Kamis, 29 Maret 2012

Green Couscous

Since it seems that spring has already arrived in Chicago (something very unusual here at this time of the year), the time for stews and heavy soups came to an end...
In order to welcome this early arrival of spring I decided to make this recipe from Yotam Ottolenghi. It is a simple couscous dish with lots of different herbs. The savory component of spring onion and green chile is balanced with sweet caramelized onions. The dish tastes so fresh that it always leaves you wanting more! I made it with Israeli couscous that I cooked for 10 minutes (instead of the smaller version of couscous) and loved it that way.

Green Couscous

(Yotam Ottolenghi)


  • 1 cup couscous
  • 3/4 cup boiling water or vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

  • Herb Paste
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed
1/2 cup unsalted pistachios, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • 3 scallions, finely sliced
  • 1 fresh green chile, such as jalapeno, finely sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups arugula leaves, chopped


  1. Place couscous in a large bowl and add boiling water or stock. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let stand for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil over medium heat and add onion; cook, stirring, until golden and soft. Add salt and cumin; stir to combine. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
Herb Paste

  1. Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor; process until smooth, scraping down the sides and adding more oil as necessary.
  2. Uncover couscous and stir in herb paste, using a fork to fluff. Add onion mixture, pistachios, scallions, chile, and arugula; gently mix to combine. Serve at room temperature.

Jumat, 23 Maret 2012

Salmon Waffles

When I had guests the other day I made these waffles as an appetizer. I think they were the best part of my whole meal and I could have eaten nothing else but these waffles. There is salmon in the batter which gives them a nice salty taste and they are topped with some sour cream or creme fraiche to complement the salty salmon. Perfect appetizer.

 Salmon Waffles
(from Dorie Greenspan)

Waffles are best eaten hot off the iron, although they can be kept for about 20 minutes in a 200 degree F oven. You can freeze freshly made or leftover waffles. Layer them between sheets of wax paper and wrap them airtight. To revive them, thaw, then reheat and recrisp them in a toaster or toaster oven.
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, or to taste
  • 1-3/4 cups whole milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 ounces thinly sliced smoked salmon, cut into thin strips or slivers
  • 5 scallions, white and light green parts only,
         halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons snipped fresh chives (or more scallions),
         plus more for sprinkling
  • Crème fraîche or sour cream, for serving
  • Salmon roe, for topping (optional)
Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper together in a medium bowl. In another bowl or a large measuring cup with a spout, whisk together the milk, eggs, and melted butter. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry and stir everything together gently—it's better to have a few lumps than it is to beat the batter. Stir in the smoked salmon, scallions, and chives. (You can cover the batter and leave it at room temperature for up to 1 hour before waffling; stir well before using)
When you're ready to make the waffles, preheat a waffle iron according to the manufacturer's directions. If your iron is not nonstick, brush it lightly with oil or spritz it with vegetable cooking spray. If you'd like to keep the waffles warm while you're making the full batch, center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 200 degrees F; line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
When the iron is hot, pour about 1/2 cup batter over the grids, using a spatula to spread it evenly across the surface—you want a thin layer. (Precisely how much batter you need will depend on the size of your iron.) Let the batter bake for about 30 seconds before closing the lid and baking the waffle until it is well browned on the underside—that's the side that will always be brownest and most beautiful, no matter what you do. To keep the waffles warm if you're not serving as you go, place them on the baking sheet and slide them into the oven. Continue until you've cooked all the batter.
Cut the waffles into quarters and arrange the quarters on plates. Top each one with crème fraîche or sour cream, salmon roe, if you're using it, and a sprinkling of chives. Or, if you've made mini waffles, you can create millefeuilles with them, sandwiching the waffles with cream. Count on 3 little waffle stacks per serving.

Rabu, 14 Maret 2012

Green Pancakes with Lime Butter

These savory pancakes from Yotam Ottolenghi are made with spinach, green onions and chile. They are accompanied by a lime flavored butter but Sour Cream or Creme Fraiche would also taste great. They are perfect to serve as a light lunch with a green salad or at an elegant brunch.


Lime butter
8 tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
Grated zest of 1 lime
1 1/2 tbsp lime juice
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
1 tbsp chopped cilantro
1/2 garlic clove, finely chopped
1/4 tsp chile flakes

1/2 lb (about 8 cups) spinach, washed
3/4 cup self-rising flour 
1 tbsp baking powder
1 egg
4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
2/3 cup milk
6 medium green onions, finely sliced
2 fresh green chiles, thinly sliced
1 egg white
Olive oil for frying

To make the lime butter. Put the butter in a medium bowl and beat it with a wooden spoon until it turns soft and creamy. Stir in the rest of the ingredients. Tip onto a sheet of plastic wrap and roll into a sausage shape. Twist the ends of the wrap to seal the flavored butter. Chill until firm.

Wilt the spinach in a pan with a splash of water. Drain in a sieve and, when cool, squeeze hard with your hands to remove as much moisture as possible. Roughly chop and put aside.

Put the flour, baking powder, whole egg, melted butter, salt, cumin and milk in a large mixing bowl and whisk until smooth. Add the green onions, chiles and spinach and mix with a fork. Whisk the egg white to soft peaks and gently fold it into the batter.

Pour a small amount of olive oil into a heavy frying pan and place on medium-high heat. For each pancake, ladle 2 tablespoons of batter into the pan and press down gently. You should get smallish pancakes, about 3 inches in diameter and 3/8 inch thick. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side, or until you get a good golden-green color. Transfer to paper towels and keep warm. Continue making pancakes, adding oil to the pan as needed, until the batter is used up.

To serve, pile up three warm pancakes per person and place a slice of flavored butter on top to melt.

Jumat, 09 Maret 2012

Bologna Salad (Wurstsalat)

Do you remember that kind of food that was only available at a certain time of the year or at a certain place on earth? How you craved for it, looked forward to have it  and wished you could have it right now?
This salad was one of that for my family.
When we lived in Northern Germany we used to travel every year by car to Spain and we stopped at the Black Forest for one to get a rest and also to visit relatives. That was the only time of the year when we were able to get  this salad.  It is a typical Southern German and Swiss dish.
My husband who was born in Southern Germany taught me how to make it and funny enough I am able to get exactly the right ingredients here in the US that I could never get in Northern Germany.
You'll need a specific kind of Veal Bologna and a good original Swiss Cheese (Emmentaler) that has to be sliced very thinly and with lots of love. I serve it with Pretzel or a good rustic bread.

Southern German Bologna Salad

300 g / 10 5/8 oz Veal Bologna
110 g / 3 7/8 oz Emmentaler (Swiss Cheese)
5 T Vegetable Oil
2 - 3 T White Wine Vinegar
1/4 t Maggi Sauce
Salt, Pepper to taste

Slice the Bologna and the Cheese very thinly in matchsticks. Put in a bowl and fluff a little with your fingers.
Add the rest of the ingredients. Mix carefully and let sit for at least 30 minutes at room temperature.
Serve with rustic bread or Pretzel

Jumat, 02 Maret 2012

Apple Sharlotka

Whenever I find a tempting recipe for apple cake I put it on my pile of recipes that I have to make as soon as I get a chance.
This recipe was on top of my pile and and it was such an easy and fast cake that I am sure that I will make it again soon. The cake is very light and moist and piled with apples. It is also great served with ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream !

  • Apple Sharlotka
  • (from smitten kitchen)

  • Butter or nonstick spray, for greasing pan
  • 6 large, tart apples, such as Granny Smiths
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour
  • Ground cinnamon, to finish
  • Powdered sugar, also to finish

1. Preheat oven to 350F / 180 C degrees.

2. Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Butter the paper and the sides of the pan. Peel, halve and core your apples, then chop them into medium-sized chunks. (I cut each half into four “strips” then sliced them fairly thinly — about 1/4-inch — in the other direction.) Pile the cut apples directly in the prepared pan. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, using an electric mixer or whisk, beat eggs with sugar until thick and ribbons form on the surface of the beaten eggs. Beat in vanilla, then stir in flour with a spoon until just combined. The batter will be very thick.

3. Pour over apples in pan, using a spoon or spatula to spread the batter so that it covers all exposed apples. (Updated to clarify: Spread the batter and press it down into the apple pile. The top of the batter should end up level with the top of the apples.) Bake in preheated oven for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a tester comes out free of batter. Cool in pan for 10 minutes on rack, then flip out onto another rack, peel off the parchment paper, and flip it back onto a serving platter. Dust lightly with ground cinnamon. Serve warm or cooled, dusted with powdered sugar.