Wednesday, February 25, 2009


And this is what Mexican people do when they have some old tortillas at home, they make chilaquiles, for breakfast.
Chilaquiles are made of old tortilla wedges that are simmered in a tomato-chili salsa until soft and topped with chicken, Cotija cheese and Mexican crema....perfection.

Traditionally tortilla wedges are deep fried but I simply do not do it, instead I dry them in the oven until hard. I have tried both versions and think that deep frying tortillas is not necessary.

I also couldn't find Cotija cheese and Mexican cream here in Munich so I replaced the cheese with parmesan and cream with crème fraîche mixed with a tiny bit of milk.

serves 2
8 tortillas (day old), cut in wedges
6 tomatoes
2 jalapeños
2 small onions
2 garlic cloves
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
3 guajillo chillies
2 ancho chilies
about 1-2 dl chicken stock
200 gr chicken meat
1 onion, carrot and garlic clove

4 tbsp crème fraîche mixed with a bit of milk
coarsely grated parmesan

Put the tortilla wedges on a baking sheet and bake on 160 C until hard, takes about 20 minutes. Boil the chicken with the onion, carrot and garlic clove until done. Take out on a plate and let cool. Keep the stock.

Core the tomatoes, clean jalapeños and onions, cut in half. You do not need to peel the garlic. Put all the vegetables on a baking sheet, toss with some olive oil and put in the oven until everything is roasted, about 25 minutes on 180 C.
In the mean time soak the guajillo and ancho chillies in hot water, and let sit for about 20 minutes.

When vegetables are done, squeeze out the garlic and put all the vegetables in a food processor together with soft guajillo and ancho chillies and mix until smooth. Add chopped cilantro. I do not have a food processor so I chop everything, which gives the salsa quite nice texture with some pieces here and there.

Put the tortilla wedges in a pan, pour over the salsa and some chicken stock. Let simmer for couple of minutes, tortillas should become completely soft and the salsa should not be watery.

Shred the chicken meat and put on the top of tortilla wedges in salsa. Spread the crème fraîche and parmesan over and serve.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Pumpkin strudel

Pumpkin and fresh sage are a perfect match. And adding sour cream and hazelnuts makes this strudel a perfect-pumpkin-strudel.
I used sour cream but I believe any kind of creamy cheese like, ricotta, mascarpone, quark, will work fine as well. Semolina takes up all extra moisture that the pumpkin and cheese release when baking.
Phyllo dough can be used as well but homemade strudel dough is easier to handle and does not dry as fast as the phyllo.

Pumpkin strudelserves 6
350 gr pumpkin, I used hokkaido
1 dl sour cream
50 gr grated Gruyère cheese
2 tsp fresh sage, chopped
1,5 tbsp semolina
1/2 dl hazelnuts, roasted and chopped
salt and pepper

one homemade strudel dough or 4 phyllo sheets
30 gr melted butter for brushing the strudel

Dice pumpkin, add the rest of the ingredients and blend well. Brush the strudel sheet with melted butter and spread the filling along one short side, leaving a 5 cm empty edge and 5 cm on the two long sides of the strudel dough as well (see picture).
You can also make two thinner strudels if you prefer. Cut the dough in two and do the same as above.
Fold in the dough edges of the sides, and then roll the strudel with the help of the cloth until you use all the dough. Brush the strudel with butter on the top and bake in a preheated oven 200C for about 30 minutes.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Strudel dough

Strudel comes from Austria and the most popular version of strudel is with apples, Apfelstrudel. But strudel can be filled with both sweet and savoury, fruits and vegetables, meat and tofu...I have even heard about the strudel filled with sauerkraut, have not seen it yet but as soon as I do, I will document.

The dough and the shape is what makes it a strudel. The dough is slightly thicker then the phyllo dough, and I have seen countless recipes, some have eggs, some don't, some have vinegar, some don't...

I found this particular recipe in a German magazine called Landlust (March/April 09), they had a whole article about the strudel and how you make the perfect dough. I have made it couple of times so far and it has worked perfectly.

One of the most important things is to use a flour that forms strong gluten (bread flour) as all that elasticity and plasticity, that gluten provides, is needed to be able to stretch out the dough very thinly. You also need to use warm water and let the dough rest in the room temperature, the warmer the better.

Strudel doughmakes one strudel
100 gr bread flour (1,5 dl)
pinch of salt
1 tbsp vegetable oil (I used olive)
4 tbsp warm water

Blend flour and salt, add oil and water and kneed the dough for about 5 minutes. The more intensively you kneed the better the gluten will develop and the better the dough will stretch out. Form a ball, the dough should be smooth and soft, something like this:

Sprinkle some flour on a big cloth, put the dough on it and brush it thinly with some oil, cover with a plastic foil and let rest for about 1 hour. After one hour the dough is just a little bit flatter, much more softer and looks like this:

Sprinkle some flour on the top of the dough and press with your finger tips until you have flatten it:

Roll out the dough as thinly as you can, just be careful not to make any foldings. I got a rectangle 35x45 cm:

Now carefully lift one side of the dough, and starting in the middle stretch the dough with your hands:

Stretch the dough from all sides until you have a very thin sheet, or something close to 60x70 cm. Cut the edges all around, about 5 cm, and you will have a dough that is ready to become a strudel.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Amaranth hearts

I made these cute Valentines hearts with white strawberry chocolate and popped amaranth. The chocolate is made by a German company called Vivani and they make amazing organic chocolate. White chocolate with pieces of strawberries was more than perfect for the Valentines hearts. And almost too cute to eat...almost.

100 gr white chocolate, 5 tbsp popped amaranth....melt the chocolate, mix with amaranth and shape.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Home made pasta

There is no pasta like fresh home-made pasta. It is really easy to make it as well, too easy when I think how excellent the result is. And I do not even have a pasta machine, but to me rolling out the pasta and cutting it is half of the fun.

I am now using kamut flour mixed with durum semolina for the dough and it works really perfectly. But I believe I will also try to make it with kamut flour only.

My favourite pasta sauce is with olive oil, garlic, parsley and red chili (aglio, olio and peperoncino in Italian).

Pastaserves 2
1,5 dl kamut flour
5 tbsp durum semolina
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
2 egg yolks
1 tbsp olive oil

aglio, olio e peperoncino
4 tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves
2 red serrano chillies
4 tbsp parsley
some parmesan
black peeper

Blend the flours and salt, make a well in the centre and add the eggs and the oil. Kneed everything together for about 5 minutes. The dough should be smooth and not sticky at all. If a bit dry add some water, if too wet add some more flour. Wrap in a plastic foil and let rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Over night works fine as well.

Dust the dough with some semolina and roll out as thin as you can. Dust again with more semolina and fold the dough from the short side couple of times, it is easier to cut it that way. Cut the dough as you like, unravel and hang until ready to use. I put a tea towel over a chair and let it hang until I prepare the sauce.

For the sauce chop finely garlic, chili and parsley. Boil water with salt for the pasta and cook it for about 2 minutes. Heat the oil in a pan, add garlic and chili and cook until garlic starts getting bit of colour. Add parsley and pasta, mix everything well and take of the heat. Serve on a plate, sprinkle with some freshly grated parmesan and black pepper.

Saturday, February 07, 2009


When crêpes are made with buckwheat flour they are called galettes. Buckwheat flour is a gluten free flour, so despite the name it has nothing to do with the wheat. It is actually not even a grain but rather a seed.
And the great thing about crêpes is that you can use almost any kind of flour as gluten is not important, eggs are the one that keep everything together.

Galettes are eaten with savoury fillings and I used grated goat-milk Gouda with sliced scallions...delicious, delicious, delicious...

Although a little bit too small, my cast iron pan (22 cm) is perfect for making small cute galettes that I serve as a starter.

Galettes10 galettes
1,5 dl buckwheat flour

pinch of salt
1 large egg
1 tbsp melted butter
1,5 dl water
1,5 dl milk

Put the flour and salt in a bowl. Lightly beat the egg with melted butter and add to the flour. Slowly add the water and milk and beat everything together for about 5 minutes. As buckwheat has no gluten the more you beat the better and easier will be to handle the mixture afterwards. Let the mixture rest in the fridge at least an hour or over night.

Heat a pan, I use cast iron, and pour about 0,5 dl, spread by moving and cook until dark golden. The galette will have many small holes, but do not worry, it should be like that. Turn the galette and cook on the other side until golden.

Important thing to remember is to mix the mixture every time before pouring into the pan as the flour tends to set on the bottom.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Crêpe Day

February 2nd is a Crêpe Day and on this day French eat lots of crêpes. For me crêpes are a true comfort food, so I am gladly adapting this French tradition and celebrating crêpes on their day.

My basic recipe for crêpes has not changed that much over the years, but the filling has been changing and it keeps on changing regulary. Right now my two favourite fillings are nutella & amaretto liqueur and coconut & cajeta (Mexican goat milk caramel).

10 crêpes
1,5 dl flour (I used kamut)
pinch of salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 large egg
1 tbsp melted butter
3 dl milk

Put the flour, salt and sugar in a bowl. Lightly beat the egg with butter and add to the flour. Slowly add the milk and mix well. Let rest in the fridge for at least an hour. Heat a pan (22 cm) and pour about 0,5 dl of the crepe mixture, spread by moving the pan. When golden, turn and cook until covered with golden spots.