Thursday, November 24, 2016

Stew season again

Fall is the right time for soul food like stews. Still with lots of vegetables..
This time I mixed chick peas, fennel and cauliflower.
Start with a large pot and roast onions and garlic in olive oil (like always), add carrots, leek and celery in dices until they have a roasty aroma.
If you wish to add some meat, this is the right time to do so, possibly two or three different kinds of it, otherwise the vegan version is perfectly fine, too.
Fill up with water and add chilies to taste. 
I cooked all the other ingredients separately. It is a little more effort and more to clean up, but this way you have better control of the cooking times and maybe you want to do a different combination next time.
This is what I added to the mix:
Cauliflower, cooked in salt water, about 10 minutes
Chick peas which were soaked in cold water for 24 hours, cooking time about 30 minutes
Pearl barley, about 30 minutes in salt water
Fennel and scallions, diced small, about 10 minutes

In the end, add as much of everything as you like and keep up all your options for different combinations - don't forget: sprinkle with lots of chopped parsley and some grated Pecorino cheese

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Carbonara is easy to make

Spaghetti Carbonara - or in this case Bavette Carbonara is one of those dishes you can throw together in 15 minutes when you arrive home late or don't have much time to cook. Always better to cook yourself than to get some processed convenience food from the supermarket.
The original Carbonara was made with "guanciale - pork cheek", salt, pepper, eggs and pecorino cheese - so no cream is added!!
This is my variety - since I don't always have pork cheek at home, I added diced smoke-dried meat to a small diced onion in a spoonful of olive oil. Roast slowly while waiting for the pasta water to boil. When the pasta is ready, add it directly to the mix in the pan and add two or three eggs directly. Stir the whole mix until the eggs are mixed up with the rest and serve with lots of chopped parsley.

Clementine jelly

I have been to Italy, recently, and brought loads of vegetable and fruit. Sometimes it is easy to exaggerate when you see all the good aromatic stuff, unfortunately in Germany there is much less sun and much more rain. So I had a whole box of clementines which were going to rot (of course also not treated, so they won't last in eternity like those from the supermarket - which is a good sign, of course). Last year - and also this year - I made quince jelly which was great to eat on toast or also with a spicy cheese. So this time it will be clementine jelly:
clementines non treated
jam sugar

Squeeze the clementines and add peel to taste if you like the more bitter variety, the jam sugar indicates the proportion of sugar and juice. I prefer to add less sugar so I usually take the 2:1 version, 2 parts juice, 1 part sugar.
Be sure to have your jars ready, sterilized in hot water.
Boil the juice with the sugar in a pot and stir for about 10 minutes. Then fill them in the jars directly and put the jars on top for about 10 minutes.
Done - great gift also to bring along for friends and family.