Cook through your books - June

Our june session was spanish themed. The Moro cookbooks are on heavy rotation since their rediscovery last month.
Wisely enough I took them along to the beach the day before and we had all the time to come up with something.
A lot of inspiration though came from the things growing on the fields on our way to the beach - artichokes!
Amazingly beautiful and you could self pick them for only  3.- each :-)

The menu :

- Potato cucumber and fava bean soup ( moro the cook book)
a cold and very nice soup, perfect for hot summer days.

- Artickoes and peas with oloroso sherry (casa moro )
Hard work but nice for example as part of a tapas dinner

- Calamares rellenos de carlos ( moro the cook book)
Calamares stuffed with boiled eggs and herbs - yummy!

What else could be for dessert than
- Churros con chocolate ( moro the cook book)
Mine did not have the right consistency and it was very hard to get them through a piping bad. I will have to try again. The taste tough was perfect and the cardamom spiced chocolate sauce to go with them was the perfect match.

Dinner was eaten on the balcony, late like it's supposed to be in summer. Lot's of good wine and laughter were involved to. I hope this very bad weather we have at the moment is soon over and we are back to a hot and long summer with good drinks and spanish food on the balcony.

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Parsnip Potatoes Patties

Since last december I'm trying to re-cook a meal that, back then came together very spontaneously. We had friends coming over and wanted to make something special but they could not stay to long for they had to get up very early the next day. It's no secret that I'm not good in hosting early dinners, I'm always to late with the preparations which leads to a very spanish lifestyle of late dinners. So we went for beetroot pickled salmon , something you can prepare days ahed and it's is always kind of special.
With it we spontaneously decided to make Parsnip Patties since we had the fridge filled with parsnips.
The dinner was spectacular and the Parsnip Potatoes Patties perfect! Ever since this day I try to re-cook them with little success.

In Stockholm this is a national dish, you get Parsnip Potatoes Patties in every restaurant. Usually served with fish roe, crème fraiche and pickled cucumbers - a match made in heaven.

Even more so I want to make my own Parsnip Potatoes Patties. Mine taste nice but the hardly ever stick together and I end up with a crumbly something on my plate :-(

I know they have to be made very fresh otherwise the potatoes loose too much water and don't sick together, and I add some beaten egg white ... any other tips?

These two turned out quite nice but the remaining 5 looked bad let me tell you ...

Related Entries:
Fish pie "Killeel"
Spring salad
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Kitchen Still (s) #12

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Gözleme - anatolian flatbread

I have told you the story of Gözleme before but for those who missed it here it comes again:

Back in Istanbul we were queuing for the blue Mosque but when we were only three people away from entering they closed the door for prayer .... We went to the nearest restaurant to drink some tea and eat a little something before starting queuing all over again.
 In the restaurant's center were three women kneeling on the floor, one was, very thinly, rolling out little balls of dough, the second one would then bake the bread on a metal dome over a fire and the third was stuffing the bread with a variety of things - spinach, potato, cheese... the whole process was beautiful to watch, the bread even better to taste.
On the  way to our garden here, there is a wild playground with a fire place and sometimes in summer there's a group of Turkish women making Gözleme. I'm determined to try making Gözleme in our garden and over the fire too!
Gözleme are just delicious, easy to make & I think brilliant to go with many menus.

You'll need:

For the dough:

  • 250gr white flour
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 185 ml warm water
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 120 gr butter cut into 16 pieces

For the spinach stuffing:

  • 4 tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion very finely chopped
  • 250gr spinach washed and well drained
  • a good pinch of ground allspice
  • 1 tbs sumac
  • salt and pepper

For the potato stuffing:

  • 300 firm potatoes cut in half lenthwise and slices 3mm thick
  • 4 tbs olive oil
  • 6 spring onions finely chopped
  • 2 tsp caraway seeds
  • 1/4 tablespoon roughly chopped dill
  • 2 tsp caraway seeds
  • 2salt and pepper

For the dough:
Place the flour and the salt in a mixing bowl. Pour the water on to the dried yeast, let it dissolve for a couple of minutes, then stir.
Mix the flour and the yeast mixture by hand, squeezing out all the lumps. After this the dough should be fairly smooth. If it's too sticky, add a bit of flour. But careful, the dough should not be too dry. Now add the olive oil by drizzling it down the side of the bowl and kneading it in for about 3 minutes. The dough should no longer be tacky but soft, elastic and smooth. Cover with clingfilm and let it rest someplace warm between 20 minutes and 1 hour.

When the dough has risen, divide it into 8 pieces and kneed into balls. On a generously floured surface with a floured rolling pin, gently roll out each ball, turning the dough a quarter each time you roll, as this keeps the shape round. The dough should be very elastic, once you got it about 5 mm lift it of the board and start stretching it by hand, rotating it to get an even thickness. You should be able to get a 20 cm round of almost paper thinness, nearly transparent at it's center.
If you don't bake the bread immediately, stack them with greaseproof paper in-between.
Place  a large frying pan over medium heat, add a knob of butter and when it starts to foam, gently slip one of the sheets into the pan.

Fry one side, allowing it to blister and brown in places before you turn it. Add another knob of butter to the pan and fry on the other side. Transfer the bread to a plate and place a spoonful of the filling in the middle. Spread it out a bit  and fold fold the edges of the gözleme over like an envelope to enclose the filling.
Return to the pan on low heat to warm the stuffing through and eat straight away.

For the spinach filling :
Heat the oil in a pan over low to medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion and a pinch of salt. Fry for a good 10 minutes stirring occasionally until golden and sweet. Add the spinach and allspice and cook until the spinach has "collapsed", losing it's original volume. Remove from the heat and if there's too much liquid still, drain it in a colander. Transfer to a board and chop coarsely. Add the sumac before tasting and seasoning.

For the potato filling :
Salt the patties 5 minutes before cooking, this helps bring out the flavour. In a large saucepan or frying pan heat the olive oil over medium heat. When hot, add the patties, onions and caraway seeds, stir until mixed evenly. Reduce the heat slightly and put a lid on the pan, let the patties cook but not colour. Stir from time to time and scrape off the bits of potato that stick to the bottom of the pan. When the patties are soft, remove from the heat and place in a bowl. Now add the chilli flakes and the dill and check for seasoning, adding a tablespoon or two of water if the mixture is a bit dry.

recipe from the brilliant Cafe Moro cookbook

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coeur de sel on Instagram

To close the gap between the long pauses between blogposts here, I decided to open an Instagram account for so you see whats cooking even when it's quiet here.

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Cook through your books - April

Wow - it's been a while! Not that we have not been cooking and eating here at Coeur de Sel but I do admit that I have not been to keen on trying new things. New projects, the garden and quite a lot of travelling, not to mention the job, have taken their toll, which means quiet times on this blog.
But my camera is filled with pictures of the last 3 month so lets start catching up with April's cooking session with the girls.
Never really pleased with the name, I tried to come up with a more adequate name. I think I found one.

We had lot's of plans for that evening but then everybody was way too busy with life to dive into the bookshelf until the night before. So once again it was a late night group chat with way too many pictures from recipes going from one to the other.

Turkish would have been on the program, but we realised that we all don't really have a Turkish cook book.
That night I rediscovered the Casa Moro cookbook, it has been sitting on the bookshelf untouched for a long time!

So the next day this was on the menu:

- Gözleme flatbread filled with spinach stuffing from Casa Moro cookbook n°2
- Basmati rice with chick peas, currants and herbs from Ottolenghi's & Tamimi's Jerusalem
- Fried okra with tomatoe, garlic and preserved lemon also from Ottolenghi's & Tamimi's Jerusalem
- Orange almond cake from " The Cookbook" by Ottolenghi

For me the discovery of the night was the Gözleme Anatolian flatbread.
Back in Istanbul we were queuing for the blue Mosque but when we were only three people away from entering they closed the door for prayer .... We went to the nearest restaurant to drink some tea and eat a little something before starting queuing all over again.
In the restaurants center were three woman kneeling on the floor, one was, very thinly,  rolling out little balls of dough, the second one would then bake the bread on a metal dome over a fire and the third was stuffing the bread with a variety of things - spinach, potato , cheese ... the whole process was beautiful to wach, the bread even better to taste.

On the  way to our garden here, there is a wild playground with a fire place and sometimes in summer there's a group of Turkish women making Gözleme. I'm determined to try making Gözleme in our garden and over the fire too!

They are delicious, easy to make & I think brilliant to go with many menus. The recipe will follow.

Montagskochenfebruar14  024-Edit

Conclusion: I still don't like okra much -  I need my desserts "jucier"  but the orange cake is nice for an afternoon tea - Gözleme will be on the menu more often - and the Moro cookbooks are back in business.

Related Entries:
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Monday classes
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Kale chips

Kale is supposed to be one of the healthiest vegetables there is. Loads and loads of iron. It's also a very tasty vegetable. Thing is, as nice blanched kale is , when I eat it I suffer big time ( wind ).
I also like to grow it in the garden, there are not many winter vegetables you can grow and kale is also one of the prettiest .
So what to do with my kale I was wondering.

In alice fowlers "abundance", which is one of the newest additions to my cookbook library and one you will certainly here more of during this summer, I found the perfect solution: Kale chips. Easy to make, delicious and even the boy likes them. Oh and no problem for the digestion.

Shred the washed and dried kale into bits. Marinate in the oil and vinegar mixture for 30 minutes.
Lay out on a greasing paper and bake for 30-40 minutes in the approximately 100° oven.
Check regularly, depending on you oven you might have to adjust time or temperature.

Perfect snack to accompany a glass of beer.

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Swedish kaneelbullar - perfect afternoon delights

It has been a work intensive January. 8 fairs in 4 countries in 2 weeks. I’ve been back to London jobwise and took the opportunity to eat at Ottolenghis in Islington, something I wanted to do for ages. Unfortunately I did hot have time to check out this little conscious fish & chip place, but I intend to go back there soonish. London is the place, isn’t it?

From there straight to Stockholm. My first time since ages in Sweden and my first time in Stockholm.
What a lovely city. I mean how can you not love a city where sourdough bread is the standard and you even have a sourdough hotel where you can bring your starter when you leave the town!
We ate a lot of very interesting new nordic cooking but it’s the Swedish classics like the potato parsnip  patties with pickled cucumbers, sour cream and fish roe I fell in love with. Still trying to cook this simple dish at home but after a first massif success we can not reproduce them again. I’ll let you know once we get there. Oh and we had the best sauna experience ever, with a bath in a frozen lake.

The Swedish have the tradition of extended afternoon tea / coffee called "vika". Traditionally they eat Kaneelbullar for vika, a yeast pastry with cinnamon or even better cardamom. Cardamom is a brilliant spice I started to rediscover it last year. It goes well with sweet and savoury flavours. Try serving fresh goats cheese with cardamom. These sweets are really nice, I strongly recommend giving them a go.

You'll need:

For the starter:

  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 2 tbs instant yeast
  • 2 cups all purpose flour

For the dough:

  • All the starter
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 8 pods cardamom, freshly powered
  • 2 tbs lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup caster sugar
  • 60 gr butter at room temperature

For the filling

  • 75 gr butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbs cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup coarsly ground almonds

For the Topping

  • 1/4 cup milk
  • Pearl or hagel sugar

The starter: Mix the milk, yeast and 2 cups of flower in a large bowl. The dough will be very sticky. Place it in an oiled bowl and cover and refrigerate it.
Let it rest over night or at least for a few hours.

The dough: The next day, 30 minutes before you plan to bake, take the dough out of the cold and leave it at room temperature.
Tear the dough into large pieces. Now add the flour, cardamon and salt. Mix in the lemon zest and sugar and mix well (preferably in a food processor).
Now add the soft butter and knead well until you have a sooth and elastic dough. Add some milk if the dough feels to dry.

Roll the dough out into a rectangle (approximately the size 30x50cm) .

For the filling: Mix together the the soft butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Spread the filling over half of your dough (see image above). Sprinkle with the almonds.
You could make rolls instead, then you would have to spread the filling all over the dough.

Fold the dough in half and cut long stripes, this should give you approximately 15 stripes. Twist and shape them as you like and put on a baking paper, leaving enough room in between. Let rise for 10 more minutes, then brush with milk and sprinkle on some pearl sugar or similar.

Bake them at 200° for 10 to 15 minutes.

Best enjoyed with a cup of tea or coffee sitting outside in the garden or balcony on one of the first spring days, covered with a blanket... Or maybe inside in front of a fireplace doing some knitting. Then again, I guess they are just as nice eaten in a hurry waiting for the bus to work ....

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Let's get the garden season started - Waffle

What a mild winter we have over here in Switzerland, mid February and I've already spent an entire afternoon in the allotment. We won't complain - it's heaven! And if it get's cool a cup of tea and some waffles always help ;-)

You'll need:

  • 250 gr flour
  • 20 gr yeast
  • 1/4 l milk
  • 20 gr butter
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 50 gr of sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • icing sugar

Mix the yeast with a bit of milk. Soften the butter in a pan over medium heat. Add the rest  of the milk and stir. Now add the sugar, salt, eggs and yeast mixture. Mix this mixture into the flour and stir well. Let the dough rest for a while.
Oil the iron well before you start putting the dough on. Don't let the iron become too hot. Fill with a good dollop of the batter and carefully bake over the fire. After the first minute you can start to check if the waffle are ready. The iron can be opened - you need to be careful thoug, do it slowly. If the waffle are still pale continue to bake. When done take them out and sprinkle on some icing sugar and eat immediately.

Wafflegarden14  003

Related Entries:
Wine by the fire
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Winter evenings - Salad of roasted cauliflower with hazelnuts

I can't remember when I cooked cauliflower the last time. Certainly more than five years ago. I really don't know how to handle this veg. yet once this winter I got so bored of potatoe, leek and cabbage that I bought one. At home I still had no idea what to do with it. After looking through some cook books, I decided to go for yet another Ottoloenghi: Salad of roasted cauliflower with hazelnuts. Delicious!

You'll need:

  • 700 gr cauliflower (just the florets)
  • 5 ts olive oil
  • 30 gr hazelnuts
  • 1 big stalk of celeriac cut into slices
  • 10 gr of flat leaf parsley
  • 50 gr pomegranate seeds
  • 1 ts tc cinnamon
  • 1 ts chilli powder
  • 1 tbs sherry vinegar
  • 1 1/2 ts maple sirup

Preheat the oven to 220°.
Turn the cauliflower in a mixture of 3 tbs of olive oil, 1/2 ts salt and some pepper.
Roast it for 25 -35 minutes on the top rack of your oven until crisp.
Put in a bowl and let cool.

Turn the oven down to 170° and roast the hazelnuts on a tray lined with greasing paper for 15 minutes.
Let cool, add to the other ingredients.
Mix well, season, serve lukewarm.

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