I’m back from my honeymoon! And I can say we had a great time in France. In ten days I managed to satisfy my history curiosity, to make my taste buds happy with good food and good wine and finally to calm down my shopping cravings. Continue reading →
All this, I experienced in the company of my husband (well, he didn’t find the shopping part as exciting as I did). We spent five days in Paris then moved to Tours where we visited a few of the castles of the Loire Valley. Here are a few pictures of our trip.
We came back on Saturday night and on Sunday my mother came by to return my hairy and wet nosed house mate Kumo, and kindly she also brought me some groceries since I had little left to eat at home. It was not much but I managed to make my lunch a treat by baking these sweet potato slices with this avocado dip. As a base for my sweet potatoes I used the recipe I found on foodfunandhappiness.
Sweet Potato Slices with Avocado Dip
Recipe for 4
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 30-35 min
Heat oven at 190°C.
Wash the sweet potatoes and slice them into 0.5 cm pieces. Rinse them under the water to remove as much starch as possible and then dry them well using kitchen paper (this process will make them crispier).
In a bowl add the olive oil, salt, cayenne pepper and garlic powder; add the sweet potato slices and toss until evenly coated. Now add the breadcrumbs and the grated cheese and toss again.
Line a baking tray with oven paper and spread the potatoes on a single layer. Sprinkle any remaining grated cheese and breadcrumb mix left on top of the sweet potato slices. Bake in the oven for 30-35 min, turning them every 10-12 min.
Meanwhile prepare the dip by removing the flesh of the avocado and mashing it with a fork. Combine with the fresh cheese, the chopped onion and cayenne pepper and salt to taste.
Once the potatoes are done serve them immediately with the 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
Recipe for 4
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 20-25 min
900 g sweet potatoes
1 ½ tsp. garlic powder
¾ tsp. fine salt
A handful chopped coriander leaves
1 red chilli finely chopped
100g fresh goat cheese
4 tbsp. sour cream
3 tbsp. chives
The zest of 1 lemon
4 tbsp. lemon juice
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.
Every place on earth is blessed with typical ingredients and/or dishes. In Switzerland, one thing I’m proud of having access to is our cheese. In such a small country, we have over 450 different types of cheese and this is enough to never get bored about this produce I personally love. Continue reading →
One thing you’ll surely always find in my fridge is alpine cheese. For this recipe I wanted to honour this produce and so I adapted the recipe I found on closetcooking.com. Except for the cream cheese, all that is in this recipe comes from the country of Heidi. Sitting beside the fireplace and with a glass of white wine, my fiancé and I shared this melted cheese wonder. Talking about melted cheese, soon I will post a fondue recipe so stay tuned if you love melted cheese when it’s cold outside!
Melted Swiss Cheeses and Dried Tomato Dip
Recipe for 4 as an appetiser
Prep time: 15-20 min
Cook time: 30-35 min
150 g cream cheese
6-8 dried tomato filets in oil
1 small or ½ onion
50 g Gruyere cheese
30 g Sbrinz (or Parmesan)
30 g Emmental cheese
40 g Sour cream
½ tsp smoked Paprika
(optional 2 tbsp. white wine)
Heat oven at 180°C.
Chop the onion and dice the dried tomatoes. Cook the two ingredients in a pan on a medium fire and cook until the onion has softened, about 4-5 min. Remove from fire and set aside.
Grate all the cheeses and mix them with the sour cream, cream cheese, onion and dried tomatoes, pepper, smoked paprika and optionally the white wine. Place everything in an ovenproof dish and cook for 25-30 min. Serve warm with crostini and/or toasted bread.
Last week my friend Simo went for a quick visit to her brother and when she came back, along with a bottle of Dolcetto d’Avola she brought along a large pack of artisanal grissini made by her brother who is a baker back in Italy. Thank you Simo. With the heat of the summer I don’t always feel too hungry so I ended up eating this dip with the grissini as a meal with a small glass of white wine. I sat on the terrace overlooking my garden and while I was munching on these treats I watched a tutorial on how to do my make up in a different way as on Friday I’m attending the opening party for the Ascona Jazz Festival. I admit it, make up isn’t my strong point.
To make this dip I looked up in my Flavour Thesaurus book which always has great ideas for combining different kinds of food. Since arugula comes from the same family as watercress I told myself I’d try this combination. Come to think of the end result I guess this creamy dip could also work well as a dressing for a salad, maybe with tomatoes…
Arugula and Walnut Dip
Prep time: 5 min
30 g arugula
150 g Greek yoghurt
2 tbsp finely grated Parmesan
2 tbsp olive oil (+ more to drizzle on top at the end)
4-5 dry roasted walnut kernels
1 spring onion (white part only)
Salt and Pepper
Cut the spring onion into chunks.
In a food processor finely blend the walnuts first, then add the arugula, the spring onion and the olive oil.
Mix the whole with the Greek yoghurt add the grated Parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with fresh bread, raw veggies or grissini (like I did)
So a couple of days ago I was doing my groceries found some Swiss grown aubergines. Since I knew I wouldn’t see my boyfriend in the evening, I decided I’d enjoy them with a nice glass of wine and while watching the film Milk.Stefano (my boyfriend) doesn’t eat aubergines and usually when we eat together I often make something with meat. This was an evening to enjoy with and by myself. After consulting The Flavour Thesaurus (fortunately it’s in e-book version or the ink would have faded from the pages). I liked the idea of Aubergines and walnuts, so I decided to go with this. Instead of frying it in a pan like I did last year with my breaded zucchini, I decided to bake them in the oven and followed the directions I found here.
Walnut Breaded Aubergine with Sour Cream Dip
Recipe for 3-4 as an appetizer.
Prep time: 15-20 min
Cook time: 12-16 min
For the aubergines:
1 medium aubergine
4 tbsp breadcrumbs
3 tbsp finely chopped roasted walnuts
¼ tsp chili powder
Zest of 1 small lemon finely chopped
Salt and pepper
1-2 tbsp water
2 tbsp flour
(optional: a drizzle of oil on the slices before baking)
For the dip:
150 ml sour cream
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1 small crushed garlic clove
1 tbsp chopped spring onion
Switch the oven on at 230°C.
For the dip, in a bowl, mix all the ingredients together and set aside.
In a bowl place the flour. In another mix the egg with the water and in the third the combine breadcrumbs, walnuts, chili pepper and lemon zest.
Remove the top and bottom of the aubergine and two extremities on the side. Cut lengthways making slices of about 1 cm thick. Cut each slice into four parts.
Season the aubergine pieces with salt and pepper. Take one piece and coat it with the flour, then with the egg and finally in with the breadcrumb mix. Place on a parchment lined baking tray. Repeat with the rest of the aubergine pieces.
Now you can eventually drizzle with the olive oil. Place in the oven and leave to cook for 6-8 min. Turn the slices and cook for another four minutes. Remove from the oven and serve warm with the sour cream dip.
This recipe could also work as a side dish topped with a little tomato sauce.
I love the colour of beetroot and its earthy taste and the fact that they are easy to find all year round (at least in pre-cooked form). Continue reading →
This is a dip I have been making a few times when I have guests. I find this recipe to have a earthy but refreshing taste, besides the lovely colour. Honestly I don’t remember how this recipe came together. It’s probably logic somewhere since the two main ingredients basically have a subscription to my fridge. Their shelf life is quite long and I love their taste and versatility. And to think that four years ago, when I did not cook much, I saw beetroot as a the small reddish component in a salad just before the main meal. Today I find I was quite wrong.
Have a nice week.
Goat Cheese and Beetroot Dip
Appetizer for 3-4
Prep time : 10 minutes
100 g fresh goat cheese
150 g cooked beetroots
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp hazelnut oil
Salt and pepper
In a blender place the cheese and whiz until it has softened.
Add the rest of the ingredients and blend well, until the mass is nice and even.
I used to only eat cabbage when it was served to me or in the form of coleslaw, since a few years not anymore. Continue reading →
I love cabbage because it is a versatile and strong vegetable, I love its taste and it’s always a healthy choice. As my boyfriend was having one of his reunions and the weather encouraged me to stay at home (we’ve already had the first snow on top of the mountains), I had a comfy evening in front of the fireplace munching away these croquettes. For this I didn’t use any covers because eating with my hands is something I absolutely love; don’t you? This croquette recipe which I have adapted comes from another of my mother’s cookbooks and it works as an appetizer and as a side dish maybe with some game meat).
What I learned about the cabbage:
The cabbage is said to have been cultivated between the thousands and the hundreds years BC. Through its long history it has had an unstable reputation. The ancient Greeks, Romans and Egyptians consumed it and attributed to the medicinal proprieties. Romans and Egyptians advised its consumption before and after going to a alcohol soaked event. In medieval times the poor made a large consumption of cabbage and later, between the 14th and 17th century, the vegetable underwent a period of low reputation (like many of the leafy veggies during that time). One important fact about cabbage is that it is not a delicate plant to grow nor to use so it would be a source of energy available the whole year round to different people in different geographical regions. Vikings and Chinese would store them for the cold winter months. To be stored the vegetable would either be dried (like the Vikings and Chinese) or pickled (like the Chinese and Turks). Source: vegparadise.com
Recipe for 4
Prep time: 10-15 min
Cook time: 8-10 min
400 g thinly sliced red cabbage
1 tbsp butter
500 g cold boiled potatoes (ideally from the day before)
¼ tsp grated nutmeg
Salt and pepper
1 pot sour cream
1 small bunch of chives
Butter to brown the croquettes
Heat the butter in a pan and add the cabbage with some salt and pepper. Cook until almost soft (about 8-10 min). Set aside and leave to cool.
Remove the skin of the potatoes. In a bowl grate the potatoes.
In another bowl put the eggs with some salt, pepper and nutmeg. Mix and add to the potatoes. Mix again to incorporate the egg. Add the cooled cabbage and stir in order to get an even preparation.
In a pan heat some butter. With a tablespoon slide the preparation into the pan and slightly flatten them. On a low heat brown the croquettes on both sides for a few minutes (alternatively you can cook the croquettes in the oven at 200°C for about 20 minutes).
Serve the croquettes warm as a side dish or as a finger food with the dip. For the dip finely chop the chives and add them to the sour cream.