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Cod fish with asparagus

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barlauch 005My Friday treatment was that excellent dish.

Ingredients for 4 persons: 1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed

1/4 cup water, 1 pound cod fillet, cut into four pieces, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt-free lemon-pepper seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 2 tablespoons butter, cubed, 2 teaspoons capers, minced fresh parsley, optional, 3 twigs of thyme, 1 kg potatoes

Directions

First I cooked the potatoes in their skins, then when they were cooked enough I peeled them. I put them away for a while.

I cleaned the fresh green asparagus and put them in a pan. I poured over 300 ml of water. I added 1 teaspoon of sugar, 1 vegetable stock and some lemon juice (2 tablespoons). Ten minutes later when the asparagus were tender, I strained the water.

I washed and cleaned the cod fillets, salted and peppered to taste. I fried them in some flour only on one sides. I melted some butter in a pan and baked the cod fillets until they were cooked enough.

In a separate frying pan I melted some butter then I cut the potatoes into half and place them into the pan. I salted the potatoes to taste and flavoured with 3 twigs of rosemary and I fried them until they got a golden brown colour.

I served the cod fish with the delicious crispy asparagus and with the fried potatoes! For the finishing touch I relished the asparagus with a bit of Café de Páris sauce from Escoffier! It was a gorgeous Friday treatment again!

You can also prepare this dish in the oven on that way: Arrange cod over asparagus. Sprinkle with lemon juice, lemon pepper and garlic powder. Dot with butter; sprinkle with capers. Bake, uncovered, at 400° for 12-15 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork and asparagus is tender. If desired, sprinkle with parsley.barlauch 007

 

Wild garlic soup with semolina noodles

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barlauch 002In Europe spring is the high time of the bear garlic or wild garlic which is a wild relative of chives native to Europe and Asia. The Latin name is due to the brown bear’s taste for the bulbs and its habit of digging up the ground to get at them; they are also a favourite of wild boar. It flowers before deciduous trees leaf in the spring, filling the air with their characteristic garlic-like scent. However in Europe, where ramsons/wild garlics are popularly harvested from the wild, because its similarity to poisonous plants to the Lily of the Valley, regularly leads to cases of poisoning!

The leaves of wild garlic are edible; they can be used as salad, herb, boiled as a vegetable, in soup, or as an ingredient for pesto in lieu of basil. The stems are preserved by salting and eaten as a salad in Russia. A variety of Cornish Yarg cheese has a rind coated in wild garlic leaves. The bulbs and flowers are also edible. The leaves are also used as fodder.

It is interesting that cows that have fed on ramsons give milk that tastes slightly of garlic, and butter made from this milk used to be very popular in 19th-century Switzerland.

Ingredients:

  • 25 g butter
  • 1 medium potato, cut into 1 cm cubes
  • 1 (about 150g) medium onion, chopped
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 4 big handfuls (about 200g) of wild garlic leaves, chopped
  • 100 ml double creamfor the semolina noodles: 3 eggs, 100 gr semolina flour or more, salt, one teaspoon of butter or oil

    Directions:

  1. Heat the butter in a large saucepan over a medium heat. When foaming, add the potatoes and onion, then toss until well coated. Season. Reduce the heat, cover and cook for about 10 minutes until the vegetables are soft.
  2. Add the stock, bring to the boil, then add the wild garlic and cook for 2 minutes until wilted. Immediately liquidise the soup with a hand-held stick blender, then return to the pan, stir in the cream, taste and season.
  3. Prepare the semolina noodles: beat the eggs, add salt and oil then mix in enough semolina until dough will be tick enough. Let it rest for half an hour until the semolina has absorbed a bit. Boil water with a little salt, then using a teaspoon or tablespoon add noodles into water and cook without covering about 10-15 minutes. Then let it rest for a while again. Strain them through the sieve. Serve wild garlic soup in hot with the semolina noodles.

Pan-Seared pike-perch fish with Garlic, Herbs and Lemon

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April 2015 024The zander is considered one of the most valuable food fishes native to Europe. It is esteemed for its light, firm but tender meat with few bones and a delicate flavour. Since I like pike-perch/zander filet very much (because of it’s marble skin and no fishy taste at all) I decided to prepare it for lunch today.

Ingredients: 2 skinless tilefish or other sturdy, thick white fish fillets (about 7 to 8 ounces each), skins removed, kosher salt, to taste, black pepper, to taste, 2 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter, 3 green garlic shoots or scallions, thinly sliced, 1 ½ tablespoons finely chopped chives, mint and/or sorrel, 1 tablespoon minced lemon, thyme or regular leaves (I added melisse as well), 2 teaspoons finely chopped tarragon, basil or marjoram, juice of 1/2 lemon

The side dish was: rösti (Rösti is made with coarsely grated potato, either cooked or raw) baked in the oven and creamy cauliflower purée (cooked in milk and water mixture, spiced with curry and nutmeg) and celery chips (fried)

Methods: Remove any remaining pin bones in the fish, pat dry, and season both sides with salt and pepper.

In a large sauté pan over medium heat, melt butter. Once butter has begun to foam, lay fish in pan. Add green garlic or scallions and a pinch of salt. Without disturbing the fish, tilt the pan toward you; using a spoon, ladle green garlic butter over fish. Continue basting fish for 2 to 3 minutes.

Using a spatula, gently flip fish. Reduce heat to low, cover pan and cook for 2 minutes.

Uncover pan, add herbs and continue basting fish with butter until it is just cooked through, another minute or two longer.

Transfer fish to a serving platter or individual plates, pour pan sauce over the top, and pour lemon juice over everything. Season with more salt and black pepper if needed. Serve immediately.April 2015 027

 

Poppy seed horseschoes for Easter

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Húsvét Ella és Milo 2015 895

Húsvét Ella és Milo 2015 899I’ve made an amazing sweet for Easter, namely the poppy seed horseschoes which is a popular pastry in parts of Central Europe, Eastern Europe, and Israel. It is commonly eaten at Easter time (and Xmas time as well). It is traditional in several cuisines, including Austria, Hungary, Bosnia etc.

The dough is made of flour, sugar, egg yolk, milk or sour cream and butter, and yeast. The dough may be flavored with lemon or orange zest or rum. The poppy seed filling may contain ground poppy seeds, raisins, butter or milk, sugar or honey, rum and vanilla. Sometimes a tablespoon of apricot jam, which is one of the most popular jams used in the Hungarian cuisine, is substituted for sugar. The walnut roll filling contains raisins, rum, butter or milk, lemon rind and chopped walnuts. This filling may be spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, clove or vanilla.

The dough is at first quite heavy, stiff and dry, but with kneading and resting becomes very elastic and strong. It is rolled out into a large sheet, thick or thin depending on taste. One aesthetic principle is that the dough and filling layers should be of equal thickness. Another is that more layers are better. The filling is spread over the dough, which is then rolled into a long cylinder or log. Traditional recipes usually involve brushing the log with the egg white left over from the yolk used in the dough. Other recipes use different washes, or an icing added after baking. The unbaked log is gently transferred to a sheet pan, left to rise, then baked until golden brown.

The poppy seed filling is a paste of ground poppy seeds, milk, butter, sugar, often with additional flavorings such as lemon zest and juice. It may have raisins in it. The walnut filling is a paste of ground walnuts, milk, butter, sugar, and raisins, often with additional flavorings such as coffee or orange zest.

A very long roll may be bent so that it fits on a baking sheet; the result is called a patkó (Hungarian: horseshoe). Before baking, the roll may be given a wash of milk. The roll can be finished with an icing after baking, made of powdered sugar and lemon juice (or a glaze during baking). Usually it is brought from the kitchen already sliced.

In Hungarian cuisine the rolls, one with each filling, are served together. The combination is known as poppy seed and walnut horseschoes. However, in some English language cookbooks there may be no mention of the walnut filling, as if poppy seed were the only filling used. Some other non-Hungarian food writers combine the poppy seeds and walnuts together in one filling. Because Polish and Czech culture have intermingled, immigrants to America sometimes use the term “Kolache” to describe it but it is wrong.

As a new trend, a chestnut-filled variant (bejgli) is emerging, mainly among younger urban families.

I decided to make a much softer dough deviated from the original recipe and it was a big hit!

Here it is:

Ingredients for the dough: 350 g flour, 100 g butter, 10 g yeast, 1 tbsp of sugar, pinch of salt

for the filling: 100 ml milk, 150 g poppy seeds, 100 g sugar, 1 pack of vanilla sugar, zest of 1 lemon, 1 jar of peach jam, 100 g raisins

for the marble top: 1 egg white and 1 egg yolk

You can prepare the poppy seed filling first: Cook the poppy seeds in 100 ml milk adding 100 grams of sugar and the vanilla aroma, and the lemon zest as well. You can add raisins if you like them.

Crumble the yeast in 100 ml luke warm milk, add 1 teaspoon of sugar. Wait until it leaven. Mix all the other ingredients together then add the leavened yeast to dough. Form 24 small oval loaves and roll with the perch into thin sheets. Fill each loave with 1 tablespoon of poppy seed filling and add also half tablespoon of jam. Roll the filled oval forms and pinch the two edges into nice horseshoes form. Let the filled horseschoes stand for 10 minutes, then brush them first with the egg white. Let them stand again for ten more minutes. Then brush the top of the dough with the egg yolk but at this time reverse direction. Arrange horseschoes onto parchment place into the preheated oven (at 220 degrees) and bake for 25 minutes.

 


Fried chicken with broccoli

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Easter is coming 001

Chicken, broccoli go well together with a little Thai twist will be perfect!

Ingredients: 2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar, 2 tbsp orange juice

1/2 tablespoon cornstarch

1/2 tablespoon sesame oil

1/2 to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more if desired

1 tablespoon peanut oil, plus more as needed

1 pound chicken fillets, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

2 tablespoons peeled and chopped fresh ginger, 2 carrots

4 cloves garlic, minced

4 green onions, sliced

4 cups broccoli florets, pre-cooked

Hot cooked rice, for serving

Directions

In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, orange juice, light brown sugar, rice wine vinegar, cornstarch, sesame oil and red pepper flakes. Reserve.

Set a wok over medium-high heat and coat with 1 tablespoon of the peanut oil. When the oil shimmers, add about half of the chicken thigh pieces. Stir-fry until the chicken is fully cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate and repeat the process with the remaining chicken thighs.

Add enough peanut oil to the hot wok to coat the bottom. Add the ginger, garlic, carrots and green onions and stir-fry until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the chicken back to the wok along with the broccoli florets and stir to warm through. Pour in the reserved sauce and stir until the sauce is thickened and bubbly, about 45 seconds. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve with rice.

Sometimes I add coconut milk to broccoli and chicken dish and it does work well..

Cake-pops for Easter

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fixed cake popLast year was the year of the cake pop. If you happened not to know what it is then here you are some facts about it. Cake-pop is a cake based pop, baked in an appealing shape hand dipped in frosting, and decorated to taste, all on a stick to be eaten as candy. While there is no recorded date for the creation of cake pops, most people say that Bakerella, a popular baking blog, helped make then a “pop” phenomenon.In 2011, cake pops were considered the newest and most popular confectionery food trends.Other variations of cake pops are cake balls, cakesicles, cupcake pops, and cake-on-a-stick.Cake pops in recent years have become ubiquitous to Starbucks coffee shops.c-backvergnuegen-zu-ostern-5316-9219-s

So Easter is coming and I thought some cake-pops would be useful during some family events. Children will definitelly love them!

Strawberry shortcake frosting

1 box yellow cake mix (plus ingredients for cake mix)
½ cup buttercream frosting
2 (16 oz) packages Vanilla coating
2 packets Frosting Creations Strawberry Shortcake flavor)
Lollipop sticks
Assorted Sprinkles

Instructions

1. Prepare and bake cake mix as directed on box; cool completely.

2. Crumble cake into a large bowl. Add frosting and mix thoroughly.

3. Roll mixture into 1″ sized balls. Chill for approximately 1-2 hours in the refrigerator.

4. Melt coating in Microwave. Tray according to directions on package. Add 1 packet of strawberry flavored Frosting Creations to each package of Vanilla Coating; stir until blended.

5. Insert a lollipop stick into each cake ball. Dip cake pops in coating; allowing the excess coating to drip off. Place on wax paper and sprinkle. Let dry.

Tip: If cake balls become too soft or are not holding their shape while being dipped, place back in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes.

Panko crusted fried chicken with Peking duck sauce

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Dragonfly 005Ingredients for servings: 4

  • 2 8-ounce skinless boneless chicken breast halves, cut crosswise in half
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 2 teaspoons plus 2 tablespoons Peking duck sauce 
  • 1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup low-salt chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon coarse-grained mustard
  • 1 tablespoon chilled unsalted butter
  • Directions: Using meat mallet or rolling pin, pound chicken in resealable plastic bag to 1/3- to 1/2-inch thickness. Whisk egg, parsley, and 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard in large bowl. Place chicken in egg mixture; turn to coat. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Dip each chicken piece in panko; turn to coat. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook until brown and cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Meanwhile, whisk broth, syrup, coarse-grained mustard, and remaining 2 tablespoons Peking duck sauce in glass measuring cup. Transfer chicken to plates. Add broth mixture to skillet; boil until reduced to 3/4 cup, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Add butter; whisk until melted. Spoon sauce alongside chicken. Serve with grated cabbage (or pickled) and with some finelly chopped fresh vegetables.