Sunday, June 26, 2011

Taboulé

One of my favorite take-along meals is taboulé. If it wasn't for all the chopping and dicing, it might also be one of my favorite dishes to prepare... Whenever I take the train, have a picknick or want a really, really tasty lunch box, I make taboulé salad. Most people use parsly to prepare it, I however use mint. It makes the salad so much more refreshing. I usually buy one of those thick bundles which you get at your local Turskish corner shop, take one or two stems to brew myself a nice cup of fresh min tea, and use the rest, chopped up, in the salad. Tomato dices and cucumber dices complement the color palette, diced feat cheese turns it into a real meal. Packed in small jam-preserving glasses, the salad is ready to accompany you wherever the day takes you!




 copyrigth of all photos j.

 Taboulé

 120 gr of couscous
10 baby tomatoes
1/2 a cucumber
1 bundle of mint
80 gr of feta cheese
olive oil
bouillon
1/2 lemon
salt and pepper

Prepare the couscous according to what the label says, but add some bouillon to the water. Let the couscous cool off while you dice the cucumber (I leave mine unpeeld but cut away the seeds in the middle), the tomatoes and the feta cheese. Chop up the mint and mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Flavor the couscous with some genrous spoons of olive oil and the juice of half a lemon, add salt and pepper, then mix the couscous with the other ingredients. The salad tastes best if you leave it in the fridge for a couple of hours before you eat it. Makes 2-3 portions.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Meals on wheels Part V : Göteborg

Last weekend, I was on a three day getaway in Göteborg, Sweden.


I've been there many times before, but never on my own. Three days is not a whole lot, but I managed to squeeze in most of my favorite places to eat or buy food. Now, where would a true foodie go when in Göteborg? Right, to the church of fish, or the fiskekyrkan, as it is called in Swedish. It's Göteborg's main fish market, and since the building resembles a church, it is commonly reffered to as the fish-church. As I had just had breakfast, I skipped the decliciously looking fish and chips and only dreamt about all the great dishes that I could prepare with the top-notch quality fish on display. 



Next, I stopped at the saluhallen, the market hall, which sits right downtown. It's airy, packed with people, and a true feast for the eye! There are fruit stalls, vegetable stalls, delicatessen stalls, spice stalls, meat stalls, confieserie, knäckbröd stalls, you name it! It's a great place to buy a pick-nick which you can enjoy in the local park.




On Sunday, I took the boat out to one of the small islands in the archipelago south of Göteborg. It's free if you buy a tram ticket. Isn't that the best thing ever? A town where riding boats is part of public transportation! I love it! Styrsö is my favorite island in the southern archipelago (Marstrand would be my favorite in the Northern archipelago). It's what you'd call a Smultronställe in Swedish. I love that word. Smultronställe literally means a spot where you find small forest strawberries, but it is used commonly to describe a cozy place where you can totally relax. The island is small which means you can stroll around among the beautiful old summer houses, relax on the water edge, take a swim, and visit the cute little café Öbergska: It sits right at the harbour, they offer delicious home made quiches and pies which you can eat it their little garden. Who would say no to a slice of homemade apple cake with vanilla custard in that setting? I also find the prices quite moderate. 





Dear future employer, could you please pay me a decent salary, so that I can buy such a humble abode?
 
copyright of all photos j.

Two more places I highly recommed but which did not end up on camera are Brogyllens konditori and Hagabiografen. Brogyllens is the classic old style café which serves lovely patisserie creations. Their prawn sandwich is one of the best and they serve tea in the classic théière Salam by Guy Degrenne - you just got to love a place that does that! Strangely enough, the café closes at 15.00 on Saturdays, so it's best to go there early, when there is still a whole lot variety in the display to choose from. I also think that they have more and also more elaborate dishes on offer during the weekend as compared to weekdays.
Hagabiografen is a totally different place. It's actually an arthouse cinema, but they also have a very cozy and stylish café. Their summer terrace is a great place to sit and watch the crowd which seems to have sprung right out of a lifestyle/fasion/state of the art-blogg. If you want to know what Berliners will wear next year, study the Hagabiografen's crowd. It also totally lacks the elitist attitude that in crowds can bring and is rather relaxed. They mainly serve pasta, soups and sandwiches and their small menu means that they rather focuse on a few dishes and do them well than offer anything and everything. I always have a grilled goat cheese sandwhich which they serve on home made nut bread. Their sallad dressing is also to die for!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Don't try this at home, kids!

I already blogged about my favorite strawberry dessert last year, but if you were not yet following my blog then, you should definitely follow the link - it is simply the best. Today's recipe comes in second, and is definitely only meant to be enjoyed by grown-ups. It's simple, smooth, elegant, refreshing and tipsy. Once upon a time, it was called strawberries with amaretto-flavored curd cheese. Over the years, it matured into strawberries with curd cheese-flavored amaretto, so -please, kids- don't try this at home!



copyrigth of all photos j.


Strawberries with amaretto curd

500 gr of strawberries
250 gr of curd cheese (quark in German, but if you can't come across any, your best choice is turkish yoghurt)
100 ml of heavy cream
sugar
amaretto

Cut the strawberries into small pieces, mix them with 2 teaspoons of sugar and set them aside. Whip the heavy cream and mix it with the curd cheese. That way, the curd cheese will get fluffier. Now, add as much sugar as you like, i's suggest somewhere between 1-3 tablespoons. Likewise, add amaretto to your liking, I'd recommend between 5-10 tablespoons. Some like it very subtle (my Mom), others (yes, that would be me) like it very, very strong!
Makes 3-4 portions. If kids are present, just set aside some curd cheese and cream mix for them, which you can additionally flavor with sugar and vanilla sugar.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Shaun the brioche

I feel a little sheepish about my first attempt at making brioche....
So tell me, all you talented brioche-bakers out there, what is the secret? How do you keep the top-ball from sliding to the side?
Are my balls too big or too small? Were they not exactly centered when I placed them on the bottom-ball? Was I supposed to let the balls rise seperately?
In any case, they tasted great, though my favorite yeast dough is still made with heavy cream instead of butter.





copyrigth of all photos j.


Shaun the brioche

180 gr of flour (type 505)
1/2 sachet of dry yeast
1/2 a tsp of baking powder
100 ml of warm milk
50 gr of warm butter
25 gr of sugar
a pinch of salt
1 egg yoke
optional: small chunks of chocolate

The night before: Heat the butter and the milk until they are lukewarm. Mix the flour, the yeast, the sugar, the baking powder and the salt, then add the milk-butter-mix. Mix well until you have a smooth, round dough ball in your bowl. Let rise for about 40 minutes. Knead the dough again, separating it into 5 small balls. Four of those will be your bottoms, if you want, place a chunk of chocloate in them, close them, and place them with the smooth side up into a brioche pan (or muffin pan). Take the fifth ball and separate it into four small balls, which will be your top-balls. Carefully place them on top of the bottom balls and make a wish to the "let-my-top-ball-stay-centered-brioche-fairy". Now, place the pan in the fridge where the brioches will rise over night.
In the morning: Take the brioches out of the fridge. Preheat the oven at 170 °C. Paint the brioches with the egg yoke. Bake them for about 25 minutes, until they are golden brown. The ones with a heart of chocolate taste best fresh out of the oven, when the chocolate is still somewhat runny.
Baaaaaaaaa!