Feeling pretty bad that I cannot post regularly lately, one of the reasons is that I have finally decided to take some German lessons. I have always had phobia to learn German due to previous experiences, it is so difficult to learn that I do not want to waste money until I am ready to go for it again. I had four lessons already and am glad so far so good, this time I am more motivated and determined, all because of baby Marc. But actually another major reason which restrain me from blogging is that Marc always interferes when I try to work on my computer. In theory I can blog when he is asleep but I am also tired after a long day, in this case, actually I now post more food photos with short descriptions of the recipe so I can go back to refer to when I make again.
A nice thing I would like to share with you is that this Tuesday, I was asked by my friend, Cara @Baselbagels.com to take some event and food photos for an apéro which she was catering for. It was really a big achievement for her as that day she had to cater for almost 120 people. As for me I get the flavor of being a food photographer for the first time and it was fun and a new venture for me. I hope there will be more of these opportunities.
I have always wanted to try making Tom Yum Goong (Thai Hot & Sour Soup) from scratch but never made it until a few days ago, always thought it’s very difficult but oh my, I could not believe it is that (dead) easy to make. I am not sure if I should blog about this but I would like to post this recipe to spread the words how easy it is to make. At the same time, I would also appreciate if anyone of you out there can point me to the direction of a truly authentic Tom Yum Goong, I am curious to learn more. The more I searched, the more different versions I found made me confused. Nevertheless, I am very happy with the recipe from ThaiTable.com.
When I hopped over to Healthy Delicious, I realised that it’s meatless Friday today, I have totally forgotten. And as a matter of fact, I am on a detox week, today is Day 5. It’s very hard to resist all temptations. The detox plan I am using is supposed to be a juice and tea week by a Swiss company called Biotta. There is a box you can buy which included all the drinks you need in a box. However, having an empty stomach is impossible for me so instead I am using this box to assist me. This week I have been homemade soups, cream crackers or a small piece of white bread to accompany the Biotta detox plan. I mean ultimately I do want to lose weight but I would rather lose gradually than to have a quick rebound the following week. Continue reading
With some asparagus and lemongrass stock left from the asparagus bacon risotto. I made two glasses of asparagus cappuccino as starter the following day, it was like the frothy soup I have tried in the gourmet restaurants : ) This soup is very light and healthy, you will be amazed that you can get a creamy result without using cream.
- 150g asparagus stems, trimmed & chopped into small pieces
- half small onion, finely chopped
- Semi-skimmed milk 50ml for the soup, 100ml for frothing
- 200ml Lemongrass stock
- 2 tsp Unblanched ground almonds
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Heat up the olive oil in a deep aluminum pan, add the onion the let it sweat for a few minutes at medium high heat. Keep stiring.
- Add in the asparagus and stir fry for a few minutes until they turn a little like transparent.
- Pour in the stock, bring to boil and then simmer at medium heat for about 30 mins and until the liquid is reduced one-third. Pour the mixture into a blender and blend until smooth.
- Pour the soup back to the pan, add in 50ml milk, warm it up again but be careful not to overheat. Taste to see if need to season with some salt.
- To serve, warm up 100ml milk, using a cappuccino frother to whiz the milk to make it frothy.
- Pour the soup into 2 glasses and top up with the frothy milk.
- Garnish by sprinkle some unblanched ground almonds on top and serve immediately.
This is my first Christmas and New Year time in Holland, and I am extremely lucky as it has not been this cold (lowest -10°C) for years since 1997 and that I can witness the great sceneries of ice crystals on the leaves and grass. frozen canals, people go ice-skating on the canals. I had a very nice walk in a Nationaal Park called De Weeribben with my family.
Hopefully by end the week, I can get my own ice-skates and experience skating on the canals (but with inevitable falling of course!)
Today, the outside temperature was -8 °C already and will even go further to -10°C for New Year’s Eve tomorrow. This week I can have so many traditional and comforting Dutch food from my in-laws: Boerenkool (Farmer’s cabbage) stampot, Rode Bieten (own grown red beets), Pannekoek, Opa’s Oliebollen on New Year’s Eve and now tonight we had Erwtensoep which is only prepared in winter. If you travel to Holland, you will see a lot of restaurants or small cafes will have Erwtensoep signs outside their places. I did have tried several of them in the past but they are never as good as my in-law’s, they are mostly too thick for me and luckily the whole family here do not like too thick soup too.
Cooking & Preparation time: 3-4 hours
- 300g green split peas (wash and rinse) (Fig. 1)
- 300g pork hock or spareribs (cut into large pieces)
- 150g Dutch “sauerkraut bacon” or pork belly, it’s fresh not salted nor smoked preferably with rind (cut into pieces)
- 1 smoked sausage (Fig. 2)
- 2 large onions, chopped
- 1 leek, cut into small pieces
- 1 bunch leaves of Maggi Plant (finely chopped), official name: Lovage (Levisticum officinale Koch)
- 3 litres of water
- 2 cubes of chicken bouillon
- 1 pack Honig erwtensoep soup powder, optional if you can find it in a Dutch grocery shop (Fig. 1)
- Seasonings: salt, pepper,
- Mixed spices: coriander, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, chili. In Holland, there are many prepared packed herbs & spices, this is one for use in meat. You can add pinches of the above instead of the prepared one.
- A handful of small pieces Dried or fresh chives (bieslook in Dutch)
- In a large pan, bring water to boil and then add the pork hock & pork belly into the pan and let them cook for about 2 hours at medium heat. Skim off the floating scum.
- After 2 hours, add in the rinsed peas, chopped onion, leeks and chicken bouillon, let it simmer for over an hour.
- After the 3 hours, take the pork out of the pan, remove rind and bones, and cut it in small pieces. Return the meat to the pan.
- Dissolve the Erwtensoep soup powder in cold water and then add into the pan, keep stirring until mixed. Would be nice if you can find one in your surrounding. It’s very popular these days as it really enhances the flavor of the soup and thicken the soup nicely.
- Wash the maggi plant, cut and chop the leaves.
- Cut the smoked sausage into slices.
- 10 minutes before serving add the smoked sausage and the maggi plant and chives into the soup. Taste and season with salt, pepper and the mixed spices as described above (we have a mixed spice here in Holland specially for meat otherwise if you use the above mentioned spices it will be okay too).
- When it is ready, serve in soup bowls.
- The traditional way is to serve on side with rye bread (pumpernickel), with slices of katenspek (Fig. 2 , it’s a type of Dutch smoked bacon) or Dutch cheese, I like Cumin Cheese personally.
Eet Smakelijk !!!!
Autumn has arrived, I took my camera out to capture the beautiful colors of the Fall before it dimishes. The different grading of yellow/ orange of the leaves brightens up the surroundings.
Taken in our garden
When driving around in the countryside, you can find pumpkins decorated outside the houses or some people just put them outside for sale.
Taken in Alsace
I like pumpkin soup a lot but had only started making it myself last year. There are a lot of recipes out there but most of them are not my taste until I encountered this one at Jana’s (my ex-colleague) place one day for brunch. It was exactly what I like and she was so kind to share her recipe with me. It is just so comforting when you can find something exactly what you like. I think the secret of this recipe is the curry powder which makes the difference. I have searched a lot of recipes that orange juice is a critical ingredient which is true but curry powder is something not to be missed out. Don’t worry, you could hardly tell that there is curry in the soup when it’s cooked.
as seen in #24109 TasteSpotting, 15.10.08
- 1000g pumpkin (remove the skin and cut into cubes, the best one is the dark orange one called butternut squash)
- 2 potatoes, peeled, cut into pieces
- 1 big onion cut into quarters
- 300ml freshly squeezed orange juice
- 700ml broth (vegetable or chicken)
- 1 tbsp curry powder
- 50ml red wine (optional)
- 200ml cream
- Some parsley for garnish
- Heat a little butter in a pan and fry the onion for 2 minutes, then add the pumpkin, potatoes and stir for a few minutes. Transfer these to a soup pan.
- Add in the orange juice, broth and curry powder so that the ingredients are not quite covered (the liquid level should not be hiher than the ingredients). Keep the lid on, let it boil in high heat and then turn to medium heat and cook until everything is softened with the lid on.
- At this time use the blender to make the soup into a thick, soft consistency, add 150ml of cream and a little bit of red wine to reach the desired consistency. If it’s too thick, you can always add more orange juice or broth depending your personal taste as the orange juice will make the soup more sour I find.
- Taste the soup when it is not too hot, somehow it tastes not as good when it’s too hot. Season with a bit of salt if necessary.
- Serve hot in soup bowl with some fresh bread. You can garnish the soup by drizzle some cream and sprinkle some parsley on top.
I hope you will like this recipe too! If you cannot finish in one go, you can always freeze it and enjoy it another day.
easy miso ramen: still steaming!
Thanks to Satsuko Yoshizuka in about.com where I can find a lot about japanese cooking. link
When I cook at home I will try to prepare something healthy with more vegetable and little meat.
I love all kinds of noodles in particular the soup-based ones. Last week I cooked Miso Ramen. What so special about it? It was because I made the noodle soup from scratched (not those instant ones with lots of artificial flavourings), and it tasted close to those noodle place.
One day, I would like to prepare the ramen stock like Tess’ one. That will be a perfect ramen. But since it was a spontaneous idea to cook ramen that day, I am happy with this version.
The beauty of having noodles at home is that you can choose whichever vegetables you have at home or around, there is no strict rule so you can choose which ingredients you prefer. I have adapted slightly to the recipe in about.com.
- 3 portions of ramen
- few sprigs of coriander or spring onion, chopped
- 3 tbsp miso paste (I did not have the japanese miso, the one in the picture was korean miso which worked fine too, the amount can vary depending on the saltiness of the miso you have.)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp minced ginger
- 1 tbsp of chicken bouillon powder
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 small can of sweet corn (remove the liquid)
- 1 pack of enoki mushrooms (japanese: enokitaki, cantonese: gum)
- 500ml of hot water
- 120g of lean pork (cut in thin strips)
- 5 snake beans ( cut in pieces of 4cm length)
Other suggestions of vegetables: bean sprouts, cabbage, spinach, leek, etc.
Seasonings for the pork:
1 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp soya sauce
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp sesame
1 tbsp sesame oil
- Marinade the pork in a bowl and mix in the above seasonings and leave aside.
- Cook the ramen in large pan with large quantity of boiling water for 1 min or so following the package instructions), unwind the noodles with chopsticks. Drain and cool the ramen in cold water quickly.
- Heat oil in a wok or frying pan, add 1/3 of minced garlic, then add in snake beans and saute for a few minutes until it is cooked. Turn the beans on a plate and keep aside.
- Repeat as above without garlic for the carrots. The carrots do not need to be fully cooked.
- Heat oil in the wok or frying pan, add 1/3 of minced garlic and ginger and saute the marinated pork on medium heat until cooked.
- In the large pan, pour in 500ml of hot water, season with chicken bouillon powder, sugar, soya sauce, and bring to boil. Turn to low heat and then add in the miso and stir until it is melted completely. You can now put the drained ramen into the pan and bring it to boil.
- Turn off the heat and serve the ramen in 3 big bowls (optional: put some minced garlic and a few drops of sesame oil at the bottom of the bowl). Place the cooked vegetables and pork as in the picture above.
- Garnish with coriander or spring onion as you like. Sprinkle some sesame on top.
- Lastly pour in the hot miso soup over the ramen and ingredients.
- Serve immediately.
This is a Swiss soup very popular in the Swiss mountains especially in the Graubünden region. I take this soup for lunch every time when I go skiing. I like it a lot as it is tasty, good in fibre and nutritious, also the soup s filling but you will not feel it too creamy or heavy at all. It is ideal after doing some sports and as a winter soup. Barley’s claim to nutritional fame is based on its being a very good source of fiber and selenium, and a good source of phosphorus, copper and manganese. Not sure if it is true of not, barley is also said to be good for skin beauty. I think it is because if your digestion is healthy, it will in turn improves your skin condition too.
I like the soup so much that I want to try it at home. This is a recipe from my Swiss friend, Caroline. Made it multiple times already and at first I was hesitant about the egg yolk and cream added in the end just before serving, because I was worried if it is rather fattening so I have skipped for the first few times but then it did not taste exactly the same as those I had out there. Therefore I tried it with the addition of the egg yolk cream and magic, this is the taste that I have been looking for. This is something that cannot be missed out!!!!!!
I like going to supermarkets to discover all kinds of things. Since baking bread is my new hobby, I have tried to understand different types of flour here in Switzerland as the flour types and grading varies from country to country. One day I found a pack called PAIDOL in the flour column, I asked my Swiss friend and even she does not know what it is. There is not much information too in the internet so I thought this may be interesting to those who loves cooking or baking and you may find it in food specialty shop in your own country?
From its own website, I found some background and attempted to translate to English.
- Paidol has more than 100 years, a traditional, proven Aids for shrewd cooks and chefs.
- Paidol is a kind of durum wheat semolina very fine allowing the dough to better lift.
- Paidol is not only a kitchen classics, but also high nutritional. It is, as in ancient times, with success in the small children’s nutrition as well as diet and Light foods. Paidol is also an ideal food as basis for small babies.
- Thanks to the special composition, Paidol is a kitchen helper, it can bind to all kinds of loose dough loosely. Paidol binds soups and sauces, creams, puddings and desserts and loosens Knöpfli, homemade noodles, Soufflés, Purées, omelets.
- Paidol consists mainly of Swiss-wheat semolina, the strength also consists valuable addition to protein and fatty substances. Beigemischt is Hirsegriess, an important building material for bone and hair growth, and wheat germ with valuable vitamins and trace elements.
I found a vintage version of Paidol’s recipe book dated in 1924 written in German.
Here is the current pdf version of the paidol-recipes found in its website but only in French or German.
Here is my yogurt bread with oatmeal & Paidol, please follow link.