Slowly caramelized chicory salad

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Slowly caramelized chicory is so good,-the finished bitter-sweet, tender flavor eating well with many fish and meats. This caramelizing method is going to be a lot quicker, if the chicory first being shredded!

Ingredients: 3 chicories, 2 tbsp raspberry, balsamic vinaigrette, salt and pepper, 1 tbsp brown sugar for caramelizing, olive oil

Directions: Remove and bruised outside leaves of the chicory and split the heads lengthwise, cutting away any base stalk. Shred the halves very finely (Cut out the bitter stalks). Bestrew the leaves with sugar then caramelize with the créme brulée brander, until they are crisp. Place them onto a salad bowl (you can caramelize the chicories in melting butter as well).

Mix together raspberry, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper and olive oil, pour over caramelized endive salad.

If you intend to transform this salad into an aperitif then you can add smoked goose liver to chicories. Believe me it is always a big hit!P1140292


Grilled red perch in lemon sauce and with potato purée

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Ingredients: 2 chopping boards (soaked in water for 30 minutes), 100 gr butter, 30 g estragon, 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice, 4 red perch fillets, sea salt, pepper to taste, potato purée

Methods: Prepare the barbecue set or grill to heat only on one side.

Meanwhile prepare fish. Mix butter, tarragon and lemon juice together. Place the red perch on the chopping board, smear it with the lemon-tarragon butter, season with salt and pepper to taste.

Place the chopping board on the part of the oven where there is no fire, cover it with a lid. Bake for 30-45 minutes, check perch fillets time to time with a fork. Prepare lemon sauce from the gravy of the fish. 

Serve fish with mashed potatoes and sauce (for greater aroma you can sprinkle perch with balsamic vinegar)



Roast turkey with croquette and cranberry sauce

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Turkey took over from goose as our first choice for the Christmas roast bird and, although available all year around, has become very much a seasonal favorite.

Ingredients for the turkey: 1 or 2 turkey breasts for each person, (skin removed), salt and pepper, 200 g bacon, 1 tbsp of rosemary, thyme

Prepare the turkey breasts. Salt and pepper to taste. Add some oil into a frying pan then place turkey filets and fry them slowly on both sides. Flavor with thyme and rosemary. Soaté filets for 10 more minutes until they are golden brown (you can pour water over filets in order not to let them dry). Put them aside.

For the cranberry marmalade: 225 gr cranberry, 100 gr brown sugar, 1 cinnamon stick, 150 ml cranberry juice, 150 ml ruby port, 1 orange, the zest

You can prepare the cranberry well ahead.

Finely grate the zest of the orange. Halve and juice the fruit. pour the juice into a measuring jug and top up with orange juice to 300 ml. Strain this juice through a sieve into a saucepan and add cranberry juice, cranberries, sugar and port. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a very gentle simmer for 12 minutes.

For the cranberry sauce: 25 gr butter, plus extra knob, 50 gr shallots or onions, sliced, 1 tbsp honey, 1 tbsp vinegar, 400 ml red wine vinegar, 400 ml red wine, 300 ml instant stock, 1 heaped teaspoon plain flour

Melt the knob of butter in a saucepan and, once bubbling, add the sliced shallots or onions. Cook on medium to high heat until well colored and taking on a rich deep color. Add the honey and continue to cook for a few minutes more, until bubbling well and approaching a caramelized stage. At this point, add the red wine vinegar and red wine, bring to the boil and reduce in volume by half. Add stock or consommé and bring back to a simmer. While stock is warming mix the flour with the measured butter. Spoon and whisk well into the sauce until completely mixed in. The flour serves as the thickening agent, but this small quantity does not make it too thick. Bring the sauce back to the boil and add the already prepared cranberry (see above). Then reduce to a gentle simmer and cook for a few minutes. Strain the sauce through a fine sieve and season, if needed, reheating before serving.

For accompanying potatoes I suggest croquette and maybe buttered Brussels sprouts. P1130987



Caramelized, braised pork with red cabbage

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Ingredients: 800 g finely chopped, red cabbage, 500 g pork, 150 g pearl onion, 100 ml fresh orange juice, the zest of it as well 1 tbsp honey, 2 tbsp vegetarian oil (hazelnut), ½ teaspoon of Provençal spices, 1 teaspoon of cumin, 100 ml white wine, 100 ml water, salt and pepper to taste


Smear the pork with honey (with the help of a brush). Season with the Provençal spices then salt and pepper to taste. Heat the oil in a frying pan or a pot. Fry meat on each sides for three-to five minutes (be careful because of the honey it can burn very easily). Take out meet and put aside. Put pearl onions into the pan and caramelize until they get a bit of golden color. Place pork back to pan, pour over white wine and water. Cover pot and let meat simmer for 45 minutes under medium heat. Control regularly the tenderness of the pork.

Meanwhile heat oil in a pan and fry the finely chopped red cabbage for 3- 4 minutes. Stir it constantly. Squeeze the orange juice over cabbage and add some grated zest as well and flavor it with salt and pepper and caraway seeds. Add a pinch of sugar for more sensational aroma. Cover cabbage and let it cook for 15 minutes.

When the cabbage is ready, cut the caramelized pork into neat slices. Place pork slices on plates and pour over some gravy from the pan in which the pork was cooked. Arrange red cabbage alongside to the pork with a bit of orange juice. Serve dish with cooked or in oven baked potatoes.gekarameliseerd_varkensgebraad_met_rodekool_en_sinaasappel


Soon there is marzipan time in Germany

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The essence of this whole autumn season, with its tones of oranges and browns amongst its scenery of fallen leaves but autumn is also a season of give and take. In Germany the Advent (begins mid or at the end of November) means preparing wonderful selection of cookies. Here is a superb recipe the Bethmann for marzipan lovers (the Germans like to add marzipan to many desserts, creams, jams).

Bethmännchen (German for “a little Beth mann”) is a pastry made from marzipan with almond, powdered sugar, rosewater, flour and egg. It is a traditional cookie usually baked for Christmas Day and is widely available in chocolate shops around Frankfurt. It is a special commodity sold in Frankfurt’s Christmas market, one of the oldest Christmas markets in Germany which dates back as far as 1393! The name comes from the family of Bethmann. Legend has it that Parisian pastry chef Jean Jacques Gautenier developed the recipe for banker and city councilor Simon Moritz von Bethmann in 1838.Originally the Bethmännchen were decorated with four almonds, one for each son of Simon Moritz. After the death of his son Heinrich in 1845, the fourth almond was removed. However, this story is unlikely, since Simon Moritz had died already in 1826. After one and a half centuries of manufacturing, its form and recipe has never been changed. Here is the original recipe:

Ingredients: 34 cup almond halve, plus, 2 tablespoons peeled almond halves, 120 almond halves, reserved for decoration, 34 cup prepared marzipan, plus, 2 tablespoons prepared marzipan (a prepared almond paste usually packaged in logs, available in specialty food stores, 1 tablespoon rose water, 7 tablespoons powdered sugar, 2 small eggs, 3 12 tablespoons flour

Methods: Preheat oven to 350°F. Finely grind the measured almonds.

Break the marzipan dough into small pieces and mix with one of the eggs, rosewater, powdered sugar, ground almonds and flour.

Separate the remaining egg and beat the yolk, set aside.

Form marzipan mixture into balls the size of walnuts.

Press three almond halves onto the sides of each ball. The almonds should stand up and down and be evenly spaced around the ball.

Brush each ball with the beaten yolk and place on a cookie sheet.

Place cookie sheet on the middle rack and bake 15 minutes until golden brown.Bethmaennchen-6-web



Fish soup with potatoes and sour cabbage

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Ingredients: 1 red + 1 white onion, 2 cloves garlic, 1 red chili, deseeded, 2-3 potatoes, 2 tablespoons oil, 1 glass dry white wine, 800 g chopped plum tomatoes or passata, 500 ml stock, 2 bay leaves, ready fermented cabbage, (rinsed and washed the salt out!)

200 g salmon fillet, from sustainable sources, skinned, 300 g halibut fillet, skinned, scampi, prawns etc.,1 large, handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped, sour cream, 1 tbsp flour

1.      Finely chop the onions, garlic cloves and chili. Heat the oil in a large pan, add the onion, the halved or quartered potatoes, garlic and chili and sweat gently until soft. Add the wine, tomatoes or passata, squash and stock and bring to the boil.  Flavor with bay leaves. Cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Season and gently break up the tomatoes.

2. Rinse the fermented cabbage with water and put it into a pot. Pour over water and cook, simmer for 15 minutes.

3.  Roughly chop the salmon and halibut and add to the pan. Add the prawns to soup, cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until just cooked. Mix 1 tbsp. of flour into sour cream, spoon out some liquid from the soup and stir well with the sour cream, flour mixture. Dense your soup with this.P1130782.JPG 

4. Taste the soup and season it again with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice, if necessary.

5.  Serve drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with the chopped parsley.

Millet salads on my ways

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There aren’t a whole lot of millet recipes around even though millet is such a great gluten-free whole grain. I think it is one of those grains a lot of people forget about or think it is only suitable for birds to eat. However millet is so versatile and a great healthy addition to any kitchen. (Millet is great source for fiber, iron manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, and B-complex vitamins). If you can’t find millet or don’t have it ready to go at home, feel free to substitute it with couscous or bulgur.

This is a great make-ahead recipe since the millet will continue to absorb flavor as it sits. If you make this salad a day ahead, add the avocado just before serving. (Pan roasting brings out its nutty character).

Ingredients: 1 cup uncooked millet, rinsed and drained, 4 cups water, 1 teaspoon sea salt, divided, 4 cups fresh corn kernels (about 8 ears), 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro, 1/3 cup fresh lime juice, 2 tablespoons chopped green onions, 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin, 3 to 4 jalapeño peppers, seeded and finely chopped, 4 cups chopped tomato, 1 diced peeled avocado

Step 1

Cover and chill 30 minutes. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add millet; cook 10 minutes or until fragrant and toasted, stirring frequently. Add water and 1/2 teaspoon salt; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until water is almost absorbed. Stir in corn kernels; cook, covered, 5 minutes. Remove millet mixture from pan, and cool to room temperature.

Step 2

Combine 1/2 teaspoon salt, cilantro, and next 5 ingredients (cilantro through jalapeño). Add cilantro mixture to millet mixture, tossing to combine. Gently stir in tomato and avocado.

I like using it as a substitute for rice or in baking bread. However, I think the easiest way to prepare this is as a cold salad. I keep the salad in an airtight container in the fridge and can eat it for lunch throughout the week.

Millet with paprika or sambal oelek

Ingredients: 1 cup millet (uncooked Organic Whole), 3 tablespoons Sambal Oelek or you can replace it with grilled and puréed paprika, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 2 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste, 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice, 3 scallions (spring onions, ends removed and diced), 2 bell pepper (any color other than green, I used red and yellow -finely diced), 1/2 cup fresh parsley (chopped), salt, pepper

Prepare millet on the same way like in the first recipe.

Then heat olive oil in a skillet, grill bell pepper over medium heat. Salt and pepper to taste. (Use grill spices as well). Put in a blender and make purée from grilled pepper.

To serve: stir lemon juice to tomato paste. Flavor millet with the tomato juice and add grilled pepper to it. Garnish with fresh, finely chopped parsley and scallions.

Köles-Millet salad