Frau Kuchen

cooking and eating in Berlin (and elsewhere)

Posts Tagged ‘recipes

Granola (or Muesli)

with 2 comments

Over the years I’ve tried numerous muesli and granola recipes, and although I think that homemade granola is 100% the way to go, I’ve never found that perfect recipe.  In my experience they’re either too sweet (lots of honey, sugar or syrup)…or too healthy (look and taste like sawdust).

Recently I’ve decided to trust my instincts; I’ve played around with proportions and ingredients and now I think I’ve come up with the perfect mix – slightly sweet, crunchy and made with loads of seeds.  I’m not mad keen on dried fruits and nuts in my muesli; I prefer to top it with seasonal fruit, yoghurt and a touch of honey, – or perhaps a fruit compote and greek yoghurt, – or (in winter) spiced and soaked dried fruit — (it sounds as if more posts may be needed to tell you some of my favourite toppings…).

Frau Kuchen’s (not too sweet, and not too dry) Granola Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 200g rolled oats
  • 150g porridge oats
  • 80g pumpkin seeds
  • 60g sunflower seeds
  • 30g linseeds
  • 20g sesame seeds
  • 20g poppy seeds
  • 10g wheatgerm
  • 1/2 cup sunflower oil
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 2 Tbsp honey

Method:

  1. Heat the oven to 160C
  2. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl
  3. Spread the mix in a shallow layer in an oven proof pan
  4. Put in the oven
  5. Stir occasionally to stop it catching
  6. It’s done when it looks toasted on top and around the outsides (30-40 mins usually does it)
  7. Turn off the oven, but leave the tin in until it’s cooled right down (this helps it dry out and go nice and crunchy)
  8. Store in an airtight container

Written by hudsons

August 16, 2009 at 2:27 pm

Za’atar

leave a comment »

Sorry I haven’t posted for a while – I’ve been away in London for work. Luckily whilst I was there my hosts – both fantastic cooks – made me numerous tasty meals, and in the process introduced me to za’atar.

Za’atar (also known as satar, zahatar or zatr) is a mix of spices used most frequently in middle-eastern cookery.  My friend made Roast Chicken with Sumac, Za’atar and Lemon, a recipe which he’d adapted from Ottolenghi: The Cookbook.  The recipe and some pictures of my version of the same are below.

I’m a big fan of Yotam Ottolenghi and have frequently used his New Vegetarian recipes in The Guardian.  I’ve just ordered my own copy of Ottolenghi: The Cookbook (by Sami Tamimi and Yotam Ottolenghi) – so I’ll let you know what it’s like when it arrives. Apparently garlic and lemon are involved in nearly every recipe (presumably not the baking) – perfect for me, I already use both in nearly everything I make.

If you can’t find za’atar in the shops don’t fret, there are plenty of recipes on-line. I used this one which seems to be quite representative. Like many  spice mixes there seem to be many variations, although the basic ingredients for this one always seem to include thyme, marjoram, salt and sesame seeds.


Image 1: Making Za’atar

Roast Chicken with Sumac, Lemon & Za’atar

Ingredients:
(serves 4)

  • 1 free range chicken cut into four (I used 4 legs, you could also use thighs – chicken on the bone is is definitely better for taste)
  • 2 red onions thinly sliced
  • 4 crushed garlic cloves
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1.5 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp sumac
  • 1 lemon thinly sliced (mine were small so I used 2)
  • 200 ml chicken stock or water (I used my favorite Reduced Salt Marigold Vegetable Bouillon)
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp za’atar
  • 20g butter (I didn’t use this)
  • 50g pine nuts
  • 4 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley

Method:

  1. Combine the chicken, onions, lemon, garlic, oil, spices (bar the za’atar), stock and salt & pepper in a large bowl
  2. Marinate overnight, or at least for a few hours
  3. Preheat the oven to 200°C
  4. Transfer the chicken (skin side up) and marinade to an oven tray and sprinkle with the za’atar
  5. Roast for 30-40 minutes, basting regularly towards the end
  6. Fry the pine nuts in the butter (I dry fried mine).
  7. Serve the chicken with the nuts and parsley.

We ate ours with what’s known in our house as, Egyptian Rice (recipe below); and a greek style salad made of cos lettuce, cucumber, tomato and red onion dressed in an olive oil, lemon juice, sumac and salt & pepper dressing.

———————————————————————————————

“Egyptian” Rice

I have no idea whether this is really egyptian or not – a housemate in my long past student days taught me how to make it.

Ingredients
(serves 4)

  • 1.5 cups rice
  • 3 cups water
  • a good dollop of butter
  • a glug of olive oil

Method:

  1. Wash and soak the rice for 30 mins (I really do find this helps)
  2. Heat the olive oil and butter together
  3. Drain the rice
  4. Measure out the water
  5. Add a couple of tbsps of rice to the butter/oil mix
  6. Fry the rice until it is a nice nutty colour, as soon as it’s brown throw in the water (it only takes a minute to catch and go over) and add the additional rice
  7. Bring to the boil then cover with foil and the lid and simmer
  8. When nearly all the water has disappeared turn off the heat, cover the pan with a tea-towel and the lid and leave it (for about 10  minutes)

  9. Fluff up with a fork
  10. Hopefully you have fluffy rice with lovely little nutty brown nuggets.

Written by hudsons

August 15, 2009 at 5:49 pm

Nigella’s Lamb Cutlets

leave a comment »

A very quick post to say that we tried out Nigella Lawson’s recipe for Lamb Cutlets with Chilli & Black Olives last night. Served with new potatoes and a green and tomato salad dressed with an olive oil, lemon juice and fresh herb (from the balcony) dressing – it was a perfect summer meal.

Their can be few simpler pleasures than nibbling the remaining pieces of lamb from the bones of a lamb chop or cutlet and licking your fingers afterwards.

Lamb is one of my favourite summer meats, ideally cooked on a barbecue so it’s slightly charred on the outside, but retains its pink and juicy interior.

Unfortunately most of the lamb on sale in Berlin seems to be from New Zealand [1], and I try my best to avoid huge food miles. Last week I found some bio (organic) lamb on the Türkenmarkt – at €18/kilo it was pricey, but we eat so little meat that I don’t begrudge spending a little more now and then.

—————————————

[1] If you know of anywhere else (particularly in the Kreuzberg area), that sells German – or at least European – lamb, please do let me know.

Written by hudsons

July 20, 2009 at 8:49 am

Lemon Verbena

leave a comment »

Last night I had a conversation with a friend about what you can do with a glut of Lemon Verbena.

I had a search today and found quite a few recipes, all of which I’ve bookmarked on Delicious (tag: verbena).

Most are for sweets – jellies, ice lollies, puddings, cakes – and drinks.

I’ll try some out and let you know how I get on.

Written by hudsons

June 26, 2009 at 6:28 pm