March 31, 2011

Roasted Potato Peel Consommé with Quail Egg Ravioli and Wild Garlic Pesto

Already since a very long time I had egg yolk ravioli on my "to cook list", but somehow, I have never found the time or the opportunity to make it. I guess, I have seen it first in a pretty old book of Jamie Oliver, so it took me years to finally make them. In fact, wild garlic was the inspiring ingredient, that gave me the last kick to start kneading the pasta dough.

The plan was to serve the egg yolk ravioli on top of a gorgeous green wild garlic pesto, but then I felt, that is not enough.
Spontaneously I thought about potatoes and had the idea of a sauce. But then, what should I do with the pesto? Maybe they would work well together, but still, it was not what I was looking for. While kneading a pasta, I remember that I have seen on Beatbull's website a post about using every part of a potato, and so the idea was born!

I took some potatoes and baked them, then peeled still hot and then took the peel and cooked it for a while in white chicken stock among some fresh majoram. Then I let it stand for a while, before filtering it.

The baked potatoes ended up with the rest of the pesto in a potato salad with dried tomatoes and some pecorini. I also used a little of it to make a kind of a nest for the quail egg yolk, and mixed it with very little goat cream cheese. For the pesto I simply pureed the wild garlic with pecorino and roasted almonds, and of course olive oil.

March 30, 2011

Dandelion Salad with Roasted Sunchoke and Ramson Flavoured Goat Cream Cheese Dressing

Slowly, the sunchoke season ends, but luckily I have had a few hidden in the fridge. Though it wouldn't have been enough for a main course. I had the spontaneous idea to prepare some kind of salad.

If sunchoke, well then hazelnut is always a good choice to go for, so now I only had to figure out what else I should serve among it.

By the way, the sunchoke was steamed and then fried in some butter, then sprinkled with ground, roasted hazelnut.

As sunchoke goes well with goat cheese, and as there was some goat cream cheese left, I decided to make a cream cheese dressing. As ramsons or wild garlic is in season right now, I pureed the goat cream cheese with the fresh ramsons' leaves and flavoured it with a tiny bit of balsamic vinegar, olive oil and of course salt and pepper. The salad part was taken by the seasonal and young dandelions.

March 29, 2011

Artichoke à la Grecque with Lemon Mayonnaise

Well, actually it is clear that artichoke season is from august until somewhen in the middle of october. But, when is it baby artichoke season? Giorgio Locatelli writes in his cookbook that they use plenty of boxes of baby artichokes during the season in spring. But when in spring? Anyone an idea? Anyway, no matter how, it was absolutely impossible to leave these cute artichokes in the store.

While reading Escoffier's book I found a recipe for baby artichokes and i decided to follow it. Baby artichokes are great, because they are much easier to clean as their big relatives. So after the cleaning I cooked them in lemon water flavoured with bay leaf, thyme, coriander seeds, black peppercorn, a bit of olive oil and of course some salt. After a few minutes it was all cooked so after it has cooled down I marinted it for 2 days in the fridge. The next day it was served among a lemon mayonnaise with herbs.


1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
150 ml oil
juice and zest of a 1/2 lemon
bunch of fresh herbs if desired (chervil, parsley, thyme)
salt, pepper

Whisk the egg yolk with the mustard and the vinegar until it is creamy. Slowly add the oil in a thin trickle to begin with while whisking continuously. When the oil is completly incorporated whisk in the lemon juice and zest. Season with salt and pepper and herbs if desired.

March 28, 2011


I can not tell you since how long I have been looking for gram or chickpea flour. Finally, the Asian store where I usually get all the exotic ingredients, brought some, so it was time to bake farinata. The farinata is an Italian speciality, that originates in Genoa, but it is popular throughout the Mediterranean Sea area. Similar flatbread was already baked by the ancient Greeks and Romans. In Liguria it is called Farinata di ceci and it is baked in a wood stove. In Toscana it runs under the name Cecina and it is either served as it is or as a filling for focaccia. In Sicily, it is called panelle and it is baked in hot oil. I decieded to preapre it with a lot of freshly ground pepper and rosemary.

250 g gram flour
500 ml water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon fresh rosmery

Chop rosemary. Whisk together the flour with the water, stir in the oil, salt, pepper and rosemary. Bake the farinata in the 230°C preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, or until the top is browned. The recipe is enough for a 24 cm round silicon baking form, if you use a regular baking sheet double the recipe and the baking time as well.

March 24, 2011

Beetroot Mousse Cake

So finally, the cake, that closes the beet serial, is ready! Let's see what components it has. To be exact, I have made 6 small cakes instead of one and 5 of them are still in the fridge waiting for the guests. The basic idea of the beetroot mousse has been on my mind already for a long time, but I had no opportunity to make it. The first layer of the cake is a ginger flavoured coconut milk panna cotta. I think ginger and coconut is a great match, especially together with sesame seeds. Though I was not sure, if it is going to be a good idea to choose a panna cotta as the bottom of a cake. However, I thought this tiny bit of risk should make the whole preparation more exciting. Well, luckily the bottom worked out very good, the only problem with it that is kind of slippery, yet it could hold the weight of the other layers. So on top of that there is a very light poppy seed biscuit and on it the beetroot mousse flavoured with vanilla and blood orange juice. Actually, I wanted to finish the cake with a layer of blood orange gelée, but then I decided to make a chocolate ganache. Under the ganache there is a layer of roasted walnuts, and as far as the candied beet is concerned, well it is gorgeous and totally addictiv!

160 ml cream
160 ml coconut milk

30 g sugar
2 cm fresh ginger

2 gelatine leaves

Heat heavy cream and coconut milk together with the slices ginger and cook it for 5 minutes, then sieve. Stir in the previously soaked gelatine. Cool it for at least 5 hours.

50 g sugar
1-2 tablespoons water
1 egg white

For the Italian merningue put the sugar and water in a saucepan and stir over low heat until dissolved. Boil for 5-7 minutes until it reaches 120°C. Meanwhile whisk the egg white to soft peaks and slowly add the hot syrup while whisking all the time. Keep on whisking until the bowl is not hot anymore. Set aside.

100 g beetroot puree
100 g blood orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 gelatine leaves
200 ml cream

Soak gelatine in cold water and mix the beetroot puree with the orange juice and the vanilla extract. Melt gelatine in some orange juice and stir it to the beet puree. Stir in the Italian meringue. Beat cream and stir it to the mixture. Cool it for 2-3 hours.

2 eggs
2 tablespoons sugar
lemon juice
1 tablespoon flour
2 tablespoons ground poppy seeds

1 pinch of baking powder

Beat egg white until firm with the sugar, then stir in the egg yolks, lemon zest, flour, baking powder and the ground poppy. Bake for 5-7 minutes on 180°C-on in a cake form of the size of 25*20 cm.

March 23, 2011

Candied Beet Chips

Before publishing the post about the cake I have mentioned, here is the decoration of it, that is by the way is drying in my cold oven right now. As far as the cake is concerned, I have already finished two components of it, and soon the third is going to be made. I can already tell you, that it is going to be a "say goodbye to beet" cake, after all I have prepared plenty of meals with beet this winter, and I thought I should finish the set with something sweet. Though this doesn't necessarily means that beets will not be seen anymore this year. Anyhow, now let's see the recipe for candied beet chips.


260 g sugar
200 g water
1 beetroot

Peel beetroot and slice it thin with the help of a mandoline. If you want to make perfect rounds then use a cookie cutter for shaping. Bring water together with the sugar to the boil and as soon as the sugar has dissolved add the beet slices. Cook it over low heat until the slices are translucent. Drain carefully and sprinkle with sugar. Let it dry over night. The candied beet slices can be kept for a week in an airthight container.

March 22, 2011

Eggs en cocotte with Oyster Mushrooms

Today I brought a quick and easy breakfast, as I will not have much time to cook something later on. The reason is that I am working on a cake, but now I am not going to tell anything about it. It is top secret, haha, no, but be patient. I found beautiful and fresh oyster mushrooms and I decided to prepare them for breakfast with eggs.

Well, scrambled eggs seemed just to be too boring, so I picked another way to cook it. En cocotte means that the egg is cooked individually in cream or butter in a small ramequin. I sauteed a shallot in some butter, then fried the sliced oyster mushroom and seasoned it with some thyme, a few drops of lemon juice and then cooked it for a few minutes with some cream.

Then I buttered the ramequins and ladled some mushroom into it, then I added one egg on top with some extra cream. Feel free to sprinkle the eggs with some grated cheese or even add some Taleggio or Brie between the mushroom and the egg. So when this is all done, you only need to wait about 10-15 minutes until the egg bakes in the 170
°C hot oven. Serve with toast, butter and chives.

March 21, 2011

Parsley Root Soup

When I moved to Switzerland, I did not cook during the first years, because I simply had no idea how to do. After a while I have had enough of the junk I ate, so I asked my mom for recipes. As first I wanted to cook a simple meat soup, but I needed parsley root. It seemed that it is nowhere available. I have explained to many people that it looks like a carrot, but it is white, but nobody seemed to knew what I was talking about. One day, during a trip to Germany, I have finally found a bunch of parsley root, I could hardly believe my eyes. Nowdays, I get parsley root from my greengrocer who always have it during the winter time. Some years ago even one Swiss supermarket chain sold parsley root, but I guess meanwhile it has disappeared. As long as we still have to wait for the first local spring vegetables, I prepared a "say goodbye to winter" parsley root soup served with fresh parsley oil, boiled quil egg and roasted hazelnut.


500 g parsley root
1 medium potato
700 ml vegetable or chicken stock
1 teaspoon butter
1 onion
1 small garlic clove
70 ml milk
1 tablespoon butter
salt, pepper

Melt butter and sautee chopped onion and garlic, add sliced parsley root and potato. Pour stock over on the vegetables and cook for 15-20 minutes. Puree together with the butter and the milk, season with salt and pepper.

March 18, 2011

Sunchoke Gnocchi with Fresh Goat Cheese in Blood Orange-Beet Sauce with Poppy Seed Crumble

As written in the title, here I am with the promised beet meal for this week. Once again, it has ended up in combination with goat cheese in form of a dessert. Actually, this dish was inspired by the goat cheese filled beet ravioli with orange sauce, that I have posted somewhen in February.

However, this time new ingriendts have joined the beet and the goat cheese, together with the well-known orange juice. I decided to preapre sunchoke-goat cheese gnocchi and serve it with beet-orange sauce and poppy seed crumble flavoured with honey and orange juice. I have already preapred beet gnocchi, but this time the beet had to take the role as the main ingredient for the sauce. Rosemary, honey and goat cheese are always a winner, so it seemed that I managed to create harmony on a plate once again. For the sauce the beet was baked in the oven and purreed with orange juice, then cooked with some sugar until it has reached the right consistency. Probably, the addition of some pectin would have given the sauce a smoother texture.
This time, I could not decide how to serve the dish, and even though I have tried different ones, I am still not happy. On the other side I am absolutely happy with the result!


250 g sunchoke (cooked and peeled)
70 g fresh goat cheese or goat cream cheese
1 egg
5-6 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon honey
1 twig rosemary

Mix the cooked and pureed sunchoke together with the goat cheese, egg, flour, salt, honey and chopped rosemary. Pour mixture into a plastic bag or a piping bag. Bring salted water to boil, reduce hit so that it simmers. Pipe gnocchi in the simmering water and as soon as they swim on top they are ready to be served.

March 17, 2011

Beef Entrecote with Glazed Salsify, Horseradish-Cep Sauce, Beef Jus and Balsamic Vinegar Roasted Onion

It takes still quite some time until the first local asparagus is available, so I decided to go for the so called winter asparagus, the black salsify. I cooked in a mixture of half water and half milk, and then simply glazed it in some veal stock. There were still some slices of beef entrecote left from the weekend, so I only needed a sauce. This time I went for fresh horseradish and cep. Yum!

100 ml cep liquid
150 ml brown veal stock
1 shallot
2 twigs thyme
50 ml crème fraîche
3 ek freshly grated horseradish
70 g butter
salt, pepper

Soak a handful of dried cep in hot water and let it stand for about an hours. Bring the sieved cep liquid together with the veal stock, chopped shallot and thyme to the boil and reduce by half. Stir in
crème fraîche and cook it for another 5 minutes. Remove it from the heat, add fresh horseradish and stir in the butter in small chunks. Sieve, season and serve.

March 16, 2011

Coconut Black Rice Pudding with Caramelised Pineapple

Well, I am not so much a rice pudding fan, frankly, I haven't had any since I was 12 years old or so. On the other side I love the so called tejbegríz, that is in milk cooked wheat groat and is totally yummy with loads of cinnamon sugar. I thought it is time to give rice pudding a new chance so I decided to cook black rice pudding with coconut milk. To make the whole thing a bit more exciting, I have added some spices like cardamom, star anise and vanilla. The cooking takes quite a long time, but you do not have to stir it too often, so it is not a big deal. I served it with caramelised pineapple scented with rum. By the way, have you noticed that often the bottom of the pineapple is having mold? Lately, I either bought totally unripe ones or the rest was with mold. Therefore this time I went for a baby pineapple, that was perfectly piquant, and not at all "extra sweet" as written.

150 g black rice
600-650 ml water
100 g cane sugar
200 ml coconut milk + extra for serving
2-3 cardamom pods
1 star anise
1 vanilla pod

Clean rice under running water and cook it in the water over low heat with a pinch of salt for 60-70 minutes. You can also soak the rice for at least 3 hours then it might take about 20 minutes less cooking time. As soon as the rice is cooked add sugar, coconut milk and cook it for another 15 minutes. Serve with extra coconut milk and some caramelised pineapple.

March 14, 2011

Sea Bass with Coconut Flavoured Beet Puree and Horseradish Foam

Well, the beet goes on! It is still not enough, and I am not tired of preparing meals using beets. Probably, even this week there is going to be something with beets on the menu. In the gorgeous Hungarian food blog, the Kísérleti Konyha, I haven see a recipe for root vegetable puree with coconut oil, and I was more than curious about it. If coconut, well, I decided to go for beets, afterall I have already preapred a couple of meals with this combination. After wondering for quite a long while if I should cook the beets in coconut milk or I should rather add it at the end, I decided to bake the beets in the oven and add the coconut milk together with the coconut oil when making the puree. The texture of the puree was just superb and made a fantastic trio together with the sea bass and the horseradish foam.

1 shallot
1 tablespoon butter
50 ml white wine
200 ml fish stock
100 ml cream
70 g fresh horseradish
50 g butter
salt, pepper

Sautee chopped onion in butter, then add white wine, fish stock and cream. Stir in grated fresh horseradish and reduce the liquid to a third. Sieve, season and stir in the butter then mixt it up and serve immediately.

March 11, 2011

Roasted Beet Salad with Blood Orange Vinaigrette

Spring cleaning time! At least as far as my pantry is concerned the mission has started. It is time to finally use all those forgotten and hidden ingredients. After all I need some space for the possible new discoveries.

Slowly, we can say good bye to all those gorgeous winter vegetables, but there is still a little time left to enjoy them. It is time for me to use those small mountains of beets and blood oranges. So yesterday, I took some beets and baked in the oven in foil together with a bay leaf, cumin and some salt. The rest of the beets are going to be part of today's lunch.
The lukewarm beets made a beautiful salad with feta, blood oranges and some pistachio.

As far as the vinaigrette is concerened, I took half a blood orange and mixed its juice with some sherry vinegar and olive oil. So simple, yet a perfect harmony in the salat bowl!

March 10, 2011

Elderflower Flavoured Granola

Somewhen at the begining of March I prepared a chocolate granola according to a recipe of Nigella Lawson. Hey, that was so totally sweet! Uuuh! It has almost sticked my teeth together! Not to mention, that it was impossible to break it small pieces. The solution was to use a machine, but then I ended up with granola powder, and that is not what I wanted. So it was time to make another portion of granola, something less sticky and only with a touch of sweetness. The bottle of elderflower syrup seemed to be the perfect choice for it.


200 g rolled oats
50 g hazelnut
50 g almond
1 tablespoon raw pumpkin seeds
tablespoon raw sunflower seeds
tablespoon black sesame seeds
tablespoon flax seeds
tablespoon coconut flakes
tablespoons elderflower syrup
tablespoons olive oil
1 pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to
180°C. Mix the rolled oats with the seeds, the syrup and the oil. Pour the mixture onto a baking sheet that is covered with baking paper. Roast the mixture for 20-25 minutes stirring occasionally, so that it can roast evenly. As soon as it is cool add any kind of dried fruits of your choice. Keep it in an air tight container and consume within 2 weeks.

March 9, 2011

White Chocolate - Mint Panna Cotta

It's been a while since I posted any kind of dessert, altough I haven't stopped baking, but I served old favourites and a bunch of ice creams and sorbets so nothing really exciting. Since a very long time I can not get the white chocolate-mint combination out of my mind. Besides I am totally in mint fever! Lately, there is no day without mint and I am having this meanwhile for about two weeks. Yesterday, I prepared gyros and of course I had to add mint to the sauce as I used lamb and anyway, mint is just a must nowdays. I wonder what is going to be the next ingredient that I am totally crazy about. At the first place I wanted to serve this panna cotta with caramelised ananas, but instead I made some ananas chips and served it with fresh passion fruit.

250 ml heavy cream
75 ml milk
50 g white chocolate
1 bunch of peppermint
12 g sugar
2 gelatine leaves

Heat heavy cream and milk together with the peppermint over low heat and right before it reaches the boiling point set aside and let it stand for 5 minutes. Then remove the peppermint, sieve if necessary and put it back to the still warm stove. Add sugar and chopped white chocolate and mix until it is well incorporated. Stir in the previously soaked gelatine and pour the mixture into 4 small ramequins and cool it for at least 5 hours in the fridge.

March 4, 2011

Spicy Baked Prawns

Before the weekend starts, I am here with a pretty simple, "it feels like summer" dish: spicy baked prawns. In case you do not want to use whole prawns, but rather prefer peeled ones, well then you have less work to do, but do not forget to devein the prawns before cooking. Besides, if you use peeled prawns, I suggest to fry them for a few minutes in a mixture of oil and butter, or grill them if you feel like. Serve the fried prawns with fresh and crispy white bread and some slices of lemon.

16 whole prawns
150 g yoghurt
2 big cloves of garlic
1 small piece of ginger
1 chili (+ 1-2 teaspoons of chili powder if desired)
1 tk garam masala
1 teaspoon salt

lemons for serving

Rinse the prawns in cold running water, then cut the prawns along the inner curve in half, devein, then rinse again. For the marinade mix joghurt together with grated ginger and garlic, sliced chili, chili powder and garam masala. Season prawns with salt and drain in the marinade. Let it stand in the fridge for at least 2 hours. Bake for 10-12 minutes on 200°C depending on their size. Serve with fresh parsley and lemon.

March 2, 2011

Black Tiger Prawn with Manioc Puree and Beet Sauce

Despite the wonderful sunshine and all the fragrances of the coming spring, still winter vegetables dominate my kitchen. Well, that is no wonder, afterall there is still some time to wait until the first local spring vegetables are available. Stores are already full with imported asparagus, rhubarb, strawberries and other spring veggies, however in no way I would buy any of these. I rather cook once more beetroot and cabbage and all the other great winter vegetables. Of course I can hardly wait for the first local asparagus and the first freeland strawberries. Only a bit more patience, after all good things come to those who wait. This dish spent kind a lot of time in my head and actually it has changed completly from the first idea. Only prawns and manioc were the two constant ingredients. The basic idea was to make a puree out of the manioc and to serve the prawns with some kind of curry sauce, a coconut foam and some mango. However, the mango did not survive a day in the fridge, it was just too fragant and juicy, not to eat it immediately!

After checking out a couple of fish strores, I have found out that one actually can only buy frozen prawns here in Switzerland. That is no wonder, we have no sea around here. So I decided to buy a bunch of prawns and made a prawn stock out of the heads and the peel. The originally planned coconut foam turned to be part of the coconut flavoured manioc puree. I think some tapioca pearls would have looked just perfect on the plate. I must add these the next time.

The prawns were simply fried with garlic and fresh herbs, the sauce is totally simple: it is a reduced prawn stock with beet juice. The puree was crowned by home made coconut chips and grated coconut, and some balsamic vinegar flavoured beetroot.

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