Sunday, 31 October 2010

Oeuf en Cocotte with Chorizo

Oeuf en cocotte is a very french way of making eggs, usually served in a small ramequin or the more fashionable "Cocottes". This are small ceramic ramequin with a lid, a sort of miniature, one portion pan. They are specially nice for slow cooking food, like stews, soups or even soufflés.

Anyways, i was alone for lunch and in the mood for something simple and fast. And this is perfect as well as delicious!

Oeuf en cocotte with chorizo


1 egg
about 100 mL (less or more according to taste) of cream
grated cheese (or mixes of cheeses)
chopped chorizo to taste
salt, pepper, fresh herbs

Place the chopped chorizo and the cream on the bottom of the ramequin. Open the egg on the top, season with salt, pepper. Add the grated cheese and sprinkle with the fresh herbs.
Take it to the oven at 180°C for about 10 to 15 min, depending on how runny you like the eggs.
Serve with toasted bread.

It is very easy to make variations to this. You can add some chopped vegetables (which you should slightly cook before baking on the ramequin), or instead of chorizo, you can use bacon, chicken leftovers, or even tuna.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Pistachio Macarons

Honestly I never tried macarons before. But I´ve seen so many beautiful pictures of these little french cookies all over the internet that I felt tempted to try.
This ones were my first try. I followed a basic recipe of Tartelette. You should go there, she has amazing recipes and beautiful pictures. And of course her macarons always look so perfect, that I thought if I had to follow a recipe then might as well be one from there.
For the filling i used a simple vanilla cream. I am not a big fan of buttercream, so I went for something simpler.

Of course they didn´t came out all pretty! But i would say that 90% of them looked like this ones in the picture. I guess it takes practice to make them look perfect and all of the same size.

Pistachio Macarons with Vanilla cream


3 egg whites, left overnight at room temperature (aged)
30 gr of granulated sugar
200 gr of powder sugar
55 gr of finely ground almonds
55 gr of finely ground pistachios
Green food die (I didn´t use any, hence my macarons didn´t come out very green...)

Sift the powder sugar, almonds and pistachios in order to get rid of any lumps.
In a bowl, with a mixer, whip the egg whites until foamy. Then add the granulated sugar and continue whipping until you have a glossy stiff merengue.
Add slowly the sifted sugar mixture to the egg whites, folding gently. Do not over mix or this can ruin the consistency of the merengue. 
Fill a pastry bag with a large plain tip, and pipette the merengue in an oven tray covered with baking paper. Try to pipette the same amount, in order to have equal size macarons in the end. To me this was a bit hard but I guess it requires a bit of training!

Leave the macarons sit for around an hour, until they spread a bit and form a harden shell. 
Heat the oven to 150°C. Place the tray with the macarons in the oven for approximately 15 to 20 minutes. I guess this also takes a bit of trial and error according to your oven. 
After this time take them out of the oven and let it cool down. don´t let them sit on the tray too much or they will become soggy. You can store them in a air tight container before filling them.

For the Filling:

150 mL Milk
1 egg slightly beaten
20 gr of sugar
1 vanilla pod
1 teaspoon of corn starch (Maizena)

Cut open the vanilla pod and scrape out the seeds placing them in the milk. Take the milk to medium heat with the sugar and vanilla, the egg slightly beaten and the corn starch well dissolved.
Mix it in well while heating until the cream thickens. Let it cool down before using on the macarons.

With a piping bag (or a spoon), place the cool filling on one of the macarons flat side, and place another macaron on the top. Do not press them down or you might break them.

I think that the day after they taste even better...

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Chicken and vegetable soup

Or how to use left overs of roasted chicken. A delicious one by the way, but a bit to much for both of us. Since I don´t like to waste food, I arranged something with some vegetables lying around in the kitchen. Other variations might result delicious as well!

Chicken and vegetable soup


Left overs of one roasted chicken (carcass included)
1 large onion
3 garlic cloves
2 carrots peeled
1 large parsnip
1 big sweet potato chopped in cubes
1 leek
2 bay leaves
1 large parsley spring
1 large thyme spring
olive oil to taste
salt and pepper

Start by separating the chicken flesh from the bones and carcass. Reserve the meat and place the bones and carcass in a pan. Add around 1liter of water. Add half of the onion, 2 garlic cloves, 1 carrot chopped in half, and a bouquet made with the bay leaves, 1 parsley spring and the thyme spring. Add a pinch of salt and bring to a boil, letting simmer for around half an hour (or more if you want a more pronounced taste). Filter the broth and reserve.

In a another pan, add the other half of the onion, chopped, the garlic cloves also chopped, and the sliced leek. Add a bit of olive oil to taste and bring to medium heat, until the onion is soft but not brown. Add the chicken broth and the sweet potatoes. After around 10 minutes, add the carrot and parsnips previously chopped in thin slices. Add also the reserved chicken meat and let cook for another 10 min, or until the sweet potatoes are soft. Finally add salt and pepper to taste, and chopped parsley.

In this case I served with some polenta slices on the top, and some fresh bread on the side.

Saturday, 16 October 2010


The perfect ending for a perfect Autumn afternoon.

I didn´t made them though. All I can say is that the butter, garlic and fresh herbs were mixed perfectly with these snails.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Feigen-Senf Chutney

Or Fig-Mustard Chutney. 

This year I´ve been craving figs like hell. Thank goodness for the nice turkish shops, and their nice imported blue figs! I found some with a huge discount this week, and since somebody was talking about feigen-senf the other day, I couldn´t resist to do it.

Fig-mustard is something that you can easily find here in Germany, but honestly in Portugal I never noticed it´s presence. It goes wonderfully with cheeses (and a glass of good red wine), but you can also use it for seasoning meats for example.

Feigen-Senf Chutney


500g of fresh figs
200 mL of red wine
100 mL of balsamic vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon
100 gr of brown sugar
100 gr of Dijon mustard
salt and black pepper to taste
a pinch of dry sage (optional)


In a pan mix all the ingredients except the Dijon mustard. Take to a boil, and let it simmer until the figs are cooked almost like a pure. Finally add the mustard and let simmer for a couple more of minutes.
Poor while hot in clean glass flasks, closing them and turning upside down to allow for vacuum to form.

You can conserve them closed for some months. After opened, keep in the fridge and use it in the next couple of weeks.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Apple and cinnamon rolls

I took pieces and bits from other recipes until I got what I wanted...
For the filling I took inspiration in a German cooking magazine, though I changed it a little bit and added a bit of rum.

Apple and cinnamon rolls

For the dough
500 gr flour
50 gr sugar
80 gr unsalted butter melted and cooled down
250 mL of lukewarm milk
1 medium egg
1 package of instant dry yeast (or the equivalent for the amount of flour used)
a pinch of salt

For the filling
2 apples chopped in small cubes
2 tablespoons of grounded cinnamon
1 tablespoon of rum
3 tablespoons of unsalted butter melted
3 tablespoons of brown sugar

Preparing the dough:

In a bowl mix the flour, salt and sugar. Dissolve the yeast in the warm milk. Add all together the beaten egg, melted butter and milk/yeast mixture to the flour. Mix well until the dough is fully hydrated. Knead the dough for some minutes until is homogeneous. Placed in a slightly greased bowl and cover, leaving to rise for until it doubles its size.
Roll the dough in a rectangular shape until it is around 1 centimeter thick.
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.

Preparing the filling:

In a bowl, mix the butter, sugar, cinnamon, rum and chopped apples. Let it cool down totally.
Spread the mixture evenly over the dough.

Preparing the rolls:

Roll the dough from the largest side, pressing gently along the way.
Cut the roll in 5 cm pieces, and placed them in a greased backing tray, with around 1 cm distance between each other. Leave to rise one last time for about 20 minutes.
Bake the rolls for 10 minutes or until slightly golden on top.

And enjoy!