Salmorejo Cordobés – Andalusian tomatoes wonder

Salmorejo

Salmorejo Cordobes

Tomatoes wonder – yes, totally! It’s omnipresent and omnipotent throughout Andalusia. Can be served for every meal and in multiple forms, as Tapa, soup, dip, sauce etc – it’s a constant companion all year round but preferably consumed during the torrid Andalusian summers.

Plan this in advance as you need stale white bread – as I didn’t know where to get it, I bought the white bread two days before actually planning to make the Salmorejo.

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg ripe tomatoes, best quality you can find on the market. They make the difference between a regular Salmorejo and an awesome one.
  • 150 gr stale bread
  • 100 ml of best extra virgin Olive oil you find on the market – it’s worth it investing a few more dimes here
  • half to one garlic clove- al gusto but remove the middle part to avoid eructation
  • 8-10 gr salt but better taste it before you add this quantity blindly
  • black pepper

Salmorejo has the final consistency of a puree. And goes very well with boiled eggs and a good Jamon Serrano.

Let do it:
Wash the tomatoes well, cut them in small pieces and add them to a large bowl. Take a blender and turn the tomato pieces into a sauce.
Pass the sauce through a strainer to remove seeds and skin pieces that have made it through the blending process. You want a smooth texture.

Cut the stale bread into pieces, add them to the tomato sauce and let it rest for 10 mins. This way the bread soaks some of the liquid and it becomes easier to blend it later.

In the meantime peel the garlic and, as it is used raw, remove the center so that it does not repeat. Add it to the tomatoes/bread mixture, pour in the extra virgin olive oil and salt. Grind some pepper – it’s not mandatory though.

It’s final blending time!
Blend it until you are happy with the texture, it should be really smooth and creamy. Taste now. Here is the time to add more salt if necessary.

Place the bowl in the fridge for a couple of hours and you will have a perfect version of the Salmorejo of Cordoba.
Before serving pour into bowls, sprinkle with a few shavings of Serrano or Iberian ham and/or some hard boiled egg. Finish with a drop of extra virgin Olive oil.

Perfect dish, dip or Tapa.
¡Buen provecho!

Advertisements

Far Far Breton

This summer was my very first time really exploring France. I have been to France before but either for brief visits to Paris or for work in Cannes. Never the deep country side. And what better area to start a Fradventure then with beautiful Provence. It was a wonderfully enriching experience, teaching me a lot about culture, history, food, chic, myself and relationships. But most of all it boosted my desire to scout other areas of France.
In a moment of childhood melancholia my boyfriend started telling me about Bretagne, its rough beauty, about how as a child he knew every rock and met every crab moving in Plozévet, about how every inhabitant of Plozévet knew the exact times of tides as good as the opening hours of the tiny Crêperie on the beach. The sea was moving very quickly when the time arrived for it to unravel it’s waters and embrace the rocks, wash the shores until time came to pull back and unfold it’s bed for children’s delights.

What other delight can come to mind then a Far Breton to celebrate these childhood memories?

Not much effort is required to make a Far Breton happen, it just takes a bit more waiting time than a usual cake. What you need you mainly have at home except maybe prunes …

Ingredients:

  • 200 gr wheat flour
  • 150 gr caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 sachets Vanilla sugar
  • 750 ml milk
  • 20 – 25 prunes (dry plums)
  • a small piece of butter

The French recipes I explored don’t beat the eggs but I came to realize that the foam formed by beating the eggs turns into a nice surface while baking.

So… beat the eggs thoroughly with a pinch of salt, add sugar, Vanilla sugar and blend until it’s creamy. Gradually add milk and flour. As said, if it’s too much effort for you, the ingredients can be just mixed all together whiteout the egg beating step.
Let it rest for one hour at room temperature.

Make sure you take a high porcelain or glass baking mold, an earthen one would be perfect but I don’t just happen to have one lying around and I assume neither do you. Don’t take a quiche form, it should be either a Pie or Lasagna baking form as it needs to be high.
After that take the prunes, roll them in a bit of flour (so they don’t sink immediately) and spread them onto your Far Breton.

Preheat the oven at 200°C/392°F.
Butter your baking mold and pour the rested mixture into it. Bake for 30 minutes. Stop the oven and leave for another 30 minutes inside. It’s very important that during this entire hour the Far Breton is in the oven, you do NOT open it!
Let the Far Breton cool down and serve accompanied by some Breton tune by Oldelaf!

Bon appétit! and …. like the Breton say: “Kenavo”! See you soon!

Turkish Pita bread or Pide

Pita is a soft flatbread baked from wheat flour and known in multiple cuisines such as Mediterranean, Balkan and Middle Eastern. Can be used to scoop sauces, dips or as sandwich bread. It’s delicious combined with Humus or aubergine salad my mom used to make.

the quantities below make for 2 well-sized Pita breads

What you need:

  • 800 gr wheat flour 
  • 50 gr butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 spoon white sugar
  • 1 pack fresh yeast ( in Germany it’s 42 gr), it surely works with dry yeast as well 
  • ca. 600 ml fluid (400ml water, 200 milk) 

For later:

  • 1 egg yolk 
  • 3-4 spoons olive oil
  • white and black sesame seeds

This recipe was a bit adventurous for me but it will not be for you, as I figured it all out! 🙂

I have been researching for quite a bit now for a tasty and easy-to-make Pita recipe and found it on Aynur’s youtube channel. I assume she is a Turkish lady living in Germany, totally amazing but the measurements in glasses are kind of an acquired taste – so I converted everything in standard measurements for us.

Let’s do it!

Put flour, fresh yeast, salt, sugar and butter in a bowl and start kneading by adding the fluid to the mixture bit by bit. As I transformed everything in ml or gram for you it should not be a problem to pour everything into the bowl of a heavy duty mixer like Kitchen Aid and let the machine do the job until you have a homogeneous body. Let the dough rise for 30 minutes in a warm place. 

After the dough rose, prepare your working space. Sprinkle the table with flour and split the dough in two equal parts. Roll them out into 2 cm thick oval breads. 

After forming the oval pita breads, lay them onto the prepared backing trays and let them rest, covered for another 10 mins. 

Now get your gloss out – yolk and oil mixture – and coat the bread’s surface. When it’s totally shiny start an acupressure treatment on your Pide by pressing your fingers into the dough parallel with the breads  margin, leaving 2 cm distance. Watch Aynur’s video for this, it speaks a thousand words! You need to apply pressure properly, if not the line disappears during baking!

After applying the Pita acupressure technique successfully, sprinkle black and white sesame seeds on them. The mixture tastes wonderful. 

Preheat your oven at 180°C/356°F and bake the Pita breads for 30 mins.

Prepare to have sesame seeds all over the kitchen floor 🙂 As said: it’s a delightfully delicious adventure, darling! 

Lime Meringue Tarte

The cake base is Pâte Brisée and the Curd recipe you can find here

the quantities make for 1 Tarte or 6 Tartelettes 

What you need for cake base:

  • 200g wheat or spelt flour (I prefer wheat) 
  • 100g cold butter, cubed
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 3 spoons caster sugar (or 2 spoons of sugar + 1 sachet Vanilla sugar)
  • 1/4 glass of water or milk

Mix butter and flour lightly until you have crumbles. Not too long though, add sugar, water (or milk) and the pinch of salt. Begin your work on the dough. If you feel it needs a bit more flour, feel free to add. 

Roll out the dough and place it in a Tarte or Quiche baking form. Prick the dough with a fork. Don’t forget to pre-heat your oven to 180°C/356°F. Baking time is 10 -15 mins. 

prick_the_dough

prick the pâte brisée

blind_baking

“blind-baking”, weighing down the dough

 

The dough needs to be “blind-baked”. Bake the cake base but prevent it from rising by weighing it down with beans, lenses or even rice. 

How to do it? Just add a layer of Aluminium foil or baking paper on top and fill the Tarte form with beans as in the image above. 

I presume the beans cannot be used for cooking anymore, at least I never tried but can be reused every time for this purpose.

When the dough cooled off, fill your Tarte/Tartelettes with the previously prepared lime curd. 

And nooow — It’s meringue time! 

You can make French or Italian meringue for the Tarte. Both are suited. I go with the French one, it’s less hassle to be honest. 

Prepare your mixer! It is vital for the Baiser.

I use 2 egg whites and 140 g caster sugar for one Tarte or 6 Tartelettes decoration. 

How to do meringue:

Start by beating the egg whites with a pinch of salt at low speed, add half of the sugar, keep the same speed until it gets a bit foamy and you see tips forming. Add the rest of sugar and increase the speed by 1-2 levels, depending on your mixer. 

The meringue should be stiff when you are done beating 🙂

You can either spread meringue on the curd using an offset spatula, making decorative swirls or use a star-like tip (like below) to decorate your Lime Tarte kiss by kiss (Baiser is kiss in French). 

tip_for_meringue

decoration tip

After spreading enough kisses on your Tarte, you should caramelize the tips of the kisses using a handheld kitchen torch.

If you don’t have a kitchen torch you can caramelize/dry the meringue on the Tarte under the broiler. 

The Tarte is at it’s best after 5 -6 hours in the fridge or even better, the next day.

It’s really delightful, darling! The sweetness of meringue melts into the soft, creamy, fruity curd texture.

Dare to bake it! It’s actually easy to make and the reward is incredible. Bring it to a party and you are cherished forever! But it takes some time! My tip: prepare the Curd on the previous day and you are good to go! 

Lime curd

Curd is originally a British spread made with lemons. But you can actually make curd with almost every citric fruit you can find (oranges, grapefruit, tangerines) as well as berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries) or mango. 

I love using it for tartes, topped with meringue. 

Note that the only additional step when making non-citric curd is pureeing the fruit using a food processor. 

I have seen and tried recipes using the lemon/lime zest but I like it more without it. It’s clear.

The quantities below make for 2 X150 gram jars. 

  • 150ml lemon juice
  • 140 gr refined sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 85 g butter, cubed 
  • 1 spoon corn starch

Squeeze the limes (+ not necessary step: strain the juice so it’s pure), mix in the sugar and corn starch and place it on the stove at medium heat. Once sugar melted add butter cubes piece by piece and stir gently.

In the meantime beat the 3 eggs, adding a pinch of salt.

Once the butter is blended in, add the beaten eggs but stir gently and continuously using an egg wisk. Keep the stir on until the curd starts clotting. 

(Mind that if you don’t stir continuously, the eggs might get flaky and the consistency of the curd changes, you want a smoothy, creamy curd 🙂 

Now pour into jars you prepared and let it cool. I always put it in the fridge for a few hours after it cools. 

Top tartes, cupcakes, Brioche and fancy cakes with it. 

Kept in the fridge, curd can be used up to 2 weeks. 

Enjoy! It’s delightful, darling!

Soft Chocolate Amarettini

Dear Thuy,

here is an invitation to bake the Amarettini you liked so much on a snowy December Saturday when Roy is skiing.

What you need:

  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 2 egg whites
  • 120 gr icing sugar, plus 2-3 spoons for dusting the Amarettini
  • 200 gr grounded almonds  
  • 1/2 Vanilla pod
  • 2 tbsp Cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp Amaretto (Almond Liquor) – Alternatively Chocolate Liquor can be used too

Whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff, add 75gr icing sugar.

Slit open the Vanilla pod and scrape out the pulp. Mix Vanilla pulp, Cocoa powder, 45gr Icing sugar and almonds in a bowl. Grind everything well in a food processor. 

Mix the Almonds/Cocoa blend spoonful into the merengue. Also add 2 tbsp of Amaretto or Chocolate Liquor. 

Place the mixture in the fridge and let it chill for 10 mins.

In the meantime prepare a backing tray with baking parchment. 

Using your moistened hands, form small spheres (∅ ca. 2cm) and place them on the backing tray, leaving enough space between them.  

Dust the Amarettini with icing sugar and let them dry well for 3 hours. 

Pre-heat the oven to 160°C/320°F. Bake the Amarettini for 15 mins. Let them cool down and dust again with icing sugar. 

Ready to go and really delightful, darling! 

Gâteau au chocolat

The best chocolate cake you will ever have and you know why? It’s almost pure dark chocolate enriched with butter, eggs and sugar, almost no flour. What makes it even more special is that I kept the recipe to myself for the last 10 years, but there is a copyright expiration time for everything, right?

I got this chocolate slice of paradise from my Luxembourgish friend, Aimée, when living in Gran Canaria. She was my boss’ neighbour and working for Luxair. I wanted to escape the winter in Munich so I took one semester off University and moved to Maspalomas at the Atlantic coast and took a job there for half a year. At some point in life each one of us dreams to live on an island, it seems so idyllic and a very nice dream to dream but reality might be very different…

Anyhow, this post is not about my escape on the Canarian Islands but about the awesome Gâteau au chocolat recipe, that dates back to ancient times in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. 

What you need! And get it really quick! 

  • 200 gr Dark Chocolate (e.g. Côte D’or, Callebaut or Ritter Sport 50% Cocoa would do it too) 
  • 100 gr butter
  • 150 gr white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 50 gr flour

Give a bain-marie to the chocolate and butter or let it melt at very low temperature on the stove. In the meantime beat the eggs and sugar until foamy.  

Add the chocolate/butter mixture to the eggs and mix them really well, add 50 gr wheat flour and you are done.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/356°F and bake for 16- 20(max!) minutes, depending on your oven. I bake for 17 minutes sharp and it has this soft, moist, chocolatey texture that makes it melt on your tongue and crave for more.

It’s delightful, darling! I promise!