Heaven on a plate

Just stumbled across this delicious reminder of past suppers: salt and pepper squid with spring onions, capers, chilli oil, balsamic vinegar and a poached egg.

Add fresh bread and a crisp white wine and…  it’s heaven on a plate. Plan to be dining heavenly very soon…

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Sea Buckthorn

stalks removed, still frozen

stalks removed, still frozen

Following my earlier report on the painfully thorny nature of Sea Buckthorn (known to Germans as Sanddorn), there’s the complete story.

We received a load of Sea Buckthorn in October, just when we had no time to process it. We wrapped it in cloth and froze it, after having been told that it freezes well and that the berries are much easier removed when frozen anyhow.

I finally removed the still frozen berries from the stalks today, defrosted them, extracted 1750 g of Marc de Sea Buckthorn, and made 12 jars of Sea Buckthorn jam. Very fruity, very delicious.

Ouch Ouch Sea Buckthorn

DSC_0832Here’s yet another episode or our 2015 foraging and preserving adventures: Sea Buckthorn, known to Germans as Sanddorn.

Our friend Julie was kind enough to sacrifice her skin and blood to forage a large bag of the bright orange, juicy and tasty berries down by the sea. Nature protects the berries with vicious long, thin and sharp thorns, so we are deeply grateful for Julie’s help.

Right now, the berries rest in the deep freezer. They freeze well and, once frozen, come off the branch much easier. As soon as we have time, later in the month, we will juice them and make Sea Buckthorn Jelly.

Vine Harvest

DSC_0694We were faster than the starlings this year and harvested 2 buckets of dark blue grapes from the vine on the front of our house yesterday. Those were then washed and picked off the stalks, juiced, filtered, and preserved as a rich fruit juice or light cordial in sterilized bottles.

4.5 litres in total, that’s not too bad for a north-facing wall in London, I should think. And it has quite a nice flavour, too.

Sloes Going Slow

DSC_0838We started our first batch of Sloe Gin yesterday. Never made it, never even sampled it, but given the abundance of Sloe in nearby meadows, and given how many of our local friends go all hmm-sloe-gin at the mention, we thought we’d give it a try.

We picked 1.2 kg of Sloe, sterilized a suitably sized vessel, washed and pricked the berries. We added 100 g of Sugar and a litre of Gin, and sealed the jar.

Now it sits in a quiet place and waits for Christmas.

India Cookbook

imWith fond memories on all the fantastic food I sampled in the Gujarat, India, and being boosted by the recent gift of The India Cookbook, we made our own India-style feast for two yesterday. From top left to bottom right:

Papaya with black onion seeds (we couldn’t get decent Mango at this time of the year),

Spicy Lentil soup (which turned out very hot but worked well with the milder parts of the meal),

Crispy Chilli Paneer (which could have been hotter but was lovely and crunchy),

Curried Tomatoes and Onions (which were absolutely spot-on),

Curried Aubergines with Yoghurt and Tamarind (which were lovely),

Mutton curry in yoghurt and spices (yummy and rich in aroma), and

Chapatis (which puffed up only half, then burst and released the steam, preventing the other half from puffing up. I should have held them down first, as was written in the book.

All in all, we were pleased, thought it tasted like the real thing, and the house certainly smelled fantastic.

Friday’s Delight And Wonder

cb-lYou can tell it must be Friday from the fact that a pudding just came out of the oven, mid afternoon. We’ll have Creme Brulee tonight, and like almost every week, I can’t help but wonder how many different puddings can be made from sugar, milk and egg, with nothing but the slightest variations in recipe or method.

Creme Brulee: use only egg yolks, use milk and cream half and half, bake in a water bath at 190 C

Pudim Flan: like Creme Brulee but use whole eggs, use just milk, bake in water bath at 145 C

Custard: like Creme Brulee, but stir hot milk into cold eggs and whisk, don’t boil after the mix

Creme Patisiere: like Custard, but be easy on the cream and add a little flour, add more heat when mixing

German Pudding: like Pudim Flan but add corn starch and cook like Creme Patisiere

I am sure there are more desserts, each and every one delicious in its own right, different by slightly different cooking methods, mixing temperature and processes, cream to milk and egg white to yolk ratios. Fascinating, isn’t it?

 

Super Spicy Squid Supper

Spicy Squid mealOne of the household favourites. We call it Salt and Pepper Squid, but it has come a long way since.

Cut the tubes into thick rings, toss in flour, then in lightly beaten egg white, then in a mix of capers, spring onions, parsley, crushed chilli, salt and pepper. Toss the tentacles in salted flour. Quickly shallow-fry in grape seed oil, drain well and serve with Sauce Vierge and a poached egg.

Dress with chilli oil and Balsamic vinegar.

The picture to the left shows a rather busy plate because I was over-indulging myself with Sauce Vierge and the amount of squid, but given that this meal is so very tasty, I didn’t mind the portion size. Below are a few somewhat nicer presentations from earlier occasions (some without Sauce Vierge).

 

Nom Nom Nom

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Ah,  I love it when the garden begins producing. We enjoy regular and generous harvests of Swiss Chard already. The Mange-tout peas will be ready  in two weeks,  radishes in a few days, and herbs are available in abundance.

All just 3 steps out of my garden door,  how cool is that?

Yesterday’s supper is today’s lunch: fresh garden vegetables soup with slow cooked crisp pork belly and spicy chorizo.
Love it.

Scrumptious Goats’ Cheese Tarte

DSC_1002-pNew recipe invented, cooked, sampled and found delicious: a scrumptious goats’ cheese tarte with gremolata, beetroot and caramelized onions.

It’s even vegetarian!

Check it out! http://food.gauweiler.net/index.php/recipes/40-goats-cheese-tarte

 

Tarte Flambé

Tarte FlambeeAt long last, the Tarte Flambé recipe is written up and posted on food.gauweiler.net.

All along with the not-so serious Tarte Flambé for Dummies booklet which I made some while ago for a friend.

 

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Roasted Pork Belly And … Whatever

201503251953591Last night’s supper, today’s lunch, and one of my current favourites.

I suppose this dish should be called Seasonal Vegetable Soup with Roasted Belly of Pork, but the pork belly is the star of the show no matter how delicious the soup is. So it’s really all about the roasted pork belly with crispy crackling skin and … whatever soup you find to go with it.

I added the pork belly recipe to our recipe collection, it’s right here: http://food.gauweiler.net/index.php/recipes/39-pork-belly.