Friday, 29 March 2013

Creamy Mushroom Pasta

Once in a while, when I see mushrooms I go and buy them. Well, if I would have the expertise, I would go and get them from the woods. However, I'm still planning on someone with knowledge taking me along. Maybe it works out this year.
In the meantime (it's not the season anyway) I use what is available.
While doing this, why not have some creamy mushroom pasta!? I always enjoy it for a quick meal.

Olive oil
400 g mushrooms, dirt brushed off, quartered
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
200 ml double cream
250 g of your favourite pasta
Salt and pepper
Grated parmesan to serve

Heat up some olive oil in a large pan. Then toss in the mushrooms. Larger ones, you have to cut into smaller pieces, maybe. In the meantime you could also start to get your pasta ready. We don't expect any extensive cooking for this recipe.
Have the mushrooms taking on some colour. When that happens, it's time for the garlic to join. The smell and the flavour and the garlic will start to blend in.
Add the double cream and season with salt and pepper.
Finally, when the pasta is ready as well, add some of the cooking water to the creamy mushroom sauce and ... the pasta as well. Toss everything together and plate up.
Serve with grated parmesan and some parsley ... if you want to.

What now? Well, there is always something to do. Suddenly, when you have a lot of free time available, nothing planned, then you can do what you always wanted ... Really? Oh, I guess not. I'm sure I'll end up with not doing many of these things ...

Monday, 25 March 2013

Tomato and Feta Slice

Did I mention feta cheese lately? I reckon it's about time I do. You can have something lovely to eat by ... eh ... just eating it. Some friends of mine used to eat a slab of it simply with a few onion rings on it and then sprinkled with olive oil. Well, that's not much of cooking, but who cares, if it tastes good. Quick, simple, enjoy!

Anyhow, I'm not just telling you to do just that, but I like to go a step further and add a few more things to the ... eh ... eh ... eh ... dish. I think may brain isn't doing me some good lately.
Whatsoever, here we go:
  •  Toast a slice of bread.
  • Have some lovely garlicky thick tasty yummy delicious self-made tomato sauce ready. I had some left from my latest pizza adventures. Spread this lovely garlicky tasty yummy delicious self-made tomato sauce on the toasted slice of bread.
  • On top of the lovely garlicky tasty yummy delicious self-made tomato sauce on the toasted slice of bread you place a good slab of feta cheese.
  • Said and done! It's time to put the slice of toasted bread with lovely garlicky tasty yummy delicious self-made tomato sauce and a slab of feta cheese on top under the grill or into the microwave. You decide how long. We want the feta cheese to start melting. Either just slightly softened or totally running over the bread.
  • Get your toasted slice of bread with the lovely garlicky tasty yummy delicious self-made tomato sauce and melted feta cheese on it out, throw a few pieces of onion on it and finish off with a bit of parsley and good olive oil. You might season it with pepper as well, if you want to.
  • Then ... we stop this repeating of the lovely garlicky ... stop! Enjoy your feta!
I hope you do!

Somehow over the past few weeks a few things ... photos and dishes have been piling up. There were a few things I wanted to write about, but simply haven't managed yet. There is always a lot going on in my head ...
Another thing was this cookbook cooking thing. I had this voting going on at my Facebook page. There wasn't really too much participation. Maybe it's too hard to find now or it is simply too boring. I don't know.
Anyway, sometimes you have to do what you have to do. I narrowed the book thingy down to three books. I'm planning now on getting them. Do you have any experiences with one of these?
  • Tasting India - Christine Manfield
  • Bill's Sydney Food - Bill Granger
  • Jerusalem - Yotam Ottolenghi, Sami Tamimi
I have to get things rolling before something rolls over me. I'm having this strange feeling each time I pass the place were I had the ugly accident about 11 years ago.
It seems to me I'm getting into this distracted mode again.
There is yet another thing. When I started out this blog I had in mind cooking something African I got to eat when visiting some refugees around here a  few years ago. Have to do this soon.
Besides that, I wanted to cook a dish from my favourite TV series, which you most probably will never guess. But then again, you never know.
You see, there is still plenty to do. Sadly, though, you might be familiar with the gap (mind the gap) between knowing something and doing something. I reckon you will know, when I managed to do just that.
On the road there will always be feta and some lovely garlicky tasty yummy delicious self-made tomato sauce ...

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Drink with me ... Piña Colada Dessert

Will you drink with me to days gone by? They won't come back. We are not the persons we used to be anymore. Time moves on. Things change - to good and to bad. However, it's not the time or place to ponder such things.
All the more so I am happy today to be able to do a live post again. I prepared a drink for you and me, took some photos and ... here we are.

Fine, it's not exactly a drink, but don't be fooled by the sounds or looks of it, for it is quite strong and I don't advice to still drive with your car or bike afterwards.
I'm glad to be able to join my favourite Blog Hop once more,    
the Sweet Adventures Blog Hop. Just look what a lovely theme   
we have this month: Cocktail Party!
So it's time to get the equipment ready and shake it up again ...
as in the days gone by (you wouldn't know, though).
We are having a Piña Colada Dessert then ... 

Ingredients (makes three - I just had three of those glasses):
4,5 sponge fingers
6 cl white rum
10 cl pineapple juice (or syrup)
4 cl cream of coconut or coconut syrup
4 slices of pineapple (fresh or from the tin)
6 cl pineapple juice (or syrup)
250 g mascarpone
3 tbs sugar

Shaking up:
A note before we start: If you just take the above mentioned white rum until the coconut syrup and add 2 cl of cream you can have a normal Piña Colada. However, that is not what we want to do right now.
Here we go then ...
Divide the sponge fingers among three glasses by breaking them (not the glasses) into smaller bits and pieces.
Get a cocktail shaker (or something else) and pour the rum, pineapple juice and coconut syrup into it. Give it a good shake. Maybe you can do a bit of fancy things by shaking behind your back, above your head or by throwing the shaker into the air and (hopefully) catching it again. Otherwise, you could just mix together the aforementioned ingredients thoroughly.
Pour a third of the almost Piña Colada into each glass (that, hopefully as well, you didn't break).

Our attention goes over to the mascarpone. Have a suitable vessel ready for it, where you mix it together with the 6 cl pineapple juice and the sugar. Keep stirring until all lumps have vanished.
Take the pineapple slices and cut them in half. Put three nice pieces to the side and cut the remaining parts of the pineapple slices into even smaller bits.
What then? You have guessed right, if you divide those pieces among the three glasses again and hang a half slice each across the rim of the glasses respectively.
Almost there. We just need to use up the mascarpone by pouring it over the pineapple pieces we just used. You know!

If you feel like decorating, go ahead ...
It was really nice having a drink with you. Had I simply a drink on my own, it wouldn't make such a good impression. Hopefully, you enjoyed your Piña Colada Dessert and didn't break any glasses or who knows what else.
What's on your mind now?

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Cheesy Meatballs with 'disgusting' all-in Chili Sauce

Disgusting! Since I was disposed to this word spoken by a friend of mine in his typical Yorkshire accent at various occasions I came to use it too often as well. Yes, I know, that is disgusting!
While I don't want to classify the following cheesy meatballs as disgusting, you have to judge for yourself as regards the chili sauce.

The meatballs themselves are based on a recipe by Jamie Oliver: Mountain Meatballs. I simply adjusted at to my personal amounts and availability. 
The chili sauce contains a little bit of this and a little bit of that. I will roughly state the ingredients, but the real content has to remain shrouded in mystery.

Ingredients Meatballs:
1 red onion, finely diced
300 g minced meat
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp dried oregano
A few bashed cumin seeds
1 tsp bashed up coriander seeds
1 handful of breadcrumbs
1 egg
Salt and pepper
50 g grated cheese

Ingredients Chili Sauce:
1 onion, finely chopped
5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
Tomato puree
Honey mustard BBQ sauce
Curry ketchup
Sweet chili sauce 
Coffee liquor

Heat up some olive oil on medium heat and then soften the red onion dice in it. 10 minutes will do. Remove the onion pieces from the pan and put away to cool down.
Then start the sauce and do the same with the stated onion as you did with the other onion. Hm ... sounds strange to me ... ah ... forget it ... no worries ... just do it. Then add the garlic.
Meanwhile you can also start heating up your oven to ... eh ... let's say 250 °C.
Now add all your other ingredients for the sauce to the pan, bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer.
Back to the meatballs ... mix all the other ingredients apart from the grated cheese together and form ... eh ... 4 large meatballs out of it. Get a quarter of the grated cheese ... wait ... that's about 12,5 g and press it into each meatball and close with meat around it so the cheese is more or less in the center of the meatball.
Throw your meatballs into an oven-proof dish and transfer ... no throwing here ... to the oven for 25 minutes.
In the meantime the sauce is disgustingly bubbling away. It gets more and more sticky ...
The 25 minutes are over. Remove the meatballs ... don't burn yourself ... and pour the disgusting sauce over the meatballs and ... shove the dish back to the oven for 15 more minutes.
After that you still can decide whether to eat it or not. Well, surprisingly the sauce didn't taste disgusting as to be expected or announced. It rather tasted interesting.
Oh, I know what people mean, when they say interesting. It's the polite way of saying disgusting. But, really, it didn't taste like that. Frankly, it was rather good. It simply was a sticky mix of sweet and hot and ... there is only one way of finding out ...

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Apples and Marzipan once more ... Stuffed!

These days it can be a bit hard to do things. Somehow my motivation is somewhere else. Maybe it was tired of winter and went South to a place with a more temperate climate. I wouldn't mind joining myself, but somehow I have to stay due to ... a lack of motivation. Oh, that sounds like a vicious circle.
Yesterday I had set my mind on braking the circle. I wanted to do some extended and lovely cooking. Therefore I went shopping and came home with five items, of which I needed two already anyway. To me that sounds already like ... eh ... not working. Rightly so, no special and tasty cooking.
However, I don't want to leave you with nothing.
A few days ago I brought you a chicken soup with apple compote in it. Now I bring you back the apples (not the same as in that apple compote). Last year I posted about an apple cake with marzipan in it. Today, I bring back the marzipan (also not the same one as in that cake).
The marzipan goes into the apples. How? We shall see ...

3 apples
3 tsp apricot jam
about 50-100 g marzipan, depending on the size of the apples
2 walnuts, if you are good at opening them flawlessly
Splash of amaretto
A wee bit of brown sugar

Pre-heat your oven to 180 °C. Mine has a speed heating function, so I could do that later as well, after preparing the apples.
Here we go then. We start by coring those apples. I start with a knife and then go in with a spoon to scoop things out. Said and done!
Give one tsp of apricot jam into each apple. 

After that you fill the apples with the marzipan to the brim making sure the apricot jam doesn't come out again whilst pushing in the marzipan.
If you have whole walnuts it would be time to crack them open. If you are good at it you get three undamaged halves of walnut easily. Otherwise, you just eat the not so nice looking parts. Should you manage flawlessly, you get only one excess part for eating right away. On the other hand you could also use pre-opened walnuts and ...
Whatever, push a half walnut into the marzipan in each apple.
Pour a splash of amaretto over each apple and then sprinkle a wee bit of brown sugar over the apples.

Finally add a little bit of water to the bowl and transfer it for about 35 minutes to the oven.
I hope you enjoy them afterwards for pudding.
I guess then, as far as I am concerned, the apple season is over for me. I also tried to bake some apple cookies, but they were not that spectacular.
What do I do know? I'm not sure. Maybe relax a bit, go to bed ... it doesn't matter, I'm not overly motivated ...

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Bloggers Around the World: USA Round-up ... and next assignment

Did I mention in one of my last posts that I would be going to the airport? Of course I did, it was the post about the French bread with the chocolate and strawberry filling. Well, I didn't go to the airport to fly somewhere, but just to pick someone up. Once more, no travelling!
A good thing we have our Bloggers Around the World trip.

The last few weeks we have been visiting the USA. There were a lot of options of what to cook or bake ... Let's see then with what everyone came up with.
We want to start with Caroline. After all, she couldn't be stopped once she read the theme was USA and so she went on submitting post after post after post ... you can all find them on Caroline Makes ...
At first we have American-style banana pancakes. Why not have some for breakfast.

Then Caroline has some Walnut Whip Whoopie Pies for us. To be honest, I have never tried whoopie pies. At least not that I know of.

From the looks of it, though, you might want to have a go. Or what about some Navajo Fry bread? If not, you can at least enjoy the nice view ...

Then we have some cake from Caroline as well ...

I might have ordered a New York Cheesecake, but hey, who am I to complain when I get a Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake? However, don't get confused, there is no chocolate pumpkin in it, but ... eh ... go figure out.

Next up on our American round-up is the lovely Choclette from the Chocolate Log Blog. She has some lovely cupcakes for us ... oopsy ... she said she might manage cupcakes and ...

... we have some more pancakes. Just look at these beauties. As they are such we can live quite well with Chocolate Pancakes with Blackcurrant & Rose Compote instead of cupcakes. At least I can.

After having had so many sweet things, I guess it is time for some savoury dishes.
Elizabeth from the Law Student's Cookbook is helping us in this regard. She has some burgers for us. She copied them ... eh ... not that kind of copying. I love that idea of copying food I have eaten at another place. Now, without any further ado here we have Elizabeth's In-N-Out Burgers ...


I hope you enjoy them as you enjoyed the sweeties. Fine, it makes me think about dinner already. However, I have to wait a few more minutes more for that.

Something more savoury you have read about already on this blog a few weeks ago. Some colour food: Chicken on Chickpeas.

Somehow I didn't manage anything else, although I had ideas on doing more. That's a point also for those who couldn't make it this time. I know how busy life is and how you sometimes don't even manage the things you want to do, not even to mention the things you have to do.

Anyway, thank you for everyone, who had a part this time in Bloggers Around the World. It was a delight to have you travel with me.
Now it's time to travel on ... and maybe you manage to join us on our next leg.
What do you have to do?
  1. Leave a comment with a link to your post here in this very post, below. 
  2. Link to my blog and this challenge in your post.  
  3. Use the "Bloggers Around the World" badge (the one you find at the beginning and end of this post).  
  4. You can use a new or an old post, but it has to be adjusted accordingly (you know, all the linking). 
  5. Have fun and enjoy it!
That's it! No, of course not. You don't know where we are going to. Hm, I had A fantasy destination in mind, but then again, I thought I could leave that thought for a while, because we still have so many lovely real places we still can go to. We nearly made it one time around the world, but we haven't really been to Asia. I haven't been myself to any places there apart from Turkey, but that isn't what I have in mind for this time.
So, before anyone gets confused here on what the subject is from the 13th of March to the 13th of April, I state it here clearly ...


Well, that might be a bit more difficult then the last one, but ... no worries ... I still have some udon noodles in my storage and I have enough sushi rice.
Get yourself ready and do something nice. It doesn't have to be Japanese exactly, but you could also do something that makes you think of Japan or that is inspired by anything from there. Be as creative as you can be.
Hm, shall I watch the miniseries Shōgun again for preparation? I will see ...

Monday, 11 March 2013

You can always try ... Chicken Apple Soup

Goedendag! Hoe gaat het met jou? Ik wil je graag uitnodigen. Wat zegt u?
What? You didn't understand a thing? Well, it doesn't matter, my Dutch isn't that good either, anymore. In fact it never has been, although it should ... or maybe not.
Anyway, I want to invite you to have a soup together with me, a chicken apple soup. I improvised this recipe after a friend told me, he had tried something like this after having something like this in the Netherlands. Let's have a try then.

It might be Dutch, but then again, it might not be. I haven't taken the time to try. Nevertheless we leave it that way.

150 g chicken breast, cut in bite-sized chunks
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp minced ginger 
1 red bell pepper, cut into stripes
1 red chili, finely chopped
750 ml water
6 tbs apple compote
100 g pasta or rice (I had rice pasta ... he he he)
Salt for seasoning
1 spring onion, chopped in rings

First fry the chicken breast pieces from all sides and put aside.
Get yourself a sufficiently sized pot and gently fry the onion in oil. After a few minutes add the garlic and the ginger and let it go for a few more minutes.
Then it's the time for the bell pepper and the chili to make it's appearance on the cooking scene. Put them in the pot and proceed with the cooking for a few more minutes ... eh ... that is until the bell pepper has softened a bit.
Pour in the water and bring to the boil. After that reduce the heat and add the chicken, the apple compote and the rice pasta. Let it all simmer for about 15 minutes. The chicken should be cooked through.
Finally add the rings of the spring onions and turn off the heat ... ready to serve.

You can always try. Normally, maybe, you wouldn't put such things together, but you never know, if you don't try. It might be the case you discover some nice flavours.
Een fijne dag nog! Tot straks!

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

The Show must go on - Fougasse de Chocolat et Fraise

Maybe you have been hearing me talking about cooking through a complete book with all it's recipes. As far as I noticed I have been talking about it since I started the blog and ... it hasn't materialised. But ... I might start one day!
On the other hand, if you have read posts on this blog also in the last year, you might have noticed that I started to bake myself through a book, namely Secrets of a French baker. I haven't even finished that. In fact, I haven't done much for it, either. However, it's mostly bread in it and each recipe takes several hours to complete. It's good exercise, though, because a lot of kneading is involved. 
It happens to be the case at times, that I like to join blog challenges. There is an ongoing one done by Lavender and Lovage and What Kate Baked. It's called Tea Time Treats. This month Lavender and Lovage is hosting and ... très bien ... the them is: Ooh La La! French Tarts, Cakes, Bakes and Pastries.

Tea Time Treats

That is a perfect opportunity to let the show go on and do another recipe from that book: Fougasse. That is a kind of bread with a lovely filling. While the book is suggesting 7 different savoury fillings I decided to go for sweet one with chocolate spread and strawberry jam. I would have loved to add some fresh strawberries from the garden, but obviously it isn't the time yet.
Somehow I managed to do something wrong while preparing the bread, but I don't take the blame all on myself. The recipe - strangely - didn't state what to do with two ingredients and as I didn't bother to think about the recipe and simply went step by step, well, I didn't use the one tbs of soft butter and 3 tbs of milk powder.
I only did as follows:
Sift 225 g of strong baking flour and 225 g of spelt flour together with one and a half tsp of salt into a bowl. Then added a sachet of dried yeast and added bit by bit 240 ml of lukewarm water. I used a hand mixer to ... eh ... mix it. Then I used my hands to make a solid ball of dough. I left it on the kitchen work surface for 10 minutes and did something else.
I did my exercise by kneading the dough for over 15 minutes.
Then I carefully made a half flat half ball kind of object and placed the dough like this into the bowl, covered it with a wet kitchen towel and left it for 45 minutes. I went to do something else. Can't remember what!
I might have read something or just checked things on the computer, but who knows or cares.

I took the dough again and divided it into two balls, which I placed one a floured kitchen towel and covered with the other still wet kitchen towel and left the dough again for 25 minutes, while doing something else. In between I noticed I forgot to roll the bowls in coarse sugar. So I tried to fix it and continued  to wait for the 25 minutes to end.
Now I started to heat up the oven to 220 °C. The two dough balls were flattened and stretched to two rectangular dough pieces.

On one side of each rectangular dough piece I smeared first some chocolate spread and then some strawberry jam. On the other half I made five incisions respectively. After that the sides with the cuts went over the chocolate jam and I tried my best to seal the bread. Then I transferred the breads to a baking tray and brushed them generously with some egg wash. Finally I sprinkled sugar on top and put the tray for 20 minutes into the oven.

They came out like this. I expected the incisions to be open, but maybe it was better that way so there was no chance for the filling to seep out at all cuts.
First of all I thought to do some arranging and get a nice picture. I put the breads on a wooden chopping board and started thinking ...

... but to no avail. I got no idea on how to do it. Therefore I simply cut them open ...

As you see ... eh ... you see quite some bread and not so much filling. Maybe flattening the dough a bit more and adding more filling would have been something. Nevertheless the fougasses tasted lovely ... maybe that would be something for a chocolate lover.
Well, I'm not promising now, that the show will go on and you find a bread here on my blog every week, but still I will be trying the remaining recipes from that book ... one day ... one day ... in the future.
Oh, well, I have to leave soon for the airport. Just managed to finish the post. Fine, I still have a few more minutes ...

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Randomly Indian: Dhal and Saraswat Machchi Kadhi

A few days ago I decided to give Cooking Around the World a new design. Basically I changed the background colour and the welcoming banner for the blog. I hope you like it! When you look at the picture there are foods and places. One of these places I can see every day, if I want to. Have a guess which one that is! However, there are other places there, I'd rather like to see more often.
Additionally I adjusted my Facebook page as well. It has to reflect the blog. 
While I was at all this I decided to change my profile picture. You can only see it partly, but I'm wearing an Indian kurta. It looks like this ...

I just wanted to mention those things. Keep it in mind as you read on. Strangely, things fit all together once more.
Have you ever thought about doing a themed dinner party? You dress up for it, maybe do some decoration, put on music and it all fits to the food you are going to have. How would you like that?
What about doing it alone ... a one person themed dinner party?
Let me tell about it ...
There is a certain person that is running this blog called Belleau Kitchen. As he is doing this random recipes challenge every month I cannot resist, but take part in it. Quite often you end up with cooking food you wouldn't have otherwise. 

 Random Recipes #25 - Feb

This time we have the theme 'cuttings, memories and clippings'. That means I have to go and search my shelves for those hidden cuttings and clippings to find some recipes. I don't have as many cuttings and clippings as others and they are also not so well organized.
Anyway I got myself a small pile and rolled the dice of random. I ended up with number 3 - therefore I went for the third sheet of paper.
It was a clipping from a health journal of a health insurance company and ... strange enough ... it featured some Indian dishes. Did I say some? Yes, five to be exactly. Taking the number three further I decided for the third dish and it was ... dhal.
Well, that would be something to have as a side dish. Due to this fact I randomly decided to do the fish curry mentioned on that clipping as well. That is called 'Saraswat Machchi Kadhi'. I tried my Hindi dictionary on that, but gave up quickly. Then I asked the Internet and it called it Goa style fish curry. I even found the same picture of it as was used in this health magazine article.
I made sure I had all the needed ingredients and then, went for it ...

First of all I put on my Indian cooking kurta. Well, I simply declare it that one from now on. By the way, it is not the one shown in the picture above. I have a few more other ones. Why do I have so many Indian clothing to wear? Go ahead and ask me, if you like to know!
Then I put on some music from the soundtrack of a famous Indian movie ... as far as I know.
Now our Indian themed cooking party can start.
Good thing I still had some urid lentils on stock. They went into a pot covered with one centimetre of water.
Meanwhile I prepared the marinate for the fish. I squeezed one lime and mixed the juice with some freshly grated ginger, mustard powder, sesame seeds and coriander seeds. The white fish fillet was cut into small bite sized pieces and went marinating.
Before I continued with the dhal, I brought some basmati rice on the way.
Back to the dhal. I freshly picked a green chili from one of my bushes on the windowsill, cut it in half and tossed it in with the lentils. If I were to change the recipe, I would cut it into small rings and add it to the lentils. Anyway, one bay leaf, a chopped onion and two chopped cloves of garlic went in, too. Here also some grating of ginger is necessary. Some curry powder rounds it up. Now heat it up on medium heat and let it go for 20 minutes, checking every now and then and working through with a spoon.
The fish has nearly enough marinating. However, there is still some chopping of an onion to do. That one made me cry slightly. Then half four tomatoes, spoon out the seeds and then cut the tomatoes into small pieces. Now take the fish, pat it dry and fry it for 5 minutes in sesame oil at a medium heat.
Don't forget to give some attention to the rice when it's ready and to the dhal. After the 20 minutes you have to turn off the heat of the dhal.
Take out the fish from the pan and put aside. Now fry the onions in the pan.
If I hadn't already enough work with cooking I suddenly decided it would be a brilliant idea to have a cucumber raita with it all, as well. So I took some of the chopped onions and put the together with some halved slices of cucumber, cumin, salt, yogurt and water and mixed it all up.
Add some curry powder to the onions in the pan. Then add the remaining fish marinade and some 250 ml of coconut milk to the pan and bring to the boil.
What about some naan breads. Yes, that would have been lovely, but I'm not that crazy today and make some on my own. No, I even didn't buy any ready made ones to just warm up. Sadly!
Remove the green chili and the bay leaf from the dhal and heat the dhal up again, if necessary. We are almost there.
Let the tomatoes meet their destiny by adding them to the boiling coconut milk mixture. I guess the fish can go for some swimming, too. Go for it! Warm it up again.
If I'm right now, all the food is ready. You just need to plate and bowl it up and decorate everything with some fresh coriander. I already know that the remaining coriander will not survive too long in my kitchen. I should use it up in the coming days.
Here we are with the food ...

Sitting alone at the table and tasting the fish curry, memories spring to my mind. The food wasn't dangerously spicy. I still remember the fish curries of my Tamil friends and Tamil food in general. They always used to say they have to adjust the spices to the European palate. However, the first time I tasted a dish, I had the feeling it wasn't adjusted sufficiently.
Having this fish curry in front of me, I wished it would be going at least a bit in that direction. Don't get me wrong, it still tasted delicious. It was only thinking. While doing this I thought ... well, I'm sitting here all by myself eating this lovely food ... and then ... I put away the fork and went on eating as we used to do it with the best tools ever, my fingers.
Once more, I managed to end up with something lovely, doing random recipes ... and that's not cheating. After all, why should I keep any clippings with rubbish recipes.
Moreover, I ended up with fish again. This wasn't the first time either.
So far about random recipes this time. Time and again, I thought about cooking through one cookbook. After all, I nearly baked myself already through a book about French bread.
Now I have a few books in mind I seriously want to choose one from and go completely through it and report about it here on my blog. One of the books on that list is 'Tasting India' from Christine Manfield (Christian and Christine?). That post now made me hungry for that book. However, things haven't been decided in the final and I won't start before April.
In the meantime I still have a voting going on my Facebook page. If you don't mind, please head over there one time and give your vote. That would be very much appreciated. You can also suggest other books to make it more interesting.
You see, once more, it came all together ... strangely ... as last time. India was on my mind and suddenly it's all India!
Any thoughts? Just leave a lovely comment!

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Quick, simple Walnut Pesto Omelette

What a beautiful day! The sun is shining already since I got up and there is no sign of it being over soon. It might even get that far we are having more sun in two days then in two months.
Everywhere you see buds on the trees and the bushes. Somewhere, flowers are making there way up out of the soil. Will winter now be over? Have we made it?
I don't know!
The thing I know is, that my pot of basil didn't make it. Already was it knocking on death's door and it was only a matter of time until it would make it's final decline. Would it be a time to mourn?
There would be other causes for just that. However, in a last attempt to make itself useful, the basil made it's last stand to join in a quick and simple meal.

That is just so, because I read somewhere a blog title with 'walnut pesto' in it.

2 hand full of basil leaves
6-8 walnuts
A hand full of grated parmesan
Olive oil
Salt, Pepper
3 eggs
Serrano ham (I promised you)

Good if you have a mortar. Get you basil leaves in it and start bashing them until it gets all juicy and mushy. Add the walnuts (without shells) and continue bashing. 
Then put it together with the grated parmesan and season with salt and pepper. Pour in just enough olive oil to bring it all together. It doesn't need to be runny, unless you want it to, of course.
Get your eggs ready. Crack them into a bowl. Carefully season with salt and pepper and give them a quick whisk.
Next we need a medium sized pan or a large one, if you don't have a medium sized one just like me. Bring the pan on high heat. Rub the bottom of the pan with butter.
When the pan is sufficiently heated up, pour in the eggs. Make sure they are well distributed throughout the pan. Let the heat do it's work. That shouldn't be too long. Once the omelette takes shape, that is, you can see it is getting firmer towards the top side.
Smear on the walnut pesto all over the omelette. Wait a tiny bit before you place the serrano slices on top. Now we are as good as finished. When you see, that all the egg is as good as firm, transfer the omelette to a plate and ...

... you know what you have to do. That would be a perfect meal for weeknights. in fact that is what it was in my case. I came home from work ... it was late ... I was kind of frustrated ... I didn't want to do anything and ... then I saw the basil. The rest of the story you know.