eat in my kitchen

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Tag: vermouth

A quick Fish Soup with Saffron and Vermouth

Fish Soup with Saffron + Vermouth

Bright red, with chunks of firm fish filet and king prawns, this was one of the best fish soups I have ever eaten! It was so rich in aromatic flavours, saffron, vermouth, thyme and bay leaf that it makes my mouth water when I think about it. My mother cooked the soup with wolfs fish and cod, we went to the market to get monkfish but her fish monger didn’t have it that day. Our choice was good, the fish tasted nice and strong and we enjoyed every single bite of it!

The soup is made of a concentrated fish broth, lobster works as well, which you can either prepare yourself beforehand or use a store bought one of good quality (my mother used a broth she had in the freezer). Once you have the broth ready in the pot, the basis of this soup, you only need 20 minutes in the kitchen before you can fill your plates with this delicious fish soup. We added saffron, vermouth, herbs and a couple vegetables and let it simmer for 10 minutes before we threw in the fish for another 7 minutes, that’s it. A sumptuous meal in such a short time!

Traditionally, this soup is topped with mayonnaise, you can either use the one from yesterday’s artichoke with 3 dips  or my garlicky aïoli. The traditional Provençal Bouillabaisse is served with an aromatic Rouille (I haven’t shared a recipe for this yet) which is made with saffron and spicy chili peppers. We got so excited over the quick preparation of our soup and the beautiful German white wine we already savored while cooking, that we simply forgot about this creamy dip. We didn’t enjoy it any less without it, with ciabatta bread on the side and the most amazing view of soft hills in juicy shades of green behind my mother’s blossoming garden. It was a good day!

Fish Soup with Saffron + Vermouth

 

Fish Soup with Saffron + Vermouth

 Fish Soup with Saffron and Vermouth 

For 4 people you need

fish ( firm filets of loup de mer, monkfish, wolfs fish or cod and king prawns), cut into chunky pieces, 800g / 1 3/4 pounds
fish or lobster broth 1200ml / 2.5 pints
vermouth 100ml / 3.5 ounces
(we used a mix of Noilly Prat and Pernot)
shallots, finely chopped, 2
medium sized carrot, finely chopped, 1
garlic, crushed, 1 clove
tomato paste 2 tablespoons
thyme, the leaves of 3 sprigs
parsley, finely chopped, the leaves of 3 sprigs
bay leaf 1
a pinch of saffron
a pinch of cayenne pepper
salt and pepper
olive oil

In a large pot, heat a splash of olive oil and sautée the vegetables and garlic on a medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste and mix with the vegetables. Deglaze with the vermouth and let it cook for 1 minute. Add the broth, bay leaf, thyme and parsley and let it cook for 10 minutes on a medium heat. Season with saffron, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper to taste and take out the bay leaf.

Add the fish and let it simmer on a medium-low heat for about 7 minutes until the fish is done. Don’t overcook it, the texture should stay firm.

Serve with white bread (you can also roast it under the grill with a few drops of olive oil) and a spoonful of mayonnaise.

fishsoup5

 

Fish Soup with Saffron + Vermouth

 

Fish Soup with Saffron + Vermouth

A warm Salad with Artichokes in Vermouth

Warm Salad with Artichokes in Vermouth

Artichokes seem to follow me in the past few weeks, even when I don’t buy them they end up in my kitchen. I got a bag full of beautiful purple baby artichokes as a gift, the tiniest I’ve ever seen. A friend of mine had bought too many and knowing that I use everything that finds its way into my space she was happy to pass them over to me. I had already made plans for dinner but the vegetables couldn’t wait a day longer. When I looked at them, a warm salad came to my mind, a little snack in between. I imagined them sautéed and deglazed with vermouth and some parsley on top, so I brought out my pan and started the cooker.

As a starter for 4 you need 6 small baby artichokes. Cut off the artichoke stem if it’s too woody and pluck the hard outer leaves. Cut the artichoke’s tip off (1/3 – 1/2 of the artichoke), quarter them and scoop out the hairy choke. Keep the prepared artichokes in a bowl of cold water and the juice of half a lemon while you’re finishing the rest.

Sautée the prepared artichokes in a large heavy pan in a dash of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of butter for about 5 minutes together with 1 thinly sliced clove of garlic. Deglaze with 75ml / 2.5 ounces of vermouth and season with salt and pepper. Add 75ml / 2.5 ounces of water and 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice and let them simmer on a medium heat for about 10 minutes until al dente. Sprinkle with roughly chopped parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Warm Salad with Artichokes in Vermouth

 

Warm Salad with Artichokes in Vermouth

 

Warm Salad with Artichokes in Vermouth

Essijiet – Maltese Tea Time Cookies with a shot of Vermouth

Essijiet Cookies

When I’m on the phone or video chat with our family in Malta, you can be sure it will go on for hours, it will involve many people, coming and going, lots of laughing and very often the exchange of recipes. Especially when I talk to Granny Edith who has been cooking and baking all her life, so you can imagine her large recipe collection, influenced  by her mother, grandmother and all the close relatives and friends which are quite numerous in a Maltese family. I found so many traditional dishes in her collection, true treasures! Like everybody else in the family, I love to sit with Edith at her kitchen table in her beautiful old villa in Msida at the sea, talking about life, cooking, men, fashion, the offers at the vegetable man and the butcher, normal daily life, it feels so easy on this island! We enjoy a cup of tea, some sweets from our local confectionary (which is the best in Malta in our opinion) and appreciate every second!

Recently I’ve been talking to her about baking and she handed some recipes over to me which caught my attention. One is a traditional tea time cookie recipe from her mother-in-law Maria, she used to make them for the family, Edith continued the tradition and now she passes it on to the next generations. It’s a very easy cookie recipe, made with so little ingredients that I thought I had left some out when I started preparing the dough. It’s just butter, flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and a shot of vermouth making a delicious cookie, fine in taste, buttery and crumbly. I couldn’t have asked for more for tea time! The cookies don’t really have a proper name apart from the family given one, referring to their shape they are called Essijiet, meaning “s’s” in Maltese.

Essijiet Cookies

 Essijiet – Maltese Tea Time Cookies

For around 60 cookies you need

plain flour 300g / 10.5 ounces
baking powder 1/2 teaspoon
sugar 1 tablespoon
pinch of salt
butter 200g / 7 ounces
vermouth 2 tablespoons
icing sugar for dusting

Combine the flour with the baking powder, sugar and salt. Cut the butter with a knife into the flour until there are just little pieces of butter left. Continue with your fingers and work the butter into the flour until combined (there shouldn’t be any lumps of butter left). Add the vermouth and continue mixing with the hooks of your mixer until you have a crumbly mixture. Form a ball, wrap in cling film and put in the fridge for an hour or in the freezer for 15 minutes.

Set the oven to 175°C / 350°F and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cut thick slices off the dough, make thin rolls and cut into 12cm / 5″ pieces. Form the cookies into an S-shape and bake for 9 minutes or until lightly golden (they stay light in colour). Let them cool for a couple minutes and dust with icing sugar.

Essijiet Cookies

 

Essijiet Cookies

 

Essijiet Cookies