Mutabbal

One of my favourite Mezzeh in Oman was Mutabbal, a roasted aubergine dip. I ate it for breakfast and most often later during the day again. This recipe is super easy and tastes absolutely delicious, have a try!

2 medium aubergines
1 clove of garlic
60g tahini
125g yoghurt
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon ground cumin
extra virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 250°C.

Cut the aubergines into half, place on a baking tray lined with parchment with the cut side down. Pinch the dark side with a fork all over the aubergine.

Bake /grill (if you have one) the aubergine in the oven until very soft (about 30 minutes). Take out and leave to cool for a while. Peel off the skin and chop the flesh into rough chunks. Place in a sieve and press out as much liquid as you can.


Blitz the drained aubergine with garlic, tahini, yoghurt, lemon juice and cumin into a smooth paste. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve in a bowl topped with good quality olive oil and fresh pomegranate seeds, sumach, and arabic flatbreads.

Stuffed Mushrooms


I found this recipe on the BBC Good Food Healthy Diet plan website and liked how easy it is to prepare. I adapted the recipe slightly. We cannot get hold of portobello or any other large mushrooms in Germany so I used  smaller ones instead.

For two portions:

8-10 medium sized mushrooms (or 4 portobello mushrooms)
olive oil
3 tablespoons of fine bulgur wheat
100g feta cheese
10 walnuts
1 clove of garlic
2 teaspoons of herbs of Provence 
pepper, salt, cayenne pepper

Remove the stalks from the mushrooms and place onto a baking tray with the closed side up. Brush with some olive oil and bake in the oven for 15 minutes.

In the meantime, cook the bulgur wheat in boiling water (slightly more than covering the bulgur) for about 8 minutes.

Remove all the liquid from the mushrooms and baking tray with paper towel, turn them. Mix cooked bulgur with chopped feta cheese, walnuts and pressed garlic. Add spices to taste and fill mushrooms.

Bake mushrooms for about 10 minutes until golden brown. Enjoy 🙂

Pidgeon on Celeriac Puree and Fondant Potato with a Red Wine Jus

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For 2 starters:

1 plucked pigdeon

300g celeriac, peeled and cut into chunks

2 medium sized potatoes

2 shallots, finely diced

1 large carrot, finely diced

1 small parsnip, peeled and finely diced

1 stalk of celery, finely diced

250 ml red wine

200ml chicken/game stock

1.5 tablespoons red currant jelly

butter, goose fat

milk/cream

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Prepare the pidgeon by making a small incision into the skin and pulling the fatty skin off the meat. It is easier to see the pigeon breast this way. Run your knife down both sides of the breast bone and carefully remove the two breasts. Set aside.

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Peel the potatoes and cut of the sides to get even edges. Use a round or shaped cookie cutter to cut out a piece of potato. Heat a pan with some butter and brown the potato from both sides. Add chicken stock to cover the potatoes completely and cook until tender (takes quite a while!).

Heat about a tablespoon of butter and one tablespoon of goose fat in a small pan. Add the chopped shallot, carrot, celery and parsnip and cook until they start to soften and brown. Deglaze with some of the red wine and add the chicken stock. Let it simmer for 30 minutes and add some more wine if necessary. Pour the sauce into a blender and puree until you get a smooth but thick sauce. Add the red currant jelly to the sauce. Strain to remove all remaining chunks and collect in a bowl. In the meantime heat a knob of butter in a  pan and stir in some flour to prepare a roux. Pour over the sauce and stir to get a wonderfully thick and creamy sauce.

Bring water to a boil and  cook the celeriac chunks until tender. Strain and transfer to a blender with a knob of butter and some milk or cream. Puree and add some more milk/cream for the right consistency. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm.

Heat butter in a pan and cook the pigeon breast for 1-2 minutes on both sides. Serve on a bed of celeriac puree, fondant potato and red wine jus, enjoy!

We tried to make confit pigeon legs and wings but there wasn’t much meat on it, not really worth the effort 😉

Minted Pea Soup

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2 portions:
1 small leek
1 medium onion
1 carrot
2 small potatoes
300g frozen peas
10 fresh mint leaves (rinsed)
500-600ml chicken stock
2 tablespoons vinegar (cider vinegar, white wine, etc.)
butter
2 tablespoons Greek style yoghurt
1 teaspoon fresh red chilli
2 slices Parma ham
 

Chop the onion, leek, carrot and potatoes into small chunks. Heat a big knob of butter in a large pot. Add the vegetables and brown in the butter.

Add the chicken stock, peas and mint leaves. Leave to simmer for about 20 minutes (until the potatoes are done).

In the meantime chop up the Parma ham and cook in a dry pan until crisp.

Puree the soup, serve with some yoghurt, freshly chopped red chilli and the crispy Parma ham!

Printable PDF version:
Minted Pea Soup

Duck on Avocado-Tomato Salad

This dish is super easy and you don’t need many ingredients at all. The salad is a wonderful side dish, too!

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For 1 portion:
1 avocado
2 tomatoes
1 lemon
1 duck breast
salt, pepper
 

Slice and peel the avocado, cut into large chunks. Wash and slice the tomatoes. Season with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Leave to stand for at least 30 minutes.

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Preheat the oven to 160°C.

Score the fatty side of the duck and cook in a dry pan on the fatty side first. When golden brown turn and cook on the other side for 3-5 minutes.

Place the duck breast into a casserole dish and cook in the oven for another 10 minutes or so (depending on the thickness of the duck breast). Wrap in aluminum foil and leave to rest for 5 minutes.

Serve on top of the salad and dress with the remaining dressing.

Printable PDF version:
Duck on Avocado-Tomato Salad

Bread Rolls

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The smell that’s still in the house is absolutely amazing! I read about boiling bread rolls before baking them to make them more crunchy and liked the idea very much. Today I made a small number of bread rolls this way and they did turn out rather nice.

For 8 bread rolls:

250g strong white bread flour
1 sachet of dried yeast
25g butter
100ml tepid milk
75ml tepid water
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt

Activate the yeast by adding the water and sugar and leave it for about 10 minutes.
Melt the butter in a small pan without browning it and mix with the milk. Leave until cooled to tepid.
Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl and add both liquids to it. Mix with a handmixer first and then by hand (for 10 minutes).
Leave the dough to rise covered in a warm place for about 1-2 hours.
Divide the dough into 8 pieces, form rolls and leave to rise until double in size.

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Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the bread rolls and cook for about 1 minute on each side and dry.
In the meantime preheat the oven to 200C (fan oven). Place the bread rolls on parchment paper and bake for 15 minutes.
Leave to cool before serving.

My bread rolls turned out rather flat due to them sticking to the surface after the second rise. Make sure you flour the surface very well so that you do not lose any rise by removing and boiling them.

I baked the bread rolls with half the amount if salt and sugar but found that they turned out rather bland, I think doubling the amount will make them even better.

 
Printable PDF Version:
Bread Rolls

Risotto Primavera


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For 2-3 portions:

200g risotto rice
600ml chicken stock
100ml white wine
2-3 medium spring onions (40g)
1 medium onion (50g)
50g butter
100g fresh peas
200g frozen cooked jumbo king prawns
1/2 lemon
some fresh red chilli
 

Melt the butter in a pot and cook the spring onion and onion until browned and soft. Add the rice and some of the stock to just cover the mixture. Let it cook over low-medium heat while stirring constantly and adding a little of the liquid (stock and wine) at a time for about 20 minutes (until rice is cooked).

In the meantime cook the peas in some boiling water so that they are still crunchy.

If you are using frozen prawns, place them into a medium bowl and pour some warm water over it. Leave for about a minute and drain (pressing excess water out). Heat some oil in a pan and briefly cook the prawns (even if they are cooked already). Season with salt and pepper and some lemon.

With the last portion of liquid, add the cooked peas and prawns to the risotto and leave to cook for a few more minutes until most of the liquid is absorbed.

Serve with some freshly chopped red chilli!

 

Printable PDF version:
Risotto Primavera


Roasted & Curried Cauliflower Soup

At the moment I make soup for lunch all the time. Its cheap, lasts for several days and warms you up after a cold morning at Uni. I love the colour of this soup!

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For three large bowls of soup:
 
1 medium-large cauliflower
3 tablespoons olive oil
two teaspoons curry powder
2 apples
2 large onion
some butter
2 teaspoons stock powder
300ml low fat soured cream (or crème fraiche)
juice of one lemon
 

Cut the leaves off the cauliflower and break into florets. Mix with olive oil and curry powder in a mixing bowl and transfer onto a baking tray. Roast in the oven for 20-30minutes at 180°C.

In the meantime, chop the apples and onion. Saute the onion and half of the apple chunks in a medium pot. When the cauliflower is roasted and add to the pot. Dissolve the stock powder in some hot water and pour into the pot. Fill up with hot water until the vegetables are almost covered. Bring to a boil and leave to simmer until the cauliflower is cooked.

Puree the soup and season with salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste. Stir in the soured cream and the remaining apple and serve with a fresh naan bread!

Elsässer Flammkuchen

Flammkuchen is a speciality from Alsace in the East of France. This is the first time I have attempted making it at home, mainly because there are amazing ones available on christmas markets and some shops ;)… I think it turned out quite well eventhough I’m lacking the folding skills and the dough wasnt quite like the ones I have had before. Next time with a sourdough maybe?

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Anyways it was absolutely delicious and the smell lured all my housemates to the kitchen!

For 2 portions:
 
400g strong white bread flour
7g dried yeast (1 packet)
1 tablespoons olive oil
salt
250ml tepid water
300ml (low fat) creme fraiche
4 slices of lean bacon medallion (or better: Speck)
1 large onion
 

Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl, add the olive oil and salt into the oil. Add yeast and water and knead for 5-10 minutes. Leave to rise in a warm place (for 1-3 hours).

Preheat the oven to a very high temperature (about 210°C), heat up the baking tray.

Roll out portions of the dough into the shape of your choice and fold over the edges of the dough. Cover the inside with creme fraiche and top with chopped onion and bacon (Speck).

I sprinkled over some Mozzarella cheese, but the traditional recipe does not contain any cheese and tastes absolutely fine.

Place each piece of dough on parchment paper and bake on the hot baking tray until crispy brown (about 10 minutes).

 

Printable PDF version:
Elsässer Flammkuchen




Mrs Beeton – a true legend!

Today I strolled round the shops, including my very favourite cookery shops, and found this lovely new book:

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I’ve got a copy of the original book back in Germany and read it every time I am at home. I have to admit that I am not a huge history fan (mainly due to my horrible teachers at school), but this book gives an incredibly interesting insight into the Victorian way of living. This new version of the book by Gerard Baker provides modern versions of the recipes with relating to the originals that Mrs. Beeton published in the 19th century. I can happily recommend both the original Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management and this new version called Mrs. Beeton How to Cook, so get at least one of the two 😉