No, I am not turning Vegan. But Netflix is mean/good to my diet. I started watching all these documentaries about meat and milk lately and following the example of my Vegan besties Ailine and Sophia, I decided to become "4-days-a-week-vegan" to lower my meat intake. I stopped having cow milk, cheese and yoghurt in my fridge as well.
Bolognese Pasta, is a recipe I repeat every month. But how to make it without beef or minced mixed meat? I talked to Ailine, searched the net, read some magazines and decided for a mix of Walnuts, Pecans & Mushrooms as meat substitute. After testing my recipe a couple of times, I found out the best way to make this sauce and you wont notice there is no meat in it!
3/4 cup Walnuts
1/4 cup Pecans
4 Mushrooms, diced
1 big Onion , diced
3 Garlic cloves, diced
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1 cup Carrots, peeled and grated
1 tbsp Tomato Paste
1 can (4oo gr) crushed Tomatoes
1/2 liter Vegetable Stock
1 tbsp Sugar
4 dried Bay Leaves
Salt & Pepper
12 Cherry Tomatoes
Dried Juniper Berries
DELYSOY 100% Soya Bean Fettuccine
Parmesan cheese (vegan or regular)
First of all, turn your oven on. 200 degrees Celsius. Once you diced & grated, throw those nuts in the food processor until they are as small as minced meat.
Heat the oil in a pot and fry the onions & garlic until they are transparent. Stir the mushrooms & nuts in and let them fry for 5 minutes or until the mushrooms are soft. Add the carrots, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, stock, sugar (to neutralize the acid of the tomato), bay leaves and oregano and stir well. When it boils, close the lid and set the heat to low and let it simmer for 2 hours. Set an alarm for every 30 minutes to check and stir. Dont forget to add salt and pepper at the end.
I cook this sauce a day in advance. I love, LOVE, how bolognese or lasagna tastes the day after. But you can eat it right away. In an oven-proof sheet, bake the cherry tomatoes in halves, sprinkled with olive oil, salt and juniper berries, for 8 minutes and let them rest. Add half of them in the sauce and use the rest for decoration.
I used DELYSOY 100% soya bean fettuccine as I shouldnt eat gluten. I was surprised by how good these soya bean pasta tasted.. nice nice nice. I would definately will try the rest of their sortiment. Serve the pasta, cover with sauce, add some baked tomatoes on top and sprinkle with your favorite vegan parmesan or regular parmesan to add an extra oomph!
There are over 15 different kinds of basil. We mostly know the green rounded one, known as Sweet Basil. But sometimes in the supermarket you will find purple basil or Dark Opal basil. This beautiful basil taste very similar to genovese or sweet basil but a bit sharper.
Pesto has been my favorite dish since I was a kid. In Peru, it is made out of spinach and genovese basil with fresh cheese and no nuts. While walking through the whole foods supermarket I found this basil and I thought about making pesto, purple pesto. As the Dark Opal is more nutty than the regular basil, I went for Pecans so the nut taste wont disappear with this stronger basil (and they looked beautiful with this new napkins I got at Home Go Lucky)
2 cups purple basil
1/2 cup pecan nuts
3 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup olive oil
a squeeze of fresh lime
Salt & pepper
Blanching is a very important thing when you want to use basil. Basil tends to change color to brown when you cook it. But blanching helps keep its color. Same goes with purple basil. Prepare a bowl of ice water. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Put the basil in a sieve and plunge it into the boiling water, pushing the leaves down into the water and stirring them so they blanch evenly. Blanch for 15 seconds, then plunge the herbs into the ice water to stop the cooking.
Once the basil is blanched, combine it with garlic, pecan nuts and Parmesan in the bowl of a food processor; season with salt and pepper, to taste. With the motor running, add olive oil in a slow stream until emulsified.
Boil 3/4 cup of pasta per person, (I used gluten free Fusilli from Barilla) and add a spoonful of pesto. Stir well and add some parmesan cheese and a squeeze of lime. And then, Enjoy!
Ceviche as the world know it, is fish or seafood cooked with lime acid instead of heat/fire. It is a peruvian dish that has taken the world in a storm the last years. When I was a kid, I remember we had different kinds of ceviche without anything that lived in the ocean. Like chicken ceviche and mushrooms ceviche.
Ceviche is not just about the taste, but the consistency of the "meat". Button mushrooms have a very fish-y consistency once they are cooked and the umami flavour creates a very believable plant-based ceviche. I am not vegan, but I am trying to cut down on eating meat.
Ingredients (2 pax)
4 big button mushrooms (shiitake, portobello or crimini will work)
4 limes (check that they are juicy and big)
1 red onion, Use a yellow one if you preffer a milder taste
2 garlic cloves
1 tbsp chili paste (I use this peruvian chili)
Salt, Pepper and Cumin
Scallions or Koriander
1 big sweet potato
A handful of peruvian popcorn - optional
First, start popping those babies! in a pan with oil, add the peruvian popcorn and put a lid over it. Stir a bit until all are popped. Sprinkle some salt and let them cool. Boil or steam the sweet potato and once is tender, let it cool as well.
Cut the mushrooms in slices or dices. I always go for slices as they feel more like eating fish. Put them in a bowl, Add the onion in julienne, garlic in dices or crushed, chili paste, chili, salt, pepper and cumin.
Now squeeze those limes! take ALL the juice! Dont forget to wash them first. because you want to avoid the bitterness of the skin. Pour the juice over the mushrooms and mix well. Add some scallions or coriander over the mix and let it macerate for at least 40 minutes. Test one mushroom and it should be tender and not crunchy. Add more salt or chili paste if needed.
While the ceviche is "cooking" make a puree out of the sweet potatoes, cook the corn and cut the avocado in slices. Stir the ceviche mix occasionally so all the ingredients cook evenly.
Now its time to plate. Start with a bed of salad. Add the ceviche over it as well as the corn, popcorn, sweet potato and avocado. Pour over some of the lime juice and drizzle some scallions or coriander at the top. Now ENJOY this plant-based umami heaven!
If you want to try the fish variation of it Check this recipe!
There are about 150 different kinds of Quinoa. Though the most common kinds you can buy everywhere are white, red and black. I am a big fan of quinoa (duh? I am peruvian) and I love them in every color and texture. The white quinoa is the fluffy one that is a bit closer in texture to couscous. The red and black are crunchier, so I find them better for a summer salad.
Quinoa has not only protein, but it is also a source of fiber and iron! For me is the complete package side dish and works perfectly to complement any salad. I made today a black quinoa salad with shrimps. But you can skip the "animal protein" and just eat the rest. This is one of my favorite summer recipes.
Ingredients for 2:
1 cup black quinoa (wash it first if it isnt pre-washed)
1 cup of broth
8 prawns or big shrimps
a handful of peas
a handful of granate apple
Salt & Pepper
How to prepare Quinoa? Wash it First! always wash it, otherwise it will become bitter. Now, the water quinoa ratio is: For each unit of Quinoa, add 2 units of water. I like to add broth to the mix to maximize the flavor. So lets say go for 1 part quinoa, 1 part water and 1 part broth. Let it boil and turn the heat to minimum, add the lid and simmer for 20 minutes.
While the quinoa is cooking, Cut the zucchini in julienne (or use a spiralizer) Fry it in a hot wok with some oil for 2 minutes and take it of the heat. Do the same with the peas. Cut the avocado and scallion.
Once the quinoa is done, mix it with the rocket leaves, scallions and some lime, add salt if needed. Fry the shrimps until the are golden.
Place the quinoa mix first and add all the toppings over it. Sprinkle some more scallions, salt and pepper over it and dont forget the pomegranate seeds as well. Now lets wait for the sun to shine and let's eat some of this.
For the ones that dont know much about the Peruvian culinary tradition, we have loads of cultural influences. One of the best outcomes of it, is the Japanese influence. What brings us Nikkei, a combination of Japanese and Peruvian cuisine that has become new trend amongst Europe.
I mean, Sushi mixes perfectly with ceviche if you think about it. Combining Japanese dishes with Peruvian flavors and techniques has a remarkable effect. The minimalism and delicacy of Japanese food meets the rough freshness and spiciness of Peru. a deadly combination for every foodie around!
Both are so similar, yet so different. But what is Nikkei? or what does the word mean? Nikkei people are Japanese emigrants and their descendants who have created communities throughout the world. And Nikkei food, for me, is the evolution of Japanese food where these communities live.
I was in Peru this May, and I was dying to eat some Nikkei again after 14 years living in Europe. I had to Taste the trend. Sadly I couldnt go visit Micha, my childhood friend and owner of the number 13 of the 50 best restaurants in the world, but I got to take a little time to visit Osaka and get delighted with all the flavours this cuisine has to offer.
I went there with my family. And we started with some delicious Nikkei Cocktails made with japanese and peruvian fruits. Each of them tastier than the other. I got the Pisco Punch Osaka as i loved the one I tried at the Super Foods Event from last december.
We started with 2 Tiraditos. Tiradito is a Peruvian dish of raw fish, cut in the shape of sashimi, and of aspect similar to crudo, and carpaccio, in a spicy sauce.
Carpassion: Salmon, passion fruit honey, watercress and crunchy dough and Osaka Tataki, a grilled seared tuna, oriental citrus sauce, togarashi and negi.
After the tiraditos, we ordered a nigiri platter. A dream of Foie Gras, Shrimps and truffles. It was mouth-watering.
- Hotate Truffle: Fan shells, white truffle butter and lemon
- Tuna Foie: Tuna, foie gras, teriyaki sauce and Maldon salt.
- Evil Ebi: Prawn, BBQ Osk and chalaquita.
We followed the Nigiris with Nikkei Makis that included Antiku, Prawns tempura, negi and seared loin with Nikkei anticucho sauce. And Spicy Crunchy, a maki made out Prawns batayaki, crab pulp, crunchy quinoa and togarashi.
And before we decided on the main dishes, we had to try at least one Peruvian Izakaya. This was a great name for it as it means Japanese Tapas. We went for the beautiful Mariscos al Fuego, or Seafood on Fire! it just melted in your mouth and left you yearning for more! An amazingly made mix of seafood sautéed in butter, togarashi and lemon.
The main dishes arrived! As a huge fan of Yuzu, I ordered the Niku Kabayaki, a Wagyu slices, kabayaki and yuzu butter. I loved the fact that you could grill your own meat and the sides. OH MY! an onion marmalade and fried peruvian cassava.
The rest of the family ordered these amazing dishes:
- Salmon Tentsuyu, a salmon confit in lime oil, negi and avocado tempura.
- Pato Mochero, Crispy duck leg over wok rice, cecina and shiitake with honey of tumbo
- Shiromi a la Brasa, White fish marinated in shoyu with crispy garlic sauce, almonds and Peruvian peppers.
- OSK Wok, Wok rice with vegetables and shrimps.
We had a great night, everything was highly pleasant to the taste. For me, this culinary fusion is the best I have ever tried. And IMHO, everyone should try this beautiful love child between Peru and Japan.
I tested the trend, And I got even more hungry for it as I was before this meal. Damn, I will even try to make some Nikkei recipes for the blog!! If you are in Lima and you want to try some Nikkei besides Osaka
- My friend Micha's Maido
- Costanera 700 a restaurant I had the honor to work with years ago
- Mesa18 from the Legend Toshiro Konishi
I am doing some major work in my kitchens wood. So I can't use much of it. The Sink, countertop, etc. And to add to it, it is summer in Berlin. Hot Hot Hot (when it isn't raining) And as a girl has to eat, I made this super easy pasta recipe with fresh avocados. I am having a bit of "camera problems" as well so please bare with it, at least just for this post ;)
I got some Nero di Seppia pasta (squid ink pasta) from a friend of mine (he got it at L'Epicerie), And normally I use it with a creamy sauce and prawns. But as this pasta is vegan, I decided to go vegan all the way.
Ingredients per person:
90 gr Pasta
1 small tomato
1 spoon olive oil
Salt & Pepper
Cut the tomatoes in 8 pieces. Heat oven to 160C. Put the tomatoes on a baking sheet with salt, drizzle over oil, roast for 20 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool.
In the meantime, crush the walnuts and roast them a bit in a pan. Boil the pasta. Peel and mash the avocados in a medium serving bowl. Stir olive oil, lime or lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. If you want to go a bit crazy, add some chili to it.
Mix the tomatoes, avocado mash and pasta together and drizzle the roasted walnuts, and ENJOY!
Me and my daughter went backpacking through Vietnam last March. We went around, stopping in places like Ho Chi Minh (Saigon), Hoi An, Da Nang, Ha Noi, Halong Bay and Phu Quoc. We explored these amazing places, making new friends and tasting loads of different foods.
In Vietnam, It is impossible to really go wrong when it comes to food. Vietnamese people know their stuff, and their food is for sure amazing. Here I made a list of things IMHO are a MUST TRY when you are in in this culinary destination.
1. Bun Cha Ha Noi
Or as the locals call it "Obama Bun Cha". I had to laugh so hard when I heard they call it Obama. The story is that during a 3-day-visit to the vietnamese capitol, Ex-President Obama and Anthony Bourdain had a cheap meal in tiny plastic chairs. It was everywhere on Social Media, Everywhere! They both said it was delicious while drinking some local beer and having a great time.
I decided to try this fatty grilled pork, served with noodles at the same place he did. But the locals told me the best place to eat them was at Bun Cha Nem Cua Be Dac Kim.
Bun Cha Ha Noi is served in different bowls and you have to mix it all in your plate. Rice Noodles, Braised pork slices, Pork meatballs in a delicious sauce, fresh herbs, Chili, garlic and the best: Spring Rolls.
You are supposed to add the chili and garlic to the sauce and dip the noodles and herbs before you munch them. It was mouth-watering! Dont be afraid to sit in a plastic chair in the middle of the street, it is totally worth it.
Restaurant: "Bun Cha Nem Cua Be Dac Kim" - 1 Hàng Mành - Ha Noi
2. Pho or Soup at the Lunch Lady
The Lunch Lady is almost a Landmark in Saigon. Or at least she should! I heard from several foodies, bloggers and travel eaters (like my pal Nick from Eatacity) that I should get there and try the soup of the day. What I mean with this, is that she has a rotating menu, a different dish every day of the week.
Thi Thanh aka. The Lunch Lady, Warmly welcomed us (after a sweaty 2-hour-walk with a baby on a carrier) and we were the last customers of the day. We almost didn't make it... damn heat! But we were there and we got our table served in 2 seconds. Spring rolls, sweet potato and shrimps fritters (Bahn Tom) and my soup: Bun Bo Hue!
Bun Bo Hue is a Spicy beef and Pork soup with vermicelli noodles. Full body and loads of taste. The pork sausages reminds me of a bratwurst somehow, and the beef meat was as soft as is gets. It was an explosion of umami in my mouth.
Thi Thanh surprised me with her knowledge of german. She was in Germany many years ago and she can have a fluent conversation. The ladies closed the stand and we kept talking about food and Germany (i eat very slow) What a great afternoon.
Street Food: "Lunch Lady" Saigon 23 Hoang Sa St., District 1 - Ho Chi Mihn
3. Cao Lau
We were staying at a Homestay next to the beach, And the lovely hostess told me to try the restaurant Sen at the beach. I took Pepa and my towel and went for a swim and after some hours enjoying the sun and some local beer, we were ready for food. And after reading a bit online, Cao Lau was the one to try.
I was really amazed by this regional dish from the town of Hoi An. It reminded me on "Tallarin Saltado" from Peru. Pork sauteed with chili and onions, served on special chewy rice noodles and some fresh mint and coriander with it. I am a sucker for Tallarin Saltado, so this one became instantly my favorite dish of the trip.
This special noodles can only be made in Hoi An, they are like Soba noodles, but they are not made out of buckwheat but reis. The rice has to be stone ground and mixed with ash and water. The ash is made with firewood from the Cham Islands. The noodles are cut and then cooked three times with firewood. The water to cook the noodles is also very special because it only comes from specific wells in Hội An. This is why Cao Lau is a dish that can only be prepared in Hội An.
Restaurant: "Nha Hang Sen" - 12 Lạc Long Quân, Cửa Đại - Hoi An
4. Vietnamese BBQ
To cover more areas in the island of Phu Quoc, I rented a scooter. Everytime I passed next to the BBQs on the streets of the island I got soooo hungry. I asked the people working at the resort we were staying where was the best place to eat this. They told me that they go all together to celebrate birthdays or special occasions at the "No Name" BBQ place. So I had to try it, What a great name!
You could choose the ingredients next to the grill and make your own mix. I chose a whole squid, okra, pork ribs and some other small things. After a short while, All came to the table and it was amazing! the taste and freshness of the ingredients left you licking your fingers. I had to order more food as Pepa was eating it all.
The warmth, music and atmosphere was like eating in a backyard with friends while listening people having fun and watching the dogs wander around. I wish I was more hungry to try more things, but the heat was killing me those days.
Restaurant: "No Name BBQ" - Ông Lang, Cửa Dương - Phu Quoc
6. Hot Pot
Hot Pot has been a favorite of mine for a long time. There was this tiny restaurant in Oslo I used to go all the time. While walking through the night markets I saw some fishtanks with live seafood, and I thought it was just for buying, for an aquarium maybe? But I was so wrong!
I met a great family at the resort and we took our scooters to the night market. We were starving and found a place at the market that was filled with locals. Hot Pot was a great choice for 3 adults and 3 kids. You choose the living fish and seafood and they bring it to the table with a hot pot filled with broth. You add the food and 5 minutes later is ready to eat.
The kids wanted shrimps, so we got this gigantic ones and they were in heaven! The hot pot was great and it was more than us could eat. I really like eating very hot dishes when is hot outside, it cools me down in a way. I totally recommend trying a hot pot when you are in Vietnam!
Night Market: "Night Market Phu Quoc" - Khu 1, Dương Đông - Phu Quoc
7. Sugar Cane Juice
Sugar cane juice or Nuoc Mia or just Mia is served EVERYWHERE in Vietnam. It is a yellow semi-sweet, tropical refreshing drink that is perfect for the HOT HOT days and nights. The sugarcane produces a really musty, tropical flavor. The froth is irresistible.
Stands selling Mia are everywhere They have a machine to grind the sugar cane. The sugar cane gets pressed through a few times until there is no liquid left. The sugar cane carcasses are left in a pile in front of the machine.
Stand: "Nouc Mia", Everywhere in Vietnam
8. Market Food
I know sometimes Asian markets don't look like a place to eat food. They look dark and dirty and probably the best place to get food poisoning. But you HAVE TO eat at a market in Vietnam!
There is a few tricks to it:
- Eat food that has been fried or boiled
- See if the ice was made by a machine (cold beverages) do not drink anything containing self made ice.
- Clean your chopsticks and spoons with desinfectant
- See when they open your beer/drinks
- If you are still afraid, avoid fresh leaves of lettuce and soy sprouts
We both had food at the market and we were not sick at all. I had a delicious soup and spring rolls with a local beer, it was terrific, we went around to see what else to try. (OMG my hair was SHORT!)
I found a lotus seeds drink (AWESOMEEEEE!) very refreshing and it has Anti-aging properties. And on my way out of the Ben Thanh Market, I found a Lady selling Mang Cut or Purple Mangosteen, it is a bit pricey (4 units for the price of a meal) but definitely a delicious fruit.
Market: "Ben Thanh" - Đường Lê Lợi, Bến Thành, District 1 - Hồ Chí Minh,
9. Vietnamese Contemporary Haute Cuisine
I was very curious about the "contemporary" Vietnamese Food. I was looking for a high end restaurant to try the most delicate version of their food fused with non-vietnamese ingredients. In the island of Phu Quoc, next to my Resort was the best restaurant on the island: Mango Bay. A beautiful restaurant by the beach where you can enjoy dinner while watching the sunset.
After a whole day at the beach with our new friends: Ina & Lisa from Germany, we headed to Mango Bay. We had seafood tempura, chicken wings, spicy watermelon Squid salad, bun cha, stuffed squid, vietnamese pancakes in between others.
The sunset was beautiful, the location and food was just dreamy and romantic. The price was higher than a regular meal, but the amount of food was incredible. I don't think any of us were able to finish the dishes.
Restaurant: "Mango Resort & Restaurant" - Cửa Dương - Phu Quoc
10. A place where just locals eat
Get out of your comfort zone! I walked through many places in Vietnam that didn't seem like it was a restaurant or a sanitary place to eat. Though all this places where PACKED with locals. Very close to my hotel was a street that is know for their great restaurants called "De Tham".
I walked many times through that street before I dared to get in a restaurant and eat the food. It was a restaurant where they repaired scooters, filled with old parts, oil cans, screws and more. Every night it was filled with locals eating in plastic chairs drinking beer and singing karaoke.
We went inside, And I ordered Banh pho xao bo, a Stir-fried rice noodles with beef made with Mì quảng Noodles (the rice cousin of a pappardelle), a side of Garlic Morning Glory and to go WAY out of my comfort zone: Hot Tamarind Chicken Feet.
The food was outstanding, as well as the service. It was by far the best Chicken feet I ever had. Dont get scared of trying a restaurant in Vietnam that doesnt look like a european restaurant, I am pretty sure you will have an amazing dinner and feel like a local sipping noodles while listening some vietnamese karaoke.
Restaurant: "Qua An 26" - 28 Đề Thám, District 1, Hồ Chí Minh
Extra Tip: Kem Cuon
And as a final tip, for those hot night walks through the streets, Try the Ice Cream rolls! Check for the stands that make them with real fruits instead of syrups. I ordered a Mango Chocolate one. And here is how they make them:
Stand: "Kem Cuon", Everywhere in Vietnam
Have you been to Vietnam? Have you try any of these? Any tips for my next trip there?
There is nothing as satisfying as opening a bottle of wine and hear that "plop" from the cork followed but that "bloop bloop" of the wine falling in to your glass. I am a fan of wine that comes in bottles with real cork, but I knew little to nothing about cork itself.
I was very excited to be invited by Deutscher Kork-Verband e.V. to a blind tasting paired with delicious food at Das Stue, and try to see if it is possible to guess which wine came in a bottle with cork or screw top. And of course the Food pairing...The exciting food from Das Stue.
We were all welcomed by the Uber-Sommelier Rakhshab Zouhleh, enjoying a refreshing 2012 Cava Relat Brut Nature, very according to this sunny summer day. He explained us how this tasting works. We will enjoy 2 flights of wine paired with exquisite food. Then we will try to find out which bottle had a cork, while we learn some more about Cork itself.
The starter got to the table, a Seasonal Funghi Risotto. And it was mouth-watering! After this, the blind tasting started.
.Rakhshab, explained us a lot about cork and where it comes from. I had no idea cork its a 100% natural product made from tree bark, Cork Oak to be specific. The bark of this tree is used to make the tops of our favorite wines. This cork Oak forests not only create jobs for more than 100 000 people, but are the home for animals and endangered species as well.
The fun part is, they remove just the bark and the trees continue living, and they kindda look like trimmed poodles :)
The first 2 wines arrived, White. Both mineral-y and fruity (in a way). After smelling, tasting and deconstructing the taste and smell of both, we all agreed that "Wine 1" was the best and must come in a bottle with a cork top.
And we were right., The Spanish Albariño was the winner by unanimous vote. and it DID have a cork. Then the first course arrived. It was 2 dishes: Calamar Romana with Yuzu Mayo & Grilled Octopus with baked potato. For the vegetarians in the room: Quinoa Salad and Strawberry gazpacho. An excellent pairing with these 2 first wines.
The next 2 white wines were served, and we were eager to see if we would be able to find out which one came in a bottle with cork, or of it was just "Beginners Luck".
Right away we had a favorite. a full-body wine made of Silvaner grapes. Delicious! Thank god for us, it was the wine of our sommelier. We decided that that one was the one with a cork. But this was a tricky one. Both had cork! But this Umana Natura was for me, the favorite of the evening.
Our petit fours appeared: Prawns Summer Roll with Thai Grapefruit. Yet another great pairing. Crunchy and tasty as spring Rolls come. For the vegetarians, there were Nachos on Guacamole. And I had to steal some from Sophia, cause they were colourful, and HELLO? it was avocado!
The Umana Natura, not only came with a cork top, but sealed with wax. What a beautiful old-fashion closing. I love wax seals on wine so much.
The next 2 wines were Red. Violet and Cherry red. Here we were part. 50 % loved "Wine 5" and 50% loved "Wine 6". I was a fan of "Wine 6" a Soft yet Fruity. I rapidly said: The Blaufränkisch has a cork. and boy was I wrong. It had a screw top. So I guess not EVERY great wine comes with a cork.. I guess there are some exceptions to the rule.
Meanwhile, the room was smelling like heaven. A great smell, Iberico Ham Smell to be exact. The Baos with braised pork arrived to the table and suddenly my head was all into it. I finished my glass of the Blaufränkisch and was completely happy with that pairing.
One of the best things of being in a great event, is that you have some great friends and fellow-Foodbloggers. We were some of the #Fibergang there, including my bestie Sophia from IN SEARCH OF, and boy! did we had fun! Just check the next picture for it!
NOw there was time to relax out noses and palates, The dessert wine came by and it was a beautiful wine with a deep smell and taste of elderflower, that would be great to join some table of cheese, if you as me. So i thought some cheese was coming... Please let it be cheese!
But, NO! it wasnt cheese but a tasty sesame waffle with Espuma, So fluffy and soft, Basil, Mango, maracuja... Such an Asian delicacy. a bit like a Mango Lassi with Basil.
At that point, we were done with the tasting, and we all relaxed, drinking some of our favorite wines of the evening. Having interesting chats about cork, wine, experiences and enjoying this scandinavian location.
Besides of great great wines, food and conversation, I found that there are some Cons & Pros about Cork
A Natural Renewable Resource
Longterm Aging Proven
1-3% Affected by TCA ‘Cork’ Taint
So I will definitely keep buying wine with cork, Not only because my favorite wines come with a cork, but I think it is the best we can do for our environment. And after learning so much about it, I think is the best choice.
What do you think about cork? Do you think you can differianciate a wine from cork top to screw top?
Do you want to know more about Cork? Check the Kork Website it is in german, but thank god for google translator!
Turmeric is plant from the family of ginger. We use it a lot in peruvian kitchens but we kinda give it for granted. When my dad was diagnosed with cancer, the doctor told him about the amazing properties of turmeric or curcuma, so I decided to research more about it. Turmeric helps the liver and prostate, prevents different kinds of cancer (colon, pancreas, prostate, skin, liver and lung), IBS, Crohns Disease, colitis, joint pain, and some more.
For me, Turmeric is the new matcha (you can find it from lattes to cookies and it is becoming very trendy). In my trips to Asia I noticed it was a main ingredient on countries with lowest cancer risk. So I started thinking how can we use more turmeric in our daily life?
In Peru, when we have unused potatoes, we make turmeric potatoes. a delicious recipe that makes an amazing side dish. And as turmeric is almost like the best medicine ever. I had to share it with you.
loads of neutral oil
Salt and Pepper
Start frying onions with half spoon turmeric. Once they are soft add salt and pepper and bacon dices (if you are into it). Add the old boiled potatoes with or without skin. Remember that the skin keeps all the vitamins so I would recommend you not to peel them. Use a lot of oil! this makes the whole thing taste WAY better.
This is my favorite side dish. It is so tasty and soft that it just melts in your mouth. Not to mention all the medicinal properties it has. Tasty can be medicinal! So just try it at home! Pair it with slow cooked pork or, if you dare, with some duck hearts like I did! If you are vegan, Add them to your favorite salad.
I almost never do any tourist-y things while traveling. But in our beautiful stop in Hoi An, I heard of Hanh. She used to cook in a 5 star Resort in Hoi An and now has a Cooking Tour in the Cẩm Thanh Village. As soon as I could, I booked a tour with her.
We had to be ready next morning at 8.50. Well, I heard 8.50 but it was actually 8.15!!! OMG! we were running in underwear trying to get ready when there was a knock on the door, and it was Vang (the Homestay Host) she told me that my tour guide was already waiting. Fast! Fast! we got ready and we were downstairs in 5 minutes all packed. and there was Quang, our tour guide.
Quang is the cousin of Hanh and came to pick us up in a Scooter. I had Pepa in the carrier and we drove all the way to the market in the morning traffic. It was about 38 degrees Celsius when we got to the colorful market of Hoi An. The smell was like being home, like the markets in Peru, fresh fish, meat, fresh vegetables and sweet fruits.
We walked through the market and he showed me the ingredients we were gonna use in the class and bought some jackfruit for me to try, delicious. I was very curious about something called "Bitter Melon" so he got some so i can try them later.
After going through the market and getting also some spices for me and my friends, Quang invited me for some vietnamese cold coffee and tea before hitting the road again to Cam Thanh. After drinking this coffee, I was HOOKED! Best... Coffee... Ever... It was like the traditional vietnamese coffee with sweet condensed milk but served with loads of ice, the best for this hot morning.
Before the class started, we went on a "Basket Boat" trip through the river where palms grown on the water and several meters high. He told me all about the vegetation and how people build houses using palm leaves and bamboo. We showed me as well how to make small souvenirs out of palm leaves. Sadly, back in Berlin, my palm trees arent big enough to make those ;)
We rowed back to Hahn's house, and she was waiting for us in her beautiful terrace made out of bamboo and palm trees. I was already hungry and couldn't wait to learn how to make some tasty vietnamese Food.
We started with some fresh summer spring rolls. She told me we were not going to use rice paper... WHAT? yes! we used blanched spring onions to wrap the rolls. I made the garlic hot fish sauce and started to learn (by doing) this great starter. Rolling Pork and shrimp on lettuce, mint and coriander and wrapping them with spring onions. They were the perfect summer food.
After eating them and licking all of my fingers, She told me we were making Vietnamese Pancakes. I imagined this would be made out of eggs and sweet, but they were savory and they didn't use any eggs. Heaven for Vegans! if theys werent filled with pork, shrimp and quail egg. But I will try to make a vegan version of it at home.
I was ready to eat them like this, when she told me there was still some more things to do to them. First, grab a piece of rice paper, add the half of a pancake (unfolded) add some fresh leaves and roll it. And now you can eat it with the fish sauce.
If a fried spring roll and a summer roll had a love baby, this would be it! I munched them all, eager to see what was coming next.
Suddenly my "Bitter Melon" or alien cucumber soup came. She made it while I was in the market. It was a bitter but succulent tasty soup with small shrimps on it. I liked it, and Pepa did too. Later on my Flight to Abu Dhabi, I met Duong. She told me something interesting about this soup. Vietnamese people drink it on new years eve. They say it is so bitter and people dont like it that much, but the more you eat this soup before the new year arrives, the more the bad goes away and leave space for good things to happen.
Next, Fried Spring Rolls... I love spring rolls so much I could them all the time. But she had a different kind of rice paper, It looked like a spiderweb made out of rice noodles. We filled it with pork and other ingredients and proceed to fry them. The crispy fluffyness this roll had was AMAZING. As each of this noodles fries, they expand and grow getting so much air between each of them. By far the best fried roll I ever had!
At this point I was more than satisfied, actually stuffed like a turkey on Christmas Eve. But we had one more recipe to cook. Pork with La Lot leaves. This was a fast dish and very mouth-watering one as well. Juicy Tomatoes, pork and rice... I couldn't finish it all but I wish I had 3 stomachs to do it.
All this time, Hanh's mom was taking care of Pepa while she was rocking on a hammock getting fanned and entertained. We ate some mango and passion fruit and drank the last ginger tea water. Hanh jumped on her scooter and drove us Back to our Homestay.
If you are planning to go to Hoi An, I absolutely recommend doing this Tour. I learnt so many new things, I ate until I almost exploded, had a very nice and fun conversation, went on a boat and experience the real market. And even got a julienne cutter as a present. Thanks Hanh & Quang for such an incredible experience.
I am Andrea, or as my friends call me, Jinx. I am a foodie living in Berlin, eating my way through life. Here are my recipes, cooking events, dining experiences and more...