Sunday, 14 September 2014

Oat Cuttlefish

Hubby used to eat a similar dish in one of the Balkan countries during his business trip. Since he loves seafood, especially cuttlefish, I prepared this dish using ground oats and cornflour.  As a dip, I prepared a mixture of mayonnaise, minced garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice and sweet paprika powder.  For those who are calories-concious, this dish also tastes good without the dip.

500 g cuttlefish tubes
4 tbsp oat i.e. Quaker Oats, to be grounded
3 tbsp cornflour
1/2 tsp salt or according to taste
1 tsp ground black pepper
oil for deep-frying

Dip Ingredients:
150 g mayonnaise
2 pips garlic, to be peeled & minced
zest from half lemon
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp sweet or hot paprika powder


In a bowl, mix all dip ingredients together.  Leave aside.

Wash and dry cuttlefish.  Cut one side of cuttlefish tube and open it up with the inside side facing up. Using a sharp knife, lightly make diamond cuts.  Cut into 3 cm strips and then cut the strips into 3.

In a bowl, add cornflour, oat, salt and ground black pepper.  Coat cuttlefish pieces in this mixture and leave aside.

In a wok, heat enough oil for deep-frying over medium/high heat.  Drop a few cuttlefish pieces at a time and deep-fry for about 2-3 minutes.  Remove to a tray lined with absorbent paper.  Repeat procedure.  Serve hot with dip.

Bon Appetit!

French Beans & Tomatoes Salad

A great and healthy salad dish to accompany any main dishes.  I am experimenting various kinds of salads involving french beans in order that our younger son eats them.  This time, I mixed cooked french beans with cherry tomatoes and added a simple salad dressing which is made of olive oil, vinegar, salt & pepper.

500 g french beans, to be cleaned & washed
150 g cherry tomatoes, to be halved
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp vinegar
salt & ground black pepper to taste

Remove the ends off the french beans and cut into 5 cm lengths.  In a medium-size pot, add beans, enough water and a little salt.  Bring to boil and cook until the beans are almost cooked.

Once done, drain beans and transfer immediately into a bowl which is filled with iced water.  Leave aside for 10 minutes.

Drain beans and transfer to a large bowl.  Add olive oil, vinegar, salt and ground pepper.  Mix well and check seasoning.  Lastly, add in the cherry tomatoes.  Serve with any main dishes.

Bon Appetit!

Grilled Seesaiblingsfilet

Literally translated, this fish is also known as Arctic Char which is our favourite fish.  This dish is simple to prepare and the taste is excellent.  One only needs 3 ingredients, namely Seesaibling (or any kind of fish fillet), sea salt and dill.  My hubby normally grills the fish parcels but one can also bake them in the oven.

3 Seesaiblingsfilet
sea salt

Prepare a piece of aluminium foil which is slightly larger than the Seesaiblingsfilet. Place the fish on the foil.  Sprinkle with a little sea salt and plucked dill as shown.  Be careful with the sea salt or else your fish will be very salty.

Fold and pinch the top and sides of the aluminium foil as shown.

Repeat procedure until all fish fillets are nicely packed.  Grill for about 20 minutes.  If using the oven, place parcels on a baking tray and bake at 150° C fan oven for about 20 minutes.

Bon Appetit!

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Zwetschgenkuchen (Prunes Tart)

Autumn is slowly approaching and the freshly-plucked prunes are in abundance for sale in the local supermarkets.  This is the time of the year when they are dirt cheap and I paid 69 Euro cents per kilo which was a good bargain.  Today, I prepared one recipe of yeast dough, out of which turned out two different kinds of cake for our tea-time.  This recipe is ideal when you are entertaining guests at home.  As the saying goes:  "Hit two birds with one stone"!  Apart from the Prunes Tart, I also baked the Streuselkuchen.

600 g flour (type 550) or plain flour (type 405)
80 g fine sugar
1 egg white
1 tsp salt
40 g butter, to be gently melted
250 ml warm water (straight from the tap)
1 cube à 42 g fresh yeast, to be crumbled in warm water

1 kg fresh prunes, to be washed & dried
1 tbsp breadcrumbs
3 tbsp sugar

1 1/2 pkts Tortenguss (red) or red glaze
2 tbsp sugar

1 egg yolk, to be mixed with 1 tbsp fresh milk

In a mixing bowl, add flour, sugar, egg white, salt, melted butter and water & crumbled yeast mixture. Knead dough until it leaves the sides of bowl.  Cover bowl with a damp cloth and leave aside to let dough rise to double its volume.  Remove about 250 g of dough for the prunes tart.  The balance dough can be used to make Streuselkuchen or Hefezopf.

Grease a 30 cm diameter pan with butter and line with dough.  Brush with glaze and sprinkle with breadcrumbs.

Cut each prune into two and remove the seed.  Then, cut each half into two, without cutting through the skin.  Arrange cut prunes on dough as shown.

Bake in a preheated oven (fan:  160° C) on the centre rack for about 40 minutes. Once done, remove and leave to cool down completely.

From the balance of prunes, cut 10 prunes into wedges with seeds removed.  Add to a saucepan and add 500 ml water and 3 tbsp sugar.  Cook over medium heat until the prunes are soft and the juice is concentrated.  Remove from heat and leave aside to cool down.

Measure about 350 ml of prune juice.  In another saucepan, add one and a half packets of Tortenguss along with 2 tbsp sugar.  Gradually, add the prune juice and keep stirring until no lumps can be seen. Cook over medium heat until the mixture becomes clear red.  Let it boil gently for one minute.

Pour immediately onto tart, making sure that all prunes are covered with glaze. Leave it aside for about half an hour before serving.  Serve with whipped cream.

Here is the cross-section of the tart when cut:

Happy Baking!

Cranberry Waffles

Prepared these for breakfast yesterday as the weather was lousy and cool.  This time, I added cranberries to the batter for a change and the end result was good.  My two boys loved the taste and the waffles didn't last long on the plate at all.

200 g dried cranberries, to be washed under running tap and dried
400 g plain flour
a pinch of salt
40 g sugar
3 medium-size eggs
1 tbsp vanilla sugar
200 ml fresh cream
500 ml milk
butter or oil for the waffle maker

In a mixing bowl, whisk eggs, vanilla sugar and sugar together until creamy.  Then, add flour, cream and milk alternately a little at a time.  Mix well until there are no lumps can be seen.  If there are lumps, pass mixture through a sieve into another bowl.  Add dried cranberries and mix well.

Preheat a waffle maker to the required temperature.  Then, brush with oil or butter lightly.  Add a ladleful of batter, making sure the cranberries are spread all over. Close the lid and let it cook for about 5 minutes (the time depends on your waffle maker).  Once done, remove waffle to a cutting board and cut off excess dough before transferring to a wire rack to let it cool down completely. Repeat procedure until all batter are used up.

Serve warm!

Happy Baking!