Monday, 28 February 2011

Omelette Salad

In case you're still wondering what to have for lunch tomorrow, here's what I had the other day.
I kinda like omelettes and salad is always good, but together the flavours and textures make each other even better.
And...if this takes you more than 10 minutes you should probably get your knifes sharpened (just saying...)

Anyhow, rather than boring you with a recipe that I made up 5 minutes ago (because there is no recipe involved in making this) here's what you need:
Egg(s) to make an omelette
1 or 2 Tomatoes
Some Cucumber
Some Vinaigrette (i.e. some vinegar, some oil, and some herbs/spices)

Make an omelette. While the egg is having fun in the pan, wash the tomatoes and peel the cucumber, then cut them into pieces. Once the omelette is done rip it into pieces (and yes, in case you're wondering, I originally made this when I had an omelette-mishap, I think of it as my personal Kaiserschmarrn moment)
Anyhow, put the tomato, cucumber and omelette pieces into a lunchbox (that you know has a tight-fitting lid) and add some vinaigrette.
Now, get on with your life or get some work done :)

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Leeky Mashed Potatoes

I'm sorry I haven't written in a while but I haven't really cooked anything in a while either - until Wednesday night at least :)
Do you remember that recipe for Baked Potato Soup on Smitten Kitchen a while back?
Well, I had been eager to give it a go (especially with everyone posting pictures of their versions of FB) and then we finally had a chance to make some.
 If you feel like all you do is read and write these days then let me recommend this mash, it will feed your soul (and anything that has my 'good for the soul' stamp obviously doesn't have any calories!) and if you're really stressed out you can even get some work done while the veg is boiling (not that I did, I was too busy chopping and freezing herbs and being told off for being too German - does nobody else freeze leftover herbs?!?)
Oh, and I'm sorry about the title, too much reading and not enough cooking...

Leeky Mashed Potatoes
4 Baby Leeks
500g or so Potatoes (go for a floury variety)
1/2 Onion
100g Sour Cream
Some butter to fry the onion
A handful of grated cheese (we had a piece of mature cheddar kicking about in the fridge)
Enough water/stock to cover the potatoes

Peel the potatoes and cut them into 1.5cm pieces, dice the onion and wash and slice the white and light green bits of the leeks.
Heat some butter in a pot that will be large enough to hold all the vegetables, then sautee the onion. Once the onion has gone glassy, add the potatoes and give them a minute or so before you pour enough stock or hot water on top until the potatoes are covered.
Boil the potatoes until they are just starting to get tender, then add the leek and cook until the potatoes are tender enough to mash.
Remove the pot from the heat and drain the vegetables (keep some of the liquid in case the mash ends up too dry), then mash them roughly (you're not looking for the fluffiest mash you can think of but we're going for a more rustic feel with this) and stir in the sour cream and cheese.
Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. If you feel you're looking at a rather dry affair, add some of the cooking liquid you have saved.
Serve in in a pretty bowl and top with some roughly chopped dill.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Peppery Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

We made these for our board-game night and while I would like to be able to tell you how well they keep, we didn't have any leftovers so the answer is - I don't have a clue :)
I found these in 'Baked Explorations' and while it's already been out for a couple of months, I think if you're going to buy only one cake-related cookbook this year, make it this one!
Anyhow, let's get back to the cookies :)
The description in the book talks about how they are a grown-up version of Oreos but they keep reminding me of Prinzenrolle and being a kid (even though that has vanilla cookie on the outside and chocolate on the inside), but either way, they are amazing and out of the cookies I have made recently they have received the highest praise from my testers (so high that I am not quite comfortable repeating Manuel's comment).
Oh, and the general consensus was that while they are amazing if you use a 5cm cookie cutter, they would probably be even nicer if they were slightly smaller (and try sprinkling the fleur de sel evenly across the tops, not just the middle).

Peppery Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
450g Flour
3/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Fleur De Sel + more for decorating
11/2 tsp White Pepeper
30g Cocoa Powder (unsweetened)
350g Butter, cut into cubes, not cold but not at room temperature
250g Granulated Sugar
225g Icing Sugar
3 Egg Yolks
1 tbsp Vanilla Extract
100g Dark Chocolate, melted

For the filling:
150g Vegetable Shortening
50g Butter, both at room temperature
400g Icing Sugar
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 tsp Dark Rum (I know it's not gonna be super white, but think about the flavour)

Combine the first 5 ingredients in a bowl and set them aside.
Cream the butter and both sugars. Then, add the egg yolks, one at a time, followed by the vanilla and the melted chocolate. Whisk until things are properly mixed in.
Add half the dry ingredients, beat for about 15 seconds, add remainder beat until incorporated, don't overbeat at this point.
Chill the dough for at least 3 hours (I would just go for overnight, though creaming the butter in my flat at 10pm was a bit of a challenge).

Heat your oven to 350 degrees and line bakingsheets with parchment.
Take out 1/4 of the dough,put rest back into fridge (this is important, I tried to get around this and didn't's a lot easier if the dough is properly chilled).
Knead the dough until pliable, then roll it out until 1/4 inch thick, the surface gets a bit sticky so keep some flour handy in case you have to dust the surface with flour.
Cut out the cookies and transfer them to the baking sheet.
Continue with rest of dough. If you have scraps, put them back into the fridge for a while before you reuse them (don't try using them straight again...bad me....)
Sprinke the tops of cookies with fleur de sel (an even distribution was advocated by my trusty testers :) )
Bake the cookies for 12 minutes, rotating the sheet(s) halfway through.
Let  them cool for a bit, then, using a spatula, move the cookies from the sheets onto a wire rack and allow them to cool completely.
Beat the shortening and butter until smooth. Add the icing sugar in 3 parts. Then add the salt, vanilla and rum and beat again (while you stop youself from eating all the icing).
If the icing is too thick, add a drop of water and beat it again.
Fill the cookies with about 1tbsp icing each, then get some lovely people together and enjoy the cookies and their company :)

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Carrot Waffles

Is there anything better than hot, waffles on a Sunday Morning - topped with heaps of icing sugar, or some butter and maple syrup, or some jam and fake cream :) oh the options are endless.

Carrot Waffles
11/2 cups Really Fine Corn Meal (whatever that is called in your country, but don't go for the stuff some people use to thicken gravy, you're looking for the stuff that is still slightly grainy but finer than polenta)
13/4 cups Kamut Flour
1/4 cup Light Brown Sugar
1 tbsp Baking Powder
1/2 tbsp Ground Ginger
1 tsp Cinnamon
11/2 tsp Salt
1cup Carrot Juice
3/4 cup Milk
3 tbsp Melted Butter (+ some more for the waffle iron)
Juice of 1 Orange
2 Eggs

Turn your waffle iron/waffle maker (whatever you call it, I love you anyway)
Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
Whisk all the wet ingredients together, then pour wet into dry and whisk again.
Brush the waffle iron with butter and have fun making your waffles (don't you love these recipes that come together faster than you can say 'good morning' ?!?!?
Even though they are best straight out of the waffle iron, they freeze rather well...and make my kosher chocolate spread (don't ask...) taste quite good.

I hope you have a fabulous week!

Friday, 11 February 2011

Next Week

All right, I'm on my way to go skiing and to try to get my current chapter to start looking semi respectable.

While I'll venture into the internet-free zone and will be suffering through email-withdrawal and writersblock :)

© Regine Kattner-Zeiner

I won't leave you alone (well at least if this blog does what I've told it to do)
I've written a couple of posts for you which will (hopefully) keep you entertained until I get back with photos and stories of food and success (hopefully both on the skiing and writing fronts).
So...there won't be any facebook links, but I do hope to see you here at some point during the week.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

My Mum's Fruit Salad

Growing up we always seemed to have fruit salad. I'm convinced this was my mum trying to make us eat more fruit but unlike some of the other healthy stuff that tended to appear on our plates the fruit salad was actually nice (ok, that sounds a bit mean, but those of you who have nutritionists as mums will know what I mean) - who wouldn't want to have fruit salad for desert?
Before you ask, no this is not the version my mum made for us kids :) but she made one just like this when I went home for Christmas this time around.
And it was glorious!
Yes, if you're trying to loose weight, loose the kirsch and the sugar, but if you're looking for something that will transform a lovely fruit salad into something that you can't stop eating then let me suggest this version :)

Super Duper Fruit Salad
1 Pink Lady Apple
1 Banana
2 Kiwi Fruit
1 Orange
1 Pear
1 tbsp Kirschwasser
2 tsp Vanilla Sugar

Cut the apple, banana and pear (yes, believe it or not, I'm using pear in a recipe! I'm proud of myself!) into small pieces and put them into a bowl. Cut off the kiwi fruit skin, then cut them into small pieces and add to the bowl. Cut off the orange peel and cut out the segments. Squeeze the remainder of the orange and use the juice as part of the dressing (ok, I really can't think of a better way of putting this, if you are unsure about what I'm talking about then let me know and I'll think of a better way of describing this), then add the kirsch and sugar.
Enjoy by itself, with some whipped cream, some ice-cream, or whatever else you can think of :)

Monday, 7 February 2011

Boardgame Fun

This weekend we played Risk, had pizza, and explored the wonders of sandwich cookies.
Ok, let me rephrase that - we had people over, people played Risk and I had fun making pizza (if you've never tried pastrami on pizza, go and buy some now and make some pizza, like tonight!!!!) and cookies and then we played Taboo :) in my book that's the best way the work could have been split!
Anyhow, I thought I'd share some photos with you.

I'm probably not going to bother posting the pizza recipe because I really don't do anything special to the dough (if you're really stuck for a pizza dough recipe in the meantime, Luisa just posted a nice one at The Wednesday Chef).
I will, however, post the recipe for these at some point in the next few days....

Sunday, 6 February 2011


This is one of my favourite post-workout/comfort foods (I know, I should make a distinction between the two, but believe me, when you come home from a run or a spinning session and you've pushed yourself slightly too hard the boundaries get blurred).
Anyhow, this is one of those classic leftover-dishes that should stop being leftover-dishes and should just be eaten like every day!
Today's version had a mixture of pastrami and ham in it because we had all those leftovers from a board-game and pizza night yesterday (more about that tomorrow) and it worked just as well as a plain ham version does.

Pasta (you'll need less than you think you will, 100g dry pasta will feed a VERY hungry person)
Ham (30-50g per person will be more than enough, but if you're using leftovers just use as much or as little as you have)
Onion (I tend to use 1/2 an onion per person)
Eggs (I like using two eggs per person, but again go for whatever your fridge tells you to :) )

Boil the pasta.
After you've drained the pasta, heat some butter in a heavy bottomed pan. Cut the onion into fairly large pieces, aim for about 1/2 to 1 cm squares (if you're really slow when you're chopping things then I would do that before heating the butter) and sauté until they are lovely and glassy.
While the onions are sautéing away, cut the ham into pieces. Add the pasta to the onions, give them a quick stir (if you are using leftover pasta from last night, give them a minute or two to heat up a bit), then add the ham.
Crack the eggs into the pan and mix them in with everything else. Turn the heat down and cover the pan.
Give things a couple of minutes before you give them a stir.
The eggs should be non-glibbery at this point, otherwise give them another minute or two. I don't really care how much you like carbonara sauce, this is not what you're aiming for.
Season with some salt and pepper.
Turn up the heat for another one or two minutes so you get some nice and crusty bits before you pile everything onto plates.
Anyhow, I hope you'll all have a good start to your week, I am off to pretend to do some more work :)

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Chocolate Vodka

© Sandra Reisinger

Not that I have to say much more :)
But this is what Sandra and I do when we get bored of working on that thesis thing on Saturday evenings.
Ok, what we actually do is drink wine and read cookbooks, and then we try to figure out what we can make that doesn't involve us actually having to go to the supermarket. So when we came across this recipe that asked for 1/3 of a bottle of vodka and 2 bars of chocolate we knew we were on to a winner.
And let me tell went so much better after we had a shot of this and stopped caring about the fact that it was a Saturday (and after accepting that there wasn't really anything else to do in town anyway) :)
Anyhow, this chocolate vodka is amazing but slightly lethal because you can't really taste the alcohol. So if you have more than just a drizzle over some ice cream or as part of a wicked milkshake - don't blame me if you do something stupid like not finishing work that evening :)

Chocolate Vodka
A bottle of Vodka that has 1/3 of the vodka left 
2 bars of dark chocolate
A 5cm piece of vanilla pod

Break the chocolate into pieces and stick it all into the bottle, add the vanilla and put the open bottle into a pot that's half filled with water.

Heat the water and watch the chocolate melt into the vodka. Once the chocolate is happily melting away (don't allow the water to boil though!), screw the top back on and give the bottle a good shake.
You might have to stick the bottle back into the water if there's still some chocolate pieces in there.
Once there are no chocolate bits left and you are staring at a boozy chocolatey mess go and have some fun :)

© Sandra Reisinger

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Amaranth Porridge

Today I learned a couple of things:

-my lovely Opinel vegetable peeler seems to have a thing for my wrist but my wrist is not really returning the now I'm running around with a bad-ass plaster on my wrist (seriously, since when am I too stupid to use a vegetable peeler, I've been doing this for at least 20 years now and I've never managed to try to peel my wrist in the process of peeling a cucumber!)

-I should really work on my social life, otherwise I wouldn't have spent 15 minutes playing with the interactive figure that Matlab makes for you when you're doing an ANOVA (I had a really good time though :) )

-Amaranth makes some amazing porridge

I've had a bag of whole amaranth sitting at the back of my cupboard for the better part of a year now and while I had all those ideas of what I could make with it I never got around to doing anything with it.
So when I wanted to try Jenna's cooked grainy porridge and was rooting around for some quinoa (no success there) I came across that bag again.
And it kept staring at me.
And wouldn't stop.
So I decided to make some amaranth porridge which turned out to be a fantastic idea :)

Make it the night before, that way you'll have breakfast ready in 5 minutes max (and if you make two portions you'll even have your mid-morning snack sorted). Oh, and the recipe makes quite a lot, so if you go for the same quantities it should last you a few days.

Amaranth Porridge
1 cup Amaranth
4 cups Liquid ( I used 21/2 cups water, 1 cup orange juice and 1/2 cup cream, replace them according to your preferences)
1/2 cup Raisins
6cm of Vanilla Pod

In a saucepan mix all ingredients other than the milk.
Bring to a boil, then cover and allow the mix to simmer until the amaranth is done. This should take about 45 minutes.
Once the amaranth is tender (or whatever you call that state in a grain), stir in the cream.
If you feel it's too runny, give it another minute or so (it won't turn into a brick in the fridge even if it's fairly thick to start off with).
Now, this tastes lovely when it's warm, but I feel it's true calling was to be a quick cold breakfast or lunch.
It's amazing with some fruit and yoghurt, and some runny jam (the last bits of my mum's super yummy uncooked blackcurrant jam) or some agave syrup turns it into a real treat :)

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