Thursday, October 16, 2014

two ways to cook quinces

I'm always keen to find new quince recipes, because every autumn my quince tree heaps basketfuls of this wonderful, old-fashioned fruit on me. My classic is the double reduced, deep coral red, jelly. Besides pure muscle strength (which is always necessary to cut a quince in pieces) it takes many steps and a lot of time to prepare. Although I really love the classic jelly I have been looking for something easier, quicker, but nevertheless more sophisticated than the homely quince and apple sauce.

Regardless of the recipe, you will need a good kitchen equipment and you have to be very careful not to cut your fingers to turn the tough and rock-hard fruit into its soft, sweet and fragrant state.

In one of the last weekend editions of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung I came across this recipe which I put aside for the next "quincy" occasion: poached quinces with mint cream.

poached quinces with mint cream
yields 4 servings

2 ripe and beautiful quinces
1/2 l white wine
100g honey
100g sugar
1 vanilla pod

for the cream:
5 fresh mint leaves
1 tablespoon sugar
200g créme fraiche

Peel the quinces with a regular vegetable peeler. Cut the fruit in half using a large sharp chef's knife. Be careful! Cut the core and seeds away. They are very hard and woody, I use a melon baller to cut them out. Make the poaching liquid combining the wine, the honey, the sugar and the vanilla pod. Let it simmer until the sugar is dissolved.
Add the quinces. Let them cook at a bare simmer for 40 minutes or until pink and tender.

Refrigerate them in the liquid.

Combine the crème fraiche, the sugar and the mint and blend in a blender. Refrigerate.

Serve the quinces without the poaching liquid (you may save it to drizzle it over ice cream). Cover them  generously with mint cream and decorate with a sprig of fresh mint.

And here's how I cook our traditional  double reduced quince jelly:

6 -8 quinces
1l water
500g sugar

Clean the quinces with a kitchen cloth. Chop them with a sharp chef's knife. Put them into a large pot with core, seeds and skin. Let them cook at low temperature for about 40 minutes. Strain Them through a cheese cloth during the night or at least for a couple of hours. I additionally press the cheese cloth with my hands to increase the amount of juice before I discard the fruit. It will become a little less transparent, but who cares!

Measure the juice. It should yield one liter. If it is more liquid reduce it cooking at slow temperature with the lid open.
Combine one liter juice with 500g sugar. Reduce it again cooking slowly with the lid open to about one liter. You will see how it thickens. Try if it has jelled cooling a tiny amount on a plate. Fill it in jars. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

weekend links

"I breathe life into the impossible" says London based set designer Rhea Thierstein. Here's an interview with her.

Check out "Live the language" on vimeo. It's great fun.

How to figure out what you really want to do in life - in case you haven't found it yet

Behind the scenes of a food photography shoot with the famous food photographer Matt Armendariz.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Sweet Dumpling, oven-roasted with prawns, tomatoes, goat cheese and white wine

End of September is a special time for me because I finally accept that summer is over and autumn has come. Even though I try  as often as possible to not wear socks ( hello cold!), but I don't resist anymore to include roast pumpkin into my menus.

The topping of prawns, finely cut tomatoes, fresh goat cheese and white wine complemented perfectly the fine chestnuttiness of the sweet dumpling.

Sweet Dumpling, oven-roasted with prawns, tomatoes, goat cheese and white wine

1 sweet dumpling, cut into 4 slices
250g prawns, peeled
2 -3 tomatoes
50g fresh goat cheese
1 glass of white wine
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
a few sprigs of flat-leaved parsley, finely chopped
herbal sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
olive oil

Distribute the sliced pumpkin slices onto an ovenproof dish, sprinkle with olive oil and herbal salt and put it into the oven for 20 minutes at 200°C.
Meanwhile combine carefully the prawns, the finely cut tomatoes, the garlic, the fresh goat cheese and the white wine. Add the chopped parsley and season the mixture with sea salt and pepper.

Spread the prawn-tomato-cheese mixture onto the golden brown pumpkin and put it back into the oven for 5 minutes or until the prawns have changed their colour and the goat cheese has melted.

The sweet dumpling can be eaten with the skin and it is very filling.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Tour de Luxembourg

Lovely days with the family, great modern arts, iron and steel, walks in the forest and excellent cuisine.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

seven days detox: day 7

Last day! I'm looking forward to using my teeth again. Tomorrow I'll have a huge green salad with grilled goat cheese..

08:00     cup of hot water with a slice of lemon

10:00     Sweet Beet Smoothie

13:00     Pear 'n' Parsnip

16:00     Sweet Beet Smoothie

19:00     Pear 'n' Parsnip

before sleep: a cup fennel tea with a teaspoon Manuka honey

The recipes:

Sweet Beet Smoothie
(yields 2 juices)

1 apple
2 carrots
1 bulb raw beetroot
1 large handful dark berries (fresh or frozen)
1 handful ice cubes

Juice the apple, carrots and beetroot and pour the juice into a blender along with the berries and the ice. Blend for a few seconds and enjoy.

Pear 'n' Parsnip
(yields 2 juices)

1 apple
2 pears (conference pears make a lovely juice, but any will do - just make sure they are hard as you get more juice)
1 medium parsnip
1/2 lime (peeled, but keep the white pith on)
4 sprigs fresh mint
1 handful ice cubes

Juice the ingredients, pour over ice and enjoy.

If you liked this seven days programme I strongly recommend you try the Jason Vale programme 7lbs in 7days. There is an absolutely fantastic App with an interactive shopping list, how-to-make  videos, audio coaching, 7 days juice diet, beautiful images and more.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

seven days juice detox: day 6

Day 6 is a take-away-day. I prepared the juices last night to take them with me on a trip to Berlin. The little True Fruits  glass bottles are perfect for refill.

The recipes:

Plum and Blackberry Crunch (you may use any berries you like)

Have a nice day!