Freitag, 31. Mai 2013

Vegetarian wrap with tofu-lentil balls

Husband doesn't want to eat meat (lots of) anymore so I am going to prepare more vegetarian meals, must adapt...
I had still some (100 g) tofu leftover and thought about how to make good use of it.
My idea was to have an arabic inspired wrap with something like falafel inside.
Falafel are deep-fried balls made of ground chickpeas.
I decided on fried balls out of red lentils and tofu - a totally different thing but as nice as falafel.

Wrap full of goodness..

Some Tofu-lentil balls so nice I ate 2 from scratch
For the other fillings of the wrap I made:
  • tomato salad
  • egg-plant-parsley salad
  • onions salad
  • grilled and peeled bellpeppers
  • minty yoghurt sauce
  • some salad greens

How to meatless lentil-balls:

  • 100 g firm and dry tofu
  • 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon mushroom sauce
  • 1/2 cup red lentils (dry seeds)
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 1 small spring onion, chopped
  • salt, smoked chili pepper
  • 1 garlic glove

First I pureed the tofu together with the onion and garlic and seasoned with a teaspoon dark soy sauce and some thick mushroom sauce (both chinese).
I boiled the lentils in the water (without salt) for 10 minutes, sieved the lentils to get rid of as much water as possible and mixed this with the spices and tofu - just using the blender a bit..
I stirred in the chopped spring onion and let this mixture sit for 1 hour, covered, in the fridge.

Next I heated up an good amount of oil in a deep pan and formed flat balls out of the lentil-tofu mix (10 pieces).
I semi-deep-fried (no swimming lession) the balls for a few minutes until golden browned. The balls are very tender and fragile when becoming warm so I flipped them over very carefully and only once. 
I transfered the balls on kitchen towels and let them cool down. They will become firmer (a little) when cooled.
This was my first attempt of preparing lentil-tofu-balls, just an idea and it turned out as nice as thought.

Next I made the egg plant salad:
  • 1 long and very slender light lilac egg plant (asian egg plant)
  • 1/2 onion
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • salt
  • 5 parsley sprigs, chopped roughly
  • chili flakes
  • 1 very small pinch cinnamon
  • small pinch cumin
  • black pepper
  • lemon juice
  • olive oil
I cut the egg plant into round slices, sprinkled with salt and let sit a few minutes. Afterward I fried these in olive oil until well roasted. I added the chopped onion too when the egg plants were medium done.
I caramelized with sugar and added the roughly chopped tomatoes and simmered, adding a little water until the egg plants were soft.
I seasoned with salt, pepper, chili, cumin, cinnamon, lemon juice and tossed with parsley.

For tomato salad
  • 5 medium cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • a few onion rings (see onion salad)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • a little balsamic vinegar - a dash
Not much to say, just toss.

For onion salad

  • 1 big red onion, sliced with a mandoline
  • 1 pinch sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • olive oil
 Soak onion slices in lots of cold water for 10 minutes, squeeze dry, toss with sugar, salt and olive oil

 For bellpeppers:
Just cut bellpepper into flat wedges and grill the skin sides until charred. Peel of the skin after cooling.

Yoghurt sauce

  • 125 ml yoghurt
  • 1 small garlic glove, crushed and minced (in salt)
  • 5 mint leaves, sliced (I used chocolate mint, a mint plant with a nice little chocolate smell and sweet flavor)
  • 1 pinch cumin
  • 1 pinch salt
 Just stir.

For the wraps I used arabian flat breads / wheat tortillas, heated up in the microwave until hot and soft.
First I spread yoghurt sauce with a little Harissa (chili paste), sprinkled onion salad, tomato salad, egg plant salad, put 2 lentil balls in the middle and a few salad leaves and bellpepper wedges. Wrapped it up and finished. The lentil balls will get crushed due to the wrap-up process but this does not matter. They taste very good just dipped in the yoghurt sauce too.

Donnerstag, 30. Mai 2013

Healthy sandwich bread

Today I baked a bread which can be used to be eaten roasted or to make sandwichs. It contains lots of fibres and proteine.
If you look at the ingredients, you may think this bread is some kind of weired, crazy combination, but believe me, it is tasty and the texture soft, flexible, small bubbles only and the slices don't crumble away.

bread slices still warm with cheddar

I made one mistake concerning the baking tin. The baking tin is usually adjustable in size but somehow it did not work today. The tin should have been shorter (lengthwise) so that the bread shape could turn more square. Maybe I can fix it next time. Right now I am not satisfied with the bread shape, kind of flat.


  • 250 g wheat flour (allpurpose I suppose)
  • 150 g spelt flour
  • 100 g fine rolled oats
  • 60 g linseeds (curshed)
  • 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
  • 100 g firm Tofu, finely mashed
  • 100 g butter, soft melted
  • 450 ml milk, warm
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 parcel instant yeast (for 500 g flour)  and 1 teaspoon instant yeast
  •  Milk for brushing

Add  all ingredients to your kitchen engine bowl and let run for 10 minutes at medium speed.
Dough is sticky and soft but not too soft. Let rise (bowl covered with clingfilm) until doubled in size (1 hour).
Punch down the dough and layer in a tin form for bread. My form is non-stick so I greezed it only a little.
Let dough rise again (covered) until doubled (45 min - 1 hour). Brush with milk.
Bake at 200 C for 10 minutes and 180 C for another 35 - 40 minutes.

Mittwoch, 29. Mai 2013

Strawberry yoghurt Eaton mess style

Looks like a mess and it is a mess: Eaton mess styled strawberry yoghurt. Today I had to do something with the strawberries. Strawberries have a really short shelf-life, best to be eaten right after picking. So I made a dessert.
Eaton mess is really delicious, heavenly and it has to be made from meringues, strawberries and lots of whipped cream. But I cannot stomach whipped cream. Everytime I try it turns out into a very painful experience and I have to stay near a toilet for a long time, so I am better off with yoghurt. And a little cream is not that harmful but a little cream will not do concerning this:

strawberry yoghurt

 For the healthier and leaner mess you need:
  • 500 g strawberries
  • 150 ml plain thick yoghurt
  • 1-2 tablespoons sugar (depends on the sweetness of the fruits)
  • 4 meringues (small dry ones as shown in the picture)

Trimm and cut strawberries: Larger fruits into quarters or thick slices, small berries just into halves.
Stir with sugar. Let sit for a few minutes. Puree 1/4 of the sugary strawberries with a blender.
Break meringues into smaller pieces but not too small.
Toss lightly (not too much) strawberries, strawberry puree, meringue crumbles with yoghurt and dig in.

Crushed Tofu with greens

This is a quick one, really.
tofu with greens

  • 1 handful mustard leave greens (I have lots..)
  • 1 bak choy 
  • 2 small spring onions, trimmed but with a good green part left on
  • 1 small piece ginger minced
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
  • 1 portion enoki mushrooms (they sell them in this tiny parcels)
  • 200 g tofu
  • 1 portion cress sprouts
  • 1 pinch dashi stock powder
  • 1+ teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon mirin

1 cut the  the mustard greens and bak choy leaves into 3 pieces, the spring onions into slices, the bak choy ends into slender slices and halfed the enokis. I added this to a hot non-stick pan and the stirred until the liquids came out. I added dashi stock, ginger, soy sauce, mirin and tossed a little. Cooking is done in a minute or so. Finally I mashed the squeezed tofu into fine crumbles and tossed with the vegetables together with  cress sprouts and sesame seeds. I adjusted the seasoning with soy sauce.

Dienstag, 28. Mai 2013

Thai fish curry - not that pretty

 I am not a good food fotographer and I have no ambitions to become one., but I guess to take a snap shot of curry is always a little bit challenging.
Now up this one, I know, I know it looks like a mess:
Today I made a spicy Thai infused curry based on coconut cream, mustard leaves, crispy baby bok choy and salmon. It got lots of inner beauty but it definitly will not win any beauty contest.

I love to make those kind of curries because I can use nearly everything out of my fridge to make one except coriander greens. Would be perfect too but my husband hates the taste and he is also not that much into lemon grass so I always use kaffir lime leaves only and lemon juice instead.

For the curry (3 persons):
1 red onion, sliced into wedges - spring onion would be fine too but they did not look that good so I did not buy any
6 baby bok choy, halved, leaves cut off, stem parts sliced
2 handfull mustard leaves, Mizuna, purple chinese mustard, some baby chard leaves (out from my garden) roughly chopped in big pieces
1 knob ginger, minced
1 tablespoon freeze dried shrimps, roughly chopped
1 red small Thai chili sliced
1 1/2 teaspoon Thai red curry paste
1 kaffir lime leaf (additional 1 lower stalk piece of lemon grass, minced and put into a motar would be perfect too)
8 leaves Thai basil (or sprigs coriander greens)
2 garlic gloves (1 minced, 1 sliced )
1/2 lemon, juice
1 good heaped teaspoon flour
200 ml coconut cream
300 ml water
1 tablespoon palm sugar
1 teaspoon Nam Pla
3 pieces salmon (450 g) tail ends, without skin and deboned
Chili fish sauce, a few drops  only
dark sesame oil

 First I crushed the ginger, shrimps and 1 minced garlic glove in a motar - lemon grass could be added too. I roasted this with curry paste in a big pan in a little oil and added the bak choy stems and stir-fried a little. After the stems turned bright light green I added the leaves vegetables (bak choy and mustard) and stirred until the juices were evaporated. This went quickly. I removed the vegetables from the pan and added a little sesame oil and fried the onions until they turned roasted and glossy. I stirred in flour, fried it a little and deglaced with the coconut cream, still stirring well. After this sauce base got very thick I added the water until it reached sufficient thickness (not too thick not to runny ) and spices: palm sugar, chili, lime leaf, leon juice and let simmer for a little while.
I added a pinch of salt and Nam Pla and placed the salmon, cut into 6 pieces, into the simmering curry sauce and let this rest on low fire for a 2 minutes only. I added the greens and tossed. The fish should stay glossy pink inside. Last thing to do was adding the basil leaves roughly torn into pieces.
I adjusted the seasoning with salt and Nam pla and a little chili fish sauce.

Served with Basmati rice and a spoon.

Montag, 27. Mai 2013

Weather report - updated

Last weekend, compared to outdoor temperatures during christmas, it was way colder outside, and this is end of May. Some call it the little november! Since days we have rain, ongoing downpours. The fields are soaked, quite often meadows turned into huge lakes with some happy ducks swimming around - the cows are not that happy at all. Lucky our motorway is built on an embankment leveled higher than the fields but a little more rain and I think I will have to row to work. Some streets are blocked from traffic due to flooding, there will be more to come because the rain will not stop for the next days.

Near my workplace some small rivers turned wild, next the flood will make it's way to the buildings in the city center, pictures taken by the local newspaper: This was a street..
Husband is a little bit worried about basement and sanitary facilities in his company. We had to face this once maybe 20 years ago: water rising up the toilets and the basement due to the flood, very disgusting. I would like to order some clear sky and maybe sun or we will end up developing webbed feet soon.

Seems we are rather lucky here, only a mere 70 - 80 km to the south and east it is so no fun...look at the picture gallery. Some of my collegues live in those areas. Some are voluntary fire fighters too and since 20+ hours up and still helping to rescue and secure

Samstag, 25. Mai 2013

First harvest: salad greens

Today I picked a bowl baby salad leaves growing in one of the new raised beds, based on the asian salad mix seeds (mizuna, purple chinese mustard and more).  The weather is wet and the snails and slugs are buisy so I always have to be quicker then the pests.
I detected this cutie at my lime tree:

Now I am a little concerned about my strawberries. Guess the slimy breed will just dig in the next days, because the rain will not stop -  going on and on for the next days.
They already have eaten up lots of day lilies but did not detect the raised beds yet. We had very cold nights during the last week (snow in the mountains) so I covered the beds with protection fleeze. Maybe it helped against the snails and slugs too.
But now to the harvest:

Mustard leave salad with strawberries

I made a quick salad using:
1 medium bowl salad greens
a few strawberries, sliced
1 red onion, finely sliced and soaked in water /squeezed
1/2 baby cucumber, finely sliced

For dressing (just stir):
1 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon lemon juice
a little salt
pumpkin seed oil (only a little)
black pepper

Montag, 20. Mai 2013

Spare rib BBQ for lazy people

Yesterday we had a BBQ: just spare ribs, noodle salad and tomatoes with basil leaves and italian mozarella cheese. 

Some was quickly tossed together:

For the noodle salad I stir-fried a bunch of green asparagus spears cut into 4 pieces each and thick spears cut lengthwise. I used a mix of olive oil and a little sesame oil. Than I added a bunch of mustard leaves (red and green and purple), 1 green Thai Chili sliced in very thin rounds and after 3 minutes I added a tablesoon sugar, salt and a sip black chinese soy sauce and a sip malt vinegar. Done with it.
I tossed short makaroni pasta with this (125 g dry pasta).
I spinkled some red chard sprouts just harvested before and a little more sesame oil (dark roasted).

For the tomatoes:
I cut a few tomatoes into slices: green zebras, black cherry and yellow and red cherries tomatoes, placed some sliced mozarella cheese and a handful basil leaves, sprinkled seasalt flakes, black pepper and date balsamico (vinegar made with date molasses).

For the ribs:
spare ribs
This took quite some time but is very easy to prepare.
I decided to slow cook the ribs in the oven beforehand otherwise it would have been too much of a hassle to feed the smoker with charcoal for 6 hours (my apology to all the earnest BBQ lovers outthere).

I seasoned the ribs with a rub of mustard, cajun spice mix, 3 minced garlic gloves, salt and soy sauce and wrapped the rack of ribs in aluminium foil. The ribs went into the oven at 100 C for 4 hours. Meanwhile I did all the things I wanted to do as making the laundry, having a long nap, taking a stroll into the garden...

After this I placed them on the grill rack over piping hot charcoal but first I gave them a wet rub made of apple sauce and honey and a little bit more soy sauce just to glaze them nicely. I grilled them on both sides until browned and crunchy. This was my first attempt to prepare ribs with the oven and grill and it went out nice.
They were soft and juicy and just as spicey as wished for. But I missed the smoking flavor. Next time it is better to smoke them a little beforehand with the help of some applewood chips and place them into the oven afterwards.
Husband drank some beer and I went along with wine and was pretty drunk so I had to go to bed early, shame on me.

I prepared 2 racks so we can enjoy the ribs today too, just sliced and eaten cold with leftover noodle salad. Another day to laze around (we enjoy the second day of Pentecost holidays).

Just a few pictures from my garden

The weather is not that great, rainy, rainy. But the plants are really enjoying it.

Wisteria from the front in the gloomy light of a rainy day

And from the back of my wall to the inner hidden garden

The late blooming tulips

Raised bed with tomatillo plant and strawberries
asian salad mix plants in my raised bed - harvest time

A new thornless bramble I planted last year

Now is the time for a Rhododendron viewing party

The big trees are blossoming now, the small ones already finished with blossoming

Qince blossom I like these big cup shaped blossoms

Samstag, 18. Mai 2013

Rusk - had to prepare some too

Mark posted about the latest japanese food craze called シュガーラスク Sugar rusk. 
Double toasted bread is something each german child knows since very early childhood. It is called Zwieback (double baked) There is even an Wikipedia article available about german Zwieback.
Babies enjoy their first Zwieback to gnaw on for theething matters (it really helps..) or have ground Zwieback mixed with freshly ground apple as a small lunch which is easy to swallow and nice to the little stomach.  Therefore in former times Zwieback was plain, no sugar coating, no chocolate coating, plain bread. Now there are still the plain ones in the shops out there but also different kinds of sweet "cookiesome" treats.
As to be seen here:
Brandt is the most famous and oldest Zwieback-producer in Germany. They are running a Zwieback museum too.

But I never, really never made Zwieback on my own and now the time was up. I used Marks recipe and made some changes - as always...
I escpecially love Brandt's Zwieback coated with lots of coarse brown sugar and aniseeds. So I prepared it: 

very crisp brown sugar- aniseed - rusk
I had a german poppy seed roll called "Mohnbroetchen" leftover in storage from 2 days ago. Usually this roll would end up as bread crumbs and now it was on it's way to become something totally different. It was just a typical white bread roll as to be seen here
A little german language lession: Brot is the term for bread and broetchen means very small / cute bread. The word ending "chen" is a diminutive, we germans use lots of diminutives. It always puts something into a small and cute form.
I sawed the "small and cute" bread into thin slices using my bread knife. Mohnbroetchen are not that bubbly as baguette. The texture of the bread is a little bit more dense but flexible.
For the fattening ingredient I used a mix of butter and olive oil. Much more tasty than butter only, because I know a spanish sugar coated double baked sweet treat made of olive oil and some very flat and crisp puff pastry. So I went along with this in mind.
I used a few spoons melted butter and the same amount of olive oil.
First I brushed the bread slices with this mix than I dipped the slices into granulated brown sugar and sprinkled aniseeds - just a few pinches and some fleur the sel: fine seasalt flakes.
Yes, sugar and a little salt. It is magic...

bread sliced oiled and dipped into sugar
I put the slices on a baking rack placed over a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. The parchment paper will help to keep the baking sheet clean.

bread slices on their way
 The slices were baked for 10 minutes by surround heating system at 170 C. I didn't took my eyes from the oven because the bread slices were getting golden brown really quickly.

double baked bread roll slices
There we are: finished and a little blurry due to the heat.

I ate 2 of this crisp little friends hot out of the oven and let the rest cool down on a rack. Afterwards I stored them in an air-tight container. Guess we will finish them in a blink.

Donnerstag, 16. Mai 2013


Today I made some Potato-Croquettes which are really easy to prepare and some side dishs (runner beans, carrot-artichoke stew, salad) and rice.
I was a little bit in a hurry so I made a good use of my microwave. All in all it took 30 minutes.

For the croquettes:
6 small potatoes (boiled until well done, peeled and mashed)
120 g salmon (no bones and no skin)
1 egg
1 teaspoon potato starch
1 small and young spring onion , trimmed, chopped finely
1 tablespoon sake
1 teaspoon soy sauce
Panko flakes
mayonnaise to your liking

I steamed the salmon spiced with sake and soy sauce in the microwave (900 W, 1.5 - 2 min) just until it could be flaked easily, parts can be left undercooked too.
I mixed (by hand only) the fish, egg, spring onion, a good pinch salt, starch and  potato mash (still warm) and formed 6 round croquettes. They were quite soft and sticky.  I tossed each in panko flakes and fried them in a good amount of oil (they were nearly covered with oil). After one side was golden I flipped them over and fried until the other side was done too.
To be eaten as they are or with little mayonnaise  which I spiced up with mustard and sugar.

Runner bean side dish
This is very easy. With an electric mill it is done in a blink.
1 handful runner beans, stem arts removed - if there are strings remove them too
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 pinch dashi stock

Runner beans with sesame
I cut the runner beans into 4 parts each and steamed the beans with a little water a pinch instant dashi stock powder and very little salt in the microwave (900 W 2 minutes). Meanwhile I toasted the sesame seeds in a pan until fragrant and ground them with a good pinch brown sugar in my electric spice mill.
In a bowl I mixed the ground sesame seeds and 1 tablespoon soy sauce. I added the drained beans and tossed.

Next one was a mixed salad. I bought some different salad leaves today at the organic farmers market. The farmer grows lots of lettuce varieties and it was fun to select the chosen ones.

For the asian leaf salad:
2 good handful mixed salad leaves / lettuce (green mizuna, chinese purple mustard, purple mizuna, green rucola, read oak leave salad), washed drained, trimmed
a few drops roasted dark sesame oil
1 pinch sugar
1 tablespoon soysauce
a few squeezes lemon juice
a little bit freshly ground ginger root

I cut the salad leaves into thick stripes or parts, mixed the ingredients for the dressing in a bowl and tossed the leaves to coat.

And I made Carrot-Artichoke-Stew
I bought artichokes in a bargain sale. At the moment a huge space of my fridge is occupied  by big artichokes. Now I can enjoy one of my favorite vegetables very often during the next days. Most of the time I cook one trimmed artichoke (as it is) in salted water with lemon juice. Afterwards I just plug the leaves and dip the thick ends in vinaigrette and enjoy but I like to make stews or tarts too.

For this stew you need:
2 big artichokes, hard leaves cut off down to the thicker end, inner core (itchy, wooly part) srcaped out, outer side of the bottom peeled and stems removed, sliced
2 carrots, sliced
1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon mild vinegar
pinch dashi stock powder
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons mirin
1 teaspoon sugar
a few drops sesame oil (dark roasted)
1 pinch chili flakes

(Freshly cut parts of artichokes should be rubbed with lemon juice in an instant to prevent oxidation therefore I used the lemon)
1 boiled the sliced artichokes in 300 ml water with a little vinegar and added the carrots 2 minutes later. I simmered until the vegetables were done. I removed 2/3 of the water, added a little dashi stock, soy sauce, mirin, sugar, sesame oil and a inch chili flakes.

Sonntag, 12. Mai 2013

Tandoori chicken and spinach-potato curry made with edible wild plants

My cooking with wild plants is still going on. Soon the time will be over for most of the young greens so I have to use them up quickly.
Today I decided on indian cuisine. I did not have this for quite a long time and I wanted to make somethig healthy without much fat. I often make my own curry spice mixtures because freshly ground and fried spices taste better but there is no need if you don't want to - just use the common spice mixtures  for curry and tandoori.

Here we are: grilled chicken breasts Tandoori ( tandoori murghi without food colouring!!!)

Tandoori chicken
 and "green potato curry" Aloo palak

Made from cultivated and wild plants:

edible wild plants in a salad sieve

For the Aloo Palak (Potato curry) I sampled a 3 l bowl of edible wild plants. For measurement: About 70% young stinging nettles , 20 %  garlic mustard , some golden sage leaves , 8-10 small sorrel leaves , 1 handful ground elder .
Warning: Pick only young plants which are not blossoming yet. While and after blossoming nettle and sorrel can be harmful to your body.  Ground elder will taste bad, same goes for garlic mustard: not harmful but no more tastyness. 

Ground elder has an intense flavour so don't put too much in the dish, think parsley. Nettle tastes nearly the same as spinach use lots!
Sage can be used at all times but the taste is quite overwhelming so use only a few leaves. In my garden I have common sage, wild meadow sage and the cultivar golden sage. It has small bright yellow/golden leaves and is not that intense in taste and texture. Therefore I used 2 sprigs / fresh new branches.

I removed the stalks and stems and blanched the leaves of the plants for a few seconds in boiling water and chopped the squeezed dry green coarsely (for picking and preparing use gloves because nettles are nasty - they will lose their stingyness after boiling).
I added the same amount of blanched and squeezed young spinach leaves (all in all 350 g blanched and squeezed greens) after there were not enough greens leftover after blanching and squeezing. Sadly I weeded too well concerning the nettles and I had to leave some nettles for the butterflies. I don't pick nettles in the wilderness. Most of the time it is growing near pathes and there is a saying nettles only grow well were dogs and men were peeing a la freco. I don't need this... and I hope there is no one peeing in my garden except hedgehogs, cats and other small animals. There is only a small patch around my garden well were it grows.

For preparing the curry I fried:

  • 2 diced onions in a little roasted sesame oil mixed with mild olive oil until translucent and added 
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grinded ginger root,
  • 1 minced garlic glove
and fried it just a little longer.

In my spice mill I ground into a curry spice mix:

  • 2 teaspoons mustard  seeds
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 red hot chili
  • 2 cloves
I Added the spice powder to the onions and fried it a little longer. At least I stirred in all the greens and

  • 1 cup water, 
  • 1 good pinch salt, 
  • 100 ml yoghurt
and heated it up until bubbling.
With an immersion blender I purred half of the greens and added 8 small potatoes (cooked and peeled and cut into halves), tossed to coat in this mix. 
At least I adjusted the seasoning with more salt and a little Worcester sauce.

For the Tandoori chicken I marinated 3 chicken breasts (deboned, without skin). 
For marinade:

  • 125 ml thick yoghourt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon  minced ginger root
  • ½ lemon, juice only
Spice mix* (freshly ground in the mill and roasted in a pan without oil until fragrant):

  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon allspice pepper corns
  • 2 red hot chilies
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • 1 small piece of cinnamon rind
  • 2 thumb nail sized pieces of mace 
  • 2 cardamom pods, seeds only
*) Can be substituted with typical garam masala spice  and yellow javanese curry mix to your taste.

Mix spice powder with yoghurt and ginger, garlic, lemon juice

With the point of a sharp knife pinch the chicken all over, make a few deep cuts at the outer side. Massage the chicken breast with marinade and let the meat rest in the marinade for 8 hours in the fridge (or overnight). For prearing just pat the breasts dry with a paper towel. Don't rub off the marinade just pat them a little.
Place breasts on a grill rack and bake in the oven at 180 C for 20 minutes max. depending on the size of the chicken breasts), after 15 min give it 5 minutes with the grill turned on to high heat. Make sure the breast are done, running liquid from pinching should be clear.
Before serving sprinkle with salt.
This can be served with rice, naan, white bread.

Mittwoch, 8. Mai 2013

Asparagus pancakes and wild edible plants

Today I made pancakes. Pancakes in Germany are not only some sort of sweet dessert but a common "salty" dish for lunch. Whatever comes along aside with the pancakes depends.
I decided on italian ham (Prosciutto cotto), white asparagus and a herbal sauce / dressing made from wild plants.
Roll up and enjoy...

herb sauce

For the pancakes I used 1 egg and 2 tablespoons spelt flour (for each big pancake) with a little milk and salt. The batter is a little bit thick and not as runny as a batter for crepes. Just stir together until smooth and let sit 30 minutes.  Afterwards bake big pancakes and place some ham on top.
I cut 500 g white asparagus in slices and stirfried in a little oil until golden. I added a pinch salt and a teaspoon sugar and caramelized the lot. This has to be placed on to of the ham and than there comes the herbal dressing.

For the herbal dressing I used the following weeds I found in my garden on a 5 minutes run (have to do some weeding soon I guess):

From up to down:
Some leaves Rumex acetosa (Sauerampfer) - about 8 leaves, Plantago lanceolata (Spitzwegerich) 5 leaves,
Small flowers: Myosotis (Vergissmeinnicht) - blossoms, Bellis perennis (Gänseblümchen) - buds and blossoms, Cardamine pratensis (Wiesenschaumkraut) blossoms and soft leaves.

edible wild plants

From left to right:
Up: Aegopodium podagraria (Giersch),  Catnip mint (Poleiminze), Glechoma hederacea (Gundelrebe)
Down: Alliaria petiolata (Knoblauchrauke), Geranium pusillum - the buds and blossoms only,  

edible wild plants
I took a handful Alliaria petiolata - only young and tender plants picked before blossoming. This plant tastes a little bit like spinach with garlic, way milder than wild garlic. I took only a few leaves Glechoma hederacea (Gundelrebe), because it tastes very intense reminding on thyme, rubbed leaves smell wonderful, but it is a little bit poisonous. Half a handful Aegopodium podagraria, very young leaves only with soft stalks, those taste like a mixture of carrot and parsely, very intense flavor the older the worser it gets.

I also added some young chives and 2 short sprigs Levisticum officinale (Liebstöckel).

The herbs were chopped and mixed with a 2 teaspoons mild vinegar, salt and 4-5 tablespoons olive oil.
This is the book which decribes the plants above and many more - it is really great:

Montag, 6. Mai 2013

2000 edible wild plants

I just read an article about a new book which gained lots of recommendations:
Steffen Guido Fleischhauer/Jürgen Guthmann /Roland Spiegelberger:
„Enzyklopädie Essbare Wildpflanzen“ - Encyclopedia on edible wildplants (of middle Europe)

This book describes about 2000 edible plants to be found in Middle Europe -  how to find them, how to identify, nutrients and interesting substances (e.g. health issues), even culinary uses are included with descriptions of taste and texture and so on.  I cannot believe it. I thought I was quite good in botany and know a lot about edible wild plants or wild plants for pharmaceutical use but 2000? I did never count them all but thinking about common herbs, the use of blossoms and wild root or leaf vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts or edible tree leaves there must be lots. I am going to buy it and see what can be found in our area for some wild plant meals...