eat in my kitchen

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Tag: cardamom

Celeriac Salad with Caramelized Honey Kumquats and Walnuts

Celeriac Salad with Caramelized Honey Kumquats

My little cookbook library got extended by a few amazing recipe collections. Santa (or rather my Maltese mama Jenny) was so kind to leave a few gems under our tree: Nigel Slater‘s new The Kitchen Diaries III, Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi (finally!), Vegetarian India by Madhur Jaffrey, and the fantastic Anatolia by Somer Sivrioglu and David Dale. The latter blew me away! This book is gorgeous, the pictures are mouthwatering and the dishes inspired me as soon as I laid my eyes on the first page. I’ll definitely write about it again in the next few weeks, I already tried one of the recipes for a Turkish pizza and it was divine. Madhur is a new find for me, I haven’t had much time to thumb through the pages of her book but what I’ve seen so far looks promising. Nigel’s book is a cooking bible with 250 (!) recipes – and I’m already struggling with the amount of work I have with the 100 recipes in my book! I love his approach to creating recipes, the way he writes about them and the beautiful photos taken by Jonathan Lovekin who’s also been responsible for Nigel’s former kitchen diaries, which I’m equally obsessed with. I’m sure I’ll spend quite some time with this book in the next few years.

One of Nigel’s creations, which is the 248th recipe in the book, struck me right away: a gorgeous celeriac and blood orange salad sprinkled with nigella seeds and capers. I haven’t tried it yet – but I will soon – however, it made me think about celeriac salad. I like the addition of citrus, especially my beloved blood orange, but so far they haven’t been in sight at the market. Kumquats came to mind, caramelized and softened in sizzling honey, I used these sweet, sour, and bitter bites for my luscious Orange Blossom, Ricotta, Kumquat, and Pistachio Tartine last April. It was quite a beauty. For my salad of grated celeriac, I also added a creamy yet light yoghurt-cardamom dressing, and sprinkled it with walnuts. Some honey drizzled on top to enhance the sweetness and my first winter salad of 2016 was born. Thank you Nigel!

If you’re not that fond of kumquats, you can replace them with orange fillets.

Celeriac Salad with Caramelized Honey Kumquats

Celeriac Salad with Cardamom-Yoghurt, Caramelized Honey Kumquats, and Walnuts

Serves 3-4

For the dressing

yoghurt 200g / 2/3 cup
olive oil 2 tablespoons
freshly squeezed orange juice 1 tablespoon
ground cardamom 1/4 teaspoon
freshly grated orange zest 1/2 teaspoon plus 1 teaspoon for the topping
fine sea salt
ground pepper

For the salad

peeled celeriac, grated, 250g / 9 ounces
freshly squeezed lemon juice 1 tablespoon
runny honey 1 tablespoon plus 1-2 tablespoons for the topping
freshly squeezed orange juice 4 tablespoons
kumquats, cut in half lengthwise, 12
(or 12 orange fillets)
walnuts, 1 large handful
a few black peppercorns, crushed in a mortar

For the dressing, whisk together all the ingredients until smooth and season to taste with salt, pepper, cardamom and orange juice.

In a large bowl, mix the grated celeriac and lemon juice, using your fingers. Sprinkle with the dressing.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the honey in a small, heavy pan on high heat, add the kumquats and the orange juice and cook for about 2-4 minutes or until soft and caramelized, turn them once or twice and mind that they don’t burn. Take the pan off the heat and arrange the kumquats on top of the salad.

Sprinkle the salad with walnuts, crushed pepper, and additional orange zest, and drizzle with honey. Enjoy immediately or let it sit for a few hours. It won’t look as pretty anymore but tastes just as good.

Celeriac Salad with Caramelized Honey Kumquats

 

Celeriac Salad with Caramelized Honey Kumquats

 

celeriackumquatcardamom6

 

Celeriac Salad with Caramelized Honey Kumquats

Rhubarb and Leek Gratin with Rosemary

Rhubarb and Leek Gratin

For weeks I have been thinking about combining leek and rhubarb in a gratin, the sourness of the fruity stalk and the onion’s distinct spiciness seemed like a special match. Weeks and many other recipes have past, but I finally found the time to sit down and think about the right composition to make this duo work.

At first, I started off with a pinch of cardamom, this spice adds a nice warming touch, but something was still missing. I took a quick look at my herb garden in front of my bedroom window, that’s the place where I keep all my little pots at the moment. The plants spread a mesmerizing smell in the afternoon sun and filled the air with the nicest aroma of rosemary, thyme, sage, oregano, marjoram, tarragon, chervil and lovage. I started to pick some thyme leaves but realised it would be too strong for my gratin, rosemary and its woody taste was the missing link in my composition, it made it complete!

Rhubarb and Leek Gratin

 

Rhubarb and Leek Gratin

 Rhubarb and Leek Gratin with Rosemary

For 2 as a snack or 4 as a side dish you need

leek, cut in half lengthwise and cut into 6cm / 2 1/2″ pieces, 250g / 1/2 pound
rhubarb, cut in half lengthwise and cut into 6cm / 2 1/2″ pieces, 250g / 1/2 pound
olive oil
a pinch of ground cardamom
flaky sea salt
black peppercorns, crushed in a mortar
sugar
fresh rosemary needles, chopped, for the topping

Set the oven to 200°C / 390°F (top / bottom heat) and oil the bottom of a baking dish.

Arrange the leek and rhubarb in circles in the baking dish and coat with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, cardamom and a little sugar. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden and soft. Sprinkle with fresh rosemary and season to taste.

Rhubarb and Leek Gratin

 

Rhubarb and Leek Gratin

 

rhubarbleekgratincardamom6

Blueberry Lemon Swiss Roll

Blueberry Lemon Swiss Roll

My mother doesn’t have a sweet tooth at all, we are complete opposites when it comes to cakes and dessert. I have no problem scarfing down a quarter of a cake on my own, and she’s happy with a slice so thin that I wouldn’t even bother cutting it. We look very much alike, we share the same birthday month and we both love to make a daily feast out of our lives, but our sweet preferences couldn’t be further apart.

So when she visited us last week, there weren’t many sweet treats on our culinary schedule but when I put my blueberry lemon swiss roll on the table, she impressed me. I was prepared to cut impossibly thin slices for her but, to my surprise, she got hooked on the roll. Usually, I’m the one who takes the last piece of a cake, my reputation is well known in my family when it comes to sweets, my appetite is insatiable. You can offer me the most extensive meal but even if I have to struggle towards the end, there’s always space for a well sized dessert. But this time, the last piece wasn’t for me, my mother asked for it and I don’t think I’ll ever forget this moment.

I must admit that my swiss roll was tempting on many levels, the spongy cake is absolutely heavenly, light, fluffy but structured, refined with lots of lemon zest. The blueberries added a juicy crunchiness but the cream filling was the actual star that made the whole composition complete. I whipped the cream with a little sugar and cardamom which creates an addictive deliciousness in combination with the lemony roll. The three of us loved it so much that this huge roll didn’t even last 24 hours!

Here’s the link to my strawberry swiss roll!

Blueberry Lemon Swiss Roll

 

Blueberry Lemon Swiss Roll

 Blueberry Lemon Swiss Roll

For a 30cm / 12″ roll you need

organic eggs 4
sugar 70g/ 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons for the whipped cream and 2-4 tablespoons for the sprinkling
a pinch of salt
lemon zest 1 teaspoon
plain flour 70g / 1/2 cup
cornstarch 30g / 1/4 cup
blueberries 250g / 1/2 pound
(keep 6 berries as decoration)
whipping cream 220g / 1 cup
ground cardamom 1/2 teaspoon
icing sugar to dust the roll

Set the oven to 220°C (top / bottom heat) and line a baking sheet (minimum 30 x 30cm / 12 x 12″) with parchment paper.

Whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt for a few seconds before you add half the sugar, continue beating until stiff.

Mix the egg yolks, lemon zest and the remaining sugar with an electric mixer until thick and creamy. Fold the egg white into the egg yolks with a wooden spoon. Sieve and combine the flour and cornstarch and fold gently into the egg mixture. Spread the dough on the lined baking sheet (30 x 30cm / 12 x 12″) and bake in the middle of the oven for 6 minutes or until golden and spongy.

Sprinkle a kitchen towel with 2-4 tablespoons of sugar and flip the warm sponge onto the towel. Peel off the parchment paper and carefully roll the sponge with the towel. Leave it rolled up until cool. You can see the picture in my strawberry roll post (link above).

Whip the cream, cardamom and 2 tablespoons of sugar until thick and creamy and adjust sugar and spice to taste.

Unwind the sponge roll carefully and lay it onto a working surface. Spread the whipped cream on the cake, leave a rim of 2cm / 3/4″. Cover with blueberries and roll it up again, slowly and gently, mind not to squeeze the cream out from the sides. Dust with icing sugar and decorate with the berries and a little lemon zest. Serve immediately or keep in the fridge before serving.

Blueberry Lemon Swiss Roll

 

Blueberry Lemon Swiss Roll

 

Blueberry Lemon Swiss Roll

 

blueberrylemonswissroll9

Rhubarb Cardamom Clafoutis

Rhubarb Cardamom Clafoutis

In the past few weeks, my kitchen (and sometimes our living room and balcony) has looked like a farmer’s market. I use every corner, kitchen counter, shelf and cupboard to store piles of fruit and vegetables. Tomatoes, squash and beans sit next to colourful cabbages, lettuce, the whole range of citrus fruits and more pots of herbs than I’ve ever had in my kitchen before. Plums, strawberries, pears and apples share space with all sorts of roots and greens. Since I started working on my cookbook, my kitchen became a beautiful mess, completely stuffed and almost bursting. My fridge is always so full that I have problems fitting in the butter tin and milk after breakfast.

In the past 3 days, I cooked and baked 12 dishes, so whenever my boyfriend and I meet in the kitchen to have dinner, it feels like choosing from a scrumptious buffet at a hotel. It’s quite a treat and we can’t complain as the results are very satisfying but we are a little bit worried that we’ll look like whales when we go to the beach in Malta this summer. So far, the scales have been fair and forgiving, nothing has changed. I blame it on all the vegetables, the good olive oil and the crazy activities which has also taken over our lives. If you move constantly, you can’t really gain weight. Hopefully it will stay this way, as I still have a few weeks of excessive cooking and baking ahead of me!

If there are no book recipes on my schedule, I only need to look around me and I can pick all the fruit and veg I could possibly ask for. There’s everything at hand, whatever my taste desires. Be it spring, summer, autumn or winter, all the seasons are represented in my kitchen, which also means that there is always something that has to be prepared as I don’t want to waste. I ended up with too many eggs, too much milk and too much rhubarb, this called for a clafoutis! I refined the golden French pan dish with cardamom, you could also add cinnamon but cardamom is my favourite baking spice at the moment. The result was very fluffy, I was impressed how much it rose this time! You never really know what this dessert is going to do when you take it out of the oven. The pleasure didn’t last very long, a clafoutis can rise like a soufflé and deflate almost as quickly. But it tasted fantastic, warm and fragrant, slightly sweet and sour, just right for a late Sunday breakfast with your mama – Happy Mother’s Day to all the great mamas in the world!

You can find the recipe for my apricot clafoutis here!

Rhubarb Cardamom Clafoutis

Rhubarb Cardamom Clafoutis

For a 23cm /9″ heavy, ovenproof pan or baking dish you need

rhubarb, cut into 3cm / 1 1/4″ pieces, 300g / 10 1/2oz
ground cardamom
flour 80g / 3 ounces
sugar 4 tablespoons plus 2 tablespoons for the rhubarb
a pinch of salt
butter, melted, 30g / 1 ounce plus 2 tablespoons for the rhubarb
organic eggs 4
milk 200ml/ 7 ounces
freshly squeezed orange juice 3 tablespoons

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter with 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of cardamom in a heavy pan, add the rhubarb and cook for 3 minutes until it becomes soft, stir once in a while. Set the pan aside.

Set the oven to 180°C / 355°F (top / bottom heat) and butter a 23cm /9″ heavy, ovenproof pan or baking dish generously.

Combine the flour, 4 tablespoons of sugar and a pinch of salt. Whisk 1 teaspoon of cardamom into the warm melted butter and mix with the eggs, milk and orange juice, pour into the dry mixture and mix with an electric mixer until well combined.

Spread the rhubarb in the buttered pan and pour the batter on top. Bake for about 50 minutes or until the clafoutis is golden and set. Sprinkle the warm clafoutis with sugar and ground cardamom to taste.

Rhubarb Cardamom Clafoutis

 

Rhubarb Cardamom Clafoutis

 

Rhubarb Cardamom Clafoutis

 

rhubarbcardamomclafoutis10

Spice Roast Chicken Legs with Butter Beans and Mint

Spice Roast Chicken Legs with Beans and Mint

Five tasty C’s: coriander seeds, cumin, curcuma longa (turmeric), cardamom and cayenne pepper! The list of spices for my roast chicken legs is long but each single one adds its strong character to the aromatic result. I mixed a generous amount of their fragrant qualities into a golden marinade made of olive oil and lemon juice to let them infuse the chicken’s sizzling skin while cooking in the oven. The air in the kitchen smelled just wonderful and so did the meat when I put the tray onto the table. I also cooked some slices of lemon and butter beans in the spiced oil, the legumes skin burst and their velvety, soft inside mixed with the juices. It literally asked to be soaked with fresh ciabatta bread!

My mother often makes chicken legs in larger quantities when she has many people staying at her house, when my cousins visit to help her in the garden, or when her grandchildren visit and she isn’t up for an extensive dinner. I completely understand why, this dish is the ultimate comfort food, it’s easy to prepare (all you have to do is put the chicken legs on a tray and cook them in the oven) and you can easily customize the recipe. In late summer I cooked chicken legs with Moscato wine, grapes and thyme and in spring I glazed the skin with honey and roasted the meat with carrots and sage. You could also adjust my chicken with spiced peaches and work with the legs instead of the whole bird and enjoy the fruit’s sweetness together with the tender poultry. There are so many options! Sometimes my mother just cooks it with olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic, plain and simple. Just the idea of sitting in her garden eating the chicken leg with my fingers makes my mouth water!

Spice Roast Chicken Legs with Beans and Mint

 

Spice Roast Chicken Legs with Beans and Mint

Spice Roast Chicken Legs with Butter Beans and Mint

For 2-4 people you need

chicken legs 4
canned butter beans, rinsed and drained, 250g / 9 ounces (double the amount for 4 people)
coriander seeds, crushed in a mortar, 1 teaspoon
ground cumin 1 teaspoon
ground turmeric 1/2 teaspoon
ground cardamom 1/4 teaspoon
cayenne pepper 1/4 teaspoon
black peppercorns, crushed in a mortar, 1/4 teaspoon
lemon, cut into thin slices, 1, plus 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
olive oil
coarse sea salt
fresh mint leaves, a small handful, to serve

Set the oven to 200°C / 390°F (I use the Rotitherm setting which works perfectly for poultry).

Whisk 3 tablespoons of olive oil with the lemon juice and spices. Arrange the chicken legs in a baking dish, rub them on all sides with the spiced oil and sprinkle the skin generously with sea salt. Mix the beans with a splash of olive oil and arrange them around the meat. Put the slices of lemon on top and cook in the oven for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Pour some of the juices over the meat a couple times while it’s cooking. Check the meat with a skewer, only clear juices should come out when it’s done. If you like, turn the grill on for a few minutes until the skin starts sizzling. Serve with fresh mint and ciabatta bread.

Spice Roast Chicken Legs with Beans and Mint

 

Spice Roast Chicken Legs with Beans and Mint

 

Spice Roast Chicken Legs with Beans and Mint

 

Spice Roast Chicken Legs with Beans and Mint

eat in my kitchen x The Bread Exchange – Roast Apricots on Turmeric Bread

Roast Cardamom Apricots on Turmeric Bread

Sandwich Wednesday news! After 7 months of baking my own bread or visiting one of my trusted bakeries, there will be a new monthly sandwich feature on the blog, eat in my kitchen x The Bread Exchange.

The Bread Exchange is a trading project started by Malin Elmlid in 2008, she is a master when it comes to baking the perfect sourdough bread. Together we will share our creations on eat in my kitchen, every month she will deliver a loaf of bread to my kitchen and I will turn it into a new sandwich idea. This will be exciting as Malin likes to use the exotic ingredients she gets through trading; turmeric from Iran, vanilla from Madagascar, salt from Israel, charcoal, matcha, the list is long and inspiring!

You can’t buy Malin’s bread, you can only trade for it and that makes it all the more special. You can offer culinary products, a dinner, invite her to a special place, teach her one of your skills or share a talent. Anything of personal value might inspire her and become your trade. The Bread Exchange has been going on all over the world, wherever Malin goes, her sourdough travels with her. More than 1400 loaves of bread have been traded and thankfully enjoyed in Berlin (where she lives), in Sweden (where she’s from), the Netherlands, Afghanistan, Sinai, Morocco, Greece, USA and Belgium.

Last winter Malin asked me if I would like to test cook a couple of the recipes for her first cookbook which will be published this autumn. I cooked, baked and savored, they were all delicious and worked out perfectly – it will be so exciting to have the final The Bread Exchange book in my hands!

Roast Cardamom Apricots on Turmeric Bread

Now it’s time to talk about sandwiches! Malin suggested starting off with her Moonraker Sourdough, a turmeric and honey bread which she created a couple years ago. It’s originally made with dried apricots but she left them out this time. This glowing yellow loaf of bread with a strong spice aroma is inspired by the colour palette of the famous 70’s Bond movie which gave it its name. Look at the colour and texture of this beautiful bread, imagine turmeric and the best sourdough bread you’ve ever eaten and you will have an idea of what I had on my kitchen table! As most of you won’t be able to find a turmeric bread I will involve the flavours that Malin uses in her bread creations for my sandwiches, so you just have to get (or bake) the best sourdough bread you can find in town and then you can start!

Here’s our first eat in my kitchen x The Bread Exchange sandwich creation, fresh apricots roasted with thyme, cardamom and turmeric in honey olive oil together with maple syrup and cardamom crème fraîche on thick slices of turmeric sourdough bread! This sandwich is wonderfully aromatic, juicy and fruity, the spices are present but not overpowering. If you don’t have a loaf of bread at hand you could also pack the roast fruits on vanilla ice, this is just as good!

My next sandwich cooperation with Malin will be in August, I don’t know what she’ll bring to my kitchen but I can’t wait to enjoy another one of her creations!

Roast Cardamom Apricots on Turmeric Bread

Roast Cardamom Apricots on Turmeric Bread

For 4 open sandwiches you need

sourdough bread, 1 loaf, cut into thick slices
fresh apricots, cut in half, 6
honey 1 tablespoon
olive oil 1 tablespoon
turmeric 1/4 teaspoon
cardamom 1/4 teaspoon
thyme 10 small sprigs
coarse sea salt

For the spread
crème fraîche or cream cheese 150g / 5.5 ounces
maple syrup 1 teaspoon
a pinch of cardamom
a pinch of salt

Set the oven to 230°C / 450°F.

Warm up the honey in a sauce pan and whisk in the olive oil, turmeric and cardamom. Coat the apricots with the honey olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and spread on a baking dish (cut side up). Lay the thyme on top and roast in the oven for 8 minutes, turn the fruits around and bake for another 2 minutes.

Whisk the ingredients for the spread till creamy, season to taste and spread on the slices of bread. Put 3 apricot halves on each slice, gently as they are soft. Sprinkle with a couple roast thyme sprigs.

apricotturmericsandwich6.2

 

Roast Cardamom Apricots on Turmeric Bread

 

Roast Cardamom Apricots on Turmeric Bread

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