Cauliflower Gruyere Soup

Cauliflower Gruyere Soup

It hasn’t snowed yet in the southern part of Switzerland but temperatures have significantly changed. When I wake up in the morning all seems frozen and this sight is enough to enter in soup mood. Continue reading

Most of the time I make something with the vegetables at hand but this time I felt like making something creamier. Cauliflower and cheese are a great flavour combination so instead baking it in a gratin or mixing it with some pasta; I thought this would be a nice alternative. In the beginning I thought of only making a cheese soup but then I changed my mind and in the end, I also added the cauliflower.

Cauliflower Gruyere Soup

 

Cauliflower Gruyere Soup

Recipe for 4-6

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time:20-25 min

 

Ingredients:

500 g cauliflower florets

240 g potatoes

160 g Gruyere cheese

2-3 garlic cloves

1 tbsp. butter

0.9-1 l vegetable stock

Pepper

 

Recipe:

Finely chop the garlic. Peel the potatoes and cut them into about 1 cm cubes. Eventually cut the florets into smaller pieces if they are very large. Coarsely grate the Gruyere cheese.

Melt the butter in a pan and add the garlic to cook on a low to medium fire for 4-5 min. Once it has softened add the potatoes and the vegetable stock, bring to a simmer and cook for about 10 min or until the potatoes you can easily insert a knife in them. Add the cauliflower florets and continue simmering for another 8-10 min.

Now you have two choices: either place everything in a food processor which will be more straightforward but the end result will be less smooth. The second alternative is to pass the soup through a strainer and set aside the liquid while you only process the solid ingredients before mixing everything back together.

Replace the soup on a low fire until it simmers again then remove it, add pepper to taste and the cheese and stir until it has melted. Serve with crusty bread and eventually top with dry roasted almonds, walnuts, chia seeds or whatever suits your taste.

 

 

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.

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.

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.

 

Melted Swiss Cheeses and Dried Tomato Dip


Melted Swiss Cheeses and Dried Tomato 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

 

Melted Swiss Cheeses and Dried Tomato Dip

 

Recipe for 4 as an appetiser

Prep time: 15-20 min

Cook time: 30-35 min

 

Ingredients

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

Pepper

½ tsp smoked Paprika

(optional 2 tbsp. white wine)

 

Recipe

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.

 

Double Cheese Appetizer

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After spending the day outside in the winter weather, I built up a good hunger and I knew I would have company in the evening. Continue reading

My boyfriend would come and it was a few days since we had seen each other; I wanted to make a nice dinner. With my belly grumbling I got to the kitchen and began cooking; if I would have to wait for dinner, I could at least taste. I grabbed an old cooking magazine with a recipe I had planned to make and adapt to my taste and got down to cutting the cheese. The first recipe is fortunately something easy to make ahead.  Once the cheese was on the sticks and in the freezer I was ready to make the caramel. I reached to grab the box where the sugar is only to see that I was out of white sugar. I only had the brown one and resorted to using it. I put the sugar and the water in the pan and I was happy to see the caramel taking. My phone rang and by the time  went to pick it up and came back to the kitchen the sugar had crystallized. I washed the pan and gave it a second try which failed again and on the third try the result was not great but at least it had not crystallized. Now, I knew you are supposed to use white sugar for caramel but didn’t know why. I went on the internet and learned that brown sugar contains impurities which make the sugar form those crystals without turning into caramel. Lesson learned.

Double Cheese Appetizer 2

Double Cheese Appetizer

Double Cheese Appetizer 3

For the cheese lollipops :

Makes about 15 pieces

Prep time: 15-20 min

Cook time: 5-7 min

 

Ingredients:

150 g Gruyère

3 tbsp dry roasted hazelnuts

30 g breadcrumbs

¼ tsp chilli flakes

¼ tsp five spice

Pepper

20 g white sugar

1 small tsp water

 

Recipe:

Chop the hazelnuts (whether you like them chunky or finely minced is up to you) and place in a bowl. In another bowl mix the breadcrumbs the chilli flakes, the five spice and a pinch of pepper. Set aside.

Cut he cheese in roughly 3 cm cubes. Delicately pike the cheese cubes onto skewer sticks (the cheese will break less if at room temperature). Wrap them in cellophane and place in the freezer for ten minutes.

For the caramel, on a medium heat in a non-stick pan put the sugar and water.  Mix until the sugar has dissolved and after that wait for it to colour. Remove from the fire before the caramel is too brown, it should still be a bit runny.

First dip the tip of a Gruyère cube into the caramel and after in either the hazelnuts or the breadcrumb mix. To serve, place the sticks with the cheese in a glass.

 

Double Cheese Appetizer 8

For the pear, celery and Vacherin crostini

Makes 12 pieces

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 10 min

 

Ingredients:

12 slices baguette bread (about 1-1.5 cm thick)

Butter

1 small celery stalk

1 small pear

100 g Vacherin Mont d’Or (or another washed-rind cheese)

pepper

6 dry roasted walnut kernels

 

Recipe:

Heat oven at 190°C.

Butter the bread slices on one side and place in the oven. Remove when nicely browned, about 5 minutes.

Julienne the celery. Peel the pear and cut it in half. Core it and cut into thin slices. Half or chop the walnut kernels.

Place a couple pear slices on a slice of bread, top with celery, a bit of Vacherin and finally the walnut kernels. Place in the oven again for another 5 minutes. Serve.

Chicken Meatballs

Chicken Meatballs 1 Continue reading

I think I still have to meet someone who doesn’t like meatballs. Whether they are made with beef, chicken or meatless, I’ll have any.  One great thing about this dish is that you can decline it to infinity. You can travel the whole world with meatballs. I had lunch with my mother this week and thought I’d make some oven baked meatballs. While they were cooking we could comfortably stay on the couch, chat and sip a bit of wine. I looked up a couple recipes in my books and found beef and vegetarian meatballs, not totally satisfied, I went online and had a look around for new ideas and I never did to put tomato paste mixed with fat on the meatballs before baking (also because i usually make them in the pan). This was an idea I liked. For the mince mix I wanted to use Swiss cheese so I wrote down the combinations I might like and gave it a try. Once the dish was ready I placed it on the table and took the pictures. I must say that it was nice to see my mother standing next to me taking pictures too. Of course right after we had the meatballs with a salad. It was funny because at the end of the meal she took out a cooking magazine and gave it to me. While I was going through the pages she confessed to me that she hides them from her partner because he makes fun of the amount of recipes she has stored over time (the best is that she never seems to try one).

Happy Halloween to whoever is celebrating it!

Chicken Meatballs 5

Chicken Meatballs

 

Recipe for about 9 meatballs (golf ball size)

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: about 20 min

 

Ingredients :

350g minced chicken

3 heaped tbsp grated gruyere

1.5-2 tbsp roasted pine nuts

1 tsp thyme leaves

3 tbsp breadcumbs

1 egg

1 small onion

2-3 tbsp milk

½ tsp paprika (optional)

Salt and pepper

2 tbsp small tomato paste

1 tsp oil or butter

 

Recipe:

Finely chop the onion and the pine nuts.

In a bowl place the minced chicken, gruyere, pine nuts, thyme leaves, breadcrumbs, egg, onion, milk, 1/2 of the tomato paste, salt and pepper to your liking and the optional paprika.

Mix well with your hands. Place in the fridge and leave to rest for 30 min.

Heat oven at 210°C.

Take the mince mix out of the fridge and make the meatballs. Place them in a greased baking dish.

Mix the remaining tomato paste with the oil/butter and brush the top of each meatball.

Place in the oven for about 20 min keeping an eye on them.

Serving ideas: with some creamy pasta, a salad, in a sandwich,  or make smaller meatballs and serve them as an appetizer (cooking time will be shorter in this case).