Rabu, 30 Maret 2011


Before I came to the US, I didn't know much about a great Chili. For me it was ground meat, some beans and tomatoes. I didn't know that you could buy different kind of dried chillis, toast them in a pan, make a chili paste out of them with onions and Jalapeno peppers and combine them with pieces of meat. When I tried all of this, I ended up with a completely different dish from what I had made before.
This chili takes some time to prepare but is absolutely worth it. Not that I won't consider going back to the old and easy version, but I would definitely recommend this one if you have more time on your hand. 


(from Cooks Illustrated)


A 4-pound chuck-eye roast, well trimmed of fat, can be substituted for the steak. Because much of the chili flavor is held in the fat of this dish, refrain from skimming fat from the surface. Wear gloves when working with both dried and fresh chiles. Dried New Mexican or guajillo chiles make a good substitute for the anchos; each dried árbol may be substituted with 1/8 teaspoon cayenne. If you prefer not to work with any whole dried chiles, the anchos and árbols can be replaced with 1/2 cup commercial chili powder and 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, though the texture of the chili will be slightly compromised. Good choices for condiments include diced avocado, chopped red onion, chopped cilantro leaves, lime wedges, sour cream, and shredded Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese. The chili can be made up to 3 days in advance.


Table salt
1/2pound dried pinto beans (about 1 cup), rinsed and picked over
6dried ancho chiles (about 1 3/4 ounces), stems and seeds removed, and flesh torn into 1-inch pieces (see note)
2-4dried árbol chiles , stems removed, pods split, and seeds removed (see note)
3tablespoons cornmeal
2teaspoons dried oregano
2teaspoons ground cumin
2teaspoons cocoa powder
2 1/2cups low-sodium chicken broth
2medium onions , cut into 3/4-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
3small jalapeño chiles , stems and seeds removed and discarded, and flesh cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3tablespoons vegetable oil
4medium garlic cloves , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 4 teaspoons)
1(14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
2teaspoons light molasses
3 1/2pounds blade steak , 3/4 inch thick, trimmed of gristle and fat and cut into 3/4-inch pieces (see note)
1(12-ounce) bottle mild-flavored lager , such as Budweiser


  1. 1. Combine 3 tablespoons salt, 4 quarts water, and beans in large Dutch oven and bring to boil over high heat. Remove pot from heat, cover, and let stand 1 hour. Drain and rinse well.
  2. 2. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees. Place ancho chiles in 12-inch skillet set over medium-high heat; toast, stirring frequently, until flesh is fragrant, 4 to 6 minutes, reducing heat if chiles begin to smoke. Transfer to bowl of food processor and cool. Do not wash out skillet.
  3. 3. Add árbol chiles, cornmeal, oregano, cumin, cocoa, and ½ teaspoon salt to food processor with toasted ancho chiles; process until finely ground, about 2 minutes. With processor running, very slowly add ½ cup broth until smooth paste forms, about 45 seconds, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. Transfer paste to small bowl. Place onions in now-empty processor bowl and pulse until roughly chopped, about four 1-second pulses. Add jalapeños and pulse until consistency of chunky salsa, about four 1-second pulses, scraping down bowl as necessary.
  4. 4. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until moisture has evaporated and vegetables are softened, 7 to 9 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add chili paste, tomatoes, and molasses; stir until chili paste is thoroughly combined. Add remaining 2 cups broth and drained beans; bring to boil, then reduce heat to simmer.
  5. 5. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Pat beef dry with paper towels and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt. Add half of beef and cook until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer meat to Dutch oven. Add ½ bottle lager to skillet, scraping bottom of pan to loosen any browned bits, and bring to simmer. Transfer lager to Dutch oven. Repeat with remaining tablespoon oil, steak, and lager. Once last addition of lager has been added to Dutch oven, stir to combine and return mixture to simmer.
  6. 6. Cover pot and transfer to oven. Cook until meat and beans are fully tender, 1½ to 2 hours. Let chili stand, uncovered, 10 minutes. Stir well and season to taste with salt before serving.

Sabtu, 26 Maret 2011

Prosciutto Pizza

Pizza is one of our favorite Friday evening dishes. I have tried many recipes to find the best dough that has a thin, crispy crust and a soft inside and always shamefully end up return to Jamie Oliver's recipe. There are other very good recipes out there but a lot of them require preparation a day ahead of time, and sometimes you want home-made Pizza right away.  Also, I recommend investing in a Pizza Stone (it's less than one order of take-out Pizza) it'll be worth it. 


5 cups strong white bread flour (800 g)
2 cups finely ground semolina flour (200 g)
1 level tablespoon fine sea salt
2 (1/4-ounce) packets active dried yeast (2x7 g)
1 tablespoon raw sugar
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 1/2 cups lukewarm water (650 ml)

Cherry Tomatoes
Prosciutto di Parma or Serrano
Mozarella (optional)

Preheat your oven to 250 C/500 F one hour prior to baking with the Pizza Stone in the upper third of the oven. (I put my stone on the top rack)

Sift the flours and salt onto a clean work surface and make a well in the middle. In a large measuring cup, mix the yeast, sugar and olive oil into the water and leave for a few minutes, then pour into the well. Using a fork, bring the flour in gradually from the sides and swirl it into the liquid. Keep mixing, drawing larger amounts of flour in, and when it all starts to come together, work the rest of the flour in with your clean, flour-dusted hands. Knead until you have a smooth, springy dough.

Place the ball of dough in a large flour-dusted bowl and flour the top of it. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and place in a warm room for about 1 hour until the dough has doubled in size.

Now remove the dough to a flour-dusted surface and knead it around a bit to push the air out with your hands - this is called punching down the dough. You can either use it immediately, or keep it, wrapped in plastic wrap, in the fridge (or freezer) until required. If using straightaway, divide the dough up into as many little balls as you want to make pizzas - this amount of dough is enough to make about six to eight medium pizzas.

Timing-wise, it's a good idea to roll the pizzas out about 15 to 20 minutes before you want to cook them. Don't roll them out and leave them hanging around for a few hours, though - if you are working in advance like this it's better to leave your dough, covered with plastic wrap, in the refrigerator. However, if you want to get them rolled out so there's 1 less thing to do when your guests are round, simply roll the dough out into rough circles, about 1/4-inch thick, and place them on slightly larger pieces of olive-oil-rubbed and flour-dusted aluminum foil. You can then stack the pizzas, cover them with plastic wrap, and pop them into the refrigerator.

Tomato Sauce
olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced a bunch of fresh basil, leaves picked and torn
3 x 400g tins of good-quality, whole plum tomatoes
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place a large non-stick frying pan on the heat and pour in 4 generous glugs of olive oil. Add the garlic, shake the pan around a bit and, once the garlic begins to color lightly, add the basil and the tomatoes. Using the back of a wooden spoon, mush and squash the tomatoes as much as you can.

Season the sauce with salt and pepper. As soon as it comes to the boil, remove the pan from the heat. Strain the sauce through a coarse sieve into a bowl, using your wooden spoon to push any larger bits of tomato through. diskard the basil and garlic that will be left in the sieve, but make sure you scrape any of the tomatoey goodness off the back of the sieve into the bowl.

Pour the sauce back into the pan, bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for 5 minutes to concentrate the flavors. It will be ready when it’s the perfect consistency for spreading on your pizza.

Store the sauce in a clean jar in the fridge – it’ll keep for a week or so. Also great to freeze in batches or even in an ice cube tray, so you can defrost exactly the amount you need. But to be honest, it’s so quick to make, you might as well make it on the day you need it.

When you're ready to cook them, smear the tomato sauce thinly over the pizza base and scatter over some small pieces of mozarella (optional). Cook until crisp and golden 7 - 10 minutes. Scatter the prosciutto, halved tomatoes and ruccola over the pizza and serve.

Rabu, 16 Maret 2011

Swedish Cinnamon Buns (Kaneelbullar)

Swedish Cinnamon Rolls (Kanelbullar) typically contain the spice cardamon, and are not as sweet or heavy as other types of cinnamon rolls. They are classic at Swedish coffee parties. Usually, they are topped with pearl sugar. They are fluffy and light and the cinnamon aroma makes them perfect for a rainy day with a steaming hot cup of coffee. 

(adapted from ostwestwind.twoday.net & annesfood)

  • Dough
  • 14 g dried yeast (I used SAF)
  • 1 large eggs
  • 250 ml (16.9 oz) cold milk (2,1 cups)
  • 500 g  (17.63 oz) all purpose flour
  • 75 g (2.64oz) sugar
  • 75 g (2.64 oz) butter, cut in little pieces 
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 - 2 teaspoons cardamom

  • Filling:
  • 80 g (2.82oz) butter, softened
  • 80 g (2.82oz) demerara, muscovado or brown sugar
  • 1 T cinnamon
  • Decoration:
  • 1 egg, beaten with 1/2 tsp water, and a tiny pinch of salt
  • pearl or regular sugar
1.Pour the milk in a bowl and dissolve the yeast in the milk. Add the egg, the flour, the sugar, the salt and the cardamon and knead until you have a very smooth dough 3 - 10 minutes. (It took me 3 minutes with the Kitchen Aid)
2.Cut the butter in little pieces and add it to the dough. Knead the dough another 10 to 20 minutes.  Transfer the dough to a clean bowl, cover and leave to proof on a warm place for 30 minutes - 1hour 30 minutes. (My dough took 90 minutes)
3.Put the dough on your floured counter and roll out to a large rectangle. Spread with butter, and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Roll the rectangle into a tight roll, starting at the long edge, and cut each roll into about 20 pieces. Place each piece in a muffin pan or in a paper cup on a baking sheet (covered with parchment paper so you won't end up with a mess), cover and leave to proof for another 30 minutes up to 2 hours.(My dough took 2 hrs)
4.Beat the egg with a pinch of salt and 1/2 tsp of water, and brush this carefully on the buns. Finish by a light sprinkling of pearl sugar.
5.Bake at 200°C/400 F  for approx. 15 minutes, or until they're as golden as you like them

Senin, 14 Maret 2011

Whole Wheat Ginger Scones

I fell in love with Scones the first time I visited Great Britain.  We where sitting in a cute little teahouse, where everything was antique and for sale, even the chairs we were sitting on. We ordered Scones, not knowing what it was and received this buttery pastry served with a dollop of clotted cream and home made jam. Yum! I was only 16 back at that time. When I looked for a recipe I could only find something that involved self raising flour. Not available or even known in Germany at that time. So I forgot about them until I came here and saw self raising flour in every supermarket. Ever since then I bake scones and love them and bake them and love them - even without self raising flour. This recipe is a Whole Wheat Scone with pieces of crystallized Ginger and Nutmeg. Did I mention that I love Ginger? I think the combination is fantastic and the scone is even better with the homemade Pineapple-Pear Preserves from Sarabeth Levine. I had to make the preserves too, off course.

(from Sarabeth Levine)

Makes approximately 16 scones 
¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon whole milk
2 large eggs, chilled
Seeds of 1 vanilla bean
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
1 1/2 cups whole-wheat stone ground flour
1 tablespoon plus 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
3 tablespoons superfine sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
A few gratings of fresh nutmeg
10 tablespoons (1 ¼ sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into ½-inch cubes
1/3 cup (3 ounces) crystallized ginger, diced into 1/4-inch pieces
1 large egg, well beaten with a hand blender, for glazing 

1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 425°F. Line a half-sheet pan with parchment paper.

2. TO MAKE THE DOUGH BY HAND: Whisk the milk, 2 eggs , and vanilla seeds together in a small bowl; set aside. Sift the flours, baking powder, sugar, salt, and nutmeg into a medium bowl. Add the butter and mix quickly to coat the butter with the flour mixture. Using a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour, scraping the butter off the blender as needed, until the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs with some pea-size pieces of butter. Mix in the ginger. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the milk mixture and mix just until the dough clumps together.

TO USE A MIXER: Whisk the milk, 2 eggs, and vanilla seeds together in a small bowl; set aside. Sift the dry ingredients together into the bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer. Add the butter. Attach the bowl to the mixer and fit with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed until the mixture looks mealy with some pea-size bits of butter. Mix in the ginger. Reduce the mixer speed to low. Add the milk mixture, mixing just until the dough barely comes together.
3. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured work surface and sprinkle about 2 tablespoons of flour on top. Knead the dough a few times, just until it doesn’t stick to the work surface. Do not overwork the dough. The surface will be floured, but the inside of the dough should remain on the wet side. Gently roll out the dough into a ¾-inch-thick round.
4. Using a 2 1/4-inch biscuit cutter, dipping the cutter into flour between cuts, cut out the scones (cut straight down and do not twist the cutter) and place 1 ½ inches apart on the prepared half-sheet pan. To get the most biscuits out of the dough, cut out the scones close together in concentric circles. Gather up the dough scraps, knead very lightly, and repeat to cut out more scones. Brush the tops of the scones lightly with the beaten egg, being sure not to let the egg drip down the sides (which would inhibit a good rise).
5. Place the scones in the oven and immediately reduce the heat to 400°F. Bake until golden brown, about 18-20 minutes. Cool on the pan for a few minutes, then serve warm or cool completely.

Kamis, 10 Maret 2011


In our family, I get to decide when the seasons change. For weeks my husband has been begging me to make a dish called Campechana. It is a slightly spicy crab cocktail with horseradish, peppers, tomatoes, crab meat and prawns. I told him that it is a summer dish and that it is not the right time to make it yet since it is winter and soups are obviously a way better winter dish! Then, last Sunday I got so sick of the cold weather that I decided to start the "summer season" immediately. 
This crab cocktail can be prepared a day before you want to serve it, so it is perfect for when you have a dinner party or guests over.
Needless to say my husband was very happy that Sunday.

(Rebecca Rather)
serves 8 - 10 as a main course, double a an appetizer

  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped (2 cups)
  • 1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped
  • 1 red, yellow, or orange bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped
  • 6 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼-½ teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 ½ lbs. extra large (16/20 count) shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails removed
  • 1 (28-ounce) can Rotel tomatoes, undrained, (fire roasted tomatoes with green chiles)
  • 1 (12-ounce) bottle V8 juice (vegetable juice or tomato juice)
  •  cup ketchup
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons prepared horseradish
  • 1 lb. lump crabmeat, picked over
  • 4 ripe avocados
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • Lime wedges, for accompaniment
  • Tortilla chips, for serving
1.Heat the oil in a large pot set over medium heat. Saute the onion, bell peppers, and garlic.
2.While the vegetables cook, combine the salt and cayenne in a small bowl. Cut each piece of shrimp into 3 pieces, and add to a large bowl. Toss with the cayenne/salt mixture.
3.Add the shrimp to the pot and saute over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Add the V8, Rotel, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce, and bring to a simmer, about 5 minutes.
4.Remove from heat and stir in lemon, lime, horseradish, and crab. Refrigerate until cold, preferably overnight.
5.When ready to serve, peel and pit the avocados and cut into bite-sized chunks. Gently stir in the cilantro and parsley, and ladle the campechana into small bowls or wine glasses. Top each serving with avocado, and serve with lime wedges and tortilla chips.

Selasa, 08 Maret 2011


Weeks ago, I was hosting an Indian Dinner Party and tried new recipes. I stumbled over this recipe in the Internet, it is an appetizer called Khandvi and prepared in the microwave.
Usually, I don't use the microwave as a cooking tool but it turned out to work perfectly. The dish basically consists of cooked chickpeaflower, water, yogurt and spices. You spread it out on foil, let it sit for a couple of minutes, cut it and roll it in little cute rolls. They are then sprinkled with a flavored oil, coconut and coriander. Perfect to prepare in advance and a nice little appetizer for my party. The only thing I would change next time is adding some ginger to the dough.

Khandvi - Gujarati Snack
(from:showmethecurry.com) Watch this video how to make them!
  • Ingredients;
  • Besan/Chickpea (Gram) Flour – 1 cup
  • Buttermilk – 2 cups (or 1 cup yogurt + 1 cup water)
  • Turmeric Powder – 1/8 tsp
  • Asafoetida – pinch
  • Salt – to taste

  • For Seasoning:
  • Oil – 4 tsp
  • Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
  • Asafoetida – pinch
  • Green Chillies – 2 (cut length wise)
  • Grated Coconut – 1 Tbsp
  • Cilantro (Coriander) – chopped for garnishing

1. In a large microwave safe bowl, mix Besan (Gram Flour), Yogurt,  Turmeric Powder, Salt and Asafoetida.
2. Add Water and blend the mixture to a smooth (lump-free) paste.
3. Cook uncovered in the microwave for 1 1/2 minutes.
4. Remove from microwave and stir to break up any lumps.
5. Microwave again for 1 1/2 minutes and stir again.
6. Microwave for last 1 1/2 minutes and mix well. You may have to use a hand blender to remove any lumps.
7. Lay out Aluminum Foil in long sheets (approx 2 ft) on the counter top. (Tip – this step should be done while batter is cooking. Once the batter is out of the microwave, you have to work fast before it solidifies.)
8. Spoon batter along one edge of the foil and with a flat spatula, gently pull the batter down along the foil (spreading it thin). Once the foil is completely covered, start on the next piece of foil. Repeat until all batter is thinly spread.
9. Let the batter rest for 5 minutes and allow it to solidify.
10. With a sharp knife, cut long 1 to 1 1/2 inch strips in the solid batter.
11. Gently lift the edge and roll the strip into a tight roll. You can make the rolls as big as you like. If they get too thick, cut it off and start a new roll.
12. Repeat rolling and placing rolls on a platter.
13. Sprinkle Coconut and Cilantro (Coriander) over the Khandvi.
14. Heat Oil in a small skillet. Add Mustard Seeds, allow them to  pop. Add Asofoetida, Green Chilies and swith off  the heat. Sprinkle seasoning over the Khandvi.

Kamis, 03 Maret 2011

German Pancakes the German Way

Liebe Marina,
hier ist das Rezept für die gewünschten Pfannekuchen. Du kannst ungefähr 6 Pfannekuchen daraus backen. Gerade die richtige Menge für Deinen Cousin. Manchmal habe ich Glück und bekomme  auch noch einen ab. Viele Gruesse aus Chicago

When I saw "German Pancakes" in Chicago I thought "I've never seen those in Germany before, where in Germany do they make Pancakes that look like UFO's?" Honestly, I don't think anywhere. We bake  Pancakes slightly thicker than the French Crepes, then we sprinkle them with jam, sugar and cinnamon or Nutella, or we add thinly sliced apples to the batter in the pan (my favorite), right before turning them over.

(makes approx. 5 - 6)

125 ml / 1/2 cup water
125 ml / 1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
100 g / 3/4 cup all purpose flour
30 g / 2 Tablespoons melted butter
Butter for the pan

Mix all the ingredients either with a whisk or a blender until you have a slightly thick batter.
Heat a small knob of butter in a pan and bake the pancakes until golden brown.