Bread and Cheese Pudding

Bread and Cheese Pudding

The one thing I would really have trouble giving up is cheese. Maybe because I’m Swiss or maybe it’s because it just tastes amazing and it’s an ingredient you can just have so much fun with in the kitchen. Continue reading

This Bread and Cheese Pudding is something I have already tried last year but this time when I tried it, I found it’s better not having the bread stick out of the mix as I find it becomes too hard and dry. I tested this recipe on my mother and remarkably she took a second helping, which is not very common for her. Do I need to mention I had a second helping too? I took a recipe from the Swiss Cooking book from Betty Bossi and made a few changes to make this dish a little lighter. For instance I replaces the double cream by using plain cream and instead of using three eggs I just used two large ones. This Swiss recipe is just an easy, moist and very tasty dish.

 

 

Bread and Cheese Pudding

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 25 min

 

Ingredients:

350 g white bread

2 tbsp. soft butter (optional)

1 dl dry white wine (alternatively use white grape juice with a few drops of lemon in it)

3 dl milk

2 large eggs

150g semi hard cheese (Gruyere, Emmetaler…)

¾ tsp. salt

Pepper

2 dl cream

 

Recipe:

Heat oven at 240°C.

Slice the bread into 1-1.5cm thick pieces. Optionally, butter each slice on one side with the butter and toast in the oven for about 5 min. Once done reduce the oven heat to 200°C. Place the bread slices in a baking dish by overlapping them.

In a bowl mix the milk with the eggs, salt and pepper.

Stiffly whisk the cream and gently fold it in with the milk/egg mix.

Pour over the bread slices and bake in the oven for 20 min.

Serve with a crunchy salad.

Butternut Pasta Bake

Butternut Pasta Bake

To think that until a few years ago the only times I ate anything with pumpkin I had it when someone cooked it for me… I’m happy this has changed. Continue reading

Honestly now that I’m back from my honeymoon, as much as country life is beautiful, now that I’ve re-spent some time in a city, I really miss it. I miss all the attractions and the possibility to talk to random people and so to keep my spirits up, I spend more time in the kitchen and in front of my computer, getting ahead with the novel I started some time ago. So yesterday within the realm of my kitchen, I’ve been making a pasta bake which is my favourite way of having this particular carb: it’s comforting and so tasty!

Butternut Pasta Bake

Recipe for 4
Cook time: 45 min
Prep time: 20 min

Ingredients:

800 g butternut (peeled and deseeded)
320 g short pasta (fusilli, penne, rigatoni…)
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 garlic cloves
1 red onion
3 tbsp. chopped sage
½ – 1 dl water or vegetable stock
3 dl cream
2 dl milk
2 knobs butter
Cayenne pepper
6 tbsp. grated cheese (+ 3-4 for topping
3 tbsp. pine nuts
2 tbsp. breadcrumbs
Salt and pepper

Recipe:
Cut the butternut into cubes (the smaller the pieces the quicker they’ll cook), chop the onion and pass the garlic cloves through a garlic crusher.
Place a pan on a medium heat and add the olive oil and the onion. Cook for 4-5 min. stirring occasionally. Add the sage leaves and the garlic and cook for another couple of minutes.
Now add the butternut cubes and season with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes before pouring in a little water or alternatively some stock (about ½-1 dl). Preferably add the water little by little during the cooking process rather that all at once. Cover the pan and cook until the butternut will have become soft, don’t forget to stir occasionally.
Once the butternut is soft, transfer the content of the pan to a bowl and mash it with a potato masher or if you want a very smooth result use a food processor. Place the mass back in the pan (always on a medium fire), add the cream and the milk and combine the ingredients by stirring. Add the knob of butter and correct taste with salt and pepper if needed. Remove the pan from the fire and add the grated cheese and stir to combine.
While the butternut is softening or once the sauce is done, prepare the pasta in salted boiling water but make sure you cook it until just al dente or once you cook it in the oven it will become too soft. To stop the cooking process, once you drain the pasta pass it under cold water. Add the drained pasta to the sauce and stir to combine.
Transfer the ingredients to a lightly greased baking dish and top with the remaining grated cheese, breadcrumbs and pine nuts (optionally add small pieces of butter on top which will help the browning process). Bake in the oven at 190°C for about 20 min.

Zurich Style Chicken Strips

Zurich Style Chicken StripsOur honeymoon is approaching but we haven’t chosen the destination yet. Will it be France and the castles of the Loire Valley or Scotland? Well, if someone wants to weigh in, opinions are more than welcome! Continue reading

While doing the groceries since I found some Swiss, fresh, organic button mushrooms so I thought I would give the “Zurich Geschnetzeltes” a try, but instead of using veal meat I used chicken. This meat with its creamy mushroom sauce is usually served with “Roesti” but a potato mash or some tagliatelle will be fine too. I took the recipe from the Swiss Cooking book I have from Alfred Haefeli.

Zurich Style Chicken Strips

 

Zurich Style Chicken Strips

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 15-20 mi

 

Ingredients:

2-3 tbsp. roasting butter

500 g chicken breasts

A large pinch flour

1 small onion, diced

200 g mushrooms (I used the chestnut kind)

1 tsp. lemon juice

1 dl white wine

1 dl vegetable stock

2 dl cream

1 tsp. cornstarch

1 bunch parsley

 

Recipe:

Finely chop the onion and the parsley, slice the mushrooms into ½ cm thick pieces and set all aside.

Cut the chicken breasts into 1.5-2 cm thick strips and season it with salt and pepper.

Over a high heat melt the butter in a pan and sear the chicken. Dust it with the flour, toss and set aside in a warm place.

Using the same pan, lower the fire, add more butter if needed and roast the onions and mushrooms for about 5 minutes tossing a couple of times. Add the lemon juice and the white wine and let it reduce to half of its volume.

In a bowl place the cornstarch, add a little cream and mix. Add the rest of the cream and the vegetable stock and then pour into the pan with the mushrooms and onions. Simmer until the sauce has thickened and add the chicken. Cook for another 2-3, add salt and pepper to taste and before serving sprinkle with the parsley.

Traditionally this dish is served with Roesti.

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! 😀

Continue reading

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.

Light Spaghetti and Zucchini Pasta with Goat Cheese

Light Spaghetti and Zucchini Pasta with Goat CheeseFlavourful and quick pasta recipes always come in handy. To lighten up the calorie content of this pasta dish I have replaced part of the carbs with the zucchini. In the end I was quite surprised about how filling this dish was. Continue reading

In the beginning I wanted to make the zucchini spaghetti using my knife (since I don’t have a spiralizer) but then I found here a simple alternative using a grater that I thought worked well and was also faster. It was my first time making zucchini spaghetti and since I really liked them I now have a new item on my to buy list: the spiralizer. This quick fresh and light recipe turned out to be a tasty dish and surely one of these days this is a recipe I shall serve again… especially since the wedding is less than a month away and I want to keep my food on the light side.

Light Spaghetti and Zucchini Pasta with Goat Cheese Light Spaghetti and Zucchini Pasta with Goat Cheese

Light Spaghetti and Zucchini Pasta with Goat Cheese

 

 

Light Spaghetti and Zucchini Pasta with Goat Cheese

 

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 10-12 min

Cook time: 8-10 min

 

Ingredients

2-3 zucchini

8 sun dried tomato filets

240 g spaghetti

120 g hard goat cheese

80 g crème fraiche

Zest of 1 organic lemon

4 tbsp. dry roasted pine nuts

2 tbsp. olive oil

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe:

Using either a spiralizer or a large holed grater or even a knife, make the zucchini noodles. As I only have a grater I used it by grating the zucchini through their whole length. The other option is to thinly slice the zucchini by their length and them cut each slice into spaghetti like shapes.

Roughly chop the sun dried tomato filets and grate the hard goat cheese.

Cook the spaghetti in salted boiling water according to package instructions.

Meanwhile heat the olive oil in a pan on a medium heat and add the zucchini and the sun dried tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 2-3 min stirring once or twice. Add the crème fraiche, hard goat cheese and lemon zest. Lower the fire and cook until the sauce is dense but still a little runny.

Drain the pasta and add it to the sauce along with the pine nuts. Remove from fire, mix all together, correct taste if needed and serve.

Tomato and Mushroom Galette


Tomato Mushroom GaletteI think I’ve gotten into the habit that if I’m feeling a little low, I get in the kitchen and cook something and this always helps. Continue reading

There was nothing wrong but with the wedding approaching it’s sometimes emotionally overwhelming when something unexpected comes up. So to lift my spirits  this post I made this galette. Between cooking and tasting the results, I was back to my usual mood. To make this recipe I took inspiration and example from a galette recipe from smittenkitchen but changed a few things according to what I had at hand. Today in a month is my birthday and I’m already considering the idea of inviting a few friends at home for a party and this recipe (maybe with a different filling) will definitely be on the menu.

Tomato Mushroom GaletteTomato and Mushroom Galette

 

Recipe for 4-6 as main or 8 as an appetizer

Prep time: 25-30 min

Cook time: about 1 hour

Ingredients:

For the pastry:

160 grams all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon table salt

110 grams cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces and chilled again

60 grams plain yogurt or sour cream

70 ml ice water

 

For the filling:

450 g cherry tomatoes (even better if you can vary the colours)

120 g chestnut mushrooms

1 tbsp. olive oil

3-4 spring onions

60 g grated cheese

Salt and pepper

To glaze: 1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp. water

 

Recipe:

Pastry: In a large bowl combine the salt and the flour. Distribute bits of butter in the bowl and using your fingertips work the ingredients until the preparation looks like breadcrumbs (the largest pieces should be the size of a lentil). In another bowl mix the yoghurt (or sour cream) and the water and add them to the flour mixture. Mix in the liquid with your fingertips until large lumps form then assemble them into a ball and wrap with plastic and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour (and up to 2 days).

Filling: Quarter the mushrooms and roughly chop the spring onions.

In a pan heat the olive oil on a medium fire and add the mushrooms to brown on all sides stirring occasionally. Once they’re nice and brown add the tomatoes and brown these too for a few minutes regularly shaking the pan to tilt them. Once they start to burst season with salt and pepper, cook for another minute or so and turn off the fire. Add the spring onions and set aside.

Making the galette: Heat oven at 200°C. On a floured surface roll out the dough into an approximate 30 cm round shape (don’t worry about precision for this recipe). Transfer the dough to a parchment lined baking tray. To do this easily, gently fold the dough into quarters (without cracking it) then transfer it to the baking tray before unfold it. Place the vegetable filling in the centre and spread it out leaving a 6 cm margin around. Spare a small tsp. of the grated cheese (for the crust) while sprinkling the rest of it on top of the filling. Fold the pastry on the outer borders of the galette and brush the pastry with the egg wash; finally sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake for 30-40 min. Let the galette rest for 5 min before serving.

 

Springtime Pasta

Springtime Pasta Because asparagus season always seems too short so I wanted to take advantage of it at least once more. Continue reading

For this quick and easy dish I dressed the pasta with a creamy goat cheese sauce filled with tasty and healthy greens. These will provide two of the five portions of fruits and vegetables one needs a day. And since after almost eight years I’m still trying to get my fiancé to improve his diet, this is a good way to trick him 😉 .

Springtime Pasta

 

 

Springtime Pasta

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 5 min

Cook time: 10-15 min

 

Ingredients:

320 g pasta (fusilli, farfalle…)

320 g fresh peas (frozen ones are fine too but make sure they are at room temperature)

320 g fine asparagus

160 g fresh goat cheese

2 tbsp. olive oil

3-4 tbsp. cream

Zest of 2 lemons

Juice of 1 lemon

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe:

Chop the asparagus into 2 cm pieces (I cut mine a little too big).

Heat the olive oil in a pan over a low-medium heat. Add the chopped asparagus and the peas with salt and pepper to taste. Cook until tenderstirring occasionally, about 6-7 minutes.

Meanwhile bring a large pot filled with salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package instructions.

Once the vegetables are done add the lemon juice and lemon zest. Cook for another half minute before reducing fire and adding the cream and goat cheese. Cook while stirring until the goat cheese has melted.

Drain the pasta and add it to the pan with the vegetables and the goat cheese. Toss and 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.

 

 

 

 

Smooth Barley and Broccoli Risotto (Orzotto)

Smooth Broccoli Barley Risotto (Orzotto)  It was the first time I tried making barley risotto and found it’s a very nice alternative to the traditional rice based kind. Continue reading

Usually I like to bite into the texture of the added ingredients to the dish but, mashing the broccoli allows a nice balance with each bite you take. One great thing with this dish or any kind of risotto is when you have some leftovers. I often make an extra portion and the following day I make croquettes out of it. Usually I just shape the rice or barley into little balls, eventually I dip them into an egg wash and then I coat them with breadcrumbs and brown them in a pan with a little olive oil. When I was small, I used to look forward to the day-after risotto makeover…

 

 

Smooth Barley and Broccoli Risotto (Orzotto)

 

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 5 min

Cook time: 30-35 min

 

Ingredients

300 g blanched broccoli florets

1.2 l vegetable stock (hot)

80-100 g Grated cheese (Sbrinz, Parmesan, Grana…)

1 onion

5 tbsp butter

300 g pearled barley

Juice and zest of 1 lemon

1 pinch salt

Pepper

 

Recipe:

Process the broccoli until pureed and set aside.

Chop the onion and place it in a pan with 1-2 tbsp. butter, cook until soft, about 4-5 min. Turn up the heat and add the barley, toss and cook for about a minute. Add the lemon juice and the zest while wile you keep on stirring.

Once the lemon has been absorbed into the rice, reduce heat and start adding 1 ladle of stock with a pinch of salt while continuously stirring. Once the stock has been absorbed add the second ladle. Continue stirring and each time the stock has been absorbed add another ladle. After about 25 minutes taste the barley to check if it’s cooked, if not, continue for another few minutes.

Once you’re satisfied with the consistence of the rice, add the mashed broccoli and some pepper and stir to combine.

Remove the pan from the heat and add the rest of the butter with the grated cheese. Serve, eventually with some additional grated cheese on top.

Goat Cheese Butternut Slices

Goat Cheese Butternut In winter it’s always nice to put some colour in you life, that’s what I’ve done with this post. Continue reading

The superb colour of the butternut squash was enough to lift my day, especially because after a week of sun we’re back under the clouds and the rain (which should be snow by now) and our bones are once again on the waiting list to produce vitamin D. Tuesday, I was working on some notes and I didn’t feel like spending too long in the kitchen so I made this recipe, which is quick to prepare and while it’s cooking in the oven, you don’t really have to keep a close eye on it.

 

 

 

Goat Cheese Butternut Slices

 

Recipe for 4 as a side dish

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 30 min

 

Ingredients:

1 small butternut squash

150 g goat cheese log (alternatively use hard grated goat cheese)

1 tbsp. finely chopped rosemary leaves

1 tbsp. breadcrumbs

2 tbsp. finely chopped walnuts

Zest of 1 lemon

Cayenne pepper

Salt and pepper

1 tbsp. olive oil

 

Recipe:

Heat oven at 190°C.

Cut the butternut in half and slice it crosswise into 1 cm thick slices. Place the pumpkin slices in a sealable bag with 1 tbsp. olive oil. Shake the bag in order to make the oil coat each slice. Place the butternut on a baking tray lined with wax paper and season the slices with salt.

In a bowl finely crumble the goat cheese and add the chopped rosemary leaves, the breadcrumbs, the chopped walnuts, the lemon zest, cayenne pepper, a little salt and pepper.

Sprinkle the goat cheese mix on top of the butternut slices and cook in the oven for about 30 min, or until the squash is soft when pierced with a knife. Serve.