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This high protein dish with the halibut fish and quinoa will delight your taste buds. My fav is the delicious paprika coconut milk sauce which is especially creamy and delectable. Try this main dish one night for an easy weekday meal or a weekend wonder.
Ingredients: 1 halibut fish fillet or other sort of white fish pro person, 2 cups quinoa, 1 tablespoon oil, 2 cups coconut milk, 1 teaspoon sea salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper, 4 Moroccan or bell peppers, 1 cup cilantro, chopped, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika,
100 g mushrooms, 1 tbs butter, salt and pepper
Cook quinoa according to package directions. Drain and drizzle a little olive oil or any other vegetable oil.
Wash and cut paprika lenghtwise. In a sauce pan add oil and grill peppers, flavor with salt and pepper or with BBQ spices. When they are crispy enough put them in a blender, pour over coconut milk and stir until blended. Add sea salt, black pepper, smoked paprika and roasted garlic also if desired. Stir well again.
Prepare mushroom, wash and cut into slices then soaté in a saucepan, scatter with salt and pepper and season with chopped parsley and drizzle some balsamic vinegar on mushrooms.
In a frying pan heat olive oil and add fish fillets, salt and pepper to taste and soaté fish until crispy. You can pour some white wine over fish as you like.
Arrange cooked quinoa on a platter. Pour the sauce alongside or over the fish. Reserve sauce in a side bowl to have on the table while serving. Sprinkle the dish and sauce with cilantro.
Parsnips are the most underrated of winter vegetables, with almost no fat, no cholesterol and no sodium, so they are perfect for weight watchers. And if these facts are not enough for you then I have more good news: they’re full of vitamins and minerals which means they’re bursting with goodness, being high in fiber, folic acid and potassium, they raise energy and help to reduce blood pressure.
I prepared today and it was really delicious with a slice of fresh bread and a small spoon of basil pesto!
Ingredients: Olive oil, 1 knob butter, 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped, 1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped 4 big or 8 small parsnips, peeled and chopped into centimeter chunks, 500 ml semi-skimmed milk or cream, 1 liter good chicken stock, sea salt
Directions: Heat a splash of olive oil and the butter in a large saucepan on a low heat. Add the onion and garlic. Gently fry for around 10 minutes, until the onions are soft and sweet.
Drop in the chopped parsnip and pour in the milk and stock, season well and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes with a lid on.
Check that the parsnips are cooked by sticking a knife through them. They should be soft. When cooked remove them from the heat and carefully blitz up using a hand blender or liquidizer. Pass the soup through a fine sieve to get the super smooth constancy. Taste the soup to see if it needs a little more salt.
Serve with a spoon of basil pesto, and a few sprigs of wood sorrel (if you like), and a good hunk of warm crusty bread.
There are five more weeks until Christmas but I started to be uneasy because there are plenty of work to do but there is little time to figure out what would be the most ideal dessert for example on Boxing Day afternoon. While I was walking in the woods in the unusually warm November afternoon (today) suddenly a childhood favorite dessert crossed my mind. It was none another than the Emperor’s mess.
It is easy to make yet it’s delicious. So those who haven’t heard of it yet here is a short explanation: The Emperor’s mess is a shredded pancake, which has its name from the Austrian emperor Frances Joseph I of Austria, who was very fond of this kind of fluffy shredded pancake. It became a popular meal or dessert in Austria, Germany, Hungary, Slovenia, and in northern Croatia.
The name Kaiserschmarren comes from the German word Schmarren (shredded pancake) and Kaiser (emperor). Schmarren is a colloquialism used in Austria and Bavaria to mean “trifle, mishmash, mess, nonsense or folly”. Franz Joseph’s love for this dish was referred to humorously as his “folly”. The word “Schmarren” is related to scharren (to scrape) and schmieren (to smear).
The history behind the Emperor mess
It is generally agreed that the dish was first prepared for the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph I(1830–1916). There are several stories. One apochryphal story involves the Emperor and his wife, Elisabeth of Bavaria, of the House of Wittelsbach-Sisi. Obsessed with maintaining a minimal waistline, the Empress directed the royal chef to prepare only light desserts for her, much to the consternation and annoyance of her notoriously austere husband. Upon being presented with the chef’s confection, she found it too rich and refused to eat it. The exasperated Francis Joseph quipped, “Now let me see what ‘Schmarren’ our chef has cooked up.” It apparently met his approval as he finished his and even his wife’s serving.
Kaiserschmarren is a light, caramelized pancake made from a sweet batter using flour, eggs, sugar, salt, and milk, baked in butter. It can be prepared in many, different ways. The pancake is split with two forks into pieces while frying and usually sprinkled with powdered sugar then served hot with apple or plum sauce or various fruit compotes, including plum, lingonberry, strawberry, or apple. In the original recipe there are only raisins (before cooking they are soaked in rum). When making Kaiserschmarren the egg whites are usually separated from the yolk and beaten until stiff; then the flour and the yolks are mixed with sugar, and the other ingredients are added, including: nuts, cherries, plums, apple jam, or small pieces of apple, caramelized raisins and slivered almonds. The last mentioned ingredients (nuts, cherries, plums, apple jam, or small pieces of apple, or caramelized raisins and chopped almonds) aren’t in the original recipe and just additions made by some cooks based on their personal preferences.
Kaiserschmarren is eaten like a dessert, or it can also be eaten for lunch at tourist places like mountainside restaurants and taverns in the Austrian Alps or in Bavaria, as a quite filling meal. Traditionally Kaiserschmarren is accompanied with Zwetschkenröster, a fruit compote made out of plums or other fruits (see on the picture, I prepared with peach mousse and compote).
Ingredients: 1 big aubergine, 1 courgette, 250 gr champignon, salt to sprinkle on aubergine, olive oil+ 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 4 garlic cloves, 2 small dried red chilies, crumbled, 1 cup black olives (optional), stoned and chopped, 300 g large fresh tomatoes, skinned and chopped, 2 tablespoons tomato purée, 2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning or 1 sprig fresh oregano, or 2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, salt & freshly ground black pepper
250 g pasta, fresh basil, grated parmesan cheese, green or red pesto Bertolli
Directions: Cut aubergine into cubes and sprinkle with salt. Drain and pat dry after 15-20 minutes. Cut courgette. Peel mushrooms and cut into half.
Heat oil for frying aubergine, courgette and mushrooms, in a frying pan and shallow fry till golden brown Drain and set aside. Heat virgin olive oil in a pan, add garlics, chili flakes or chilies and cook for a minute or till garlic just begins to turn color. Mix in olives, tomatoes, purée and dried seasoning or fresh herbs. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover pan and cook sauce on low heat for 30-35 minutes or till tomatoes are cooked through and sauce has thickened. Add fried aubergine cubes and courgette and remove from heat.
Cook pasta according to packet instructions. Drain and add pasta to sauce. Add basil leaves and toss pasta in sauce till well coated. Add 1 tablespoon pesto or ketchup to taste. Serve immediately with grated Parmesan on the side.
Still seven week to go until Christmas, that means we have plenty of time to participate in Advent events and other fairs which are related to Christmas but yesterday I went to the post office and meanwhile I was queued up I discovered a carved wooden pipe-smoking man on one shelf. When it was my turn I asked the post woman what’s it. She informed me that this toy called Raucherman (smoking man) and it’s made in Seiffen at the famous wood toy making factory. I liked this smoking man so much I bought it. When I paid she mentioned that in Seiffen village there’s not only the factory but the world famous wood toymaking museum as well. To hear that I got excited about the thing so I decided with my husband to visit it well in advance before Christmas in order to avoid the crowds.
The village Seiffen was really beautiful. It’s located in the heart of the Erzgebirge mountains and as I’d mentioned above, it became famous for the handicrafts. In the museum we could watch craftsmen working as they did 100 years ago at the Christmas market and in the toy village we discovered novelties of the folk art. There’s boundless fun in the museum such as model making, games, Christmas circus, puppet doctor, Christmas traditions from the Czech Republic etc.
Beside the museum there was also a great show: during the traditional mountain parades and the procession of light on Bergmann paths, the past of the mines were brought back to life and light was returned to the old miners’ paths.
The cuisine of the Ore mountains
Juicy, rich and simple are how you could describe the cuisine of Erzgebirge. Shaped by the economic situation, the cuisine at the time consisted mostly of dishes with simple ingredients such as potatoes, lentils or meat on the plate, which still makes its influence known in the kitchen.
Especially widespread were potato dishes, such as the potato puffers, popular among children. Whether sweet or savoury, the so-called “Klitscher” (pancake with apple mousse, see on the picture) were on every menu. But the “Rauchermaad” (potato pancakes) belonged to Erzgebirge cuisine. Popular side dishes included “grienen Klies” or potatoes in nearly every form (e.g. fried potatoes, jacket potatoes).
Traditional Stollen and the “Neinerlaa” are served now any time, not only during the Christmas season. Preparation varies in every family. In any case, there are always nine different delicacies are served, Sauerkraut, dumplings, lentils etc. Part of a good meal is always a good liqueur. The local herbal liqueurs don’t just help with the digestions after a juicy meal but are a popular gift for our guests. If I am going to think of Seiffen in the future it will mean culinary delights and much more..
Ingredients for the chanterelle soup: 250 g chanterelle, 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp butter, 1 garlic clove, half of an onion, 100 ml white wine, 150 ml cream, 1 chicken stock, 1 teaspoon thyme, 1 tbsp of cornflour, salt and pepper to taste
Preparations of the soup: In a saucepan, heat the olive oil and butter, then add the onion, garlic and the cleaned chanterelles. Cook until the onions are transparent. Dust with the cornflour. Add the white wine and chicken stock. Stir to combine. Simmer for 20 minutes. Add the heavy cream and simmer for another 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Ingredients for the bread dumplings: 87% bread (water, wheat flour, lard, salt, yeast, malt flour) or the simpliest way to buy ready croutons (140 grams)
13% herbs mix: onions, spinach powder, marigold and cornflower petals, thyme, basil, rosemary, savory, chervil, lovage, parsley, oregano, marjoram, chives, garlic, lavender, sage, bay leaves, smoked salt, smoked paprika, tomatoes, cane sugar, rice flour, mustard seeds
Preparations of the dumplings: Place croutons into a bowl, add one medium size fresh egg and 150 ml cream or milk to them. Mix the ingredients to make a dough and leave to rest for 10 minutes. Form 6 small canederli-dumplings then cook for 15 minutes in boiling salted water. When they are ready strain.
Serve soup in prewarmed bowls, add the herb dumpling and garnish with chives or parsley!
St Hubert’s feast day is November 3d. He was a Christian saint who was the patron saint of hunters, mathematicians, opticians, and metalworkers. Known as the Apostle of the Ardennes, he was called upon, until the early 20th century, to cure rabies through the use of the traditional St Hubert’s Key.
He lived in the present Belgium near Brussels (656-727), and he was a noble man. When his wife died giving birth to their son, Hubert retreated from the court, withdrew into the forested Ardennes, and gave himself up entirely to hunting. But a great spiritual revolution was imminent. On Good Friday morning, when the faithful were crowding the churches, Hubert sallied forth to the chase. As he was pursuing a magnificent stag or hart, the animal turned and, as the pious legend narrates, he was astounded at perceiving a crucifix standing between its antlers, while he heard a voice saying: “Hubert, unless thou turnest to the Lord, and leadest an holy life, thou shalt quickly go down into hell”. Hubert dismounted, prostrated himself and said, “Lord, what wouldst Thou have me do?” He received the answer, “Go and seek Lambert, and he will instruct you. .
Be that as it may, Hubert set out immediately for Maastricht, for there Lambert was bishop. Saint Lambert received Hubert kindly, and became his spiritual director. Hubert now renounced all his very considerable honors, and gave up his birthright to the Aquitaine to his younger brother Odo, whom he made guardian of his infant son, Floribert. Having distributed all his personal wealth among the poor, he studied for the priesthood, was soon ordained, and shortly afterwards became one of St. Lambert’s chief associates in the administration of his diocese. By the advice of St. Lambert, Hubert made a pilgrimage to Rome in 708, but during his absence, Lambert was assassinated by the followers of Pippin. He distributed his episcopal revenues among the poor, was diligent in fasting and prayer, and became famous for his eloquence in the pulpit. In 720, in obedience to a vision, Hubert translated St. Lambert’s remains from Maastricht to Liège with great pomp and ceremonial, several neighboring bishops assisting. He died in an injury on 30 of May in 727 in Tervuren near Brussels, Belgium. I wanted to give a tribute to him with this excellent wild dish but what made it special the side dish which was the caramelized pumpkin! With the spices it was a big hit!
Wild boar ragu with caramelized pumpkin and gnocchi
Ingredients: 500g venison and wild boar, cut into 4cm chunk, 1 tbsp flour, seasoned with black pepper, 1 – 2 tbsp olive oil, 2 onions, roughly chopped, 3 garlic cloves, crushed, 1 carrot, 1 parsley, 85g pancetta, cubed, 750ml red wine, 200ml venison or beef stock, 4 sprigs thyme, 2 sprigs rosemary, corn flour, to thicken (optional), 4 sprigs rosemary
for the baken fried pumpkin: 1 small Hokkaido pumpkin, salt and pepper, curry, garam massala, carraway seeds, good olive oil
Directions: Toss the chunks of meat in the seasoned flour. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-based saucepan. Fry the onions gently for 5 – 10 minutes or until softened. Stir in the garlic, floured meats, sausages (if using) and pancetta and once browned, pour in the red wine and stock. Add chopped vegetables and soaking water, and the herbs. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper and bring to the boil. Turn down to a simmer, cover and cook for an hour. Cook for a further 10 minutes or until the venison is tender. Thicken with corn flour, if using. Season to taste, transfer to four plates and garnish with a sprig of rosemary.
Meanwhile prepare pumpkin: Heat grill to medium-high. Cut the pumpkins vertically into 3/4 inch slices. Remove the seeds and stringy parts. Brush both sides of each slice liberally with olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt and the other spices. Place the slices on the grill for about 5 minutes a side or until dark grill marks appear. Turn and grill the other side until you can easily pierce the pumpkin slice with a fork. Make sure that the pumpkin is tender. Since some of the salt tends to fall off during the grilling process, serve with a small dish of additional sea salt. You can scatter pumkin with brown sugar it will caramelize the flesh and ‘ll give an extra good flavor to pumpkin.
Serve wild bore with gnocchi and alongside with the pumpkins.