dough:
4 tablespoons flour
2+ tablespoons butter
a little water
Just rubbed cold butter dices with flour and added a little water to the flakes until dough came together. Let it cool 30 minutes and rolled it into a very thin layer for a small pie mould. I took 2/3 dough for the buttom and 1/3 for the rim of the pie.


125 ml yoghurt
1 teaspoon starch
1 big egg
until smooth;

1 teaspoon thyme leaves and some small oregano leaves
1 good pinch Harissa powder or sweet chilli (not very hot) and pepper
1 very small pinch salt
80 - 100 g cheese, crumbled and stirred again.

I baked the pie layer without filling for about 12 minutes at 170 degree C. Filled in the cheese-yoghurt mixture together with tomatoes (bigger cherry tomatoes halved). Sprinkled a little onion slices (1/2 small red onion) on top of the filling.
Baked the pie for 40 minutes or until golden and firmer.
Sprinkled with crumbled roasted bacon rushers just befor serving.

To be served lukewarm or cold with salad - if the quiche is still hot out of the oven the tomatoes are hot as hell, better to let it settle down a bit or it will hurt.