Jumat, 28 Oktober 2011

Amarettini Cookies

Amaretti, the Italian name for macaroons, means "little bitter things". They consist of sugar, ground almonds, and egg whites and they can be flavored with chocolate or liqueur. I made mine to accompany Pots de Creme, but they are also great with ice cream, liqueur, or simply a good cup of coffee.
They are light, crunchy, and very sweet. Although, this recipe turned out not to be too sweet. They were just right.

makes approx. 30 

3,38 oz / 100 ml Amaretto
1 teasp vanilla extract
3,5 oz / 100 g ground almond meal
30 whole almonds
3,5 oz / 100 g sugar
3,5 oz / 100 g powdered sugar
pinch of salt
6 egg whites

Preheat oven to 300 F (150C) Bake / 270 F (130C) Convection. Line two to three baking trays with parchment paper.

Mix the Amaretto with the vanilla extract. Sift the powdered sugar over the almond meal and mix.

Beat the egg whites on a high with a hand mixer. While constantly beating slowly add sugar to the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff peaks form.  Add the Amaretto mixure to the egg whites and blend shortly.
With a wooden spoon add the almond meal mixture to the egg mixture and carefully fold into the egg whites. Be careful not to liquidize the mixture.

With a spoon put drops of the mixture on the prepared baking trays. Garnish each cookie with an almond and bake for 30 - 35 minutes.
Slide the cookies with the baking paper on a cooling rack and let cool.
Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

Senin, 24 Oktober 2011

Indian Fishcakes with Indian spiced Potatoes

Made from cooked fish and chickpea flour these fish cakes come together really quickly. They don't contain eggs which makes them really light and tender and the indian spices give them a certain warmth but are not overpowering. I served them with Indian spiced Potatoes, also a very easy and healthy dish.
The long list of ingredients might turn you off, but you don't actually need all the spices listed in the recipe. Just take whatever you have in your cabinet or a mix of the spices you like and they will still taste great.

Paneer Fish Cakes
(adapted from Bal Arneson)
makes 6 to 8 cakes)

  • For the Fish Cakes
  • 1 (6 ounce) cooked salmon or other flaky fillet, skin removed
  • ½ cup paneer
  • ¼ cup plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons minced red onion
  • ½ cup chickpea flour
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 tablespoon fenugreek leaves ( I used toasted and grinded coriander seeds)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • Pinch kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil

  • Apple and Fig Chutney  (I used store bought Mango Chutney, but this sounds really good)
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • ¼ cup vinegar
  • Apple and Fig Chutney
  • 1 cup chopped gala apples
  • ¼ cup dried figs, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup slivered almonds
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon ground fennel seed
  • 2 cups water

Fish Cakes

Mash the salmon with the paneer in a large bowl and then add the yogurt, onion, chickpea flour, spices, salt and pepper and mix well. Form the mixture into small patties about 1 to 2 inches in diameter. 
Heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet and begin to fry patties for about 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Serve the patties with Apple and Fig Chutney.

Apple and Fig Chutney

Mix the apples, figs, almonds, raisins, cardamom, fennel seed, and water in a medium saucepan and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes. Let the mixture cool, and then place the mixture in a food processor and puree to a paste. Store the chutney in an airtight glass container in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Spiced Indian Potatoes
adapted from "Show me the Curry"
serves 2

Boiled Potatoes – 3-4 med., cubed (1/2kg/1.13lb) 
(You can cook them, already cubed, in a microwave friendly dish, covered, on high heat for about 4 - 7 minutes)
Amchur/Dry Mango Powder – 1/4 tsp
Garam Masala – 1/4 tsp

Cumin Powder – 1/2 tsp
Coriander Powder – 1/2 tsp
Red Chilli Powder – to taste

Oil 2 Tbsp
Mustard Seeds- 1 tsp
Dry Red Chili – 1 or to taste
Asafoetida – 1/8 tsp 
Turmeric Powder/Haldi – 1/4 tsp
Curry Leaves – few leaves
Green Chillies – to taste, finely chopped
Lemon Juice – to taste
Cilantro – 1/2 bunch, finely chopped

Sprinkle the dry spices (Garam Masala, Mango Powder,Cumin Powder, Coriander Powder, Red Chilli Powder) over the cooled potatoes. 
Mix well but gently. 
Add in Salt, a lot of dry spices have salt so do the taste test and mix. 
In a pan, heat Oil on medium heat. Once the Oil is hot, add in Mustard Seeds and allow them to pop. 
Add in the Dry Red Chili (optional). 
Add in Asafoetida, Turmeric Powder, Curry Leaves, Green Chillies in that order. 
Add in the Potatoes and Mix well. 
Sprinkle some Lemon or Lime Juice and Cilantro. Mix well. 
Cook the Potatoes till they are heated all the way through and further if you want them caramelized. 

Serve as a side dish or as an appetizer.

Rabu, 19 Oktober 2011

Saffron Couscous, Chickpea and Lentil Salad

Isn't it great when you are looking for a recipe and then when you find one you happen to have almost all the ingredients at home? That's what happened to me when I found this recipe. I used already cooked lentils that I bought at the store, switched the lemon with a lime and replaced the red endive with arugula. The salad combines different textures and the flavor was on the sweet and sour side. Great for lunch or to bring to a Potluck.
Another very good recipe from Yotam Ottolenghi's great book "Plenty"

Saffron Couscous, Chickpea and Lentil Salad
Yotam Ottolenghi
(serves 4)

You may ask, "Why is he cooking three types of carb for one measly salad?" Well, my answer is simple: it's all about texture. Take your average couscous salad and it's almost always a sloppy mush, no matter how much attention has gone into getting flavours in there. Asians tend to derive as much pleasure, if not more, from the texture of their food as they do from the flavour combinations; it makes eating so much more sensual. I try to apply this philosophy wherever I can. In this salad the different sizes of the couscous, lentils and chickpeas, and their different degrees of hardness, create constant surprises to match the wealth of flavors.
  • 225 g couscous
  • ½ teaspoon saffron strands
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 260m l boiling water
  • 150 g cooked chickpeas (tinned are OK)
  • 150 g cooked Puy lentils (follow the cooking instructions given on the packet – they can vary)
  • 80 g dried cranberries
  • 1 red endive, cut into 1cm-thick slices
  • 2 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 tablespoons chopped mint
  • 3 tablespoons chopped coriander
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • Grated zest of 2 lemons
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon nigella seeds
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
1.Put the couscous in a shallow bowl. Add the saffron and a pinch of salt to the boiling water, and pour this over the couscous to cover. Wrap the bowl in clingfilm and set aside for 15 minutes, so the couscous soaks up the liquid. Remove the clingfilm, fluff up the couscous with a fork, then set aside to cool down.
2.Transfer the cold couscous to a mixing bowl, add the chickpeas, lentils and cranberries, and toss. Add the endive, spring onion, herbs, lemon zest, garlic and nigella seeds, stir gently to combine, then stir in olive oil and season to taste.
3.Serve this salad straight away, or chill it for up to 24 hours; the flavours actually improve over time. Before serving, bring back to room temperature and add more olive oil or seasoning as necessary.

Kamis, 13 Oktober 2011

Sweet Potato Pancakes

Sweet, salty and tender, with a hint of chili and full of fall flavor. These pancakes are so incredible, it is almost impossible to describe how good they truly are. This is another recipe out of Yotam Ottolenghis book "Plenty". Find out for yourself and see how good these pancakes are. My son chose this recipe and he actually doesn't like anything vegetarian, but he loved these pancakes and I had to promise him to make them again. I think I have to cook my way through the whole book.

Yotam Ottolenghi

Sweet Potato Cakes
The ultimate comfort food: soft, a bit messy and delicious. Serves four.
1kg/ 2 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
2 tsp soy sauce
100g /3,5 oz flour
1 tsp salt
½ tsp sugar
3 tbsp spring onion, chopped
½ tsp fresh chilli, finely chopped (or more, to taste)
Lots of butter, for frying
For the sauce:
50g /2 oz Greek yogurt
50g /2 oz sour cream
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
Steam the sweet potato until soft, then drain in a colander for an hour. Meanwhile, whisk the sauce ingredients until smooth and set aside. In a mixing bowl, work all the fritter ingredients by hand - it should be sticky, so if it's a little runny, add some flour. Do not over-mix.
Dip your hands in water and shape walnut-sized balls with the fritter mix, then flatten so you have round cakes around 5cm in diameter and less than 1cm thick. Place on an oily surface.
Melt some butter in a nonstick pan. Using a fish slice, lift the cakes in to the pan and fry on moderate heat until you get a nice, brown crust, turning as necessary - about six minutes. Place between two sheets of kitchen towel, to soak up the excess butter. Serve hot or warm, with the sauce on the side and a crisp green salad.

Jumat, 07 Oktober 2011

Mango Bread

I stumbled over this recipe when I was looking for something to bring to a breakfast. It is a quick bread from Dorie Greenspan and when I read the recipe it sounded like just the right thing to bring. It is a quick batter with pieces of juicy Mango, Golden Raisins, Cinnamon and Ginger. When it came out of the oven my kitchen smelled wonderful like fall and cinnamon. It tasted even better the next day and was just the right thing to bring to the breakfast.

Mango Bread
Source: Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup flavorless oil, such as canola or safflower oil
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 2 cups diced mango (from 1 large peeled and pitted mango)
  • 3/4 cup moist, plump golden raisins (omitted)
  • Grated zest of 1/2 a lime
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place a rack in the center notch. Also, butter and flour a standard bread loaf pan and place the loaf pan on a cookie sheet. Since the bread will be baking for a long time, the cookie sheet will act as an insulator to prevent the bottom of the bread from burning.
  2. Whisk the eggs and oil together in a mixing bowl. In another bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices. Rub the brown sugar between your hands to ensure there are no lumps and add to the dry mixture.
  3. Pour the wet mixture into the dry, and using a sturdy spoon or spatula, mix the dough. Just to note, this dough will seem very thick, so you just have to keep mixing and it will get a little more manageable to work with.
  4. Stir in the mango, raisins and zest until just incorporated and spoon the dough into your loaf pan. Spread the dough evenly.
  5. Bake the bread for 1 1/2 hours. Check the bread ever so often to make sure the top isn’t getting too brown. If it is, just place some foil over the bread for the remaining part of the baking.
  6. When finished baking, allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then take the bread out of the loaf pan and allow to cool on a cooling rack.