• French fries… slow food

    Oh yes these are slow food indeed. At least 40 minutes to bake and nowhere near the common chip when it comes to fat content & you get to choose the quality of the fat you use.

    my french fries

    The secret lies in cutting the fries the same size. I do use a little machine designed for the purpose but you can just as well do it by hand. Soak the fries in cold water to get rid of some of the starch, since & dry. Coat them in a good quality oil that can be heated (no extra virgin olive oil) so they are just covered, no extra oil needed. I added some thyme and lemon zest to give them a little kick. (Isabella’s in NY is my source of inspiration there). Bake them on a tray at 200°C for 20 minutes on each side. Yes, that means turning them one by one 😉 Make sure they do not touch each other which ensures that they get crispy.

    Eat well

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  • Paris & gluten free bread…

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    I have been to Paris to study gluten-free baking & cooking at my favourite cooking school where I did my pâtisserie training less than 2 years ago.

    When the train entered the gare de l’est the weather was so nice I toyed with the idea of skipping the course and just enjoy Paris…my conscience and passion for all things kitchen luckily won.

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    I loved the atmosphere, the chef was just amazing, as they all seem to be. All the chefs trained at the most famous places and are eager and passionate to transmit their knowledge. The pace of the learning process….gogogogogogo and don’t ever even think about sitting down;) I love it. An entire day feels like 5 minutes.

    Back to the gluten-free with its ingredients, smells, consistencies and taste…obviously it’s different from the “real thing”. It’s so ingenious how the chef used the different flours, rising agents & the gums and starches that keep the creations together. One lemon cake truly blew my mind and taste buds. Watch out, it will certainly show up here soon!

    I reached my personal conclusion that I will cut down on gluten containing foods but enjoy them from time to time instead of totally replacing them.

    If however you are highly intolerant or worse, allergic to gluten the good news is, bread, pâtisserie, pizza, cake…all can be homemade without that little protein that annoys your body so efficiently and I do plan on passing on to you all the recipes I brought from Paris.

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    Before leaving I did make this gluten free bread that ticks all my boxes. It’s not from Paris, it somehow made it’s way from a private kitchen in Danmark to Sarah Britton’s food blog where I discovered it and took ages before giving it a try. It’s utterly satisfying and extremely easy to make.

    One of my issues with the gluten free baking is that the gums used to keep the dough together might cause constipation (sorry that had to me mentioned). This bread does the opposite, it has tons of fibre & you have to chew it and we know that that’s where the process of digestion starts.

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    What goes into this loaf:

    1 cup sunflower seeds

    1/2 cup flax seeds

    1/2 cup hazelnuts or almonds (I used almonds)

    1 1/2 cups rolled oats (I used whole grain spelt oats, if you worry about the oats being gluten contaminated buy the kind that is labelled as gluten free)

    2 Tbsp. chia seeds

    4 Tbsp. psyllium seed husks

    1 tsp. fine sea salt

    1 Tbsp. maple syrup

    3 Tbsp. melted coconut oil

    1 1/2 cups water

    First mix the dry ingredients well in a silicone baking dish. Then add the liquids and mix thoroughly. Leave the dough to rest for at least 2 hours before baking it in a preheated oven at 175°C.

    For 20 minutes you bake the bread in the silicon dish, then you take it out and bake it upside down for another 30 to 40 minutes. Let it cool off & give it a try.

    It’s equally nice toasted.

    Enjoy

  • Tofu Pasta

    I never realized how much food is linked to emotion until I spend some time in India.  After a long time of mainly vegetables and fruit dished (I was on a yoga retreat) there was one pasta lunch. That was enough to make me homesick:) The Pasta dishes at home were not vegetarian yet delicious and this is the closest I got so far to my mother’s home sweet home pasta sauce that tasted even better the next day reheated in a frying pan as does this one. I took (and only slightly changed;)) Attila Hildmanns recipe from his “vegan for fun” cookbook.

    You need:

    250g Tofu

    1 or 2 onions (depending on size & taste)

    2 cloves of garlic (which I didn’t use but I know the stuff is good for you:))

    olive oil

    4 tablespoons tomato mark

    150 ml red wine (the alcohol totally evaporates so don’t worry if you cook for kids, if you want to replace the wine anyway, use vegetable broth instead)

    150g canned tomatoes of your choice, chunky, blended…

    2 tablespoons of agave syrup (to bring out the taste of the tomato, traditionally you would use sugar)

    1 tablespoon dried oregano

    chilli (optional)

    pepper & salt

    fresh basil (optional)

    Start with crumbling the tofu and frying it in olive oil and keep stirring.

    When the tofu starts to take color, add the chopped onions and let them take some color too for a couple of minutes, then add the diced garlic and do the same.

    & tomato mark, stir and give it a couple of minutes again.

    &  the wine. Stir and wait until that alcohol smell has totally evaporated, that might take about 5 minutes. You want the “grape” flavor of the wine in there no taste of alcohol.

    & the canned tomatoes (you can use more than indicated depending on the texture you want for you sauce, just season accordingly) & agave syrup & oregano.

    I added some whole cherry tomatoes just because they were sitting in the fridge:)

    season with pepper , salt, possibly chilly…

    Serve with the pasta of your choice.

    That’s it!

    I used grated parmesan cheese on top. If you want to make it a vegan dish you can replace this by some cashew nut & paprika mix & sea salt (blended in food processor) & maybe add some roasted pine nuts.

    Enjoy

  • Homemade Pasta

    homemade pasta

    You know I like easy cooking…..this totally qualifies!

    Per person you need

    100g flour (I used spelt, I failed with whole grain wheat but will keep on trying;))

    1 egg

    1 teaspoon of olive oil

    Mix together until flaky and the use your hands to work the dough until smooth and “elastic”. You don’t want it to be “torn” at places .

    I rolled the dough in the pasta machine up to number 4 (which is thin enough for my taste) and then cut the dough into shape. If you don’t have a pasta machine you can roll out the dough the way you usually do and cut it into shape with a knife. It should have a homemade look to it, don’t you think;)

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    I made different shapes and left them to dry over night.

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    Cooked them for 2 minutes in boiling water the next day & made a save out of pine nuts, tomatoes some fresh chilly roasted in olive oil with pepper & salt.

    Fantastically simple and delicious.

     

    Enjoy

  • I discovered Granola…

    …in NY a couple of years ago.

    Here in Europe we’re more “Müsli”. It’s like peanut butter & chocolate spread.

    I made my granola sugar & gluten-free. I wanted to stick to a recipe but then it turned out to become a free-style granola I really like:)

    I mixed together:

    300g gluten-free rolls oats

    100g broken hazelnuts

    40 g chia seeds

    1/2 cup agave syrup

    2 tablespoons of honey with vanilla

    my new discovery from a honey maker in germany 😉

    http://www.fluegelchen-honig.de/index.php?area=info

    a handful of goji berries

    4 tablespoons of sunflower oil

    You can add anything you like, sunflower seeds, dried coconut bits……the list is endless. You can also make it sweeter, this one is very moderate in sweetness just because that’s the way I like it.

    On the subject on what we like (and so much more):))

    Mix everything together in a bowl, then spread out evenly on a baking tray.

    Bake turning often for 45 to 60 minutes,

    Remove from oven & leave to cool.

    Really nice with plain yoghurt & fresh fruit 🙂

    Create your own & enjoy

  • clafoutis salé

    Not the sweet version, but a “clafoutis salé” that I found in “saveurs” magazine.

    I sticked to recipe since it was a first try. I can imagine adding fine pieces of ham or leek, mushrooms or pine nuts…basically anything you would put into a “quiche”.

    So here is the vegetarian version…

    You need:

    500g of cherry tomatoes

    100g gutted olives (black or green)

    2 tablespoons of fresh thyme (dry is fine too)

    120g whole grain flour

    70g grated parmesan

    3 eggs

    25 cl milk

    5 cl olive oil

    salt & pepper

    If you don’t use baking paper you’ll need butter and flour for the baking dish. I am a big fan of baking paper;)

    Preheat the oven at 180°. Put tomatoes & halved olives into the baking dish. Mix all the other ingredients (I added dry chilly, no surprise:) and pour over the tomatoes & olives.

    Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. When you take the clafoutis out of the oven, it has to rest and cool down before you can cut it. My first thought was that it was undercooked but it gets the right consistency as it cools down.

    I let it cool down entirely and put it into the fridge for the next day. I reheated it at 150° and served it with fresh goat cheese. It turns out to be a good dish to prepare in advance.

    Enjoy

  • carrot & mango soup

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    The first time I write a blog on my balcony 😉 It’s sooo nice out here. Birds, cows, foxes….and spiders & me.

    Time for another healthy little soup.

    As always start with olive oil and one onion.

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    Add first the flesh of one mango since it caramelizes a little in the olive oil. Add 1 kg chopped carrots, cover with water and let it boil until the carrots are soft.

    Many options for spices here. You can add cumin seeds at the beginning with the onion. When the seeds make cracking noises you have to add water since they will start burning and get bitter. I’m a big fan of Curcuma added after the water. You should add ground pepper if you use this spice & be really careful it will stain anything for ever. So I’m not using it in my favorite white pot. Otherwise I always add it since it’s really good for you;) I always cook with my indian spice box when I make soup.

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    Add pepper & salt and coconut milk if you wish. It’s nice without, it’s nice with.

    Blend!

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    No surprise that I add some dry chili and if I overdo that even more coconut milk:)

    Enjoy