Friday, August 29, 2014

little pasta factory

Cousin Klaus encouraged us strongly to finally inaugurate our little Ampia macchina per pasta to make ravioli con scallops and chives on our own, one of his favourite and "super quick" recipes.
Thankfully there are youtube tutorials about everything , so first of all we took a video lesson in how to use the Ampia. In case you are interested, the video is here.

The dough: combine 300g durum wheat semolina  and 3 eggs, first mix it with the hooks of the mixer or with your hands until the dough is smooth. Let it rest in the fridge for at least 1 hour or for the night.

Cut it in pieces and roll every piece with a rolling pin, like in photo n°1. Then introduce it into the macchina per pasta.

As for the filling we improvised (don't tell cousin Klaus) (we had no scallops at home and no motivation to get them). Instead we took smoked salmon, cream cheese and chives. Later on we went a bit wild with the Ampia creating all the possible shapes and widths, until the evening turned into a real pasta feast.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

apple tart: puff pastry and home-grown apples

Sometimes it's so easy to make my family happy. For example with an unexpected and beautiful dessert.
A few sheets of puff pastry and enough apple slices to cover the bottom of a baking dish.  Apricot jam to be brushed onto the tart while it's still hot. That's it. (Although I have to admit that a leftover of sirupy mirabelle liqueur in my fridge came perfectly well to marinate the apple slices. ) If you don't have mirabelle liqueur lemon juice will be equally fine.

apple tart: puff pastry and home-grown apples

4 sheets of frozen puff pastry 
3-4 apples, quartered and finely sliced
apricot jam
mirabelle liqueur or freshly squeezed lemon juice to marinate the apple slices
icing sugar

While the puff pastry thaws, peel, quarter and finely slice the apples. Marinate the apples with liqueur or lemon juice.
Roll out the thawed sheets of puff pastry. Put one of them aside to later form the covering grid. Butter the baking dish and cover the bottom with the remaining puff pastry.

Spread the apple slices evenly onto the pastry dough and finally cover with the pastry grid.

Bake for 20 minutes at 180°C or until the pastry dough turns golden. Out of the oven, brush the tart generously with apricot jam. Before serving, sprinkle the tart with icing sugar.

Donna Hay's spiced chickpea salad

Donna Hay's cookbook Fresh and Light is the quintessence of 21st century cuisine. She offers a joyful, varied and sensible kitchen that gives an alternative to the current trend of restrictive cooking, wheat-free, sugar-free, lactose-free, gluten-free, fruit-free, to name a few. She invites to use fresh, seasonal and regional products, and substitutes traditional ingredients for their healthier equivalent.  Donna made sure that all her recipes are easy and quick to prepare. After all; overly complicated cooking instructions just make convenience food seem all the more appealing.

It was hard to pick just one of her enticing dishes for this introduction of her book.  She actually translates my own way of thinking  and cooking into beautiful creations....

Donna Hay's spiced chickpea salad
(slightly adapted)

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon smokes sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground fennel seeds
250g chickpeas (soaked over night and cooked )
3 carrots , peeled and shredded using a julienne peeler
a few mint leaves
a few coriander (cilantro) leaves
some dollops fresh goat cheese (combine wonderfully with the dressing!)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon olive oil, extra

Heat a large non-stick frying pan over high heat. Add the oil, cumin, paprika, salt and ground fennel seeds. Cook for two minutes or until fragrant. Add the chickpeas and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until the chickpea are toasted and coated in spices.

Place the carrots, coriander, mint, lemon juice, honey and extra olive oil in a bowl and toss to combine. Add the chickpeas and mix in gently. Divide between serving plates and top with the dollops of goat cheese.

p & p with ginger

p &p with ginger

1 red bell pepper
1 apple
1 peach
1cm piece ginger

Juice the apple, the ginger and the bell pepper, blend with the peach and the ice cubes. Serve on the rocks!

clafoutis aux mirabelles

Yesterday we picked the first sun-kissed mirabelles from the tree. Although the season has not yet started I love to enjoy the first bright yellow, but still firm and slightly acidic mirabelles in a clafoutis, sooo good!

Clafoutis aux mirabelles

1 tablespoon butter, softened
5 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups milk
2 tablespoons mirabelle brandy (kirsch or rum are fine)
5 eggs
3/4 cups flour
a pinch of sea salt
3 cups mirabelles, pitted

Distribute the mirabelles evenly in a buttered baking dish.

Combine butter, milk, eggs, sugar, salt, brandy and vanilla in a blender. Blend for a few seconds, add the flour and blend again until smooth. Pour the mixture over the mirabelles.

Bake at 180°C for 35 minutes, until golden brown.  It's fine if the clafoutis is still moist inside. 
Sprinkle with dusting powder. Enjoy!

juice art

My morning juice as it came out of  the juicer.

Ingredients, juiced in the following order:
1 apple
1/4 cucumber
a piece of celery
a piece of courgette
a piece of lemon
2 carrots
1 small beetroot

Perfect start into the day!

raw pasta sauce: double tomato, caper and basil sauce

double tomato, caper and basil sauce
serves 2

2 fresh and ripe tomatoes
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, soaked
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and soaked
a few basil leaves
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 tablespoon oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
grated parmesan

While cooking the pasta, chop the tomatoes and the basil. Mix the ingredients in a bowl. Toss through 200g hot pasta, sprinkle with parmesan, pepper and salt.

Hope you'll feel inspired by our delicious lunch today!