Mittwoch, 31. Oktober 2012

Duck leftover - soup

As I wrote before I used the bones and scraps for a little soup. Soups need a nice broth. Therefor I chopped the bird into bigger chunks after peeling off the meat and the attached skin from the back, sides, shoulders and wings (nearly one rice bowl full of scraps).
The chunks went into a deep pan together with 1.5 l water, 1 roughly cut knob ginger, 2 garlic gloves and just 1 small parcel instant dashi powder. This simmered for 20 minutes. I strained the broth through a mashed strainer, refilled the pan with broth and added 1 tablespoon sugar, 50 ml Sake, 50 ml Mirin and soy sauce, a splash oystersauce, a small handful autumn trumpets (mushrooms) and some chinese cabbage, just a thicker slice ripped into chunks. This has to simmer a few minutes. Meanwhile I steamed a carrot, cut and trimmed into rounds, blanched a handful bean sprouts and cut 1/4 leek into very fine slices, cut the duck meat into stripes and boiled 2 servings Udon.
I also added 2 tablespoons instant seaweed to the broth and prepared some young celery leaves. What was left to be done was simply serving:
Noodles, broth, meat and vegetables to ones liking. To adjust the seasoning: salt, soy sauce and chilliflakes.

carrots, meat, black autumn trumpet, beean sprouts, cabbage and noodles

Montag, 29. Oktober 2012

Mushrooms (updated)

I found these guys in my garden. Wonder if they are edible. Some kind of Ritterling Tricholoma I guess. But I don't know which kind of Tricholoma, maybe the mice grey Tricholoma terreum (edible....).
The cap is shark grey coloured and dry and the skin of the cap shows no signs of flakes. The flesh very firm. It grows under a Thuja tree (6 m high) genus of coniferous trees in the Cupressaceae. Next is a rhododendron and some other cupressus trees (different kinds). Some of the grown up mushrooms have caps as big as 10 - 12 cm. The young mushrooms are showing cone shaped caps (but in a dull bell shape) getting flatter while growing. Later on there is only a tiny mount left in the middle of the cap and much later this mount seems to be flatten out but it's colour is deeper. The edges are first nearly perfectly rounded later on while growing, but they stay bend:
happy family - there are much more
A peek underneath
Cut in the middle, flesh stringy

Macrolepiota procera - or the another one but it is not the saffron coloured variety:

Lactarius deliciosus?? Grows near old wood and pine trees 

Some snails had dinner first

Duck cooked on low temperature

Last saturday night we had to face -5 degree Celsius thanks to an artic stream (last weekend we had +26 degree Celsius, quite a difference).
Time for a hearty winter meal on sunday: It is freezing cold, calls for meat and cabbage.
I decided on a new recipe for duck!

First I rubbed a young duck with spices and salt on the inside and outside (just a small tablespoon salt, 2 tablespoons mushroom soy sauce and some cajun seasoning: mixture of hot and sweet chilli, pepper, thyme, dried garlic and onions, allspice) and let it sit over night in the fridge.
Afterwards I prepared some root vegetables for roasting: 1 carrot, 1 parsnip, 1 slice celery bulb, 1 onion, 1 garlic - diced and garlic minced.
I placed the vegetables in a roasting pan with some hot water, above this I placed a wired rag and the duck (patted dry, legs and wings fixed and tied with a thread, belly filled with 1 diced peeled and cored apple, 1 sprig sage and thyme and 1 diced onion), breastside down.
First it took 25 min on 200 degree Celsius to give it some heat for a quick start, afterwards I turned the heat down to 80 degree Celsius and that was all for about 6 hours. From time to time I just basted the duck with a honey soy sauce mix (1:2), every hour more or less.
Meanwhile I cooked some stewed red cabbage and southern german potatoe noodles.

Just a quick snapshot after dinner: red cabbbage a duck leg, dark sauce and fried noodles

For cabbage stew:
1 small cabbage (red)
2 apples, peeled, cored and diced (cooking apples as brambly)
1 onion
1 knob goose fat
60 ml vinegar
1/2 small glass red wine
1/2 small glass broth
8 juniper berries
black pepper
1 bag dry spices for mulled wine - think tea bag filled with cloves, allspice, ginger, orange peel
3 tablespoons freshly made quince jelly jam.
First I seared the diced onion in fat until translucent and than I added the shredded cabbage and diced apples. I deglaced with vinegar, wine and broth, added the spices and let it simmer 45 minutes (depends on the shredding). I got rid of the tea bag and finished the stew with the jam until it reached the lovely sweet and sour taste. Reheated this stew it is at it's best.

For the potatoe noodles I boiled about 600 g waxy potaoes in their jackets, steamed the soft potatoes for 5 minutes to get rid of as much water as possible and peeled them afterwards. Still hot I mashed the potaoes. After slightly cooling down I added 2 eggs and a 3 tablespoons flour, a very good pinch of salt and some nutmeg. The dough has to be soft and sticky not too much flour in need. I formed noodles (hands powdered with flour because the dough is sticky) up to 10 cm long max., think of small fingers, but the ends have to be pointed.
I deep fried the noddles in a wok in some oil until golden on medium temperature (not too hot or they will get brown really quickly while still not done at the inside). These noodles remind on crocettes.  They can be eaten sweet as dessert with applesauce and icing sugar or salty as sidedish for sauces, meat, cabbage stew. Those kind of noodles are known since early medieval times. First they were made of rye flour and eggs only. After the potatoes came into our country people started to mix potaoes with the flour. Instead of deep frying, the noodles can be boiled in simmering water. It is good to prepare huge batches and freeze some for later use. Their name in Germany: Schupfnudeln (southern grman idiom for rolled noodles) or much more funny  in another southern german idiom: Bubenspitzle (Boys little penis - sorry...)

Deep frying the noodles in a Wok

45 minutes before the duck should be ready (after 5 hours) I transferred the duck over another roasting pan with a little water and flipped it breast side up. I turned the heat up to 180 degree Celsius.
Meanwhile I heated up some of the duck fat in a pan and roasted the root vegetables from the first roasting pan (I strained the broth and caught the vegetables), added 1 teaspoon tomatoe paste and the duck neck chopped into pieces. After roasting until everthing got nice brown roast marks, I deglaced with the strained broth from thefirst roasting pan and 300 ml red wine. I let it simmer until reduced to a half and strained it to a fine mashed strainer, got rid of the fat and simmered the sauce just a little bit more. I checked the seasoning and added 1 tablespoon  orange marmelade. After 25 - 30 minutes on 180 degree Celsius the duck should be browned. I let it rest for 10 minutes before cutting.

I served the duck cut into legs and breast pieces with the noodles, cabbage stew and some caramelized and soft boiled quince wedges. Result: the duck was very soft and juicy and the duck skin had a nice colour but slow cooking duck will never lead to a crisp skin.  The meat was very good!
The leftovers: I am going to pick the leftover meat from the bones, make a broth from the bones and prepare a duck soup with buckwheat noodles.

Freitag, 19. Oktober 2012

Stuffed noodles and cherry tomatoes

Today I just made a quick little something. We still have lots of cherry tomatoes so I decided on a pasta dish again.
I bought 400 g fresh italian noodles stuffed with mild fresh cheese, so called Tortellini.  You only have to boil the fresh noodles for 2 minutes.
For the sauce I took
round about 300 g cherry tomatoes (different kinds and colours: red, orange, yellow, pink),
70 g Saucisson  - a piece of french pork and walnut dry sausage, which was not to my husbands taste and now it lingered in the fridge long enough, so I have to use it up almost hidden in all kinds of dishes as pizza soup and so on (laugh);
 1 stalk celery,
1 big red onion,
250 g brown button mushrooms,
1 teaspoon sugar,
1 tablespoon + soy sauce,
2 garlic gloves, 

First I heated up the oil in a pan and stir fried the small diced onion, small diced celery stalk and diced saucisson (small dices, bacon dices would make a nice substitute). After the onions were roasted nicely and the saucisson dices became crunchy I added the halved mushrooms. I stir fried the mushrooms until the liquid was almost gone and than I added the halved tomatoes, sugar and soy sauce. Just a little bit more stirring, and I let the sauce rest covered by a lit until the noodles were done. The tomatoes are soft in an instant so there is no need to cook them for long. I adjusted the seasoning with pepper and a little bit more soy sauce. No salt needed, the saucisson was quite salty.
Just 2 or 3 tablespoons:

Donnerstag, 4. Oktober 2012

Wrapping up a birthday present for garden lovers

A friend of mine is going to have birthday so I went and bought some tulip bulbs for her. We never exchange expensive presents just little meaningful things. The variety I bought were so called Rembrand tulips (yellow and white with red flames), which I had already planted last year and the year before, resulting in very impressive, long blossoming and beautiful flowers. I know she will be delighted. But as beautiful as the flowers are, bulbs are not that pretty. I decided to wrap them up nicely, using all kind of things from my garden - it is a present for somebody who loves gardening and we always end up with gardening gifts. For the gift wrapping I used an old small clay pot, ivory,  lantern flower sprigs, rose hips, a small white pumpkin and a few ribbons.
First I placed the bulbs in the thoroughly cleaned pot, bulbs wrapped in a bag of parchment paper. I tied a small wreath - using ivory and lantern flower and placed this over the hidden "parcel" and fixed the pumkin with a bamboo skrewer right in the middle, I also fixed a small bundle of little red rose hips in the wreath. In a final step I wound 2 short ribbons around: a broard organza ribbon in light green with a fancy leave and flower attachments and a slender yellow ribbon, these ribbons where just lazing around in my leftover decoration treasure box... I know she is not reading my blog - costs: 3.99 Euro and 15 minutes time. And here we are - cheap but with love...