January 23, 2006

Fish with okra

Serves two.

For the fish:

  • 2 pike-perch fillets (or other mild white fish), about 250g each
  • 4 teaspoons lemon juice
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2 teaspoons wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

For the okra sauce:

  • 200g fresh green okra (ladyfingers)*
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 small(!) piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped (should be less than half the amount of garlic)
  • ½ teaspoon hot red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder
  • 200ml coconut milk
  • 220ml water
  • salt

*) The 200g are actually a guess. I have no idea how many okras I actually used. Pick what seems to be a generous amount for one person or a good side portion for two persons.

Season the fish fillets with lemon juice, salt and pepper and apply a thin(!) layer of the flour.

Rinse the okra well and remove the hard stems, but not the caps.

In a large wok or pan, heat 2 tablespoons oil and add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds. As soon as they begin to pop, add the onion slices. Fry until the onions are soft and transparent. Then add the garlic slices and ginger pieces. Fry for 2-3 minutes. The onions should become yellowy, but not brown.

Add the turmeric, coriander powder, chili powder and cumin powder and fry briefly, stirring well. Then add coconut milk, water, salt and the okra. Put the lid on and bring to boil; then let simmer over low heat for 10-15 minutes until the okra are soft, stirring occasionally.

While the okra are simmering, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large pan and fry the fish fillets over low to medium heat on both sides until golden brown.

To serve, put each fish fillet on a plate and cover with the okra and the sauce. Serve with rice.

Posted by Horst to Seafood | Permalink | Comments (0)

June 29, 2005

Die Wahrheit über meine Küche

Aufgrund einer Einladung von Ms pinkNgreen hier die unverblümte Wahrheit über mich und meine Kochkunst:

1. Was fällt dir zu deinem ersten Koch- oder Backversuch ein?

Den ersten weiß ich nicht mehr, aber sehr früh kamen meine Rindsschnitzelzubereitungsversuche im Studentenheim, an die ich schreckliche Erinnerungen habe. Wurde immer wie Schuhleder. Darum hat es 20 Jahre gebraucht, bis ich mich endlich getraut habe, Zwiebelrostbraten zu kochen.

2. Wer hatte den größten Einfluss auf deinen Kochstil?

Meine Mutter, der ich als Kind stundenlang beim Kochen zugeschaut habe. Alle Grundregeln habe ich bei ihr gelernt.

3. Gibt es ein altes Foto als Beweis für frühes Interesse an der kulinarischen Welt? Traust du dich, es uns vorzustellen?

Öh, sorry, nein, gibts nicht. Vielleicht bei meinen Eltern in einem alten Fotoalbum. Aber nicht greifbar.

4. Leidest du an irgendeiner Art von kulinarischer Phobie? Gibt es ein Essen, dessen Zubereitung dich zum Schwitzen bringt?

Ich hatte jahrelang eine Angst vor Zwiebelrostbraten, der sich dann aber als unglaublich einfach herausgestellt hat. War somit beseitigt. Und ins Schwitzen bringt mich bald was, da brauche ich mich nur zu bewegen, wenn es in der Küche wärmer wird.

5a. Welches technische Hilfsmittel in der Küche schätzt du am meisten?

Meine Moulinette, ein Hybrid aus Mixer und Zerkleinerer. Geniales Ding, für fast alle Saucen unentbehrlich.

5b. Größter Reinfall:

Billigmesser vom Sewa. Beim ersten Runterfallen ist der Griff abgebrochen.

6. Nenne einige seltsame oder verrückte Essenszusammenstellungen, die du wirklich magst – und wahrscheinlich niemand sonst

Da fällt mir eigentlich nix ein -- Sachen, die meine Freunde hier in Österreich grauslich finden, finden meine Bekannten in England ganz normal...

7. Auf welche drei Zutaten oder Gerichte kannst du einfach nicht verzichten?

Zutaten: Zwiebeln, Salz, Hühnerfleisch.
Bei Gerichten bin ich flexibel, wobei ein Leben ohne Curries schon öd wäre.

8. Gibt es eine Frage, die du hier vermisst, die du gerne beantworten würdest? Wenn ja, füge sie einfach hinzu!

Ähm, nein, muss nicht sein.

8. Dein Lieblingseis:

Gutes Vanilleeis (eine Seltenheit!), Pistazie. Und ich habe eine etwas eigene Vorliebe für Waldmeistereis. Lieblingseissalon in Wien: der untere Bortolotti auf der Mariahilferstraße. Und das nicht nur, weil er seit kurzem Waldmeistereis verkauft.

9. Du wirst wahrscheinlich nie essen:

Fugu oder andere potenziell tödliche Dinge.

10. Dein Spezialgericht:

Lapin à la kriek. Lamm-Biryani. Zwiebelrostbraten.

Ich würde das ja gerne an Jag weiterreichen, aber der versteht leider nicht Deutsch, und ich wollte das nicht auf Englisch schreiben. Die anderen Leute, die ich kenne & die gut kochen, haben leider keinen Weblog. Also soll das weiterführen, wer immer sich angesprochen fühlt.

Posted by Horst to Other | Permalink | Comments (2)

March 17, 2005

Red Snapper wrapped in banana leaves

  • 4 Red Snapper fillets (200g each) (or similar fish)
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 200ml fish stock
  • 4 banana leaves, cut to about 10" × 10"
  • 1 small bunch green coriander

for the spice paste:

  • 3 fresh red chillies, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2" piece fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon concentrated tamarind paste
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 skinned tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon shrimp paste
  • 1 teaspoon salt

for the vegetable side dish:

  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 fresh red chili, sliced
  • 3 dried red chilies, left whole
  • 1 carrot (100g), sliced
  • 8 small corn cobs (100g total), halved
  • 1 celery stick (50g), sliced
  • 3 small eggplants (100g total), quartered
  • 50g bamboo shots, cut in stripes
  • 150ml vegetable stock
  • salt
  • 1-2 tablespoons chopped green coriander leaves

Put all the spice paste ingredients into a blender and whizz until very smooth. Heat the oil in a pan, add the paste and fry over moderate heat for 3-5 minutes, then remove from the heat and let cool down.

Place each fish fillet on a banana leaf, cover with the spice paste, fold it into the banana leaf and seal the banana leaf on each side with a toothpick.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large pan. Add the filled banana leaves, then the fish stock and let simmer for 5-8 minutes.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a second pan. Add the onions, sliced and whole chilies and fry until the onions become transparent.

Add the carrot slices. Stir fry for 2 minutes. Add the corn cobs. Stir fry for 2 minutes. Add the celery. Stir fry for 2 minutes. Add the eggplants. Stir fry for 2 minutes. Add the bamboo shoots. Stir fry for 2 minutes.

Add the vegetable stock, stir well, then put the lid on and cook for 2 minutes. Salt if necessary, add the coriander leaves, stir.

Remove the banana leaves from the pan, place each on a plate, open the leaf and garnish with green coriander. Put the vegetables and some rice on the side and serve immediately.

Posted by Horst to Seafood | Permalink | Comments (3)

March 15, 2005

Moules nature (Mussels)

This is really simple, so up to now I didn't think it would warrant an entry on this weblog, but since many people seem to think it's a lot more difficult, I decided to publish it nevertheless.

Make sure you get good quality live mussels. Usually you'll get the best mussels between September and March. Frozen mussels only have a fraction of the taste and a somewhat rubbery consistency, so avoid them unless you have no other choice. Also prepare them as soon as possible after buying them. They'll keep one or two days in the fridge if put in an open(!) bowl without(!) any water in it, but they're best when freshest.

Fresh mussels should not really smell of anything other than sea water. Stay clear of them if they have a fishy or even ammonia-like smell.

Unless served as a starter, the ingredients are per person:

  • 1kg live mussels
  • 1 celery stick, sliced
  • 3-4 shallots (depending on size), sliced
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ground black pepper
  • 1 small bunch fresh green parsley, chopped

If you bought uncleaned mussels, clean the shells with a stiff kitchen brush. Pull out the hairy beard (byssus).

Better still, buy pre-cleaned mussels. They're more expensive, but it'll save you an hour of pretty tedious work.

Rinse under water and throw away all mussels with broken shells, open mussels and half-open mussels that don't close within a minute when you tap on the shell. Also check for beards and remove if necessary.

Put some water into a large pot. How much water is a matter of taste and testing, but you'll need a lot less water than you'd think at first. I usually use a 3-litre pot and fill in 1.5 cm (approx. 400-500ml) water. The mussels will lose a lot of water during the cooking process, so you really don't need more, and it doesn't taste nice if it becomes too watery.

Add the shallots, celery, parsley, salt, pepper and cleaned mussels. Stir, so that the ingredients are well mixed in the pot. Put the lid on and bring to the boil.

Once the water is boiling you'll notice immediately if you have enough water, as the pot will be on the brim of overboiling. Reduce the heat so that it doesn't, and cook for 3-4 minutes.

Remove from the heat and serve immediately, in the pot. As a side dish, serve French bread or French fries. Do NOT eat any mussels that have not opened.

Variations (all variations are based on the ingredients above):

  • for moules au vin blanc, use 200ml water and 250ml white wine and add a twig of rosemary.
  • for moules à l'ail, add 3 finely chopped cloves garlic.
  • for moules provençales, leave away the celery, use 150ml water and 250ml white wine and add 2 chopped skinned tomatoes, 2 chopped cloves garlic, half a small diced fennel bulb, 1 twig thyme and 1 twig rosemary.
  • for moules crème, use 300ml water and 125ml crème fraîche.
Posted by Horst to Seafood | Permalink | Comments (0)

March 14, 2005

Belgian waffles

This recipe gets you about 8 waffles, which should make 4 people happy.

  • 100ml milk
  • 40g butter
  • 1 vanilla pod, sliced open on one side
  • 175g flour
  • 15g yeast
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 40g sugar (15g are sufficient if served with sauce*)
  • a pinch of salt
  • 50ml wheat beer (preferably a Belgian brand like Brugs or Hoegaarden)

for the sauce (* reduce amount of sugar in the waffle dough if served with sauce):

  • 50g white chocolate
  • 80ml milk

Put the milk, butter and vanilla pod into a pan and bring to boil. Let simmer over low heat, stirring continuously, for 2 minutes.

Whisk in the flour. This results in a somewhat flaky, dryish, definitely non-smooth consistency. This is okay - do NOT add additional liquid! Continue stirring over medium heat for another 3 minutes, then turn off the heat and leave to cool, then remove the vanilla pod.

Mix the yeast with 3 tablespoons warm water until dissolved. Stir into the milk/flour dough and let stand for 30-60 minutes.

Beat the egg yolk into the mixture.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until firm, then add the sugar* and a pinch of salt. Continue whisking until stiff. Fold into the dough and leave for an hour.

Stir the beer into the mixture.

For the sauce, break the chocolate into a small saucepan and add the milk. Heat gently, whisking constantly. When hot and thick, remove from the heat and set aside.

To cook the waffles, heat the waffle iron and pour a small scoop of the dough into it (about 1/3 full) and cook according to the waffle iron's instructions at medium to high heat until the waffle is risen and golden brown.

If eaten with sauce, put some of the sauce on a plate, put the warm waffle on top and sprinkle with icing sugar.

Otherwise eat the waffle as is. If you cook a larger batch, the waffles can be kept for a few days if they have been left to cool on a grill and are then wrapped in cling film. Do re-heat them in the waffle iron (or — gasp — in a microwave) before eating, though.

Posted by Horst to Vegetarian | Permalink | Comments (0)