Sunday, September 26, 2010

Pumpkin is just another word for....

...summer-is-over. That's why on the one hand, I don't like pumpkins, but on the other, they just look so nice, colorful and make you aware that autumn is just another word for season of the steaming soups. I got a small pumpkin of a friend last week who had bought the beauty somewhere in the "Speckgürtel" of Berlin at a local farm. Speckgürtel means lard-belt and is a cool word for commuter belt. Wait, is this post the post of synonyms? Well anyway, I wanted to turn this pumpkin into a hot and steaming soup, but instead of using orange juice which I did last autumn I got a little crazy and added pink grapefruit juice! Sometimes, it's good to be a little bit crazy!

copyright of all photos j.

Pumpkin soup

1kg of pumpkin meat
1 onion
200 gr of carrots
200 ml of coconut milk
1 glass of pink grapefruit juice
some vegetable stock

Peel the pumpkin, take out the seeds and cut the meat into pieces. Peel the carrots and cut them into smaller pieces. Chop the onions and sauté them in a large pot. Add the pumpkin and the carrot, after 1-3 minutes, add the grapefruit juice and some vegetable stock so that all the pumpkin and carrot pieces are covered. After 10-15 minutes, purée the mix and add 150 ml of coconut milk. Let simmer for another couple of minutes and add salt and pepper if needed.

Use the other 50 ml of coconut milk to drizzle each small bowl with some before you serve the soup. It looks nice, but it also cools down the first layer of the soup. That way, you can start eating immeadiately. Serves 4 people and makes a whole meal if you hand some rosemary focaccia to go with it.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

French potato salad with Stremellachs

Mesdames et messieurs, today's post is international. It is a dish which I got to know and love in Sweden, but its main component is called French potato salad. Why that is so, je ne sais pas. I have never eaten potato salad in France, and I really really have no clue why this kind of potato salad which I would call Swedish in Sweden is called French. Maybe it is because the salad tastes so good that it can only be French haute cuisine... In any case, the most important thing is that you use really tiny tiny round new potatoes which you only get around this time of the year. 
In Sweden, French potato salad is usually the side dish eaten with varmrökt lax, warm-smoked salmon, which I think is the best way of eating salmon. In Berlin, varmrökt lax is called Stremellachs, as the filet of salmon is cut into small "Stremel", stripes that is, before it is smoked. For me it has almost become a tradition to buy a slice at the market every weekend....Since I had a ripe avocado lying around which had to be eaten, I also added some guacamole as a dip. It goes well together with the salmon, but it's no essential ingredient.

 copyright of all photos j. 

French potato salad

one handful of small potatoes per person
one tbs of capers per person
one small red onion
salt, pepper
olive oil
white wine vinegar

Thouroughly rinse the potatoes. You will eat the peel as well, so make sure they are free from soil. In a pot, bring the potatoes to a boil. Let them simmer until they are soft. As they are tiny, this won't take very long, maybe about 10 minutes. In the meantime, cut the red onion into very small cubes. In a bowl, mix 2 tbs of oil with one tbs of the vinegar, add some honey, some pepper and salt, the diced onion and one tbs of capers. Mix thoroughly, then add the hot potatoes. Serve the salad luke warm, next to the cold Stremellachs. 
Voilà Bon appetit!
I love this dish not only but especially on warm late summer, early autum evenings!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Wrapped and sealed

I really really like apricots, so when I noticed at the market last week that whereas you can still buy nectarines and peaches, apricot-season is already over, I got kind of sad! Luckily though, when it comes to food, I am like a squirrel and tend to develop severe compulsive hoarding. That's why already some weeks ago, I bought bright yellow apricots with cute red cheeks and crimson freckles and put them in the freezer. Last week, I decided to use some of them for one of my all time favorite sweets: Marillenknödel - apricot dumplings! I love the tartness of the apricot, the sweetness of the sugar cube which you hide inside the apricot and the gooey texture of the curdcoating! Not to mention the roasted breadcrumbes and melted butter in which you drown the dumplings. Yumm, yumm!
And since there are multiple mantles - the apricot for the sugar, the curddough for the apricot - I would like to nominate this recipe for the blog event "in Hülle und Fülle"

 copyrigth of all photos j.


250 gr of curd cheese
20 gr of soft butter
1 egg yolk
70 gr semolina
60 gr flour
2 tsp of vanilla sugar
6 apricots (you can even use small plums)
6 sugar lumps
pinch of salt

20 gr. of butter per person
20 gr. of breadcrumbs per person
pinch of sugar

Strain the curd cheese in a sieve. Do that up to 4 hours before you make the dumplings. The drier the curd the better. 
Mix the curd cheese, the egg yolk, the butter, the semolina, the vanilla sugar and a pinch of salt. Add the flour until you get a dough that is no longer super sticky. Roll the dough into a log and cut off 6 pieces.
Cut open the apricots, take out the stone and replace it with a sugar cube. Take some flour on your hands and form the six dough pieces into round patties. Use one for every apricot, carefully wrapping the dough around the apricot. Make sure that the fruit is entirely covered. 
Bring water to a boil in a large pot. When simmering, put in the dumplings and let them boil for about 10-15 minutes. In the meantime, roast the breadcrumbs with the butter in a pan, add some sugar (about a teaspoon) if you want to.
Take the dumplings out of the water, drain them, and put them on a plate. Sprinkle with buttered and roasted breadcrumbs and enjoy!
Serves 2-3 people, depending on the size of the apricots used.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Well, then why don't you?

"Well, then why don't you?" was what my sister said back in May when I told her that if I ever had a foodblog, I would call it Schlachtplatte. Usually, I am not that obedient, when my sister tells me to do something. But for whatever reason, she gave me the final push to start this blog and here we are! I hope you readers are as happy as I am that my sister said "Well, then why don't you?". 
When I gave a scarf and some strawberry jam to a friend as a birthday present in july, my sister whined that she also wanted to get such nice presents. And again, I obeyed (well, maybe after all, I am quite obedient!). So, for her birthday, she got a beautiful twisted snood scarf and her favorite jam- fig jam, that is!
The fig jam tastes delicious, though its taste reminds me more of poppyseed than figs, now you go and try to explain that to me!

copyrigth of all photos j.

Fig jam

500 gr of organic figs
1 lime
1 vanilla bean
250 gr of preserving sugar

Cut the figs into small cubes and put them into a saucepan. Squeeze the lime and mix the juice with the figs. Scratch out the vanilla bean and add to the figs. Pour the preserving sugar onto the figs. Let the mixture stand for about 2 hours. That way, the figs get all gooey and runny. Bring the whole mix to a boil and boil for about 3-5 minutes while constantly stirring. Fill the hot jam into thoroughly cleansed glass jars, and close  them immediatley. Makes three small glasses. 

The jam tastes extraordinarily delcicious with goat cheese and Knäcke (crisp bread). But if you like it so much that you would love to eat it by the spoonful, I hope that someone dear to you says "Well, then why don't you?"