29-08-2015 The Day We Said Yes & A Welcome to Autumn

29-08-2015 The Day We Said Yes & A Welcome to Autumn

The reason I took a break last week is because on the 29th of August we got married! 😀

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Since I still had guests from away that stayed home I decided to dedicate my attention to them…besides the fact that I really needed some rest from all the pre-wedding stress and the partying (the night before the big event I only slept four hours). I can only say that the day exceeded my expectations as we had such an incredible time, ambience and weather: a day made of all the flavours of love. Here are just a few of the pictures from a wedding in southern Switzerland.

 

Since our wedding occurred on the last actual weekend of real summer weather and now we’re gently slipping into autumn I decided to welcome the new season by cooking something with butternut squash. A nice casserole/gratin always makes me happy and with cooler evenings it’s a dish that works well. I wanted the flavours to “marry” well together. After consulting my Flavour Thesaurus from Nikki Segnit I decided to use some goat cheese and rosemary to accompany the butternut squash and potatoes. I decided to lightly roast the potatoes and butternut before baking them in the oven, this added some extra flavour to the dish. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did.

 

Butternut Potato Gratin with Goat Cheese and Rosemary

 

 

 

Butternut Potato Gratin with Goat Cheese and Rosemary

Recipe for 4-6

Prep time: 20-25 min

Cook time: 40-45 min

 

Ingredients:

500 g waxy potatoes

500 g butternut squash

1 tbsp. chopped rosemary leaves

2 garlic cloves

Cayenne pepper

1.5 dl milk

200 g sour cream (I used ½ fat)

1 egg

100 g grated hard goat cheese

1 tbsp. vegetable oil (+ extra to grease baking dish)

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe:

Peel the potatoes cut them into 2 cm pieces. Bring a pan filled with salty water to a boil and cook the potatoes until they’re soft. Once they’re ready drain them.

Meanwhile cut the butternut squash into 2 cm pieces, too. Pass the garlic through a garlic crusher.

On a medium fire, in a non-stick pan heat 1 tbsp. vegetable oil and add the potatoes and butternut pieces to brown. Season with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper to taste. Toss regularly. After about 10 minutes add the rosemary and garlic and continue cooking for another 5-10 min.

In a bowl combine the sour cream, milk and the egg and mix all together.

Grease a baking dish and transfer the vegetables, on top sprinkle the grated goat cheese and finally pour the milk, sour cream and egg mixture.

Cook in a preheated oven at 220°C for 15-20 min.

Summery Einsiedeln Pie – With a Soft Potato Crust

Summery Einsiedeln Pie Last Friday after a short night I got active in the morning. After my jog I got to the kitchen and preparing this summer version of the Einsiedlen pie. Continue reading

For lunch I had a friend and her one-year-old daughter coming over. I set the table out on the terrace and we enjoyed a ladies’ only moment. Now I have little experience with children but I didn’t know such a little creature could eat that much… maybe my pie was really good ;). As a dessert the three of us moved to where the blueberries are in my garden and began raiding the trees. This is a new Swiss recipe I found out about and liking the idea of using potatoes as a crust. The crust of this pie is nice and soft and thicker than a usual pie crust and the nice thing is it’s easy to make. I adapted my version from the original recipe I found here (page in French). I filled my pie with some seasonal grilled vegetables to adapt the dish to the warmer days.

 

Summery Einsiedeln Pie

 

Recipe for 4 people / Baking tray (28 x 26 cm) or cake pan (30 cm Ø)

Prep time: 20 min

Cooking time: 1 h 20 min

 

Ingredients

Base:

700 g waxy potatoes boiled

150 g flour

1 ½ tsp. salt

freshly ground pepper

 

Filling:

1 small aubergine

1 small zucchini

2 spring onions

2 eggs beaten

2.5 dl milk

140 g grated cheese (I made a mix of two alpine cheeses but Gruyere or Appenzeller cheese are just as fine)

1 tbsp. flour

salt and pepper

Olive oil

 

Recipe

Slice the aubergine and the zucchini crosswise into 0.5-0.7 cm thick pieces. Brush the slices with a little olive oil and season them with salt and pepper. On a heated griddle pan or barbecue (if you don’t have any of them use a normal non stick pan) grill the slices on both sides. Once they have a nice colour, remove them from the heat and set them aside.

Mash the potatoes. Add the flour, salt and a little pepper and mix.

On a lightly floured board, roll out the dough (1 cm). Lay on the baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Alternatively you can shape the dough directly in the cake dish lined with baking paper, that’s what I did.

Mix in the eggs, milk, cheese and flour. Flavour. Brown the bacon and onions over medium heat in butter.

Divide the mass to eggs, bacon and onions on the pasta.

Cook ca. 45 Minutes in the lower part of the pre-heated oven at 180 °C. For the last 15 minutes move the tray towards the upper part of the oven to brown its surface. Remove from the oven and let the pie rest for 5 min before serving.

Zucchini Sweet Potato Skins

Zucchini Sweet Potato SkinsRecently I find a lot of locally grown organic zucchini so I have been taking advantage of this delicious moment. Continue reading

From simple pan roasted zucchini to putting them in pasta, stuffing them and using them in a cake, the zucchini is just full of potential. This time I stuffed some sweet potato skins with these veggies and with a few ingredients I got myself half of the meal, the other half (in my attempt to loose a few kilos before the summer and especially the wedding) I filled it with a big green salad.

 

Zucchini Sweet Potato Skins

 

Zucchini Sweet Potato Skins 

 

Recipe for 8 pieces or 4-6 p.

Prep time: 15-20 min

Cook time: 1h 10 min

 

Ingredients:

4 sweet potatoes

2 zucchini

4 tbsp. pesto

60 g cream cheese

60 g grated cheese (I used Parmesan)

Salt and pepper

1 tbsp. olive oil

 

Recipe

Heat oven at 180°C and place your sweet potatoes to cook for 45 min to 1 h. Once they are tender in the centre when pricked with a fork remove them from the oven and let them cool a few minutes until you can handle them. Scoop out the inside using a spoon leaving between about 0.5-0.8 cm of the sweet potato flesh on the margins. Set the skins aside and mash the sweet potato flesh.

Cut the zucchini into about 1 cm cubes. Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in a pan on a medium fire and add the zucchini to cook. Brown them on all sides tossing regularly. I like to keep my veggies on the crunchy side so I cooked them for about 5-7 min. Once done season them with salt and pepper, add the pesto and toss.

In a bowl mix the cream cheese, ¾ of the grated cheese and the mashed sweet potatoes. Add the mixed ingredients to the zucchini and gently combine.

Evenly spoon in the zucchini and cheese preparation in the sweet potato skins and sprinkle the remaining grated cheese on top.

Bake in the oven for about 15 min.

 

Broccoli Sweet Potato Cakes

Broccoli Sweet Potato CakesVegetarian sharing friendly food is something I love to eat with my mother. When she came over I served these cakes with a salad and a glass of white wine. Continue reading

That it is either for an aperitif or a meal, I like to place this kind of food in the middle of the table so that everyone can help themselves. The broccoli & sweet potato cakes are easy and made with few ingredients. Also, while I chose to bake them (for fat content purpose as I’m trying to shed a couple of kilos) you can also easily pan-fry them. The second option will make the cooking process shorter. Whether you want to serve these cakes for an aperitif or as a side dish during dinner, you can easily prepare the potatoes and broccoli in advance so you can save up time when preparing the rest of the food.

PS: I’ll take a week off blogging as I need to get ahead with my studies, chores and of course my wedding planning. Meanwhile I wish everyone a nice weekend!

Broccoli Sweet Potato Cakes

Broccoli Sweet Potato Cakes

 

 

Broccoli Sweet Potato Cakes

 

Recipe for 16 pieces (1-2 p.p. for an aperitif / 3-4 as a side dish for a meal)

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 45 for baked version / 25 for pan fried version

 

Ingredients

400 g sweet potatoes, peeled

400 g broccoli florets

120 g grated hard/semi-hard goat cheese

1 egg

Pepper

Optional: salt and cayenne pepper to taste (and olive oil if you chose to fry the croquettes)

 

Recipe

Blanch the broccoli by placing them in a pot of salted boiling water for 1 ½ – 2 min. Then remove them from the water with a slotted spoon and tranfer them to a bowl of icy water.

Cut the sweet potatoes into chunks and boil them in the water you used to blanch the broccoli (eventually remove a little water). Cook the sweet potatoes until they are soft, about 8-10 minutes.

Meanwhile evenly chop the broccoli florets.

Once the sweet potatoes are ready mash them and let them cool a little. Add the chopped broccoli, egg, pepper and eventually cayenne pepper and a little salt and mix all together.

You can either bake the cakes in the oven or fry them in a pan. So to cook with less fat I chose to bake them.

Baked: take a tbsp. of the preparation and place it on a baking tray lined with oven paper. Repeat with the rest of the mass. Bake in the oven for 20 min at 200°C then turn them around to brown on the second side.

Pan fried: Heat 2 tbsp. olive oil on a medium fire and portion the cakes with the help of a tbsp. Brown the potato cakes on both sides for about 5 min per side.

Pizza Inspired Baked Rosti

Pizza Inspired Rosti It’s been some time since I last posted a rosti recipe and since it’s a recipe I really love, here it is. I made this rosti recipe with pizza in my mind. Continue reading

Pizza is not something I eat much during the year but once I find myself craving it. Now, kneading and making dough isn’t my favourite activity in the kitchen – probably because I don’t have a robot to help me – so potatoes provided an easy way to make a crust. In my version I used simple and traditional pizza toppings but then this is a question of personal taste. For instance you could use some bacon, ham, grilled vegetables… My only advice is to use ingredients that are not too wet as the potatoes could become soggy and lose their crispiness (this is why I put the tomatoes on top of the cheese). While I hope you’ll enjoy this recipe, I am announcing that I’ll take a week off and will be back on Tuesday the 7th of April.

Pizza Inspired Rosti

 

Pizza Inspired Baked Rosti

Recipe for 3-4

Prep time: 15-20 min

Cook time: 45-50 min

 

Ingredients

1 kg peeled waxy potatoes

180 g mozzarella

300 g cherry tomatoes

2 tbsp. rapeseed oil

3 tbsp. flour

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

2 tbsp. basil leaves

 

Recipe:

Heat oven at 210°C.

Coarsely grate the potatoes then place them in a clean tea towel and squeeze out the excess moisture. Add the flour and 1 ¾ tsp. salt then mix. Add the rapeseed oil and mix again.

On a parchment lined baking tray spread out the potatoes in a square or round shape. The patty should not be too compact and for extra crispiness allow a few potato bits to come out of the mass. Place in the oven and cook for 40-45 min.

Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and either cook them in a pan with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, or place then in a baking dish and bake them in the oven for 40 min.

Dice the mozzarella into 1 cm pieces and sprinkle it over the potatoes once they are ready. Move the baking tray with the potatoes and cheese near the top burner of the oven and bake for another five minutes, until the mozzarella has melted.

Add the cherry tomatoes on top with the basil and a little pepper and serve.

Note: to prevent the oxidation of the potatoes, place them in the oven as soon as they are grated and you have added the remaining ingredients.

Sweet Potato Wedges with Goat Cheese Dip

Sweet Potato Wedges with Goat Cheese Dip Today my mother came over for our weekly lunch and since my last night was quite short, I didn’t really feel like thinking too much about what to cook for the two of us so I went to look for an idea for our lunch among my cookbooks. Continue reading

It didn’t take long to find something that appealed to me. If there is one book I totally love it’s Ottolenghi’s Plenty, the recipes there are just wonderful, fresh and delicious. I chose his “Sweet potato wedges with lemongrass crème fraiche” and adapted it according to what I had at home. This simple recipe turned out to be just delicious and I will surely make this again.

 

Sweet Potato Wedges with Goat Cheese Dip 

 

Sweet Potato Wedges with Goat Cheese Dip

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 20-25 min

 

Ingredients:

900 g sweet potatoes

1 ½ tsp. garlic powder

¾ tsp. fine salt

A handful chopped coriander leaves

1 red chilli finely chopped

 

Dip:

100g fresh goat cheese

4 tbsp. sour cream

3 tbsp. chives

The zest of 1 lemon

4 tbsp. lemon juice

salt

 

Recipe:

Heat oven at 200°C.

Cut the sweet potatoes in half lengthwise and then (always lengthwise) divide each half into four wedges.

Place the wedges in a bowl (or a Ziploc bag) pour the olive oil and toss to evenly coat. Sprinkle the garlic powder and salt on top and toss again. Place the wedges on a parchment lined baking tray and cook in the oven for 20-25 min.

Meanwhile prepare the dip by softening the goat cheese with a fork. Add the sour cream and blend. Finally add the rest of the ingredients.

Once the sweet potato wedges are done, remove them from the oven and place the on a serving plate. Top the wedges with the chopped coriander leaves and the red peppers and serve with the goat cheese dip.

Gruyere Sage Potato & Sweet Potato Gratin

Potato & Sweet Potato GratinI think if I had to choose a last meal I’d go for some kind of gratin. Continue reading

Going through an old potato recipe book (from our “national” Betty Bossi – a brand I find myself liking less and less lately) I found this recipe and decided to adapt it to my taste. To begin with, instead of adding in a few zucchini to the potatoes, I made a 50/50 mix of potatoes and sweet potatoes and added sage for the taste. Secondly, after a first attempt, I removed some of the moisture from the potatoes and the result was less liquid at the bottom of the baking dish. One thing I really enjoyed about this gratin was the use of grated potatoes; each mouthful is well balanced in taste… and personally I like it when I don’t have to look around my dish to pick up what I consider the perfect bite (I guess I’m a bit like Rose Morgan in The Mirror Has Two Faces).

 

 

Gruyere Sage Potato & Sweet Potato Gratin

 

Ingredients:

350 g peeled waxy potatoes

350 g peeled sweet potatoes

80 g grated Gruyere

1 tbsp. butter + more to grease baking dish

2 tbsp. finely sliced sage leaves

1 tsp. salt

2 dl milk

2 dl cream

Pepper and nutmeg

 

Recipe

Heat oven at 200°C.

In a bowl grate the potatoes and sweet potatoes. Place them in a clean tea towel and squeeze out most of the excess moisture.

Ina a pan melt the butter and add the sage leaves to cook for 1-2 min, then combine with the grated potatoes and sweet potatoes and mix well. Mix in the grated cheese too. Place everything in a greased baking dish.

In another bowl combine the milk and cream with the salt, a little nutmeg and pepper. Mix all together and pout it over the other ingredients, which are already in the baking dish.

Cook for 40-45 min in the oven.

Carrot and Potato Mash

Carrot & Potato Mash A nice mash is something I love, not only because it’s delicious but also because it can be made in advance, it’s easy and it’s a dish you can decline in infinite ways. Continue reading

When my mother came home for our weekly lunch I served this carrot and potato mash with a salad. It’s something we both really like, and it’s also something we used to make us ladies enjoyed a lunch together while my father was away for work or pleasure. For this mash I used Emmental cheese and added thyme because I think these flavours work particularly well when combined with carrots. Actually this recipe is something I surely make again and I will am looking forward to using it next time I’m making a chicken cottage pie.

 

Carrot and Potato Mash

 

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 20-25 min

Cook time: 35-40 min

 

Ingredients:

750 g peeled waxy potatoes

250 g carrots

50 g butter (melted)

1 dl milk

120 g sour cream

120 g Emmental cheese (the stronger the better) grated

1 tbsp. thyme leaves

1 tbsp. ground almonds

1 tbsp. breadcrumbs

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe:

Heat oven at 200°C.

Cut the potatoes and the carrots into 2-3 cm chunks. Place them in pan, add salted cold water and boil them until they’re soft (about 15-20 min).

Remove the water from the potatoes and carrots and using a masher purée them. Combine the butter, milk, sour cream, 100 g Emmental cheese, thyme leaves and pepper. Mix well and eventually correct taste with salt.

Transfer the mash to an ovenproof dish and on top sprinkle the breadcrumbs, ground almonds and the remaining grated cheese. Place in the oven and cook for 18-20 min. Serve.

 

Lasagne with Potatoes


Lasagne with Potatoes Since, like always I couldn’t sleep on Sunday morning, I went to one of my favourite places in the house: the kitchen. Continue reading

While Mr fiancé was sleeping, I had all morning to make this lasagne. When he woke up, we had this lasagne together. He ate it as breakfast, for me instead it was lunch. Although I did have pasta sheets to make the recipe the way it’s usually done, I decided to replace them with potatoes. I love pasta but potatoes on a rainy day felt just right. It was a bit of a test but finally I was happy with the result and decided to post this recipe.

 

Lasagne with Potatoes

 

Recipe for 4-6

Prep time: 25-30 min

Cook Time: 1h 15-20 min

 

Ingredients:

 

For the Bolognese

600 g minced meat (I only used beef but if you want to use a beef/pork it’s up to you)

1 carrot

1 small celery stalk

1 onion

2 garlic cloves

1 tin chopped tomatoes

2 dl beef stock (I strongly recommend replacing ½ of the stock with red wine, I didn’t have any at hand)

2 tsp. chopped rosemary leaves

1-2 tbsp. olive oil (+more to grease the baking dish)

Salt and pepper

 

For the Béchamel sauce

2 tbsp. butter

2 tbsp. flour

1.5 dl milk

1.5-2 dl stock

Nutmeg

 

Other

600g thinly sliced potatoes

80-100g grated Parmesan

 

Recipe

Finely dice the carrot, celery stalk, onion and garlic.

Over medium heat, add olive oil to a pan with the above ingredients. Cook for about minutes stirring regularly.

Add the minced meat and break it with the help of a spatula. Cook until the meat is starting to brown (another 5 min or so). Pour in the red wine (if using it and the stock) let it cook for a moment further before adding the tomatoes. Let the ragù simmer until it start to thicken (about ½ hour) stirring occasionally. If you have the time, cover and let the Bolognese simmer for 2-3 hours, and/or prepare it the day before (in this case cover the pan with a lid during cooking process).

Meanwhile prepare the béchamel sauce. Start by melting the butter in a pan with a little nutmeg, add the flour and whisk until the flour begins to brown. While still whisking, start adding milk bit by bit. Once you have added all of the milk, start adding the stock. Keep an eye on the consistency of the sauce. If it’s too liquid cook it a little further, if it’s too thick, add a little more stock.

Heat the oven at 200°C.

In a greased baking dish spread a small amount of Béchamel sauce. Start by making a layer of potatoes, they should be slightly overlapping and cover the whole bottom. Evenly spread 1/3 of the béchamel sauce on top of the potatoes, then 1/3 of the Bolognese sauce and a little grated cheese. Repeat the layer for another couple of times finishing with the grated cheese. Cover with tin foil and cook in the oven for 35-40 min, remove the foil and continue cooking for another 10 min.

 

 

 

 

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.