Saturday, October 29, 2011

Apples and Oma

This one is a bit of a collaboration.  My mom sent the book, but MIL made it with help from my oldest while I got to enjoy putting the baby to bed.  It was a wonderful treat and the hardest part is deciding if it was better as a dessert or as breakfast the next morning :-)  This is originally a Taste of Home recipe, tweaked a bit to be able to make it here.  Enjoy!

What you need:
1 Kuchenteig - it's a bit sweeter than pizza dough, great for desserts

Apple mixture:
4 cups sliced, peeled apples (the greener, the tarter)
2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp flour
1 tsp cinnamon

For the cheese part:
4 oz cream cheese (softened)
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tbsp caramel topping

For the Streusel:
2/3 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup cold cubed butter

Peel and slice your apples. Place in a large pan with the butter and cook over medium for 2 minutes. Combine the sugar, flour and cinnamon and mix in. Cook for 3 minutes. Reduce to low and cook until apples are tender - about 5 minutes.
Combine the cheese ingredients into a small bowl, and the streusel ones into another.  Mix the butter into the streusel with a fork until crumbly.

Roll the dough onto a cookie sheet, and pinch the edges up slightly. First spread the cheese topping, then layer the apple topping and sprinkle with the streusel.

 Bake at the temperature directed on the dough package.  Wonderful hot with a scoop of ice-cream, or also cold as breakfast - if you can save any that is.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Bring on the soups

Now that its been getting colder, I am trying to make some soups for dinner. I like them occasionally, but when I mention making one, hubby tells me it's too hot! (usually in the summer when I want soup, so I guess he's right, but shhhh :)  )

This soup was really good.  You can make it healthier if you want but since it's all we were eating, I didn't mind as much.

What you need (I also used 2 dl of Halbrahm, but forgot to include it in the photo)

2 dl Halbrahm
1 container sauer halbrahm
Cheddar cheese
50-75g butter
2.5 cups milk
green onions
8 pieces of bacon
6 medium potatoes
1/3 cup flour
salt and pepper as desired

Bake your potatoes and then peel and cut them into the size chunk you want in your soup. (You could always puree them as well if you just want a thick soup, but I like the chunks)

Cook the bacon and pat it with a paper towel.  Crumble and set aside

Shred the cheese - about 1/2 a cup to mix in and another 1/4 cup for the topping

Slice the green onions as well. Mine are in a bag since I had already sliced some for another dish.

In a large saucepan/pot, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the flour slowly with a whisk.  If your heat is too high, you'll burn the flour and have to start again.  When creamy, add the halbrahm and milk slowly, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes. Add the potatoes and bring to a boil.

Lower the temperature to medium, add the bacon, 1/2 of the sour cream, onions, bacon, cheese and salt/pepper. Simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring every other minute.  It will thicken.

Put in a bowl and then top with some sour cream, cheese, bacon and onions if you have any remaining. Enjoy.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Great tortillas

I've been put on a budget. Hardest. Thing. Ever.  It's the end of the month. With having had visitors most of the month, I am counting the days till the first (C'mon..hurry up!) Anyway...I wanted to make tacos, but Taco Shells and Tortillas both are way more expensive than I would like (have everything else).  Flash back to one day this summer when Coop was having a sale....

Coop website: Flour...4 1kg packages for 2 chf
me: I use flour
website: Thank you ...we will deliver tomorrow
me: WTF...what am I going to do with 8 bags of flour.... never shop online at 3am while you're feeding the baby..

Normally this wouldn't be a problem.  However living here is severely taxing my organizational skills and it's more of a Jenga game with a lot of things (working on it though!)

So today, my oldest son helped me make tortillas.  It was lots of fun. (He slept through the hard part so probably had more fun than me).  It was nice.  I remember long ago to when I was little and I would help my mom make tortillas.  They were wonderful! (This was back when she fried them afterwards...drool.....She's stopped now - which is good and sad at the same time).  I remember waiting for those tortillas to come off the stove and hoping they wouldn't be nice and round.  Those odd square shaped ones had to be eaten right away.  And if they were all round, well then, mom would give us one to try to make sure they were ok :-)  I miss living near my mom, but the visits we share are all the more special now that we don't get to spend a lot of time together.  And having my own kids and baking what my mom and I used to make is great as well!

What you need: (makes about 18 tortillas)
4 cups of flour
1 heaping tsp of salt
1 tsp baking powder
4 even Tbsp shortening (I used butter)
1 1/4 cups very warm water

Mix the flour, salt and baking powder.  Add the shortening/butter and mix well. Make a hole for the water and then add it as well. Not sure if you can see it very well - but push the flour mixture to the sides of the bowl.

Knead (I use my hands) for a couple minutes until a soft dough forms and everything is mixed together well.  Let stand for 20 minutes. Cover with a towel.  Form as many balls as you would like tortillas.  I usually start out with 15-20 and then slowly add bits to other dough balls as I get on since I don't like rolling them out. I end up with 12-15

When rolling, try to make a circle...unless you need an excuse to try one to make sure they're ok for other people (they're wonderful right off the stove with a little butter on top).  Next, it's kind of like making pancakes.  When the tortilla begins to bubble, it's time to flip it (cast-iron skillets are great for this, but I used my 7 chf Ikea pan - dry)

I usually will roll a tortilla when I put the first one in, and when I'm done rolling I flip it - seems to be about the right time.
If you leave the tortilla in longer, the brown spots get bigger. Don't worry about it - they all taste great!

Here is my finished to see if they will last to taco night!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Viadukt finds

The Viadukt  The Viadukt has been open for a while now, but I hadn't had a chance to go visit.  It made for a nice afternoon as we walked back down Josefstrasse to Zurich and were able to hit some of the ethnic stores on the way.  
The Viadukt has a lot of fresh fruits and veggies.  The British cheese shop is also there, next to a very good  looking bagel place. yum. We bought Quinces.  I had never seen these before - they are kind of like a cross between pears and yellow apples.  They are very hard to de-core as well, so please be careful when you do.  

What you need:
Quince - I used 4
Sugar - an amount equal to what your pureed quince turns into

First, wash the quinces, peel, and cut them into quarters.  Carefully remove the core.  Chop them into small chunks.  Put them in a large pot and cover with water (think making mashed potatoes).  Let cook for about 30 minutes after boiling, covered.  If a fork goes in easily, they are done. 

Put in a blender (I have a small one so did this in batches) and blend until smooth.  I ended up with about 2 cups of pureed quince, so I added 2 cups of sugar and the quince to the same pan.  Stir continuously until the sugar is dissolved, at a low heat.  Let the mixture cook for about 90 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
You may need to put a lid on it as it spits at about 45 minutes in, but put it at an angle so it is not completely covered.  You will know when it is done. It starts to get a few specks of dark orange and then about 5 minutes after, the entire mixture turns the deep orange color and it is a lot thicker than when you started. 

Spread the mixture on a baking pan (the smaller the pan, the thicker your paste will be - think brownies), on top of some parchment paper.  Put in an oven at 50 C for an hour. If you have the option of putting the oven fan on, do that as well.  Any part you are not eating, wrap in foil and keep in the fridge.  We waited until then next day to eat it.  It is very sweet (2 cups of sugar), but you are supposed to have it with cheese. We used Manchego (Coop) but Iberico may be good as well. 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

'tis the season...for chicken salad

Johannisbeeren (currants) are available in Migros - and with them you can make a delicious chicken salad.
Getting a really good roll also makes a difference - I have found that the ones at Coop on Silbernstrasse in Dietikon are very good (see picture)

What you need:
Chicken (rotisserie chicken - pre-made or bought is good)
1 red onion
1/2 -1 green apple
2-3 stalks of celery
1/2 cup of johannisbeeren
1/4 cup slivered almonds

Dice the onion, apple and celery.
Pull the stems off of the johannisbeeren and wash them.
Shred the chicken
Put all in a bowl and mix. Add the almonds (if desired) and then add enough mayonnaise to make everything stick together.

Put on a roll and enjoy with a side salad or chips.  Nussli-salat and a tomato on top of the chicken mixture is also good

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Baked Churros from Oma

So Oma and Opa were visiting the past few weeks and Oma brought a bunch of really yummy recipes with her.  This one was very simple to need - you just need 4 ingredients - and the most time is spent cooking the dough.  It was a fantastic dessert and I think it might make its way into my Christmas cookie plates as well.  Thanks Oma!

What you need:
1 package Blatterteig (puff pastry)
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 cup Sugar
50g melted Butter

Unroll the dough and cut it in half lengthwise then cut crosswise into 1 inch strips

Keep it on the parchment paper and follow the baking directions on the package (mine cooked for about 15 minutes)

While the dough is cooking, melt your butter in a pan over low heat and mix your sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl long enough for the pastry to fit in.  Dip the pastry stick in the butter and flip it over to coat.

Put in the sugar-cinnamon mixture and roll to coat.  Put on a plate and enjoy!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Thai salad and dressing

Here is the salad and dressing that I made:

Salad - what you need:
 1-2 package(s) of lettuce
1 cucumber
korriander (cilantro)
1 bunch green onions
Optional: avocado

Put the lettuce in a bowl and chop up about 3/4 of the package and 1/2 of the basil package.  Slice the scallions.  You can either slice the cucumber or peel it and use the peeler and make long strips.

Add to the lettuce and mix

For the salad dressing:

You can prepare this ahead of time, but be sure and shake well before serving.  I drizzled some on the salad and then put the rest on the table in a bottle I'd found in Coop for people to add more.

What you need:
1 cup Coconut milk
2 Tbsp Soy sauce
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp lime juice
2-3 cloves garlic
2 tsp brown sugar (muscovado)

 Mix everything and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Either use it immediately or put it in the fridge and shake when ready to use.
And here is the salad with the dressing

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Thai - part 2

The second dish I tried making was the Thai Massaman Curry - also from Blue Elephant that I picked up at Coop.  I actually enjoyed this one better. We used lamb though you could also use chicken.  The Turkish grocery store has good prices on lamb (I bought ours at Coop since I was there though).

The only problem I found with this recipe is that it sort of threw ingredients at you in the directions. We liked it though and I will definitely make it again.  These two dishes are good for when you are having friends over and want to provide a little variety in the same theme

What you need:
1 packet of the Massaman curry
500g lamb/chicken
600 ml coconut cream
130g cooked potato - I used the raclette potatoes again
1 1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp vinegar
pinch of salt
1/2 Tbsp fish sauce
2 Tbsp sliced ginger (I use the thinly sliced ginger you can get near the sushi ingredients)
2 bay leaves
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
3 Tbsp cashew nuts (roasted peanuts work as well)
Oil for frying

Slice the lamb (or chicken) and quarter your potatoes. Put some oil in a wok or other deep pan and heat it. I used peanut oil.  In batches, deep fry the lamb and potatoes. When done, drain on paper towels and cover to keep warm.

Put the vegetable oil (I used the sunflower oil) in a pan and add the curry paste, garlic shallot and ginger (this is where it added ingredients so I just put in a tbsp of garlic and 1/2 an onion). Stir fry for a couple minutes.

Add the cream, lamb and potatoes. Bring to a boil and add everything but the nuts.  Simmer until cooked through.

Garnish with the nuts and remove the bay leaves. Serve with rice.

Thai Dishes - Part 1 of 3

The next two posts will be more of a review.  The last is a salad and dressing that will compliment these dishes or is also very good on its own.

This first one is a Thai Green Curry packet from Coop - Blue Elephant.  These each serve about 4 people, but I made both so there was a variety - and I was hoping for leftovers of something for lunch the next day :)

Oh - one more thing - these packets are also in English

What you need:
1 Thai Green Curry packet (70g or 50g for a less spicy curry.  I put in the 50 but still thought it was spicy. No one else did).
400 ml coconut cream. Not to be confused with coconut milk
250g chicken breast (I bought the already cubed chicken to save time)
2 kaffir lime leaves - optional (try the Asian store or the Thai Shop)
70g eggplant or cherry tomato (I used some of both).  The Asian store may have baby eggplants (look like large peppercorn) that are really good in this dish. (I used regular eggplant and cubed it)
1 Tbsp fish sauce (you can add 1 tbsp soy sauce + a pinch of salt if you don't like fish sauce)
1 Tbsp sugar
1 large chili (also left out)
5g fresh basil
vegetable oil
180 ml water

Heat 1 Tbsp veg. oil in a pan and add the curry packet. Stir fry until mixed well then lower the heat.

Add the coconut cream and 180ml of water. Bring to a boil

Add everything but the chili and basil.  Simmer (20-30 min) until cooked through and garnish with the chili and fresh basil.  I served it with Basmati rice.

Overall we enjoyed this recipe. Making it with the other curry dish was not that difficult and definitely doable. I had made the salad earlier in the day though. We would definitely buy the packet and make it again.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Zopf Brot

You know the fantastic, braided bread you can buy in the grocery store? Well its fun and easy to make at home! The bonus is you can make it into whatever shape you want, or freeze part of it so that on Sunday you can just pull it out and bake it when you want it.

What you need: ( This will be for the whole package)
1 package of zopf mehl - it comes in 1 kg packages (Migros/Coop) and the recipe is for 500g, so you will need to make sure you double the rest of the ingredients if doing the whole batch of flour
2 of the squares of yeast (Hefe) - found in the refrigerated section of Migros/Coop - usually by the dough
6 dl milk
2 Tbls Salt
2 Tbls sugar
100g butter
1-2 egg yolks - you will brush the yolk over the top of the bread before baking to give it the golden brown color
Hagelzucker to sprinkle over the top of the bread before baking (the big sugar crystals)
raisins if you'd like to make 'eyes'
cheese if you'd like to bake it inside the bread/ or fruit/nuts

On very low heat (you will kill the yeast if you do this at a high temperature), combine the milk and butter and when the butter starts to melt, add the yeast and stir until it is no longer solid.

Put the flour and other ingredients in a bowl. Slowly add the liquid and knead until well mixed.  Cover with a cloth and set in a warm place and let sit for an hour for the dough to rise (Note: some of the zopf mehl packages have slightly different directions - this is the Terrasuisse Zopfmehl package)

After the dough has risen, put some flour on your table/counter and divide into 2 sections. Put one section back in the bowl and then separate the 2nd into 2 sections.  Roll them both out into long rolls about an inch or so thick.  You can then twist them together and then form a semi-circle and then twist those together which is the easier way to 'braid'.

You can also take the two rolls and place them over each other to form a cross.  Next, take the right side piece and flip it over the middle and then do the same with the left.  The do the same with the top and bottom pieces until you have finished the braid. Squeeze the ends together a little bit and tuck the extra under.

You can make hedgehogs (use scissors for the spikes and raisins for the eyes)
Mini braided rolls
After you have formed your dough into the shape you want, you will need to cover it and let it sit for another 40 minutes and it will rise some more.  Next, brush egg yolk on top and (if desired), sprinkle on your sugar

You will then bake it at 220 C for about 30-40 minutes.
Take out and enjoy