Monday, November 30, 2009

Sunday: Monkfish and salad

A simple one after a day of walking in the mountains: I did a chopped salad with spitzkohl, grated carrot, long green pepper, and minced onion dressed with lemogrette (lemon-juice vinaigrette) with ground coriander and garlic paste. For the fish: cut monkfish fillets into medallions, season them with salt, pepper, and piment d'espelette, pan roast the medallions, serve on top of the salad drizzled with bit of the lemogrette.

We enjoyed this with some good bread.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Saturday: baked beans

Baked beans and pork inspired by an old Bittman recipe in the NYT.

Aside from dramatically reducing amount of pork (500g instead of 3lbs), I didn't mess around with the recipe too much.

With vegetable soup as a starter and a big green salad, this was a meal. A very good meal. :-)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Friday: vegetable soup and leftovers

Another soup idea from Wiener, mixed vegetable soup: celery root, carrot, potato, leek, and onion. Everything diced, sweated for a bit in butter, and then cooked in chicken bouillon for about 20 minutes. At the end I coarsely pureed the soup since we prefer that texture. Finished with salt, and white and black pepper. Nice and heavy on the vegetables.

To fill out the meal we had leftovers of the ham and knödel (freshly made from leftover batter) from Wednesday. And the required green salad.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Wednesday: baked ham with knoedel

Last night's main course was determined by the nice looking little ham (Nusschinken) that I picked up on sale. This I glazed with a mixture of apricot jam, bourbon, and hot paprika and baked at 160C, add water and basting occasionally, until the internal temp was 65C.

After my ignominious defeat last time, I needed to go back and try making knödel again. This time I strived for a "stickier" texture than last time. The results were good: the knödel were nicely firm and neither disintegrated nor became soggy when I boiled them.

As a vegetable side I cooked diced butternut squash in a bit of butter. Just before serving I added white pepper and salt.

The knödel would benefit from being made with a lighter bread, but they still tasted good. The ham was really, really nice.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Tuesday: Sauerkraut

We got the first sauerkraut of the season in last week's biokiste. Yay sauerkraut!

I stuck to the basics: brown some smoked bacon cut into lardons; add rinsed sauerkraut along with a bay leaf (the 'kraut already has caraway and juniper), some white wine, veggie bouillon, and a couple of smoked sausages; let simmer, covered, until the sausages are ready to go and the 'kraut is just tender.

We accompanied this with the last of the chopped salad from Monday.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Monday: Roesti, pork chop on chopped salad

The prime motivator here was to have rösti. The pork chop was an improv to fit this.

The rösti was the absolutely simple version: grated Agria potatoes (well wrung out, of course) cooked with some salt in clarified butter. Sooooo good.

The chopped salad: combine chopped spitzkohl (no idea what this cabbage variety is called in English) and radicchio with grated carrot and minced onion. Dress with a combination of ketchup, mayo, mustard, rapeseed oil, white balsamico, sugar, salt, and pepper. Let stand 10-15 minutes after dressing it.

The pork chops: season the chops with salt, black pepper, ground cumin, and piment d'esplette. Pan roast them in a cast iron skillet. Serve on top of the chopped salad.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sunday simplicity

After another week of travel I again wanted simplicity and vegetables, this improv fit the bill.

Peel a butternut squash and cut it into 1-2cm chunks, toss with some salt and olive oil and then bake at 190C until they are lightly caramelized and ready to eat.

Meanwhile cook diced onion, long green pepper, and yellow carrot together with chopped garlic and some piri piri chilis in olive oil until the carrot softens a bit. Add a can of tomatoes, a pinch of saffron and freshly ground fennel seed and allspice, and some black pepper. Simmer until the tomatoes break down and the carrots are softened, then pick out the chilis and coarsely puree with the stick blender.

To serve: Make a pile of brown rice, add a layer of grated alp cheese, add a layer of sauce, top with the squash.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Friday: pea soup, napa and couscous gratin

For the soup: combine in the pressure cooker one cup picked-over and rinsed yellow split peas, 5 cups water, 2 chopped carrots (one yellow and one orange), 1 chopped onion, 2 crushed garlic cloves, half a chicken bouillon cube, and a good pinch of herbs de provence. Seal up, and cook for 12 minutes after it starts to hiss. Open the pressure cooker, puree the soup, add some sliced wienerli and another pinch of herbs de provence, and simmer for a few minutes before serving.

The napa and couscous gratin is a recipe from Wiener, and it's a really good one... no big surprise there.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Thursday: vegetables with pasta

After four days at a course, I was craving vegetables. That's an easy one to satisfy, particularly on Thursdays.

Heat some olive oil in a pan with a couple piri-piri peppers. Add a couple mostly crushed cloves of garlic, diced onion, and diced carrot and cook a couple minutes. Add some chopped cauliflower and salt and cook, stirring very occasionally so that cauliflower takes on some color, until the cauliflower is ready to eat. Stir in some whole wheat penne, adjust seasonings, and serve topped with grated cheese and chopped parsley.

Together with a big green salad, this was just what I was looking for.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Sunday: Escarole with black-eyed peas

When in doubt about what to do with the big head of escarole in the fridge... go for beans and greens.

After soaking some black-eyed peas for a while, simmer them in the minimal amount of water with onion, garlic, bay leaf, diced bacon, and some chicken bouillon. When the beans are tender, add some diced salami, olive oil, and chopped escarole. Cook until the escarole is tender, then serve with some extra olive oil. mmmm

As a side I did glazed turnips following a recipe from AFK: cut turnips into 1/2cm thick matchsticks, steam until they start to get tender. Transfer to a pan with a bit of butter, salt, some sugar, and a splash of water. Simmer uncovered until the liquid is mostly absorbed/evaporated and the turnips are tender.

Of course we also did a green salad.

Saturday: pumpkin soup, braised veal, failed knoedel

The soup: pumpkin, carrots, onion, potato, ginger, butter, curry powder.

The veal: brown cubed veal well, set aside; cook minced onion, a couple halved garlic cloves, ginger cut into discs until aromatic; sprinkle over some flour and cook a couple minutes longer; add water and make sure to get the brown bits off the bottom of the pan; add back the veal along with half a vanilla bean and a couple sprigs of thyme; simmer until the veal is tender. Finish the sauce with a bit of tomato paste to add body.

The knödel I made from a recipe in Wiener, but I got the consistency of the dough badly wrong, so they fell apart while cooking. Very sad stuff; I'll have to try again soon.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Friday: lamb chops and roesti

After the less than 100% successful rösti on Tuesday, I needed to do one correctly. This was my standard potato version: grate the potatoes, wring them out well, cook in peanut oil until nicely crispy, season while cooking. Verrrrry nice.

As a protein course I cooked some nice little lambchops unadorned in the grill pan. We ate them with a vinaigrette made from balsamico, olive oil, rosemary, and garlic.

Of course we had a green salad as well.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Thursday: baked chicken, braised cabbage, caramelized carrots

For the chicken: rub chicken leg quarters with olive oil, season them well with salt, pepper, raclette spices, and piment d'esplette. Bake at 180C until the chicken is done and the skin is crispy.

The cabbage: Cook some sliced leek in olive oil, add thinly sliced savoy cabbage and salt. Wilt the cabbage for a few minutes, add white wine, caraway, and crushed juniper berries. Braise until the cabbage is tender.

The carrots: cut carrots into chunks, saute in butter until they shrivel a bit and take on some color, add cream and salt. Simmer until the cream is mostly absorbed. Season with white pepper and serve.

The cabbage would have been better with some stock instead of wine; savoy doesn't need the acidity.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Wednesday: Fondue

First fondue of the year!

We picked the cheese mixture up at the local cheese shop and combined the cheese (330g) with 100ml white wine, one clove of garlic, 1/2Tbs potato starch, nutmeg, and 1 shot kirsch. We ate it with baguette, a green salad, and a pot of peppermint tea.

mmm, good stuff

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Tuesday: a pair of roesti

Last night was simple: I did the first beet rösti of the year along with a small potato rösti (with bacon on the side). Other than learning that there's a not-so-nonstick-spot in the middle of my usual rösti pan, this turned out well.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Monday: pasta with spinach

Another adapted Wiener recipe: Wilt some cleaned and stemmed spinach in the microwave; drain and chop it. Meanwhile saute minced garlic in olive oil until it takes on a bit of color, add equal proportions of cream and milk and bring to a gentle simmer. Add some grated cheese (I used a reasonably sharp raw-milk alp cheese) and stir to integrate it. Add the spinach and heat through. Just before serving stir in chopped basil and parsley, grate in some nutmeg, and adjust salt. Serve over tagliatelle.

The cheese and cream here really bring out the flavor of the spinach and make for a very nice dish.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Saturday's mix

Two more dishes from Wiener: a salad with beets, apples, and walnuts and celery-root schnitzel with herb-yogurt sauce.

The salad, a version of Autumn in a bowl: steam some small beets, peel them, halve them, cut them into slices. Peel an apple with good acidity, quarter it, core it, cut into slices. Coarsely chop some walnuts. Combine the beets, apple, and walnuts with a dressing made from minced garlic, parsley, sharp mustard, crushed caraway, brown sugar, salt, black pepper, balsamico, lemon juice, and olive oil. Let everything marinate for a while.

The celery root: Make a sauce from yogurt, sour cream, chopped herbs (parsley, thyme, basil), salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Let stand. Peel a celery root and cook in boiling water until about tender. Slice into 1/2cm thick slices. Bread with flour-egg-breadcrumbs, then cook the slices in olive oil. Serve with the yogurt sauce. The trick here is to make sure the celery cooks long enough to get almost creamy.

We also had a big green salad.