Cauliflower Pasta Nests

Cauliflower Pasta Nests 5.1To celebrate the spring season I thought nests would be a great way to serve this baked spaghetti recipe. Continue reading

Maybe because growing up we never ate much pasta, but it’s not something I don’t cook too often, when I do instead, I often make a pasta bake. Last week I was looking at some recipes and fell across this recipe on the swissmilk site (recipe in French). I liked the visual side of and decided to make my own version; I used veggies instead of herbs, and spaghetti instead of the ‘Chinese’ noodles they used in the recipe. I wanted to use whole-wheat pasta, and that’s why I used spaghetti as I didn’t really have an alternative in my local grocery store. For this recipe, the best types of pasta you can use are the fine ones like vermicelli, spaghettini, …

I wish you all a happy Easter!

 

 Cauliflower Pasta Nests 1.1

 

 

Cauliflower Pasta Nests

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 10-15 min

Cook time: 25-30 min

 

Ingredients:

280 g spaghetti (preferably the fine ones, I used normal ones because I wanted to use the whole wheat kind and choice was limited

2 dl milk + 2-3 tbsp. extra milk

2 dl cream (I used 1/2 fat)

200 g cauliflower florets

2 tbsp. slivered almonds.

2 eggs

80 g grated Parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe:

Heat oven at 180°C.

Cook the pasta al dente in salted boiling water and drain.

Meanwhile chop the cauliflower florets into small pieces. Add it to the pasta once it’s cooked.

Using a fork roll the pasta into eight nests and place them in a baking dish one next to the other. Whatever chopped cauliflower and pine nuts are left in the pan, add it on top of the pasta nests

In a small bowl combine the breadcrumbs, 20 g of the grated Parmesan, almonds and milk. Mix them, and set aside.

In a larger bowl combine the cream, milk, eggs, 60 g of the grated cheese, pepper, and optionally salt. Mix and pour it on the pasta. If like me, your dish is a little too wide the nests might rise above the milk and cream mix, just press it down a little.

On top of the nests, evenly sprinkle the soaked almonds, breadcrumbs and cheese.

Bake in the over for about 20 min and enjoy!

Apple Tart with Crunchy Almonds

Apple Tart with Crispy Almonds

I’m back! I hope everyone had a nice winter holiday, if you were lucky, you might even have had some snow; unfortunately here in Switzerland we craved and waited for it, but it only arrived the day we travelled back. The car had more fun with the snow than we did… Continue reading

Back home, I don’t know about you, but after the holiday season, which is filled with elaborated and not so light dishes, I like to go back to some simplicity and this apple tart (with a little twist) was a great way to satisfy my sweet tooth. This is the kind of recipe I would usually serve during an easy evening, for example with my girlfriends; I cut it up into bite size pieces and place it in the middle of the table, this way my everyone eats the amount they want, I find it’s a friendly way of serving dessert, and between chats and sips you see it progressively disappearing.

Because almonds work great with apples, I looked for an alternative to what I usually do, which is spreading them in ground form under the fruit; I found this crispy topping idea here and applied it to my recipe and I really liked the end result, its taste and its consistency.

Apple Tart with Crispy Almonds

 

Apple Tart with Crunchy Almonds

 

Serves 8

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 20 min

 

Ingredients:

A 25×42 cm puff pastry sheet

3 baking apples like boskoop

100 g slivered almonds

60 g sugar

2 tbsp. milk

 

Recipe:

Heat oven at 220°C.

Toast the almonds in a dry non-stick pan over medium-high heat for a couple of minutes, toss regularly until lightly browned; transfer into a bowl.

Core the apples and pass them through a slicer. I left the skin on, it’s more rustic and it has added nutritional value.

Spread the puff pastry out on a baking tray and spread over the apples by overlapping them by half.

Add the butter, sugar and milk to the frying pan over medium heat. When the sugar has dissolved and the butter has melted, bring to the boil continue cooking for 1 minute. Add the almonds and mix well before turning into the pastry case. Without waiting, evenly spread the caramelized almonds over the apples.

Bake for 15 minutes in the middle of the oven. Serve warm or at room temperature, maybe with some vanilla ice cream.

 

 

Crispy Almond Crusted Asparagus

Crispy Almond Crusted Asparagus

Asparagus season is drawing to an end, but before saying, “See you next year” I wanted to make a last recipe for this spring with these green spears. Continue reading

This simple recipe is something versatile since you can serve it on its own as an appetiser or you can serve it as a side dish or on a nice salad, maybe with some cheese or salmon. I wasn’t too sure about the how much to heat the oven so here, I found a recipe for oven roasted asparagus that worked perfectly. For the breading, along with the flour and egg I made a mix of dry roasted ground asparagus and polenta flour, which gave an extra crisp to the texture.

Crispy Almond Crusted Asparagus

 

Crispy Almond Crusted Asparagus

 

Recipe for 3-4

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 20-25 min

 

Ingredients:

320-340 g asparagus washed woody part removed.

50 g ground almonds

1 large egg beaten

3 generous tbsp. fine grain polenta

2 tbsp. flour

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe:

Pre-heat oven at 220°C.

In a non-stick pan place the ground almonds and dry toast them on a medium fire, stir regularly. Once the almonds will have browned, place them in a dish and set them aside to cool.

Take three shallow dishes and in the first place the flour, in the second place the egg and in the last combine the polenta with the ground almonds and some salt and pepper.

Take an asparagus, dust it with the flour, and then dip it in the egg, making sure there are no dry spots left. Finally evenly coat it with the polenta and almond mix and place the asparagus on a baking tray lined with oven paper. Repeat the process up to the last asparagus.

Bake for 12-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the asparagus. Serve as a side dish, as an appetizer, on a salad….

 

Simple Almond Puff Pastries

Simple Almond Stuffed Pastry Usually I don’t eat much sugar, but then there are the less usual times like breakfast time after a night out. Continue reading

So on Sunday while Mr. was sleeping I prepared these puff pastries, which are inspired by a Swiss pie from Canton Glarus. Well, they are partly inspired because the pie usually contains 2 fillings: one half of the pie is filled with an almond paste while the other has a dried prune filling. Choosing only the first filling I made hand sized treats by adapting the recipe I have in my Betty Bossi Swiss Cooking book. The great thing is that if you have some puff pastry waiting to be used, this is a really easy recipe that isn’t overly sweet. At least I get Mr. to eat some nuts by combining it with his passion for sweet food.

 

 

Simple Almond Puff Pastries

 

Recipe for 8 pieces

Prep time: 25 min

Cook time: 20 min

 

 

Ingredients:

16 rounds butter puff pastry of about 8.5 cm diameter (a can of sliced pineapples has this size)

150 g ground skinless almonds

2 tbsp. melted butter

2 tbsp. lemon juice

2-3 tbsp. water

1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest

60 g sugar

Icing sugar

 

Recipe

Heat oven at 200°C.

Prepare the almond filling by mixing the ground almonds, melted butter, lemon juice, water, lemon zest and sugar together.

Take one round and in the middle place about a tbsp. of almond mix in the centre. With the tip of your finger dab the edged with a little water. Take another round of puff pastry and place it on top of the first. With the help of a fork close the pastry by pressing on the edges to seal it. Poke a few holes (3-4) in the pastry a place on a parchment lined baking tray. Repeat with the other seven pieces.

Once all the pastries are ready place them in the lower part of the oven and cook for about 20 min, watch that the pastry doesn’t get too brown. Let the almond pastries cool on a wire rack and dust with icing sugar before serving.

Chocolate Almond and Orange Cookies

Chocolate almond and orange cookiesWhile I was doing my groceries I passed in front of the discounted Easter chocolate bunnies and I felt an urge for chocolate. Normally I try to avoid looking at those guilty pleasures but once in a while I allow myself. I ended up getting a couple of dark chocolate bars to make some cookies. The biscuit and/or cookie is actually a very old recipe which was invented for practical purposes: such food could be carried around and could be easily stored. Because of its practicality, the recipe was very popular among sailors, even back during the Egyptian and Roman times.
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Chocolate Almond and Orange Cookies

Makes about 14 cookies

Prep time: 10-15 min

Cooking time: 8 min

Ingredients:

200g dark chocolate

100g flour

¼ tsp bicarbonate

Pinch of salt

80g soft butter

100g sugar

Zest of a small orange


Recipe:

Heat oven at 180°C.

Melt half of the chocolate in a bain-marie and roughly chop the rest of the chocolate into chocolate chip size.

Mix the flour, the bicarbonate and the pinch of salt.

Mix the soft butter and the sugar, add the eggs and the melted chocolate.

Add the flour, bicarbonate and salt to the rest. Do not stop mixing.

Add the ground almonds, the chopped chocolate and the orange zest. Mix with a spoon.

Take tbsp sizes and put them on a couple baking trays covered with baking paper. Put some distance between portions, the cookies widen quite a bit. Cover them with more baking paper and flatten them (either with another baking tray or by hand).

Place in the oven for about 8 min. Take the cookies out of the oven and let them harden for a couple of minutes.