This book was lying around for ages. I bought it before we went to vietnam - for a long time after we came back we wanted nothing but european food so I almost forgot about it.
It's a really nice book that is also fun to read. There's not so many inspiring Vietnamese cookbooks out there so I was really happy when I found this - I definitely plan on cooking my way through it.
the taste of vietnam by bobby chinn
We probably were a bit over enthusiastic when we planned so we had a rather late but delicious dinner.
On the menu was:
Pomelo Crab salad ( we used carb instead of lobster which) page 96. I have to admit I had never eaten pomelo before and to me it was quite a discovery.
Shrimp paste on sugar cane , a Vietnamese favorite of mine we could find any sugar cane so we used lemongrass stalks. A great dish you can prepare in advance. Then came the caramelized fish , with this had had our problems. First we did not realize that the fish has to cook for 2 hours and also we either got something wrong with the proportions or the recipe is not really working. There was way to much sauce but it tasted really nice. We added a bit of chopped cilantro which made this dish rally sing. Dessert would have been a Pierre Hermé Belle helene but here we took the short way by then it was already 23h.
I don't know about you, but our bookshelf is overflowing with cookbooks (ok to be fair it's primarily overflowing with Records).
Anyway, there's a certain amount of guilt involved when I buy a new cookbook because I know there's books and books with uncooked recipes at home. I've read all my cookbooks but I could probably cook for the rest of my life with the recipes I have sitting on the shelves.
I want to try out the recipes, but when we have guests I most of the time prefer to cook something I've done before because I'm more relaxed and this means I actually spend more time with our guests. Working close to 100% I don't just cook something new on a Wednesday, foremost because my cookbooks are at home ( most of them ) and I am in the office.
This is why myself and few girlfriends started Monday Classes. Once a month we meet to cook from our cookbooks. We try new recipes and techniques, we drink and chat and sometimes we even knit.
Here I will share impressions and let you know which recipes and books are worth buying and trying.
We started in January with the Ottolenghi. This was on the menu:
Bittersweet salad (Plenty page 162) and green pancakes with lime butter (Plenty page 150). For dessert we had an apple crumble.
The green pancakes are proper comfort food perfect for a weekday dinner or a light summer dinner eaten on the balcony after a long and sunny day. The lime butter that goes with is is delicious and I will use it for other dishes as well. It's actually worth having a pot stored in the refrigerator…
A very good looking light dinner .
By now you might have guessed that we have a new concept here at coeur de sel, instead of making my son eating things I rather make him cook things.
Something like if he won't eat with me he can at least cook with me ;-)
Just joking, it's just that it's getting dark outside rally early now and our little man can't play football till 7.30 pm anymore. The only other thing that comes to his mind is doing headstands on the sofa, the ultimate sign of boredom - my chance to lure him into the kitchen!
Who knows maybe this helps make him more curious towards food … then again… I should probably just stop trying.
Anyway Spätzli are fun to make and way better than the ready made ones. Also you always end up with to many of them. Good thing they store well in the fridge and give you an easy second dinner . One can also freez them .
- 500gr flour preferably a mixture of plain flour and durum semolina
- 3 eggs
- 2 tbs or more salt
- A good bit of freshly ground nutmeg
- 2 dl Milk
- 1 dl water
Mix all the ingredients and let the mixture rest for an hour.
Meanwhile bring bit pot of salted water to boil.
If you want to make Spätzli you need a Spätzli strainer ( like the one on the picture). Now all you have to do, is press the mixture through the strainer into the boiling water. I always do one Soup serving spoon after an other. When, when the Spätzli come to the surface you can skim them and quickly quench them in cold water and drain. Then continue with the next spoon.
If you don't want to invest in a Spätzli strainer you can do Knöpfli ( basically a bigger less round version). For this moisten a small wooden plank. Put a good dollop of the mixture on it and start scraping small bits go the mixture into the boiling water. Use a big knife for this. This is a bit trickier because one tends to make to big Knöpflis. Skim, quench and drain like before.
We like our Knöpflis/Spätzlis fried in butter till golden brown. As you can see some like them with plenty of Maggi. I prefer them with red cabbage, Brussels sprouts and mushrooms - very traditional.
I know it's been very quiet around here for the last weeks. But it hasn't in real world. Summer is unfortunately also fashion season and so my job just stresses me from planes to trains into ugly showrooms and to fashion shows. When all I actually wanna do is swimming in the river and work in the garden.
Summer is also the time where we can not go on holiday and have to survive a long 5 weeks school holiday at home with a grumpy boy. This summer was particularly intense because it's also the summer where our boy finished kindergarden and started school.
Summer is also the time where the garden dominates the menu. It's when we drown in summer squashes and pic- nique gherkins, can't wait for the first artichokes to arrive, where all our salad comes from the garden and we even have our own garlic.
Though I do have some things I want to share with you over the next weeks. For a start some pictures from days in the allotment, living from freshly picked berries and veggies - cheese and plenty of red wine
January february are traditionally the quiet months here on coeur de sel. There are several reasons for this, first off, after all this christmas cooking it's time to take it easy, I'm usually a bit fed up with cooking I have to admit and I'm starting to run out of ideas of what to cook with winter vegetables too. I dream of spring onions and broad beans and baby carrots. But its also the time when I have to travel a lot for my job and have no time for cooking.
To make up for the silence around here I like to show you a glimpse of the coeur de sel workspace , we did a bit of renovation. As I said before we rent our flat so we can only do minor changes. Beside the new tiles, we flattened the abrasion walls, painted the ugly wooden ceiling and made new shelves.
my love - the 20 year old Pavoni
I did a bit of renovation in our ( rented ) apartment ( hope our landlord doesn't kick us out soon ).
I did the tiling myself - gave me a tremendous muscle ache but I'm very happy with it, even though I have to be even more precise if I ever want to do a floor with these cement tiles ... it's not finished yet we are also waiting for the painter to free us from these ugly abrasion walls and the wooden celling.
Any ideas how we could pimp our rather ugly kitchen covering?