In Hongkong I came across fishmeat balls, similar to the vietnamese beefmeat balls. They have a wide variety, even some filled with cheese(!). I remember how my Hongkongese flatmate used to cook them with instant ramen in her rice cooker. Brilliant idea.
It was Chinese New Year, when my mom and I strolled through London’s Chinatown. We both fancied something noodly-soopy for dinner, as it was cold and rainy and decided to make a Eggnoodle (“Mie”) and Fishball soup. We decided to buy the thin noodles, as we prefer the delicate texture. We packed pak choi and also a packet of japanese mushrooms.
As we didn’t have much time to properly prepare a stock, we first heated some chopped onions and ginger in a pot with little bit oil and plainly added some hot water which we then let come to a boil.
In the meanwhile we blanched a handful of fresh eggnoodles and small sliced pack of pack choi separately.
Our instant broth is seasoned with fish sauce and instant miso mix (miso paste would be the preferred option here if available), then the fishballs are added. They only need a few minutes as they came from the fridge (if from the freezer it would take longer respectively).
Just before serving, we added the Japanese mushrooms and then let them sit in the water after turning off the heat on the pot.
Finally, the Mie-noodles are split in edible portions in the deep bowl and topped with pak choi. Lastly, just put some fishballs and japanese mushrooms into the bowls and pour a generous of scoop of broth over the bowls. Decorate with some spring onions and drizzle with sesame oil and seeds.
Though baking in glass is not new, it still is such a good idea for guests, family and sweet little gifts for special someone(s)…One of the simple things in life, which everyone loves is chocolate fudge cake.
100g of dark chocolate, 200g of muscovado sugar and 200g of butter are melted in a pot above boiling water. After the mix has cooled own a little bit 2 eggs and 100g of sour cream are added to the mix.
200g flour, 5 tsp of cocoa powder are combined separately in a bowl. Sieving the flour and cocoa powder prevents lumps. All is then stirred together and then transferred into pre-greased glasses. I find the combination with banana especially nice, hence, I sliced some banana slices and put them into the glass before filling it up with the chocolate dough. hint: try also (rum drunk) morello cherries! Everything is baked at 160°C until well done.
For the icing, condensed milk, some butter and cocoa powder are combined above boiling water again. Let is cool down until it is spreadable above the bakes.
I chopped some pistachios (or one can use any nuts really) and sprinkled on top. But desiccated coconut is nice as well.
This bake serves well as a warm dessert. Every spoon is such a pleasure!
Tofu has a unjustified reputation of being boring. Not true! Unfortunately do not most people not know how to prepare tofu. It can be so versatile. Especially, I like the fried tofu version I get in Chinese restaurants. Crispy from the outside, smooth in the inside.
This in an Asian inspired salad accompanied with pickled cucumber and crispy tortilla chips makes a perfect lunch.
I first slice a piece of cucumber with a peeler into thin slices, which are then set aside in a vinegar-sugar-salt vinaigrette.
In the meanwhile I cut a portion of silk tofu in cubes, dry them with kitchen towel to extract the excess water. Then I roll the cubes in starch, that serves like a batter. I warm up a little oil in a pot. The tofu cubes are then fried with little turning so they get brown and crisp on the edges. Frying silky tofu can be quite tricky as they easily break.
For the crispy tortillas, I cut two tortilla wraps in random shapes (you can be very creative here!) and then put them in a flat pan on low/medium heat. I sprinkled some paprika and curry spice on top to give them the extra flavor, but really, one can leave them natural or add any other herbs. One can also just pop them in the toaster.
I decided to go for a warm salad by cutting up some brown mushroom, broccoli and onions and fry them then with some oil in the same pan, I toasted my tortilla crisps. Just before they are tender, I add some soy sauce and a handful of broad beans. Edamame beans would be even a better fit.
The veggie base gets topped with wild rocket, the crispy tofu and the pickled cucumber. I sprinkle a little bit sesame oil and seeds on top and finish it off with a some salt and a little bit japanese teriyaki sauce.
There are only a few things one could do for Saturday mornings: sleeping in, hitting the gym and curing your hangover (if you have any). One thing that energize me for the day: a good breakfast.
Just recently I was at Fish & Chops, a new fish and chips store in the city. I am not particular fan of hearty English breakfast, but trapped between a very friendly waitress and an embarrising exit, I ordered their granola and yoghurt. With already a slight regret (who orders yoghurt from a fish and chips store?), I was postively surprised of the taste of the smooth greek yoghurt tucked under the crunchy (killingly sweet!) granola topped with honey and jam.
To do the granola for my brekkie jar, I mix honey, a little bit neutral oil with large leaved oatmeal. I give it a stir until I find the conistency not too clumpy. For bigger pieces of granola put more honey to provide the required stickyness. I spread the mix onto a sheet of baking powder and put in the oven at c. 200°C and bake it until golden brown. Turning it over occasionally makes it evenly brown.
Now yoghurt & granola are nice as one can go mad with toppings. I decided to top it with avocado, walnuts, some raisins and fresh fruit.
Now this is where people can go the extra mile: For this time of season, I think oranges or promegranate would go very well. As I had some tangerines at hand, I used a sharp knife to carve out some tangerines slices.
Layering the glass with yoghurt, avocado and then the self made granola. Finishing off with the tangerine slices, crushed walnuts and rose hip jam.
There we go. One of the good weekend starts on a cold grey winter morning.
I am a cinnamon bun fanatic and addict. One of my favorite sweets is a freshly baked, warm, fluffy brioche like bun filled with cinnamon and raisin mix. And even better when drizzled with some melted butter.
It all started back home when I was introduced to a local bakery in Frankfurt, Zeit Für Brot (google images). Their shop was adjacent to their bakery where one could see them knead the dough and put the loafs in the oven. The bread and loafs were organic and amazingly rich but not dry. But I would come to get my weekly treat: Their buns.
Hence, I come to try my own. Unfortunately or fortunately, there are zillions of recipes of “sticky” and “ooey gooey” cinnamon buns/rolls online.
I chose to try a recipe from Top With Cinnamon , an Award Winner for Best Baking and Desserts Blog. But I decided to make traditionally buns.
I prepared the dough according to the recipe. For my buns, I cooked some granny smith apples with brown sugar and cinnamon in a pan until soft.
Once, cooled I spread them onto the dough. But why not give it even a hint of a fine dessert? To give it a the extra touch, I baked a small roll in a glass. This is a nice treat at office or for friends at dinner.
Inspired by the cold, wet London weather I thought Lasagne would be a nice comforting food to have.
Similar to a Bolognese Ragut basis, I cut carrots, parsnip and mushrooms into equally small pieces. Since I like to be mine without meat, I chose parsnip and carrots for some strong vegetable flavor.
Starting off with some sliced onions and garlic with a little bit oil in a pan, I added the carrots and parsnip first. The ingredients are stir fried until they are slightly tender, then a can of chopped tomatoes is added. I flavor the mix with salt, pepper, italian herbs and little bit sugar, to reduce the acidity of the tomatoes. My secret hint is to add a bit of fish sauce. No kidding, I have read this in other food blogs, and it does make your sauce fishy at all. Fish sauce gives it a rather round salty flavor compared to the regular salt. Finally, slash of red or white wine gives it a typical Bolognese Ragut arome once more fluid has evaporated.
While the sauce simmers, I put a few fresh lasagne sheets into boiling water for c. 5 minutes until slightly soft. That reduces the cooking time in the oven.
After I take out the sheets and have left to cool, I start building my lasagne, alternating between a sheet and some tomato sauce. I finish off with a layer of sauce, give it a drizzle of olive oil, before putting it into the preheated oven at 190°C. This does not take long, as sheet are already pre-cooked. Shortly, before the lasagne has cooked through, I add cheese on top and put the oven to grill for another few minutes to give it crispy cheese top.
A fresh apple, cranberry iceberg salad in yoghurt dressing is served as a side.
Vegetarians can add for protein some soy-based protein (Quorn) or lentils into the sauce. For my meat loving friends I add minced meat (eg. mix of beef/pork). I found that lasagnes without the Bechamel sauce are less heavy but necessarily not less tasty. One can add more herbs for more flavor or grind cheese for more binding.
Swabian food is one of my favorite German regional cuisines. Especially, Maultaschen, a kind of large ravioli filled with seasoned pork meat, are easy to prep and eat. Traditionally, one could serve them in a soup, but more popular among my friends and I is the stir fried version, mixed with vegetables and a scrambled egg.
For this I fried some sliced onions in olive oil, some sliced carrots and the Maultaschen in a pan. I added the mushrooms later, as they need less cooking time. Leaving the ingredients sit at the pan bottom for a while, without stirring much gives them a nice almost burnt crust. This makes it crispy and gives a nice crunch. Who likes, can crack an egg over the pan and mix it with the Maultaschen.
Finish this off with freshly chopped parsley, some salt and pepper and sprinkle some more ready fried onions (if available) on top. I found that this is a perfect lunch even cold.