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.

 

 

One Pan Alpine Pasta

One Pan Alpine PastaI love one-pan dishes, I find them fun, easy to make and no chance of towering up dishes in the sink which will have to be cleaned after the meal! I made this dish for my mother and myself one day we were running short of time but now that I’ve tried it, I’d totally remake it for an evening between friends, maybe with a nice platter of dried meat as a starter and a nice glass of wine (the latter is not a “maybe”). I found the base for this recipe in my Swiss Cooking book (by Alfred Haefeli) and adapted it in order to make it become a one-pan dish to save time and clean kitchenware.

Tip: To make this recipe a little lighter, instead of using whole milk I used the half-fat kind and I found it didn’t affect the final result.

 

 

One Pan Alpine Pasta

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 5-7 min

Cook time: 15-20 min

 

Ingredients:

200g short pasta (choose a kind of pasta that takes between 12-15 min to cook, I used rigatoni)

500g peeled potatoes

1 large onion

1-2 garlic cloves

5 dl vegetable stock

1 dl milk

2 dl cream

1 tsp. cornstarch

200 g alpine cheese or Gruyere

Nutmeg

Pepper

 

Recipe:

Cut the potatoes into 2cm cubes and chop the onion and the garlic.

Place the pasta, potatoes, onion and garlic and in a pan.

In a small bowl place the cornstarch along with a little milk and mix until the combined.

Pour over the stock, milk, cream and diluted corn starch, nutmeg and pepper and bring to a rolling boil and leave to cook stirring occasionally until the pasta and potatoes are cooked and the whole become creamy. If needed reduce heat.

Meanwhile grate the cheese.

Once the ingredients are cooked through, remove the pan from the fire, add the grated cheese and mix. Should the cheese not be completely melted, add the pan back to the fire for a short moment while constantly stirring. Optionally sprinkle a little more pepper and serve.

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.

Tomato Sandwich with Avocado Mayo

Tomato Sandwich with Avocado Mayo

I love foods that get along with each other; they are just a wonder to combine… like tomato and avocado. So this week I thought I’d make a simple, quick but tasty sandwich with such simple ingredients. This is a sandwich I made last week with my mother when we had an improvised picnic on the terrace under the hot sun. Continue reading

I am also really excited to announce that from October on I will be blogging for the tasty association the “amis da la forcheta” which is an association that focuses on products from Ticino by organising gastronomic events and walks. They are a group that proudly supports locals products and also, they have an eye on ecological sustainability. All of these aspects I personally consider to be really important. Over the next few weeks I will write more about it; but for now I am really excited to share the news! With a heart full of excitement I wish you all a great week 😀

Tomato Sandwich with Avocado Mayo

 

Tomato Sandwich with Avocado Mayo

 

Recipe for 4:

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 5 min

 

Ingredients:

8 1 cm thick slices brown bread

2 small avocadoes

4 small tbsp. mayonnaise

2 meaty tomatoes (I used the beef heart kind)

2 spring onions (white part only)

A few salad leaves

Powdered chilli

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe:

Toast the four slices of bread either in a toaster or in an oven. Once they’re lightly toasted let the cool by leaning them on something so that they don’t lay flat and therefore loose they crunchiness.

Remove the hard part of the tomatoes and slice them into 3-4 mm thick pieces. Do the same with the spring onion.

Cut the avocadoes in two, remove the pit and remove the meat with the help of a tbsp. Place the avocado meat in a bowl and mash it with a fork. Add mayo and powdered chilli to taste and mix all together.

Take a slice of bread and spread on one side a generous layer of the avocado mayo. On top place the tomatoes and the spring onion, season with salt and pepper, add the salad leaves and top with a second slice of bread. Repeat with the rest of the bread slice and the ingredients and serve.

 

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.

Peach, Blue Cheese and Arugula Salad with Caramelised Walnuts

Peach, Blue Cheese and Arugula Salad with Caramelised Walnuts So after a week in the very hot southern Spain I’m back and filled with motivation and excitement: – 1 month and 15 days to the wedding! Continue reading

The good thing about being back is that even if it’s too hot for Switzerland standards, it’s still cooler than in Marbella. Nevertheless the temperatures call for fresh recipes where you don’t have to stand too long in front of the kitchen plates. In this recipe I combined blue cheese and peaches because the work really well when paired. In addition I decided to add some caramelised walnuts for the sweet crunch effect. I found a really easy and quick recipe on natashaskitchen.com. Since I didn’t want to over do it with the sugar, I changed a little the proportions and it turned out just fine.

 

Peach, Blue Cheese and Arugula Salad with Caramelised Walnuts

 

Peach, Blue Cheese and Arugula Salad with Caramelized Walnuts

 

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

Prep time 10 min

Cook time 5 min

 

Ingredients:

2 white peaches

50 g walnuts

50 g sugar

½ tbsp. sugar

100 g arugula

140 g Gorgonzola

3 tbsp. olive oil

1.5 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe:

Heat a non-stick pan on a medium fire and add the butter, sugar and walnuts. Cook for five minutes stirring often. Once the sugar has caramelised and is a nice brown colour, transfer the walnuts to a piece of parchment paper, spread them around and let them cool. Once they will have cooled roughly chop them with a large knife.

Cut the peaches in half and then into quarters before de-pitting them. Cut each quarter into three segments.

Cut the Gorgonzola into 1.5-2 cm pieces.

Prepare the dressing by mixing the olive oil with the balsamic vinegar then add salt and pepper to taste.

In a bowl place the arugula and pour in about ¾ of the balsamic dressing. Toss until evenly coated and place in a serving dish. On top distribute the peach sections and the Gorgonzola. Drizzle the remaining dressing and sprinkle the caramelised walnuts. Serve asap.

 

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.

 

Red Bean Burger

Red Bean BurgerI love vegetarian/vegan burgers and this recipe is something I keep on making over and over, especially when my mother comes over and we don’t know what to eat. Continue reading

With a few ingredients you’ve got yourself a healthy and filling dish that is easy and quick to prepare. What I also like about burgers is that they are a good source of iron and since my meat intake is relatively limited, this recipe is a good alternative. I prepared this red bean burger and garnished it with what I had at home (tomatoes and salad) although if had had an avocado I would have smashed it with a fork and used it as mayo to smother it all over. The nice thing at least is that I know that in not so long I’ll be having it again and this time I will not forget the avocado.

 

Red Bean Burger

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 15-20 min

Cook time: 8-10 min

 

Ingredients

520 g cooked red kidney beans

4 tbsp. chopped coriander

2 garlic cloves

1 small red onion

2 chilli peppers

Salt

1 tbsp. rapeseed oil

4 buns

Garnish to taste with either: tomatoes, salad, smashed avocado, mayonnaise….

 

Recipe:

Place the beans in a bowl and with the help of a fork or a potato masher mash them.

Crush the garlic with a garlic crusher and finely chop the onion and the red pepper. Add the two ingredients to the bowl along with the coriander and salt to taste.

Mix everything together and form four patties.

Heat the oil in a pan on a medium fire and cook the bean burgers for 4-5 min per side. Once they are nice and brown, garnish your burger according to 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.

Bacon & Radish Salad

Bacon Radish Salad Yesterday was my weekly lunch with my mother and since we were out doing groceries till later than usual I wanted to make something quick for the two of us, so I prepared this recipe while we sipped some wine and enjoyed a little smoked salmon on the kitchen counter. Continue reading

The glass of wine and salmon has over the last couple of years become a mother daughter ritual, and I love it. Usually I cook very little with bacon but for a quick a tasty dish, it’s always a great addition. While we were grocery shopping, I found locally produced organic radishes and they just went great with this salad as it added colour, texture and a slightly spicy taste to the recipe.

Bacon Radish Salad

 

 

Bacon & Radish Salad

 

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 7-9 min

Cook time: 5 min

 

Ingredients

200 g bacon

200 g radishes

100 g salad leaves

1-2 spring onion (white part only)

2-3 tbsp. pumpkin seeds

1.5 tbsp. white wine vinegar

3 tbsp. olive oil

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe

Cook the bacon until crispy and nicely browned. Remove from heat and place on some kitchen paper. Cut the bacon into 2-3 cm pieces.

Finely slice the spring onion(s) and the radishes.

In a bowl make the dressing by mixing the vinegar and olive oil with salt and pepper to taste. Add the radishes and spring onions, mix and add the salad leaves and the pumpkin seeds. Toss all together and if using a serving plate transfer the salad. Top with the bacon and serve with some crusty bread.