Tag: ginger

Carnival and a Cauliflower Soup with Ginger and Lemon

Ginger Lemon Cauliflower Soup

A couple weeks ago I wrote about our traditional family feast, a time when we all meet at my mother’s house in the countryside to celebrate carnival. It’s always silly, loud and involves lots of good food. The festive highlight is the making of our “Berliners” which involves each family member. A “Berliner” is a sweet speciality which looks a bit like a doughnut without a hole. It’s made of yeast dough, filled with jam, deep fried in vegetable shortening and sprinkled with cinnamon icing sugar. The jam filling changes with the years, a few weeks ago I filled mine with blueberry jam which became my favourite (for now), they tasted divine! The reason I made them at my home without my family before carnival, was a blog tour I was asked to joined. I decided to share our “Berliner” family tradition. I made them on my own for the first time in my life, they were as good as at my mother’s but it’s more fun with family and friends.

In the end it turned out to be (subconsciously) a wise choice as this carnival will be different. This year there is neither a family feast nor a “Berliner” to enjoy, for us it’s soup instead. A wisdom tooth got in our way and needed to come out quick. Needless to say, a jam filled Berliner isn’t the appropriate food in a situation like this, porridge and soup is more like it!

I have a big, beautiful cauliflower in the kitchen, a cabbage I don’t use so often but in a velvety soup it shows its finer qualities. The sweet taste and smooth texture is great for puréed soups. I don’t add any cream, just broth, onion, garlic and some tangy flavours, lemon and ginger. A piece of ginger simmers together with the cauliflower in the broth before I season it with grated ginger to taste. I add the lemon’s juice and zest when the soup is done, arrange it in plates drizzled with some good olive oil and sprinkle some more lemon zest on top. I’m impressed, it’s still smooth but fresh!

Last week I told you that eat in my kitchen was nominated for The Kitchn’s Best Daily Read Cooking Blog Award 2014Food52 won the award but I want to thank you all for your support and all your votes, with your help eat in my kitchen reached the final!

Ginger Lemon Cauliflower Soup

Ginger Lemon Cauliflower Soup

For 4 people you need

a big cauliflower, rinsed and cut into 5cm / 2″ pieces, around 750g / 1.5 pounds (weight without stem)
vegetable broth 1500ml
onion, chopped, 1
garlic, cut in half, 1
bay leaf 1
ginger, thumbnail sized piece plus 1 teaspoon grated
lemon juice 1 tablespoon
lemon zest 1 teaspoon
salt and black pepper
olive oil for frying and topping

In a large pot, fry the onion and garlic in a little oil until golden and soft. Add the cauliflower, bay leaf, the piece of ginger and broth and bring to the boil. Cook for 10 minutes or until the cauliflower is al dente. When it’s done take out the bay leaf and ginger and put a few smaller pieces of cauliflower (a small plate full) aside before you mix the soup in a blender. Season with salt, pepper, the grated ginger, lemon juice and zest and put the cauliflower pieces back into the smooth soup. When you arrange the plates, drizzle some good olive oil on top and sprinkle with some lemon zest.

Ginger Lemon Cauliflower Soup

Ginger Honey glazed Navet Steaks with Orange Juice and Rosemary

Ginger Honey Root Steaks

When I saw these beautiful yellow turnips, also known as Navet, at the store, I had to buy them although I wasn’t really sure what to cook with them. They are related to beetroot but taste more like rutabaga. After 1 or 2 days of looking at them I found my inspiration, thick Navet steaks fried in butter with ginger, honey, orange juice and rosemary. I made a similar recipe with rutabaga in December and the combination of turnip and ginger is one that I like a lot.

This time, I wanted to add a few more aromas, the sweetness of honey, the fruity sourness of orange juice and some woody rosemary, all this combined in the buttery juices of my yellow turnip. The result left me speechless! I couldn’t get enough of this sauce, so thick, sweet, spicy and sour, simply amazing, and the Navet steaks covered in this sticky glaze combined perfectly with all the different flavours.

Ginger Honey Root Steaks

Ginger Honey glazed Navet Roots with Orange Juice and Rosemary

For a lunch or side dish for 2 you need

yellow turnip, cut into thick steaks, 2
(you can also use rutabaga)
ginger, grated, a thumbnail sized piece
honey, 1 teaspoon
orange juice for deglazing
rosemary, chopped, 2 tablespoons
butter 3 tablespoons
salt and black pepper

In a large pan, heat the butter together with the honey and ginger, add the turnip and season with salt and pepper. On medium heat, fry for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Deglaze with a splash of orange juice, let it cook for 1-2 minutes and sprinkle with rosemary.

Ginger Honey Root Steaks

King Prawns, Ginger and Leek Pasta for a special night

King Prawn, Ginger + Leek Pasta

Sometimes when I visit my mother and it’s just the two of us, we go for a luxurious mother and daughter treat. In our case that’s not a day at the spa but a sumptuous meal. We both love seafood, so we go to the fish shop and buy a few king prawns for one of our favourite meals. We fry the prawns, add some ginger, garlic and leek and mix them together with Linguine pasta – so simple yet so delicious! The pasta is glazed with the gingery oil infused with the aroma of the prawns which are so strong on their own that you just have to fry them in hot oil to unfold their pure quality. No sauce, no further distraction, just a subtle spiciness from the leek and ginger. We love it!

It’s one of those days again, my mother is at my home at the moment, we went to some great restaurants in the past few days and had some wonderful dinners out but now it’s time to cook together in my kitchen again, but first it’s time to go shopping! I mentioned my favourite department store when I wrote about my Camembert and Pomegranate Sandwich because of their amazing (and huge) cheese section. I started my own tradition more than 20 years ago when I was still only a regular visitor to my current home city. I would always visit their food section whenever close by, and I still can’t resist its attraction. I walk around, take a look at the displayed goods and I always end up in the seafood section to buy a shrimp sandwich. Yesterday I went there with my mother, I ate my shrimps in a crisp bun and she had a few oysters. We bought some king prawns for our dinner, fresh from the open sea, we also chose some wine, cheese and petit fours for dessert and couldn’t wait to get home to prepare our special dinner.

I must admit we’re still two girls so we didn’t just leave it at the food. The fashion section was nearly as attractive as the food so we ended up spending some time there as well. A perfect day – and night!

King Prawn, Ginger + Leek Pasta

King Prawns, Ginger and Leek Linguine

For 4 people you need

king prawns, uncooked, rinsed, cleaned, the head removed but with the shell, 12
(we got the ones with head and shell, their taste is stronger and you can make an amazing broth with the hard shells)
linguine pasta 400g / 14 ounces
leek, cut into thin slices, 1
ginger, cut into strips, 3 tablespoons
garlic, cut in half, 3 cloves
white wine for deglazing and a little of the water used for cooking the pasta
salt and black pepper
olive oil for frying

In a large pot, cook the Linguine al dente. While the pasta is cooking you can continue with the prawns.

In a large and heavy pan, fry the prawns in hot oil for a couple minutes on each side until their shells turns golden brown. Take the prawns aside (I leave mine in their shell but you can also peel them before you mix them with the pasta). Pour some more oil into the pan and fry the leek, ginger and garlic for 2-3 minutes on medium heat. Deglaze with a splash of white wine, add half a cup of the water used for cooking the pasta and season with salt and pepper. When the leek is soft, add the pasta and prawns. Mix everything and divide between the plates.

You can make a delicious broth with the hard shells and heads, fry them in hot oil and deglaze them with Noilly Prat or white wine. Add an onion, 1/2 leek, 1-2 carrots, 1 small parsley root, 1 celery stalk, 4 black pepper corns and 2 bay leaves and cover everything with 1800ml of water. Cook for half an hour and pour through a sieve. I fill mine in containers and put them in the freezer.

King Prawn, Ginger + Leek Pasta

 

King Prawn, Ginger + Leek Pasta

 

Earthy Porcini Lentil Soup with Honey and Ginger

Porcini Lentil Soup

A couple days ago I ate a very aromatic porcini soup at one of my favourite restaurants and I was very surprised when the chef and owner told me where the mushrooms for this wonderful meal came from, the desert. The dunes of the Kalahari in southern Africa produce sensational truffle and porcini in season from now till May. I savored this dinner together with my family and we were all surprised and impressed at the same time! I’ve never seen mushrooms from the Kalahari in a store or at the markets before but I will definitely look out for them!

The soup was so tasty that it aroused my appetite for mushrooms and I had to think of a lentil soup my aunt Ursula had told me about (she was at the dinner as well). It combines the earthy flavours of lentils and porcini. I went for dried porcini (from Italy not from Africa). My aunt recommended them for this meal as you have to shred them finely into a very concentrated porcini flour which you cook together with the lentils. I used my Swabian Alb Leisa Lentils from South Germany for this meal which conveniently don’t need to soak in water. Their taste is strong enough for the aromatic porcini, so strong that I could even add a piece of ginger, some thyme sprigs and a spoon of honey. The result is an absolutely delicious lentil soup full of wintery aromas.

Porcini Lentil Soup

Porcini Lentils with Honey, Ginger and Thyme

This is great to cook in large batches to keep in the freezer for quick dinners!

For 4 people you need

lentils 350g / 12.5 ounces
(I use a small dark type which doesn’t need to soak)
dried porcini mushrooms, shredded finely in a blender, 50g / 2 ounces
medium sized onion, chopped, 1
garlic, crushed, 1 clove
broth 1000ml plus more for cooking depending on the lentils
thyme 5 sprigs
ginger, thumbnail sized
bay leaf 1
honey 1 tablespoon
salt and black pepper
olive oil for frying

In a large pot, fry the onion and garlic in a little oil on medium heat until golden, add some more oil and the shredded porcini and fry for 1 minute. Add the lentils, ginger, thyme, bay leaf and the broth. Don’t season with salt yet or the lentils will stay hard. Close the lid and let it cook for about 30 minutes. The cooking time depends on the lentil type, mine needed 30 minutes. When the lentils are soft, add the honey, season with salt and pepper and take out the thyme sprigs, bay leaf and ginger.

Ginger Honey Glazed Duck with Spices and Polenta

Honey Glazed Duck

Sometimes I don’t have the time or patience to slow cook a whole duck for hours like I do with my Christmas Duck. Although this really makes for the most tender and juicy meat, I need a quicker alternative. Here’s what I came up with, honey glazed duck legs, juicy as well, with crisp skin, rubbed with spices and – most importantly – you can enjoy all of this after about an hour. If I find the time I marinade the meat in the morning so that the flavours can spread and soak into the skin during the day but it’s great either way.

I prefer the darker, deeper meat of wildfowl like duck, goose and pheasant, especially in the cold season. They allow you to rub strong spices and herbs into their skin without loosing their own qualities. For my duck legs, I went for an aromatic mixture of clove, bay leaf, ginger, star-anis, thyme, allspice and a good amount of honey for a crispy caramelized skin. The juices made an amazing sauce, a concentrate of all the spices, I just added some red wine. Perfect to dip the polenta in which I seasoned with thyme and rosemary.

Honey Glazed Duck

 Ginger Honey Glazed Duck with Spices and Polenta with Thyme and Rosemary

I prepare the polenta around 4o minutes after I put the duck legs into the oven.

For 2 people you need

duck legs 2
red wine 250ml
(or 100ml red wine and 150ml broth)
salt and black pepper
olive oil

 

For the marinade

strong honey 2 tablespoons
ginger, thumbnail sized, grated
thyme, leaves of 5 sprigs
allspice berries, ground, 3
cloves, ground, 5
bay leaf, ground, 1
star-anis, ground, 1
cinnamon, ground, 1/4 teaspoon

Warm up the honey in a small sauce pan until it becomes liquid, spread on the duck legs together with the spices and rub everything into their skin marinating them for 1 hour (if possible). You can also prepare them in the morning (like I do) and keep them in the fridge all day before you cook them in the evening.

 

 For the duck legs

Set the oven to 260°C / 500°F. My oven has a Rotitherm roasting setting which works perfectly for poultry.

Put the duck legs into an oiled baking dish, skin side up, and season with salt and pepper. Pour the remaining honey and spices of the marinade over the duck and place the dish in the hot oven. When the skin starts to get brown after a few minutes turn the temperature down to 130°C / 265°F and pour the red wine into the baking dish (a little over the duck as well) and bake for 60 minutes. Check with a skewer, if only clear juices come out the duck is done. Keep the duck legs in a warm place, pour the juices into a sauce pan and season with salt and pepper to taste. I didn’t even need to cook the sauce down. It was perfect, very intense, it didn’t need anything else. If you like you can add some more honey, Balsamico or a little orange juice.

 

For the polenta

polenta 120g / 4 ounces
water 250ml plus 150ml for cooking
milk 250ml
thyme, leaves of 4 sprigs
rosemary, chopped, 1/2 – 1 teaspoon
salt 1 teaspoon
olive oil 2 tablespoons

In a sauce pan, mix 250ml of water with the milk and salt and bring to the boil. Take the pan off the heat, add the olive oil, polenta and herbs and mix with a whisk. Turn down the heat to the lowest temperature and put the pan back on. Cook the polenta for 10 minutes mixing and adding the rest of the water once in a while.

Honey Glazed Duck

Thai Soup and Beef

Thai Soup

The past couple of days have brought a lot of snow, turning the world outside into a winter wonderland. Everything is covered by a soft white blanket, which is true magic to me! It looks different, sounds different and it even smells different. Two days ago I had time for a short walk so I went down the road to a tiny park that looks a bit like a secret garden. It’s my city hideaway as it seems to leave the noise and bustle outside as soon as you enter the iron gates. The trees and bushes were covered in snow and I had my camera with me, luckily, so I could take some of these wonderful impressions home with me and share them with you.

After walking for a while I started to feel cold and I got in the mood for a warm, spicy broth, a Thai soup. I have all sorts of broth in my freezer. Every few weeks I cook a few litres of  vegetable broth to use for soups and risottos, but I also have duck and pheasant broth in stock at the moment. When you have a strong broth you are already well on your way to a good soup. I warmed up the duck broth and added some lemongrass, ginger, fresh chili and coriander. I was really hungry, so I decided to throw in some pointed cabbage and some tiny meatballs mixed with the spices. The meatballs weren’t bigger than walnuts, after cooking in the soup for 5 minutes they were done, the cabbage needed even less. If you prefer the vegetarian version just leave out the meat, which is what I often do. Either way, this soup is a perfect treat for this cold season, you can be sure you will feel warm, strong and refreshed afterwards!

Thai Soup

Thai Soup with Meatballs

For 2 people as a main or for 4 people as a starter you need

broth 1500ml
pointed cabbage, sliced thinly, 250g / 9 ounces
ground beef 400g / 14 ounces
fresh ginger, thumb sized piece, 1/3 sliced thinly, 2/3 grated
garlic, crushed, 2 cloves
coriander roots, ground in a mortar, 2-3
coriander leaves, a handful
fresh chili, sliced thinly, 1
lemongrass, peeled and cut into thin slices, 1
salt and black pepper

Mix the coriander roots, the grated ginger, the garlic and a generous amount of ground black pepper in a mortar and grind to a smooth paste. Mix the paste together with the beef, half of the coriander leaves (chopped) and a teaspoon of salt. Form little walnut sized balls with a teaspoon.

Season the broth with salt and pepper to taste, add the slices of ginger and lemongrass and bring to the boil. Cook the meatballs in the broth on medium heat for 4 minutes. Keep the lid closed. After 4 minutes, add the cabbage and cook for another 2 minutes. Serve in deep bowls topped with the chili slices and the rest of the coriander leaves.

Thai Soup

 

Thai Soup

 

Thai Soup

A juicy treat with orange, turmeric and ginger

Orange+ Turmeric + Ginger Juice

Today’s post is dedicated to all my friends who have a cold – unfortunately, quite a few at the moment. I would love to have them all over to nurse them, so I decided to come up with a tasty and healthy juice, full of vitamins and powerful roots to give them a recipe that will strengthen them again!

My current favourite, the blood orange, is as important to this juice as freshly grated turmeric and ginger roots. Turmeric is a great helper when your body suffers from inflammations, be it in the throat, the ears or your tummy. This root has an important role in the Ayurveda philosophy and is assumed to have a big effect on our cells like ginger which is an antiseptic boost to the immune system.

If you feel well and strong – which I hope you all are – then you can just enjoy this wonderful juice and its spicy, fruity taste. And anyways, prevention is better than cure.

For 1 big glass of this powerful drink, you will need around 350ml of freshly squeezed orange juice (I used 6 of my blood oranges), 1/8 teaspoon of freshly grated turmeric root and 1/4 teaspoon of freshly grated ginger. I bought the turmeric in a small organic shop around the corner but you can find it in lots of Asian shops as well.

Drink it, enjoy, and get well soon!

Orange+ Turmeric + Ginger Juice

 

Orange+ Turmeric + Ginger Juice

Mussels with Spices, Ginger, Lemongrass and Coriander

Mussels with Ginger, Lemon Grass + Coriander

Last summer I enjoyed a sumptuous dinner in a beautiful candle lit garden at an old villa surrounded by fragrant Stephanotis and Plumbago. The setting was just perfect and the food divine as always, cooked by my dear friend Vanessa. She treated us to the freshest seafood, prepared in inspiring variations. We started the dinner with mussels cooked with coriander, turmeric, cayenne and ginger in a wonderful broth made with coconut milk and lemon. I was never too fond of mussels until that night. I used to cook them with celery, carrots and onions in white wine which is nice but the exotic mixture of spices and herbs was something special and unexpected.

When I bought the mussels for our dinner I knew I would take Vanessa’s version and mix it with mine. I used white wine instead of coconut milk but adopted her mix of coriander, turmeric, cayenne and ginger. To this I added some lemongrass, garlic, spring onions and carrots. The velvety broth was a fantastic match for the mussels, very bold while not overpowering the fresh sea taste of the mussels. We finished all the mussels and soaked up every drop of the remaining broth with some Ciabatta bread.

Mussels with Ginger, Lemon Grass + Coriander

Mussels with Spices, Ginger, Lemongrass and Coriander

For 2 hungry people you need

mussels, rinsed, 1 kg / 2 pounds
garlic, crushed, 1 clove
spring onions, cut into slices, 2
carrot, cut into cubes, 1
ginger, grated, thumbnail size
lemongrass, cut into thin slices, a 7cm / 3″ piece
coriander seeds, ground, 1 teaspoon
turmeric, ground, 1/3 teaspoon
cayenne pepper, ground, 1/8 teaspoon
salt 1/2 teaspoon
white wine 250ml
lemon juice 1 tablespoon
oil for frying 2 tablespoons
fresh coriander, chopped, a handful

Heat the oil in a large pot and fry the ginger, lemongrass, garlic and vegetables for a couple minutes. Add the ground spices, mix and fry for another minute. Pour the wine and lemon juice into the pot and bring to the boil, season with salt. Add the mussels and mix with the liquid. Close with a lid and turn down the heat to the lowest temperature. Steam for 5 minutes or until the shells open. Take out the mussels which didn’t open, you should not eat them! Mix in the coriander leaves and serve on big plates.

Mussels with Ginger, Lemon Grass + Coriander