Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Honey and Cumin Carrot Ribbons with Ribbon Pasta

(serves 2)

200 g pasta
4 carrots
1/2 tsp cumin, toasted and ground
extra virgin olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
sea salt
a few sprigs of fresh thyme
1 garlic clove

Boil the pasta in salted water according to the packet instructions. Meanwhile, peel the carrots and cut into ribbons using a speed peeler. Heat some oil in a frying pan and add the garlic, cumin and fresh thyme. Soften for a minute or two without browning the garlic. Add the carrot ribbons, season with pepper and salt and sauté until the carrots are tender. Remove the thyme sprigs and serve.

Non-vegetarian variation with Kabanossi sausage croutons, fennel seeds, goats cheese, lime and fresh coriander. Leave out the honey and thyme.

1 thin Kabanossi sausage
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
fresh coriander
juice of 1 lime

Thinly slice the Kabanossi sausage and fry with the fennel seeds in a little olive oil until crisp. Remove from pan and drain on kitchen paper. Chop the coriander and goats cheese. Set aside.

Prepare the carrots as above leaving out the honey and adding the juice of half the lime instead. Cook the pasta.

Mix the carrot ribbons and pasta and divide onto two warmed plates. Add the goats cheese. Sprinkle with coriander and kabanossi and drizzle with the  juice of the remaining half lime. Serve immediately.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Roast Venison Fillet with Portobello Mushrooms, Red Wine, Balsamic and Blueberry Sauce and Pan-Fried Potatoes

Ich musste auch ein bisschen im Internet stöbern, um herauszufinden, wie lange so ein Fillet gegart werden muss, denn ich wollte es nicht in Medallions schneiden und braten, sondern im Ganzen in den Backofen schieben. Hier ist das Resultat. Dazu servierte ich, inspiriert von Mickey, Bratkartoffeln, allerdings auf saarländische Art aus rohen Kartoffeln. Wir kennen auch Bratkartoffeln aus gekochten Kartoffeln, aber die schmecken völlig anders. Das Rezept reicht für 2-3 Personen.

500 g venison
3 Portobello mushrooms
2 tbsp blueberry jam
150 ml red wine
2 El balsamic vinegar
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil
1 heaped tsp flour
2 tsp cold  water

2 medium-sized potatoes per person

Das Fillet mit Pfeffer und Salz würzen. Die Champignons in 1 cm dicke Scheiben schneiden. In einer Bratpfanne (oder direkt im Bräter) etwas Olivenöl erhitzen und das Fillet auf beiden Seiten bräunen. Das Fleisch in einen Bräter legen, die Champignons dazu geben. Diese mit Pfeffer und Salz würzen und mit Olivenöl beträufeln. Im Backofen bei 200 °C/Gas 6 20-25 min. (Englisch) oder 30-35 min. (medium) backen. Das Fleisch auf einen vorgewärmten Teller legen und im abgeschalteten Backofen ruhen lassen, während die Sauce zubereitet wird.

Während das Fleisch gart, die Kartoffeln schälen und in Würfel schneiden. Reichlich Olivenöl in einer Bratpfanne erhitzen, die Kartoffeln dazu geben, mit Pfeffer und Salz würzen und braten, bis sie rundum goldbraun und gar sind.

Für die Sauce Rotwein, Balsamico und Heidelbeermarmelade zu den Champignons in den Bräter geben. 1 Aufkochen lassen. Das Mehl mit dem Wasser glatt rühren und zur Sauce geben. Die Sauce erneut aufkochen lassen und dann köcheln bis sie eingedickt ist.

Das Fleisch in Scheiben schneiden und mit den Champignons und der Sauce anrichten.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Porcini and Aubergine Risotto with Lime Juice and Coriander

There are times when I make risotto about once a week. That's when I experiment with different ingredients so we don't get bored.

200 g arborio rice
1 banana shallot
1 garlic clove
1/2 celery stick
150 ml dry white wine
750 l vegetable stock (mine was homemade without salt)
15 g of porcini mushrooms
1/2 aubergine
1 lime, juice of
extra virgin olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt
40 g parmesan, plus some extra for serving
10 g butter
1 handful of fresh coriander
pistacchio oil to serve

1. Soak the porcinis in boiling water for about half an hour. Remove from the resulting liquor but don't throw it out, it will be used in the risotto. Chop up the porcinis and set aside.

2. Cut the aubergine into thin slices and fry in olive oil until they're browned and soft. Remove from the pan and set on kitchen paper to drain. If the aubergine is very greasy drizzle with a little lime juice to cut through the oil.

3. Make the stock and keep hot on a low heat. Grate the parmesan. Juice the lime. Chop the coriander

4. Finley chop the onion, garlic and sellerie. Sauté in olive oil for approx. 5 minutes.

5. Add the rice and sauté for 2-3 minutes while stirring continuously until the rice becomes slightly transparent. Now, add the wine. Stir over a medium heat until the wine has been absorbed, season with salt, then add the porcinis and the porcini liquor. Keep stirring until the liquid has been absorbed, then add first ladle of stock. Keep repeating this until the rice is al dente. This takes 15-20 minutes.

6. Remove the risotto from the heat, season with pepper. Stir in the parmesan and butter. Cover and leave to rest for about 2 minutes. Mix in the cooked aubergine, the chopped coriander and lime juice to taste. Check the seasoning. Transfer to plates, sprinkle with a little grated parmesan if desired and optionally add some freshly ground black pepper. Serve immediately.

Baked Chocolate Cheese Cake on Gluten Free Almond-and-Chocolate Base

When I saw this recipe on Indre's blog I knew immediately I had to try it out, the base alone sounded wonderful. Here in the UK, it's really hard to get the German "quark", if I'm lucky I can find the French fromage frais but mostly with 0 % fat and that means additives to give it its consistency. I was going to try ricotta but the local supermarket didn't have any in that day and I almost went for Greek yoghurt or crème fraîche when I spotted fromage frais with 0.2 % fat. I decided to make an exception and buy it. I don't object to the low fat content but the drawback is that thickening agents have to be added to make it thick and creamy. And I try to avoid all sorts of additives. Next time I'm going to use ricotta.

Update 27/06/14: Ricotta worked a treat! Will try a baked German cheesecake with ricotta next.

The other item I can't get here is chocolate custard powder so I researched this on the internet and made my own. I also reduced the amount and type of sugar, added a pinch of salt. The changes I made to the recipe are printed in italics.

As I expected, the base is fantastic – as is the topping – and I already have plans to use if for other cakes, the recipes for which I'll no doubt publish in this blog.

200 g ground almonds
200 g dark chocolate, min. 70% cocoa solids
1 pinch of salt
200 g butter
200 g sugar/150 g fine unrefined sugar
4 eggs
vanilla extract
1 sachet (15 g) baking powder

1 sachet of chocolate custard/30 g custard powder mixed with 10 g cocoa/ home-made chocolate custard powder made of 10 g cocoa, 30 g cornflower and a little vanillin
250 g fromage frais or ricotta
100 ml milk
150 g sugar/120 g fine unrefined sugar
2 small or medium eggs

1. Melt the butter and chocolate over a low heat in a saucepan. Leave to cool
2. Beat the almonds, sugar, baking powder, vanilla extract and eggs together.
3. Mix in the chocolate butter.
4. Pour the mix into a greased spring tin/silicon mold (26-30 cm)
5. Bake for 45 min. at 180 °C/gas mark 4.
6. Mix the chocolate custard powder with the fromage frais/ricotta.
7. Add the milk, eggs and sugar and beat to a creamy consistency.
8. Spread over the base after the inital baking time of 45 minutes, then bake for another 35-45 minuts.

This cake will keep covered and stored in a cool place for 3-4 days.