Berti knife


Meet my new Berti knife! Lucky me got this beauty for x-mas. I love the smooth white Lucite handle also the knife is beautifully balanced .

David Berti began crafting knives in 1895, in the Tuscan countryside. Today, the Berti tradition still requires that each knife is the complete work of a sole craftsman. The hands that begin the work finish it. This means each knife crafted is unique, and contains the thought, the hand, and the expertise of an individual shaper. Every knife from Berti bears the initials of the craftsman who made it.

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Festive kitchen experiments

New cookbooks , time and a good reason.
I decided to try some new things over the holidays . Nothing overly exciting came out of it but I learned a few new things and had good fun in the kitchen.

I cooked from the Relae cookbook : Pickled Mackerel with lemon skin puree and Cauliflower mash.
The mackerel was nice and and the preparation totally new to me , so was the lemon skin puree.
The Cauliflower mash was not our thing at all all ...

Also on the menu were the stuffed onions from Ottolenghis and sami tamimis Book "Jerusalem" they were nice but but consistency was way to soggy. I  will give them an other go with a different, firmer rice.

With the jewish menu choice I pleased the mother in law more than the husband ... the red bitter salad with oranges he hated which I should have known. Sweet stuff in salads is a no go with him.
But when it was time for the christmas pudding, ruhm and  soul 7" we were all happy.

Here some impressions:

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Looking pretty but tasting very very bitter

We get more and more old vegetable varieties on the market.
A few weeks ago I bought these stunning baby aubergines. Not knowing what to do with them expect having them lying in avow and looking good I made a gratin with them. I probably should have tried them before going through all the effort ... they were so bitter that one could not eat the dish.

Any one knows how to cook these little fellows?

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Workdesk still


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Kitchen Still #12

New Aiko Watanabe Sake set and bowl we brought back from Japan and an artichoke in blossom.

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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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Kitchen Still (s) #12

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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.

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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.

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Is it to early to start dreaming of summer again? We only just had the first snow and it's gonna be a long long time till we can spend the evenings in the garden again. Still, since we spent every minute outside during this lovely and long summer this blog has been a bit lonely over summer and theres a lot to catch up on. So why not start with some pictures of one of the garden dinners we had this summer.

We came to realise that you don't need much for the perfect garden dinner. Just friends, some beer, some wine, the sound of the crickets and maybe lanterns or torches and a big fire.
When we throw a garden dinner we always ask people to bring some food along, some for the grill and some to share. Like this we end up with amazing buffets without to much prepearing.
Sometimes we just bring bread and cheese and we fry some vegetables from the garden with garlic , olive oil and some herbs for flavouring.







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