Showing posts with label Tapas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tapas. Show all posts

Monday, February 25, 2013

Gruyère Gougères

Let me reassure you that if you ever find yourself in my home, my kitchen, I will net let you go hungry. I'll make you tea and scones and tea sandwiches, or a big pot of soup, hummus and pita and stuffed grape leaves, or these gougères that I made yesterday in my parents home for a few friends that had helped them out earlier this year.

I'll make you these gougères, which makes me sound like such an accomplished cook. But you'll see, I am actually quite nervous whenever I try something new, unlocking my phone for the 50th time to check what the recipe mentiones I really should be doing now, worrying what I probably am doing wrong just right this minute. I'll be stirring until my arms fall off, because Heidi mentions in her recipe that you need to stir, stir, stir. I'll wait anxiously, hunched in front of the oven to watch the gougères puff and brown, mildly freak out when I take the baking sheet out to give it a turn and the gougères immediatly deflate and calm my heart as I and they regain composure.

So I may freak out just a little bit as I make them, but I'll be so happy to have you here in my kitchen and to have made you something special.

Gruyère Gougères
A few notes: If you have a fancy oven like my parents, and not an old one like me, turn off the convection for these. I had it on for the first batch and found that the gougères on the back browned more quickly. As I turned the baking sheet, the gougères deflated. They did recover but not quite to their former glory. A little thyme in these would be lovely, but I had none on hand. The next time I would make them even smaller, reducing the baking time another 5-10 minutes, and try to make them into little balls instead of the oval shapes you get with the spoons. And really, they can deflate, but they are actually kind of easy to make - you really should give them a try and worry a lot less than I did.
Adapted from these gougères from Heidi at 101 Cookbooks

2/3 cup/ 160 ml beer
1/3 cup/ 80 ml milk
1 stick/ 113 g butter
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup/ 130 g  all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
1 1/4 cup/ 90 g gruyere, grated, divided

Preheat oven to 220°C/425°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large saucepan, heat the beer, milk, butter and salt over medium heat, until the mixture start to bubble lightly. Turn the heat to low. Stir in the flour and stir vigorously until the dough comes together smoothly. Remove from heat and let cool down for 5 minutes or so, until you can work in the eggs without cooking them. Stir in the eggs, one at a time with a wooden spoon. (Your arm will feel like it is going to fall off, but you'll be fine ;)) The dough will look like it is never going to come together, but it will if you keep at it. Once you have incorporated the 4 eggs, stir in 80g/1 cup of the gruyère.
At this point, you can set the dough aside in the fridge, if you want to prepare it in advance. Or continue right away.
Using two tablespoons, spoon 1/2 teaspoons of dough onto the baking sheet. The gougères will spread quite a bit, so leave at least 1inch between each. Sprinkle with the remaining gruyère.
Place in the oven, bake for 5 minutes and then turn the heat down to 375°F/190°C. Bake for another 15 minutes or so, until the gougères are golden brown all around the edges.

Makes about 40 gougères.

Monday, September 3, 2012

White Bean Crostini

I slept in today, and still I am really tired. I cooked the whole weekend, preparing food for my fathers birthday party. I made quite a few things, with the help of my boyfriend, but to be honest, I did not have the energy or time to photograph a thing. I really wanted to share more of what I cooked, but after standing in the kitchen for two days straight, and not sleeping much (because I still wanted to go to that other birthday party), I crushed into bed for a 20 minute nap once the guests were happily eating.I am okay with that. I enjoyed cooking for my father, and his guests. Watching my father and his family and friends and coworkers connect over the food I made, I knew that every minute spend in the preparation was a minute well spent.

Of the things we made, the one my boyfriend and I loved most were these white bean crosti
ni. I losely adapted them from a recipe out of the Mozza cookbook. The idea to pair a white bean puree with caramelized chicoree is theirs, but I did not follow the recipe for the white bean puree. Their version asks for lots of garlic, but mine is more mellow and subtle, only using lemon zest and olive oil, plus salt. I exceeded my garlic limit after making the garlic confit from the same cookbook, and really, I think the puree was better for it. As much as I love garlic, sometimes it can be a bit too much, and overpower other more sublte notes.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Spring Rolls with Coffee Tofu and Miso-Marinated Carrots

Today I felt a bit off. I didn't plan much for the easter holidays and found the prospect of just sitting around stressed me out. This weekend, the weather is pretty bad: it is cold, it rains, it is just gloomy.
I spent the day inside, paying some bills I put off paying (no wonder I felt stressed out), cleaning a bit, putting things where they belong. I washed my clothes (another thing I put off doing this week), baked some bread, and by the afternoon I felt a lot better.

I also made these spring rolls. They were inspired by the Wintery Spring Rolls from 101cookbooks and these soy-glazed roasted carrot spring rolls from Naturally Ella. And by Joy the Baker and her coffee bacon.

Making cute food, that takes some time to make, always relaxes me.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Red Lentil Falafel with Mint

Do you have any new year's resolutions?
I don't. Or not really, rather. I want to go to the cinema more often. To concerts, too.
I want to invite more people over, to cook more often for company.

I want to try new food. To cook through some of the recipes in my every growing folder of recipes-to-try.

I want to keep up with my friends, talk often.
I want to go to a Jazz club.
I want to go swimming in the Aare, the river here.
I want to go hiking.
Make lots of bite-sized food.

I want to finally make a poached egg.
I want to take a tour of the city I live in.
I want to make Ricotta.
I want to go canooing and snowshoeing.
I want to throw a party.
I want to go to some museums here.

And some things more.

But these are not resolutions. I keep this list so that I would always have an idea on what to do on a free day or weekend. I'll add to this list whenever I have a new idea.

After looking at this again, I now see that you could probably say that my new year's resolution is to make more amazing memories. I can live with that.

To start the year off on the healthy side, I made this Red Lentil Köfte. And did you notice I put "Make more bite-sized food" in my list? Let's start this year off right, 2012 is going to be the year of the small bites!
I saw different recipes for a Lentil Snack online, and found a recipe for Red Lentil Köfte in Purple Citrus and Sweet Perfume: Cuisine of the Eastern Mediterranean.
These little nuggets are quite crunchy, a bit spicy and really good for you.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Golden Wonton

I've talked about my love for Heidi Swanson's recipes and cookbooks before. It's really difficult to put in words what I love about it, though. The way she uses healthy ingredients really speaks to me. I don't think I could compromise when it comes to flavor, but she makes using the natural, "good for you" ingredients so much fun. I also welcome the change her flavor combinations give to my usual way of cooking. I normally have a rather European way of cooking, pasta, olive oil, herbs and such and I don't experiment that much when it comes to Asian ingredients. Now I get excited when thinking about black sesame, soba or ginger. (After saying all this, I feel a bit like a stalker.)

Well, I also mentioned (Just briefly, really. Believe me.) my love for her recipes to my boyfriend, how I adore her first book and how I really should get her not-so-new-anymore book, Super Natural Every Day. Being the wonderful boyfriend that he is, he ordered the book for me as a present. (He mentioned having a present for me, and I actually thought it would be an energy-efficient light bulb. That sounds weird now - Maybe we are weird?) But, (there has to be a but) I had actually ordered the book already, and it arrived just a day before his present arrived. Which leaves me now with two versions of Heidi Swanson's Super Natural Every Day. I admire her work, and I love the book, but I have no clue what to do with two copies of the book. Frame one and hang it on the wall? Keep one in the bathroom to read? Keep one under the pillow, so that inspiration can come to me in my dreams?

I decided to give one copy away here. I have never done a giveaway before, and it feels a bit strange. I just thought that you, too, might love this book. (I actually pay for the book and shipping myself, just to be clear)  
Leave me a comment and tell me who your inspiration is, in cooking, blogging, or anything else. Follow me on Twitter (@MrsGarlicHead) for another chance to enter, and leave me a second comment to tell me.
The winner will be announced in a week, on December 8th.

To not leave without a recipe, this wontons were inspired by Heidi's Golden Potstickers. I changed the filling completely, but without her recipe it would have never occured to me to make wonton, I'm not really familiar with them.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Eggplant Antipasto

I told you, eggplants have a special place in my heart. Right next to the one for Goat's cheese. When I saw the recipe for a eggplant antipasto on Delicious Days, I put it in my Tapas recipe folder and knew I wanted to make it soon.
Yesterday I did not have to work. I had all morning to myself, and I spent it in the kitchen. The first thing I made, was a plum butter, after having been inspired by Deb. Then I made this easy antipasto. I just knew it had to be perfect. And it is. It's garlicky, lemony, a bit spicy. The herbs add lots of flavor, and I just love the mix of textures: The soft flesh of the eggplant and it's leathery skin. I let them marinate for the whole day and brought them to a party in the evening. They were gone in a very short amount of time.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Ricotta and Peas Crostini

I already talked about my mother's birthday party, but I have to tell you about these crostini.
My little brother (he is 14) is a bit of a picky eater. I did not expect him to like much of what we made, just because he is 14. I was somewhat surprised when he loved the smell (and later the taste) of the tortilla when I made it. But when he said he loved these crostini, I was almost shocked. The peas are not blended in completely so there were little bits still visible (my mother usually blends the tomato sauce with a blender because of him), there is a hint of mint in there (he is not used to that) and it's texture is not as firm as I wanted it to be (he would like it better that way), but no: he came back for more and asked me what was in there. He loved them, which was somehow really cute.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


I am a recovering perfectionist. I expect things to be just as I imagined and planned them. This obviously results in lots of disappointment and stress. Then I offered to plan and prepare an "apero riche" for my mother's birthday. I think I talked of nothing else for about a week before her birthday. I had lots of ideas I knew my mother would not be too fond of - my family is not as experimental as I am when it comes to eating. They like the familiarity of the things they always prepare for birthdays and other celebrations.
I came up with a few ideas that were not too new, not too strange, but not boring and old either.
Everything turned out great, the food was a success and we made enough for everyone. (and way too much of the lentil and couscous salad...)
I'm going to share with you the recipe for Goats Cheese and Onion Confit Crostini. They sort of had a slow start, people were not too sure about the cheese, about the amount of onions and so only a few were eaten at first. But after that, when every one who tried one wanted more, we had to go back to the kitchen to make more.
The combination of the tangy flavor of the goats cheese and the sweetness of the onions is delicious, and makes people come back for more.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Spanish Tortilla

When I was sixteen I spent 5 months in a host family in Barcelona, Spain. My host parents were divorced, and I spent every other weekend at the father's house. He lived outside of Barcelona, in a small town. I enjoyed visiting him. We often went to small restaurants with his new wife and their daughter. I remember going to a place in the woods, were Catalonian specialties were served. The leech that was roaster in the fire. It was eaten in a very special manner that I don't remember well.
This spring I went to Barcelona with my boyfriend. The city has not changed much. And what is just as good as when I lived there is the "Pa amb tomàquet". My host mother used to make this for me. Either plain or instead of butter in a sandwich, with Jamon or cheese. But as I found out now, the sandwich is even better filled with tortilla. It never occurred to me to put a tortilla in a sandwich, but the crispy bread and the soft tortilla go so well together. The onion in the tortilla, the garlic on the bread, and the juice of the tomatoes, they all add so much to the simple flavors of potatoes and eggs.
I haven't had a tortilla bocadillo (sandwich) since. The truth is, that, until this sunday, I never made a tortilla myself. But you should make one. Eat it plain, just as we did, or put it in a sandwich and enjoy a taste of Spain.