eat in my kitchen

To cook, to bake, to eat and to treat.

Tag: coriander

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

Salmon with a Green Pepper, Coriander and Fennel Crust

Salmon with Spice Crust

Last week’s visit to Reims and the delicious seafood I enjoyed during my short stay in France inspired me to cook fish again. I went to the market and spotted a nice fillet of salmon and my decision was made! It looked firm, nice in colour and it smelled fresh like the sea. I like salmon in combination with aromatic flavours, in January I wrote about my salmon with wintery spices baked in the oven, with bay leaf, juniper and cloves. I just restocked the jars of my spice box, my fennel and coriander empty within weeks, I’m often surprised how quickly! When I go to the market to buy spices I always take an extra few minutes to look around at what’s on offer. All the little bags and boxes filled with precious powders, berries, herbs from far away countries, so many different smells and colours, it’s a sensual journey to another world! I always buy more than there is on my list, this time a package of green peppercorns came home with me unexpectedly. Green pepper berries are picked before they are ripe, they have a strong spiciness like black pepper but very aromatic, a bit flowery.

My pick was a good choice as I wanted to pack a thick crust of coarse spices on my salmon again, this time it’s green pepper, coriander and fennel. Not a hint of spices, more of an attack, but the fish can handle that. Even more so, it was delicious. First, I thought I went a bit overboard with the spicy pepper but after the first bite I was happy I did. To prevent the crust from falling off I glazed the fish with an egg on the fleshy side, it didn’t effect the taste but kept the spices where they should be.

For 2 I had a 300g / 10.5 ounces fillet of salmon, brushed with 1 mixed egg (just on the fleshy side) and covered with a mixture of  green peppercorns, fennel seeds and coriander (1 tablespoon of each), crushed coarsely in a mortar, and some salt. I fried the fish in a large pan in olive oil, 5 minutes on each side on medium heat, the skin side first before I flipped it around and added some more oil, carefully so that the crust wouldn’t fall off. We just had  some slices of baguette and a salad on the side, my favourites with fish, apart from a glass of white wine.

Salmon with Spice Crust

 

Salmon with Spice Crust

Homemade Sausage with Herbs and Spices and Baked Fennel with Parmesan

Maltese Sausage + Baked Fennel

Our last visitors from Malta brought some of my favourite sausages along, coarse Maltese pork sausage stuffed with lots of spices and garlic. The kind that you can use to spice up a whole pot of soup. When it comes to sausage that’s exactly what I like! When I’m in Malta I fry them for breakfast without their skin and cut in half, like a burger, some fried zucchini (qarabaghli in Maltese) on the side and and I’m prepared for a day on the beach.

The gift from Malta inspired me to make my own sausages, but without skin from the start. I make mine like burgers without egg and bread (apart from a tablespoon of breadcrumbs) and with pork and beef unlike the original. Most importantly they are enhanced with plenty of rosemary, parsley, coriander and fennel seeds (luckily I still have some left from Malta to keep it even more authentic) and my coarse sea salt from Mr. Cini’s salt pans in Gozo, Malta’s sister island. Spices and salt from other parts of the world will work as well, I just like to add the nice memories and to me, they taste best. As fennel already has such an importance in this meal I add the bulbs as well, baked in the oven with onions, garlic and parmesan. It’s the right addition to my Mediterranean sausages which I fry first before I deglaze them with a splash of white wine. This makes a thick sauce of juices, delicious together with the meat and the vegetable.

Maltese Sausage + Baked Fennel

Homemade Sausage with Herbs and Spices and Baked Fennel with Parmesan

This makes a dinner for 3-4.

For the sausage

minced beef 300g / 10.5 ounces
minced pork 300g / 10.5 ounces
breadcrumbs 1 tablespoon
parsley, chopped, a medium bunch
fresh rosemary, chopped roughly, 1 teaspoon
coriander seeds, ground in a mortar, 1 tablespoon
fennel seeds, ground in a mortar, 3/4 tablespoon
black pepper, ground in a mortar (coarsely), 1 tablespoon
garlic, crushed, 2 big cloves
coarse sea salt 1 1/2 teaspoons
white wine for deglazing
olive oil for frying

Mix the ingredients well and shape thick sausages. Heat some olive oil in a large cast iron (or heavy) pan and fry the sausages on medium heat until all sides are golden brown. Deglaze the sausages with a splash of wine  so that the bottom of your pan is covered, the liquid shouldn’t evaporate completely. Turn down the heat, scrape the juices off and close the pan with a lid for 1-2 minutes until the sausages are done inside.

 

For the baked fennel

big bulbs of fennel, quartered and blanched together with 1/2 lemon for 8 minutes, 2 bulbs
(keep the green of the fennel bulbs uncooked and chopped for topping)
medium onions, chopped, 2
garlic, crushed, 2 cloves
olive oil
fresh parmesan, grated, 3 tablespoons (you can add more if you like)
salt and black pepper

Set the oven to 200°C / 390°F (I used the Rotitherm roasting setting) and brush a medium sized baking dish with olive oil.

Fry the onion and garlic in a little oil on medium heat until golden brown.

Put the fennel in the baking dish and sprinkle with olive oil and the green of the fennel. Season with salt and pepper, add the fried onions and garlic and cover with parmesan. Bake for 10 minutes until the cheese is golden brown and crisp.

Maltese Sausage + Baked Fennel

 

Maltese Sausage + Baked Fennel

 

Maltese Sausage + Baked Fennel

Roast Quail with Spice Crust

Quail with Spices

I remember when I was a child I refused to eat quail, I didn’t like the idea of cooking a bird of that size. I got older, learnt that there is no difference between eating chicken, quail or any other fully grown bird and then one day, I tried a piece of its juicy meat. I was convinced within seconds! I have since tried out many recipes, fruity with roast grapes, quail with different herb variations, pure and buttery, exotic quail with various spice mixtures, so many possibilities that change with the seasons. There’s one thing these recipes have in common, I always fry the quail in fat with a piece of garlic and then I roast it in the oven for 8-10 minutes. It makes the skin crisp and the meat doesn’t loose its juices.

You can play around with quite a few aromas because it tastes so strong, it allows you to be more experimental than with chicken. I love to look through my big box of spices and follow my nose to choose the right mixture. It makes me feel like a child in a sweet shop! This time I go for 1 small star-anis, 2 cloves, 12 black pepper corns, 1 teaspoon of coriander seeds and 1/4 teaspoon of aniseed, everything ground coarsely in my mortar. This spice mixture makes the crust for 2 quails. I had some goose fat in the fridge, perfect for frying poultry but you can use butter instead. I fried the birds together with 1 clove of garlic cut in half until their skin was golden brown on all sides and put them into a baking dish. The buttery juices mixed with a dash of lemon juice go over the quails, followed by the spices rubbed into their skin and some salt. Now they just need to go into the oven, set to 200°C / 390°F, I used the Rotitherm roasting setting which works perfectly for poultry. Mine were done in 8 minutes, I had bigger quails which needed up to 15 minutes depending on their size.

We focused on the quail and enjoyed this meal with slices of white bread to dip into the spiced juices and a salad on the side.

Quail with Spices

 

Quail with Spices

Thai Soup and Beef

Thai Soup

The past couple of days have brought a lot of snow, turning the world outside into a winter wonderland. Everything is covered by a soft white blanket, which is true magic to me! It looks different, sounds different and it even smells different. Two days ago I had time for a short walk so I went down the road to a tiny park that looks a bit like a secret garden. It’s my city hideaway as it seems to leave the noise and bustle outside as soon as you enter the iron gates. The trees and bushes were covered in snow and I had my camera with me, luckily, so I could take some of these wonderful impressions home with me and share them with you.

After walking for a while I started to feel cold and I got in the mood for a warm, spicy broth, a Thai soup. I have all sorts of broth in my freezer. Every few weeks I cook a few litres of  vegetable broth to use for soups and risottos, but I also have duck and pheasant broth in stock at the moment. When you have a strong broth you are already well on your way to a good soup. I warmed up the duck broth and added some lemongrass, ginger, fresh chili and coriander. I was really hungry, so I decided to throw in some pointed cabbage and some tiny meatballs mixed with the spices. The meatballs weren’t bigger than walnuts, after cooking in the soup for 5 minutes they were done, the cabbage needed even less. If you prefer the vegetarian version just leave out the meat, which is what I often do. Either way, this soup is a perfect treat for this cold season, you can be sure you will feel warm, strong and refreshed afterwards!

Thai Soup

Thai Soup with Meatballs

For 2 people as a main or for 4 people as a starter you need

broth 1500ml
pointed cabbage, sliced thinly, 250g / 9 ounces
ground beef 400g / 14 ounces
fresh ginger, thumb sized piece, 1/3 sliced thinly, 2/3 grated
garlic, crushed, 2 cloves
coriander roots, ground in a mortar, 2-3
coriander leaves, a handful
fresh chili, sliced thinly, 1
lemongrass, peeled and cut into thin slices, 1
salt and black pepper

Mix the coriander roots, the grated ginger, the garlic and a generous amount of ground black pepper in a mortar and grind to a smooth paste. Mix the paste together with the beef, half of the coriander leaves (chopped) and a teaspoon of salt. Form little walnut sized balls with a teaspoon.

Season the broth with salt and pepper to taste, add the slices of ginger and lemongrass and bring to the boil. Cook the meatballs in the broth on medium heat for 4 minutes. Keep the lid closed. After 4 minutes, add the cabbage and cook for another 2 minutes. Serve in deep bowls topped with the chili slices and the rest of the coriander leaves.

Thai Soup

 

Thai Soup

 

Thai Soup

Mussels with Spices, Ginger, Lemongrass and Coriander

Mussels with Ginger, Lemon Grass + Coriander

Last summer I enjoyed a sumptuous dinner in a beautiful candle lit garden at an old villa surrounded by fragrant Stephanotis and Plumbago. The setting was just perfect and the food divine as always, cooked by my dear friend Vanessa. She treated us to the freshest seafood, prepared in inspiring variations. We started the dinner with mussels cooked with coriander, turmeric, cayenne and ginger in a wonderful broth made with coconut milk and lemon. I was never too fond of mussels until that night. I used to cook them with celery, carrots and onions in white wine which is nice but the exotic mixture of spices and herbs was something special and unexpected.

When I bought the mussels for our dinner I knew I would take Vanessa’s version and mix it with mine. I used white wine instead of coconut milk but adopted her mix of coriander, turmeric, cayenne and ginger. To this I added some lemongrass, garlic, spring onions and carrots. The velvety broth was a fantastic match for the mussels, very bold while not overpowering the fresh sea taste of the mussels. We finished all the mussels and soaked up every drop of the remaining broth with some Ciabatta bread.

Mussels with Ginger, Lemon Grass + Coriander

Mussels with Spices, Ginger, Lemongrass and Coriander

For 2 hungry people you need

mussels, rinsed, 1 kg / 2 pounds
garlic, crushed, 1 clove
spring onions, cut into slices, 2
carrot, cut into cubes, 1
ginger, grated, thumbnail size
lemongrass, cut into thin slices, a 7cm / 3″ piece
coriander seeds, ground, 1 teaspoon
turmeric, ground, 1/3 teaspoon
cayenne pepper, ground, 1/8 teaspoon
salt 1/2 teaspoon
white wine 250ml
lemon juice 1 tablespoon
oil for frying 2 tablespoons
fresh coriander, chopped, a handful

Heat the oil in a large pot and fry the ginger, lemongrass, garlic and vegetables for a couple minutes. Add the ground spices, mix and fry for another minute. Pour the wine and lemon juice into the pot and bring to the boil, season with salt. Add the mussels and mix with the liquid. Close with a lid and turn down the heat to the lowest temperature. Steam for 5 minutes or until the shells open. Take out the mussels which didn’t open, you should not eat them! Mix in the coriander leaves and serve on big plates.

Mussels with Ginger, Lemon Grass + Coriander

Exotic Monday with Red Cabbage and Mango

Red Cabbage + Mango Salad

When I had my tea this morning, I stared at a bright red cabbage on my kitchen table for about 5 minutes. I was lost in a daze, still overwhelmed by yesterday’s response to the eat in my kitchen feature by the ZEIT Magazin. I got so many beautiful messages, thank you all! In case you didn’t read it yet, here is the link:
http://blog.zeit.de/zeitmagazin/2014/01/05/sonntagsessen-92/

So, back to the red cabbage! My spontaneous decision: I chop the cabbage thinly and mix it with mango slices – I waited patiently for it to ripen, it should be good by now. All this salad needs is a light dressing with olive oil and orange juice and some coriander leaves on top. The light spiciness of the cabbage is great together with the sweet fruitiness of the mango and orange. An exotic, quick and easy Monday lunchtime kick!

Red Cabbage + Mango Salad

 Red Cabbage and Mango Salad

For 4 people you need

red cabbage, rinsed, dried and sliced thinly, 400g / 14 ounces
mango, cut into thin slices, 1
orange juice 5 tablespoons
olive oil 3 tablespoons
salt and pepper
coriander leaves, a handful

Mix the olive oil with the orange juice. Season the dressing with salt and pepper and pour over the cabbage. Lay the mango slices and coriander leaves on top – that’s it. Tastes great, feels good, prepared in a few minutes – and it looks gorgeous!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers:

%d bloggers like this: