Sep 29, 2014

martini bianco risotto with baked cauliflower

this risotto was made with almost only the contents of my pantry and my fridge. we did get that cauliflower, not really knowing what exactly to do with it. but then we turned it into a cremy risotto. and it was just the perfect sunday night dinner after an exhausting (kind of) weekend with lots of running around.

a note on baked cauliflower, because every little cauliflower deserves some love, now and then: i've made cauliflower, the roasted or baked kind, many, manymany times (even in a soup version). and it has never failed to impress. 

martini bianco risotto with baked cauliflower
serves 2 (plus some decent leftovers, if we're being honest)
rezept auf deutsch auf si style

2 cups risotto rice (mine is from terreni alla maggia)
1 small onion, finely diced
1 garlic clove, finely diced
1 glass (or three, haha) of martini bianco (if you happen not to have any wine around)
1 liter of good vegetable broth, heated
2 bay leaves
2 cups parmesan cheese, grated
1 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. olive oil

1 small cauliflower, cut into florets
1 tbsp. ground cumin
1 tbsp. olive oil
3 tbsp. pine nuts

freshly ground pepper to taste

preheat the oven to 220 c / 430 f. heat the olive oil and butter in a large saucepan. sweat the onion in it. add rice and garlic and sweat until the rice looks shiny and translucent (2 minutes). heat the vegetable broth in a second saucepan, together with the bay leaves. deglaze the rice with the martini bianco. now keep stirring thoroughly, until the martini bianco is incorporated or has evaporated wholly. then continue to add liquid - now the broth - ladle by ladle, stirring and working it slowly into the risotto.  continue until the risotto is al dente (you will need most of the liquid or possibly a little more, even). the rice should still be a little firm to the bite. then add the parmesan. stir well to combine until it is melted. now season with more salt (if necessary, depends on the saltiness of the broth) and some really good pepper, to taste. 

while the risotto is cooking, prepare the cauliflower: spread the florets on a baking sheet lined with parchment and evenly sprinkle with olive oil. season liberally with salt and the cumin. then bake for about 30 minutes in the oven until crispy and browned. finally, dry toast the pine nuts for 2 minutes in a dry pan (without any additional oil), until golden. 

to serve, divide the risotto between the plates, arrange the baked cauliflower atop of it and sprinkle with pine nuts. serve hot. because love is hot and so are we. 

Sep 25, 2014

sweet potatoes with orange & angostura bitters

current events - i.e. our office space being flooded with fresh air, 24/7, at the end of september, when it's a perceived 4 degrees celcius out - have cause me to think up ways to make the michelin-man-layered look that says "month long deep sea dive journey" popular. because that michelin man ist me. and it's not a good look. so, any thoughts? in the meantime i'll take hot tea drinking up a notch (currently at 4 cups an hour). and maybe i'll get some duvets. who knows. i'm creative like that. 

here's another ottolenghi recipe (because it's still self-declared ottolenghi week). something to cheer about and be happy. and that angostura makes you thoroughly warm, from the inside. the end justifies the means.

sweet potatoes with orange & angostura bitters
recipe adapted from ottolenghi's "plenty more"
rezept in deutsch auf si style

4 oranges, juice
80 g brown sugar
60 ml red wine vinegar
60 ml angostura bitters
1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
4-5 sweet potatoes, unpeeled, cut wedges
2 red peppers (medium heat), sliced lengthways
3 sage twigs
10 thyme twigs
2 fresh garlic bulbs, halved horizontally
90 g feta cheese, crumbed
salt and pepper

preheat the oven to 220 c / 420 f and line a baking sheet with parchment. put the orange juice together with the sugar and vinegar in a saucepan and bring to a boil. let simmer for a while until reduced to half. add bitters, olive oil, pepper and salt.

put the sweet potatoes in a big bowl, together with the garlic, sage, thyme and garlic, and pour the orange syrup to it. combine well so that everything is coated. spread out on the sheet and roast for 50 to 60 minutes, occasionally turning the wedges to ensure the're still well coated in the marinade, so they caramelize well. remove from the oven, arrange on a plate and sprinkle with feta crumbs. serve warm or at room temp.

Sep 24, 2014

ricotta fritters with honey

it's still ottolenghi week! this time, it's a dessert that i'm luring you with. but you're not that stupid: of course you know a good dessert when it's a placed in front of you, don't you. because this one is a winner. these donut-like, very soft and moist and almost apparently "light" little balls are so delicious. actually, i could eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner. 

by the way: happiness is having a couple of these left in the freezer (cross your fingers i will successfully be able to reheat them in the oven for a quick dinner tonight for me, myself and i *inser evil grin here*).

ricotta fritters
recipe adapted from ottolenghi's "plenty more"
rezept auf deutsch auf si style

makes about 30

350 g ricotta (the dry kind, if possible)
60 g philadelphia or fresh, creamy goat's cheese
3 eggs
60 ml milk
1 tsp. mint, finely chopped
1 organic orange, zest grated
160 g flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 pinch salt
50 g sugar

1 liter sunflower oil (heatproof)
4 tbsp. honey, warmed
confectioners' sugar for dusting

ps: i was too plain lazy to make the suggested orange syrup to go with it (sorry, dear yotam). but of course you could try and make it. i bet it's good. the honey was sufficient for me, though (and theres was only me judging - and eating - these, anyway, so...).

combine ricotta and philadelphia and eggs in a bowl. add mint and orange zest. in another bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, sugar, a pinch of salt. fold into the egg mix until a dough forms. set aside for about 10 minutes.

in a small but steep saucepan, bring the oil to a boil (or shortly before a boil, actually). make the bread crumb test: when a bread crumb sizzles enough when submerged in the oil, the oil is at the perfect heat for deep frying. keep it on medium heat then. now shape the fritters, using two teaspoons. release them carefully into the oil and fry for 3-4 minutes, occasionally turning them around, until golden brown. proceed in batches until all the dough is used up. remove fritters from the oil with a spider and put on kitchen paper to soak up excess oil. 

warm the honey until liquid. place fritters on plates and drizzle with the warm honey. dust with some confectioners' sugar. serve warm or at room temperature (best on the same day).

Sep 19, 2014

roasted brussels sprouts with grapefruit, cinnamon & star anise

here it is: the first crazy combo by ottolenghi from his new "plenty more". the intention in the recipe is to use pomelo instead of grapefruit, but hey... i'm only human. with only a ton of work on the side, crazy hobbie and bunch of fabulous friends that i want to see every leap year or so, if possible. hm. so, sadly, no, i simply do not make it to globus delicatessa every weeknight. and since we don't have wholefoods and the likes in switzerland... oh well, that's possibly for the better, anyway... i do not wear an apron as soon as i come home and i do not prepare a candle light dinner every night. in fact, most nights i simply collapse on the couch. that's about as glamorous as it gets. so do not pester me with pomelo, do you hear me? sorry, minor breakdown.

so what's the drill: it's a really fragrant, surprising dish. and as always with ottolenghi, it makes sense. also, i quite like how it seems ottolenghi and i are on friend-terms. which we're not (since we do not know each other in person, although i know him, hehe). but we would totally be, if he only knew me. tiny little piece missing in the formula.

roasted brussels sprouts with grapefruit, cinnamon & star anise
recipe adapted from ottolenghi's "plenty more"
rezept auf deutsch auf si style

100 g sugar
1 cinnamon stick
5 star anise
3 tbsp. lemon juice
2 grapefruits (or pomelo), segmented
600 g brussels sprouts, stemmed and halved
250 g shallots (i used less), peeled and halved
75 g olive oil
10 g coriander (cilantro), roughly chopped
salt & pepper

first, prepare the syrup with the flavors: combine sugar, cinnamon, star anise and 100 ml of water in a saucepan. bring to a boil and cook for about 1 minute, until the sugar has dissolved. remove from the heat and let cool slightly. add the lemon juice. then add the grapefruit segments and let marinate for at least 1 hour.

in the meantime prepare the oven to 220 c / 430 f. note: ottolenghi wants us to quickly blanch the sprouts first but i simply couldn't be bothered... i like my sprouts nice and roasted, anyway. so i ommited that step, but go ahead and blanch them for 3 minutes first if you want, then drain and pat dry and continue as follows: spread the sprouts on a baking sheet lined with parchment, together with the shallots. dress with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, toss to coat a bit, then roast for about 20 to 30 minutes. remove and let cool a bit. 

remove cinnamon and star anise form the syrup, drain the grapefruit segments and keep the syrup. to serve, toss the roasted sprouts together with the marinated grapefruit segments. add a bit of the syrup to act as additional flavour and dressing. season with more salt and pepper if necessary. then serve and savour.

Sep 18, 2014

"plenty more", courtesy of ottolenghi

my fondness for ottolenghi is immense. i've cooked his dishes, i've loved every single one. i've eaten at his various places in london, the food having gone through my dreams. so, when i heard it through the grapevine that he's out with a new cookbook by fall, i couldn't believe my luck (remember me being on the sunny side of life? so that's that, again). on the night of the same day i heard about it and still wasn't really sure whether it was true or just wishful thinking, i went to my english bookshop to make a preorder. when they confirmed that yes, it was in fact due in september, i was happy.  it's not actually exaggerated to claim that i've had a couple of sleepless hours due to the launch of this book… 

then, during our vacation in august, my mom suddenly sends me a cheeky text, along this: "hi how was your day? oh, by the way, got the new ottolenghi today" (and believe me i heard her snickering with it). i was incredulous! and simply stammered: "whaaat? that's so unfair! howwww…??" and she just replied: "why, like it's hard? i've got connections, you know". we debated back and forth, and, needless to say, the movie we were watching wasn't really the centre of attention anymore… at the end, i came to the conclusion, that, surely, the english book shop must have been confused or dazed and not able to process the many preorders…? it was painful to have my mom "win" the ottolenghi battle. no, i was not happy for her. i wanted my ottolenghi, and i wanted it first. well, stuck with the vacation i was. there was nothing to do but wait until i got back. i pictured myself having to do some stern talking to the bookshop guys… it wasn't pretty.

the finale came a little later, though, in the shape of a text (again), that said. "f***, i've already got that one!!!". mom had managed to buy the old volume, "plenty", again. let's just say the snickering was now mine. and the victory, because i ended up still being the first with my copy. and am i not a nice daughter: as i speak, her copy is ready and waiting for her in my home. because one defeat is enough for one month. sometimes, it's good to be noble like that.

so, by now you're probably eating your screen because you want to know all about the new bible…? it is called "plenty more". and isn't it pretty? it's the sequels to "plenty"*. it means there are 120 more winner veggie recipes to tackle for me! 120 more opportunities to make guests happy. 120 more ideas to turn into own dishes. ah, the possibilities!

i've briefly leafed through each and every single page, read about a dozen recipes straight away on the street in front of the bookshop (no kidding) and even cooked a couple of dishes off it. thus, i'm entitled to tell you this much: it's dazzling, brilliant, inspiring. it's another highlight. and it maybe is even a teeny tiny bit better than his last books. like the title says: it's simply plenty more.

and now is the big news (if you want to discover it for yourself, stop reading now): this time, it is organised by cooking method! brilliant, no? sighs. ottolenghi, you bastard! you did it again. congrats.

that's why we're having an ottolenghi plenty more celebration party over here, how about that? a week-long celebration, to be precise! i've cooked 2 vegs dishes and one dessert that you will get to see here. yays! laola-wave. thank you.

* i just checked: i haven't even reviewd "plenty" yet! shame on me! definitely something to catch up on.

Sep 16, 2014

kanelbullar - swedish cinnamon buns

it wasn't in my stars to know how to make yeast based breads and pastry. i somehow made a few good yeasted things - probably out of sheer luck…? but there is definitely no consistency in my skills. but hey, there is always the lucky punch. if you really want to know: i'm a bit of a lucky devil… since i was little, i've always always kind of gotten what i wished or hoped for. mostly more than that. only recently, i scored a really nice vintage shelf for my dining room, that will make the perfekt home for my soupière and tableware collection (i'll show you once i have it, for sure). it was hard to get, that shelf. let's just say it must have been my lucky stars to help me with such a deal. so i guess every once in a while i get lucky with baking, too… shall we take our chances?

kanelbullar - swedish cinnamon buns
rezept auf deutsch auf si style

ingredients for the dough:
300 g flour
20 g fresh yeast
100 ml milk
60 butter, melted
70 g sugar + 1 tsp.
1 egg
1 tbsp. cardamom
1/4 tsp. salt

ingredients for the filling:

100 g butter, room temperature
2/4 cups sugar
4 tbsp. cinnamon
1 egg for the glaze
coarse decorating sugar

for the dough, sieve thte flour in a bowl and add sugar, salt and cardamom. melt the butter, then let it cool a bit. add the cold milk, so that the liquid is only hand warm (not too hot not too cold). dissolve the yeast in a bit of the milk butter liquid with a teaspoon of sugar. make a well in the flour mix, then pour the yeast into the well and cover lightly with flour. let steep for about 10 minutes, until bubbles form. then pour in the milk and egg. now work the dough with an electric stand mixer (it helps to attach the dough hook, ahem) or else, should you not be so lucky (in this case i am not, sighs) work it with your hands, i.e. with a wooden spoon, for 10 to 15 minutes (snooooze), until your dough is elastic. i found that i had to leave the dough in the bowl for it, because it's a rather moist dough (and so it should be). but if you have to, add some more flour in the process. 

let the dough prove in a warm place, covered with a clean kitchen towel, for 30 minutes. remove from the bowl, dust your work surface with flour and roll dough out into a slim, long rectangle, to about 1 cm thick. spread the butter evenly on top, then dust with the sugar and cinnamon. now fold twice, towards the middle, so that you have three layers (like you would with a business letter, somehow). cut width wise into 2cm wide stripes. cut these again, now lengthwise, but leaving the top of the legs uncut. it has to look like a pair of trousers. if you have no clue what i'm talking about, watch this. now twist the legs, then knot them (messily). proceed until all the kanelbullars are knotted. 

place on a baking sheet lined with parchment. cover with kitchen towels and let prove again for for 1.5 hours until doubled in size. preheat the oven to 220c / 430 f. brush with egg wash and sprinkle with decorating sugar if you want.

revision: of course you need a baking time! thank you for pointing this out, fellow foodie sweets. okay, here goes: bake for 9-11 minutes (depending on size of the buns and on the exact heat of your oven. and how doughy and chewy you like your buns, mind. mine took around 10 minutes in a rather hot oven). then eat (while they're still warm, because you can). xx

Sep 12, 2014

indian spiced cauliflower with ginger & lime

fall is finally here (after an inexistent, sneaky little summer), and i couldn't be happier. the vibrant colors go straight to my heart. and whenever i find a chestnut (fake one, or whatever the inedible ones are called) on the streets i can't help but pick it up. i'm keeping them everywhere - in pockets, handbags and on tiny cakestands on my desk and coffee table - as a talisman and a token of the best season (granted, right after christmas) there is. can not wait to wear plaid capes and xl scarves, junky knits, layers, coats, boots (with my fur soles carefully tucked into them) and tights (yes, even these). can't wait for everything that life has in store, because, honestly, i'm just so grateful for all the beauty. 

indian spiced cauliflower with ginger & lime
rezept auf deutsch auf si style

ingredients:1 large cauliflower, cut into florets
2 tbsp. gee or sunflower oil
1 tsp. of each of the following spices: yellow mustard seeds, black mustard seeds, cumin seeds, ground cumin, fennel seeds, turmeric, ground coriander seeds
1 small green chile (medium heat), finely chopped
1 tbsp. fresh, ground ginger
3 limes, juice
1 handful fresh coriander leaves

blanch the cauliflower in salted water for about 3 minutes, then drain and chill under the running cold water. put aside. in the meantime, prepare the spice mix: heat the gee in a pan, then add all the spices and toast for 1 or 2 minutes until fragrant. add the lime juice, ginger and chile and let cool. toss the cauliflower with the spice dressing and let marinate for at least one hour. before serving, sprinkle with the coriander.

ideal as a snack (maybe with tiny skewers or toothpicks inserted to go with cocktail hour), a starter salad or as a (cold) side to other indian dishes like curries. or even for a bbq or picnic, come to think of it.