Sunday, January 31, 2010

Chicken liver and mushrooms nests

recipe from BBC Good Food
makes 6 nests
1 medium onion
100 gr mushrooms
1 garlic clove
150 gr chicken liver
2 tbsp brandy
3 tbsp bread crumbs
small bunch of fresh parsley
1/2 dl raw almonds
6 slices Schwarzwald ham

Chop the onion and cook in a bit of olive oil until soft. Chop the mushrooms and add to the onion, cook until the mushroom liquid has evaporated. Add finely chopped garlic, blend everything together and put in a small bowl.

Put some more olive oil in the pan and cook the chicken liver shortly until golden but not cooked through. Set aside on a plate. Add the brandy in the pan and let it cook for couple of minutes. Take off the heat, add mushroom mixture, bread crumbs, almost all parsley and almonds. Chop the liver and add to the mushrooms as well.
Heat oven to 180 C. Line small tins with the ham slices, spoon in the liver filling, sprinkle with some almonds and bake, covered with foil, on the lowest rack in the oven for about 20 minutes.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Knäckebröd recipe

Good old knäckebröd. I made it for the first time. This recipe is using sourdough, so the taste is very intense. It really does taste like sourdough. If you do not like that you can replace the sourdough with yeast. Any kind of flour can be used as well, do dare to experiment.

recipe from DN makes 9 rounds

1 dl rye sourdough (or 15 gr yeast)
2 dl water
4 dl rye flour
3 dl flour (I used white spelt flour)
1/2 tbsp honey
1 tsp salt

sesame seeds, fennel seeds, caraway seeds...

Put all the ingredients in a bowl and knead until you have smooth dough, about 5 minutes. Cover with a plastic foil and let it rise in the fridge over night.
Heat oven to 200 C and put a baking sheet inside. Knead the dough a bit and divide in 9 pieces, each about 80 gr heavy. Roll out each piece in a circle, about 18 cm big, make a small whole in the middle, brush with a bit of water, sprinkle your favourite spice/seeds and pick with a fork.

Carefully transfer to the hot baking sheet and bake for about 10 to 15 minutes. Have an eye on it as when it starts to burn it really goes fast. Take out and let cool. 

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Fish tacos

Fish tacos can be made with any type of white flaky fish. And fish it self can be prepared any way you like it fried, baked, steamed. Add some fresh tomato salsa (pico de gallo), tortillas and all together gives more than perfect fish tacos...pure addiction!

Fish tacos

serves 2
400 gr white flaky fish (I used cod)
2 limes
some chili
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper
10 tortillas (10 cm in diameter)
pico de gallo

2 avocados
1 lime

Marinate the fish with limes, chili, mince garlic, salt and pepper. Set aside. Make tortillas or if you have them already done heat them in the oven until you prepare the salsa. Make pico de gallo and set aside.
Heat some oil in a frying pan and cook the fish for couple of minutes on both sides. Fish is done when it nicely flakes without being dry.

Take a tortilla, put some fish in the middle, top with pico de gallo and a slice or two of avocado.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Almonds two ways

These roasted almonds are a great winter snack. Sweet or salt, they are always welcome when watching TV or a movie. And the Olympics are just around the corner as well! You can roast 250 grams of blanched almonds and when done make one half salty and the other half sweet.

Salty almonds
recipe adapted from Schrot & Korn
125 gr blanched almonds
1 tsp olive oil
1 tbsp honey maple syrup (or honey)
1 tsp sweet paprika
pinch of chili
1/2 tsp salt
Heat the oven to 150C. Roast the almonds for about 25 minutes. In the meantime mix oil, maple syrup, paprika, chili and salt in a bowl (not plastic bowl as hot almonds will be added). When almonds are done, turn off the oven and add almonds to the bowl with spices and blend well. Spread again on the baking sheet and return back to the turned off oven for about 3 minutes. Take out of the oven and let cool completely on the baking sheet.

Sweet almonds 
125 gr blanched almonds
1 tsp olive oil
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp cassia cinnamon
small pinch of salt

Heat the oven to 150C. Roast the almonds for about 25 minutes. In the meantime mix oil, maple syrup, cinnamon and salt in a small bowl (not plastic bowl). When the almonds are done, turn off the oven and add the almonds to the bowl with cinnamon mixture and blend well. Spread again on the baking sheet and return back to the turned off oven for another 3 minutes. Take out of the oven and let cool completely on the baking sheet.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Old-style Bavarian appelstrudel

I have become the biggest Strudel-fan ever. I love it. The dough is so fun to make, you can fill it with almost anything and it is always amazing. I found the recipe for this apple strudel at the website of the Bavarian TV. I was curious about it as brown butter and sour cream are used in the filling and the strudel is baked in vanilla-milk.

It is a wonderful recipe, this strudel is like an apple cake with soft and creamy filling. It tastes even better the next day!

Old-style Bavarian appelstrudel
serves 6
recipe from
Bavarian TV

3 Boskoop apples (about 600 gr)
50 gr butter
50 gr raisins
150 gr sour cream
1/2 dl sugar
1 tsp cassia cinnamon
1 dl + 2 tbsp milk
half a vanilla bean

2 dl strong flour (I used white spelt flour)
2 tbsp oil
pinch of salt
about 5 tbsp warm water

baking dish 17x26 cm (1,2l)

First make the strudel dough and let it rest for about one hour. In the meantime prepare the apple filling.

On medium heat melt the butter and let it get brown, it takes about 15 minutes. Set aside so that the brown milk solids settle on the bottom of the pan.
Mix the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Scrape the vanilla bean seeds and add to the milk. Peel the apples, cut in quarters, core and slice in thin slices.

Stretch the strudel dough to a 65x45 cm, cut the thick edges so that you have a nice thin strudel sheet 60x40cm. Let it dry for about 10 minutes. In the mean time pour brown butter in a small bowl, try to leave as much as you can of the brown milk solids in the sauce pan. Brush the strudel dough with brown butter. Save a bit of butter for the baking dish and for brushing the strudel when rolled.

Heat oven to 200C. Cut the strudel sheet in half so that you have two 20x30 sheets. Spread the apples on the short side, over a bit less then half of the dough, leaving an edge all around. Sprinkle raisins over the apples and spread the sugar mixture all over the apples and over the empty part of the strudel sheet. Spread the sour cream over the apples. Fold in the edges and roll the strudel. As you roll keep on folding the edges over so that the filling does not escape.

Butter a bit the baking dish, put the two strudels inside and brush strudels with brown butter. Pour inside the vanilla milk and bake for about 50 minutes. Let it cool completely before serving. The best is to make it in the morning and serve in the afternoon.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Choux pastry

I have always been insecure when making choux pastry. It is a tricky one. But then I saw a post at The Kitchen and I felt so inspired and motivated by the recipe that I decided to finally get over my choux pastry fear.

The things I used to find very hard was the consistency of the dough and the baking it self. Now I have learned to beat all the eggs together, then add in separate additions until almost all eggs are used. The dough should be stiff and definitely not runny.

And when it comes to the baking I make it simple, I heat the oven to 220 C and bake for about 20-25 minutes. And when done I poke each pastry so that the steam escapes, just like suggested at The Kitchen.

This time I added some smoked paprika to the dough and I made the pastries very tiny, bite size tiny. When cold I dipped them in creme fraiche and sprinkled with a bit of smoked paprika. 

Choux pastry
makes 35 tiny pastries

recipe from The Kitchen
1/2 C water (1 dl + 2 tbsp)
2 oz butter (55gr)
pinch of salt
1/2 C flour (I used white spelt flour, 1 dl + 2 tbsp)
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
2 eggs

100 gr creme fraiche
about 2 tbsp milk
some salt
some smoked paprika for sprinkling

Bring the water, butter and salt to almost boil. Take off the heat and add the flour all at once. Stir until you have smooth dough. Return back to heat and cook stirring all the time for about 3 minutes. Add smoked paprika and let cool to room temperature.

Beat the eggs together and add in two separate additions to the dough. Here you have to be careful so that dough does not become runny. I always have bit of eggs over, which I use for brushing the pastries before baking. I have never needed to add an extra egg.

Heat the oven to 220C. I use two small tea spoons for shaping the dough. And if you would like to have bite-size pastries fill only half of the tea spoon with the dough. Have about 5 cm between each pastry. Use the rest of the beaten eggs for brushing the pastries (I do it with my fingers). Bake for about 20-25 minutes. When done poke each pastry and let cool.
Mix creme fraiche with milk and salt, dip the top of each pastry in it and sprinkle with some smoked paprika.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sweet potato stackers

Sweet potatoes, salad and Black Forest-ham make these stackers. They are easy to prepare, delicious and they look pretty too.

Sweet potato stackers

adapted from BBC Good Food
sweet potatoes (should be long and thin)
salt, pepper and olive oil
some salad leaves
couple of slices of Black Forest ham

Heat oven to 180C. Peel the potatoes and slice in 1 cm thick disks. Toss with oil, salt, pepper and bake for about 25 minutes. When done leave to cool.
On each sweet potato put a bit of salad and top with some Black Forest ham. Serve!

Friday, January 08, 2010


In the recent years Swedish knäckebröd (crispbread) has become very popular in the rest of the Europe (world?). Here in Germany you can buy it in every supermarket, there are many different variations, but like with the most things there is difference between knäckebröd and knäckebröd. Let me tell you about the true knäckebröd.

The true knäckebröd is simple, ingredient list is short, taste is nutty and a bit of butter is all you need to enjoy it. I have actually never made it my self, few people do these days as you can find great knäckebröd in most Swedish stores. And everyone has its favourite.
Some great brands worth mentioning are Pyramidbageriet, Leksands Knäckebröd and Vika Bröd. These brands can be hard to find outside of Sweden so for me the time has come to start making knäckebröd at home. Recipe coming soon!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Amaranth souffle

Amaranth is one of my favourite foods, you can do so much with it, it is delicious and super healthy. I found the recipe for this amaranth souffle at the website of a Californian company called "Rancho Gordo". They produce many great foods and amaranth is one of them.

This souffle is really wonderful and the best thing is that you can twist the recipe with different spices and herbs. I also make a sweet version with sugar, cinnamon and raisins.

Amaranth souffle
recipe from Rancho Gordo
makes 6 individual souffles
1/2 dl +1 tbsp amaranth
1,5 dl water
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp flour
some ground white pepper and nutmeg
1 dl +2 tbsp warm milk
2 large eggs
50 gr grated cheese (I used Parmesan)
some butter and bread crumbs for the molds

Cook amaranth in double as much water and cook for about 20 minutes. When done it will look like thick porridge. Set aside. Preheat oven to 180C. Butter the molds and sprinkle with the bread crumbs.

Melt butter, add flour, pepper and nutmeg, as soon as it foams (do not let it get brown) take off the heat and add slowly milk, mixing all the time. Cook for couple of minutes until it thickens. Add grated cheese, mix well, add amaranth.
Separate the eggs and add egg yolks to the amaranth mixture. Beat white eggs until foamy, add some lemon juice and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold 1/3 to the amaranth mixture, fold in rest of the egg whites.

Pour the mixture into the molds, fill 3/4 of each mold. Bake for about 30 minutes, then turn of the oven and leave the souffle inside for about 10 minutes. Serve hot!