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!
Do you have Movie Nights? I do enjoy Movie Nights, Star Wars Weekends or American Horror Story Wednesdays... And that is what Philipp & I do on wednesdays: AHS Night.
I am actually teaching him to like horror movies :) Am I not the greatest friend? I love horror movies! Halloween and zombie console games so why not making a "horror dish" to match these series?
So we jumped in the car, went to Frisches Paradies and got all the Ingredients!
(For 4 people or 2 VERY hungry ones)
500 grs tenderloin
2 shallots in small cubes
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/4 cup oil (I use light olive oil)
Sea Salt flakes and Fresh ground Pepper
4 egg yolks
4 cooked beetroots
2 garlic cloves
4 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp sugar
Sea Salt flakes and Fresh ground Pepper
Normally I cut the meat by hand, but as I need to spare my hand of effort, I used my KitchenAid Food Processor. We dont want ground beef but bigger chunks, Put in a bowl and mix with the rest of ingredients but the yolks. Set aside covered so it won't dry.
Using a blender or a hand mixer, blend all ingredients together but the sugar. Add to a pot and let it cook for 15 minutes. Let it cool for 5 minutes and pass it though a strainer of cheese cloth. Return the liquid to the pot and add the sugar. What we are doing here is kind of a beetroot jam but a bit more liquid. Add more sugar if necessary.
Using rings or your hands, form a round flat for with your beef mix. Add the egg yolk on the top. And we can start the fun part! Splatter time!!!! We put the plates in the sink and while listening to some fun songs, Philipp splattered each plate with the beetroot jam. It was indeed LOADS of fun!
It looked like a Tartare de Boeuf Crime scene, and the sweet beetroot jam taste totally complemented the tartare taste.
Do you ever pair your food with what you are watching? Do you ever make theme parties at home?
"Hey Rosita! Come to my house to eat Tortillas con Chili" Is what Speedy Gonzales used to say! But Mexican Food is not tortillas and chili or TexMex anymore, nowadays Mexican food is a symbol of Fine Cuisine. From August 15th to September 3rd, Mexican producers present their gastronomic specialties in KaDeWe in Berlin, many of them exclusively and for the first time in Germany. And they decided to invited us, influencers and bloggers, to test these delicacies and tempt us with all this Mexican yummy-ness.
The Walk-though started with the cook Jorge Saenz Benavides explaining us how the modern Mexican cuisine has conquered the gastronomic scene and he showed us the moles and sauces KaDeWe has in their Mexico sortiment. We tried different moles and sauces with dark corn tortillas. My favorite was the hot peanut sauce...and damn was it good and spicy. Jorge told us that Mexican dishes are spicy, but not hot as we all think.
The variety of sauces, moles, beans & Co. was huge. Including: Avocado oil, Mango and Habanero Sauce, Many types of beans, Salsa Roja & Verde, Dry Chilis, Mexican Salt, Tamarind sauce, jalapeños and more.
After the Salsas and Moles we walked to the Mezcal booth. Mezcal is spirit with the worm inside. Most people confuse tequila with Mezcal. And it is because Tequila is technically a Mezcal with differences in the production techniques and the types of agave used.
Giancarlo Martello from Mezcal Sierra Madre explained us the process to make Mezcal and how to taste it. After tasting this delicious spirit, we ate a slice of orange with salt. But this wasn't ordinary salt. It was salt with dried mezcal worm in it together with other spices. I am soooo getting that salt for myself.
Who said Tequila???? Mike Labs from Tequila Don Julio let us try the iconic "Don Julio 1942", one of the best Tequilas in the world. It played like a cognac with fiery spice and notes of salted caramel.
We learnt that Tequila is made only with blue agave and can only be produced in the state of Jalisco and in small parts of four other states.
Chocolate has its roots in the ancient Mayan culture and the cocoa trees in the Riviera Maya and in the region Yucatan. What would we do without chocolate? I cannot imagine that! Thank you Mayans!
Fabiola Palma from Vanuato delighted us with loads of chocolate flavours, my favorite was the White chocolate and cinnamon. Just addictive.
The next stop was Mexican Wines, who knew Mexico was a wine producer? We tried some cold L.A. Cetto wines.
Final destination: FOOD & COCKTAILS!
1/2 oz. lime juice
2 oz. Mezcal
4-6 oz. ginger beer
Squeeze lime juice into glass. Add 2 or 3 ice cubes, then pour in the Mezcal and fill with cold ginger beer (not ginger ale, although what the hell). Serve with fresh cucumber slices.
So I will recommend you to take the car/tram and go to KaDeWe and Discover Mexico in Germany! Experience it to believe it!
Some of the pictures are made by the awesome Brae Talon
I got today a big box of the only liquorice I like: Lakrids by Johan Bulow (did I mention is glutenfree?)
Yes, I am not a liquorice fan, but after a visit to Bornholm, I discovered my love for liquorice. I had the opportunity to visit the factory and try everything, even liquorice milk.
When I was in Oslo I could get my "fix" at the Steen & Strøm Food court, but since I came to Berlin, I treated my liquorice as black gold as I knew I had to go to the nordics for a new stash.
But I got lucky. Some days ago was the big Opening in Bikini and KDW here in Berlin. Happy Girl Here!!!
What I am the most excited about are the syrups (I haven`t tried them yet), and of course the liquorice powders. Last summer I used the raw powder to cook on the Norwegian TV show on TV2 "Kultour".
and used it as well in my new gourmet version of the traditional Norwegian dish Fårikål
Can wait to use this on pork and try to make some desserts with them. Stay tuned!
Like the german facebook page from Lakrids so you can get the news on all new stores opening.
On my way to the hairdresser, I walked by this small rose color store. I saw a pork butcher chart on the window that looked just like my tattoo, and that caught my attention.
This tiny store is called Fleischhandlung, and it is one of the 3 stores of Baumgart und Braun. Even thoug it isnt a big store like FrischesParadis, you can find loads of things like Iberico pork, Dry Aged Beef, duck, chicken corn, quail, rabbit, Wagyu beef, lamb and more.
But they dont just sell meat, they have mustards, barbecue sauces, mayonnaise, chutney, vinegar, oil, spices and fleur de Sel.Eine small selection of French and Italian delicacies such as ham, salami, various oils, vinegars, pâtés, mustard and spices.
Check their Facebook Page and go pay them a visit! I got myself some Pata Negra Ham and Goose Foie Gras Scallops... Can wit to make those!
Asparagus season is upon us, and we have let ourselves inspire by our visit to Rôtisserie this time. We haven't really copied the dish, there are several differences, but the truffle vinaigrette and the asparagus shavings are some of the similarities. Our best advice when it comes to asparagus is to buy good quality. Go to your local specialty store and pay that premium price. It's worth it. We went to Gutta på Haugen to get ours.
(Serves about 4 people as a starter)
4 green asparagus
4 white asparagus
a handful of ramson
1 chicory or endive salad
4 fresh figs
high quality almonds, try to get hold of Marcona or at least Valencia
extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper
Shock the vegetables!
The first thing you have to do is break off the hard lower tip on each asparagus. Then you peel them, and for this dish you want to save a few of the slices you peel off for decoration. Make a vinaigrette by mixing 4 parts extra virgin olive oil with 2 parts balsamic vinegar, a small teaspoon of truffle oil and salt & pepper.
We blanched almost all of the vegetables for this salad. The white asparagus was cooked for 4 minutes, the green asparagus 2 minutes, the chicory salad 1 minute and the ramson and asparagus peel 30 seconds. After cooking we transferred the vegetables directly into ice water, to shock them, and stop the boiling process. This preserves flavor and color.
The figs were cut in half and fried in a pan. As for the asparagus, they were fried in a pan too just before serving, about 1 minute per side. Cooking time depends on the size, and you want an asparagus that just barely bends if you hold it by one end.
Plate with the asparagus first, then the other vegetables. Top with asparagus peel and sprinkle roughly chopped almonds over. Spray it with vinaigrette! Yum
You have probably used giblets from a duck or chicken to make a broth, but do you ever cook with the gizzard, liver or heart as main ingredients? We find these parts incredibly tasty, and we think more people would if they tried it. Our favorite restaurant in Oslo, Pjoltergeist, often serves amazing dishes with duck hearts prepared in various ways. Go try it!
I ordered some duck gizzards from Anni's Pølsemakeri and decided to cook them in duck fat. I have never made gizzards myself, but I really wanted Anders to try this dish that I know from my grandmother. Cooking something new and awesome gets me excited about cooking in general.
4 duck gizzards
1 jar of duck fat (you can get it at Gutta på Haugen)
2 garlic cloves
2 small aubergines
2 large shallots
little gem lettuce
extra virgin olive oil
white balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper
Here's how you quack it down
Rinse and dry the gizzards, then rub them with oilve oil, salt, thyme and garlic and let them soak on that for some hours or overnight. Gizzards can be a bit chewy if you don't prepare them the right way, but with this method they will become tender as any other confit.
Slice the aubergine in thin discs and let them rest in salty water. That way you stop the oxidation, and also prevent them from absorbing too much oil when you fry them later.
Heat your oven to 100 degrees C. Pour the duck fat in an oven safe form. Leave it 2 minutes in the oven until the fat melts and then take it out again. Rinse the gizzards of excess marinade and place them in the duck fat. If the fat doesn't completely cover the meat, add some more olive oil.
Cook in the oven for 1,5-2 hours depending on how "bloody" you like them. I made them medium and not medium-rare this round, so next time I will only leave them 1,5 hour. Let them rest 15-20 minutes before you slice them. You eat the meat only, so cut away the chewy, non-meaty parts.
Heat a pan with extra virgin olive oil, and sear the aubergines on both sides until they are golden. Cut the onions in half and let the fry on the flat side until they get slightly burned. You want that burnt flavor!
Anders made a great vinaigrette to complement the gizzards. It consisted of 3 parts extra virgin olive oil to 1 part white balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp of Dijon mustard and some salt and pepper.
Serve with little gem salad, spinach, the aubergines and onions and drizzle vinaigrette all over.
Pair it with a Barolo and enjoy.
Today is "Steak & BJ day" and we're giving all you girls out there the perfect steak recipe for a successful celebration. The BJ you will have to sort out yourself, but check out VICE's 101 guide if you need some "hands-on" tips.
We got our meat from Anni's Pølsemakeri as usual. A premium entrecôte. By now our kitchen closets are filled to the rafters with spices from Il Buongustaio. We decided to make Hasselback potatoes and a ramson mayo to go with it. Simple. Perfect.
400g Premium Entrecôte. Look for that great fat marbling.
8 medium potatoes
100 g Røros butter
100 g cheddar cheese
8-10 champignon mushrooms
1 tbsp whole black pepper
Homemade ramson mayo:
2 egg yolks
3 dl rapeseed or other neutral oil
1 tsp Dijon
1 tsp white balsamic vinegar
1 tsp ramson paste
A squeeze of lemon juice
A knife edge of cayenna pepper
Salt & pepper
The job starts now (and finishes later)
Roast the whole black pepper in a pan until it starts "popping". Gently crush with a mortar and pestle. Make sure not to grind it too fine. Sift the pepper so you separate the larger pieces from the fine powder. You can use the powder for the mayo and the crushed pepper corns for the steak and potatoes. Dry the meat with a paper towel and line the steaks up on a cutting board. Rub with oil, then salt and pepper. Leave in room temperature while you ready the potatoes.
Hasselback potatoes is a special kind of oven roasted potatoe that originates from Sweden. Don't peel them, except for one straight cut underneath each potato that will help them stand. Now, cut thin slices all across the potatoes, making sure to leave about 1 cm which you don't cut through. Use a wooden kitchen spoon as a helper. Place them in an oven safe form. Melt the butter and brush the potatoes. Pop in the oven on 180 degrees C for about 20 minutes, then activate the hot air fan and increase the temperature to 230 degrees C for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are getting golden brown. However, you should reapply more butter every 10 minutes or so. When they are don take them out and sprinkle with Maldon salt and roasted pepper. Then grate cheddar all over, making sure to get in all the cracks. Finally activate the grill program in your oven and give them a final shock at 230 degrees C so they really get that crispy crust while the inside stays mushy. Pay attention so the potatoes or cheese doesn't burn.
While the potatoes are working their magic in the oven you prepare the steak. These are some steak cooking tricks that any good girlfriend/wife should know. Just as every gentleman should too. A mix of oil and clarified butter in the pan is ideal. Medium high temperature. Place the steaks in the pan. 2 minutes each side max. Never press or pinch the steaks, but you can move them around the pan to distribute the heat. You are looking to get a caramelized crust on each side. The wonders of the Maillard reaction!
Wrap in aluminum foil. Leave it to rest for 5-10 minutes. Then unwrap and pop in the oven on 180 degrees C for 4-8 minutes. The time in the oven completely depends on the thickness of the steaks. We had one steak that was 1,5 cm which got 4 minutes, the other piece was closer to 2,5 cm and we left it 6 minutes. This is if you want a medium rare steak. (Which you do!) If you only have one oven like us, try to time this to when the potatoes are still cooking at the same temperature. Meat goes out again and back in the aluminum foil. Let it rest at least 15 minutes this time, or until everything else is ready. Wrap in an additional kitchen towel if you need to keep it longer. If the garnish takes too long to finish you can pop the meat in together with the potatoes on 230 degrees C grill program for a final minute just before serving.
In the same fatty pan that you cooked the steaks at first, you now fry the thinly sliced mushrooms. While they soak up all the goodies and become ready you whip up a ramson mayo. Doing this by hand makes you feel like a real chef, and works out your lower arm which could come in handy later.
Making mayo by hand is all about good equipment and understanding how emulsion works. Wet a towel and place on the kitchen counter. Steady your best mayo mixing bowl on top. The wet towel will help to hold it still. The main equipment you want to invest in is a heavy whisk. Heavy tool means less work for your arm. Crack two eggs and remove the whites. Save for an omelette later if you don't like to waste food. The yolks goes in the bowl together with a tsp of Dijon. Start whisking until the mixture is a foamy cream. If you do this you almost cannot break the emulsion. Add a few drops of oil and keep whisking. As you see the mixture suck it up and thicken you can keep adding more oil. Flavor with vinegar, lemon, cayenna pepper, salt, pepper and the ramson paste. Taste to perfection.
Congrats! You are ready to celebrate steak & BJ day.
Bugs Bunny was screaming to us from the meat counter at Anni's Pølsemakeri in Mathallen. "What's Cookin' Doc!? This ain't wabbit huntin' season." And so it was that we ended up with a rabbit in our bag. Then, as we walked outside of Mathallen we discovered a brand new spice shop that had opened; Il Buongustaio. The wonderfully enthusiastic Janni made us a special spice blend perfect for the small jumping creature.
Feeds about 4 people after a long day of hunting
One rabbit (preferably shot during wabbit hunting season)
2 liters of buttermilk (you can use Kulturmelk or Kefir in Norway)
A spice mix consisting of at least some sage, thyme and juniper berries
1 large yellow onion
3 cloves of garlic
6 small potatoes
1 glass of red wine
2 cans of good tomatoes
A small jar of extra virgin olive oil
Half a lemon
Salt & pepper
The preparations start the day before, when you soak the rabbit in two liters of buttermilk and let it marinate over night. The next day you wash it off and dry it with a paper towel.
What's Cookin' Doc?
Don't worry, the rabbit was already dead. It felt no pain We had to split up the carcass in smaller pieces, though. Cut out the legs. Separate the filets from the back. The filets are too tender and juicy to waste in a stew where they will get dry. We fried them in butter on the pan with just salt and pepper and whipped up a spicy aioli to dip in. Great food to nibble on while you wait for your rabbit stew to get ready. A stew takes many hours to cook, and usually it's even better the next day.
Give the rest of the meat, including the meatless bones, a good rub with some extra virgin olive oil and the spice mix. Leave it on the kitchen counter to allow the flavors to settle while you prepare the rest.
Peel the carrots. Roughly chop them together with unpeeled potatoes. Cut the onion and garlic in relatively rough pieces as well. It's all going to slow cook, so you don't want too small pieces as they will just make a mash.
In a big cast iron pot or similar, add some oil and fry the rabbit meat on medium high temperature. Make sure all sides gets a good caramelized crust, including the backbones. They will cook in the stew as well to give flavor. Remove the meat from the pot and wrap it in aluminum foil. Do not clean the pot, but add more oil and fry the onions and garlic on medium low heat. As they are starting to get transparent, add the carrots and give them a good fry as well. Finally the potatoes. Let the vegetable caramelize slightly before you add one glass of red wine. Once the wine is reduced to about half, add the two cans of tomatoes. The meat goes back in the pot. A squeeze of lemon, some salt and pepper and reduce the heat to a simmer. Lid on. Give it a good 3-4 hours.
Once the stew is done cooking you can remove the meatless bones. You might be able to scrape off some meat from these pieces as well, as it will all be very tender and soft by now. The rest of the meat you can either clear off the bones, or serve very rustic with a big piece of meat per person.
Sprinkle some freshly cut thyme over and serve!
That's all folks!
We treated ourselves with some more dry-aged meat from Anni's Pølsemakeri. This time we got some lamb sirloins. During one of our last restaurant visits in Oslo this year, to Brasserie Paleo (review coming up later), we got inspired by one of their dishes that had Jerusalem artichokes prepared in three different ways. We decided to cook 'em, fry 'em and mash 'em.
400 g dry-aged lamb sirloin
12-15 Jersualem artichokes
6-8 small shallots
100 g Røros butter (or similar proper butter)
Fresh rosemary (we got ours from Il Buongustaio)
Rhubarb chutney from Nordisk Køkken (or similar quality brand)
Whole pepper corns
Baaah-ke it this way
Start by preparing the meat. Take it out of the fridge and leave it in room temperature. With your sharpest knife slice roughly 1x1 cm square in the fat. Try not to cut too much into the meat. Rub both sides with coarsely ground pepper, Maldon salt and chopped fresh rosemary.
Prepare the Jerusalem artichokes by peeling 3/4th and leaving 1/4th with the peel on. Slice them all in two equal pieces. Peel the shallots and place them in an oven proof container. Cover completely with rapeseed oil and place in the oven on 180 degrees C.
Time to cook the meat. Oil in a pan, medium to high temperature, fat side down first and then flip - 2 minutes on each side. Leave it alone on the pan, allow it to get a caramelized crust. Remove the meat from the pan and wrap in aluminum foil. Don't rinse the pan as you will use the fat later on. Leave the meat to rest for 10 minutes.
Put the Jerusalem artichokes to boil. After 10 minutes remove the unpeeled Jerusalem artichokes from the boiling water. Leave them to steam off. Let the remaining Jerusalem artichokes continue to boil until they are soft like butter when you check them with a knife.
Once the meat has rested unwrap it and place it in the oven next to the shallots on 180 degrees C still. Leave it for about 6-8 mins depending on the thickness. The meat should now be medium-rare with a pink color. Remove from the oven and rewrap in aluminum foil again. Let it rest for 15 minutes or until you are ready with the condiments.
Now you fry the unpeeled Jerusalem artichokes on medium heat in the remaining fat in the pan. Season with salt and pepper. When the rest of the Jerusalem artichokes are done cooking, strain the water and let them steam off. You want to use about half of the total amount you had for the mash, which leaves another 1/4th that is going to be served just boiled and naked. Mash the rest, whisk in 100 g butter and season with salt and pepper. Fill in a pastry bag if you wanna plate it fancy like we did.
Remove the shallots from the oven and fish them out of the oil. Increase the heat in the oven to 230 degrees C and turn on the grill program. Place the meat in the oven once the temperature is up, with the fat side up. It will only need a minute or two to get crispy again.
Slice the meat, decorate the plate with the different Jerusalem artichokes and shallots. Add some rhubarb chutney here and there and sprinkle with some fresh rosemary leaves.
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...