Wild Garlic Pesto Potatoes

Wild Garlic Pesto Potatoes 7.1I was telling my mother today how much I love spring and its produce, the only thing is that the period goes by very fast and I don’t even have the time to get bored with foods like fresh asparagus, artichokes, rhubarb or wild garlic. Continue reading

This time I really was looking forward to making something with wild garlic; so I made a simple recipe with roasted potatoes and added a homemade wild garlic pesto with walnuts. The plus in this recipe is that the leftover pesto can be used later in many other dishes. The one I made yesterday I used it today on a tomato mozzarella salad. The traditional pesto should be made using a pestle and mortar but to speed up the process I went with my eighties blender (the modern one I owned took its last whizz on an experimental recipe some time ago). Anyway, take advantage of spring and its staple fruits (and veggies)!

 

 

Wild Garlic Pesto Potatoes

 

Recipe for 4-6

Prep time: 15 min (most of the prep time will take place while the potatoes are roasting)

Cook time: 50 min

Ingredients:

For the potatoes:

600g new potatoes

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

 

For the wild garlic pesto:

40 g wild garlic (rinsed and dried)

2 tbsp. walnuts (I quickly dry roasted them)

5 tbsp. grated Parmesan

Olive oil

optional: salt

 

Recipe:

Heat oven at 200°C/180°C fan/gas.

Cut the potatoes in half and cook them in boiling water for 8-9 min then drain them.

Coat a baking tin with olive oil and add the potatoes. Pour 1 tbsp. olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Bake for 20 min. then turn them around. Bake for another 15-20 min, until golden brown and soft inside.

While the potatoes are baking prepare the pesto. Roughly chop the wild garlic and place it in a blender with a splash of olive oil and optionally some salt and process. Add the walnuts and process again. Now add the Parmesan and more olive oil. Blend until smooth and add more olive oil until it has the desired thickness. Transfer to a jar as there will be extra left for other dishes you’re making (pasta, chicken, caprese salad…)

Once the potatoes are done add 1.5-2 tsp. of the pesto, toss and serve.

 

Asparagus Lemon Pasta Bake

Asparagus Lemon Pasta BakeIn a hurried week I really wanted to post this recipe, which I really enjoyed. The lemon gives this pasta bake has a light and refreshing taste and it’s asparagus season so I want to take advantage of it! Continue reading

As an inspiration for this recipe I took smittenkitchen’s mushroom Marsala pasta bake, a recipe I’ve been contemplating for some time and finally decided to adapt it to the spring season. I’m going to have to keep it short because I still have to finish packing for a special weekend where I get to spend time with a friend… but before he arrives in Zurich, I want/need to go shopping.

Have a nice weekend everyone!

Asparagus Lemon Pasta Bake

Asparagus Lemon Pasta Bake

 

Asparagus Pasta Bake

Recipe for 4-6

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 50-60 min

 

Ingredients:

280g short pasta (I used penne)

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 small-medium onion

0.8 dl white wine

45g butter

30 g flour (or 2 tbsp.)

3.5 dl vegetable stock

80g Parmesan cheese

The juice and zest of 1 small organic lemon

0.9 dl cream

400g asparagus (woody part removed)

 

Recipe:

Cook the pasta in salted boiling water but make sure it’s al dente. Drain it 1-2 minutes before doneness and set it aside.

Slice the asparagus at an angle into 0.5 cm pieces (if using thin asparaguses, cut them into 1-1.5 cm pieces. Chop the onion.

Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil on a medium-high heat and add the asparaguses to brown tossing occasionally. Once done set them aside with the pasta.

Reduce the fire to medium-low and add the second tbsp. of olive oil along with the chopped onion. Cook until the onion has softened (4-5 min). Pour in the white wine, lemon juice and lemon zest and cook until the liquid has almost evaporated, don’t stop stirring. Now add the butter and once it has melted, add the flour and continue stirring until it has been combined with the rest of the ingredients. Start adding the stock one splash at the time. Make sure that between splashes, the liquid is well combined. Do so until the stock is finished then let it cook for a couple of minutes to let the sauce thicken. Add the cream, stir and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the fire and add ¾ of the grated cheese along with the pasta and the asparaguses. Mix everything together. If you’re using an ovenproof pan, you can bake the dish directly in there. If your pan is not oven proof transfer it to a baking dish. Sprinkle the pasta with the remaining grated Parmesan and bake for 25-30 min in a pre-heated oven at 200°C.

Oven Roasted Potatoes Raclette Style

Oven Roasted Potatoes Raclette StyleIn Switzerland when the weather gets cooler we always enjoy our melted cheese and serve it with few other ingredients. This means we either go for a fondue or a raclette. In fact, since the beginning of September I’ve already had raclette four times and I haven’t grown tired of it yet. Continue reading

So for this post I made something inspired from this national dish but instead of boiling the potatoes I baked them and as a final touch I added the cheese on top and let it melt through the layers. For the potatoes I found a nice recipe on layersofhappiness, which matched what I had in mind. In my version of the spuds I added a little less flavourings because raclette is served with simple boiled potatoes and I wanted to stick with the simplicity of the dish. I will make it again… especially if I feel lazy about taking out the whole raclette maker.

Oven Roasted Potatoes Raclette Style

 

Oven Roasted Potatoes Raclette Style

Recipe for 4-6

Prep time: 15-20min

Cook time: 1h 15min-1h 35min

 

Ingredients:

800 g waxy potatoes (preferably all about the same size)

3-4 tbsp. rapeseed oil (+extra to grease baking dish)

Paprika (sweet or spicy)

Salt and pepper

160 g raclette cheese cut into slices (alternatively use Emmetaler or Gruyère)

 

Recipe:

Heat oven at 230°C.

Grease a baking dish with rapeseed oil.

Make sure that after washing the potatoes they are dry. Slice them into 3-4 mm thick slices and arrange the on a baking tray by overlapping them. Season them with salt pepper and paprika. On top drizzle 2 tbsp. of the rapeseed oil and place in the oven.

Cook for about 35-45 minutes and then drizzle another 1-2 tbsp. oil before baking for another 30-40 min.

Once the potatoes have a nice brown colour add the cheese slices on top and bake for a final 8-10 min. or until it has melted and it’s bubbling. Remove from the oven and serve hot.

 

 

Crispy Oven Polenta Chicken

Crispy Oven Polenta Chicken Relaxed food without the need of cutlery is sociable and fun. This is exactly what I did with on my weekly lunch with my mother. With the wedding coming up and two families colliding, there’s much to talk about and a nice meal does help reducing the stress. I found some great looking organic chicken thighs. Continue reading

Like mother like daughter…. Both of us love crispy food so a nice crust made with polenta, was a great match. Using the ingredients I had at hand, I adapted my version from the recipe I found on the foodandwine.com.

Crispy Oven Polenta Chicken

 

Crispy Oven Polenta Chicken

 

Recipe for 8 pieces (1-2 pieces p.p)

Prep time: 10-15 min

Cook time: 45-55 min

 

Ingredients:

8 chicken thighs

Juice of 1 lemon

6 tbsp. fine grain polenta flour

3 tbsp. flour

1 tbsp. finely chopped rosemary leaves

1 dl milk

Salt and pepper

2 tbsp. olive oil

 

Recipe

Start by drizzling the lemon juice over the chicken. Leave for 15-30 minutes to marinate.

Meanwhile heat your oven at 180°C.

In a bowl pour the milk, in another one mix the fine polenta flour, plain flour and the chopped rosemary leaves.

Dry the meat with some kitchen paper then season generously it with salt and pepper.

Dip one chicken thigh first in the milk then evenly coat with the polenta flour mixture.

Heat half of the olive oil in a pan on a medium-high fire and place half of the chicken to brown on both sides for about 4-5 min per side. Once done set aside. Repeat with the second batch.

Line a baking try with aluminium foil and place a rack on top. Place the chicken pieces on top and cook in the lower part of the oven for 35-45 minutes. If juices of the chicken run clear when pierced, you’re ready to take them out. Serve either warm or at room temperature. Serve with lemon wedges on the side.

 

Crispy Chicken Thighs with Bell Peppers

Crispy Chicken Thighs with Bell Peppers On Saturday I’m leaving to travel through Spain, starting from Barcelona we will then visit Seville, Cordoba, Granada and finally Marbella. Continue reading

I am really excited about this trip and so, for this post, I though I’d use ingredients that remind me of this beautiful and interesting country. I browsed a little through the Internet and here; I found this chicken recipe I wanted to try out. I prepared this for my mother and I and besides the nice moment we really enjoyed it. What I particularly always like is that with baked dishes, you just slide them in the oven and enjoy your time while you are waiting for the meal to be ready. Yesterday I really needed that moment to chat with my mother, I have no words to describe how much her support means to me in this moment of change. I will never forget all that she does for me, I feel so lucky to have her. Thank you Mum and thank you Swiss chickens for making this moment even better! I’ll be off for the next couple of weeks so I hope you all have a great time and see you very soon!

Crispy Chicken Thighs with Bell Peppers

Crispy Chicken Thighs with Bell Peppers

 

Recipe for 4

Prep time

Cook time

 

Ingredients

 

8 chicken thighs

1 lemon (juice and zest)

1 tbsp. dried basil

4 bell peppers

2 onions

2 tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp. smoked paprika

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe

 

Heat oven at 220°C.

In a bowl combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, dried basil, 1 tbsp. olive oil, smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Mix together.

Make three incisions on each chicken thigh and coat it with the marinade (if you want more flavour leave the chicken to marinate for up to a day).

Take the bell peppers and cut them into strips. Cut the onions in half and quarter each half. Place the vegetables in a baking tin with 1 tbsp. olive oil, salt and pepper. On top place a rack with the chicken on it. Bake the whole thing in the oven for about 30-35 min or until the chicken has browned and the bell peppers are soft. Serve by itself or with some rice or potatoes.

 

Sweet Potato and Zucchini Rosti

Sweet Potato and Zucchini Rosti I have a thousand thoughts running through my mind lately, Continue reading

I don’t know whether it’s the holidays approaching or the different things I’m setting straight in my life but I don’t seem to be much able to concentrate. This week for example, I was dry roasting some almonds and I managed to burn them not once, not twice but three times; I forgot the cheese I bought at the supermarket and when I wanted to make myself some chicken, I forgot to buy it despite it being on my grocery list. Hopefully it will get better next week, come to think of it, this situation can only get better. In order to avoid any more food messes, I thought I’d make something extremely easy which couldn’t go wrong so I made these oven baked rosti but I replaced the potatoes with sweet potatoes and zucchini. This recipe is based on the first rosti I made last year that is so easy to make and it goes well as a vegetarian main meal or as a side dish, maybe with chicken (like the one I forgot to buy…)

Sweet Potato and Zucchini Rosti Sweet Potato and Zucchini Rosti

 

Sweet Potato and Zucchini Rosti

 

Recipe for 2 as a main meal or for 4 as a side dish

Prep time: 20 min

Cook time: 55-60 min

Ingredients

 

2 sweet potatoes

2 zucchini

1 onion

Salt and pepper

2 tbsp flour

30 g melted butter + more to place on top of the patty

30 g grated cheese (I used Gruyere but any other choice is fine too, goat’s cheese is a great option)

about 7 basil leaves

 

Recipe

 

Heat oven at 200°C

In a bowl grate the sweet potatoes, the zucchini and the onion using a large holed grater.

Take clean a tea towel, place the grated vegetables at the centre. Take the four corners to close the towel and above your sink, squeeze out the moisture. Add salt, pepper and flour; mix and add the melted butter and mix again.

Line a baking tray with parchment paper; place the vegetable mix on top and form a round patty that is about 4 cm thick. On top, add a few more bits of butter and place in the oven for 50-55 min. Leaving the rosti in the oven, sprinkle the grated cheese on top and cook for another 3-5 min. Place the basil leaves on top as a final touch and serve warm.

 

Rosemary Chilli Oven Baked Potatoes

Oven Baked Potatoes 1Things have been a bit hectic lately and I was made to believe that it was me who would cook for Christmas. Continue reading

So I began looking for ideas which are not too heavy on the stomach but which still had a festive side to it. A nice slow cooked meat with these potatoes would have been my choice. I am writing in the conditional because I guess none of this is going to happen since plans change by the day; it seems like a difficult thing to agree on a time, date and place. Before I was quite excited to cook but now that things have changed, at least, I will not have to get stressed out in the kitchen. Now at least I have time to look for all the Christmas shopping I have not yet taken care of… and this is not necessarily an easy task.

Oven Baked Potatoes 3 Oven Baked Potatoes 2

Rosemary Chilli Oven Baked Potatoes

 

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time : 45 minutes

 

Ingredients:

 

6-8 potatoes

1tbsp olive oil

1-2 rosemary stalks

1-2 red chilies

Salt

 

Recipe:

Heat oven at 220°C.

Make deep incisions sidewise of each potato. Each incision should not go all the way through and should be about 2-3 mm away from the next.

Remove the seeds from the chili and cut into thin strips of about 1-2 cm long.

Brush the potatoes with the olive oil.

In the slits push in a few rosemary leaves alternating them with the red chilies. Add salt.

Cover and place in the oven for about 40 minutes or until soft when pierced with a knife. Remove cover and cook for another 5 minutes.

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).

Oven Rosti with Caramelized Onions

Oven Roesti with Caramelized OnionsFeeling positive about the fact that Summer may one day arrive; I cleaned the whole terrace furniture. Preparing the outdoor spot means cleaning and waxing a couple of old wooden benches, chairs and a table; this is an activity which woks up quite an appetite. By the time I was finished cleaning and waxing it was windy and almost raining so something warm coming out of the oven felt right; I wanted roesti (or rosti ). The good thing about this recipe is that it works well for a crowd, just fill the whole bottom of the baking dish. Continue reading

The rösti/roesti recipe is part of the Swiss culinary heritage. Originally from Zurich, this potato recipe moved to Bern where it received the name: roesti. This potato cake was first served as a breakfast dish and it was cooked in lard, over time the use of butter became more common. Roesti, in Switzerland is a dish which that has many different versions, the one I prepared is made with non boiled potatoes and the recipe is said to come from the Grison canton. I found this recipe in one of my mother’s old cookbooks and gave it my own twist. One anecdote about this dish is that to us, it means more than just a potato cake. We are a federation of cantons with four different languages and therefore different cultures; the largest regions are the French (or Latin) and the German. The cultural barrier that divides the Swiss German part from the Swiss French one is called Roestigraben (the roesti barrier) (source: http://www.terrenature.ch/terroir/27102011-0000-les-rosti-de-courgenay-sont-une-delicatesse)


Oven Roesti with Caramelized Onions

Recipe for 2

Prep Time: 15 min

Cook Time: 35 min


Ingredients:

400g peeled starchy potatoes

2 tsp flour

Salt and pepper

Freshly grated nutmeg

3 tsp soft butter

2 red onions

2tsp olive oil

1 tsp thyme leaves

1tsp sugar

1tsp balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp sour cream


Recipe:

Heat oven at 200 C.

Grate the potatoes with a grater with holes on the larger side (about ½ cm ). Add the flour, salt, pepper nutmeg; mix with your hands. Finally add 2 tsp of the soft butter and mix into the potatoes.

Put the potatoes in an oiled baking tin (shape it but do not press it down) and place in the oven for 30-35 min.

Cut the onions in half and slice into half circle strips. In a pan place the olive oil, onions, thyme, salt and pepper and cook for about 15 min on a low heat. Once the onions are soft add the sugar and the vinegar and cook for another 6-7 min (until caramelized).

To brown the surface of the potatoes, add a little butter on top of the potatoes and continue to cook for another 5-10 min.

Serve the potatoes with a tbsp of sour cream and the caramelized onions.