Beetroot and Orange Salad

We were invited to a kid’s party last evening and I was asked to bring a salad with beetroots. I chose a recipe by German chef and TV star Christian Rach but adapted it beyond recognition because I was too lazy to cook the beetroot myself and bought already boiled ones. His recipes requires raw beetroot that you bake in tinfoil with star anise and cinnamon.
I started off by preparing some orange slices.

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To which I added chopped red onion and rice vinegar, sesame oil and olive oil. Next I grated the beetroot. This always looks like a blood bath… I highly recommend wearing gloves!

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Next I added chopped walnuts and chopped parsley and seasoned the salad with salt, pepper, some dried thyme and balsamic vinegar.

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It went great with the other salad and the delicious meat.

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Salsify satisfy

This weekend I ate a lot of hotel and restaurant food and wanted to end my Sunday with a simple and light vegetable dish. I chose a veg I have never cooked myself before as main ingredient: salsify aka oyster plant.

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I cooked them as instructed by the lady I bought them from; tricolore style with broccoli, parsley and cherry tomatoes.
First I had to wash and peel the salsify. This is best done with glove as the juice from the salsify is really sticky and leaves unsightly stains on your hands.

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The salsify pieces are best kept in a bowl of water with a dash of lemons otherwise they turn brown.

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I boiled the salsify in vegetable broth for 15 minutes then added the broccoli. Once they both were cooked (after a further 10 minutes) I strained the veg and put them back in the pot with the tomatoes and some lard.

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Just before plating up I added a handful of chopped parsley and seasoned the veg with salt and pepper.

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A tricolourific dish that would go well with a piece of meat or fish alike. And it is delicious on its own as well. Salsify satisfy!

Butternut Squash Stacks

It was time to tackle the butternut squash today. Instead of using an existing recipe I created my own. Butternut squash stacks.
I skinned the butternut sqash and cut the slim top bit into disks (about 1cm thick).

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Then I put them on a baking tray, brushed them with a little oil and seasoned them with coarse sea salt and pepper. Next I put a few strips of bacon on top of each disk and baked them in the oven at 160C for about 30 minutes. After the first 15 minutes I added different herbs (thyme, sage and rosemary) and sprinkled them on the disks as well.

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I stacked four of the butternut disks on top of each other adding half a teaspoon of crème fraiche in between each layer.

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We ate it as a starter but it would work just as well as a side dish with a nice piece of meat.

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Butternut Squash Casserole

Another “Twitterrecipe”, this time by @Foodista: butternut squash casserole.
I cheated and used butternut squash cooked by my Dad this Saturday. He cooked it with peas, onions and ginger.

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I simply put the veg in an oven proof dish, put a layer of mozzarella on top and baked it in the oven at 200C for 20 minutes.

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A great dish on its own or a side dish to accompany a steak or piece of chicken.

Another Pickle

England plays against Italy tonight so I was looking for a quick fix recipe. I came across tiny cucumbers at a German supermarket and decided to pickle some of them.
For the pickle mix I boiled 2/3 water and 1/3 vinegar with 2 teaspoons of pickled spice.

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I then packed the cucumbers tightly in a jar.

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All that is left to do is pour the pickle mix over the cucumbers, seal the lid and pack it away for a week.

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And all done in the halftime break. Brilliant!

W-W-W Gelée

Tomorrow I’ll have a cheese dinner with a variety of raw milk cheeses. To accompany the cheese I made three jellies or gelées today. I used the recipe that is on the packet of the gelatin (vegetarian variety).
First I made a Vin Santo gelée with 2.5 dl vin santo, 200g sugar and half a packet of the gelatin.

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After letting it boil for 10 minutes it was ready.

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I repeated the process with Irish Mist.

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Next I made a bavarian Weissbier gelée. This recipe is from a German (surprise) book called “Marmalade & more” by Kay-Henner Menge. The principle was the same: I brought 5dl Weissbier, 350g sugar, juice of 1 lime and 1 packet of gelatin to the boil.

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It foams like hell, so make sure you use a big enough pot! I had to learn the messy way.

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I transferred the liquid to bigger pot and all was fine.
I had to remove quite a bit of foam to be able to fill the gelée into the jar.

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My triumvirate of gelées is ready for tomorrow!

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I tasted some of that Weissbier foam and it tasted delicious. Sweet and light with a mild beer taste. I’ll have to create a dessert with it!

Tanked up pineapple

Today my umbrella fell apart in heavy rain and a nice elderly lady gave me shelter under hers.
We started chatting and somehow we ended up talking about home made booze. I told her about my lilac liqueur and she recommended I try the same with pineapple.
And I did!

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For a 1 litre pot I used about 1/3 of a large pineapple, 3 tablespoons of sugar (I only had icing sugar) and 6dl vodka.

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Now it needs to infuse for only a week and then it is ready to taste.
The nice lady also gave me her recipe for pineapple salsa that apparently works perfectly with lamb or pork chops.
Simply dice some pineapple, add 1 chopped chili pepper, 1 diced clove of garlic, some freshly grated ginger and a few chopped mint leaves.

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Finish by seasoning it with oil, vinegar, pepper and salt.

Now I’ll leave it in the fridge to marinate over night and tomorrow I’ll decide what meat to serve the salsa with.

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Update: I ate the salsa with a chicken breast.

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It works really well and I’ll definitely make it again. Next time I’ll try it with grilled gambas, I think that would work perfectly!

Black Olive Tapenade

It’s day 3 of my juice detox and the goodies in my fridge increase by each day. I like it!
Today I made a black olive tapenade using a recipe from the same book like the feta and chili sauce recipes.
For the tapenade I stacked 200g black olives, 40g pine nuts, 40g tinned anchovies (rinsed in cold water to remove the oil from the tin), the rind of half a lemon, 1 tablespoon tomato purée and ground black pepper in a blender.

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I topped it up with about 1.5dl olive oil and let the blender do the rest.

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The tapenade fits in perfectly with the chili sauce, the feta cheese and the quails eggs. Oh boy am I looking forward to try them all!

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I’m in a pickle

or rather they are in a pickle.

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I am talking about the 8 quails eggs that I pickled today. The recipe is from the Chow’s website.
First I boiled the eggs for 3.5 minutes and put them in ice cold water.

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For the pickle mixed I roughly cut a small precooked beetroot and cooked it in a pickle mix consisting of 1/2 cup cider vinegar, 1/2 cup water, 1 star anise, 1/2 a cinnamon stick, 1 teaspoon of peppercorns, 1/2 a teaspoon of dried chili, 1/2 tablespoon salt and 1 tablespoon sugar.

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The came the fiddly bit, removing the shells from the egg. Once I had managed that, I put the eggs in small glass containers.

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I sieved the pickle mix into the containers until the eggs were fully covered.

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Now the pickled eggs are sitting in the fridge for a few days next to my other goodies desperately wanting to be eaten!

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Herbanized and spicified feta cheese

Day 1 of my juice fast. Things are still fine except that my boyfriend brought home a Sacher Torte from Vienna. Luckily the use by date is far enough off. I’ve built a barbed wire fence around it!
As for today’s recipe, I chose to drown some feta cheese in herbs, spices and olive oil. The recipe is from the same book as yesterday’s.
I started off by grinding 1 teaspoon of pepper corns, 1 star anise and 1/2 teaspoon of chili flakes in the mortar.

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I forgot to buy rosemary which is the herb originally used for the recipe. I used basil, oregano and thyme instead.

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After having added the rind of half a lemon to my spice mix I cut up the feta cheese and layered the cheese and spice/herb mix in a glass container.

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Lastly I topped up the glass with olive oil and put it in the fridge to marinate. Just like the chili sauce it will keep for 6-8 days in the fridge.

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