tonight we had guests and once again i made the incredible veggie soup, this time with carrots, potatoes, fennel, hamburg parsley and peas. tarte au citron was the desert.
to make a tarte au citron has been a plan for quite some time. i did some research on the internet and found an amazing number of possible variations, finally ending up at david lebovitz’ lemon tarte recipe. the interesting part here is the tarte dough, as it is done in a very uncommon way: first you boil the butter and some other ingredients in the oven for some time, and then add the flour – which makes for quite a bubbling and sputtering experience. (i don’t want to repeat the full recipe here, go check out the french pastry dough). i modified the filling of the tarte a bit, using 100ml lemon juice plus 50ml orange juice, 100g sugar, lemon zest, 3 eggs and 50g butter. after the custard was cooked i added also 2tbsp crème fraîche. the filling is still quite tart (i did not pay attention to this detail while reading the recipe), but with some raspberry sauce it was very nice. next i’ll give the almond version a try.
the request for dinner today was “something stuffed with vegetables”. for the yeast dough i used 500g flour, 100ml lukewarm milk, 100 ml sun flower oil, about 70ml lukewarm water, 1 tsp salt, 20g fresh yeast. i had two different fillings: one with 200g leaf spinach, sautéd with one clove of garlic, and 100g feta cheese. the second filling was made from two tomatoes, cooked with olive oil and origan for about 20 minutes, 100g feta cheese and 3 tbsp tomato paste. served with yoghurt mixed with chive, parsley, salt and black pepper.
we had this for dinner yesterday evening, it’s lamb’s lettuce with fried mushrooms.
having never been to mallorca so far i also did not know about Ensaïmadas de Mallorca , which are obviously something like a national treasure. i stumbled upon the recipe here and tried them this morning (started actually last evening, since they are supposed to rise overnight). i made only half the amount of the recipe. and i used butter instead of lard – i guess that’s the reason why i found them nice, but not as spectacular as i had expected. note to self: go check out the original on-site.
here i made for the first time a real pâte brisée out of this book and i must say that the extra effort (i.e. 1 hour cooling time, fraiser, again 30 minutes cooling time, blind-baking) was really worth it. very delicate pastry, not at all stale like your ordinary shortcrust sometimes. i used for a 23cm baking pan 200g flour, 80g cold butter, 1/4 tsp salt and 3 Tbsp cold water. the filling was made like this: cut one potato in small cubes, fry in 2 Tbsp olive oil for about 10 minutes. add about 10 medium-sized mushrooms, finely sliced, and one peeled clove of garlic. sauté with closed lid for 5 minutes. add about 200g leaf spinach (i used the frozen stuff) and saute for another 10 minutes or until the spinach is done. remove garlic clove, season with salt & pepper. prepare about 1 cup of grated cheese – i used some parmesan and two slices Edam. in a seperate bowl, whisk together 3 eggs, 3 Tbsp of cream cheese (well, i just found it in the fridge and thought it might fit) and about 1/2 cup of milk. mix the cheese first with 1 tsp flour, then add as well. pour the vegetables on the meanwhile blind-baked pastry, and then the egg-cheese-milk-mix. bake at 175° for about 35 minutes or until golden brown and set.
this is the most elaborate carrot salad i ever made, and actually kind of an own invention (after browsing here and there). first roast 1.5 Tbsp sesame seed, set aside. cut 1/2 onion in tiny dices. mix juice of half a lemon with half a cup orange juice. finely grate a small piece of ginger (2cm?) into the juice. roast cinnamon, cilantro, cumin, black pepper (approximately 1/4 tsp each) and 1/2 tsp black onion seed for a few minutes. deglace with the juice. add 1 Tbsp honey. pour the mixture on the diced onion. then add half a cup raisins and half a cup chopped cashew nuts. add 4 Tbsp sun flower oil, stir well. grate 3-4 large carrots into the dressing. season with some more black pepper and salt. add 1 Tbsp parsley and the roasted sesame seeds. let it stand for at least 30 minutes. the result of it was assessed to be the highlight of the month. ha.
and yes, i have noticed the stains but you please try out by yourself polishing a filled glass on the inside while a two year old is rampaging around the table.
seems we are currently living on things that can be enhanced with parmesan and lemon juice. starring today: risi e bisi, again from the silver spoon. i made the veggie version, by using vegetable stock instead of bouillon. (it looks a bit runny in the photo because i added some leftover stock at the end.)
after the pancake disaster this morning i was not in the mood for any further experiments. so we had one of our all time classics for dinner. it’s easy and very fast: cook the spaghetti. at the same time fry some grated parmesan cheese in olive oil, deglaze either with white wine or some of the water the pasta is cooking in. add zucchini and thyme, let it simmer for a few minutes (until the spaghetti are done). add another ladle of the – generously salted! – pasta water and the juice of half a lemon. strain the spaghetti and mix with the sauce. ready to eat – with more parmesan and freshly ground black pepper. for two and a half people we had 230g spaghetti, about 50g of parmesan and 3 small zucchini.
something similar, but with tomatoes, is described in detail here.
i was not able to make it to the party today, but prepared something to bring along: once again the raspberry swirl cheesecakes. i used only 150g sugar (which is way enough) and only 340g cream cheese (thanks to ph.ila.delphia for shrinking their package size!). oh, and the base is not made from oreos but othellos. i didn’t bother with the swirl part, and actually you might call this version also reminds-me-of-disgusting-skin-disease-cheesecakes. nevertheless they are great, and every time i make them somebody asks for the recipe.
yes, they seem to look ok, but were actually quite horrible. it turned out that the combination between the flapjack recipe in this book and the idea to add grated pears (from here) does not work. they remained practically uncooked inside, even after maybe 12 minutes. destroying transforming them into something kaiserschmarrn-like didn’t help either. so we ended up eating leftover sandwich bread with honey.