Friday, May 31, 2013
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
- A Godly Nut And Work Of Art -
This picture was submitted to "Black & White Wednesday", an event created by Susan at "The Well-Seasoned Cook". It will be hosted on the 5th of June by Deepali Jain at "Confusion Cook" (click here in order to see who is hosting the next roundup).
Friday, May 24, 2013
FANTASTIC APÉRITIF NIBBLES: ENGLISH CHEDDAR AND CARAWAY SEED CHEESE STRAWS - FLÛTES ANGLAISES AU CHEDDAR ET AUX GRAINES DE CARVI
All through the long winter, I dream of my garden. On the first day of spring, I dig my fingers deep into the soft earth. I can feel its energy, and my spirits soar.
- Helen Hayes
Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems.This year, winter has been particularly gruelling. Not only was it bitter cold and extremely gloomy, but it was also nerve-wrackingly endless. Thankfully, after much anticipation, the season of regrowth has finally made a welcome and promising reappearance around the middle of April and it is with open arms that we greeted its priceless return.
- Rainer Maria Rilke
Ah, what a relief it is to be able to hear the birds singing at the top of their voices, see nature getting green and colorful, smell the embalmingly sweet aroma of grass and flowers, admire the generously bulbous shape of cumulus clouds, forage wild garlic, wear light clothes and luxuriate in the sunshine again!
Unfortunetely, this period of truce didn't last long. A week later, the depressingly dark, rain-laden and sterile skies as well as the frisky (lately, the thermometer rarely reaches 15° C/59° F) and harrassingly tempestuous winds reinstalled themselves and have stayed ever since. Consequently, everybody's good spirit and motivation have vanished, thus turning us into yammering zombies and moody divas.
Anyway, all we can do at the moment is dream and pray for a prompt change in the forecast, because if our beloved fiery planet doesn't make a comeback before the end of the month, we are seriously going to go haywire. Meanwhile let's pretend May is cheerful, bright and balmy...
With the better days hopefully soon settling in and June approaching, the excitement is palpable and we are all eagerly looking forward to celebrating the comeback of warmer temperatures by eating outdoors and savoring the lazy and interminable evenings on our quaint decks, cozy porches, spatious terraces or lush gardens. That is one of the great joys of spring and summer.Seating themselves on the greensward, they eat while the corks fly and there is talk, laughter and merriment, and perfect freedom, for the universe is their drawing room and the sun their lamp. Besides, they have appetite, Nature's special gift, which lends to such a meal a vivacity unknown indoors, however beautiful the surroundings.- Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin
Thankfully, even if P. and I live in a humble village apartment, we are lucky enough to have a fairly comfortable balcony with a splendid view - a non-negligible detail when looking for a condo. In addition to being reasonably sized, it also faces south, offers enough privacy (no real vis-à-vis) and overlooks the gorgeous Salève mountain which stands at close distance from our building block (less than a kilometer away from the telepheric station).
There, sheltered from the harmful rays of our fiery globe or illuminated by candlelight, we spend many hours munching on some delicious seasonal fares, sipping on our drinks (tea, coffee, wine or beer), philosophizing, musing on the world, gazing at the stars, reading and relaxing. This is our little piece of epicurean heaven, a holiday-like place where time stops and memories are made.
It is a unique and pleasant experience to have the opportunity of enjoying a scrumptious meal while breathing the clean air of the countryside, listening to the quirky chatter of feathered creatures and delighting in the beauty of nature. I must say that a luxury of this kind can be quite addictive!
Dining somewhere else than in a closed room or in our winter quarters is fun and highly satisfactory. Naturally, this stress-free activity implies that the food presented at our table must be easily prepared, uncomplicated and casual. As much as I love cooking sophisticated eats, I really don't want to sweat for hours at the stove when I could be chilling out on my comfortable plastic chair and having a passionating conversation with my boyfriend.
During the week, I'll cook light vegetarian suppers and excesses will be banned from our diet. Nonetheless, on weekends we'll take pleasure in letting ourselves go a teeny weenie bit. It is our habit to kick off the "festivities" at dusk with a simple "apéro" consisting of a few boozy coolers (Porto on the rocks and fruity cocktails - Malibu and orange juice - and later on some red wine for P. and a Belgian beer for me) and nibbles (Tyrells/Burts chips, French or Swiss salami, thin slices of roast beef and chickpeas - warm and au naturel or spicy and roasted). Then, once our appetite has been stimulated and hunger is well established, we'll close the evening by feasting on dishes* such as pilafs, stir-fries, curries, pan-fried fish or meat with roasted vegetables, salads, pasta, etc...
As you can see, happy hours are as important to us as dinners and we would hate to bypass that wonderful European ritual. This prelude to a supper (although it can sometimes replace it) is a serious social event that helps us slow down at the end of a hard day's work and build strong ties with others. Therefore, we generally prefer when our spontaneous or planned get-together are festive and not rushed as there's no hurry anymore and everybody wants to have fun. Simply put, "l'apéritif" is a way of life and we follow this tradition proudly.
Of course, it would be a crime to serve alcoholic beverages without providing hors d'oeuvres, hence a successful cocktail party cannot take place if appetizers are nowhere in sight. Those tiny bites don't need to be extravagant and costly, yet they imperatively have to be palatable and pair perfectly well with the refreshments people are consuming. For example, canapés, nuts, olives, slices of dried meat, cheeses, savory pastries and vegetable sticks with various dips are always a welcome addition to any late-afternoon gathering.
Life is great. Cheese makes it better.One of my favorite tidbits are "English Cheese Straws". I find them ever so moreish and irresistibly rich. Besides, they hold a sentimental value for me since they are closely linked to England and the memorable times spent there with my grandparents - I remember baking them a lot together with either my Nan or mother during my early years. Nowaydays, I still make this retro British classic, however the recipe I have created is slightly more modern and elaborate than the one of my childhood (found in Be-Ro's bestselling book).
- Avery Aames, The Long Quiche Goodbye
Wine and cheese are ageless companions, like aspirin and aches, or June and moon, or good people and noble ventures...
- M.F.K. Fisher
It is to be said that my intensely crunchy, savoury, flaky, cheddary, buttery and fragrant "Cheddar And Caraway Seed Cheese Straws" are addictively ambrosial and are without a doubt a great addition to any midsummer banquet. Try them yourself and see. I promise that you won't be deceived.
* Follow me on Facebook or Twitter if you want to learn more about our suppers.
Cheddar And Caraway Seed Cheese Straws
Recipe by Rosa Mayland, May 2013.
Makes about 60-70 straws.
160g Plain white flour
40g Whole wheat flour
2 Tsp Caraway seeds
1/2 Tsp Fine sea salt
1/3 Tsp Mustard powder
1/3 Tsp Onion powder
80g Unsalted butter
150g Mature cheddar cheese, grated
2 Eggs (63g), beaten
Extra caraway seeds for decorating
1. Preheat the oven to 200° C (400° F).
2. Put the flours, caraway seeds, salt, mustard and onion powder in a medium bowl. Add the butter and lard, and rub the fats and flours between the fingers until the mixture is flaky.
3. Mix in the grated cheese.
4. Pour in the beaten egg, gradually, while continuously cutting and stirring with a knife until you obtain a stiff dough.
5. Roll out on a floured surface and cut into 12 x 1.5 cm (5 x 0.6 inch) strips.
6. Pour some caraway seeds in a shallow plate and dip one side of each strip in the seeds.
7. Twist the straws so that the seeded side goes around the strip in a spiral pattern and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
8. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until golden brown.
8. Let cool on a rack.
If you wish, the caraway seeds can be replaced with poppy seeds, nigella seeds or cumin seeds, the lard with butter and the cheddar cheese with cantal cheese, salers cheese, gruyère cheese or any semi-hard cheese of your choice.
Serve as appetizer with a glass of white or red wine - fortified wine also is a perfect accompaniment to the cheese straws.
Flûtes Au Cheddar Et Aux Graines De Carvi
Recette par Rosa Mayland, Mai 2013.
Pour environ 60-70 flûtes.
160g de Farine blanche
40g Farine complète
2 CC de Graines de carvi
1/2 CC de Sel de mer fin
1/3 CC de Moutarde en poudre
1/3 de Poudre d'onion
80g de Beurre non-salé
20g de Saindoux
150g de Cheddar, râpé
2 Oeufs (63g), battus
Graines de carvi supplémentaires pour décorer
1. Préchauffer le four à 200° C.
2. Dans un bol moyen, mélanger ensemble les farines, les graines de carvi, le sel, la moutarde et l'oignon en poudre. Ajouter le beurre et le saindoux, puis frotter la farine et le beurre/saindoux entre les doigts afin d'obtenir un mélange qui ait la texture sabloneuse.
3. Ajouter le fromage râpé et mélanger.
4. Verser l'œuf battu, graduellement, tout en mélangeant bien, jusqu'à cobtention d'une pâte ferme.
5. Etaler la pâte sur une surface farinée et la découper en lanières de 12 x 1.5 cm.
6. Dans une assiette creuse, verser les graines de carvi et enrober chaque lanière avec.
7. Prendre une lanière et la tenir par chaque extrémité, puis tourner dans un sens d'un côté et de l'autre à l'opposé pour former une torsade.
8. Placer les torsades sur une plaque à pâtisserie recouverte de papier sulfurisé.
8. Les cuire pendant 12-14 minutes, jusqu'à ce qu'elles soient dorées.
9. Laisser refroidir sur une grille.
Si vous le souhaitez, les graines de carvi peuvent être remplacées par des graines de pavots, de nigelle ou de cumin, le lard par du beurre et le cheddar par du cantal, du salers, du gruyère ou tout autre fromage à pâte mi-dure de votre choix.
Servir comme apéritif avec un verre de vin blanc ou rouge - ces flûtes peuvent aussi être accompagnées d'un vin fortifié.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
- Salad Heaven -*
This picture was submitted to "Black & White Wednesday", an event created by Susan at "The Well-Seasoned Cook". It will be hosted on the 29th of May by Priya at "The Humpty Dumpty Kitchen" (click here in order to see who is hosting the next roundup).
* Marché A La Ferme, Veyrier:
Tuesdays from 7h30 to 12h30
Thursdays from 15h00 to 19h00
Friday, May 17, 2013
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
- Port And Cheese Straws Make Jack A Happy Man -
This picture was submitted to "Black & White Wednesday", an event created by Susan at "The Well-Seasoned Cook". It will be hosted on the 22nd of May by Simona at "Briciole" (click here in order to see who is hosting the next roundup).
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
This picture was submitted to "Black & White Wednesday", an event created by Susan at "The Well-Seasoned Cook". It will be hosted on the 15th of May by Shruti at "Food And Clicks" (click here in order to see who is hosting the next roundup).
Friday, May 3, 2013
SWEDISH VISITING CAKE WITH BLACKBERRIES AND COCONUT FLOUR & A REVIEW OF GRANISTYL'S SKILLET PAN - GÂTEAU SUÉDOIS AUX MÛRES ET À LA FARINE DE NOIX COCO & TEST DE LA POÊLE GRANISTYL EN GRANITE
Frying Pan, n. One part of the penal apparatus employed in that punitive institution, a woman's kitchen.
- Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914), “The Devil's Dictionary” (1911)
Like a majority of health conscious home gastronomes and passionate food aficionados, I particularly cherish quality kitchen utensils that are effective and don't threaten my well-being. Unfortunately, in our modern society where profit is king and things are not made to last, it isn't always easy to come across products that offer all those characteristic and far too often, one has to spend a lot of money on goods that rarely hold up to their promises.Not on morality, but on cookery, let us build our stronghold: there brandishing our frying-pan, as censer, let us offer sweet incense to the Devil, and live at ease on the fat things he has provided for his elect!
- Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881)
Sometimes, looking for the ideal cooking appliance is comparable to the quest for the Holy Grail and it seems that acquiring a reliable casserole is quasi mission impossible, unless you are wealthy (well, prices are no guarantee of excellence either) or you don't mind polluting your body with dangerous substances.
My most recent search for a durable and teflon-free pan that would fit my budget has been remarkably fruitless, hellish, enduring and tiring. Finding a suitable match proved exceptionally difficult and I nearly had a nervous breakdown during the process!
Nevertheless, positive surprises happen and once in a while we encounter something that gives us full satisfaction and that isn't actually a wortheless gadget or total rip-off. Thankfully, in March it was my turn to be (doubly) lucky as I finally purchased the cast-iron wok of my dreams (fortunately for me, this weighty baby was on sale) and was kindly offered a skillet fabricated by a French brand which has hit the market not long ago. I very seldom get to renew my cuisine equipment, so it felt spoilt rotten and dead happy!
Well, today I am not going to speak about my Chinese device (even if it rocks big time), however instead I have decided to showcase Granistyl's unique and revolutionary 24cm frying pan (a world premiere) which I've had the opportunity of sampling exclusively for you.
Granistyl's cookware is practical (a real workhorse), beneficial and built to last, nonetheless it has a few minor "flaws". As we all know, stone is heavy, hence manipulation isn't all that comfortable if you have weak wrists or arms (you can’t really toss anything in it, everything has to be flipped with a spatula). Besides the edges are not high enough and I find that quite limiting, plus even if the vessel gets cleaned without dificulty (washed with a hot water and a metal sponge - soap should be avoided), minimum maintainance is still required (oil massage following each use). Not to forget that it costs a substantial price, so it's not acessible to everyone. Anyhow, the advantages outnumber the disadvantages and, at the end, this skillet is worth the investement...
In order to put my eco-friendly pan to the test, I decided to bake Dorie Greenspan's famous "Swedish Visiting Cake" which I revisited by adding wild blackberries I foraged last August in the Geneva countryside and replacing part of the all-pupose flour with coconut flour - my new obssession - a friend of mine bought for me in neighboring France.
The pan worked wonders and my tea-time/after-dinner treat turned out perfectly in both texture and flavor; the balance between sweetness and acidity as well as the chewiness of the crumb and crispiness of the crust was spot on. A divinely buttery, heavenly lemony, fragrantly coconutty and moreishly moist delicacy which you'll rapidly grow addicted to!
Disclaimer: Please note that I was not paid to review this product and that I solely promote things which stay true to my tastes, convictions and interests. Hence, the opinions expressed on Rosa's Yummy Yums are purely my own and based upon my personal experiences with GRANISTYL.
Swedish Visiting Cake With Blackberries And Coconut Flour
Recipe adapted from Dorie Greenspan's "Baking: From My Home To Yours".
Yields 8-10 servings.
1 Cup (210g) Castor sugar
Grated zest of 1 organic lemon
2 Large eggs (~63g)
1/4 Tsp Fine sea salt
1 Tsp Pure vanilla extract
3/4 Cup (96g) All-purpose flour
1/4 Cup (32g) Coconut flour
120g (8 Tbs/1 stick) Unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Two good handfuls of frozen blackberries
About 1/4 Cup (30g) Sliced almonds
1/2 Tbs Castor sugar (for sprinkling)
1. Preheat the oven to 180° C (350° F).
2. Butter a seasoned 24cm (9-inch) cast-iron skillet or other heavy ovenproof skillet.
3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar and lemon zest. Use your fingertips to work the zest into the sugar until it becomes moist and fragrant.
4. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time (whisking for about 30 seconds per egg).
5. Add in the salt and vanilla extract.
6. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the flours. Then, incorporate the melted butter (do not to overmix).
7. Scrape 1/2 of the batter into the skillet, sprinkle with the blackberries and cover with the remaining batter. Smooth the top using a spatula.
8. Scatter the almonds over the batter and sprinkle with the extra sugar.
9. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until tthe cake is golden and a little crisp on the outside (the center should remain a bit moist).
10. Remove the skillet from the oven and place on top of a cooling rack.
11. Serve warm or at room temperature.
You may also use a 24cm (9-inch) round cake or pie pan.
The blackberries can be replaced by the fresh or frozen berries of your choice or can be simply left out.
Serve with a cup of coffee or a glass of liquor wine.
Gâteau Suédois Au Mûres Et À La Farine De Coco
Recette adaptée du livre "Baking: From My Home To Yours" par Dorie Greenspan.
Pour 8-10 personnes.
210g de Sucre cristallisé
Le zeste d'un citron bio
2 Gros oeufs (~63g)
1/4 CC de Sel de mer fin
1 CC d'Extrait de vanille pure
96g de Farine
32g de Farine de noix de coco
120g de Beurre non-salé, fondu et à température ambiante
Deux bonnes poignées de mûres congelées
Environ 30g d'Amandes éffilées
1/2 CS de Sucre cristallisé (pour saupoudrer)
1. Préchauffer le four à 180 ° C.
2. Beurrer une poêle en fonte de 24cm.
3. Dans un grand bol, mélanger ensemble le sucre et le zeste de citron. Utilisez vos doigts pour travailler le zeste dans le sucre jusqu'à ce que ce dernier devienne humide et parfumé.
4. Ajouter les œufs, un à la fois, en fouettant pendant environ 30 secondes après chaque ajout.
5. Incorporer le sel et l'extrait de vanille.
6. A l'aide d'une spatule en caoutchouc, incorporer les farines, puis le beurre fondu (ne pas trop mélanger).
7. Verser la moitié de la pâte dans la poêle, saupoudrer avec les mûres et recouvrir avec le reste de la pâte. Lisser le dessus du gâteau avec une spatule.
8. Disperser les amandes sur le dessus du gâteau et saupoudrer avec le sucre.
9. Cuire au four pendant 25 à 30 minutes, ou jusqu'à ce que le gâteau soit doré et légèrement croustillants à l'extérieur (le centre doit rester un peu humide).
10. Retirer la poêle du four et la placer sur une grille de refroidissement.
11. Servir chaud ou à température ambiante.
Vous pouvez également utiliser un moule (rond) à gâteau conventionnel de 24cm.
Les mûres peuvent être remplacées par les baies fraîches ou congelées de votre choix ou bien même ne pas être utilisées du tout.
Servir avec une tasse de café ou un verre de vin liquoureux.
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
- Nibbles And Wine -
This picture was submitted to "Black & White Wednesday", an event created by Susan at "The Well-Seasoned Cook". It will be hosted on the 8th of May by Alex at "Food 4 Thought" (click here in order to see who is hosting the next roundup).