Exotic Rosti with Carrots

Exotic Rosti with CarrotsRosti is such a versatile dish and personally I love it. Usually when I make this dish I use raw potatoes but this time I wanted to do it in what many say is the real version: with boiled potatoes. Continue reading

I already cooked my potatoes the previous day so that would save me some time. Since this dish is something so versatile, this time, I wanted to make it a little more exotic than usual so I came up with this combination. I liked the crunch of the peanuts and I am a fan of their combination with carrots. I added some coriander so that it would bring some freshness to this easy dish. The only skill required is when you turn the potato cake over but once you know how to do it, you realize it’s nothing too daunting. My tip is to turn the rosti with conviction and then to let it slide back in the pan delicately (other it might break, this used to be the tricky part for me).

 

Exotic Rosti with CarrotsExotic Rosti with Carrots

 

Exotic Rosti with Carrots

 

Recipe for 2 as main / 4 as a side dish

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 25 min

 

Ingredients:

400 g boiled and peeled potatoes (the waxy kind will absorb less fat than the floury)

200 g peeled carrots

40 g chopped peanuts (about 2.5-3 tbsp)

4 tbsp chopped coriander

3 red chilies

Salt

2 tbsp rapeseed oil

 

Recipe:

Grate the potatoes and the carrots using a grater with wide holes. Add salt and mix.

Deseed the chili and finely chop it.

In a reasonably large non-stick pan heat the oil on a low-medium heat and add the potatoes, carrots, chili and salt. Cook for 5 minutes stirring occasionally to allow some of the moisture evaporate.

Add the peanuts and the coriander and stir. With a spatula shape the potatoes into a large cake, reduce the heat and cook for about 15 min. Place a dish or a lid on the pan and quickly flip the rosti. Let the cake slide back in the pan and cook the other side for another 10 min.

Chicken and Goat Cheese Stuffed Potato

Chicken and Goat Cheese Stuffed Potato On Saturday I went the easy way and bought a ready cooked chicken but since I went out in the evening I had some left over for Sunday. I wanted to do something with that cooked meat and then I saw I had the potatoes and I began craving for stuffed / baked potatoes. I like this food for easy/lazy days like Sundays. Continue reading

This is the day of the week I usually stay at home sit next to the fireplace and either read or watch a film; that is after I go for my run. I prepared the potatoes and while they were in the oven I got my running outfit on and went for my run. It was pure joy. After a month or more we are finally having more consecutive days of sun. I noticed these last few days I keep on telling myself in what a good mood I am and how much more energy I have. I really enjoyed my run and the good news is that by the time I got back home the potatoes were ready to be stuffed… and very soon tasted.

Chicken and Goat Cheese Stuffed Potato

Chicken and Goat Cheese Stuffed Potato

Chicken and Goat Cheese Stuffed Potato

 

Chicken and Goat Cheese Stuffed Potato

 

Recipe for 4 potatoes

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 1h 10 min

 

Ingredients:

4 large floury potatoes

Olive oil

120 g cooked chicken

120 g goat cheese

2 tsp chopped rosemary

2 tsp thyme leaves

¼ tsp cayenne pepper

2 tbsp sour cream

Salt and pepper

1-2 spring onions

 

Recipe:

Heat oven at 180°C.

Clean the potatoes and place them in a bowl. Drizzle a little olive oil on them, coat and sprinkle with salt. Place the potatoes in the oven on a rack (you can some oven paper on another rack under the potatoes in case moisture should drip down). Cook for about one hour. Insert a knife in the potatoes to check that the center of the potato is soft.

Chop the chicken and the goat cheese and place them in a bowl. Add the sour cream, rosemary, thyme, cayenne pepper and salt and pepper to taste. Slice the spring onion and set aside.

Remove the potatoes from the oven and cut out a wedge of about 1/3. Remove the skin from the cut out wedges and add the potato meat to the bowl with the chicken and goat cheese. Roughly mash the potatoes and mix well.

Scrape a little the center of the four potatoes and fill them with the prepared stuffing. Add the spring onions on top. Replace in the oven for 8-10 min. Serve with a salad.

Winter Vegetable Stir Fry

Mustardy Winter Vegetable Stir-Fry I am really trying hard to stick to seasonal vegetables, especially that in this season the choice is quite limited in Switzerland. Continue reading

The good thing is though, it’s a work out for my creativity and I like to try out recipes  with what I have in my fridge. And one thing which is never missing in my fridge is veggies. It was not always like this, in the past the only vegetables I prepared at home were salad and frozen vegetables. I liked vegetables but I didn’t feel confident enough to through myself and admittedly I was lazy. I had the habit and knowledge of veggies but not the hang of it. At least I was on the right path, unlike when I was a teenager. Well, during my high school years my diet consisted of pizzas, crêpes and yes salads: only when, with some friends, we would go on a diet. Our resolution lasted about two days and then we’d just forget about it. The longest time we held on was five days. I remember once we set a punishment where if one of us would fall into temptation even with just one bite of chocolate, chips, cheese… we would have to get down and do a hundred sit ups. The end of the diet came when one of us fell for chocolate and on about her forty-fifth sit-up we told ourselves that a few apples a day was okay but as a dessert.

Mustardy Winter Vegetable Stir-Fry

Winter Vegetable Stir-Fry

 

Recipe for 2 as main / 2 as side dish

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 30 min

 

Ingredients :

400 g waxy potatoes (I used the Charlotte kind)

2 carrots

1 small leek

150 g Savoy cabbage

2 tbsp rapeseed oil

2 heaped tsp mustard powder

½ tsp paprika

2 dl water

2-3 tbsp crème fraîche

2 tbsp pumpkin seeds

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe:

Cut the potatoes lengthwise and slice each half into 1 cm pieces. Cut the carrot into 3-4 cm long strips. Half the leek and slice into 2 cm pieces. Roughly cut the Savoy cabbage.

Heat 2 tbsp rapeseed oil and add the potatoes with some salt to brown on all sides for about 8 min, stir occasionally. Add the mustard powder and the other ingredients one at the time, regularly stirring to mix the ingredients. Add the water and ½ tsp salt and cook on a medium low heat for about 25 min, stir occasionally.

Once the vegetables are done add the crème fraîche, stir and cook for another 3-4 min. Correct the taste if needed and add the pumpkin seeds.  Serve warm, as a main dish or as a side with meat or fish.

Magenbrot – Swiss Honey Tidbits

Magenbrot Once someone told me that he only drinks wine when there are other people; I could say that is my case but with cookies. Continue reading

I don’t eat a lot of cookies but I found out that when there are people around I seem to enjoy them more.  I went ahead and made this “Magenbrot” recipe and a few hours later they were gone: I kept a few and with the rest I made little packages and them to my mother and her boyfriend and a few other friends. It was some time I had wanted to try this recipe of “Magenbrot”. Although I am not a huge fan of candied fruit, it’s a must in this recipe. My recipe from an old Swiss cookbook from Betty Bossy only called for candied citrus fruits (lemons and oranges) but I found some cherries. I prefer the taste of candied cherries so I replaced the orange with the ruby colored fruits.

Magenbrot

Magenbrot

 

Magenbrot – Swiss Honey Tidbits

 

Prep time: 25-30 min (+ one night rest)

Cook time: 25 min

 

Ingredients:

For the dough:

250 g honey

250 g sugar

500 g flour

25 g ground melba toasts

1 tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp ground cloves

50 g candied cherries chopped

50 g candied cherries chopped

¾ tsp sodium bicarbonate

¾ tsp cream of tartar

1 ¼ dl milk

 

For the icing:

300 g sugar

1 dl water

40 g dark chocolate

 

Add the honey and sugar to a pan and heat to 60°C. Constantly stir and control the heat with a meat thermometer.

In a bowl mix the flour, the melba toast, cinnamon, ground cloves, candied cherries and lemons. In another recipient mix the sodium bicarbonate and the cream of tartar with the milk and add to the honey and sugar. Add the four mix, quickly knead, cover and leave to rest for the night.

Heat oven at 180°C.

Divide the dough into 8 parts and roll out until it reaches 2 cm diameter. Line 2 baking trays  with parchment paper and place four portions in each leaving a space of at least 4 cm between them. Place in oven for 15 minutes. Once ready let them cool and cut to make 2 cm slices.

Prepare the icing by placing in a pan the 300g sugar with 1 dl water. Bring to a boil while stirring and add the chocolate cut into pieces to melt. Stir again to mix in the chocolate. Take a quarter of the cookies, place them in the icing and stir gently to coat them. Place on a rack to dry. Repeat with the rest of the cookies. In case the icing should be too liquid place on fire and reduce. In case the icing is too thick, add some water. Store the Magenbrot in a closed cookie jar.

Rustic Gougères (Cheese Puffs) with Alpine Cheese and Chives

Rustic Gougères (Cheese Puffs) with Alpine Cheese and ChivesLately what I crave most is some sun. Between snow, cloudy weather and rain (like now) I can say I’ve had enough. When it’s like this I tend to not only crave for the sun but also for some cheese. Continue reading

I was doing my groceries yesterday and I saw some alpine cheese which resembles Gruyere cheese but it has a stronger herbal taste. It was a good chunk and when I got home I looked among my books to find something I could do with it. In my old cookbook for students I found a Gougère recipe and decided to give it a try. This recipe follows the method used to make the “pâte à choux” but contains cheese. In my first attempt I followed the recipe but I shaped the dough into a crown. In the oven it looked great but once I removed it, it began looking like a deflated plastic swimming pool. Before else I went online to look for tips to get it right. I learned that by leaving the “Gougères” in the switched off oven for a few minutes prevents them from deflating (the recipe is in French: www.marmiton.org ). I went on and gave it a second try but instead of the crown I decided to make puffs and to follow the tip I had found: the result was much more satisfying this time.
Rustic Gougères (Cheese Puffs) with Alpine Cheese and Chives Rustic Gougères (Cheese Puffs) with Alpine Cheese and Chives Rustic Gougères (Cheese Puffs) with Alpine Cheese and Chives Rustic Gougères (Cheese Puffs) with Alpine Cheese and Chives Rustic Gougères (Cheese Puffs) with Alpine Cheese and Chives

 

Rustic Gougères (Cheese Puffs) with Alpine Cheese and Chives

 

Makes about 38 puffs

Prep time : 22 min

Cook Time: 35 min

 

Ingredients:

2.5 dl water

75 g butter

4 eggs

150 g flour

150 g grated Gruyère cheese or similar kind

2 tbsp chopped chives

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe:

Heat oven at 200°C.

Place the water, the butter and a pinch of salt in a pan and bring to a boil. Remove from fire and add the flour all at once. Mix energetically and replace on a low heat for about 1 minute stirring to further remove moisture. Turn heat off and leave the dough aside to cool a little.

Once the dough has cooled integrate the eggs one at the time. You can do this process either using your hands or even better with an electric mixer. If the dough is falls off the spatula but is not liquid, the consistency is right.  Add the cheese, the chives and pepper and mix again.

Line a baking tray with parchment paper and with the help of a couple of teaspoons make little balls the size of a large walnut. Just be careful not to place the balls too near between them.  Leave them in the oven for 25 minutes. Turn off the oven but leave the cheese puffs in for 5 minutes with the oven door slightly open.

Take them out and eat them warm or cold, filled with whatever you like (vegetables, ham, chicken…) for lunch  or first course or like this, as an appetizer.

Pink Polenta Slices with Lamb’s Lettuce and Goat Cheese Salad

Pink Polenta Slices with Lamb’s Lettuce and Goat Cheese Salad 3When I looked at this dish yesterday I felt I succeeded in my quest for the day: add colour around me. I love snow and like yesterday, I love going for a walk around my village. I don’t regret a moment although I admit  I didn’t dare going with my scooter.

Continue reading

I said I love snow but these past 2-3 weeks I have only seen the sun for two days and when it’s like this, I feel drained and join the weather complaining crowd. I was some time since I had made polenta and as St. Valentine is approaching I thought the colour works well for the occasion. I had fun trying this recipe and I liked the flavor combination between the salad and the polenta with the beetroot. The only thing I would say is that next time I might change the shape because like this they remind me of hamburgers.

Pink Polenta Slices with Lamb’s Lettuce and Goat Cheese Salad 4

Pink Polenta Slices with Lamb’s Lettuce and Goat Cheese Salad

 

Recipe for 2

Prep time: 8-10 min

Cook time: 15-20 min

 

Ingredients:

 

80 g cooked beetroots

1 dl milk

2dl stock

120g fine grain polenta

1 tbsp butter

Salt and pepper

3 tbsp olive oil

1.5 tbsp white wine vinegar

3 tbsp chopped walnuts (dry roast them for a  more intense taste)

3 tbsp dried cranberries

50 g brie made with goat cheese ( or another goat milk based but creamy cheese)

 

Recipe:

Cut the beetroot into chunks and put it in a mixer with the milk. Whiz until smooth and pour into a pan with the stock. Bring to a boil and sprinkle in the polenta. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon on a low fire for 7-9 min. Add water if needed and season with salt to taste.

Remove the polenta from the fire, add the butter and mix it in. Pour the mass on a cutting board lined with oven paper. Take another piece of oven paper and place it on the polenta. With another cutting board, press down until the mass is about 2 cm thick. Set aside and leave to cool.

Once it has cooled down cut into the shape you prefer; I made rounds squares are just as fine ( you will actually waste less polenta this way).

Heat 1 tbsp olive oil on a medium heat and add the slices to brown, about 3-4 min per side.

Meanwhile prepare the dressing with the olive oil and the vinegar. Cut the cheese into about 1 cm cubes and add them to the salad with the walnuts and the dried cranberries. Add the dressing to the salad, toss and add the rest. Serve with polenta slices.

Cocoa Eggy Bread with Caramelized Pears

Cocoa Eggy Bread with Caramelized PearsI do love fresh bread out of the baker but on the other side I am also a huge fan of its potential when it goes stale. Continue reading

Most of the time I made bread crumbs but when it hasn’t gone too dry, I make eggy bread or “pain perdu” as I usually call it. Since my mother comes from the French region of Switzerland I guess my cooking has been under much of her influence. It didn’t happen often that my mother made “pain perdu”, but because it was a once in a while thing, I really enjoyed it. She used to serve it with some jam, maybe one she made using the fruits of our garden. She didn’t add any cocoa but when I tasted this recipe I was back in the eighties. This super simple recipe is a great reason not to waste bread. Eggy bread is something you can make sweet or savoury and you can serve it with just about anything; it’s like a pancake or a crepe.                                                             The “pain perdu” is a French recipe but as Switzerland is in the middle of countries known for their culinary heritage we have always been happy to borrow their ideas. The second thing is that many of our cantons have belonged to those same countries during one historic period or another. We have a shared culinary tradition with regions of France, Italy, Austria and Germany. My canton Ticino, for example,  has only been made Swiss during the Napoleonic empire in 1803.

 

Cocoa Eggy Bread with Caramelized Pears

 

Cocoa Eggy Bread with Caramelized Pears

 

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 12-15 min

 

Ingredients:

For the Cocoa Eggy Bread:

8 medium sized slices of Zopf (the kind of bread I used) bread or brioche, about 1-1.5 cm

2 eggs

2 dl milk

2 heaped tsp cocoa powder

4 tbsp icing sugar

2-3 tbsp butter

Optional: icing sugar to decorate before serving

 

For the pears:

2 pears

3 tbsp icing sugar

1 tsp of water

1 tbsp butter

 

Recipe:

Peel and core the pears and cut the in half lengthways. Divide each half in two (top and bottom) and cut the fruit into wedges.

Melt the butter in a pan and add the pears, sugar and water. Cook on a medium heat to caramelize for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once ready set aside.

While the pears are caramelizing, in a bowl mix the eggs, the milk, the sugar and the cocoa.

Melt half of the butter in a non-stick pan over medium heat.  Dip half of the bread slices in the egg/milk/sugar/cocoa mix and place them in the pan with the butter.  Brown the slices on each side for about 2-3 minutes. Repeat with the other batch of bread slices.

Serve with the caramelized apples and optionally sprinkle a little icing sugar on the bread.

Cheesy Scrambled Egg and Savoy Cabbage Pasta

Cheesy Scrambled Egg and Savoy Cabbage Pasta 2I only have one memory in my childhood which is related to eating eggs and that’s  how my father used to make it for me when I was a child. Continue reading

Using a raw egg we’d get from our local butcher, he would put in some sugar and whisk it until it got foamy. I’d eat it with a spoon. Today when I think back about those moments I wonder whether we were unaware of the consequences then or whether we have become a society of hypochondriacs. Anyway, I am still here and I am enjoying the potential of eggs in the kitchen more and more. This week I felt like having pasta and I thought eggs would be a good alternative to meat. I thought that scrambled eggs could have been a good idea instead of a more traditional sauce. Oh, and since I learned how to make scrambled egg I love making them. A couple years ago, with my boyfriend we went through a period where we made a lot of brunches. I once went on-line to see how to make them well and found Gordon Ramsay’s video. Since then I often make my eggs this way. For this recipe though, I also added some grated cheese.

 

Cheesy Scrambled Egg and Savoy Cabbage Pasta 1

 

Cheesy Scrambled Egg and Savoy Cabbage Pasta

 

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 9 min

Recipe for 2

 

Ingredients:

160 g short pasta (caserecce, penne, farfalle….)

80-100 g Savoy cabbage leaves

2 eggs

2 tbsp butter

40 g grated Sbrinz cheese (alternatively you can use parmesan)

2 tbsp cream

Salt and pepper

1spring onion

Optional: Cayenne pepper

 

Recipe:

Roughly cut the cabbage leaves into small pieces (about 1 cm long).

Cook pasta in salty water according to package instructions. 2 minutes before it’s ready add the cabbage leaves to the pasta. Remove water, add half of the butter to the warm pasta a leave to melt.

While the pasta is cooking, break the eggs in a pan, add the other tablespoon of butter and the cheese. Place on a medium heat and start stirring without stopping. When the egg starts to cook, remove from fire and continue stirring. Replace on the heat when you see the pan is cooling down. The idea is that while constantly stirring you move the pan on and off the heat. Once the egg is nice and creamy add the cream and stir again. Season with pepper and cayenne pepper.

Slice the spring onion.

Add the eggs to the pasta and cabbage with the spring onion and toss. Serve without waiting.