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
Recipe for 4
Prep time: 7-9 min
Cook time: 5 min
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
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.
Even if it comes to packing for a weekend, I always face the same dilemma: what will I wear? I always pack more than what I need and still end up wishing I had taken that white shirt, those brown pumps or that blue sweater…. Am I the only one in this position? Continue reading →
Each time I look at the people traveling with me and, to me they feel more pragmatic in their packing choices. Would you believe that I make a packing list for the weekend? I really do, especially when I’m excited about the trip. Tomorrow with my boyfriend we’re going to Basel till Sunday. I’m really looking forward to it, we’ll attend the autumn fair (Herbstmesse) and I can’t wait to check it out. So let the dilemma begin. At least when I’m in the kitchen the situation is a little better because I actually like missing an ingredient or two: it’s a way to get creative. Fortunately for the potato and cauliflower gratin I had all the ingredients and the process was a smooth one.
Potato Cauliflower Gratin
Recipe for 4
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 50-55 min
340 g potatoes
300 g cauliflower
30 g butter
3 tbsp. flour
2 dl milk
2 dl vegetable stock
60 g grated cheese
Heat oven at 200°C.
Cut the potatoes into 3 cm chunks; place them in salted boiling water and cook until done.
Cut the cauliflower into florets (roughly the same size as the potatoes) and blanch them by boiling them for 3 minutes.
Once the potatoes and cauliflowers are ready place them in a greased baking dish.
Melt the butter in a pan and add the flour while constantly whisking. After about five minutes start adding the milk little by little. Once it has thickened, do the same with the stock. Add a little freshly grated nutmeg, stir a last time and remove from heat. Add 2/3 of the cheese and stir again to melt it in. Pour the white sauce on the potatoes and cauliflower making sure it coats all of the vegetables. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and place in the oven for 20-25 min, until golden brown. Remove from oven and leave for a few minutes before serving.
Lately what I crave most is some sun. Between snow, cloudy weather and rain (like now) I can say I’ve had enough. When it’s like this I tend to not only crave for the sun but also for some cheese. Continue reading →
I was doing my groceries yesterday and I saw some alpine cheese which resembles Gruyere cheese but it has a stronger herbal taste. It was a good chunk and when I got home I looked among my books to find something I could do with it. In my old cookbook for students I found a Gougère recipe and decided to give it a try. This recipe follows the method used to make the “pâte à choux” but contains cheese. In my first attempt I followed the recipe but I shaped the dough into a crown. In the oven it looked great but once I removed it, it began looking like a deflated plastic swimming pool. Before else I went online to look for tips to get it right. I learned that by leaving the “Gougères” in the switched off oven for a few minutes prevents them from deflating (the recipe is in French: www.marmiton.org ). I went on and gave it a second try but instead of the crown I decided to make puffs and to follow the tip I had found: the result was much more satisfying this time.
Rustic Gougères (Cheese Puffs) with Alpine Cheese and Chives
Makes about 38 puffs
Prep time : 22 min
Cook Time: 35 min
2.5 dl water
75 g butter
150 g flour
150 g grated Gruyère cheese or similar kind
2 tbsp chopped chives
Salt and pepper
Heat oven at 200°C.
Place the water, the butter and a pinch of salt in a pan and bring to a boil. Remove from fire and add the flour all at once. Mix energetically and replace on a low heat for about 1 minute stirring to further remove moisture. Turn heat off and leave the dough aside to cool a little.
Once the dough has cooled integrate the eggs one at the time. You can do this process either using your hands or even better with an electric mixer. If the dough is falls off the spatula but is not liquid, the consistency is right. Add the cheese, the chives and pepper and mix again.
Line a baking tray with parchment paper and with the help of a couple of teaspoons make little balls the size of a large walnut. Just be careful not to place the balls too near between them. Leave them in the oven for 25 minutes. Turn off the oven but leave the cheese puffs in for 5 minutes with the oven door slightly open.
Take them out and eat them warm or cold, filled with whatever you like (vegetables, ham, chicken…) for lunch or first course or like this, as an appetizer.