Monday, November 29, 2010

Sunday: chipotle-glazed ham on roasted vegetables

A random Sunday idea for the boneless smoked ham we picked up on Saturday.

Bring some apple juice to a boil, add a few chipotles. When the chipotles are soft, fish them out, puree them, then add the puree back to the apple juice. Continue reducing until you have a glaze. Add some fresh lemon juice.

In the meantime: cut up potato, leek, celery root, and carrot and toss with some salt, sweet paprika, cumin, coriander, black pepper, and peanut oil. Add some chicken stock and bake at 175C for 10-15 minutes. Place the ham on the bed of vegetables, brush with the glaze, and put back in the oven. Bake another 20-30 minutes, glazing every five.

Serve slices of ham drizzled with a bit of the extra glaze.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A bunch of Christmas cookies

Yesterday, together with the first snow here in Basel, we made a batch of Christmas cookies so that we're prepared for the season. We did Zimtsterne (Kaltenbach), Totenbeinli (Le Menu), Gewurz Sables (Le Menu), and Schokomakronen (Andrea's mother). Recipes are below

We ended up with quite a spread:
Should last a few days at least. :-)

100g hazelnuts, toasted in a heavy pan, peeled, and coarsely chopped
100g almond slivers
2 egg whites
75g sugar
200g dark chocolate (we used 60%)

Whip the egg whites to soft peaks, add the sugar, and whip to stiff peaks.
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler, mix in the nuts, and let cool a bit.
Fold the egg whites into the chocolate.
Drop spoon fulls onto baking parchment and then bake at 150c until they're done (10-15 minutes?).

2 egg whites, beat to stiff peaks with a pinch of salt
250g sugar
1 Tbs cinnamon
250g ground almonds (I used 200g ground almonds, 30g flour)
1 Tbs lemon juice
1 tsp minced lemon zest

Add the sugar and cinnamon to the beaten egg whites and stir for a few minutes (supposed to be 10...). Set aside 5Tbs to use as a topping (I forgot to do this).
Add the other ingredients to the egg whites and mix to form a even dough. Let this rest 15 minutes.
Roll the dough out to the thickness of a pencil on a surface covered with sugar.
Cut out star shaped cookies and place them on parchment-covered baking sheets.
Let rest 30 minutes.
Top with the reserved egg whites (if you remembered to reserve any).
Bake at 200C for 6-8 minutes. They're better when chewy, so don't bake too long.

Gewurz Sables
125g butter, softened
50g raw sugar
1tsp vanilla sugar
a pinch salt
2-3 Tbs water
200g flour
1 Tbs cinnamon
1 Tbs cardamom (1-2 tsp would have been better)
1 Tbs ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Beat the butter until it forms peaks.
Add the sugars, salt, and water and beat a bit more
Sift in the flour and spices and work into a smooth dough.
Form a 3cm roll, wrap in plastic wrap, and let rest in the fridge for an hour.
Cut 5mm thick slices and put on a parchment-covered baking sheet.
Bake at 200C for 20-12 minutes.

200g walnuts
100g butter, softened
175g sugar
a pinch of salt
2 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs
250g flour

Toast the walnuts in a heavy pan until they're aromatic. Let cool and then chop coarsely.
Beat the butter until it forms peaks.
Beat in the sugar, salt, cinnamon, and eggs and beat until it lightens.
Sift in the flour and mix to form a smooth dough.
Add the chopped nuts, then wrap in plastic and let rest in the fridge for an hour.
Roll out to 1cm on a floured work surface.
Cut into 7-8cm strips and transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet and let rest 30 minutes in the fridge.
Brush with egg yolk, then bake at 180C for 10min. Let cool a couple of minutes, then cut into sticks and bake another 12-15 minutes, until golden brown.

Saturday: baked sauerkraut

We got the first sauerkraut of the season last week and in this month's Le Menu there's a recipe for a sauerkraut gratin. That's a coincidence that's too big to ignore. :-)

Toss rinsed sauerkraut with some leek (cut into thin strips), a bit of diced bacon, and caraway (I didn't actually use caraway since the 'kraut from the biokiste is already seasoned) and pack into a gratin dish. Top with strips of bacon, raclette cheese, and leek rings. Bake at 200C for 15-20 minutes, top with some diced bread and bake another 5-10 minutes until the bread is brown and toasty.

I did this with a pretty aromatic raclette cheese which complemented the sauerkraut very nicely.

Of course we also had a green salad.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thursday: sauteed vegetables

Once the new biokiste arrived we really needed to clear out some stuff from the old ones. Thus, sauteed vegetables: turnip, carrot, leek, onion, garlic, pumpkin, bacon, thyme, rosemary, black pepper. Served with some raclette spice.

We also had roasted cauliflower and a fennel-orange salad.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sunday: carrot-ginger soup, horseradish risotto

Another soup: onion, ginger (plenty of it), carrots, potato, and chicken stock. After pureeing it I added orange juice to give a bit more sweetness and some acidity. The combination of the ginger's bite and the OJ was really nice.

Unlike last time I did the horseradish risotto, this time I left out the cream. Though the result was still good, it definitely missed the cream... no big surprise there. :-)

To round out the meal I marinated some chicken breast strips with garlic, fresh thyme and rosemary, salt, black pepper, and white balsamico and then browned them.

Oh yes, and that green salad.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Saturday: Fleischvogel (rouladen) with mashed pumpkin and potatoes

Adapted from a recipe from this month's Le Menu.

Pound out some rindsplätzli to a good thickness. Fill with mustard, bacon, onion, pickle, and leek then roll up and fasten with toothpicks. Brown them nicely in clarified butter then set aside. Add some flour to the pan, cook until light brown, then add white wine, beef bouillon, tomato paste, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer, then add the rouladen, cover, and simmer for 30-40 minutes.

For the mashed pumpkin and potatoes: Steam peeled and coarsely diced potatoes until ready to eat. Cook peeled and coarsely chopped pumpkin in microwave until tender, drain well. Combine potatoes, pumpkin, butter, hot milk, salt, and pepper and mash.

This would have been nicer with butternut or hokkaido, but that's not what we had in the biokiste and the end result was pretty good anyway. :-)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thursday : mushroom-leek soup

Driven by the mushrooms I found on sale...

Cook some quartered mushrooms in butter over high heat until they take on some color. Add sliced leek and cook a bit longer until the leek softens. Add chicken bouillon, water, a bay leaf, and a couple cloves, and let simmer 15-20 minutes. Puree, add additional butter to taste, and serve sprinkled with a bit of raclette spice.

Together with bread and big salad this made for a nice meal.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Saturday: beans and greans

When there's a big head of escarole in the biokiste, it's almost too easy to decide what to do. :-)

Cook diced onion, diced carrot, and chopped garlic in olive oil until the onions soften. Add fennel seeds and cook another couple minutes, until the fennel is aromatic. Add chopped escarole and some salt and mix well to integrate. When the escarole wilts a bit add diced smoked pork shoulder, lemon zest, and some liquid from the white beans. Cover and simmer until the escarole is ready. Add cooked white beans and cook another couple minutes, until the beans are heated through. Just before serving add some fresh lemon juice to brighten it up. Serve drizzled with some good olive oil.

Definitely happy-making food. The fennel was quite a nice variation on the usual preparation.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Friday: Rösti Zweierlei

Though it looked really nice last time when I combined the potato and beet rösti in one pan, this time I did them separately so that things were properly cooked.

No complaints here. :-)

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Saturday: pumpkin soup, pork and turnip stew with polenta

Two good ones for a lazy, cool, Saturday.

The soup: cook diced onion and carrot together with garlic in peanut oil until the carrots start to soften. Add pumpkin pieces, stale bread pieces (cut small), water, and some vegetable bouillon. Simmer until the pumpkin is ready then puree. Add light cream, curry powder, white pepper, salt, and garam masala. Serve topped with pumpkin seeds and chili oil (grind fresh cayenne peppers with peanut oil in a mortar and pestle, strain through a fine sieve).

The stew: cook diced onion and carrot together with garlic in peanut oil (how original) until the onion softens, add some flour and cook another couple minutes. Deglaze with red wine, water, and a bit of beef bouillon. Add diced (1-2cm) turnip and smoked pork shoulder along with a couple cloves and a bay leaf. Simmer until everything is ready to eat.

We ate the stew (great flavor combination there) over polenta. This time I used bramata (coarse) polenta, then kind that takes 40-50 minutes to cook. The result is definitely better than fine polenta, but boy does it take a while. :-)

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Friday: beef and bean tortillas

An improv:

For the salsa: Cook chopped onion, garlic, and diced carrots in some neutral oil until the carrots soften a bit. Add chopped long green pepper and cook another couple minutes. Add ground cumin and coriander and cook until aromatic. Add tomato puree and chopped chipotles, cover, and let simmer 10 minutes or so. Add pinto beans and simmer for another 10 minutes.
For the beef: Sear some beef geschnetzeltes in neutral oil, season and set aside.
Make tortillas with beef, salsa, thinly sliced fresh onion, chopped cilantro, lettuce, and lime juice.

We ate this with roasted purple(!) cauliflower from the biokiste.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Wednesday: turkey schnitzel on a bed of greens

A random idea:

Cook sliced leek and coarsely chopped garlic with a couple piri piri peppers until the leek starts to soften. Add chard stems cut into 2cm pieces and either chard greens or lettuce (which is what I did since the chard greens were looking fairly sad). Cook covered for 5 or so minutes then add tomato puree and some salt and let simmer another 10 minutes.

Pound out turkey breast pieces; top with black pepper, Appenzeller, Sudtiroler Speck; fold over and fasten with a couple of toothpicks; season with salt and then quickly brown on two sides.

Put the turkey pieces on top of the greens, cover, and let cook until the turkey is cooked through and the cheese has started to melt. Serve immediately.

This was good food, the Appenzeller-smoked pork combination is a nice one to remember.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Monday: pumpkin risotto

There was still more roasted pumpkin to use, risotto seemed like a plan.

Mince an onion and cook it in butter with some small-diced carrot and diced smoked bacon until the onion and carrots start to soften. Add the rice and toast lightly. Add white wine, chicken stock, chopped roasted pumpkin (it will disintegrate), lemon zest, chopped sage, and salt and do the risotto thing. Serve topped with shaved parmesan.


Monday, November 01, 2010

Sunday: pasta with pumpkin and leek

Before leaving for Berlin I cut the piece of pumpkin we had from the biokiste into chunks and then roasted those with a bit of olive oil and salt before tossing them in the fridge. Now it's time to use them.

Thinly slice a leek and cook it with a bit of olive oil and some garlic until the leek lightly caramelizes. Add chopped roasted pumpkin, chopped sage, some white wine, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and a bit of cayenne. Before serving add a bit of pasta water. Serve over pasta (we used whole-wheat penne) and top with shaved parmesan and some sage threads.

Simple and very good.