Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Encore français - aligot et bœuf bourguignon for #BloggersAroundTheWorld

The warm up is in the past. Now we are ready for the real thing. 
Some time ago I was invited by a friend, who actually is from France. According to him, a usual meal would consist of apéritif - not necessarily some alcohol to drink, although a pastis would work for me - then a salad or soup, followed by the main course. After that we would be ready for the cheese course and we can close with dessert, of course. Really? Maybe a calvados fits in to round everything up.
I don't need to mention, that baguette and red wine would be part of the deal as well, although the alcohol is not compulsory.
Now I would love to present you such a meal. 
Pastis - no big deal. Well, it doesn't have to be the apéritif, because we have aligot.
Many moons ago ... or month ... I read the book Encore Provence written by Peter Mayle. Maybe you have heard of him, or read something he wrote, or even saw a movie.
Whatsoever, in this very book, he mentioned something called aligot. This originates from the Latin word aliquid, that means something. The story behind it has something to do with monks, but I don't want to bore you with any more details.
This aligot contains two important things: garlic and cheese. In fact a large part in it is cheese. So ... naturellement ... I was destined to try it. In other words, the moment I read about it, I knew I would make it one day. So, apart from the garlic and the cheese you need tomatoes, sour cream or the like, salt and pepper, and patience.

To get a bit more detailed, I used the following:
400 g tinned tomatoes, chopped
250 g cheese (one that is a good melting kind)
100 g créme fraîche
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
Salt and pepper

Let's do it, or at least have a try:
Before we start, just a brief note. The cheese that would be used in the original one is tome d'Aubrac, that is fresh cheese from the region where this dish comes from.
First of all cook the tomatoes. If you haven't chopped them properly, you can also puree them afterwards.
Once done, add the remaining ingredients and start stirring ... and keep stirring ... stirring ... stirring ... stirring ... stirring.
Hopefully, it will thicken at one point. However, if it gets so thick, you can't stir anymore or even get out the spoon, things went terribly wrong and according to Peter, you should have a glass of wine and start again.
However, I was on the safe side and ... lost patience ... and consequently had to be satisfied with a slightly thinner version.

That, in no way deminished the joy of this meal. To you give you a fuller picture ...

Already we feel a bit satisfied. Still, we need to think about the main course. That would be bœuf bourguignon.
In fact for that we have to go a few hours back in time, for you have to start this well in advance. At least that is what I heard. Before that day, I didn't cook it yet.
I had to enlist the aid of some cookbooks among which is the well known Mastering the Art of French cooking. I took that as a rough guide, combining it with other information I read. Anyway, I had to adjust to the amount of food I would need in the end or respectively on what I had in stock.
Here we go for the main course ...

Bœuf Bourguignon
  • Melt 50 g of butter in a pan at a medium heat.
  • Cut 100 g of bacon into stripes and fry them in the butter. 
  • After that remove them to a casserole type dish.
  • Have 500 g of beef, that is cut into about 2 cm sized chunks. Pat the meat dry with ... something.
  • Then fry the meat in the pan, so it gets colour from all sides.
  • Pre-heat your oven to 160°C.
  • Remove the meat as well and ... have a guess ... yes, put it into the casserole type dish and reduce the heat for the pan
  • Now you have two medium sized onions ready, which you more or less have chopped finely ... as fine as you like.
  • Soften the onions in the pan.
  • While that happens add a few tbs of flour to the casserole type dish to coat the meat and then put the dish into the oven for about ten minutes.
  • Get the dish out and repeat the flour thingy.
  • By now your onions should be ready. You can turn of the heat for the pan.
  • The onions go the well known casserole type dish. Together with the onions you add a few sprigs of rosemary and thyme, a bay leaf and two peeled and crushed cloves of garlic.
  • Now we top that up with 300 ml of red wine and 300 ml of beef stock.
  • Now cover your casserole type dish and put it into the oven for about three hours until the meat is really tender.
  • Just before that time is over you could prepare some potatoes to eat together with your bœuf bourguignon.

  • When you think your meat is ready ... it is not. Remove the cover from your dish and keep it for another 30 minutes in the oven.
  • Then you are ready to plate up and eat the main course.

I hope you enjoy it! I did! It was very delicious. That would bring us then to our next course ...
If you feel you already had enough cheese at the beginning, this must be an illusion. For sure there is a little bit room for some Camembert, brie or another cheese ... Why not!
What's for pudding?
Well, I felt like I should have a chocolate souffle or some crêpes, but honestly? Yes, I didn't feel like preparing them or even eating some more food. I already had quite some share from the bœuf bourguignon. So I have to do a chocolate souffle at some other time.
Still, I hope you enjoyed this small (?) French meal for Bloggers Around the World.

If you haven't done so already, why not join us on this food trip around the world ...

Monday, 29 October 2012

Challenge warm up à la française ... escalope de porc aux champignons

You might remember that I set up my own blog challenge Bloggers Around The World just last month. After our start in Germany with a bit of German food the next leg of the journey is bringing us to France.
Well, now it's not just that I like others to join, but of course I want to contribute as well with some food. Due to this I tried a few things French in my kitchen over the last few weeks. Still it hasn't all been the kind of things I want to contribute to my own challenge. Right, I set up the rules. Hm, I can't remember setting up a rule that limits the number of entries, but I guess one will suffice.

While I don't want to contribute this bit of food, I still like to share it with you. I might even add it to another challenge. 
Whatsoever, I consider it as a little warm up for some more French cooking. I can't quite claim that I mastered the art of French cooking. However, there is help available, as I have the two volumes of Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle and Simone Beck.
What you see on the picture is kind of based on the recipe Tournedos Sautés Aux Champignons. Fine, I didn't use fillet steak, but pork cutlets and ... eh marinated the meat therefore a bit differently. I used the simple marinade for pork from the aforementioned book.
Here we go then and warm up a bit à la française.
  1. The pork cutlets are marinated for at least 2 hours, and if you like to put them in the fridge, for 4 hours. The marinade contains salt, pepper, lemon juice, parsley sprigs, thyme, a bay leaf and a clove of bashed garlic.
  2. The mushrooms are sauteed in butter for a couple of minutes until then slightly brown.

  3. I guess they deserve a little bit of seasoning with salt and pepper.
  4. Then remove the mushrooms and put them to a separate bowl.
  5. Now it's time for the pork cutlets to make there appearance again. Fry some butter in a different pan and then fry the cutlets from both sides until the colour is right and they are cooked through.
  6. That's the point where I want to totally deviate from the book ... In reality, the following steps you have to perform while step 5 is still going.
  7. In the pan, where the mushrooms have been, add quite a good share of white wine.
  8. Then mix about 125 ml of double cream with a tbs of corn starch and then add to the pan with the white wine.
  9. Now I wonder why I removed the mushrooms from the pan and just add them to the sauce again.
  10. It's time to plate it up. Just do it the way as you have seen in the first picture and have a salad on the side.
Good, that was already a start. Was it French enough. I'm not too sure. I only know that it tasted very delicious. It even makes me to want some right now ... but I well know that this is out of bounds.
So far the warm up. I will do something else for the Bloggers Around The World challenge at some other day and ... I have also something in mind already. Keep on the watch!
Do you know what, some might use a package of who knows what is in it ready made sauce, but this was all from scratch without any E-somethings. That's a good reason to contribute it to Javelin Warrior's Cookin  w/ Luv Made with Love Mondays ...


Saturday, 27 October 2012

The Marzipator strikes back - Dorset Apple Cake with Marzipan

Somehow, it could not be avoided. The marzipator strikes back. How could get things get that far again?
Well it didn't start so bad. I ended up with several tons (note: exaggeration) of apples. They came in from different sides. It's the time for apples.
There are many lovely things you can do with them ... that is apart from just eating them as they are. The saying goes: "An apple a day keeps the doctor away!" That would mean I don't see the doctor for quite some time. I don't know whether that works. As far as I know, apples can't prevent accidents.
Anyway, you could use your apples for apple sauce, apple crumble, apple pancakes, apple porridge, many many other things and ... apple cake.
Now things are as follows. For quite some time there is a blog challenge going on. It's about the Best of British food and every month, there is a different region covered. The challenge is sponsored by The Face of New World Appliances and this month it is hosted by Karen from Lavender and Lovage with the theme Dorset. Have a look at London Unattached from Fiona as well.
Consequently this leaves me no chance as to bake a Dorset Apple Cake. I had a look at a few recipes and they all have some basic things in common. Apple is the obvious, but usually there are also some ground almonds in it.
That is the point were the marzipator and therefore the marzipan comes into play. It has to do with almonds anyway. So why not add some of it to the cake.

See for yourself!

450 g of apples, peeled, cored and chopped into small pieces (more or less)
Juice of 1 lemon
250 g flour
2 tsp baking powder
250 g butter (I was too lazy to measure, so I decided for a whole package)
150 g brown sugar
50 g ground almonds
100 g marzipan
2 eggs
Some extra sugar mixed together with ground cinnamon

Method (if you want to call it that way):
Well, what to do now. I could simply tell you to just throw all ingredients into a big bowl and mix thoroughly, but ...
Toss the pieces of apple in the juice and let them sit in it.
Sift the flour and the baking powder into a big bowl. Then start kneading in the butter and create some crumbles.
Add the sugar, the ground almonds and the marzipan. Crack open the eggs and release the content into the bowl, not bothering about separating and beating egg whites.
Now is the time to mix or knead it through thorougly. Do it as you want it. I used only my bare hands and did it as messy as possible. However, if you should decide to do the same, make sure you have the usual round (about 25 cm) cake tin greased and ready and the oven going at 180°C.
Naturally, the content of the bowl moves over to the cake tin.

Once managed, it goes into the oven for 50 minutes until it gets nicely browned.
By the way, this is now two cakes in a row, since my last post was about a cake as well. Should I rename to Baking Around the World?
When the cake is ready and you removed it from the oven, let it cool down a bit and then try your best to move it over to a plate without falling apart. I managed kind of.

After the cake was sitting safely on the plate, I simply couldn't resist to sprinkle some magic cinnamon-sugar on top.
I hope you enjoy the cake. If you have some nice clotted cream available, that would give it another boost. So ... go for it!
Otherwise, you may have the chance to get to Dorset and get a piece of Dorset Apple Cake in a nice tearoom (of course it will be without marzipan).

Near this place I know a nice tearoom. Whatsoever, there are many other nice things to see in Dorset along the Jurassic Coast and beyond. I want to come to an end of this post and leave you with some impressions of Dorset ...

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Crash! Boom! Cake!

To start with, this is not the 'Cos every time I seem to fall in love - Crash! Boom! Bang! I find the heart but then I hit the wall - Crash! Boom! Bang!' kind of post. Nor is it a 'Hello, you fool, i love you, C'mon join the joyride' thing, although I hope this ride will bring you some joy.

That's what is all about: a cake! However, as you may know - that is if you are an avid reader of this very blog - it's not all smooth sailing.
The past - solidly nailed in the plank of time - it can not be changed, unless you have a flying Delorean, which you most probably don't have. It has been quite some time until I came very close to one the last time.
Whatsoever, the past is back there and at times it may come to the fore in your mind - hopefully not to haunt you. Things that happened your past may come back as nice memories, or they give you new ideas, or they may help you to avoid bad situations, or ... who knows what ... maybe bake a cake?
Anyway, let's talk about 'Crash!' first of all. I don't think that the fact that I was hit by a car after school and the car sent me flying through the air. Nor did it have any effect when a car hit me while I was on my bike - well it was not so bad. The car wasn't even broken, nor was the bike, nor was I. About the effects of the third incidence when I was travelling with someone else in the car (I wasn't driving) I'm not so sure. The car was totally ruined. After all what would you expect, when being hit by a lorry at more or less full speed. I was only one night in intensive care.
Hm, that wasn't the plan at the outset of this post, to ponder over such things ...
I rather wanted to focus on 'Boom!' and 'Cake!'. So, have a bit of patience waiting for the cake, while we go through 'Boom!'
Maybe I can help you with another cake photo.

I'm not sure whether that helped, but let's go on.
As a child - somewhere between the first two and the last crash - I had a chemistry set. It even made me want to pursue a career in chemistry. But things happened differently and continue to happen quite differently again.
Anyhow, with some experimenting you can do funny and interesting things ... and not just growing crystals with magnesium sulphate. I won't talk about setting the stairs on fire and I will not disclose the recipe of gunpowder either at this point, although we had our share with that as well in the past.
Rather, I must say, we nearly made it to the cake. Once I nearly took all the chemicals I had in my chemistry set and mixed them all together. This resulted in a gooey brown substance, which didn't bring any joy at all.
'Bang!' Here we are! How much more joy do brown gooey substances bring in the field of cooking or better say baking.
Therefore, let's talk about that gooey substance on that cake and, of course, about the cake itself, that is, the thing beneath the brown gooey substance, which, as we know it, is nothing else but chocolate.
While experimenting in the kitchen with some ingredients I wanted to ... eh ... get rid off (obviously not the chocolate), I came up with this chocolate almond kind of cake.

Ingredients (if you please so):
100 g sugar
150 g sour cream (I needed to get rid of this for sure)
1 tsp vanilla extract (or similar)
100 g flour
200 g ground almonds
50 ml milk
6 egg whites (it's just a guess ... I had frozen some unspecified numbers of them over the course of the last weeks or months)
200 g of chocolate (half of the one I used was with Daim pieces)

Preparation (if you dare):
Now that we know what ingredients we have we can use them. Briefly scan over it.
If I would have taken a slightly different direction, this could have been a giant macaron cake, but now it's a bit closer to a Swedish almond tart.
Start with mixing the sour cream, the sugar and the vanilla extract. Then continue with the flour and the ground almonds.
As you can imagine, this is quite dry. No chance, I had to add some liquid. So I took the milk. Maybe it was even a slightly bit more, maybe just 10 ml.
Already things look a bit better.
Now to the egg whites ... I really could have gone for macarons. However, at that point, time and patience didn't allow for that. So I just went on with beating the egg whites together with a pinch of salt until it got to where all beaten egg whites have to go.
Following that rough beating, I tried my best to be gentle while incorporating the beaten egg whites into the cake dough.

All that went into the cake tin in order to be baked at 180°C for 40 minutes. You have to watch it as you most probably know your oven best.
After baking it needed a bit of time to cool down.
Meanwhile, that was a good opportunity to melt the chocolate. Said and done!
The last thing that remains is then too pour the chocolate over the cake. Of course, you can put the cake into the fridge afterwards or ... just use your imagination.

So ... 'every time I seem to bake with love - Crash! Boom! Cake!'

Saturday, 20 October 2012

The Rise of the Eggs - Soufflé au Fromage

"El queso está vijeo y podrido!" I hope this isn't true for the cheese in your fridge. It isn't for mine anyway. I don't know why ... maybe something is wrong with my brain ... but from time to time sentences like this come up in my head. I only know it's from a movie and the scene was at a high school during a Spanish lesson. Do you know which movie it was?
When talking about cheese that is not old and mouldy - as in the evil kind of mould - I am in. I just had some goat's cheese in my breakfast. However, I don't want to write you about my breakfast.
Still the breakfast contained at least three ingredients that are also included in what I want to write you about.
While flipping through the pages of my latest issue of the Jamie Oliver magazine, I came across some French recipes for single persons, that is French recipes for one persons. Whatever!

I went for the soufflé - of course with cheese! I wanted to try a soufflé anyway. So far I didn't have the chance ... I mean so far I didn't bother doing it.
That should not be too difficult. Quickly done!
I just prepare my mould (I know, it can be confusing) with some butter and flour.
Then I go for the bechamel sauce with melting some butter and then spooning in flour and make it smooth before I pour in 75 ml of milk ... bit by bit by bit by bit ... until all is in.
Now let it thicken for 2-3 minutes while continuing to whisk it.
After that I add 35 g of cheese, nutmeg, salt and pepper and let it all cool down for a while.
Once I'm tired of waiting, I separate an egg, add the yolk to the sauce and whisk the white like mad.
Again, when I'm tired, I carefully add the beaten egg white to the sauce and put everything in my prepared mould.
Together with some tomatoes (as seen on the photo) it all goes into the oven for 20 minutes or even a bit longer until the soufflé has browned sufficiently.
Well, I would have wished the egg would have risen a bit more. It didn't fully look like in the Jamie magazine, but taste wise it was good.
Now that I know how to do a soufflé ... do I really know?
I will try again. Maybe next time it will rise a bit more. 
Do you have any experiences with a soufflé?

Monday, 15 October 2012

Rocket, Ricotta and Chocolate ... Triple Feature Random Recipe

I have to make a confession. Yes, honestly, I have a problem ... it might even be serious.
It's not life-threatening ... at least not that I know.
To relief the tension a bit I have to say, it has to do with chocolate. I have been busy reading along in blog-world and the posts I read really make me worry. At least they could if I would give in to every urge of immediately running to the kitchen and reproduce the recipe I've just read about.
Well, in one incident I even just did that. It was one evening. I was sitting in front of the computer, feeling quite depressed actually. Therefore following this urge was not a curse at that point, but rather a blessing.
So to whom do I have to be grateful then? It's Choclette and her Chocolate Log Blog. She brought me this.

Apple Ricotta Cheesecake Brownies ... that was it that immediately caught my attention.
Somehow I failed to take some better pictures of it.
I still had some ricotta lingering in my fridge, so I had to go for it. Just lately a neighbour had told me I could take apples from their garden. So it was just perfect.
The recipe you find on the Chocolate Log Blog anyway. Everything went well. I even got a kind of ripple effect as you can glean from the picture. Right, well, there was one thing, I really couldn't cut it into individual pieces, but hey, I could just go for it and spoon it from the tin. After a day in the fridge, though, cutting into pieces was possible ... but I didn't care anymore.
Things are not all that bad. When I say bad, of course, I don't mean bad as in the sense of bad, but just bad. Hm, you know ... hips don't lie.
Why so? There was another lovely recipe from another lovely lady from another lovely blog. This recipe didn't contain any chocolate, but green leaves, fruits and some goats cheese.

On top of it, it was so simple it was put together in no time. What you see is what you get. I wish I could have that at other times in life as well (maybe at work).
Who helped this time?
It was Karen from Lavender and Lovage with her Fresh Fig and Goat's Cheese Salad with Walnuts. As you see on the picture, though, something must have gone wrong. Why I didn't use walnuts, I don't know. I have no problems with them. I even have a large amount of them at home.
That has to remain then another unsolved mystery.
Towards the end, things get dangerous again, but very very dangerous, indeed.
Because of this I like to link to the responsible person twice.
Let me get into detail.
That very person I am talking about is Jacqueline from Tinned Tomatoes. She got me with her Chocolate Tiffin. Why very very dangerous then?
If you have a look at the recipe, you will not fail to notice the usage of 400 g of chocolate.

That's what it looked like. I didn't have all dark chocolate available. This recipe nearly killed half of my choclate supplies (I had to stock up again today).
Just a few days before I tried that recipe. I was talking about cooking to a friend of mine, particularly about a kind of tiramisu I once did. What she was saying about it, didn't fit, but I think it would rather fit to this recipe, because there are certain similarities.
What is he talking about?
Well, there is a German recipe that is called Kalter Hund (cold dog), which is done with butter cookies and choclate. After I finished the chocolate tiffin recipe and had a bite of it later, it just reminded me of that.

Anyway, it tastes very lovely. So I need to be careful as nobody is nearby to help me with that. At least not now.
So far about all that. I still have to try an apple cake, a sea salted caramel cake, some mint cupcakes and some chocolate fondant with balsamic blueberries. Due to this I might be set for the month in the sweet department.
Wish me good luck ... or something like that!
Now we are nearly at the conclusion. This post is an entry for Bookmarked Recipes, the October edition.

It's a very special one, not only because of it being a triple feature, but also because it is kind of reciprocal ... you will figure it out. Or maybe you have to make a confession as well. Do you?

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Bloggers Around The World - Germany - Round-up

One month ago we departed for our food journey around the world ... first stop Germany. What food was out there for us? Just see for yourself. 

Our first travel companion is Sarah from Sarah Cooks.

She delights us with Oma Frieda's Grießklößchen mit Kirschen (semolina dumplings with cherries). However, don't be fooled. This is not for pudding, but a complete meal. How? Why? You have to have a look to find out. Not only will you learn how to do this lovely dish at home, but you have the opportunity to peak into 'ancient' German writing. Have a try, whether you can read the script.
By the way, you will discover many more German dishes on Sarah's blog.

Next in the 'food truck' is Galina from Chez Maximka.

Here we are going fishy with Cod in mustard sauce. See, whether Galina can trust her cookbooks or the cookbooks can trust her!(?) Anyway, this fishy dish is for sure something delicious, isn't it? See for yourself! After all, fish is good for you.

Finally, the next one is Chris from Cooking Around ... wait ... that's me.

I brought you Kohlrouladen - cabbage roulade. Some nice meat wrapped in lovely cabbage. The time is ripe to have a try.

So far our trip to Germany. Around the world, German cuisine is not so well known. Bread and cake might be famous, but otherwise ... I hope we inspired you to have a try.

Let's go on then with our journey. What will our next stop be?

No, we are not visiting the phantom of the opera ...

... although we might get a little close to it.

Well, it's not just Paris, but the next stop is France. Yes, it's time to get to France. The French cuisine should give you endless opportunities to cook something lovely.
What about some lovely quiches or French pastry. Maybe you are even brave enough to try some macarons.

Well, my first try on macarons was not all that successful, but there is always the chance to try again.
Whatsoever, there are many more things you might try. I just mention terrine, roquefort, truffle, crêpes, duck confit, tarte tatin, and ...
You will for sure find something nice. So, get ready and cook with us around the world ... well, France!

Here the rules that you should keep in mind (or rather follow):

1. Leave a comment with a link to your post here in this very post.

2. Link to my blog and this challenge in your post.

3. Use the "Bloggers Around the World" badge.

4. You can use a new or an old post, but it has to be adjusted accordingly.

5. Have fun and enjoy it!

We are looking forward to what you come up with ...
I will post a round-up then at the 13th of November, before we go on with our journey ...

Thursday, 11 October 2012

La Vita e Bella - Random Ingredient Recipe

Everyone knows, that it is not easy to keep the crowds happy. So I can imagine that it is a challenge as well for Dom from Belleau Kitchen, who is doing the Random Recipes blog challenge. Every month he is to come up with something, kind of new preferably.
As I see things, though, he doesn't seem to have any difficulties with that. Therefore, month by month by month we are all having a good time joining him in Random Recipes.
This time it is rather a random ingredient challenge - grabbing something from the depth of your cupboard and ... go for it.
Well, my cupboard is not so deep. I'm well organized (really?) and can see all the things I have. The only thing is, there is not one cupboard I can put my hand in and randomly pick something from.
Due to this I went through my various storing places to look for all this ingredients that went off in 2007 ... no ... I used them last month already .... no, just kidding, I don't have or had any of those. Still it could easily happen that you have things that are already off for quite some time or are very very close to it.
This search revealed the following items, which I should start to think about on what to do with them:

- nori leaves
- lasagne sheets
- sesame seeds
- urid lentils
- rose water
- jar of plums
- jar of beetroots
- vermicelli noodles
- cassava flour
- rosecco beans
- pearl barley
- apple compote

You probably know, how things are. In the shop you see something and think, oh that might come in handy. It would be lovely to cook something with it.
Then months pass and you don't.
From the above list we now need a participant. It's time to roll the randomizer and count it out. I could be in for some sushi, Italian pasta, Indian daal, a nice cake or pudding.

And the winner is ...

... no sushi ...

... no cake ...

... nothing Indian ...

... no pudding ...

... therefore it must be Italian with some lasagne sheets.

I have to deal with the other twelve some other time.
It's time to get all those Italian books ready and see what I can do.
The final choice goes to these guys ... 

... once more, as I have used them a few times lately.
Of course then it has to be a lasagne recipe. Again, something very lovely ... la vita e bella (life is good).

Just the other day when I looked into the fridge at work, I saw a package of ready made microwave lasagne ...
It's so much better to do your own. Now you may ask yourself, how I managed to have unused lasagne sheets, that I didn't use for such a long time? Simply put ... I don't know.
Back to work then. 
Or rather, on an evening when I came back from work at about 6 p.m. I decided to do my lasagne.

Starting with the chopping of a carrot and an onion and then letting them sweat in oil in a pan for a while.
Here come the 'good' thing now. After the meat went in and the chopped tomatoes the sauce was due to simmer for ... two hours.
That leaves me with enough time to do all the other things I wanted to do at home, like caring for washed clothes and do some other housework ... lovely ... really?!
Careful calculations then lead to the conclusion it will take roughly about three hours until I get my dinner. A bit of a downside, but I should survive. After all ... you can always start with the pudding.
In between I had to care for the white sauce as well so I would be able to assemble things after the two hours.

Now just some 40 minutes more and I will be ready for eating. Well, the dish I put it in was a slightly bit too big, but ... no worries ...
It tasted lovely ... I bet a lot lot lot better then those you buy from the supermarket ... 
That was needless to mention.
The book said: serves 4. Well, I don't know about that ... la vita e bella!

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

No sunshine? Have a Tequila Sunrise Tiramisu!

'The sun always shines on TV' - That line is taken by one of the songs from A-ha.
Whatever the case, at my place this is not the case. You may not always have sunshine, but I have a plan. I'm afraid, though, it's nothing for your kids, if you have any.
The sun may not alway shine for me, but I have been experimenting again in the kitchen and now it's possible to have a cocktail as pudding: Tequila Sunrise ... as tiramisu.
We could start arguing now, that a tiramisu needs sponge fingers, coffee, mascarpone and coffee. However, if you are reading this blog longer already, you might remember Cornish Strawberry-Rhubarb Tiramisu or Galway Irish Coffee Tiramisu. Let's have another go now and try Tequila Sunrise Tiramisu. I won't bring the summer back, but ... who knows?!

Well, I already thought about a tipsy Thursday recipe feature on the blog, but I'm not quite sure about it. What do you think? Anyway, let's do this one ...

Ingredients (just multiply, if you need a bigger one):
6 sponge fingers
100-200 ml orange juice
4 cl tequila
6 cl grenadine
200 g mascarpone
1 tbs sugar
1 pomegranate

... and here we go:
Start by placing the sponge fingers at the bottom of your bowl of selection.

Pour about 100 ml of the orange juice over the sponge fingers to soak them. If they are still thirsty, add some more. Let it have half of the tequila and a third of the grenadine as well.
In a separate bowl mix together the mascarpone, the rest of the tequila, the sugar and another third of the grenadine together. Let it have as much orange juice as it needs to get nice and smooth ... but not too liquid either.
Then add the mascarpone creme to the sponge finger bowl.
Finally pour the remaining grenadine over it and spread some pomegranate seeds over it.

Now you only have to refrigerate the Tequila Sunrise Tiramisu and after that you can enjoy it, but don't get drunk!
Any other suggestions for Tiramisu?

Sunday, 7 October 2012

From Russia with Love ... Double Oh Pelmeni

My name is Bond, James Bond and my friends would call me Bond, James Bond - that is, if I had any.
Yes, this month, Bond is back, for the 23rd time on the movie screen. This is the longest-running film franchise of all time. Well, that is at least what they say on the official movie website. 
You may even have seen the trailer of Skyfall or heard Adele perform the theme song of it. I just saw a small video blog on the official side about London. It's nice to see a few places and you go: "Ah, I know that place ..."
BUT - and this is a big BUT as you can see (not just because I've used capital letters).
What is James Bond without Sean Connery? I, personally, that is me, prefer the movies that Sean played in.
That brings us straight to the year 1963 and maybe a bit later also to some food.

From Russia with Love was the second Bond movie and according to Wikipedia 'it is considered by many as the best film in the James Bond series.
Whatever, you have to judge for yourself. Before we go on, a few shots from Skyfall (I don't know why - maybe for confusion).

Again, we do not dwell on it. Maybe later we have some time to talk a bit about bond movies.
As you may expect, this has nothing to do with the following. We were talking about From Russia with Love anyway. Just after Q has filled in 007 with his new briefcase we can go on.
We have no Q here, so you have to deal with me as I bring you some love from Russia - food love that is. To be precise, it will be Russian Pelmini.

Things, your Q should provide for you:
200 g flour (should be about that much - you can also play with the water)
1 egg
Pinch of salt
Water (you will see about the amount as you go)
200 g minced beef
1 small onion, finely chopped
More salt, and pepper
A tsp of freshly crushed fennel seeds (I thought I like it)

How to solve the mission:
At the beginning, things should not be too hard - we are not having a cold war, although we start cold, if that makes sense. But then again, what makes?!
Oh well, it's just a bit difficult to write this up and watch James Bond at the same time.
Let's try again, to get started.
Pour the flour on a (preferably) clean kitchen surface and make a well in it. There goes the egg and a pinch of salt.

Then ... there is a fight in the gypsy camp ... what?
Rather start mixing the flour and egg together, adding water on the way to make a nice lump of ... the fighting stopped ... eh, of dough.
Wrap the dough in cling film and put it in the fridge for half an hour. Shall we call this Russian pasta then? 
Meanwhile, Bond is together with Kerim Bey to ...
No! Meanwhile, you prepare the minced meat. Mix it together with the onion and season with salt, pepper and the fennel seeds.
When the time is right ... just get the dough back from the fridge and roll it like a long sausage.

Then you can cut it into pieces and make small balls from it. That is the point were a bit more work and endurance comes into play. No, it has nothing to do with James and Tatiana Romanova at the Hagia Sophia. That would make things even more complicated as they already are.
First of all, as you can glean from the picture, I tried to use the rolling pin to make small round flat disks, but later I decided to just use my hands and fingers.

As you go, put one teaspoon of minced meat on every piece of dough. Then close it. That's easier than understanding how the Lektor cryptographic device works ... argh!
So, just fold one side over to the other edge to close it. Make sure, it's properly sealed. then turn the ends towards each other to make them look like little ... UFOs.

When you are ready to eat, heat up a large pot of water or better, let's say ... oh, they managed to get the Lektor and have to escape now ... let's say vegetable stock.
As things get boiling, add the pelmini to the water and cook them.
Now it's time for the Orient Express.

This time, we seriously got carried away ... it's the wrong section anyway.
The pelmini should be ready, when they start floating at the top. Remove them with a slotted spoon.
Done! Now eat! How? I couldn't quite remember so I asked Natasha, a friend of mine.

She likes them with a tablespoon of sour cream and ketchup. In Germany you would maybe call it Pelmeni Rot-Weiss (red-white).
On the other hand, you could eat them also as a soup together with the stock you used to boil them in or you get an even nicer stock with some other things in ... up to you.
We can rather conclude here ... before the fight in the Orient Express starts.
What is your favourite Double Oh food and/or Bond movie and/or Bond actor?