Monday, November 21, 2011

ottolenghi's black pepper tofu

anke gröner reminded me that i haven't had tofu for several weeks. how is that possible?!
while making this dish i had to think of jean-george vongerichten's ginger fried rice introduced by mark bittman and smitten kitchen. an equally simple but genius treat.

find the original recipe here.

side note: as can be seen by this dish, "plenty" isn't only mediterranean. not at all.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

wake up salad

lacking time is no excuse not to eat your veggies, okay? what is easier than eating raw food??

just as foggy winter weather is no excuse.

if you are lulled because of too much time spent in heated rooms and because of insufficient daylight, devouring hot stews or
dampfnudeln is contra-productive. afterward you will long for the bed even more. i am speaking of own experiences ;)

instead a crunchy sour salad will wake you up like one round outdoor swimming. so why not start a day with it.

in the picture: some spinach, slices of celery stalks, spring onion, parsley, 1/2 blood orange, black pepper with 1/2 mashed avocado (no dressing because of laziness).

ramyun, ansungtangmyun style

ramyun does not equal ramen. the first name derives from the latter but while the japanese usually associate a delicate noodle soup with it, koreans exclusively mean highly addictive junk food.

(if it wasn't addictive why would there be
ramen blogs since 1997? an era when i didn't really know about the world wide web, let alone weblogs...)

the ramyun addiction could be the reason why koreans don't nourish healthier than other people. the traditional cuisine, that is, low-fat, dairy-free and vegetable dominated.

there is no possible situation where you would turn down a bowl of ramyun or cup ramyun.

breakfast, lunch, dinner, as main dish, as dessert, after holidays when you are almost fed up with festive foods, after a carousal...
always having in mind how harmful the stuff is (contains saturated fat plus flavor enhancers) we still enjoy it.

thus since longer time i tried to make ramyun myself according to the ingredients' list on the package.

with ansung tang myun, which is a fishy type, it worked out really well. it takes 10 min to make while the processed one (see comparison pic) would take 5 min. i can live with that :)


1) per each serving bring 1/2 liter water to a boil.

2) meanwhile add 1/3 tsp minced garlic, 1/3 tsp minced ginger (i rarely can be bothered to peel and mince them, so i keep both stored this way) 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1/2 tsp sugar, 1 tsp red pepper flakes (gochugaru), 1 tsp wakame, 2 tbsp soy sauce and optionally, 1 tsp vegetable oil.

3) with a scissor cut some
spring onion into the pot. with a vegetable peeler add some carrot juliennes.

4) as soon as the broth cooks add asian wheat noodles.
(haven't found tasty ramen noodles yet, so i take udon. my favorite brands are japanese and they are steadily disappearing from the markets here. which is very depressing and makes me feel sorry for the japanese and become even more depressed about the environmental problems but that is another chapter.)

5) after the noodles are getting softer (will take around 5 minutes) lower the heat and add 1 tbsp
miso. stir well and cook for another 2 minutes.

6) pour everything into a bowl and garnish with
fresh onion rings and sesame seeds (attention: this step is not authentic ;)).

note 1
: eat it with
kimchi (if not selfmade, i can totally recommend this brand which gets luckily more and more easy to find in the groceries).

note 2: koreans use steel chopsticks (wooden and plastic ones only when they are on the go...). and to clarify this as well, we never use these porcelain "asian spoons".

note 3: if the serving was not filling enough, one would dump cooked rice into the broth and eat the rest as cooked rice usually is on hand in a korean household. apart from that there is no reason to eat remaining ramyun broth.

note 4: korean snack bars usually offer ramyun as well as kimbap. if you have both one would (after having eaten the noodles) dump the kimbap into the remaining broth (it's great fun and not as freaky as it sounds but you don't have to...).

Thursday, November 17, 2011

winter salad

most likely i cannot settle back until i possess all the acclaimed new cook books of this season. the vegetarian cookbook by alice hart is no exception. full of beautifully presented unfussy recipes with a twist. what's not to like about it?

i had kept cooked spelt in the freezer since a longer while and have finally found out what to do with it. this wonderful spelt salad from the book consists of oven roasted shallots, carrots, walnuts and dried apricots (switched to them for the suggested plums) and is mixed with goat cheese, cress (instead of the suggested parsley as i had none) and a garlic-mustard-vinegar. nice takeaway, too.

Friday, November 11, 2011

quince tea

boy oh boy was i relieved that the last quinces of that day were not the last quinces available in town.

soon after i had canned the last fruit i was reminded of a tea recipe that the fabulous
miss boulette had posted about earlier: quinces preserved only in honey. i appreciated her art-historical insights so much that i actually forgot about the recipe.

does one need pics for dumping fruit slices into honey? certainly not but here they are anyway :) from then there are 2 weeks to go to sit.

because i needed only half the amount of a full honey glass i proceeded likewise with an orange as i got the first oranges of this season that tasted incredible. i hope it works out similarly to yujacha.

it should be also useful for salad dressings.

alternative burger

not a burger in the ordinary sense but i had much fun constructing this one for a blog event.

100% selfmade, colorful & animal free. full of textures and tastes (sweet, sour, bitter and salty).

i found out how easy it is to cook tomato sauce and that it beats the pants off ready-mades. so there will be one more thing that i won't buy anymore.

the components:

whole spelt burger bun with black sesames - i adjusted my standard hefezopf/tresse recipe. using water and olive oil instead of milk and butter made the buns light and fluffy.

2. slightly
fried kale - adds elegant bitterness and the most vivid green.

amaranth patty with roasted sweet potato and red onions - amaranth contributes to a soft and sticky texture and has a wonderful nutty taste.

4. oven braised
fennel slices.

cranberry ketchup - the cranberries contribute to an intense color and sour taste when tomatoes are out of season and don't have much flavor.

instructions for making 4 burgers on 2 consecutive nights, total prep time 2 1/2 hours:

I. day one

1) make an amaranth porridge that will bind the patty:
100 g amaranth with 300 ml vegetable broth to a boil. turn the heat to the minimum and allow the amaranth to simmer for another 20 minutes. turn the heat off and let it sit.

2) make the dough for the burger buns:
in a bowl mix
180 g whole spelt flour, 70 g all purpose flour, 2 tsp dry yeast, 1 tsp salt, 2 tsp sugar well with a whisk. in a cup mix 150 ml cold water and 3 tbsp olive oil and pour it over the flour. knead the dough well for about 5 minutes. cover the dough in a bowl with a plate and let it ferment in the refrigerator until the next day.

3) for the
ketchup bring 3 tomatoes, 2 small red onions, 1 handful cranberries, 1 garlic clove, 1 bay leaf, 1 tsp salt, 2 tbsp sugar, 2 cloves, 1 tsp paprika, 1 tbsp red wine vinegar to a boil and let it simmer for 30 minutes until reduced. strain the sauce through a food mill.

II. day two

1) knead the prepared yeast dough again, form 4 buns, sprinkle them with water and
black sesame seeds and let them rise at room temperature for 40 minutes.

2) dice 2 red potatoes and 2 red onions. fry in a pan, add salt and pepper and let cool down.

3) bake the buns at 200 °C for about 25 minutes. at the same time braise some
fennel slices with little white wine, lemon juice, olive oil and salt in the oven.

4) mix the amaranth porridge, the potato and the red onions and form the patties. if the dough is too sticky add some semolina flour. fry the patties in olive oil.

5) carefully fry a kale leaf (big stems removed ahead) so that it maintains its color. add salt and pepper.

6) assemble:
instead of mayo or butter i used avocado. garnish with fennel leaves.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

everyday salad

am i still bragging about my new kitchen toy? i am. it's so convenient now to throw together a picturesque salad.

this one (decided to switch to orange for the dressing) was made and eaten so quickly that i forgot a key ingredient: pumpkin seeds.
could eat this everyday.

oven braised beetroots, onions and celeriac puree

dear mr. johannes king,

thank you for this brilliant combo from the last cooking show. and thank you for introducing an equally brilliant cooking technique for these vegetables.

if your restaurant wouldn't have two stars and be on a far-out island, i would drop by much sooner.

as i am henceforth a fan of yours i would very much appreciate if you followed my blog. if ever, feel free to leave comments :)

sincerelly yours

breakfast with quince

there is excitement in the air when bringing a new produce home for the first time. a slight nervousness, too.

when the lady at saturday's market offered me, the late and last customer, this season's last batch of organic quinces for the price of 9 instead of 12.95 €, i couldn't help but take them.

no idea if that was a bargain. and frankly speaking, the fruit is not the prettiest. but these fragrant 3,65 kg something felt heavy and
precious on the way home.

what's to make out of it? bread? jam? compote? chutney?
i love quince jelly (btw Antje! still owe you a weck glass with some content in return :) ) but had never eaten the fruit before.

after preparing half the batch for a jam
there were exactly 6 quinces left for rachel's mouthwatering compote recipe. (i reduced the sugar amount in order to use the compote for savory dishes, too).

so today there will be two breakfasts: millet porridge with quince compote AND sweet yeast bread with quince jam.

one word to
millet: it's a superhealthy beauty product that cooks quickly.

bring it to a boil with milk, a pinch of salt and little agave.

as soon as it boils turn the heat off and let it sit for 15-20 minutes.

eat it with fruits /a dollop of cream / cocoa / cinnamon.

or savory with nuts / red pepper / chili /...

Friday, November 4, 2011

crisp lunch @ kopps, mitte

i visited a brand new restaurant in linienstr and my dear friend selin was willing to accompany me and sit as a model :). thank you!

it is owned by
moschinski, the former chef of la mano verde, the so far only gourmet vegan restaurant in berlin.

ideally located at
koppenplatz with full view of the streets and the fancy mitte folks, the launch seems to be promising.

not that this area lacks good eateries: actually the galleries' district between torstr and auguststr as of 2011 is the food mile of the city - there are plenty of either upscale or cozy addresses with all kind of cuisines and nowhere it's easier to get quality snacks in stylish ambiance.

to start with what i disliked at kopps - the waiter was way too stiff and hectic. but maybe i was to blame, too. as i had never been to a vegan institution before, i had the preconception that those people would be per se casual, wearing dreadlocks and eco-clothes. so i addressed the waiter with "du..." / "ihr..." and he certainly was not amused and said "sie!..." well i see, it is rather a chic place.

anyway as to the food... it was superb! we ordered a beetroot ravioli with sprout salad and fig confit. it came together with solid ciabatta, dark bread and a bread spread that reminded a little of an egg salad.
everything was crisp, artistically arranged, not really filling (the serving was tiny) but with a maximum in taste and refined flavors.

and the coffee was the best i had in a long long long while. (being not a fan of these overrated coffee shops...)

don't miss this lighthearted documentary that features björn among other personalities and get inspired in terms of sustainable indulgences.

kopps bar & restaurant,
linienstr. 94, mitte.

opens every day from 8:30 am.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

vegetable aroma puree

i know i know that nothing compares to a freshly made vegetable broth and no question that say for a risotto or a soup it's the way to go.

but there are situations when you only need a bit of it for a more laborious dish and can't be bothered, right?

i made good experiences with this vegetable puree that can be used like instant broth: just mix one or two tsp of puree with hot water.

the recipe (i halved the original amount suggested) is from a great new cookbook. in fact i bought this book almost entirely because of this recipe which seemed revolutionary to me (i bet, as so often this idea has been known to man since ever but just not known to me :)).

in a food processor coarsely puree:

100 g carrots
(my tip: weigh the ingredients before shredding:)

50 g celery roots

50 g celery stalks

50 g leeks

50 g root parsley
(found it in the stores only later - i used parsnip)

50 g kohlrabi
(german parsnip)

1 stalk of celery leaves

1 stalk of flat parsley

1 stalk of lovage
(couldn't find it anywhere - i used dried lovage)

50 g sea salt

fill the mixture in sterilized glasses (should make up two glasses).
because of the high salt content it lasts in the fridge for up to
one year!

next time i will preserve the other variations suggested (asian and mediterranean) as well as some pretty pickles of vegetable spaghetti.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

wraps with quinoa, lentils and beetroot

after having devoured

1) half a pound of good old
dr. oetker's marble cake during the weekend (do you think of excuses when making a huge buttery chocolatey plain white flour cake? i sometimes do. in this case that was "after this new-fashioned-pastries-wave it's high time to make a classic marble cake. it's been years since you had the last one. otherwise you will even forget that taste.... ahh, horrible imagination! :) )

2) together with a bulk of my favorite biscotti (the only store-bought sweets that are currently admitted to my household)

i had to make up some fresh compensatory meals asap.

beetroots are in season now and pretty as always. the easiest way is to eat them raw. if you have a good vegetable peeler, a mandolin slicer (yes, in this case kitchen gadgets are a real blessing), a pair of thin rubber gloves and if you deal with the beetroots carefully you can quickly produce vegetable sticks without causing a "stain accident".

i made a simplified version of these wraps (a page that has never failed me when in need of healthy inspirations): lettuce, beetroot sticks, red onions, fennel and cinnamon scented quinoa with raisins, lemon scented beluga lentils, flat parsley and goat cheese crumbles wrapped up in a big tortilla.

if you've stocked up on cooked lentils in the freezer, this wraps come together in no time. btw, it's essential that lentils and quinoa are cooked in gentle heat, i.e. simmering water.

combine the stuffing as a salad and it will make up a wonderfully filling glutenfree meal (hi basti, you hear me? :)

definitely worth trying, even without a cake feast prior to that!