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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veggie burger

 

I had my last veggie burger in Dublin, in a loud hotel bar filled with football fans.

I haven’t found a decent veggie burger in Luxemburg so far (that might be down to my lack of effort) I made, or better I assembled these.

vegetarian burger

The bread is actually home made pizza dough which consists of flour, yeast, sugar (just a little for the yeast to grow), salt and water. A storebought bun is fine as well of course. I always replace wheat with other flours like spelt and often it is easyer to just make the bread myself.

The onions are caramellized in a hot pan with some oil an sugar.

The burger is a storebought mix to which I added some fresh cilantro & water before frying. The only thing left to do was to assemble the whole thing as fallows:

bread- a little mustard -salad- burger – onions – ketchup – bread

vegetarian burger

This one is messy to eat…like a “real” burger;)

Eat well

 

childhood memory

No other food brings back childhood memories like sweets do. For an end of the school year movie afternoon I bought a lot of pop corn, gummy bears (gelatin free yay) and these flying saucers.

childhood memories

I have not touched any of these foods in decades. Personally I am not tempted by the gummies nor the pop corn, but the sour saucers I found out are my sweet. I guess we all have one bringing back childhood memories in no time and mine seems do be dry edible paper with a  sweet sour powder inside. These paper shells were used to actually administer real medicine back in the day, I am tempted to write in Victorian times but a historian might prove me wrong. So I stick with what I know. The kids will love my selection of sweets that will become part of their memories now and I will try to stay away from the saucers (actually I put them in the car to put a stop to the carnage).

Have a lovely end of the school year, an amazing summer and eat well:)

Fermenting stuff / Kimchi

Recently I started studying again. This meant after a long day at work, kilos of paper were waiting for me to be read. Less time for fun stuff, it felt soul crushing really. So I quit the new studying plan and the weight liftet from my chest was huge. But I do not mind getting the big books out to explain why you should have a go at fermenting stuff. I guess it depends on what I am studying;) .

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Kimchi

Small servings of fermented vegetables like “Sauerkraut” or “Kimchi” aid the digestion. They can even be beneficial for restoring the intestinal flora by promoting growth of Lactobacillus acidophilus (this is where you notice I am using the big books, “Healing with Whole Foods”in this case.)

The first time I made Kimchi I added all the garlic in the recipe and what I created was an unbearable stinky substance that I had to throw away with the jar that I had put it in. I just couldn’t face opening it one more time. I had given some away too and as I have been confessed to later, it had also been disposed off very quickly. Now I leave garlic out completely. I just do not like it although it’s good for me.

This time it turned ou great and I am ready to make another batch tonight. It is really spicy, so if you want to reduce the amount of chilli, feel free. I am mainly using cabbage here, but you could go for daikon radish, broccoli, cucumber, cauliflower, greens, turnips…I will certainy get more adventurous over time as well although cabbage has immune-enhancing properties and tradition has gotten it right once again.

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cabbage

I used:

1 cabbage

2 carrots

3 spring onions

1/2 apple

30g fresh ginger

10g Chilli (5g would be good if don’t love really hot food)

15g good sea salt (you can leave the salt if for health reasons your diet demands this)

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Kimchi

Cut eveything up. Mix it together in a bowl and give it a good massage with your hands. I see why this used to be done with the feet. It is a real little workout. This will reduce the volume and you will see some liquid forming. You can leave the mix on the counter for another 30 minutes and give it a little turn now and then.

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Kimchi

Now it’s ready for the very clean glass jar. Leave the jar in the kitchen for about four to five days. Throw away the top layer if the cabbage has changed color. Close only loosely or open from time to time to release the gas that will form inside the jar. Taste the Kimchi and if you think it’s done, keep it in the fridge to be enjoyed with your dinner.

Eat well

eggplant couscous & cookbooks

I have spent a few days in Munich, a city I am totally in love with. Before l left I bought a great “wintery” vegetarian cookbook. I ordered the one this recipe is from by Rachel Khoo and it was sitting in my mailbox, happily waiting when I cam back home. In this book she travels through France and collects recipes and it makes you wanna pack your stuff and join. I should also tell you that I bought two more cookbooks in Munich one being the “Luitpold” book which is more like a fun coffee-house history & recipe book, that I enjoy reading sitting underneath my fig tree on the balcony, the other one an italien vegetarian one. I know that’s addictive behaviour but it could be worse.

eggplant taboulé rachel khoo

I more or less did as told by Rachel Khoo as I prepared this dish with a couple of exception due to the ingredients in my pantry and the fact that I added raisins. Having a sweet touch in your meal takes away the possible craving for dessert. I left aside the yoghurt dressing & wanted to add mint but I bought the wrong plant just looking at the label not the actual plant at the shop;) & I have no clue what I brought home and planted in a pot with love.

aubergine couscous rachel khoo

2 Eggplants

2 tbsp olive oil

1tbsp tomato paste

1 tbsp Espelette pepper (I used chilli since I was out of piment d’Espelette)

parsley to garnish (also out…)

2 cloves of garlic (me garlic never, seriously, but I know it’s healthy YES)

Cut the Aubergine into sticks, omitting the spongiest part in the middle.

Blend the ingredients for the marinade together and “paint” your Eggplant sticks.

Put them in the oven at 180°C until they look and smell done.

eggplant couscous rachel khoo

For the couscous

160g couscous

zest of 1 lemon (organic untreated )

a pinch of salt

180 ml boiling water

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

a few raisins (if you like) & I did smuggle in some tomatoes as well…

Mix the dry ingredients together, add water & olive oil, cover and leave for 5 minutes so the couscous can soak up the water.

A happy vegetarian summer meal and if Rachel is right it has it’s origin in the Basque country.

Eat well

the missing pinch of salt

I literally forgot the pinch of salt in my picture of ingredients. Please add one right away. It should not me missing, not in the granola & nowhere else.

granola wholesome

This small batch of granola will go with me to Switzerland to sit and study on the mountain. I will truly be stuck on a mountain with a bunch of lovely fellow students and teachers. No cars allowed up there and the cable car is still on winter time so the last ride up is at six in the afternoon.

I somehow imagine it like “The Grand Budapest Hotel” minus the murders.

I always feel a little off when I am fed in an hotel for a longer period of time. In general my sugar levels are not too happy and a wholesome breakfast can help me to get through the day even if my diet is not ideal & I can not influence it too much either.

My little survival breakfast:

granola wholesome

1 bowl of oats

2 tbsp of chia seeds

2 tbsp of roasted nuts

1 tbsp of honey

1 tbsp of unflavored coconut oil

pinch of salt:)

vanilla (as much as you like, which for me is A LOT)

granola wholesome

Preheat the oven at 180°C and mix everything together in a baking tray. I just wait for the coconut oil to be melted before giving the mix a little stir. Check the granola every ten minutes, stir and take it out of the oven to cool as soon as it’s slightly brown and crisp.

granola wholesome

granola wholesome

Eat well & hope to see you here when I’m off the mountain

Tortano…filled bread or rolled Pizza?

Back from an inspiring weekend with the girls in Paris.

No baking & learning this time, but enjoying the company, the city &… lots of nice food.

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One of the places I always wanted to go to and somehow never managed to, is Rose Bakery and it was all I hoped for;) I’m in love with that place and as I observed the (totally international) staff, cooking, baking and just generally working their b… off I was imagining what it would be like to work there & live in a small cozy flat nearby…I guess it would be a wonderfully stressful experience;)

I admire everybody’s welcoming manner considering how packed the place was and how crazy our style of having brunch. Showing up at different times, wanting to share a table, not fitting on one though and ordering our way chaotically up and down that menu! In the unlikely case that you (Rose Bakery elves)  will read this, you made my day;)

So it has to be a recipe today that is fit for brunch.

The inspiration comes from Leila Lindholm’s book that I own in dutch since, holding the copy in my hands in a shop in Brussels, I convinced myself that I am perfectly able to read enough dutch to comprehend a recipe…I recently bought a second copy in a language I actually do understand perfectly well;)

Ingredients:

15g baker’s yeast

300 ml warm water (not hot, that would kill the yeast)

3 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp honey

1 & 1/2 tbsp salt

170g durum wheat flour (also used in making pasta)

250g whole grain spelt flour

Put all the ingredients into a bowl and make sure the salt and yeast do not touch until you actually mix everything together. Salt kills yeast!

Cover the dough and set it side to rise for about half an hour.

Then work the dough and roll it out into a long shape that you can fill with the vegetables, cheese …of your choice. I went for courgette, dried & fresh tomatoes and some mozzarella. 

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Roll the dough with the filling inside and close by using some water like glue on the edges and form into a circle.

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Let this rise again for half an hour while preheating th oven at 250°C.

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Just before putting the tortano into the oven reduce the heat to 200°C and bake for 35 minutes (more or less).

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The perfect side for a wintery soup or a salad!

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Eat well