Nach mehreren Wochen(enden) Enthaltsamkeit wegen anderer Termine, ging ich wieder Samstags auf den Markt am Gutenbergplatz. Ich liebe diesen Markt. Ich hatte nur grob überlegt, was ich kaufen wollte, und ließ mich treiben. Aber es ist egal zu welcher Jahreszeit man hingeht, irgenetwas leckeres gibt es immer. So hatte ich nach kurzer Zeit verschiedene Gemüse, Pfifferlinge (!), ein Stubenküken, Rotbarbenfilets, frische Rote Bete, Äpfel, Walnüsse und Kräuter.
Langsam reifte ein Plan: 3 Gänge, Fisch, Salat, Geflügel.
Da meine Freundin sich mit Gräten schwertut, hab ich die Rotbarbenfilets mit meiner tollen Häckselmaschine unter der Zugabe von Sahne, Salz, Pfeffer und Muskat kleingehackt. Danach hab ich die Masse nochmal kaltgestellt. Später hab ich Klösschen mit dem Löffel geformt und in köchelndem Wasser ziehen lassen.
Die Sauce hab ich gebastelt aus reduziertem Fischfond, etwas Krebsbutter, Noilly Prat (der berühmte Wermut),
Weisswein, Sahne und Safranfäden. Und als Unterlage für die Klösschen in Butter gebratene Lauchringe.
Das gab die ersten Lobeshymnen.

Der 2. Gang bestand aus Rote Bete in Scheiben, Bratapfel auch in Scheiben (Elstar), Schafkäse, Walnüsse, Thymian, Oregano, weisser Balsamico und Olivenöl. Das Rezept stand im Kurier und stammt von Herrn Nagel vom „Kranz“ in Neureut. Ausgesprochen lecker, es ergänzt sich alles ganz wunderbar!

Für den Hauptgang hab ich die Zucchini tourniert und in Gemüsebrühe gedünstet. Dann den Rosenkohl geputzt und gedünstet. Das Stubenküken in 2 Hälften geschnitten, und mit den Kartoffeln (La Ratte) in Olivenöl  und Meersalz auf’s Blech. Als das Küken fertig war, die geputzten Pfifferlinge schnell in Butter angebraten, Petersilie dazu und anrichten. Der feuchte Fleck auf dem Teller kommt davon, dass ich den Bratensatz mit etwas Weisswein gelöst und ihn auch noch auf den Teller gegeben habe.
Das Essen hat sehr gut geschmeckt, vor allem Vorspeise und Salat waren echte Geschmacksbomben.
An solchen Tagen bin ich dann auch zufrieden, auch wenn die Fotos immer noch nicht so toll sind…


Holy Mole!

Over the last year or so, I’ve become more interested in chiles and their role in flavoring south-of-the-border dishes. On the one hand, I like the heat, but, on the other hand, there are interesting flavors out there, such as the citrus taste in habanero chiles. I found two internet stores that sell dried chiles imported from Mexico here in Germany, and ordered a mess of them. While ordering, I noticed the store had a prepackaged mole poblano powder for sale. I’ve had mole sauce only once more than 20 years ago and wanted to try it again. I figured it would be a lot easier to try the prefab stuff, as I had read that constructing the sauce yourself is an ambitious program. Anyway yesterday was the day. 4 chicken legs went into a pot of water deep enough to cover the meat. I brought the pot to a boil, then reduced it to simmering and let it go for 30 minutes. Then I put the chicken in a frying pan with some oil and browned and seasoned it with salt and pepper. For the sauce I put 2 tablespoons of oil in a pot, added the mole powder and stirred, according to instructions, until the powder turned sticky. Then I added 1/2 liter of the reduced chicken broth. It made a thick sauce. This sauce was draped over the chicken and was placed in the oven for 20 minutes. I served it with Spanish rice.

It was good, with different flavors competing for attention (Cinnamon, Cocoa, a little heat, a little sweet, but not much). All in all, a good meal for someone who wants assertive flavors. And filling, too!

A salad of sorts

Inspired again by a picture in Lea Linster’s new book, I attempted to emulate the master and failed…again.
This time, I perceive the reason to be lack of variety of vegetables (not entirely my fault), and my tendency to want to have everything on one plate, hence the chicken  She makes this salad without meat, I use chicken strips. I cut brunoise zucchini, seeds and middle removed, about 1 each, and saute the dice with garlic in olive oil.
Several sprigs of thyme are added and later removed. This mixture is cooled and later pureed with 1 tbsp. of olive oil. I added rocket for it’s spice. The vegetables I used are eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers, onion, garlic. These are fried, then roasted in the oven. Later , take the cooled zucchini mix out of the fridge, cut the rocket into short pieces and add to a mixer. I have a cool hand-pulley machine with a sharp blade, so that is what I use. Before, I cooked the cous-cous and added the juice of a lemon and some tomato cubes. This I spread out on the plate. Then I put the metal ring in the center and added 2 tbsp. of the zucchini puree. In her book, she describes sticking various vegetables into the puree, using it as a fixing glue. Needless to say, my 3 variations did not fit the bill. I did, howevever, make the vinaigrette, and added a 1/2 tsp of mustard (one of  the ones with the grains) for the salad. The vegetables were fried in a grill-pan with raised ridges.
The zucchini came out really good, the eggplant was a bit dry/greasy, the mushrooms were tasty.
I then tried to assemble a good-lookin‘ plate, adding fried long strips of chicken breast that was rolled in szechuan pepper. First the cous-cous,
then the puree,
then the vegetable assembly,
then the warm meat strips,
then the vinaigrette.
This all sounds sophisticated, the reality was that the salad tasted humdrum (same procedure…),
The zucchini mix was good, and the vegetables, grilled or not, were banal
The meat was actually quite tasty, especially with the szechuan pepper (very aromatic).
In the summertime I would/will make this with artichoke hearts, roasted bell peppers,
maybe asparagus and possibly ‚Bärlauch‘ (wild garlic, when in season in spring), using cous-cous or quinoa.

The picture leaves something to be desired- the pic is sloppy as are the 2-3 before it. I think I have to invest in a tripod, or start to think like one. All in all the meal tasted somewhat better than it looked, which, I suppose, is no compliment in itself.

Da hamse den Salat!

Nachdem am Tag zuvor ein Gulasch nicht wirklich die Fleischeslust befriedigte, wurde entschieden, am folgendem Abend etwas ohne Fleisch zuzubereiten. Ich wollte mal Calamari zubereiten, und etwas Leichtes sollte es auch sein. Die Grundlage waren ein Salatherz, Kresse und Rucola. Dann Calamari (TK; sanft aufgetaut), Zitronenfilets, zu Brunoise gewürfelt, Olivenöl, Salz und Kirschtomaten.
Wie man unschwer erkennen kann, haben die Calamari nicht die schöne Bräune, die mehr Geschmack verspricht.
Die Pfanne war mordsheiss, aber mit 400g Meeresfrüchten auf einmal schlicht überfordert (nächstes Mal nehm ich 2 Pfannen), und hat sofort Wasser gezogen. Naja- geschmeckt hat es trotzdem, und zu Kaugummi sind sie auch nicht geworden. Das Chaos auf dem Teller entsteht, weil ich immer zu viel auf einmal will.

Aber seht selbst…

New Year’s Eve

One of my presents at Christmas was a cookbook. The new book by Lea Linster. Foodies will know she is the chef of her own restaurant in Luxemburg and has had a Michelin star for over 20 years. The book is different from many other cookbooks, inasfar as it is cookable. The recipes are not hard, they just rely on best ingredients.
Leafing through the book for the first time, this recipe caught my eye right away. I imagined the way the flavors would interact and was already wondering with what I would replace the chive-flowers.
The original recipe is decorated with chervil, a lone chive sticking straight up and a lavender chive flower.
The avocado filling is a variation of a guacamole without tomatoes. It has a 1/2 chopped shallot, 1 tsp. chopped garlic, 1 ripe avocado, 2 tbsp. lime juice, salt, pepper, 2 tbsp. sour cream, and grated fresh horseradish (about 1 tsp.). The original recipe suggests either smoked or cured salmon, I got some Sockeye with a very nice dry meat and an excellent taste. The individual slices are laid on a piece of cellophane, overlapping one another. Then the smooth avocado mixture (which has been strained through a fine sieve in order to remove small, bothersome objects) is placed in a line at the start of the roll. Lea Linster suggests using a pastry bag, but for just one roll, I used a spoon, with excellent results. The rest is surprisingly easy: Start rolling the salmon by tugging on the cellophane and helping the roll find it’s course. Once rolled, seal the ends and place in the freezer for 30-40 minutes. cut into slices, decorate (I added late-year chanterelles and lambsbreath salad). There were lots of ooooooooooooohs and aaaaaaaaaaaaahs, so I thought a picture might be in order.