Saturday, June 27, 2009


This week it looks like the summer has disappeared for a while. Temperatures have dropped down to 15 degrees and it is really cold for June (well, almost July). Not good at all. But the cold summer days would feel even colder if it wasn't for a Mexican drink called atole that can cure any cold summer day!

Atole is warm drink that is made with water, thickened with Mexican corn flour and flavoured with fresh fruits, chocolate, beans. Some atoles are made with milk and thickened with oats or cornstarch, there are quite few variations. This atole is made with pineapple and is perfect for a cold summer day.

Atole de piña
serves 2
4 dl water
2 dl fresh pineapple, puréed
4 tbsp corn flour for tortillas

Mix the water and the corn flour in a saucepan. Sieve the puréed pineapples into the sauce pan, if pineapple is not sweet enough put some sugar. Cook everything on low heat until thickened, about 10-15 minutes. Serve hot.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Currywurst is German national dish from Berlin. It is basically pork sausage that is fried in oil, sliced and served with curry-tomato sauce and curry powder. On the side you can find either french fries or bread roll, ketchup and/or mayonnaise.

It is so popular in the entire country that it is ranked top 5 favourite dish of the German. Bavaria might be kingdom of the sausages but Berlin currywurst is the Queen of them all.

Currywurst turns 60 this years and as the birthday present in August it is getting its own museum, Currywurst museum. I do not know if I would visit the museum but a currywurst when in Berlin is a must!

Monday, June 08, 2009

Sweet buckwheat dumplings

I wrote about semolina soup dumplings before and now it was time to test the sweet version of these dumplings. They are made of wheat semolina but I bought some buckwheat semolina and decided to use it instead.

Last time I made soup dumplings by soaking semolina in butter and egg, but sweet dumplings are made by cooking semolina in milk and adding egg when cooled. Just like when cooking semolina pudding, except that the mixture has to be very thick so that the dumplings can hold their shape.

The sweet buckwheat dumplings turned out delicious! I love how the buckwheat flavour comes forward, and the breadcrumbs and strawberries make a perfect match.

Sweet buckwheat dumplings
serves 2
1 dl buckwheat semolina
1 dl milk
2 tbsp butter
1/2 vanilla bean
zest of half of lemon
1 small egg

2 tbsp butter
6 tbsp breadcrumbs
2 tbsp muscovado sugar

strawberries to serve with

Pour the milk in a sauce pan, add butter and scraped vanilla seeds, the vanilla pod and the lemon zest. Bring everything to boil, take out the vanilla pod, add semolina, stir and cook for about 2 minutes until you have a very thick mixture. It should be so thick that it holds shape firmly. Let cool.

Heat the butter in pan, add breadcrumbs and cook on low temperature until the breadcrumbs get some colour. Add muscovado sugar and let everything sit in a pan.

When the semolina is cold, add egg and blend well. You should have somewhat softer dough but it should still hold its shape well. Divide the dough in 4 pieces. With wet hands form round balls. Bring a sauce pan with water to simmer, shape the dumplings again if they have become bit flatter on one side, put into the water, cover and let simmer for 10 minutes.

When dumplings are cooked, drain well and add to the pan with breadcrumbs. Shake the pan until the dumplings are covered with the breadcrumbs. Serve with sliced strawberries.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Strawberry field

The first strawberries of the year have arrived and this year we were lucky enough to be able to visit a strawberry filed for some strawberry picking.
It was tons of fun, and strawberries were too perfect: red, ripe, juicy, flavourful and sweet. I always go for small strawberries because the taste is more concentrated than in bigger strawberries. Smaller one ripen faster as well, and having fully ripen strawberries is the key to their flavour as they do not ripen after being picked like some other fruits.

And these flavourful strawberries will be eaten just like they are, or at the most sliced and enjoyed with other fruits. Nothing more.