Melted Swiss Cheeses and Dried Tomato Dip


Melted Swiss Cheeses and Dried Tomato Dip Every place on earth is blessed with typical ingredients and/or dishes. In Switzerland, one thing I’m proud of having access to is our cheese. In such a small country, we have over 450 different types of cheese and this is enough to never get bored about this produce I personally love. Continue reading

One thing you’ll surely always find in my fridge is alpine cheese. For this recipe I wanted to honour this produce and so I adapted the recipe I found on closetcooking.com. Except for the cream cheese, all that is in this recipe comes from the country of Heidi. Sitting beside the fireplace and with a glass of white wine, my fiancé and I shared this melted cheese wonder. Talking about melted cheese, soon I will post a fondue recipe so stay tuned if you love melted cheese when it’s cold outside!

Melted Swiss Cheeses and Dried Tomato Dip

 

Melted Swiss Cheeses and Dried Tomato Dip

 

Recipe for 4 as an appetiser

Prep time: 15-20 min

Cook time: 30-35 min

 

Ingredients

150 g cream cheese

6-8 dried tomato filets in oil

1 small or ½ onion

50 g Gruyere cheese

30 g Sbrinz (or Parmesan)

30 g Emmental cheese

40 g Sour cream

Pepper

½ tsp smoked Paprika

(optional 2 tbsp. white wine)

 

Recipe

Heat oven at 180°C.

Chop the onion and dice the dried tomatoes. Cook the two ingredients in a pan on a medium fire and cook until the onion has softened, about 4-5 min. Remove from fire and set aside.

Grate all the cheeses and mix them with the sour cream, cream cheese, onion and dried tomatoes, pepper, smoked paprika and optionally the white wine. Place everything in an ovenproof dish and cook for 25-30 min. Serve warm with crostini and/or toasted bread.

 

Mustardy Cauliflower with Herbed Sour Cream

Mustardy Cauliflower with Sour Cream Fortunately now I’m almost back to normal and my appetite is back but when my mother came over last Friday, I was coming down with a cold and didn’t feel too hungry so I made something light for the two of us on our weekly lunch. Continue reading

First, like always, we had a little smoked salmon and then I made this Mustardy Cauliflower with Herbed Sour Cream that we ate with a couple grilled chicken thighs she bought at the local butcher. I prepared the cauliflower; the seasoning and the sour cream earlier in the morning so that when she arrived I only had pop it in the oven at the right time. I liked the mustardy taste the seasoning brought to the lightly charred cauliflower; the sour cream added an additional layer of freshness which I enjoyed and craved for (maybe because I wasn’t feeling too well).

Mustardy Cauliflower with Sour Cream

 

Mustardy Cauliflower with Herbed Sour Cream

 

Recipe for 4 as a side dish

Prep time: 8 min

Cook time: 15-20 min

 

Ingredients

For the cauliflower:

450 g cauliflower florets

2 tsp. mustard powder

1 tbsp. lemon juice

1.5 tbsp. olive oil

½ bag saffron

1 tsp. water

2 tsp. sugar

Salt and pepper

 

For the sour cream:

100 g sour cream (I used ½ fat)

1 small or ½ garlic clove

1 tbsp. chopped parsley

2 tsp. walnut oil

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe:

Heat the oven on the highest setting of your oven.

In a bowl mix all the ingredients for the cauliflower (except for the cauliflower florets).

Place the cauliflower in a baking tin and pour oven the paste you have just prepared; toss well until all the vegetables are coated. Bake in the oven for 15-20 min, until the cauliflower is lightly charred. Toss 1-2 times during cooking process.

Meanwhile prepare the sour cream. Pass the garlic through a garlic crusher and mix it in the sour cream with the rest of the ingredients. Serve with the warm cauliflower.

 

 

Walnut Crusted Tomme Cheese & a Night Out in The Village

Walnut Crusted Tomme CheeseA part from the different decorations I’ve seen around, I really feel Christmas is just around the corner. Since a few years, in my village there is a contest about who makes the best nativity scene. Continue reading

The day the contest officially starts there is a small celebration in the village; besides looking at the nice work the inhabitants have made, there are also a few food and drink stands where we can enjoy a nice moment together. Friends of mine produce an amazing cheese and I knew they would hold a Raclette stand so I told them I would come by. When I arrived it was still early but soon people began arriving and not long after I found myself helping them preparing the melted cheese. I had a really nice time and despite my initial idea was go to there, have a bite and a drink, I ended up being among the last people to leave the celebration. Here are a few pictures of the “Via dei Presepi” (“The Path of The Nativity Scenes”).

In the mood for some more delicious melted cheese, I made this recipe, which is very easy but so tasty. For the breading I used walnuts which, with a cheese that has the consistence of a brie works very well. Together I made a radicchio and apple salad with a honey dressing and I found the combination to be just heavenly.

 

Walnut Crusted Tomme Cheese

 

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 15 min

Cook Time: 8-10 min

 

Ingredients:

For the cheese

4 tomme cheeses (100 g each – not too soft)

45-50 g chopped walnuts

4 tbsp. breadcrumbs

2 tbsp. flour

Pepper

1 egg

1.5-2 tbsp. grape seed oil

 

For the salad:

2 tbsp. grape seed oil

1 tbsp. white wine vinegar

1.5 tbsp. runny honey

Salt and pepper

200 chopped radicchio

1 small apple (I used Braeburn)

 

Recipe:

Start preparing the salad by mixing the first four ingredients in a bowl. Quarter the apple and slice each quarter. Add the radicchio and apples to the salad, toss and set aside.

Take a dish and add the flour with a little pepper, break the egg in a bowl and mix and in a third dish mix the breadcrumbs with the walnuts.

Start by dipping one tome in the flour, shake of any excess, then pass it in the egg and finally coat with the breadcrumb-walnut mix. Repeat for each piece.

Heat the grape seed oil in a pan and add the breaded tommes to cook for 3-4 min per side.

Remove from pan and serve without waiting accompanied by the salad.

 

Smooth Barley and Broccoli Risotto (Orzotto)

Smooth Broccoli Barley Risotto (Orzotto)  It was the first time I tried making barley risotto and found it’s a very nice alternative to the traditional rice based kind. Continue reading

Usually I like to bite into the texture of the added ingredients to the dish but, mashing the broccoli allows a nice balance with each bite you take. One great thing with this dish or any kind of risotto is when you have some leftovers. I often make an extra portion and the following day I make croquettes out of it. Usually I just shape the rice or barley into little balls, eventually I dip them into an egg wash and then I coat them with breadcrumbs and brown them in a pan with a little olive oil. When I was small, I used to look forward to the day-after risotto makeover…

 

 

Smooth Barley and Broccoli Risotto (Orzotto)

 

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 5 min

Cook time: 30-35 min

 

Ingredients

300 g blanched broccoli florets

1.2 l vegetable stock (hot)

80-100 g Grated cheese (Sbrinz, Parmesan, Grana…)

1 onion

5 tbsp butter

300 g pearled barley

Juice and zest of 1 lemon

1 pinch salt

Pepper

 

Recipe:

Process the broccoli until pureed and set aside.

Chop the onion and place it in a pan with 1-2 tbsp. butter, cook until soft, about 4-5 min. Turn up the heat and add the barley, toss and cook for about a minute. Add the lemon juice and the zest while wile you keep on stirring.

Once the lemon has been absorbed into the rice, reduce heat and start adding 1 ladle of stock with a pinch of salt while continuously stirring. Once the stock has been absorbed add the second ladle. Continue stirring and each time the stock has been absorbed add another ladle. After about 25 minutes taste the barley to check if it’s cooked, if not, continue for another few minutes.

Once you’re satisfied with the consistence of the rice, add the mashed broccoli and some pepper and stir to combine.

Remove the pan from the heat and add the rest of the butter with the grated cheese. Serve, eventually with some additional grated cheese on top.

Goat Cheese Butternut Slices

Goat Cheese Butternut In winter it’s always nice to put some colour in you life, that’s what I’ve done with this post. Continue reading

The superb colour of the butternut squash was enough to lift my day, especially because after a week of sun we’re back under the clouds and the rain (which should be snow by now) and our bones are once again on the waiting list to produce vitamin D. Tuesday, I was working on some notes and I didn’t feel like spending too long in the kitchen so I made this recipe, which is quick to prepare and while it’s cooking in the oven, you don’t really have to keep a close eye on it.

 

 

 

Goat Cheese Butternut Slices

 

Recipe for 4 as a side dish

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 30 min

 

Ingredients:

1 small butternut squash

150 g goat cheese log (alternatively use hard grated goat cheese)

1 tbsp. finely chopped rosemary leaves

1 tbsp. breadcrumbs

2 tbsp. finely chopped walnuts

Zest of 1 lemon

Cayenne pepper

Salt and pepper

1 tbsp. olive oil

 

Recipe:

Heat oven at 190°C.

Cut the butternut in half and slice it crosswise into 1 cm thick slices. Place the pumpkin slices in a sealable bag with 1 tbsp. olive oil. Shake the bag in order to make the oil coat each slice. Place the butternut on a baking tray lined with wax paper and season the slices with salt.

In a bowl finely crumble the goat cheese and add the chopped rosemary leaves, the breadcrumbs, the chopped walnuts, the lemon zest, cayenne pepper, a little salt and pepper.

Sprinkle the goat cheese mix on top of the butternut slices and cook in the oven for about 30 min, or until the squash is soft when pierced with a knife. Serve.

 

Pizokel

Pizokel So on Saturday we had my fiancé’s birthday party: it was an absolutely fun and delightful evening. Continue reading

Thanks to the help of my friends I managed not having to run around the whole day… I actually even had time to have a twenty-minute siesta ;) For the event I knew my fiancé really wanted “pizzocheri” because he loves this dish. This pasta recipe is attributed to the Valtellina in Italy, which is a direct neighbour to the Swiss Canton of Grisons. Grisons also has another recipe which phonetically sounds like the pasta dish and these are the Pizokel, which actually look more like spaetzle that the more usual pasta. For Saturday’s dinner I made a combination and an adaptation of the two. What I really love about this recipe is the combination of the taste between the buckwheat flour of the Pizokel and the cheese…

Recipe adapted from:

stephanedecotterd.com (in French)

accademiadelpizzocchero.it (in Italian)

 

 

 

Pizokel

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 15 min (+ rest time)

Cook time: 25 min

 

Ingredients

160 g flour

250 g buckwheat flour

2 eggs

1 dl milk

2 tsp. salt

Nutmeg

2-2.5 dl water

50 g butter

250 g cheese (a cheese that is fruity and flavourful)

100 g grated Sbrinz or Parmesan

200 g savoy cabbage

230 g potatoes

1 garlic clove

1 tbsp. rapeseed oil

 

Recipe

For the Pizokel mix in a bowl the two flours, salt and nutmeg. Make a well in the centre, add the eggs and start working the batter while adding the milk little by little. The batter should be semi-liquid and should be sticky; to do this, add the water until it has reached such a consistence. Let the batter rest for at least an hour in the fridge.

Meanwhile, cut the cheese in small pieces, pass the garlic clove through a garlic crusher (and set them aside). Dice the potatoes and cut the savoy cabbage leaves into pieces. Bring salted water to a boil and add the potatoes, when they are almost cooked add the savoy cabbage for 2-3 minutes, remove from fire and strain. Set aside.

Remove the batter from the fridge. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Take a wooden board and make sure it’s damp with water. Place a portion of the batter on top of it and with the help of a wet spatula (I used a flat bladed knife), scrape small tbsp. portions into the boiling water. Once the pizokel come to the surface they are ready. Remove them with a slotted spoon and set them aside (add a little oil to keep them from sticking together). Repeat with the rest of the batter.

In a pan heat a tbsp. rapeseed oil and add the pizokel to brown, add the butter to improve browning process. Add the garlic, potatoes and savoy cabbage; continue cooking for a couple of minutes.

In a warm serving plate, place 1/3 of the pizokel, on top sprinkle half of each of the two cheeses. Repeat the layers once more and finally top with the remaining pizokel. Serve without waiting.

 

Brunsli – Swiss Chocolate Cookies

Brunsli - Swiss Chocolate Cookies
I don’t know about you but I love organising dinner parties. I get so excited when I can plan, prepare, cook, decorate, welcome the guests and entertain them. Continue reading

This Saturday, after a long time I’m hosting my fiancé’s birthday party at my home. The guest list is getting longer by the minute and honestly I don’t really know where to place everyone since I’m afraid the table will be too small for the number of guests. I have a couple of days to figure this out.

Talking about parties, soon the festive season will start and a thing I like to do is to spread the love with a few sweet treats like these “Basler Brunsli”. It’s the first time I’ve made them, usually I would taste the store bought ones and I can gladly say that these are so much better than the commercial ones. These traditional Swiss cookies, besides being gluten-free, have a great chocolaty taste without being dry. Now that I have tried these, I will never go back to the store bought ones. For this easy recipe I went around the Internet and saw that the ratios are basically everywhere the same. In my version of the recipe (which I adapted from the site: famillesuisse.ch ), I added a little cocoa powder and a little salt.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL WHO CELEBRATE IT! :D

Brunsli - Swiss Chocolate Cookies

 

Brunsli – Swiss Chocolate Cookies

 

Recipe for about 30-35 pieces (depending on the cookie cutter size)

Prep time: 30 min (+ 6-12 hours resting time)

Cooking time: 5 min

 

Ingredients:

250 g ground almonds

200 g sugar (I used brown sugar)

1 tbsp. cocoa powder

100 g dark chocolate (85% cocoa beans)

2 egg whites

½ tsp. salt

1 pinch cinnamon powder

 

Recipe

In a bowl mix the ground almonds, sugar, cocoa powder, salt and cinnamon.

In another bowl whisk the egg whites to a peak (optionally add a pinch of salt).

Gently blend the egg whites with the content of the first bowl.

Fill a third bowl with warm water (not boiling) and place the chocolate to soften for 3-4 min (it’s important not to stir). After the time has passed, remove the water and add the chocolate to the rest of the ingredients and gently fold the chocolate in.

Roll out the dough until it’s about 1 cm thick. To do this place the dough between to pieces of waxed paper, the situation will be less sticky and easier to work with.

Using the cookie cutter of your choice, start cutting out the shapes. To make the removal of the dough easier, dip the cookie cutter into a little sugar. When there is no more room to cut any more cookies, gather the dough and roll it out once more. Repeat until the dough is finished.

Place the cookies on a baking tray lined with waxed paper and let them dry between 6 hours to a whole night.

Heat the oven to 250 and bake for 5 min. Remove from the oven and let them cool on a rack.

Beetroot Pesto

Beetroot Pesto I always keep cooked beetroots in my fridge. They always end up being useful in one way or another. Continue reading

Last Friday I wanted to avoid staying too long outside in the cold, so I stayed home and cooked with whatever I had left at home. When I opened the fridge I saw the beetroots and I still had a little goat cheese left; that’s when I decided to give this pesto a try. I made the pesto in the morning and had it with some pasta in the evening. Besides the colour, which I find absolutely beautiful, I really enjoyed this recipe; it was a change from the traditional pesto recipe.

Beetroot Pesto Beetroot Pesto

 

Beetroot Pesto

 

Prep time: 5 min

 

Ingredients

90 g beetroots

35 g dry roasted walnuts

1 tbsp. chopped onions

1 tbsp. chopped parsley

Rock salt and pepper

50 g finely grated hard goat cheese

1.2 dl olive oil

 

Recipe

Cut the beetroot(s) into chunks.

In a food processor place the beetroots, walnuts, chopped onions parsley, salt and pepper. Process the ingredients and rectify taste with salt and pepper if needed.

Add the cheese and the olive oil and mix all together.

Serve with pasta, on crostini and why not with some beef?

 

 

Rolled Lasagne with Radicchio Walnuts and Sbrinz Cheese

Rolled Lasagne with Radicchio Walnuts and Cheese (Sbrinz) Sometimes life is funny. Continue reading

The evening I said “Yes! Yes!” to my future husband’s marriage proposal, I absolutely didn’t think about how things would naturally evolve; I guess neither did he. We haven’t got a date yet, but his father has already told all his brothers, aunts and uncles and cousins we’re getting married. He has also already gone to search for a possible venue and, he told me about it a couple of times already. My mother, on her side, has already gone to two bridal dress shops: on her own. I think it’s absolutely adorable what they’re doing and it makes me smile to see that they’re almost more stressed than we are.

This recipe is adapted from one of the first cookbooks I bought myself over ten years ago when I lived in Geneva. I guess that’s why it has personal value. The book is called “Cuisinez entre copains” (“Cook among friends” in English) and it’s from Sabine Sälazer and Sebastian Dickhaut. I like the appearance of these pasta “treats”. I serve the either as an appetizer or as a side dish.

Rolled Lasagne with Radicchio Walnuts and Cheese (Sbrinz)

Rolled Lasagne with Radicchio Walnuts and Cheese (Sbrinz)

Rolled Lasagne with Radicchio Walnuts and Sbrinz Cheese

 

Recipe for 24 pieces

Prep time: 25 min

Cook time: 25 min

 

Ingredients

6 lasagne sheets

360g radicchio leaves

60g grated Sbrinz or Parmesan (+ 5-10g extra to sprinkle on top)

2 tbsp. lemon juice

2 tbsp. finely chopped walnuts

40 g sour cream

1 tbsp. olive oil

Salt and pepper

(optional: finely chopped parsley)

 

Recipe

Heat oven at 190°C.

Chop the radicchio leaves into 1 cm pieces.

On a medium fire, heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in a pan and add the chopped radicchio, salt and pepper to taste and cook for 4-5 min. Add the sour cream, toss, cook for another 1-2 minutes and remove from heat. Add the walnuts, toss and set aside.

Place the lasagne sheets in pan with boiling water and immerse the pasta sheets to cook for 5 min.

Line a baking tray with wax paper. On a chopping board, place one lasagne sheet lengthwise. Spread 1/6 of the wilted radicchio with sour cream and walnuts on the pasta sheet. Leave a couple centimetres uncovered, as this will be the outer side of the rolled lasagne. Sprinkle 10g of the grated cheese on top and roll the pasta sheet. Cut the roll into 4 parts and place it on the baking tray. Repeat with the rest of the lasagne sheets.

Once all is rolled, drizzle a little olive oil on top and sprinkle the remaining grated cheese on top. Cook in the oven for 18-20 min. Optionally sprinkle the parsley on top and serve.

Cheese Spinach Mushroom Soufflé Omelette

Cheese Spinach and Mushroom Soufflé OmeletteIf you were to walk around Canton Ticino recently you would see a large amount of people wearing around with rain boots. Continue reading

The Lake Maggiore has been out of its usual borders since last week and last Saturday was also my first time moving around the town walking on those temporary boardwalks. I admit I found it exciting to see it for the first time because although this is something that happens every few years, I never had a chance to see it since I was either too small and was in school or later, I was away for my studies. It’s humbling to see what little man can do in such circumstances. Fortunately the situation has already been worse than this. Here are a few pictures I wanted to share regarding the past and present floods the region went through. Fortunately from today on, THE SUN IS BACK!

Here are a few pictures I found (the last two are mine, the rest I found on the Internet) of the town of Locarno flooded by water in past and more recent times.

Photo accreditations:

baobab.elet.polimi.it

http://www.ist-en.supsi.ch

liberatv.ch

 

 

Cheese Spinach Mushrooms Soufflé Omelette (Recipe adapted from suissegarantie.ch)

Recipe for 2

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 15 min

 

Ingredients

3 eggs

3 tbsp cream

70 g cooked spinach (excess moisture removed)

1 small onion

4-5 chestnut mushrooms

40-50 g Swiss cheese thinly sliced (I used Gruyere)

Nutmeg

Salt and pepper

1 ½ tbsp. butter

 

Recipe:

Finely chop the spinach and the onion and slice the mushrooms.

In a pan melt ½ a tbsp. butter and add the onion to soften for 4-5 min, then add the sliced mushrooms to brown on both sides for another 7-8 min. Once done, remove from the pan and set aside.

Separate the eggs and place the yolks and the whites in two separate bowls. Whisk the egg whites to a peak. Beat the egg yolks until they become frothy, then add the chopped spinach, a little nutmeg and salt and pepper. Take the whisked egg whites and gently fold the into the seasoned yolks.

On a low-medium fire, melt 1 tbsp. butter in the pan you used for the mushrooms and add the egg mix. Cook for 6-7 min then add the mushrooms on top along with the cheese. Cover and cook for another 4-5 min. Serve.