Asparagus and Egg Quesadilla

Asparagus and Egg Quesadilla I love it when a new season comes, besides the changes; I love checking out the new seasonal products. A few weeks ago I saw the first asparaguses but I refuse to buy something as fresh as a vegetable that has travelled from another continent. I don’t know when these vegetables were picked and by the time they arrive they have lost so much of their nutritional value. Continue reading

When I do my groceries I often wonder how many people look at where their vegetables and fruits come from. Well, the asparaguses I found came from Spain, it’s not local but at least the distance isn’t measured in oceans. I was really excited to finally eat them again so I decided to make something quick and which I can eat with my hands. I wanted to combine eggs and asparagus because it’s a combination I love and from there I could have either made a quiche or something like this, or I could make something quicker like a sandwich… or a quesadilla. Finally I went for the quesadilla and here is the result.

Asparagus and Egg Quesadilla

 

 

Asparagus and Egg Quesadilla

 

Recipe for 1 unit – for about 4 as an appetizer or for 2 as a meal

Prep time: 5 min

Cook time: 10-12 min

 

Ingredients

3 eggs

160 g asparagus

50 g grated Gruyere cheese

10 g butter

1 heaped tbsp. sour cream

Salt and pepper

2 large flour tortilla

3/4 tbsp. rapeseed oil

 

Recipe

Cut the asparagus into about 0.5cm pieces.

On a medium fire, heat the oil and add the chopped asparagus to brown for 5-7 minutes. Once ready set the vegetables aside and wipe the pan with some kitchen paper.

In a small pan break the three eggs and add the butter. Then place it on a low heat blending the ingredients together. Continue to whisk until the eggs are cooked (more or less 5 min). Remove from the fire and add the sour cream with salt and pepper to taste. Then combine the asparagus.

Take one flour tortilla and sprinkle half of the cheese on top, then spread over the egg/asparagus mix, then the remaining cheese and finally top with the second tortilla. Cook 1 min. on each side. Cut the quesadilla into slices and serve.

Quinoa Tomato Baked Eggs

Quinoa Tomato Baked Eggs Last Sunday, while mister was still in bed recuperating from an evening campaigning through the region, I got into the kitchen and prepared this quinoa, tomato baked eggs. Continue reading

Usually I try to stick to seasonal products but I have to say that I was really in for a change. I made this quick and healthy dish for the two of us and even if my fiancé just had a bite because he had to leave to another of his political events, I still managed to make him eat something, something healthier that he usually does when we are not together. By the way, how do you get a man to care more about what passes through his stomach? After almost eight years I still haven’t figured that out… when you care about someone it’s hard not to nag him about taking better care of himself. My hopes are still up and in the meantime I hope you’ll enjoy this recipe 🙂

Quinoa Tomato Baked Eggs

 

Quinoa Tomato Baked Eggs

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 5 min

Coo time: 20-25 min

 

Ingredients

220 g quinoa

250 g cherry tomatoes

1 onion

1 tsp. dried oregano

½ tbsp. tomato paste

1 tbsp. olive oil

1-2 chilli pepper(s)

Salt and pepper

4 eggs

2 tbsp. chopped parsley

Recipe

 

Cook the quinoa in 1 ½ times its volume in water for 12-15 min. Once done set aside.

Chop the onion and the chilli pepper and divide the cherry tomatoes into 4.

Heat the oil in a pan and add the onions and chilli, cook for 4-5 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes with the oregano, salt and pepper and cook on a low-medium fire for 10 min. Once the tomatoes start breaking apart add the tomato paste and cook for another couple of minutes. Mix in the quinoa. Correct flavour to taste with salt and pepper.

Make four little concavities with the back of a tbsp. and in each add an egg. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 7-9 min, until the egg has reached the desired consistency.

Sprinkle the parsley on top and serve.

Cauliflower Fritters

Cauliflower FrittersI love fritters. They are easy to make, delicious and adaptable to many flavour combinations. Continue reading

I had some nice organic cauliflower and decided to make these fritters and combine them with one of my favourite Swiss cheeses: Gruyere. To make this recipe I also used some fresh cheese, which in my region we call “Büscion” (which means cork in our dialect). These are popular in my region but surely, wherever you live; you can find your own version of fresh cheeses made with cow’s milk.

As a starting point for this recipe I took a recipe from Jamie Oliver’s site.

Cauliflower Fritters Cauliflower Fritters

 

 

Cauliflower Fritters

Recipe for 8 pieces / 3-4 p.

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: about 10 min (per batch)

 

Ingredients:

200 g blanched cauliflower

2 eggs

100 g fresh cheese

50 g grated Gruyere cheese

¼ – ½ tsp. chilli powder

½ tsp. garlic powder

2 heaped tbsp. flour

Rapeseed oil

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe

In a bowl combine the eggs, fresh cheese, Gruyere cheese, chilli powder, garlic powder and flour.

Roughly chop the cauliflower and add it to the rest of the ingredients with a little pepper and salt to taste.

Heat a little rapeseed oil (about a tbsp.) in a pan on a medium high fire. For each fritter pour the amount of a large tbsp. of mixture and cook for 4-5 min per side, until nicely browned. Do it in more batches if you can’t cook all the fritters at once. Serve ASAP.

 

Quinoa Carrot and Sweet Potato Muffin Tin Frittatas

Quinoa Carrot and Sweet Potato Muffin Tin FrittatasHappy New Year! I hope everyone had a nice festive period filled with great and tasty food and hopefully a lot of laughter and joy, too. We left for a short week to Crans-Montana in a search for winter, which we only found up to a certain point (in fact the last day it rained, and we were at 1500 above sea level). Continue reading

Here in Ticino, the weather feels like spring time and although the temperatures are relatively pleasant, it feels wrong for the season. One week during the festive time of the year is not made for dieting and among the foods that have passed through our mouths are a lot of cheese (melted and non), Argentinian beef, dried meat, crêpes, sweet treats, wine, champagne….

When we came back on Saturday I couldn’t wait to go for lighter and healthier food, which I actually craved. After a good night rest, I wanted to make myself something I enjoy but which is lighter and healthier than what my belly had seen during the previous week, so after my jog I prepared these Quinoa Carrot and Sweet Potato Muffin Tin Frittatas. This easy recipe with its colourful combination tasted great with a salad. I think I could almost hear my body saying “Thank you”.

 

 

Quinoa Carrot and Sweet Potato Muffin Tin Frittatas

 

Recipe for 12 pieces

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 35 min

 

Ingredients:

70 g quinoa

75 g coarsely grated carrots

75 g sweet potatoes

1 small onion

2.3 dl water

2 tsp. olive oil

¼ – ½ tsp. smoked paprika

2 heaped tbsp. chopped parsley

salt and pepper

3 eggs

3 tbsp. milk (or cream)

80 g fresh goat cheese

Salt

 

Recipe:

Cut the sweet potatoes into ½ cm cubes and finely chop the onion.

Add the olive oil and onion to a pan on a medium fire and fry for 4-5 min, until onion is soft. Mix in the grated carrots and cubed sweet potatoes, toss and cook for another couple of minutes before adding the quinoa. Cook for two more minutes stirring often. Add the water and a generous pinch of salt to the pan. Once the water is boiling cook the onion, carrots, sweet potatoes and quinoa for about 12 minutes on a gentle rolling boil (make sure that all the water has evaporated/been absorbed). Stir regularly and once ready remove from fire and leave it to cool almost completely.

Grease a muffin tin with olive oil.

Beat the eggs together with the milk, goat cheese, paprika and salt to taste and parsley (don’t worry if the mix has a few lumps).

Add the quinoa, carrot, sweet potato and onion to the egg mix, stir together and evenly fill the muffin cups.

Cook in the oven for about 16 min at 180°C, until the top looks cooked and dry. Take the muffin tin out of the oven and leave it to set for a few minutes before removing the mini frittatas from their mould (detach them with the help of a pairing knife). Serve.

Chestnut Cake

Chestnut Cake First of all….

BEST WISHES & MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!!!

This will be my last post for 2014 as I will be off next week and will be back on the 6th of January. Continue reading

To end the year well I wanted to make a post with a sweet note: Chestnut Cake from Ticino. I adapted this recipe from this site and I must say that the end result was a very moist cake. With a nice coffee or tea, this cake is a great wintertime treat. I’ll keep this post short as it’s Christmas it’s either a festive or a lazy day, so

SEE YOU IN 2015!

 

 

Chestnut Cake

 

Recipe for a 26 cm wide cake mould (for an 18 cm cake use half the ingredients)

Prep time: 25 min

Cook time: 1 h 5 min

 

Ingredients:

360 g cooked chestnuts (I used the vacuum packed ones)

200 g melted and cooled butter

340 g fine grain sugar

300 g ground hazelnuts

6 eggs (separated)

1 vanilla pod

 

For the glazing

3 tbsp. hazelnut nougatine

90 g dark chocolate

 

Recipe:

Heat oven at 180°C. Grease a loose bottom cake mould.

Mash the chestnuts and set them aside.

Place the egg whites in a bowl and whisk them to a peak.

Place the egg yolks in a bowl with the sugar and whisk them until the mixture becomes lighter in colour. Incise the vanilla pod, scrape out the seeds and add them to the sugar and egg mix, along with the mashed chestnuts, ground hazelnuts and melted butter. Mix all of the ingredients together. Delicately fold in the egg whites in two or three times, without overworking the dough.

Pour the preparation into the cake mould and place in the oven for 1 hour.

Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool 4-5 min before removing it from the mould and placing it on a wire rack. Let it cool completely.

Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie and evenly spread it on top of the cake. Sprinkle the hazelnut nougatine on top and wait for the chocolate to harden before serving (mine still had to harden a bit at the centre).

 

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.

 

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.

Cheese and Onion Potato Cakes

Cheese and Onion Potato Cakes Today, after over a year and a half of cutting my hair by myself, I went to the hairdresser. Even if I compare the hairdresser to the dentist, I have to admit I needed it. The moment ended up not being that bad but since we chatted and time went by fast. What also went by too quickly was my once in a while perfectly blow-dried hair. Next time I shall have more clement weather. Once I got home, I was so hungry Continue reading

but I felt like having something comforting so with a salad, I had these cakes made with the leftover potatoes I had from the yesterday. These cake are so easy to make and it’s also a good way to use leftover potatoes.

Recipe adapted form: Betty Bossy’s Cheesy Potato Cakes ( from: The Swiss Cookbook )

Cheese and Onion Potato Cakes

 

 

Cheese and Onion Potato Cakes

 

Recipe for 12 cakes

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 20 min

 

Ingredients

500 g boiled and peeled potatoes

150 g grated Swiss cheese

2 eggs

2 onions (not too large)

Nutmeg

salt and pepper

 

Recipe

Heat oven at 200°C.

Roughly grate the onion and using a clean tea towel press out excess moisture. Grate the potatoes and place them in a bowl with the onion, add the cheese, the eggs, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Mix all together well.

Line a baking tray with parchment paper.

Shape 12 equal sized cakes and place them on the baking tray. Cook in the oven for about 20 min.

 

Creamy Leek Pie

Comforting Leek PieLast Saturday we had an evening among friends and guess who cooked?…me. Continue reading

I made some pulled pork, a broccoli salad and meringues with cream as a dessert. I guess this was my first “catering” experience as we brought all the food to Andy’s home and consumed it there. The three of us (Andy my fiancé and me) met at my place, packed everything and placed it in Andy’s car. While my fiancé was moving his car to park it to a better spot, we saw him stop abruptly: he had perforated his tyre. After a little hesitation we decided to change the tyre ourselves. It took us ten minutes to figure it out and twenty minutes to change it but I admit (as someone who doesn’t even have a driver’s licence) I learned something different that day. That night we went to bed at four and since, unlike Ste my fiancé I can’t sleep long in the morning, I decided to get busy in the kitchen and so I prepared this leek pie that we shared once he was released from Morpheus’ arms.

 

Comforting Leek Pie

 

Creamy Leek Pie

 

For a 28-30 cm pie mould

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 40-45 min

 

Ingredients:

330 g leeks

1 tbsp. butter

100 g sour cream

80 g ham (I used turkey ham)

130g grated Swiss cheese

1 tbsp. flour

2 dl milk

2 eggs

Nutmeg

1 tbsp. mustard

1 round short crust pastry (32 cm large)

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe:

Heat oven at 220°C.

Cut the leeks into ½ cm thick slices.

Heat the butter in a medium non-stick pan; add the leeks, season with salt and pepper. Cook covered for 10 min on a medium fire until they have softened. Meanwhile cut the ham into cubes and add it to the leeks once they are done. Leave aside to cool a little.

In a bowl mix together the milk with the sour cream, the eggs, the flour and a little nutmeg.

Place the short crust in a baking dish, spread the mustard on the bottom and then pierce the dough more times with a fork.

Distribute the leeks and ham on top and follow with the grated cheese. Pour the milk, cream, and egg, flour mixture on top; make sure the liquid covers all the leeks. Sprinkle a little pepper on top and place the pie on the lower part of the oven for 30-35 min.

The Proposal and Arugula Spaetzle (or Spaetzli)

Arugula Spaetzle
As I wrote last Thursday, my boyfriend and I went to Basel for the weekend. I was quite looking forward to the trip but I wasn’t aware it would turn out to be such a memorable moment. Continue reading

We got there on Friday evening and went to the tapas restaurant we always end up going to. We always enjoy it and anyway, we were so hungry that I think anything would have gone down at that point. After dinner we picked up the dog that had stayed at the hotel and went for a walk. We reached the Mittlere Brücke, a place my boyfriend has been fond of since he was still a student there. We stopped there and that’s where he presented me a ring and asked me to marry him! My heart is beating faster even as I’m writing this. I’m so happy that I can’t contain myself. Well, I guess I don’t even need to tell you my response (which I shouted out while by passers looked at me awkwardly). Little after we went to celebrate with yet another bottle but this time it was champagne. We finished that bottle too, left the dog at the hotel and headed to a club where we danced among the students till three o’clock in the morning. The following day we were in a quite pitiful state and during most of the day we walked around like two zombies; sometimes I actually felt like it was the dog taking us for a walk. Our Saturday evening was quieter and after an aperitif with a tarte flambée we went for yet another round of tapas (we are animals of habit). Our Sunday consisted in traveling back home and getting some rest. What could someone expect more from a weekend? I’d say nothing. Soon we’ll start planning the main event, I want to share the experience. Besides posting recipes I also want to use this blog as a diary.

In the Swiss German part of Switzerland, spaetzli is something often eaten in this time of the year with game dishes. I find it’s something which works just as well with chicken or beef or vegetable… Since we were in Basel I though it would be an appropriate recipe to post. I adapted this recipe from the Swiss Cooking book (from Alfred Haefeli).

Arugula Spaetzle

Arugula Spaetzle

 

Arugula Spaetzle

 

Recipe for 4-6 as a side dish

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 30 min

 

Ingredients

300 g arugula

4 eggs

400 g flour

1 dl milk and water

0.5 dl water

1 tsp. salt

Butter

4 tbsp. dry roasted pine nuts

Grated Sbrinz cheese (alternatively use parmesan)

 

Recipe

Place the washed arugula in a pan and cook until they are soft. Place them in a strainer and press to remove excess moisture. Now, either finely chop them or, place in a food processor (like I did).

In a bowl mix and beat the flour, eggs, milk, water and salt with a wooden spatula until small bubbles form then, mix in the arugula. The consistence should be a little like a pancake batter, if it’s thicker just add a little water.

Fill a pan with high sides with salted water and bring to a boil.

If you have a spaetzle make use it by placing the batter on its surface and push down the mass so that it falls into the boiling water. Alternatively use a wooden board and form the spaetzle by scraping the surface with a knife and letting the dough drop into the water. Once the spatzle rise to the surface remove them with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl.

In a non stick pan melt some butter and add the spaetzle to brown on a high heat for a couple of minutes (you might have to do this in more batches). At the end add the pine nuts, toss place in a serving dish and sprinkle with the grated cheese.