Wednesday, January 21, 2015

grey days // golden milk

Ayurvedic golden milk is a wonderful beverage to have in the evening on grey January days like these. It's not only warming and nourishing but also extremely healthy due to its main ingredient turmeric.

Turmeric is part of the ginger family and its yellow powder is widely used as a spice in Asian cooking. It has high concentrations of curcumin which has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-bacterial properties. It helps to prevent or relieve symptoms of arthritis, Alzheimer, high cholesterol, cancer, diabetes, heartburn, jaundice, liver problems and menstrual pains. In ayurvedic and Chinese medicine it's called the anti-aging spice.

Großteich Moritzburg

How to prepare the golden paste

1 cup water
3 tablespoons turmeric powder

Cook water and turmeric in a sauce pan until you have a creamy and smooth paste. This will take about 15 minutes. The cooking process makes the turmeric taste less bitter. You can store the paste in the fridge for 2 -3 weeks.

How to prepare the golden milk

1 1/2 teaspoons unrefined coconut oil (or almond oil)
1 teaspoon golden paste
5 cardamom pods, peel removed, crushed (or cardamom powder)
a pinch freshly ground pepper ( increases your body's absorption of turmeric)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla powder
2 cups milk ( I use hemp seed milk , almond or oat milk)
1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup

Combine all the ingredients except the honey in a sauce pan. Turn the heat on medium. While heating stir constantly and do not allow the mixture to boil. Before serving add the honey or maple syrup.

Stir gently with a spoon or a cinnamon stick because the spices tend to sink down.

Monday, January 05, 2015

Ottolenghi's hot and sour mushroom soup

Yotam Ottolenghi's cookbook Plenty More and the filters of VSCOcam : two things I enjoyed spending time with during the Christmas holidays . The hot and sour mushroom soup, photographed with the VSCOcam app in F3 filter, is a little taster for you. My family loved both of it!

Hot and sour mushroom soup (slightly adapted)
(serves six) 

1 tbs sunflower oil
3 small onions (roughly chopped)
3 medium carrots (peeled and sliced)
6 celery staks (sliced)
6 garlic cloves, peel and left whole
a chunk of fresh ginger root /peeled and sliced)
3 lemongrass staks, roughly chopped
6 prunes
1 red chili
(6 star anise; in brackets, because I didn't use any)
2 tbs tamari soy sauce
6 lime leaves
1tbs coriander, pestled
2 tbs red Tandoori paste ( instead of Tamarind paste, which I had not in my pantry)
toasted sesame oil to finish

a choice of mushrooms ( I used brown champignons, dried and soaked cèpes, chanterelles, shitaake and and chinese tungkow), sliced

juice of about 2 limes
coriander leaves
basil leaves
some peas ( green beans in the original recipe)

I also added a tbs of vegetable stock and I didn't discard the vegetables as Ottolenhi suggested. As we wanted a more filling meal I added some rice noodles to the soup. Perfect for a warming lunch. 

Begin by heating oil in a sauce pan and add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic and ginger. Cook on a high heat for about 5 minutes until the edges begin to colour. Pour in 2 2.5 liters of water and add the lemongrass, prunes, chilli, soy , lime leaves and coriander. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a low simmer and cook for 45 minutes.

Add the Red Tandoori paste , followed by the mushrooms and cook for 1 minute.Then add the remaining ingredients apart from the sesame oil, along with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt - and some instant  vegetable stock, if necessary. Allow to heat for a further minute.
Ladle into bowls and finish with a little drizzle of sesame oil in each bowl.

Friday, December 26, 2014

First snow and Bratäpfel

Totally unexpected we woke up to a white Christmas morning. Inspired by the magic of the snow I prepared some Bratäpfel in grandma's copper snail pot ( this pot has 12 small dents to fit the snail shells, but we weren't planning to use it for the original purpose any time soon).

Quick recipe: remove centre of apple with the seeds and stem, fill with almond butter, plum jam  and pistachios, sprinkle with cinnamon. No need to add sugar. Bake for 20 minutes at 200°C. They will turn out delicious sitting in a buttery juice.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

weekend links

Russell James, the raw chef, shows  how to prepare a chia seed porridge.

Don't miss this beautiful and informative film about yoga.

Christmas time is cooking time; maybe these cooking techniques on nytimes video will come in handy.

Do you love Tom Ka Soup as much as me?  Here's step-by-step how to prepare  the most delicious vegan Tom Ka Soup.

Just skyped with my daughter Vik  "Oh, you are posting weekend links?  You MUST post this video. I couldn't stop laughing!"

Are you still looking for the perfect Christmas gift? What about the foodist box? Surprise, surprise!

And finally,  the "Reincarnation" film by Karl Lagerfeld from Chanel's Métiers d'Arts in Salzburg.

I wish you a happy 3. Advent!

Thursday, December 04, 2014

#6 Grandma's Classics: Thüringer Stollen (Thuringian Christmas Cake)

When two people marry, it usually involves a fusion of traditions. Especially in the time of Advent and Christmas I love to go back to a recipe that I learned from my family in law: The Thuringian Stollen!
My family used to bake basketfuls of Christmas cookies, but no Stollen at all, so I adopted the Thuringian version as my own.
Now, of course, Dresden is the hometown of the world's most famous Stollen. I love to buy Dresdner Stollen (yes, there are certain bakeries where people queue up in the darkest and ugliest mornings before  opening hour to leave the shop with armfuls of Mohn- and Rosinenstollen. And obviously I don't buy just one!). I also enjoy it at my friends' houses with a good cup of coffee. But when it comes to homebaking it always will be the Thuringian one.

Our family recipe is lighter, less rich, less packed with dried fruit than the Dresden one, but with plenty of milk soaked almonds. It feels more like a wintery, fruity brioche.

Thüringer Stollen (old family recipe)

1kg flour
250g sugar
250g butter
1/2 l milk
80g yeast (or 4 sachets of dry yeast)
200g peeled and chopped almonds (soaked in milk)
200g sultanas (soaked in rum or port wine)
125g candied lemon peel
125g candied orange peel
the pulp of a vanilla pod
the grated zest of a lemon
a teaspoon Stollen condiment (a mixture of ground cinnamon, cardamom, star anise and allspice)

125g butter to spread on the Stollen once out of the oven
a few tablespoons of icing sugar

Make sure that all your ingredients have room temperature.

Soak the almonds in milk. Soak the sultanas in rum or port wine. Chop the citrus peel if you bought it in a whole piece. Scratch out  the vanilla pod and prepare the Stollen condiment.

Fill the flour into a large bowl, form a small cavity in the middle for the yeast, a bit of luke warm milk and sugar. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
Add the sugar, butter, milk, vanilla pulp, condiments and grated lemon peel. Beat well using the dough hooks.

When the dough has begun to pull together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead in the sultanas, chopped almonds and candied citrus peel. Continue kneading until smooth.

Lightly flour a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, cover with a cloth and let it rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about one hour. Knead it deflating the dough and let it rise for the second time.

Cover a baking tray with a baking sheet, form two loafs of the dough and place them on the baking tray. Fold a piece of baking sheet between the loafs to prevent them from sticking together.

Let them rise again for about 10 to 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 180°C. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 160° and continue baking for 30-40 minutes until golden brown.

Once out of the oven, immediately coat the loafs with butter using a baking brush. Dust the cooled loafs with icing sugar.