Strawberry-rhubarb crumble with rosewater

Strawberry-rhubarb crumble with rosewater

What can I say? While I was busy making bagels and thinking about finally showing you  these mind-blowing cookies, I had a quick look what’s happening around and… something sneaked up on me: Strawberry-rhubarb crumble. Reading about it here yesterday, I suddenly realized that I could not even remember how long ago we had a crumble (a sad thought when married to a Englishman, let me tell you) and that it was now imperative to make one this instant. Just the idea of it made me run out, jump in the car & race drive to the farm for some super red, ripe, fresh strawberries & rhubarb and while I was there I picked up asparagus, too.

Strawberry-rhubarb crumble

It simply made my Saturday: clothes shopping was a delight (3 pairs of trousers one size smaller, though I should have thought about that before I ate two portions of the crumble later…), planted flowers in pots to pretty-up the place before the parents are arriving, bending a few bagels into shape (coming to this blog soon) & finally lazing on the deck chairs in the fading sun with drink in hand. Feeling good and finishing the day with carpaccio & this pudding was just the icing crumble on the cake.

I love the combination of strawberries & rhubarb: the rhubarb has a tangy sharpness, which is mellowed by the sweet fruitiness of the strawberries, who as a bonus also provide some much needed vibrancy in the colour department. In return, the rhubarb gives the fruit mixture body and prevents it from turning into mush. Normally lemon is used to brighten the sweetness of the strawberries and I have just added the merest of spritzes for old-times-sakes here since the rhubarb is tangy enough. But, here come the trick: add a tiny amount of rosewater to amplify the strawberry taste without even noticing the rosewater itself, though feel free to double the amount for a discernible rose flavour. Re the crumble, I’m happy to stay with my recipe since it works for me, I love it and there is no melting & cooling involved. Also, raw cane sugar: sugar with a hint of golden syrup. Mhmh. Posting now.

 


 

Strawberry-rhubarb crumble with rosewater

4-8 portions

300g (10 ½ oz) rhubarb (prepped weight of 4 stalks)
300g (10 ½ oz) strawberries (hulled weight of 1 punnet with extras for the cook)
2 tablespoons raw cane sugar
1 tablespoon flour
a tiny spritz of not even ½ lemon
¼ teaspoon rosewater (use double for a more intense rose taste)

90g (6 ½ tablespoons; 3.2 oz) cold butter, cut into pieces
120g (1 cup) plain flour
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
6 tablespoons raw cane sugar (or vanilla sugar)

 

Preheat an oven to 190°C or 375°F.
Cut the rhubarb into 2cm or ½ inch pieces and chop the strawberries into halves, quarters or eights depending on the size of your berries (all pieces should be approximately the same size, although I do not mind smaller strawberries). Decant into an ovenproof dish (I used a square one: 18x18x5 cm = 7x7x2 inches) and toss with sugar, flour, lemon juice and rosewater.

For the crumble knead and rub butter, flour mixed with baking powder and sugar together with your hands. If you are planning to use the mixture later, store it in the fridge until needed. Top the fruits with crumble, place the dish onto baking parchment or a sheet (the liquid might bubble over) and bake for 25-35 minutes. Best eaten still warm with vanilla custard (vanilla sauce) or proper vanilla ice-cream.

 


Erdbeer-Rhabarber Streusel (Crumble) mit Rosenwasser

ergibt 4-8 Portionen

300g Rhabarber (geputzt)
300g Erdbeeren (geputzt)
2 EL roher Rohrzucker
1 EL Mehl
ein Spritzer Zitronensaft von weniger als ½ Zitrone
¼ TL Rosenwasser (doppelte Menge für einen ausgeprägten Rosengeschmack)

90g kalte Butter in Stücken
120g Mehl
eine Messerspitze Backpulver
6 EL roher Rohrzucker (oder Vanillezucker: Zucker mit Vanillestange)
Backofen auf 190°C vorheizen.

Rhabarberstangen in maximal 2cm große Stückchen schneiden, die Erdbeeren je nach Größe halbieren, vierteln oder achteln (die Stücke sollten in etwa die gleiche Größe haben). Alles in eine ofenfeste Form geben (egal ob eckig, oval, rund: meine ist 18x18x5cm) und mit 2 EL Zucker, Zitronensaft, ¼ TL Rosenwasser und 1 EL Mehl mischen.

Für die Streusel (crumble): Butter mit Mehl, Backpulver und dem Zucker mit den Händen reiben und kneten bis crumble = ungleiche Streusel entstehen: eine Mischung aus größeren Klumpen und kleinen Bröseln ist hier ausdrücklich erwünscht. Die Streusel kann man auch vorbereiteten, sie sollten dann aber bis zur Verwendung im Kühlschrank aufbewahrt werden.

Streusel auf die Früchte streuen und die Form auf einem Backblech oder Backpapier in die Ofenmitte schieben. Die Unterlage ist ganz wichtig: der süße Fruchtsaft brodelt gegen Ende gerne über und so erspart man sich das spätere Ofenschrubben. Für 25-35 Minuten backen bis der Saft schön an den Rändern über die goldenen Streusel gelaufen ist. Am besten noch warm mit Vanillesauce oder Vanilleeis essen.

Pea shoot salad with bacon wrapped chèvre

Pea shoot salad with chèvre

Make honey-rosemary goats cheese for a meat-free version, see note in recipe below. Deutsches Rezept unten.

 

I am still totally amazed how much a salad leaf can taste of peas, well that sounds odd but you know what I mean. Wispy pea shoots with their tender tendrils do not only look absolutely pretty, their fine taste is a surprise as well and makes them a great addition to any mixture of salad leaves.

A total stickler for old(-fashioned) or forgotten foods, I am happy to come across some things on the local farmers markets or the great abundance of the Frankfurt Kleinmarkthalle but others, I have to grow myself. I miss having a garden every season but especially in spring when everything around suddenly bursts into green growth and you see your plants progress. I grew up in a garden, my grandfather’s garden to be accurate, where I spend all of my childhood. My grandfather picked me up from Kindergarten every day on his bicycle and after lunch he, my grandmother Anni & I went to the garden. We dug, sowed tiny seeds for carrots into neat rills drawn into the ground with a stick, weeded the flower beds, watered the plants with a heavy, long yellow & black marked rubber hose (which looked quite like a snake), burned the cut offs in a rusty old drum and cooked the first potatoes in the fire. My swing was attached to branch of the pear tree and I happily played in the mud and needed to have a great soak & scrub down before my parents came to collect me in the evening. Paradise. I neeeeeeed a garden. Anyway, to compensate I am growing raspberries, forest strawberries & a great number of herbs and the occasional bean on our balcony. Plus the pea shoots, of course.

Pea shoot salad with chèvre

For the salad: first plant your peas! I am not kidding.

Pea shoots grow rapidly and are big enough for a salad in about 10-14 days. You can literally watch them grow which is rather great for children and very impatient people and instantaneously creates the feeling of great satisfaction that you have grown your own food (on a window ledge or flower pot). All you need are some dried green peas from the grocery store & the flower pot, window box or tiny corner of your vegetable patch. Throw a handful of peas onto the soil, press the peas with your flat hand lightly into the ground and cover with a thin sprinkling of earth (1cm or ½ inch). Water and keep the soil moist from now on every day. Tadaa! As I said, you will be able to watch them grow and within a fortnight harvest your first pea shoots & tendrils when they have reached about 5-7cm or over 2 inches. Can’t eat them all? Grow them a few days more into robust little stems of 15-20cm for stir-fried pea shoots.

Clearly, this is a brilliant vegetarian salad / starter / appetizer if you leave the bacon and drizzle the creamy goats cheese rounds with a little honey & a few rosemary needles and give it a quick broil in the oven. Mhmhm, feeling hungry already.

 

 


 

Pea shoot salad with bacon wrapped chèvre

Makes a lunch main course for one; also a great starter for a menu: increase salad and figure one goats cheese per person (or more for hungry people)

a handful of pea shoots (about 20 sprigs)
baby spinach & other salad leaves
¼ yellow bell pepper, diced
2 tablespoons cooked broad beans
a few radishes, thinly sliced
a small shallot, finely chopped
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon white balsamic or cider vinegar
3 tablespoons hazelnut oil
salt & pepper
2 small rounds of creamy goats cheese (chèvre)
2 rashers of streaky bacon (not too thick cut)
4 rosemary needles
a tiny spritz of olive oil

 

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350° F) or use the grill / broiler.

Arrange all the salad ingredients on a plate or platter. Make the vinaigrette from mustard, vinegar, oil, salt & pepper.

Wrap the goats cheeses in bacon, cross-wise is best and stick a few rosemary needles into the parcels. Heat an ovenproof pan over a medium-hot heat, add a tiny bit of olive oil to prevent sticking and fry the bacon wrapped goats cheeses on both flat sides until the bacon is lightly browned. Place your pan into the oven or under the grill to quickly cook the rest of the bacon before the cheese melts (a little melting is ok & definitely wanted). For the vegetarian version place the cheeses in an ovenproof dish, drizzle with a little honey and a few chopped rosemary needles and broil or grill swiftly for the same result (warmed cheeses but not totally melted). Place onto your salad, drizzle with vinaigrette and serve with a few slices of ficelle or baguette.

 


 

Salat mit Erbsensprossen und in Speck gewickelter Ziegenkäse

Für einen Salat zum Mittag oder auch eine tolle Vorspeise: dafür nur die Salatmenge erhöhen und eventuell nur einen Ziegenkäse pro Person einplanen (hungrige Leute bekommen zwei)

1 Handvoll Erbsensprossen (ca. 20 Stengel, einfache Pflanzanleitung: Erbsen pflanzen, mit dünner Schicht Erde bedecken, wässern, nach 10-14 Tagen 5cm große Sprossen ernten)
Baby Spinat & andere Salatblätter
¼ gelbe Paprika, gewürfelt
2 EL gekochte & gepalte Saubohnen
ein paar Radieschen, dünn gehobelt
1 kleine Schalotte, fein gewürfelt
1 TL Dijonsenf
1 EL weißer Balsamico oder Apfelessig
3 EL Haselnussöl
Salz & Pfeffer
2 kleine cremige Ziegenkäsetaler (chèvre)
2 Scheiben Bacon oder Frühstücksspeck (nicht zu dünn)
4 Rosmarinnadeln
ein wenig Olivenöl

 

Backofen auf 180°C vorheizen oder den Grill benutzen.

Die Salatzutaten auf einem Teller oder einer Platte arrangieren und die Vinaigrette aus Senf, Essig, Öl, Salz & Pfeffer zubereiten.

Die Ziegenkäse jeweils kreuzweise mit einer Scheibe Bacon umwickeln und Rosmarinnadeln in die Päckchen stecken. Etwas Olivenöl in eine ofenfeste Pfanne geben und die Käse bei mittlerer Hitze von beiden flachen Seiten leicht bräunlich braten. Dann die Pfanne in den Ofen oder unter den Grill geben um den restlichen Speck zu garen. Dabei sollte der Käse nicht völlig schmelzen (ein leichte Schmelze ist aber durchaus erwünscht). Für eine vegetarische Version die Käse mit etwas Honig und Rosmarin bestreuen und in einer ofenfesten Form gleich im Ofen erwärmen oder kurz unter den Grill platzieren. Die warmen Käse sofort auf den Salat geben, mit der Vinaigrette beträufeln und mit Ficelle oder Baguette servieren.

Eggs with Frankfurter Grüne Sauce – eggs with green sauce

eggs

Happy Easter!

Hopefully you have found many Easter nests and Easter eggs and are enjoying the fantastic weather. Even knocked out with the flu, it looks glorious. After you have eaten all the chocolate, fondant, cream & other eggs, here is an eggscelent dish to cope with the surplus of hard-boiled variety after Easter or to have a nice vegetarian dish up your sleeve to detox after all the eggstravaganza of four feasting holidays. Enough, this herby sauce is an eggstraordinary great condiment for cold cuts of meat or smoked fish (trout, mackerel), too.

Eier im Kräuterbett

Every Hessian market stall in spring is packed with wonderful billowing parcels of herbs for Grie Soß, green sauce. As soon as you point to one, a white paper scroll brimming with green garden herbs is carefully unrolled before your eyes and today’s mixture explained. For this green sauce is a local speciality, it is a seasonal dish since the herbs have to be grown here (nearly an appellation contrôllée & no far flung air-travellers allowed) and therefore composition of greenery changes as the season progresses. The market woman recants the different herbs and either for theatrical purposes or in case you are not so familiar with some of the rarely seen herbs points to them and explains some more, gives recipe tips and so on. You see, this green sauce and the herb mixture is a matter of pride and at least 7 of the following herbs have to be present: curly parsley, chives, chervil, cress, salad-burnet, borage, sorrel, dill, tarragon, lemon balm.

Traditionally, eggs with Frankfurter Grüne Sauce are eaten predominantly on Maundy Thursday (Gründonnerstag). According to local folklore it was Goethe’s favourite dish and why not: a simple dish of new potatoes, eggs and the intensely green, fresh & herby sauce is a spring delight. Some recipes are rather more strict on the ingredients & herb selection, others include finely chopped hard-boiled eggs in the sauce but that’s too many eggstra eggs for me. And before some are up in arms: the picture shows a green sauce with more quark in it – eggscident.

Frankfurter Green sauce

Though is a classic dish throughout the whole season and can be found in various forms on every Straußwirtschaft menu, casual little taverns or pubs at a vineyard, preferably outside, where homemade cold cuts, small plates & little morsels, salads & hearty fare is sold, just perfect for a stop on your Sunday stroll and naturally, it provides a good base for some extensive – where you expecting a different word? – Riesling tasting. My favourite is ham in aspic, topped with a dollop of a runnier green sauce and fresh rye bread. Oh, why don’t we go now?

 


 

Frankfurter Grüne Sauce (green sauce)

200g or 7 oz fresh herbs (choose 7 of the following: curly parsley, chives, chervil, cress, salad-burnet, borage, sorrel, dill, tarragon, lemon balm)
a tub of sour cream
white vinegar
sunflower oil
a few tablespoons of quark or optional: mayonnaise
salt & pepper
hard-boiled eggs
boiled new potatoes in their skin

Chop your herbs very fine and tip them into a large bowl. Add sour cream until you have a green puree and thin the sauce with a little vinegar (start with a tablespoon) and some oil (2-3 tablespoons). Most times this sauce is rather thin though I like to add a few spoons of quark for a stiffer version to serve with eggs & potatoes (some people prefer the unctuousness of mayonnaise). Traditionalists even add finely minced hard-boiled eggs to it – too much if you eat it with eggs, I think. Serve with just about hard-boiled eggs & new potatoes. Riesling, anyone? Bon appetit.


Frankfurter Grüne Sauce

200g frische Kräuter, mindestens 7 der folgenden: krause Petersilie, Schnittlauch, Kerbel, Kresse, Pimpinelle, Borretsch, Sauerampfer, Dill, Estragon, Zitronenmelisse
Saure Sahne (ein Becher, ca. 250g, eventuell auch etwas mehr)
weißer Essig
Sonnenblumenöl
ein paar EL Quark, Schmand oder Mayonnaise (nach Geschmack)
hart gekochte Eier
neue Kartoffeln mit Schale gekocht

Die Kräuter sehr fein wiegen und in eine große Schüssel geben. Saure Sahne unterrühren und das grüne Püree mit etwas Essig (zunächst 1 EL, eventuell mehr) und mehr Öl (2-3 EL, eventuell mehr) mischen. Je nach Geschmack und gewünschter Konsistenz mehr oder weniger Essig & Öl hinzugeben, für eine dickere Sauce zu Kartoffeln gebe ich noch etwas Quark oder einen Löffel Mayonnaise hinzu. Mit Salz & Pfeffer abschmecken und zu den harten Eiern und warmen Kartoffeln servieren. Vielleicht ein Glas Rieslíng dazu?

Turkey meatballs with soy-ginger glaze & griddled pak choi

IMG_3425_2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These scrumptious savoury morsels (my husband pops them like bonbons) are perfect on their own, but to drizzle them with the sticky soy-ginger glaze comes somewhat close to gilding the lily – though only in a good way. They effortlessly make their way to the top of our what-shall-we-have-tomorrow-questionnaire. Every time.

Ground turkey is not really a common sight in German butchers or supermarkets (in fact: never), you have to get chopping yourself and frankly, I prefer the coarser texture to the fine grind. You’ll see what is in the mince as well, to make a virtue out of necessity… Mix in a few bread crumbs to insure those delicate meatballs will stay balls meaning keep their shape & stick together while being browned all over. Drizzled with the treacly ginger syrup and serve with fragrant white rice and a huge plate of this (highly addictive) smoky griddled pak choi or bok choy.

 

Turkey meatballs with soy-ginger glaze & griddled pak choi


 

Turkey meatballs with a soy-ginger glaze & griddled pak choi

30 little balls serve 4 or if you invite my husband: just 2. You have been warned.

The Meatballs are adapted with a few minor changes (chopped turkey, breadcrumbs) from New York Times (featuring Canal House Cooking, vol. 3) via the Smitten Kitchen.

Sauce:
½ cup (90g) dark muscovado or dark brown sugar
½ cup (120ml) water
½ cup (120ml) soy sauce
½ cup (120ml) mirin
¼ cup chopped ginger; I used less (half): a big walnut sized piece
1 teaspoon ground coriander
a few black pepper corns (4-8)

Meatballs:
1lb (454g) turkey breast
4-6 spring onions (scallions)
a handful of coriander (cilantro)
1 large egg
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
black pepper, add some chilli flakes for extra spice
about 2 tablespoons bread crumbs
sunflower oil or other vegetable oil

Bok choy / Pak choi:
8 medium pak choi
(any) oil
hoisin sauce
sriracha sauce (medium hot)
soy sauce or salt & pepper

 

Start with the sauce: dissolve the sugar in the water over medium-high heat, add soy sauce, mirin, ginger, coriander, pepper corns and turn the heat to medium-low. Stir occasionally and simmer until reduced by half to a runny syrup or thick glaze (not as thick as treacle). Takes about ½ hour. Strain if you like, I rather like the ginger in it and do not bother with an extra step.
Meatballs: Finely chop the turkey (to a coarse mince), as well as the spring onions & coriander. Mix together with an egg, sesame oil, soy sauce, freshly ground black pepper and bread crumbs to a rather loose & light mixture. Form with moistened hands into little cherry-sized meatballs, they are going to be quite soft and need to be gingerly treated.

Heat a generous splash of oil in a frying pan (skillet) over medium-high heat and slowly fry the first batch of turkey meatballs until browned and cooked (ca. 8 minutes). Keep them warm on a preheated plate or in a low oven while you prepare the rest. Drizzle with the soy-ginger glaze before serving.

Pak choi: While the meatballs are frying, heat a cast-iron griddle or plancha (alternatively use a large frying pan) over high heat. Halve the small cabbages lengthwise (the halves are kept together by the stalks), brush the cut sides with a little oil and place onto the searing hot griddle. Turn over after a few minutes and sear the other side until they are soft, browned in parts and exude a nice barbecue smell. Place on a warmed platter, drizzle with thin strands of hoisin & sriracha sauce (both handily available in squeeze bottles). Season with soy or salt & black pepper and serve together with the glazed meatballs and fragrant Thai or Jasmin rice.

Griddled pak choi


 

Putenhackbällchen mit Ingwer-Sojaglasur & gegrilltem Pak choi

Ergibt ca. 30 kleine Frikadellen. Das reicht für 4 Personen, falls mein Mann vorbei kommt: nur für zwei.

Das Rezept für die Putenhackbällchen wurde mit einigen Änderungen adaptiert vom Rezept in der New York Times (Canal House Cooking, vol. 3) via Smitten Kitchen.

Sauce:
90g oder ½ Tasse dunkler Mascobado Zucker
120ml Wasser
120ml Sojasauce
120ml Mirin
ein Stück Ingwer (von der Größe einer Walnuß), gehackt (die Hälfte einer ¼ Tasse gehackter Ingwer)
1 TL gemahlener Koriander
4-8 ganze schwarze Pfefferkörner (nach gewünschter Schärfe)

Hackbällchen:
450g Putenbrust (Putenschnitzel)
4-6 Frühlingszwiebeln
a Handvoll Koriander
1 großes Ei
2 EL Sesamöl
2 EL Sojasauce
schwarzer Pfeffer, eventuell auch Chiliflocken
ca. 2 EL Paniermehl
Sonnenblumenöl

Bok choy / Pak choi:
8 mittlere pak choi
Öl
Hoisin Sauce
Sriracha Sauce (mittelscharf; grüner Deckel)
Sojasauce oder Salz & Pfeffer

 

Zuerst die Sauce vorbereiten: In einer kleinen Kasserolle den dunkelbraunen (unraffinierten) Zucker im Wasser bei mittlerer Hitze auflösen. Sojasauce, Mirin, Ingwer, Koriander und Pfefferkörner hinzugeben und bei verringerter Hitze um die Hälfte zu einem (dünneren) Sirup einkochen. Das dauert ungefähr eine halbe Stunde. Anschließend kann man die Glasur durch ein Sieb geben, ich mag die Ingwerstückchen in der Sauce und verzichte auf diesen Schritt.

Für die Hackbällchen das Putenfleisch fein hacken, ebenso wie die Frühlingszwiebeln und den Koriander. Alles zusammen mit dem Ei, Sesamöl, Sojasauce, frisch gemahlenem schwarzen Pfeffer (wer es schärfer möchte gibt noch Chiliflocken oder Cayenne hinzu) und dem Paniermehl zu einer weichen Masse verrühren. Mit angefeuchteten Händen kleine Bällchen (kirschgroß) formen. Einen guten Schuß Öl in einer Pfanne erhitzen (mittlere Hitze) und die vorsichtig die sehr weichen Putenbällchen portionsweise rundherum braten bis sie durch und gebräunt sind. Auf einem vorgewärmten Teller oder im Backofen bei niedriger Temperatur warm halten. Vor dem Servieren mit der Glasur beträufeln, den Rest in einem Kännchen separat dazu reichen.

Für den Pak choi eine Grillplatte oder schwere Pfanne stark erhitzen. Den chinesischen Kohl längs halbieren (die Hälften werden von den Stämmchen zusammengehalten) und die Schnittflächen mit ein wenig Öl bepinseln. Auf die heiße Fläche legen und einige Minuten grillen, wenden und braten bis der Pak choi weich, an einigen Stellen bräunlich geworden ist und wunderbaren Grillgeruch angenommen hat. Die Hälften auf eine Platte legen und mit einem dünnen Zickzackmuster aus Hoisinsauce & Srirachasauce verzieren (praktischerweise gibt es beide in den handlichen Plastikfläschchen). Entweder mit Sojasauce oder Salz & Pfeffer würzen und mit weißem Duftreis zu den glasierten Hackbällchen servieren.

 

Hot cross buns

 

Hot Cross Buns – Korinthenbrötchen (deutsches Rezept am Ende)

Hot cross buns

In case you did not know, I am married to an Englishman, which has only furthered my Anglophilia and deeply rooted affection for extremely expensive paints & wall papers, Earl Grey tea with milk, P.G. Wodehouse, a fried breakfast, B&B’s, the countryside, picnics, the National Trust, Deborah Devonshire, British cuisine and to top the by no means finished list – a pinch of charming eccentricity.

Hot cross buns

In England, Hot cross buns are traditionally eaten on Good Friday (the cross symbolizes of course the Crucifixion). Maybe you know the nursery rhyme and song? A relative of the gorgeous Dutch Krentenbollen (soft currant buns, a sure thing to eat in Holland & bring a bag for my your Mum) these are firmer, saffron-golden and have a distinct and intense spiced taste. Other sources state that Hot cross buns have been served during the whole of Lent. I am a little bit puzzled how these rich golden buns, full of aromatic currants & expensive spices like saffron, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves & ginger could have been a daily occurrence and fit the concept of restraint (though once marzipan was considered a fast food!). The luxurious ingredients seem to me more the feast at the end, the break of the fast and beginning of the Easter celebrations.

Hot cross buns

I have failed these buns for years with some resembling fruitcakes (how to say it politely: not my thing), some turned out great – as building material, other recipes took the glazing a bit too far: a triple douse of apricot jam & sugar syrup??? Finally, Felicity Cloake presented How to cook the perfect Hot cross bun (not a moment too soon) and the next day I had several winners on my plate and never looked any other bun in the eye again: Only the tiniest of adaptations (e.g. I prefer a pure currant bun without mixed peel) and a few nips & tucks at the method.

Hot cross buns

 


 

Hot cross buns

Makes 16, adapted from Felicity Cloake’s Perfect Hot cross buns from the Guardian

update: the American cup measurements and weight in ounces are there now

 

200ml milk = ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons = 13½ oz
a few pistils of saffron (a good pinch)
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
3 green cardamom pods, lightly bruised
1 cinnamon stick
2 cloves
20g fresh yeast (never made this with dried yeast, though substitute a sachet of 7g)
50g caster sugar = ¼ cup
450g strong white flour (bread flour or type 550 flour) = 3 cups = 16 oz
100g butter = 3.5oz = 1 stick minus 1 tablespoon
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground ginger
3 (2+1) eggs
200g currants = 1 cup or 7 oz
3 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon hot water

Gently heat (do not boil) the milk, throw in the spices: saffron, nutmeg, cardamom, cinnamon & cloves and leave to infuse for a few hours. Warm again until tepid, strain and dissolve the yeast & feed it with a pinch of sugar.

Cut your butter into small pieces and add them to the flour into a large mixing bowl (or use a pastry blender), rub together, then mix with sugar, salt & ground ginger. Make a well in the middle, add the two eggs and beat with wooden spoon before you add the yeasty spiced milk and stir together. Continue kneading the dough by hand (at least 10 minutes) until soft & smooth. Add more milk if your dough seems too dry or hard to work. Grease a bowl, lift the dough into it & cover with a large plastic bag or tea towel and leave to prove until it has doubled in size (anything from 2 hours in warm place, more in a cooler area).

Briefly knead the dough on a flour-dusted counter & incorporate the currants until evenly distributed. Divide the dough into 16 pieces, roll those into buns (no need to count the currants in each one) and place onto lined baking sheets. Score the top crosswise, cover again with a large plastic bag and leave in a warm place to double in size.

Meanwhile preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) and make an egg wash from the remaining egg with a little water or milk. Stir the flour with a miniscule amount of water into a really thick paste (like putty) and spoon this into one corner of a (tiny) plastic bag. Brush each bun with the egg wash and using your freezer bag as a piping bag (cut of the corner’s tip) draw crosses onto the buns. Bake for about 25 minutes until the buns are golden and the flour cross is still relatively white. Glaze them as soon as they are out of the oven with the tablespoon of sugar dissolved in the hot water, then leave to dry & cool.

 

 


 

Englische Korinthenbrötchen zum Karfreitag

16 Brötchen, Rezept adaptiert von Felicity Cloakes Rezept aus dem Guardian

 

200ml Milch
eine Prise Safranfäden
¼ TL Muskatnuss
3 grüne Kardamom Kapseln, leicht gestoßen
1 Zimtstange
2 Nelken
20g frische Hefe (ich benutze hierfür nie Trockenhefe, wenn gewünscht: 1 Paket à 7g)
50g Zucker
450g Mehl (Type 550)
100g gute Butter
½ TL Salz
½ gemahlener Ingwer
3 (2+1) Eier
200g Korinthen
3 EL Mehl
1 EL Zucker
1 EL heißes Wasser

Die Milch langsam erhitzen (nicht sprudelnd kochen) und darin Safran, Muskatnuß, Kardamom, Zimt & Nelken für mindestens 2 Stunden ziehen lassen. Danach die Milch wieder erwärmen (Körpertemperatur), durch ein Sieb gießen und dann die Hefe darin auflösen und mit einer Prise Zucker füttern.

Das Mehl und die in kleine Stücke geschnittene Butter in eine große Schüssel geben und zwischen den Fingern zerreiben (oder einen Teigmischer / pastry blender benutzen), dann Zucker, Salz und Ingwer hinzugeben und vermischen. In die Mitte eine Vertiefung machen und darin 2 Eier verquirlen. Die Hefemilch hineingießen und alles mit einem starken Holzlöffel verrühren bis ein weicher Teig entsteht. Danach mit den Händen (für mindestens 10 Minuten) kneten um einen glatten und elastischen Teig zu erhalten. In eine leicht gefettete Schüssel geben, mit einer großen Plastiktüte (oder einem Küchenhandtuch) abdecken und an warmem Ort zur doppelten Größe aufgehen lassen (mindestens 2 Stunden).

Den Teig auf eine bemehlte Arbeitsfläche geben und kurz durchkneten, dann die Korinthen einarbeiten bis sie sich gleichmäßig verteilt haben. 16 gleichgroße Brötchen formen und auf mit Backpapier belegte Bleche legen, wieder abdecken und aufgehen lassen bis sie ihre doppelte Größe erreicht haben.

Den Backofen auf 200°C vorheizen und das verbliebene Ei mit etwas Milch oder Wasser verquirlen. Aus dem Mehl und ganz wenig Wasser eine Paste formen (ähnlich wie Fensterkitt oder Knete) und in einen kleinen Plastikbeutel füllen. Die Korinthenbrötchen mit der Eiglasur bestreichen und anschließend eine dünnes weißes Mehlkreuz obenauf spritzen. Dazu von der Plastiktüte eine klitzekleine Ecke abschneiden und sie wie einen Spritzbeutel benutzen. Für ca. 25 Minuten backen bis die Brötchen goldbraun und die Mehlkreuze noch weiß oder nur leicht gebräunt sind.

Sofort mit der Zuckerglasur (1 EL Zucker in 1 EL heißem Wasser auflösen) bestreichen, dann trocken, abkühlen lassen und essen: sehr lecker mit Butter & einer guten Tasse Tee.

 

Wild garlic pesto

I imagine you are basking in spring sunshine as well (mixed with a few cloudy days now and then) and are buying every green shoot & leaf on the markets yourselves. A while ago I had a quick chat with Sophie James about a pesto with wild garlic and the thought has not left my mind.

Bärlauch- or Wild garlic pesto

Thankfully ramsons or German: Bärlauch are abundant now and I made a few batches experimenting with different nuts. Astonishingly walnuts, which I had imagined as a brilliant contender, completely killed of the sharp grassy & herby taste of the wild garlic and basically bulldozed flattened the pesto. Tja, next. Blanched almonds worked well, though, in my book nothing beats the creamy smoothness that pine nuts can give to a pesto. Always a stickler for proper pesto making (pestle & mortar), in dealing with wild garlic, I prefer the rapid pureeing powers of the blender to preserve the (almost neon) vivid green colour.

Now, what to do with those jars of wild garlic pesto? They look tiny now, but contain a concentrate and a little goes a long way. Plus, the Bärlauchpesto packs quite a punch and sports a certain sharpness, so it is in need of proper vehicles:

  • Good company to grilled lamb chops (serve with these lemony giant beans & fennel with dill)
  • Lunch of artichokes: mix a spoonful with mayo & more lemon juice for a grassy green dip to dunk each artichoke leaf and lick your fingers afterwards
  • Of course pasta: linguini with wild garlic pesto for a light supper
  • Any grilled meat, fish, vegetables like peppers, green asparagus, corn…
  • Knead into some butter for a quick compound butter to melt on your Sunday steak (oh, that was quite the thing & I might never make ordinary garlic butter again)
  • Make wild garlic bread: spread between barely cut baguette, wrap in foil and bake – yum
  • We tried these as garlic shoestring fries as well…

You can smell our house from space.

 


Wild garlic pesto

for two small Weck jars (140ml)

a bunch of wild garlic (just the leaves weighed 130g in the end)
50g (¼ cup) pine nuts, toasted in a dry pan
40g (1.5 oz) Parmigiano reggiano or Grana pardano, grated
salt
lemon juice
olive oil

Roughly chop the wild garlic and blend (only a short burst) them together with the pine nuts. Add the cheese, some salt, a spritz of lemon juice and some olive oil to the blender and give it another quick blitz & adjust the seasoning to your taste. Add more oil if you are using the pesto right away to achieve a runnier consistency. Otherwise (if you want to store an amount for a couple of days or more – ours was good for 2 weeks) spoon the concentrated paste into small jars while making sure no bubbles are visible throughout and top with a layer of olive oil to prevent discolouring. Store in the fridge until used.
Bärlauchpesto

genug für zwei kleine Weckgläser (140ml)

1 Bund Bärlauch (nur die Blätter wogen 130g)
50g Pinienkerne, in einer trockenen Pfanne getoasted
40g Parmigiano reggiano oder Grana pardano, gerieben
Salz
Zitronensaft
Olivenöl

Den Bärlauch grob hacken und zusammen mit den abgekühlten Pinienkernen nur kurz in einem Blender oder einer Küchenmaschine zerkleinern, dann den Parmesan, etwas Salz, einen Spritzer Zitronensaft und etwas Olivenöl hinzugeben und wieder nur in kurzen Intervallen hacken (es sollte kein Püree werden) & nach Geschmack nachwürzen. Will man das Pesto sofort essen, mehr Öl hinzugeben um eine etwas flüssigere Konsistenz zu erhalten, will man es aber ein paar Tage aufbewahren, dann sollte man die konzentrierte Paste in ein kleines Glas löffeln (darauf achten, dass sich keine Luftblasen in der Masse befinden) und abschließend mit einer Schicht Olivenöl bedecken damit kein Sauerstoff an das Pesto kommt und es die Farbe verliert.

Verwendung: als Sauce zu gegrillten Lammkoteletts oder anderem gegrillten Fleisch, Fisch, Gemüse, verrührt mit Mayonnaise & mehr Zitronensaft als Dip für Artischocken, klassisch mit Pasta, als garlic fries (Knoblauch-Pommes), mit etwas Butter zu einer himmlischen Kräuterbutter verknetet & auf einem Sonntagssteak schmelzen lassen, zu Spargel servieren, Knoblauchbrot… ach, ich werde hungrig.

Lemony giant beans with fennel & dill

Lemony giant beans with fennel & dill

 

Do you feel you get stuck sometimes and feel that even your absolute favourite vegetable dishes are still, well, loved, but you could do with a change or something new? It is the exact same feeling, that you get looking at your wardrobe and sigh and sigh and… One new thing that mixes up everything, turns things around, allows new combinations and suddenly: all shines in a new light, looks bright & fresh and the world is right as rain again.

These giant beans, fennel & lemon wedges with tons of dill offer a total different taste and unusual combination of ingredients (honey with dill). Definitely something to get you out of your vegetable or side dish rut: brilliant on its own, though I imagine it a great companion to grilled mackerel, rouget (red mullet), too. We had it with lamb, which was the reason I tried it in the first place. The ingredients made me think of the cuisines of Greece, Turkey, Persia, Israel and lamb chops came to my mind (luckily I had just bought some that day in the Kleinmarkthalle – what a coincidence). We loved it and this dish has claimed its place in our rota of quick go-to suppers or sides.


Lemony giant beans & fennel with dill

Serves two as a side dish, adapted from Heidi Swanson; I changed the quantities, added more sauce, lemon & dill)

1 fennel bulb
1 tablespoon olive oil
half a lemon, thoroughly washed and cut into wedges
salt
1 teaspoon honey
¼ cup of white wine
1 small tin (220g) of cooked giant white beans (Fagioli “Bianchi di Spagna”)
1 ladle of chicken broth or vegetable stock (approximately ¾ cup)
½ cup of roughly chopped dill
Cut the fennel in halves, turn those onto the cut sides and slice the bulb into 1cm (less then 1/2 inch) thin wedges. Heat the oil in a frying or braising pan over medium heat, throw in the fennel and leave to brown undisturbed for a while (2 minutes or longer) then add the lemon wedges brown for another 2 minutes. Season with salt, add honey & wine for the sauce, let it reduce for a minute, then pour in the stock and warm the beans in it for approximately 5 minutes. Sprinkle with dill to serve. As Heidi says, the beans are great at any temperature – we enjoyed them as a warm side to our grilled lamb.

 


Zitronen-Riesenbohnen & Fenchel mit Dill

Für zwei Portionen, adaptiert von Heidi Swanson

1 Fenchelknolle
1 EL Olivenöl
eine halbe Zitrone, gründlich gewaschen und in Spalten geschnitten
Salz
1 TL Honig
60ml Weißwein
1 kleine Dose (220g) weiße Riesenbohnen (Fagioli „Bianchi di Spagna“)
1 Kelle Hühner- oder Gemüsebrühe (ca. 180ml)
½ Tasse oder eine große Handvoll grob gehackter Dill

Den Fenchel halbieren, auf die Schnittflächen legen und in 1cm dicke Spalten schneiden. Das Olivenöl in einer Pfanne oder einem niedrigen Schmortopf bei mittlerer Hitze erhitzen, den Fenchel hineinstreuen und ohne Rühren für ca. 2 Minuten oder länger bräunen. Dann die Zitronenspalten hinzugeben und alles für mindestens weitere 2 Minuten Farbe annehmen lassen. Salzen, Honig & Wein für die Sauce einrühren, eine knappe Minute reduzieren lassen, dann die Brühe hineingießen und darin die Bohnen erwärmen (ca. 5 Minuten). Mit Dill bestreuen und servieren. Das Gericht schmeckt bei jeder Temperatur: heiß, warm, Zimmertemperatur; allein oder als Beilage zu Fisch (mhm: gegrillet Makrelen oder Rotbarben sind bestimmt toll) oder Fleisch: uns haben diese aromatischen Zitronen-Bohnen besonders gut warm zu gegrillten Lammkoteletts geschmeckt.