Welcome

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Asparagus Quiche




The asparagus season is at full swing and Easter is just around the corner. It's no surprise so many delicious green recipes are coming my way. How do you spend Easter? Going to a restaurant or hosting a brunch at home? If the latter applies to your traditions, I have the perfect recipe for you. That goes without saying that savoury tarts are always a crowd pleaser for these occasions. I love brunch and I love to prepare brunch. Setting the buffet and selecting the recipes you want to prepare sparks so much joy. Arranging the selection, being careful what flavours you combine. It's simple magic. 

For this recipe my hardest choice was whether I am going to make tartlets or a large quiche. You can see the result in this blogpost. Either way is a good choice, it just depends on how you want to serve it. A good thing about this recipe is, that it's not only a delicious brunch recipe, but you can also enjoy it as weekdays dinner or quick and easy lunches with a good salad. I hope you enjoy the recipe as much as I did.  




For one quiche you need:
200g flour
110g butter
5 eggs
20ml water
3g salt
1 pinch of fleur de sel 
pepper
125g grated cheese
300 ml heavy cream 
1 pinch of nutmeg



Start making the dough by cutting the butter into cubes. Whisk together the flour, the salt, the butter until you get an even dough. Make a well in the centre, now add the egg to it and start to knead gently with your fingers. Finally add the water to obtain a smooth quiche base. Shape the dough into a ball and wrap it in cling film. Put into the fridge for about 1 hour. 

Preheat the oven to 180°

Grease a a tart tin (if round 26cm). Roll out the dough on a floured surface until and lift it into the tin with a rolling tin. Prick the bottom several times with a fork, cover it with baking paper, weigh down with baking beans and cook blind for 15 minutes. 

In the meantime prepare the filling. Cut the ends of the asparagus and cook them for 10 minutes. Beat the remaining eggs, add the liquid cream, the cheese and the nutmeg. 

Distribute the asparagus over the dough, then pour the filling over them. Bake for 30 minutes.

Enjoy!!!

******

If you're looking for more Easter brunch recipes please check out the ones of my fellow bloggers:

My picked food made Korean vegetable pancakes
Kleines Kuliversum made radish pots with wild garlic
Fredke and friends made champagne cake
Spiffing Ideas made ham, cheese and fig pie
Liebe mit Biss made eggplant kuku



Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Red Wine Pasta with Feta and Basil (sponsored)



When I am approached to develop recipes for collaborations, I always try to make simple dishes, yet use unusual techniques so it has a clear added value for all parties. For this very occasion, notably a wine faire, I asked myself if there was no possibility to infuse pasta the way you infuse risotto. After doing quite some research and reading about other bloggers' experiences I decided to go for the boozy pasta. I love wine, especially red wine, a major reason I threw in a whole bottle from Bordeaux. You might ask yourself why I opted for greek cheese on an Italian dish, wondering moreover why I didn't go for any creamy ricotta or mozzarella. Well here's the answer:  the creamy pasta needed some strong counter-taste. Could you name any other white cheese who'd do the trick?
When cooking with wine, people's opinions tend to diverge tend. As I am not a fan of using the cheapest wine (except if we're talking about one or two table spoons), I chose the real good stuff. Please don't get me wrong, I am not telling you to pop your most expensive bottles! But once you'll test the recipe, you'll exactly understand what I am talking about. 


For two people you'll need:
250g pasta
1 bottle red wine
3 garlic cloves
4 tbsp pine nuts
125g feta
2 handful chopped basil
4 tbsp olive oil
salt, pepper


First chop the garlic cloves. In a large saucepan cook the garlic over medium heat until it starts to brown (3-4 minutes). Add the red wine and bring to a boil. Add the pasta, a pinch of salt, then reduce heat to a rapid simmer. Cook the pasta until the wine is completely absorbed. Don't forget to stir occasionally to make sure the pasta is well covered in wine. 

 Meanwhile crumble the feta and chop the basil.  Once everything is ready, divide pasta between two plates. Sprinkle with basil, feta and pine nuts and serve.

Enjoy!!! 

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Spinach Salad with Mango Vinaigrette


Looking at this dish one might notice that I am totally looking forward to spring. February spoilt us with mild temperatures, but then, the weather got back to gloomy and rainy winter moments. I  absolutely love hearty dishes , especially when baked with loads of cheese, but at some point you just want to switch to juicy fresh produce. 

Luckily I had a break from all this gloom and went to Costa Rica end of January. We had loads of typical flavours and some inspired this colourful bowl. So my usual bell pepper carrot salad has transformed into a tropical delight. I have to admit that I had to get used to limes in savoury dishes at first, as for me they're THE ingredient that defines mojitos. Now that I'm a fan, I like to replace lemons by limes quite often. So if you're curious what tropical flavours are hidden in my salad, read on and try the recipe. 


For 4 servings you'll need:
1 red bell pepper
1 orange bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
2 cucumbers
4 handful spinach
2 handful coriander 
2 mangoes
4 carrots
4 tbsp chives
450g black beans (canned)
4 tbsp olive oil
3 limes
2 small onions
4 avocados
salt & pepper


Rinse the bell peppers and cucumbers then cut them into little cubes. Peel the carrots and cut as well. Chop the chives and coriander and add the herbs to the vegetables. Now add the spinach as well as the black beans to the mix. Stir until all the ingredients are well mixed.

Peel the mango, press the lime juice and chop the onions into medium-sized chunks. Add everything to a food processor and mix. Divide the salad mix onto four plates, then drizzle the mango vinaigrette over each plate. Cut the avocado and place on top of each salad. Season with salt and pepper ate serve. 

Enjoy!!!


Sunday, February 24, 2019

Blood Orange Rosemary Cake


The thing with cakes is, that every time you try/develop a new recipe that turns out well,  you think it's the best cake you've ever baked. What might seem illogical, is totally normal in the quest of baking high quality cakes every single time you switch on your oven. The texture of this recipe was so silky, I had three pieces in only one day - a thing that I usually don't do. 

Even though I'm more a chocolate cake kind of person, I must say that with the right fruit-spice ratio, I'm very curious to discover new combinations. When I first saw a recipe of lemon and rosemary cake I was very suspicious these two could match. During my travels, I was once served a lemon-thyme and a lemon-lavender treats, and I was very positively surprised. From that moment on, I was eager to create a recipe with a similar effect on its tasters. 


For one cake you need:
7 blood oranges
225g butter
200g sugar + 2 tbsp
3 eggs
2 large rosemary sprigs 
300g flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp sour cream 
150g icing sugar


Preheat the oven to 180°

In a large bowl whisk together butter and sugar until they're very well combined and fluffy. Filet 2 blood oranges (make sure that all the white parts of the orange cut off), chop the rosemary, then add everything to the sugar butter mix. Bring in the eggs one by one and beat until you get a smooth batter. Now you can also add the flour and baking powder.

Butter a bundt cake mold and add the dough. Bake the cake for around 50 minutes.  

While the cake is baking, prepare the blood orange syrup. In a saucepan bring the juice of 4 blood oranges to a boil, add the two table spoons of sugar, stir for about 3 minutes then reduce heat. Stir regularly until the syrup has reduced one third of its mass. Let cool until the cake is ready.

As soon as the cake is ready, let cool a few minutes until turning it on a wire rack. Now poke a few holes into the warm cake and pour the blood orange syrup over the cake. Make sure to put a bowl under the wire rack and repeat at least twice. Let the cake cool completely

In another bowl, gently beat the sour cream until creamy. Add 2 table spoons blood orange juice and 100g of icing sugar. Mix then add more icing sugar until the mixture gets real creamy. Now cover the cake with the icing and cool in the fridge for 20 minutes.

Enjoy!!!!



Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Sage Butter


I did it! I finally managed to prepare the perfect sweet potato gnocchi. Whereas normal gnocchi are much easier to make, the sweet potato gnocchi are quite a challenge. I remember, when I first tried a recipe with my friends. We were standing in the kitchen for hours, not getting that dough into the right consistence to finally bring them to a boil and eat. Either the dough was to sticky oder not moist enough at all. Juggling with flour and water almost ruined the flavour. Because at some point, one could barely taste the sweet potato. 

For this recipe, I was also standing in the kitchen for a few hours. This time I prepared myself a little differently and hat flour and mashed sweet potato at each hand to find the perfect ratio and finally find  THE recipe for sweet potato gnocchi. It definitely is a balancing act but I am very very happy with the result. 


For 4 portions you'll need:
500g sweet potatoes
2 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
360g flour
5 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
200g butter
5 tbsp olive oil
7 sage leaves (sliced)
150g rucola


Preheat the oven to 220°

Cut the sweet potatoes in half. Then put them onto a baking tray lined with baking paper cut side down. Roast for about 30 to 40 minutes (depending on the size of your sweet potatoes). When the sweet potatoes are tender, take them out of the oven and cool for 10 minutes. Once cool enough to handle peel of the skin and place them into a bowl. Mash the potatoes until there are no chunks left. Stir in the egg. salt and nutmeg, then mix again until you get an even mixture. Now add the flour and stir everything together until well combined. 

Dusk a work surface with some additional flour. Place the dough on it and knead very gently. If needed, you should add more flour. Be careful, it should still be moist but not sticky. Divide the dough into 6 portions. If necessary, dust with more flour. Now you can roll each portion into a long 1cm wide log. Cut it into 2 cm pillows. To shape the gnocchi, I chose to lightly press them with a fork, then pressing them back into a rectangular with my thumb and index finger. Repeat with the remaining dough.

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil over a medium heat. Drop 20 gnocchi and wait until they float up to the surface. Wait 1 more minute, then fish them out of the water with a slotted spoon. While the gnocchi are cooking, you can prepare the sauce. Place a large frying pan over a medium heat as well and melt half of the butter with half the oil. When the butter is melted, add the chopped garlic and sage. Pour in 4 tablespoons of the gnocchi water, cover with a lid and cook for 2 minutes. Add the rucola, cover again, and cook once more for 2 minutes. Finally add half of the gnocchi to the pan and toss to coat. Repeat the process with the second half of the ingredients. 

Serve the gnocchi immediately. Cheese lovers may sprinkle their portion with some grated parmesan. 

Enjoy!!!



Sunday, December 30, 2018

Beetroot Cheesecake


If someone told me fifteen years ago that I'd develop a recipe including beets, I would probably have called them crazy. I didn't like this vegetable at all, and every time my mother told me to try it at least once, I refused categorically. Only when I left home for the South of France, and a friend cooked a beet soup (because I liked the pink color so much) I started appreciating its flavour. I think this is mostly due because it weren't the store bought cooked ones, but she roasted the fresh beets before blending them into soup. Anyways, from that moment on, I started to test several recipes ranging from roasted beetroot fries to beetroot curry or bourguignon. The latest favourite beet thing is the juice. Mixed with ginger and apples it gives you such a great boost.

When travelling over the last few years, I also discovered savoury cheesecakes. Most of them included goat cheese, which I don't like so much. And that's when I thought that I should make my own recipe. The first one I made was a salmon cheesecake, which was not bad but still needs some fine-tuning. Then I thought about a juicier one, and that's when the base of this very cheesecake was build. I hope you enjoy the recipe as much as I do. 


For one cheesecake you need:

100g butter
200g crackers
3cm fresh ginger
3gelatine sheets
200g cooked beets
450g cream cheese
150ml liquid cream 
pink radish sprouts
salt & pepper


First soften the gelatine sheets in a little cold water. 

To prepare the base, melt the butter in a saucepan. Put the crackers into your food processor and blitz into chunky crumbs. In a bowl, combine the butter and crackers, then grate 1cm of fresh peeled ginger into it. 

Line a 22cm springform with baking paper, then put the cracker crumbs into it and press to form an even base. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, you can start preparing the topping. Grate the remaining 2cm of fresh ginger and blend the cooked beetroot. In a large bowl whisk together the beets, ginger and cream cheese until well combined. 

Bring the liquid cream to a boil, then remove from heat and stir in the gelatine. Before adding the gelatine, make sure to squeeze out all the water. Pour the cream on the cream cheese and mix again. 

Now remove the base from the refrigerator and top the cracker crumbs with the beetroot cream cheese. Cover with cling film and refrigerate for at least 12 hours. 

Before serving the cake, remove from the springform and put onto a serving plate. I chose to place pink radish sprouts onto the cake, to give it a little extra fresh kick. 

Enjoy!!!



 photo s_04.jpg  photo s_05.jpg  photo s_06.jpg