Sunday, April 14, 2013


Saturday, 13th April 2013
Book of Tapas and Spanish Cooking - Hilaire Walden p93. I think Paella is one of those dishes where you can vary the ingredients in the basic recipe quite a bit, so this was my variation.
I cut up a poussin into small pieces, browned these in oil for 10 minutes and removed them from the pan. The added onions and garlic, chopped red pepper and diced chorizo and bacon. Then I added 250 grammes of risotto rice (not really the best substitute, but OK), some paprika, and a small amount of red chili.
Then stock, where I had to guess the amount, since I wasn't following the recipe closely. For 350 grammes rice the recipe said 1.75 litres of stock, which seems a huge amount to me. I added a bit less than a litre, and that turned out to be more than enough.
I put the chicken back in and added 8 cherry tomatoes halved, rosemary and seasoning, and boiled for 10 minutes.
Then came the seafood. I used 6 small squid cut up, some mussels, 6 prawns in their shells, a red mullet fillet cut up into small pieces and two red king prawns. This was all scattered over the top and not stirred in (as in the photo).
This was then supposed to simmer for 10 minutes and then steam, off the heat with the lid on, for 10 more minutes. However, the pan I used was large and, although it bubbled fairly well in the middle the edges were not hot enough. It was soon obvious that neither the fish nor the rice was going to be cooked through in that time, and there was still too much liquid. In the end I let it simmer for about a half hour and then steam for 10 minutes.
In the end everything came out very nicely, with a delicious flavour. Both the fish and the rice were cooked about right, although the squid got a bit lost and there were too many mussels. The red mullet was particularly good.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Ebi Ten-Don

Thursday, 11th April 2013
Tempura (Ten) Prawns (Ebi) on a bowl of rice (Don) = Ebi Ten-Don.
My tempura batter didn't really work (too liquid), and I think I cooked the prawns too long, waiting for the batter to brown, so these didn't come out quite as intended. Still it was a very nice TV dinner.

Rabbit and Beer Stew

Saturday, 6th April 2013
Rabbit appears so rarely in the local supermarket, I feel compelled to buy one when it does.
In this case I tried this recipe. I did the marinading, although I did have to use a german wheat beer instead of the dark belgian beer suggested. In Köln, if you don't go to a specialist store, you can only buy Kölsch (probably 19 different ones), Pils or Wheat Beer. Still the wheat beer worked fine.
A little carrot is enough for me, so I reduced the amount of that and added some turnip as well. I left out the prunes and marmelade (even more difficult to buy in Köln than dark beer!), and substituted a big spoonful of my partner's plum preserve. And we used arrowroot and water, instead of cornstarch and milk.
And I added dumplings because, well.... why wouldn't you??
Delicious! The plum preserve was an inspired touch and the sauce was fantastic. The veggies were perfectly cooked, and the meat was tender and juicy. It was a whole rabbit, so there was way too much for two. I had the left overs a couple of days later (re-heated in a double boiler) and, if anything, it was even better.

Meatloaf with Blue Cheese

Sunday, 17th March 2013
Based on this adaption of a Joceline Dimbleby recipe.
I used a mix of 1:2 mix of pork and beef, because that seems to have a better flavour, and stilton for the blue cheese. And I made the tomato sauce mentioned in that recipe. (No idea what the camera did to the colour of my tomato sauce, I assure you it didn't look maroon in real life!). Otherwise I followed the recipe pretty closely.
Served with roast potatoes and cabbage braised in a little butter.
This came out really well and the stilton developed a surprisingly mellow, creamy flavour.

Pasta with Mushroom Cream Sauce

Friday, 15th March 2013
For the pasta, head to your local italian deli and buy what fresh pasta they have! :)
For the sauce, brown a little bacon, add and soften onions and garlic, add mushrooms and cook for a couple of minutes, add diced tomato and cook for a minute or so, add cream and seasoning. Bubble gently until it is ready.

Tuna Steak

Thursdy, March 14th 2013
Repeating a mid-week standby. Must find a way to stop the tuna going so dry.