Asparagus Goat Cheese Flatbread Pizza

Asparagus Goat Cheese Flatbread Pizza Lately I really feel like making more finger food and light plates. With the trees blossoming and the days becoming longer and (sometimes) warmer, I want lighter and/or fresher dishes. Continue reading

I didn’t feel like having a normal size pizza so I made these instead and for me they it worked well a lunch dish with a salad on the side. I decided to use asparagus and goat cheese as a topping because I love this flavour combination and find it goes well with the nuttiness of sesame.  For the dough I used the 5:3 ratio for flour to water and added a little sesame oil. Because this time I wants to bake my flatbreads rather than placing them in a pan, I followed the directions I found on the bbc.co.uk  site. Once the flatbreads were done I was a little worried they’d be too dry, but once I tasted them I was happy with the result, I found that the asparagus and the cheese brought enough moisture.

 

Asparagus Goat Cheese Flatbread Pizza

Asparagus Goat Cheese Flatbread Pizza

Recipe for four flatbread pizzas, for 6-8 people as an appetizer or 2-3 as a main meal

 

Prep time: 10 min + 30 min rest

Cook time: 6 min

 

Ingredients

For the flatbreads

140g flour

140g whole wheat flour

180 ml lukewarm water

½ tsp instant yeast

2 tsp olive oil + more to grease the baking tray

¼ tsp sugar

salt

 

For the topping

16 thin cooked asparagus

200g crumbled goat cheese log (or grated hard goat cheese)

Zest of ½ lemon, chopped

1.5 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

4 tbsp thinly sliced spring onions

toasted sesame oil

 

Recipe

In a bowl place the water and the yeast, mix and set aside. In another bowl place the flours, the salt and the sugar. Make a well in the middle of the flour, add the water and combine. Add the sesame and olive oil and knead the dough for 5 minutes; until the dough is soft and elastic. Shape the dough in a ball, cover with a tea towel and leave to rest for a half hour.

Heat the oven at maximum temperature.

Take the dough and divide it into four parts. On a lightly floured surface, using your hands or a rolling pin, flatten the flatbreads out until they are about ½ centimetre thick.

Place the flatbreads on a lightly oiled baking tray and leave the oven under the top burner for 2-3 min. Turn the dough and evenly add the asparagus topped with the goat cheese, sesame seeds and lemon zest. Continue to bake for another couple of minutes, or until the dough is nicely browned.

Remove from the oven and top the flatbreads with the sliced spring onion and a light drizzle of toasted sesame oil. Serve as soon as possible.

Carrot cake

Carrot Cake One thing I really appreciate since having a blog is that, bit by bit, I am recollecting my mother’s recipes which gave such great taste to my childhood. Continue reading

Last Thursday we got together and made this carrot cake. She arrived home with all the ingredients and while we were having coffee at the kitchen counter I saw she was eager to start. My impression was confirmed when she said:

“So, two more minutes and then let’s bake.”

But then, she is always a little stressed…As a reminder of the ingredients and procedure she took a picture of the carrot cake recipe which is part of an actual cooking encyclopaedia from the 70’s-80’s (there are 18 volumes or so). We moved to the kitchen and while she grated the carrots I prepared the batter. This moment felt like going back in time, when we would bake something or make cookies together. One recipe I used to particularly like was the Cola cake which was a recipe I had gotten from a children’s book. By twelve the cake was out of the oven and I prepared a with spelt salad. We didn’t have dessert but as soon as she left, I have a couple slices of my share of the cake and I was just delicious. The lemon zest gives a fresh taste to the cake and the almonds add to the texture.

 

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake

Carrot cake

Recipe for a cm cake mould

 

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 45 min

 

Ingredients

250 g grated carrots

4 eggs

150 g sugar

100 g flour

100 g almonds

Zest of 1 lemon

4 level spoonful raising powder

1 three fingered pinch of salt

 

Recipe

Heat oven at 180°C.

Separate the egg whites form the yolks. In a bowl mix the sugar with the yolks.  Sift the flour and the raising powder and blend it well with the yolk and sugar and mix.

Whisk the egg withes with the pinch of salt to a peak.

Chop the almonds and add them with the carrots and lemon zest to the batter.

Add the pinch of salt to the egg whites and whisk them to a peak. Gently combine them to the batter; just remember not to over work the mass.

Grease a cake mold with oil and add the batter. Place in the oven for 45 minutes. Check if center is done by inserting a toothpick in the middle. If it comes out dry, remove the cake from the oven and leave it to rest. After 10-15 minutes remove it from the mold and place it on a rack to finish cooling.

Serve with a little icing sugar sprinkled on it or a lemon icing.

 

Goat Cheese and Apple Endive Wraps

Endive Wraps with Goat Cheese and Apple This past week the weather has bending towards summer rather than spring and we have reached 27°C. Continue reading

Because of these temperatures I felt like having something seasonal but refreshing so I made these endive wraps. With a friend we enjoyed these wraps with a nice glass of wine; sitting on the (not so comfortable) wooden church benches on my terrace. It was great to feel the outdoor air only wearing a sweater. I had in mind of making some kind of lettuce wrap but instead I found some nice endive a took those instead. The tanginess of the endive leaves with the creamy goat cheese and the sweet but slightly sour apples are a combination I always enjoy. I added some walnuts chives and dried cranberries to complete the flavour.

Endive Wraps with Goat Cheese and Apple 1Endive Wraps with Goat Cheese and Apple Endive Wraps with Goat Cheese and Apple

Goat Cheese and Apple Endive Wraps

 

For 14 pieces

Prep time: 10 min

 

Ingredients

140 g goat cheese log

1 apple (I used braeburn)

3 tbsp chopped dried cranberries

4 tbsp chopped chives

3 tbsp chopped walnuts

4 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp lemon juice

Salt and pepper

14 endive leaves

 

Recipe

Cut the goat cheese into cubes of a small centimetre. Peel and core the apple and cut into cubes the same size as the goat cheese.

Place the cheese and apples in a bowl; add the dried cranberries, the chives, the walnuts and mix.

In another bowl mix the olive oil, the lemon juice, salt and pepper. Add ¾ of the dressing to goat cheese and apple and mix. Fill the endive leaves with this mix and drizzle the rest of the dressing on top them.

Serve as an appetizer.

Funivin – Wine Tasting and a Ride on the Funicular Crans-Montana Sierre

Last Saturday I went again to Crans-Montana and with a couple of old friends and my boyfriend we headed to the funicular for an excursion I was really looking forward to. Continue reading

 Before we went down we got our tickets and the man explained us where we had to walk to in order to reach the “Château de Villa” in Sierre (a short walk away from the Muraz stop). We went all the way to Sierre and from there we reached the place in about 10 minutes.

I hoped the weather would be sunnier (the pictures would have gained some shine) but in the end it was so warm that by the time we got to the “Château de Villa” I had removed my coat and a couple of layers. I already know this place because we sometimes come here for dinner. I recommend it because the food is good and traditional and I love the possibility of tasting different raclette cheeses for around the canton Valais. This time we were there for the wine so we entered the cellar and handed our tickets to the girl at the bar.

With the tickets, besides the ride and the wine tasting there is also a free entrance to the wine museum next door. I guess we were supposed to visit the museum before heading to the wine tasting and since the staff was not too aware of how we should proceed we began by the tasting session.

The first wine we had was a Fendant

Funivin Excursion 11

Petite Arvine

Funivin Excursion 13

Sauvignon Blanc

Funivin Excursion 14

Humagne Rouge

Funivin Excursion 16

Cornalin

Funivin Excursion 17

All the wines were very nice but my favourites were the petite Arvine and the Sauvignon Blanc. We enjoyed the moment so much that when we were done with the wine tasting we ordered a bottle along with a couple of plates of dried meat. Meanwhile we didn’t even realize that time was going by and in the end it got too late to visit the museum. It would have been nice to see it although I think, actually I’m sure that this is not the last time I will go on this excursion. I promise I will make an update on the museum when I return there.

The ride on the funicular always makes me dream of flying and the “Château de Villa” is a beautiful destination outside and inside. Inside, I also have to say the service was very friendly and this something of personal importance. The only thing is that I guess that not many people take advantage of this offer. When I asked the young waitress whether this excursion is popular she said that about once a month they get someone doing this activity. I had to make a few phone calls before I got all the answers I needed. Now I know and it’s an easy thing as there is no need to book anything. Thanks Bibbo, Fabio and Stefano for the company and thanks to the fruits of the land.

Funivin Excursion 18

Links:

www.sierre-anniviers-booking.com

www.chateaudevilla.ch

For who: Adults

When: From March to October – the last ride of the funicular is at 21:15.

What: a return ticket with the funicular Montana-Sierre or Sierre Montana, a visit to the vine museum and a tasting session of 4 wines and a welcome drink.

Price: 33.- CHF (instead of 52.-)

Swiss Cheese Tatsch with Carrots

Swiss Cheese Tatsch with Carrots The ‘Tatsch’ is another typical recipe which comes from the Graubünden canton; so basically next door to my region. Continue reading

This is actually a region I am enjoying more and more as it has a lot of recipes I really enjoy. The ‘Tatsch’ in my book is described as a kind of roasted spaezle which requires less time in the making. I had already tried this from a book I had at home and thought it was nice but that I would remake it with more flavour. I left the recipe aside for a while and did not really think about it any more until I saw the version from schweizerkaese.ch (recipe in German) and decided to try this one. I really liked the taste of this version and I particularly liked its light consistence. I totally recommend this recipe as it’s something easy and truly delicious. I will make this again and maybe add some herbs or even cooked vegetables?

Swiss Cheese Tatsch with Carrots Swiss Cheese Tatsch with Carrots Swiss Cheese Tatsch with Carrots Swiss Cheese Tatsch with Carrots

 

Swiss Cheese Tatsch with Carrots

 

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 20 min + 30 min resting time

Cook time: 15 min

 

Ingredients

For the Tatch:

100 g flour

100 g grated hard cheese – I used Appenzeller but you can use another tasty hard cheese such as Gruyère

2 egg yolks

2.5 dl milk

1 tsp salt

2 egg whites

Butter for cooking

 

For the vegetables:

320 g peeled carrots

The zest of one lemon

1 ½ tbsp raisins

3 tbsp chopped parsley

1 large shallot or 2 small ones

1 tbsp rapeseed oil

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe

For the tatsch:

In a bowl, stir together the flour, egg yolks, milk, cheese  and salt to a smooth dough. Leave to rest for 30 min.

Whisk the egg whites to a peak.

Add the egg whites into the batter and fold delicately (do not over work the mass).

Melt the butter in a large, non-stick pan and pour to the batter. Cover and cook over a low heat to solidify and colour on one side. After about 10 min, turn around the tatsch with the help of a pan lid and cook second side. Cook until golden brown, for about 4-5 min. Break the tatsch up into pieces with the help of a couple of forks or a spatula.

 

While the tatsch is resting, you can prepare the carrots:

Cut the carrots and the shallot into strips about 4 cm long.

In a pan with 1 tbsp rapeseed oil, add the shallot to soften on a low fire for five minutes. Stir in the carrots, salt, pepper, lemon zest and a little water. Cover and cook on a low-medium heat for about 8 min, or until they have softened. Stir occasionally.

When ready add the parsley and raisins, stir and serve with the tatsch.

Roasted Jerusalem Artichoke, Brussels Sprouts and Potatoes

Roasted Jerusalem Artichoke Brussels Sprouts and Potatoes I guess I have a 90% obsession with vegetables and healthy eating (the 10% I keep for indulgence). Continue reading

I am fascinated about nutrition and what it can do. On Saturday, I had a long conversation on the subject over a delicious Indian dinner. I was with my boyfriend and our friend Luca, who I learned is just as interested on the subject. On the other hand, this is the kind of conversation where I do not hear much on my boyfriend’s side as he does not seem to really care. By the way, he has a terrible and terribly boring diet.  Sometimes I wonder if my focus on food and nutrition is not increased by his lack of interest in what he ingests. I care about his health and I am a little of a teaser. I am someone who cannot stay one day without vegetables and this is a recipe I came up with, when I had lunch with my mother this last weekend. When we eat together, there’s always vegetables… and a little wine and that’s a moment where I really feel at home.

Roasted Jerusalem Artichoke Brussels Sprouts and Potatoes

Roasted Jerusalem Artichoke, Brussels Sprouts and Potatoes

Recipe for 4 as a side dish

Prep time: 15-20 min

Cook time: 40-45 min

 

Ingredients:

340 g Brussels sprouts

340 g Jerusalem artichoke

400 g waxy potatoes

3-4 garlic cloves

2 tsp fresh thyme leaves

3 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp hazelnut oil

2 tbsp roasted roughly chopped hazelnuts

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe:

Heat oven at 190°C.

Remove any yellowish leaves from the Brussels sprout and cut them in half. Cut the Jerusalem artichoke in half lengthwise and repeat the action with each half. Cut the potatoes into roughly the same size as the Jerusalem artichoke.

Place the vegetables in a baking tray and add 2 tbsp olive oil with salt and pepper to taste. Toss and place in the oven. Cook for 20 min, toss the vegetables and cook for another 20-25 min.

Meanwhile, in a bowl mix the hazelnut oil, the rest of the olive oil, the lemon juice salt and pepper.

Once the vegetables are ready, remove them from the oven, sprinkle the thyme leaves add the dressing and finally the chopped hazelnuts. Toss and serve warm either alone or as a side dish.

Goat Cheese Rosemary and Thyme Cornbread

Goat Cheese Rosemary and Thyme Cornbread Cornbread is something I like to serve when I have friends coming over for an aperitif. Continue reading

This time the context was more private; my boyfriend and I enjoyed this cornbread with a great Spanish red wine. The whole moment was very comforting because we were standing next to the fireplace with all those goodies and outside it was raining; we could hear the raindrops falling on the roof. This is the kind of recipe I like to decline according to my taste on the moment. I found a basic recipe for cornbread on the French site cuisineaz . Apart from the taste, I like the ratio of this recipe because I find it easy to remember and it’s also ready in a short time. In my version of the recipe I replaced a little of the milk with cream and I added some goat cheese and herbs. I went for the goat cheese, rosemary and thyme combination because the other day, while I was doing my groceries I saw a fresh goat cheese which had the two herbs in it and I liked the idea of these ingredients together.

 

Goat Cheese Rosemary and Thyme Cornbread

 

Goat Cheese Rosemary and Thyme Cornbread

 

Recipe for a 18 cm cake pan with high sides.

Prep time : 10 min

Cook time : 30-35 min

 

Ingredients :

115 g fine polenta flour

115 g flour

1.3 dl milk

4 tbsp cream

1 bag (7 g) dry yeast

20 g cooled melted butter

70 g hard goat cheese

1 tbsp finely chopped rosemary

1 tbsp thyme leaves

½  tsp salt

1 egg

Pepper

2 tsp sugar

Oil

 

Recipe:

Heat oven at 150° C.

Grate the cheese.

In a bowl mix flour, polenta, yeast sugar and salt and pepper. In another bowl wish the egg with a fork, add the milk and the melted butter and lightly mix and add to the flour. Blend all the ingredients together.

Now include the rosemary, the thyme and the cheese.  Blend again.

Grease the cake tin with the oil and add the preparation. Place in the oven for 30-35 min. If you want, you can save a little of the goat cheese and sprinkle it over the bread about 10 min before it’s ready (that’s what I did). Check if it’s ready by inserting a toothpick, if it come out dry, the bread is ready. Remove from mould and leave to cool before serving.

Quinoa Beetroot and Coconut Cakes

Quinoa Beetroot and Coconut Cakes I’m happy because lately I am back to eating more healthy foods. In the book The Flavour Thesaurus, there was a flavour combination I was curious to try: beetroot and coconut. Continue reading

I tried this recipe also because I found some raw beetroot and wanted to make something new. It was one day my mother came over and since it had been at least two weeks we had not shared a moment together I wanted to use ingredients I know she really likes. In front of the fireplace, with a glass of wine we had our lunch on the coffee table. When I was small this used to be our lunch style when my father was away for either work or a golf trip with his friends. I always found it fun to eat, once in a while, in relaxed way.
 

Quinoa Beetroot and Coconut Cakes

Quinoa Beetroot and Coconut Cakes

 

Recipe for 4

Prep time : 10 min

Cook time : 25-30 min

 

Ingredients :

 

140 g quinoa

80 g raw beetroot

1 onion

2-3 red chillies

4 tsp coconut cream

2 eggs

Rapeseed oil

Salt

 

Recipe:

Cook the quinoa in two times its amount in water for 15 minutes and until water is completely absorbed.

Grate the beetroot and the onion and finely chop the chilli.

Once the quinoa is cooked remove from heat and add the coconut cream while still warm and mix. Add the beetroot, the onion, the chillies, the salt, the eggs and mix all together well.

On a medium heat add a little oil to a non-stick pan. Take a heaped tablespoon of the quinoa preparation and place it in the pan. Repeat with the rest of the portions. You will probably have to make this in batches like I did (in case keep them warm in the oven). Cook the cakes for 3-4 min, turn them and cook for another 2-3 min.

Serve warm with sour cream with some coriander in it.