Sonntag, 30. Juli 2017

Rainbow trout meuniere meets pink potato salad

Today I prepared a new type of potato salad. Found the recipe in a french magazine and decided to check it out because I recently bought some very good Anchovis from Spain. I had a few Anchovis left over. There had to be done something with those.

Trout meuniere with pink potato salad

Here are the ingredients if you would like to try it out too.
For 4 persons:

  • 250 g small young potatoes
  • 2 medium small beet roots
  • 1/2 pickled daikon

For the dressing:

  • 10 Anchovis, minced (Anchovis stored in oil)
  • 1 tablespoon medium hot mustard
  • 1 squeeze honey
  • 1/2 lemon / the juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • good pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil


  • tomatoes
  • salad leaves
  • chopped spring onion
  • mayonnaise


  • 4 pieces of rainbow trout fillet
  • 4 tablespoons flour (roughly milled for pasta)
  • salt
  • 1 shot of mild cider vinegar
  • pepper
  • olive oil, only a few tablespoons

First I cooked the potatoes and two beet roots in slightly salted water.

Meanwhile I diced the daikon radish just like this:

After 15 minutes the potatoes were done, nicely cooked, the beet roots took about 10 minutes longer. I peeled the beet roots and potatoes and chopped them into nearly the same sized dices as the daikon. All in all I had just one rice bowl full of each of the ingredients.

I mixed the other salad ingredients and added the minced Anchovis, stirred, done.

Pretty little things...
minced Anchovis

I tossed the diced potatoes, beet roots and daikon with the dressing, covered with cling film and let the salad rest in the fridge for several hours. This is important. The salad has to mature and develop a charming flavor.

For the fish, I sprinkled the cleaned fillets with salt, pepper, and a few drops of vinegar and tossed the fillets in the flour.
Heated the griddle up to medium high heat, added some oil, not too much and fried the fish on both sides, just 2-3 minutes on each side. Trout is done very quickly so I just looked at the color of the flour, nicely golden, yes it is done and enough.

Trout simply has to be juicy:

I had the trout with a little bit of mayonnaise and a squeeze of lemon juice, husband with a mix of mayonnaise and wasabi.

Freitag, 7. Juli 2017

Awful strawberries but tasty after some work - strawberry balsamic vinegar

Our local super market offers a never ending supply of not quite tasty strawberries. Don't know why, maybe because we had lots of rain and no sun at all. They are looking great but you could easily paint a piece of cucumber red and sell it as a strawberry. Does not make any difference.

After the latest buy and try, yeah - pretty bad, I decided on a last resort: To just cook something with those boring fruits. And I made it: Strawberry vinegar. Yes vinegar or better some kind of fake balsamic vinegar.
I cut the berries - without greens - in rough peaces and put half of their weight in sugar on top. Heated them up until bubbling (think making jam), simmered for a few minutes until the fruit peaces were really soft and melted and lots of clear running thick sirupy strawberry juices were lovely bubbling. Mashed every thing with a potato masher and added little by little vinegar essence until acidic enough. I think I started with 250 g fruits, 125 g sugar and just a small shot vinegar essence.
I stored the vinegar in a clean jar.
After one week we tested the "balsamic vinegar":

Wonderful with goat cheese...
Vinegar essence - usually I use it for cleaning and weeding (just a few drops on a small weed and it will die - forbidden but it works, because the essence is really acidic). It has no what so ever refined taste. You cannot consume the essence as it is. Traditionally the essence was used for pickling big amounts of cucumbers. You have to cook a solution of water, vinegar essence, herbs and spices, salt as pickling brine first.

Samstag, 6. Mai 2017

Old school Buckwheat pancakes

Today I prepared some buckwheat pancakes.

pancake wrap filled with salad, rushers and egg

Once upon a time or a long time ago, Buckwheat pancake was the poor man's bread in my area. Buckwheat was the only crop besides barley and potato (and potatoes came much later) our local and very poor farmers managed to grow. We are living in the bogs and heath. Wet soil, sandy and sour, very good for moss and blueberries but nothing much else, so the people made a poor living from peat cutting and raising sheep.

Interesting enough there is a local tradition of making pancake batter while using tea or coffee but I very much prefer skimmed milk. Coffee and tea were a luxury which came later on. I guess most of the time they just used water instead.

Buckwheat pancakes are not that easy to prepare because buckwheat has no gluten. So there is no glue to keep the batter together.

For 5 thin pancakes

  • 1 cup whole meal buckwheat.
  • 1 1/4 cup skimmed milk (more or less)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 pinch salt
  • cooking oil

Mix, cover and let sit in the fridge for one hour or longer.
The batter should be prepared some time in advance because the buckwheat flour has to soak up and take in some liquid. Mix batter again, the batter should be only slightly runny, a little bit thicker than crepe batter and somewhat guey. The dark spots are milled spelt from the seeds:

pancake batter

Use a little oil for the griddle heat it up to medium high heat and spoon 1 ladle of batter in the middle of the griddle,  swing the griddle around to spread the batter nice and thin.
Flip the pancake over when the surface looks dry with bubbly holes all over. Wait until the pancake shows some crunchy browned edges. Don't flip it over too early or the pancake will break. This is to early:

pancake in the griddle
It is done when the other side has turned nicely golden.

pancake in the griddle

Cover the stag with cling film or the pancakes will dry out and break while wrapping, the stag:

5 pancakes

For filling:

Traditionally it is just bacon rushers.  Good but not good enough. Today I decided on smoked salmon, salad, bacon and sunny side up eggs.

For salad:

  • I good hand full of salad greens
  • 1/2 carrot sliced in thin strips
  • a few young walking onions, or one spring onion sliced. Walking onions, I have lots and lots of a special wild kind of walking prairie onion from the USA in my garden, they are very tiny.  but delicious. To compare look at the tarragon:

walking onions

  • 1 tablespoon tarragon freshly chopped


  • 1 teaspoon sweet mustard
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • some olive oil
  • salt 
  • pepper

Stir until it comes together, toss with greens, carrot slices and chopped onions.


  • 4 slices smoked salmon
  • 2 tablespoons creme fraiche 
  • 1 tablespoon horseradish paste (without cream) or wasabi paste

For another filling:

  • 3 eggs baked sunny side up
  • pepper and salt
  • some crunchy bacon slices turned to rushers / 2 or 3 for each pancake


Put salad on each pancake.
Cover with 2 salmon slices and add some hot horseradish mixed with creme fraiche.
To serve wrap it up or just leave it open:

pancake with salmon

Cover salad with bacon rushers and and egg, sprinkle egg with pepper and salt

pancake with egg

Once again: wrap it or leave it open.

Needless to say you could serve a pancake as dessert, just spread some yoghurt or creme fraiche or cream cheese and add lots of blueberry jam.

Sonntag, 16. April 2017

Easter treat: hot cross buns

Never made them before, but since watching the Great British Bake Off I longed to prepare some. Now the time had come, Easter, because hot cross buns are Easter treats, and I've searched and found Paul Hollywood's recipe.
So nice of him to share his recipes on his homepage.
See Paul's recipe:

Yesterday evening I made the dough while using skimmed milk (at room temperature) and put the dough to rest into the fridge. Well, no one wants to make dough a 6 am in the Easter morning to bake some buns for breakfast at 10 am, therefore cold fermentation was best.
The dough has well risen, and I knocked it down at 8 pm and just waited  until the dough had room temperature again. Than I folded in the dried fruits, spices and zests. I formed 15 buns and let the buns rise and develop for 1 hour and a bit
Afterwards baking was done rather quickly. Because I used more dried fruits, the buns are not as nice and equally round shaped with a smooth surface as Paul's. But they are very fluffy and tasty.

Changes I made:
Zestes from one orange only otherwise it would be a bit overwhelming orangy - sorry Paul.
I soaked the dried fruits over night: 200 g sultanas and cranberries, handful chopped candied cumquats and the very small apple dices in a little orange juice (half of the orange) and Amaretto (italian almond liquor)
I used 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon instead of two teaspoons but I added a very good pinch of ground saffron (bought it on the island Sardinia in September, very high quality) and ground cardamom too.

See Paul's recipe:

Here are mine:

Mittwoch, 12. April 2017

My brand new toy

Recently I got a nice little present from my husband. Not all women are over the moon because of some kitchen gadgets, gender issues and all, but I was excited. It is just perfect: Whooooaaaa Taiyaki maker!!! Non-stick, electronic device, 2 molds in the bottom part, 2 in the upper part.

I had to put it on good use. Yesterday evening I prepared red bean paste and some creme pattisiere. Today I made the batter from scratch:

  1. 80 g strong flour
  2. 20 g corn starch
  3. 1 small pinch salt
  4. 1 tsp. baking powder
  5. 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  6. 1 tblsp. sugar
  7. 1 egg yolk and half of the egg white
  8. 125 ml skimmed milk

Sift the first six dry ingredients into a bowl, add sugar, stir milk and egg and add too. Mix well.
Let batter rest for half an hour. This will make 6 Taiyaki.

Prepare the tools: Tablespoon, teaspoon, bowl with a little cooking oil and a brush, bowl with red bean paste and creme patisserie, spatula.

Heat up the taiyaki maker. Brush the molds with some cooking oil. Spoon one tablespoon batter into each mold.

Add one heaped teaspoon filling (bean paste or creme) on top in the middle.

Top with another tablespoon of batter. Close the lid (contains the upper molds).
Wait until the light on top of the taiyaki maker turns green.
Open the maker and remove the taiyaki with a spatula.

Some batter has spread around the nice fish shaped waffles, but the batter is well baked, paper thin and easy to remove.

Done, pretty and tasty. I liked the ones with the red bean paste more than the cream filled. Next time I will put some Nutella or creme de marron or maybe sweet potato paste, or pumpkin..