Cumin-chile lamb skewers with lemon yoghurt

img_6481

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We ate those gorgeous spiced lamb skewers since they were on the cover of Bon Appétit’s Grilling Issue basically all through summer and haven’t stopped since. Why not, caraway & cumin are as much winter players as summer spices and their warm tones are welcome in cooler weather, just as heat & floral notes are provided by Sichuan, Aleppo and black pepper. Most importantly if you have two hurricanes, ahem babies, playing havoc with longwinded supper plans: they are super easy to prepare and quick to make (if you have your butcher debone and cut the lamb shoulder, of course, which you definitely should) and reward you with an explosion of flavour that revives the taste buds after a long, long day. Continue reading

Advertisements

Lemon posset

IMG_4491

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

recipe in english & auf deutsch, s. u.

Possets have fascinated me for a long time. Like treacle, pemmican, ginger beer and peaches with condensed milk or Turkish delight they fuelled my childhood fantasies about English life and its ‘exotic’ delights courtesy of C.S. Lewis, Arthur Ransome, Lucy M. Boston & Enid Blyton. And a primrose coloured lemon posset is the ultimate lemon cream desert; light, delicate and absolutely addictive. Only three basic ingredients make light work and the result is this delightful nostalgic & quintessentially English pudding.

Continue reading

Extra-stormy Dark & Stormy + Clementine-lemon-ginger sparkler

IMG_4330

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rezepte auf deutsch: siehe unten.

Weekend bliss: Extra-stormy Dark & Stormy + Clementine-lemon-ginger sparkler

Apparently, the cocktail party is back big-time and just in case you are planning to throw one soon… or enjoy gazing at the setting sun: Two extraordinary gingery drinks, one for the week-weary rum & rest requiring, the other an amazingly coloured fresh, citrussy spritzer sans alcohol.

Dark & stormy stands for black rum and ginger, Ginger beer to be exact, when aspiring to make an original Bermudan Dark n’ Stormy by topping Gosling’s Black Seal rum with their own stormy ginger beer and to be honest, what says great drink more than something hailing from the Bermudas? Continue reading

Broad bean bruschette

IMG_4364

 

 

 

 

 

 

German recipe at the end / Rezept auf deutsch am Ende des Beitrages

Simple broad bean bruschette have an effortless & understated elegance about them, not only do they have the looks, they taste spectacular, too. Vivid green broad beans brightened by a little lemon & fresh mint, get piled on creamy ricotta & grilled bread and are finished by a sprinkle of fleur de sel (sea salt flakes).

Absolutely heavenly as a starter or great with drinks, they’ll also transform into a perfect lunch or light supper, which I could eat anytime: and I have done so again & again before I noticed that I might want to take a picture to share them. Adding a few slices of smoked salmon can make them a more substantial meal, if needed.

Broad beans are in season from spring to late summer (now), so in case you have overindulged on broad beans at the beginning of the season (yeah, me) and then sort of forgot about them when faced with summer’s abundance of other vegetables (corn, tomatoes, aubergines, zucchini…) there are still ample opportunities to rectify that grave oversight right now (revert to frozen, when out of luck for fresh). Continue reading

Lemon verbena sorbet

IMG_4032

 

 

 

 

 

 

If life gives you lemon verbena, make sorbet: This is a perfect summer treat, a refreshing citrus sorbet where the emphasis is on the floral lemon verbena while lemon juice & zest provide a citric lift.

Once tried, there might be no going back from lemon verbena. It used to be impossible hard to find though has now reappeared together with other forgotten or neglected heirloom plants, fruits & vegetables that are ‘rediscovered’ daily. The shrub grows easily in a planter on a balcony or terrace and is luckily quite hardy so that ours comes back every spring for this super summer-cooler. Its essential oils are useful as insect repellents, too but I am not sure how many scoops of sorbet are required for that particular benefit. Great justification, if needed.

Continue reading

Blueberry Bundt Cake

DSC04121

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Das deutsche Rezept für diesen Blaubeerenkranz ist natürlich unten.

It’s blueberry season (yippee) and we are lucky to live close to a blueberry farm where we I pick up large baskets every Saturday to last us through the week – impossible to have breakfast without them! Flush with an abundance of blueberries as the result of overzealous berry shopping – Is there really a better way then have them in a cake? Continue reading

Chicken fricassee – Hühnerfrikassee

chicken fricassée - Hühnerfrikassée

I am working on a recipe index… and tidying up some loose ends. Boy, all of those take some time and I got lost dreaming of a new place or a change. This initiated a minor spring clean: the kitchen got a spruce paint job (white over splatters, project The-parents-are-coming-soon) and I had a good tidy in the storage room reappointing a lot of things to the charity shop: don’t think I’ll ever wear the Girbaud suit thing with cut-outs again (stretchy material, though). Invigorating.

Hühnerfrikassee is one of my favourite meals since I was a child: the sauce is a little lemony and ever so often you hit a tangy tasting brined caper. I love (loooove) capers and their numbers tend to decrease every time I am passing my pan, so beware, if you find me in the vicinity of your stove acting totally innocent – probably whistling – while you wonder about the severely diminished caper-count. I did it, spoon at the ready, to my mother’s fricassee every time her back was turned. Sorry, Mama.

In Germany, chicken fricassee is classically served with white asparagus tips when the new & tender white asparagus is in season (now) or otherwise, sliced white champignons could be added to the aromatic sauce. I love the pure dish equally to an asparagus studded version and have some bright green peas as a side to contrast the pale creamy white.

On a weekend or if you have the time it is definitely worth it making the fricassee from scratch using a tasty long, free & happy-lived boiling chicken. The meat stays wonderfully juicy and you’ll have a great chicken broth as a bonus. For instant gratification and a really fast dinner (we are talking maximum 10-15 minutes including the time it takes to cook the rice) use leftover meat from a roasted chicken and start the recipe with the roux. For smaller portions, I think a poached chicken breast (use the same recipe for the poaching liquid) works well, too. Although, why not make a whole batch and freeze the surplus portions for a rainy day?

 


 

Chicken fricassee

for 6-8 people as a main, depending on the voracity of their appetite

1 chicken (preferably a boiling hen)
salt
2 tablespoons butter (30g)
1 onion
root vegetables for soup (ask for ‘Suppengrün’): 1 large carrot, a piece celery root (1 thick slice or ¼ small root), 1 leek, 1 parsley root, 1 yellow turnip, 1 branch parsley & lovage => dice all, leave herbs whole
lemon peel or a thick slice of lemon (organic)
basil
a few black pepper corns
½ – ¾ litre = 500-750ml or a 1½ pint (US) water

30g butter
1 shallot, minced
2 heaped tablespoons (30g) flour
½ litre (500ml or a pint) of the reserved stock, don’t fret if it is a little less or top up
white wine (dry, a small glass)
small capers in brine (to taste)
90ml or 6 tablespoons cream
lemon juice
salt & white pepper
(optional: 1 egg yolk)
optional: sliced white champignons de Paris or tender white asparagus tips

Dry the chicken, season with salt and pepper. Heat a braising pan, small Dutch oven or a heavy pot, melt the butter over medium heat and fry the chicken until only lightly coloured and not browned on all sides. Toss the diced soup vegetables a little in the butter without browning, then add the aromatics (herbs, lemon peel, pepper) & finally pour in the water. Cover with a lid and leave to cook for about 1½ hours, turning the chicken from time to time. Leave to cool and take the meat of the bones and tear it into bite sized pieces: either wait until you are able to touch the chicken or leave for a few hours or overnight until needed, then tear the meat of accordingly. Strain the broth through a fine mesh sieve and reserve.

Make a light roux with shallot: melt the butter, sweat the shallot until translucent, sprinkle with flour and leave to roast (not brown!) for a moment, add the liquid in small instalments. To avoid a lumpy sauce add only a little broth at a time, whisking constantly until the mass is smooth again, add more broth and whisk again until smooth again, repeat with increasing amounts of liquid, stirring constantly. Pour in a good lug or a small glass of white wine and continue to cook a few minutes more to allow the roux to thicken the sauce slightly. Add the chicken meat, capers (to taste, I like a lot, some people prefer less), cream and season with lemon juice, salt & pepper. My grandmother used an egg yolk to enrich & thicken the sauce a little more. Traditionally slices of snow-white champignons or equally tender white asparagus tips are added to the chicken fricassee (mushrooms sautéed in butter without taking colour, thin asparagus tips cooked for 4-5 minutes in salted water with a pinch of sugar added), a vision in pale cream flecked with dark green capers. We eat this with white basmati rice and cooked green peas.


Hühnerfrikassée

für 6-8 Personen

1 gutes Suppenhuhn
Salz
2 EL Butter
1 Zwiebel
Suppengrün oder –gemüse: 1 große Möhre, 1 große Scheibe oder ¼ Knolle Sellerieknolle, 1 Stange Lauch, 1 Petersilienwurzel, 1 gelbe Rübe, 1 Zweig Petersilie & Liebstöckel => Gemüse würfeln, Kräuter ganz lassen
Zitronenschale oder dicke Scheibe einer ganzen Zitrone Bio, versteht sich)
Basilikum
einige schwarze Pfefferkörner
½ – ¾ Liter Wasser

30g Butter
1 Schalotte, fein gewürfelt
2 gehäufte EL (30g) Mehl
½ Liter Hühnerbrühe (wenn es nicht reicht, macht nichts oder einfach mit ein wenig Wasser aufstocken)
trockener Weißwein (ca. ein kleines Glas)
kleine Kapern in Lake (nach Geschmack)
90ml oder 6 EL Sahne
Zitronensaft
Salz & weißer Pfeffer
(optional: 1 Eigelb zum legieren der Sauce)
optional: weiße Champignons in Scheiben geschnitten oder weiße Spargelspitzen

Huhn abtrocknen, salzen und pfeffern und in einem Schmortopf (mit Deckel) in Butter bei mäßiger Hitze von allen Seiten leicht anbraten bis das Huhn Farbe annimmt, aber nicht bräunt. Das klein geschnittene Suppengemüse hinzugeben und ebenfalls in der Butter anschwitzen, dann die Kräutern, Zitronenschale & Pfefferkörner hinzugeben, anschließend mit Wasser begießen. Den Deckel auflegen und ca. 1 ½ Stunden köcheln lasse, das Huhn von Zeit zu Zeit wenden. Huhn abkühlen lassen, dann das Fleisch von den Knochen pflücken und in kleine Stücke zerteilen: entweder direkt nach dem Kochen, ein paar Stunden oder einen Tag später. Für eine schnelle Version kann man auch Reste von einem gebratenen Hühnchen verwenden – solange es nicht zu trocken ist. Die Brühe durch ein feines Sieb seihen und für die Sauce verwahren.

 

Für die Sauce eine Mehlschwitze mit der Schalotte herstellen: die Butter schmelzen und die Schalottenwürfel darin glasig werden lassen (nicht bräunen), dann das Mehl hinzugeben und anschwitzen. Die Flüssigkeit zuerst in geringer Menge hinzugeben, mit einem Schneebesen oder Holzlöffel rühren bis wieder eine glatte Masse entsteht, immer wieder unter ständigem Rühren etwas (später mehr) Flüssigkeit hinzu gießen bis schlussendlich eine glatte Sauce ohne Klümpchen entsteht. Einen guten Schuß (oder ein kleines Glas) Weißwein hineingeben und wenige Minuten weiter kochen lassen bis die Sauce durch die Roux dicklich geworden ist. Hühnerfleisch, Kapern (nach Geschmack: ich liebe Kapern, also nehme ich ein kleines Gläschen), Sahne einrühren und das Frikassée mit Zitronensaft, Salz & Pfeffer abschmecken. Meine Oma hat ihr Hühnerfrikassée noch mit einem Eigelb legiert (einrühren und nicht mehr zu heiß werden lassen), traditionell werden auch noch entweder in Scheiben geschnittene weiße Champignons (in Butter geschwenkt) oder zarte weiße gekochte Spargelspitzen hinzugefügt: eine Symphony in creme mit kleinen olivfarbenen Kapern. Wir essen dies meist ohne Pilze oder Spargel, aber mit weißem Basmatireis und grünen Erbsen.