Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Squash and lamb's lettuce

Now there is fall again - squash season. I like to use hokkaido because you don't have to cut off the peel but prefer the taste of butternut.
The important thing about squash is to add flavors - especially spicy ones - otherwise it is too bland for my taste.
Lamb's lettuce is a typical salad of fall season and it has a great earthy taste.  I only buy the German one because the French lettuce is planted in sandy ground and you can even wash it ten times and there will still be that grain of sand which you feel between your teeth at a certain point - a really nasty taste!

For the dressing I roasted red onions cut in dices, adding a spoonful of water and a teaspoon full of raspberry vinegar, give the dressing over the salad when it is still warm, add a sprinkle of lemon and a spoon full of olive oil.

The squash was cut into pieces, adding a chili and some sea salt, roasting it slowly in a pan, adding a little bit of water or white wine.

That's it.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Calf cheek with red Camargue rice, buckwheat, carrots and hokkaido

I am reading lots of vegan blogs and recipes right now. Some time ago it seemed to me that vegan was all about imitating meat and sausages with other ingredients like soja. I still have this memory of school. When we went on our school trip for one week in the north of Germany to an old farm house where we cooked ourselves, one of our teachers was a vegetarian so we had very little meat  we brought along - which didn't really disturb me. However we had some kind of fake meat made of soja which had such a terrible taste (not like meat and not like vegetable but like licorice - really nasty) that I couldn't really understand the idea of eating badly imitated meat products.
Now vegans have really understood how important it is to cook yourself using all the great ingredients which are offered from nature.
I really got great ideas from some of those blogs:
I tried chia pudding which has become one of my favorites, I tried buckwheat and am absolutely flashed by it's taste. Amaranth has been a bit of a delusion until now. I tried to pop it, didn't work out, and somehow these grains are really really tiny. Maybe I will rather stay with quinoa.
More experiments to come.

I still had red Camargue rice which is really good but takes an awful long time to cook, about 40 minutes. Separately I cooked some buckwheat for about 15 minutes. Both together, topped with some roasted cashews have a wonderful nutty taste, you don't even need onions or garlic with it.
Vegetables were roasted carots and hokkaido pumpkin, made in the oven just topped with salt and some pumpkin seed oil.

The meat - veal cheeks - were made like this:
Cut dices of onions, carots, parsley roots, celery and roast altogether in a large pot, add some slices of garlic and wild garlic. After 10 minutes add the calf cheeks and braise until they have a nice dark color on all sides, then slice them up in pieces thick about 1 finger, add tomato juice and wine to taste and continue until the meat is done.

Black lentil salad

Black lentils are great and have an excellent taste. I ate them for the first time at a festivity in a restaurant. 
I don't know their recipe, I like to combine different tastes, in this case spicy, sweet and sour.

Black lentils - amount depends on your plans, for a starter calculate about 50 g per person, I added chilies, grated orange peel, wild garlic leaves and salt.
Don't cook them in too much water, they will loose their beautiful black color. Instead make a little "soffrito"and add water slowly until they are cooked as you like them. Then add your other ingedients.