Thursday, June 9, 2016

Nearly vegan curry

I still have been cooking but not posting about it - a first this year. I hope I can go back to blogging about food again. I was very busy with our B-Litter and with our other three giants among whom there are two quite stubborn teenagers who need a lot of training and discipline.

I have been to an Indian restaurant these days and got a great curry. Very nice, go visit them when you are in the region.  It is called Suriya and is situated in Ludwigsburg, South Germany. We forgot to tell them precisely if we wanted mild, hot or very hot.. So we got the mild version. I said then that I would have liked to have some spice and got an extra sauce for conditioning. They didn't fail to tell me to be very cautious because it is extremely hot. In fact it was but mixing I got just the right taste.
So I wanted to try make a curry myself. Actually, reading all over the internet, there are so many recipes that it is difficult to choose.

This is where I got the basic idea:

Suggested/ what I made:
2 table spoons of peanut butter / ok
15 g butter/ had none put none
1 large onion, diced/ ok
1 table spoon of fresh sliced ginger/ had none, will put it next time however
2 table spoons of sliced garlic/ put one garlic clove, should be enough
1 tea spoon of cinnamon/ ok
1 tea spoon of black pepper/ actually I forgot it, but I prefer chili
2 table spoons of ground coriander/ ok
2 table spoons of cumin/ ok
1/4 tea spoon of turmeric/ ok
2 tomatoes/ had only cherry tomatoes but leftover tomato juice, about 1/4 liter
1 tea spoon of cayenne/ dried chilis
2 red chilis without seeds/ more dried chilis
2-4 table spoons of fresh coriander herbs/ I put only 1 tea spoon. In my opinion too much coriander herbs can destroy a whole dish. Got once an otherwise great ceviche in Costa Rica which was so full of it that it was really a pity for the taste of the fresh fish.
110 g yogurt/ I put 150 g of yogurt
680 ml water/ since I put tomato juice I didn't add any water

Next time I will add the ginger, roast the spices in a pan before adding them and make lots more of this curry, so I can freeze it for next time.

The curry sauce goes well with this combination: sliced avocado - avocado is always good - roasted banana and mango, whole grain rice with chick peas and yogurt with sunflower and pumpkin seeds.
Yogurt seems to be served quite often as a side with Indian dishes and it seems it is to take away the hot feeling of the chilis and cayenne, works really good!
If you use a dairy-free yogurt for the sauce and side dish you have a vegan, yummy and nutrient meal!
For my restart I want to add a nice youtube music video which goes well with the dishes every time now. So India - there must be lots of different kinds of music but I am not really into them.
This one  is from an older movie, very nice scenes and dance, music starts around 4.00

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

End of quince season - quince jelly

I still had a couple of quinces in the kitchen. They have such a great scent but in the end they have to be used up as well. So I decided to make quince jelly. Really easy peasy. First jelly in my life but one of the easiest things to do, I took the recipe from "Essen und Trinken" - a really great source for recipes.

Cut the quinces up in pieces, leave the peel on, just take off the stem. Put them at once in a bowl of water with lemon juice, so they will keep their color (more or less.)  Cook in water until soft - about 30-40 minutes. Then use a linen cloth or kitchen towel as a strainer and let the juice drop off. Add a little bit of orange or lemon juice to taste. Then I added the special canning sugar which contains pectine in order to make the liquid become jelly - measure about 1:1. You can also use sugar and add the pectin so you need less sugar, I guess I will try this next time.
Stir in pot about 5 minutes then put at once in the before sterilized glass jars.
I made some of the jars with chili pieces. They went to the top. Next time I guess I will put whole chilis inside, also for the look of it. - Perfect side dish for goat cheese - sweet and spicy!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Roasted Oven Vegetable

Very simple recipe again. I wanted to try sweet potatoes and looked for others remainders in my fridge:
Parsil roots and carots.
Sprinkle with olive oil, a bit of salt and roast for about 30 minutes in the oven, 200 Celsius. Then another 10 minutes after putting on some rosemary to taste.
Great simple sauce for dipping:
Mayonnaise, 2 spoons of rum or cognac, orange or lemon grated to taste, salt

Friday, November 6, 2015

Quince carpaccio

Now, in fall season, our quince tree left us with lots and lots of quinces. Some of them were given to others and with the rest we have to be creative. The classic recipe for quinces are jams and jellies but that isn't enought. I already made cakes with quinces and quince mustard (great together with goat cheese) and now I am trying quince carpaccio, quince vinaigrette and quince and pumpkin stew. Another interesting recipe was for quince punch - great for the cold fall days. I discovered that my dogs, which are great apple and pear eaters, also like raw quince, so that makes part of their diet, too. Although - actually we had two quince trees last year but the puppies peeled off the whole bark and the poor tree dried out and died.
Now for the quince carpaccio.
I grated one quince - it is important to sprinkle lemon or lime juice at once, otherwise the pieces won't keep their yellow color but go to a kind of ugly brown - and mix it. Then add some salt. I had a grapefruit in the fridge which I added, in the style of a vegetarian ceviche.  I must say, the aroma of quince and grapefruit combined perfectly and were a great side dish to the roasted prawns I made. -

Thursday, October 8, 2015

White fish in foil

I had lots of vegetable still from my shopping trip to the farmer's market. Sometimes there is so much good stuff, I buy a little too much. Solution: chop up part of it and freeze for the next minestrone or vegetable curry. The other part came in my fish dish in the evening:
Yellow and green zucchini, cherry tomatoes, carrots, spring onions and chilis.
whatever is to your liking, just pay attention to cut them according to their cooking time. You don't want part of the vegetables to be overcooked and the others to be still raw.

I put them in the oven with about 180 Centigrade for half an hour, adding just salt and dash of white wine, the vegetable kept the beautiful colors. For an extra taste, I then put them in a pan for about 10 minutes in order the finish the dish.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Chinese cabbage salad

You know Chinese cabbage? Maybe you agree with me that it can be one of the most boring vegetables. I have seen it many times on the salad buffet, mostly as staff food in large hotels. When it is cut and remains outside for some time, it gets even more boring because it gets dry, not even the greatest salad dressing (and believe me, they don't put that out for staff either) can help it. Most of the time I avoid to buy it, also because you have a really large chunk of vegetable to work.
The trick is to let the dressing get inside the china cabbage and let it rest for at least 20 minutes, the leaves take up the dressing beautifully then. I decided to make a fancy dressing with different flavors: sweet, spicy and hot:

Many recipes with China cabbage are with fruit because this combines quite well.
My ingredients for the dressing:
2 shallots
1 pear
2-3 table spoons of orange mustard
(if you don't have them use normal mustard and orange peel)
a dash of white wine
a dash of water
sea salt
different oils - this time I used grape seed oil and sunflower oil.
Would be perfect with a walnut or peanut oil, too.

Fry the shallots until they have that glassy look, then put them on the salad with a little bit of the frying oil.
Mix up the other ingredients and blend them.
In the end I added roasted cashews.

And remember, it is worth a try and a great salad to bring to a barbecue, goes fine with meat, too.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Chili con carne - texan style (mostly)

I am listening to a nice audio book called "Texas Cooking" right now that gave me the idea to try a Texan recipe. First thing which comes to mind: Chili con carne, of course. I found a really nice recipe on another blog and was amazed how many types of chili there are. Of course I couldn't find the chipotle in one of our stores, so I had to cheat a bit. The chipotle would be a smoked jalapeno which gives this special flavor to the dish. I didn't want to buy any of those bottles in the supermarket, nor liquid smoke, so I used smoked bacon instead. 
Here are the ingredients I used:
1 diced onion
Beef, cut in small pieces - about 1 pound
Minced beef - about 1 pound
Smoked bacon - about 1cup
All different kinds of chilies, I only had the two types you see below
half a glass of beer
1 can of diced tomatoes
My special homemade spicer in the glass made of garlic, almonds, white wine, bread crumbs, olive oil and sea salt
clove (just 1!)
1 tablespoon of cocoa

I took the original Texan recipe as an inspiration, so don't tell it to any Texans, as I understood, they usually don't put beans in it (which I didn't) and neither tomatoes (which I did).
Next time I would put more spices and add diffent kinds of chili, hopefully also the chipotle.
By the way, sorry for the pictures, they really are not much, hopefully I will make better ones!