eat in my kitchen

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Tag: coriander

Feta and Fennel Barley with Caramelized Kumquats

Feat and Fennel Barley with Caramelized Kumquats

My latest discovery of a barley recipe from Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi’s stunning Jerusalem cookbook was a life changing event in my kitchen. I finally like barley!

For years my mother has been trying to convince me of the little grain’s qualities – unsuccessfully. I’m not a huge fan of orzotto or risotto, I can enjoy both of them for lunch but I wouldn’t call them a great source of inspiration. But then, as I thumbed through the pages of Jerusalem, page number 81 caught my attention: Parsley & Barley Salad. The title doesn’t mention the ingredient that changed everything for me, feta. The two London chefs marinate the cheese in spiced oil before they finish off their composition with barley, lots and lots of parsley, and spring onions. They also add cashews but I skipped them, I’m not too fond of nuts in my cooking.

So what happens is that, when I really like a recipe, my mind starts spinning looking for variations. First I added much more barley than mentioned in the recipe to turn it into a richer meal befitting these cold winter evenings. Then I stirred in raw, thinly sliced fennel, blood orange juice, mint, and honey-caramelized kumquats (an inspiration from last year’s celeriac salad). Ottolenghi and Tamimi use za’tar for their spice oil, which I replaced with ground cardamom and fennel seeds. Crushed coriander seeds and allspice berries are taken from their recipe and add a warming touch to it.

You’ll end up with quite a vibrant dish that can be eaten cold, as a salad, or slightly warm, as a main or side dish. Although the spiced oil, salty cheese, and sour kumquats are quite prominent, the nutty barley and crunchy fennel aren’t shy here either. What’s great about it, is that you can play with it, add and change spices, fruits, and vegetables according to your mood and the season. Just stick to barley and marinated feta, that’s the secret.

Feat and Fennel Barley with Caramelized Kumquats

Feta and Fennel Barley with Caramelized Kumquats

Serves 3-4

pearl barley 100g / 1/2 cup
olive oil 5 tablespoons, plus a splash
coriander seeds, ground in a mortar, 3/4 teaspoon
allspice berries, ground in a mortar, 1/2 teaspoon
fennel seeds, ground in a mortar, 1/2 teaspoon
ground cumin 1/2 teaspoon
ground cardamom 1/4 teaspoon
feta, cut into cubes, 150g / 5 ounces
medium fennel bulb, quartered, cored, and thinly sliced, 1
freshly squeezed blood orange juice 4 tablespoons
fine sea salt
ground pepper
fresh mint leaves, a small handful

For the caramelized kumquats

honey 2 tablespoons
kumquats, cut in half lengthwise, seeds removed, 12
(or 12 orange fillets, peeled)
freshly squeezed orange juice 4 tablespoons

Cook the barley in salted water until al dente, drain in a colander, and rinse briefly with water.

In a medium bowl, whisk the olive oil, coriander, allspice, fennel seeds, cumin, and cardamom. Add the feta and mix gently until the cheese is coated with oil and spices, set aside.

For the caramelized kumquats, in a small, heavy pan, heat the honey over high heat until liquid and bubbling. Add the kumquats and orange juice and cook for about 2 minutes or until golden brown on the bottom, turn and cook for another 1 1/2 – 2 minutes or until soft and caramelized; mind that they don’t become too dark.

Transfer the barley, sliced fennel, orange juice, and feta with the spiced oil to a large bowl and stir gently. Season with salt and pepper to taste, stir in a little more olive oil if it’s too dry. Sprinkle with mint and arrange the kumquats on top. Enjoy warm or cold.

Feat and Fennel Barley with Caramelized Kumquats

 

Feat and Fennel Barley with Caramelized Kumquats

 

Feat and Fennel Barley with Caramelized Kumquats

 

Feat and Fennel Barley with Caramelized Kumquats

 

Feat and Fennel Barley with Caramelized Kumquats

Crispy Pan-Roasted Coriander Potatoes with Chèvre and Lemon Thyme

Coriander Potatoes with Chèvre

Golden roasted potatoes eaten straight out of the pan are an unbeatable culinary delight. Spice it up with crushed coriander seeds, mild fresh chèvre, and aromatic lemon thyme and you’ll have an easy summer lunch (or dinner) that won’t disappoint you. It’s a rustic side for barbecued sausage, steak or ribs, you could even serve it as a cold or warm salad. But don’t forget to cook the potatoes a few hours, or preferably a day, in advance. To create crispy potatoes, they have to be cold and dry from the start.

I often enjoyed pan roasted potatoes with my mother when I visited her for a one-night sleep over while I still went to university. We would open a nice bottle of red wine, fry some onions and Tyrolean prosciutto, and mix in the crispiest potatoes. These were the perfect girls’ nights, just us, chatting and cooking, and enjoying the simple treats of life, which my mother mastered to perfection!

If you’re looking for more inspiration for roast potatoes, here are a few scrumptious recipes:

Fennel Potatoes

La Ratte Potatoes with Lemon Peel, Olives, and Parsley

Rosemary Potatoes with Feta

Spicy Potato Wedges

Roast Potatoes with Pear, Grapes, and Rosemary

Coriander Potatoes with Chèvre

 

Coriander Potatoes with Chèvre

Crispy Pan-Roasted Coriander Potatoes with Chèvre and Lemon Thyme

Serves 2-3 people

olive oil
waxy potatoes, peeled, boiled, and rinsed, about 700g / 1 1/2 pounds
flaky sea salt
black peppercorns, crushed in a mortar
quality coriander seeds (preferably organic), lightly crushed in a mortar, 2 tablespoons
fresh chèvre, crumbled, 100-150g / 3 1/2-5 ounces
fresh lemon thyme leaves (or regular thyme and a little lemon zest) 2-3 tablespoons

Let the potatoes cool and dry on a wire rack for at least 1 hour or a day and cut them into thick slices. In a large, heavy pan, heat a generous splash of olive oil and roast the potatoes on medium-high for a few minutes on each side until golden brown. Cook them in batches and turn them one by one with a fork. Season with flaky sea salt and crushed pepper to taste and transfer to a plate. Cover them with a lid to keep them warm.

Heat a splash of olive oil in the pan used to roast the potatoes and cook the coriander seeds on medium heat for 1 minute (they shouldn’t get dark). Add the roasted potato slices to the pan, mix gently with the coriander, and sprinkle with crumbled chèvre and the lemon thyme. Season with salt and pepper to taste and enjoy warm.

Coriander Potatoes with Chèvre

 

Coriander Potatoes with Chèvre

 

corianderchevrepotatoes5

 

corianderchevrepotatoes8

Shrimp Sandwich with Cumin Guacamole, Coriander and Chili Peppers

Shrimp Sandwich with Cumin Guacamole

Sometimes I sit in my kitchen, or on my sofa in the living room, I close my eyes and imagine food. Just food. I can see colourful ingredients, vegetables, seafood, spices and herbs, or beautiful dishes carefully prepared on plates. I don’t have to do anything, these pictures appear naturally in front of my inner eye. It’s a helpful gift and the reason I never fear running out of inspiration, as long as I take my time to sit down with a cup of tea, relax and let go my kitchen ideas will come to me.

Culinary daydreams are fun and I particularly enjoy the ones about new sandwich creations. It makes me feel like a child in a toy shop. I can pull any ingredient out of the imaginary shelf, mix wildly and create whatever comes to mind on the plates, or I can keep it simple and work (or dream) minimal. Fruit and ripe cheese is always a great match, but there’s so much more, sweet and salty, creamy and crunchy, sour and spicy, fresh and aged aromas, there are endless possibilities.

It’s an exciting process as I never know how it will taste until I finished taking the last picture and enjoy the first bite. Some recipes are hard to imagine but I always follow my gut feeling (literally) and that’s quite reliable. Today I felt like cumin guacamole, it’s a great fusion of this distinctive spice and the wonderful velvety fruit, they truly bring out the best in each other! I merged this duo with the salty taste of the sea, fresh herbs and some hot spiciness. Shrimp, avocado, coriander and red chili peppers stuffed between a bun, my daydreaming was right, it was delicious!

A special event calls for action, I’m asking for your help! The wonderful Saveur Magazine opened the nominations for their Food Blog Award 2015 and it would be great if you could support eat in my kitchen. You just have to hop over to Saveur.com, choose the categories that you feel my blog fits best and fill in www.eatinmykitchen.meikepeters.com, here is the link for the nomination!

Thank you so much! Meike xx

Shrimp Sandwich with Cumin Guacamole

 

Shrimp Sandwich with Cumin Guacamole

Shrimp Sandwich with Cumin Guacamole, Coriander and Chili Peppers

For 2 sandwiches you need

buns, cut in half, 2
shrimps, cooked and peeled, 100g / 3.5 ounces
small ripe avocados, peeled, 2
sour cream 3 tablespoons
freshly squeezed lemon juice, to taste
a pinch of cumin
salt and pepper
fresh red chili pepper, thinly sliced, 1
fresh coriander leaves, a small handful
black peppercorns, crushed in a mortar, for the topping

Cut 1 avocado into slices, chop the second one with a fork and mix with 2 tablespoons of the sour cream. Season with lemon juice, cumin, salt and pepper to taste.

Divide the guacamole between the 2 buns and spread it voluptuously on the bottom half. Lay the shrimp and avocado slices on top and sprinkle with the remaining sour cream, the chili pepper, crushed pepper and coriander leaves. Enjoy!

Shrimp Sandwich with Cumin Guacamole

 

Shrimp Sandwich with Cumin Guacamole

 

Shrimp Sandwich with Cumin Guacamole

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

Beetroot Carpaccio with fresh Coconut and Coriander

Beetroot Carpaccio with fresh Coconut and Coriander

Sometimes I must have a coconut in my kitchen, not because I’m so crazy about the taste, more because I love the whole ceremony of opening them. First I punch 3 holes into the top to pour out the coconut water (which I like a lot) and then I hammer it open. It really makes you feel like you have to work for your food, which is a rare experience in our culture. I don’t know how often I hit my thumb and swore I would never do it again, but I can’t help it, here I am again with a big hard nut on my kitchen floor, fighting for my food.

As soon as the white meat is peeled out of the shell I keep it in a bowl of water as it dries out really quickly. It’s quite a nice snack to nibble on but for today’s lunch I had different plans, I had a beetroot carpaccio in mind, sprinkled with crunchy coconut slices and fresh coriander. I used the coconut’s water for the dressing and whisked it with olive oil, orange juice and some of Arnold’s Maltese Orange Blossom honey (I still have a little bit left and treat it like a treasure!). The earthy beetroot can take the combination with strong flavours and this one is quite exotic, if you’re up for something more simple, try the combination with apples and pomegranate!

Beetroot Carpaccio with fresh Coconut and Coriander

 

Beetroot Carpaccio with fresh Coconut and Coriander

Beetroot Carpaccio with fresh Coconut and Coriander

For 2 you need

small beetroot 4
bay leaf 1
fresh coconut 1/4
fresh coriander leaves, a small bunch
coconut water 1 tablespoon
olive oil 2 tablespoons
freshly squeezed orange juice 2 tablespoons
good quality honey (liquid) 1/4 teaspoon (if it’s hard, warm it up in a pan)
salt and pepper

Cook the beetroots with the bay leaf in salted water for about 45 minutes, rinse with cold water and let them cool.

Carefully punch (or drill) 3 holes into the top of the coconut (I use a clean screwdriver and a hammer) and pour the water into a glass, crack the hard skin of the coconut and peel out the white meat. Cut about 1/4 of the coconut into very thin slices.

For the dressing, whisk the coconut water, olive oil, orange juice and honey and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Peel the beetroots, cut them into thin round slices (with a cheese or vegetable slicer) and arrange them on plates. Sprinkle with the coconut slices, the dressing and coriander.

Beetroot Carpaccio with fresh Coconut and Coriander

 

Beetroot Carpaccio with fresh Coconut and Coriander

Salmon with a Coriander, White Pepper and Orange Crust

Salmon with Spice and Orange Crust

After a week of daily feasting I need a change in my cooking, some fresh aromas to shake my taste buds a little. Together with my Maltese sister Emma and her boyfriend Mariano we savoured like the Romans, the table was practically piled with paté and cheese, roasts, pies and cookies every day. I need a culinary turnaround to bring back some hot spiciness and light fruitiness to my kitchen. I loved the opulence of December and enjoyed each bite but every feast has its end and I’m definitely ready for that!

I went shopping (the best way to get some inspiration) and seafood was first on my list. I wanted to get a big bag of mussels to steam with fresh fennel, ginger and lots of garlic but a large fillet of salmon changed my plans. It just looked too good so the mussels have to wait. Back home, I took out the mortar, the white peppercorns which I have neglected for months, coriander seeds and an orange. There are tons of oranges in my kitchen at the moment, it looks quite Mediterranean and brings in some brightness to contrast Berlin’s monotonous winter grey. I like to squeeze a couple fruits for our morning juices, grate their skin for almost everything I put into the oven and enjoy their fillets as a snack from morning until midnight. For my salmon, I just used the grated skin mixed with crushed peppercorns and coriander for an aromatic crust. It was strong but the the fish’s pink meat can take it. I find it easiest to brush the salmon with an egg wash before I dip it into the spices, they stick to it and turn into a crunchy topping. I cooked my salmon in a pan but you could also fry it for just a minute and finish it in the oven. For the crust, I used a bit of orange zest to cook with the fish and sprinkled it with half a teaspoon when it was done. Next time I would put the zest on in the end as the little citrus bits can easily turn dark in the pan and most of the flavour came from the fresh zest anyway. The result was spicy and fresh, exactly what I needed on the table!

Salmon with Spice and Orange Crust

 

Salmon with Spice and Orange Crust

 Salmon with Spice and Orange Crust

For 2 hungry people you need

salmon fillet, with skin, 400g / 14 ounces
organic egg, beaten, 1
coriander, crushed in a mortar, 1 tablespoon
white peppercorns, crushed in a mortar, 1/2 tablespoon
orange zest 1/2  – 1 teaspoon
salt
olive oil

Dip the salmon in the egg wash (just the side without skin). Mix the coriander and pepper, spread the spices on the pink side and push them gently into the egg wash.

Heat a splash of olive oil in a pan and cook the salmon on medium heat skin side first. Add a little more oil if necessary and quickly turn the fillet around. Turn the temperature down to a medium-low and cook for just 2 minutes. Turn it around again and finish on the skin side for another 2 minutes or until it’s cooked through. Season with salt and sprinkle the warm crust immediately (in the pan) with orange zest.

If you prefer to cook the salmon in the oven, fry it for a minute on each side before you sprinkle it with orange zest and cook it in the 200°C / 390°F hot oven for about 6-8 minutes depending on the fillet’s thickness.

Salmon with Spice and Orange Crust

 

Salmon with Spice and Orange Crust

Spicy Mango Salad and the Thai Park in Berlin

Mango Salad with Coriander + Roasted Cashews

A small path lined with trees and dense bushes led me to one of Berlin’s most highly praised culinary hotspots which I’ve wanted to visit for ages. Last Sunday I finally made my way to the city’s famous Thai Park! The air was hot and sticky and I enjoyed the short walk in the shade, I was excited as many of my friends had told me so much about this place and its amazing food. A big meadow surrounded by a green wall of trees opened in front of me, with people sitting on blankets under little umbrellas savoring delicious looking food, playing cards or just daydreaming. It was a peaceful scene, Sunday afternoon calm.

Mango Salad with Coriander + Roasted Cashews

On Sundays when the weather is nice and sunny, women from Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Indonesia come to the Preußen Park in the heart of Berlin and make it their kitchen. They sit on the grass behind colourful cooling boxes, mobile grills and gas cookers and chop vegetables or fry tempura. While they offer golden fried pork belly, shrimp and dumpling sticks, the ladies chat and laugh between their mobile kitchens. On a tiny patch of grass they cook delicacies which I would hardly manage to create in my kitchen! I was astonished, by the beauty of the food and of the women, the utter satisfaction in their faces touched me. Their passion for cooking and for their traditional recipes is the reason they gather in this park thousands of kilometers away from the recipes’ origin to create the meals they grew up with and to share with people like me. I was so impressed by the quality and variety of the dishes they offered!

Mango Salad with Coriander + Roasted Cashews

Needless to say that I bought lots of plates and boxes with salads, meat and fish, spring and summer rolls and dumplings. I found a little spot in the shade and enjoyed all the different dishes, flavours and combinations which I rarely use in my own kitchen. There was far too much food so we enjoyed the leftovers at home where I also came up with the idea for a mango salad with a few changes to the one I enjoyed at the park.

To begin with I didn’t have green mangos but a very ripe yellow one which I didn’t grate (the traditional way) but cut into slices. I mixed it with lots of coriander, roasted cashews and spicy red chili pepper. For the dressing I used the sesame oil I had bought for my Korean Bibimbap, soya sauce, honey, lime and lemongrass. I didn’t try to create an authentic Thai mango salad, it’s my own variation on this classic. When I want to eat the traditional one which I won’t even try to compete with, I will go to the lady in the park and ask her to prepare a portion for me, the best Thai salad I have ever had!

Mango Salad with Coriander + Roasted Cashews

 Spicy Mango Salad with Coriander and Roasted Cashews

For 4 people you need

ripe yellow mangos, sliced, 2
coriander, the leaves of 2 bunches
roasted cashews, chopped, a handful

For the dressing
sesame oil 2 tablespoons
sunflower oil 1 teaspoon
soya sauce 1 teaspoon
honey 1 tablespoon
freshly squeezed lime juice 1 teaspoon
zest of 1/4 lime
red chili pepper, finely chopped, 2.5cm / 1″ piece
lemongrass, finely chopped, 2.5cm / 1″ piece
a pinch of brown sugar

Whisk the ingredients for the dressing and adjust to taste.

Spread the mango and coriander leaves on 4 plates and sprinkle with the cashews and dressing.

Mango Salad with Coriander + Roasted Cashews

 

Mango Salad with Coriander + Roasted Cashews

 

Mango Salad with Coriander + Roasted Cashews

Guacamole Bagel with spicy Chili Peppers

Guacamole Bagel

Whenever I make guacamole I have to make lots of it, I can eat it with a spoon! When an avocado is so smooth, ripe and buttery that you can scoop it out like an ice cream, it doesn’t really need anything more. If only there wasn’t this addictive Mexican dip which combines the fruit’s oily richness with lemon juice, coriander, salt and pepper. There are endless variations on it, I always try out new versions, this time I added some sour cream and freshly chopped red chili pepper.

For this week’s Sandwich Wednesday I had a bagel in mind. I had a couple of them in my freezer from the last batch I baked (I haven’t forgotten that I still have to share the recipe, it will come soon!). For the guacamole, I chopped 2 ripe avocados roughly and mashed them with a fork, just a little as I wanted a lumpy texture. I mixed them with 2 tablespoons of sour cream, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, salt and pepper and added 1 red chili pepper (without seeds) cut into tiny cubes and 2 tablespoons of roughly chopped coriander leaves. Spread on a juicy bagel or any other nice bun, it’s divine!

Guacamole Bagel

 

Guacamole Bagel

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