No-knead bread from Tuscany with sun-dried tomatoes
Italian bread meets sun-dried tomatoes and spicy basil: all the best ingredients for the BREAD WITH HERBS - Event Nr.1

No-knead bread from Tuscany with sun-dried tomatoes
(Pane toscano con pomodori / no-knead)

Category: bread
Quantity: 1 bread
Recipe source: own creation

    400     g  wheat flour (best: Manitoba flour Type 00)
      1      tsp. white baker's malt (leave out if unavailable)
      7     g  fresh yeast
     15     g  sugar
      8     g  salt
    280        ml  water
     50     g  sun-dried tomatoes
      2      tsp. basil, dried and cut

Dissolve the yeast and sugar in water. Dice tomatoes finely. Mix all ingredients except the water in a big bowl. Pour in the water with the yeast and mix it all together very briefly with a spatula. Dust some flour over the dough and leave the bowl covered with a towel in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size. This time I let it rise for about 3 hours.

Then put the dough on a flour-sprinkled table top, fold it 3 or 4 times with a spatula (stretch & fold), put it in a rising basket generously sprinkled with flour, and let it rise again until doubled in size (1 hour this time).

Preheat your oven to 230 degrees C. Carefully turn over the rising basket to put the dough on a flour-sprinkled baking tray and bake it for approx.
15 min. Initially, pour a cup of hot water on the oven bottom, to give the baker's yeast a good „kick“. After 15 min., reduce the temperature to 190 degrees C and bake again for aprrox.
20 min.

Check whether the bread is done by knocking on the bottom of the breadwith a knuckle. If it sounds dull and hollow your bread is well baked. Take it  from the oven and let it cool down on a grid. (But I wonder whether you can resist the temptation of eating the entire bread right away.)

This variant of “bread with tomatoes” is my favorite and therefore it's my contribution to the BREAD WITH HERBS - Event Nr.1 .

If you want to make it Manitoba Type 00 wheat flour would be best choice - it’s one of the finest wheat flours in the world, I get mine in Germany
here. The fluffy bread has to be treated very carefully because the airy structure of the dough is very delicate and it easily collapses. Therefore I handle the dough as little as possible, I do not cut the surface and I don’t try to slide it on a hot baking stone. (I always make my breads succesfully on an ordinary baking plate.)

My second variant of the bread with tomatoes is
                  Pane pugliese con pomodori

I make this bread with durum wheat flour from Italy and sun-dried tomatoes soaked in olive oil. I put oregano in this bread as a herb. The finely diced tomatoes are very delicate. I add them only after the dough has been kneaded in the food-processor and has has risen to double in size.

Bread from Puglia with sun-dried tomatoes
(Pane pugliese con pomodori)

Category: bread
Recipe source: own creation

    300     g  durum wheat flour
    100     g sour dough (wheat, 100% hydration)
      15     g  fresh yeast
     15     g  honey
      8     g  salt
    150        ml  water
     50     g  sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in olive oil, dripped off
      2      tsp. oregano, dried und cut

Dissolve yeast and honey in water. Put all ingredients (except the tomatoes) in the food-processor’s bowl and knead it all for about 8 min. to produce a soft dough which is not sticky. It’s good to wait a few minutes before putting the salt in. When the dough is ready leave the bowl covered with a towel in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size. Now the tomatoes  are kneaded into the dough (
stretch & fold ). Shape a long loaf and put it in a well dusted rising basket and wait again until it has doubled in size.

Preheat your oven to 230 degrees C. Carefully turn over the rising basket to put the dough on a coated baking plate and bake for approx. 30 min. Initially pour a cup of hot water on the oven's bottom to givethe yeast a god „kick“. After 30 min. reduce the temperature to 180 degrees C and bake again for aprrox. 10 - 15 min.

Check whether the bread is done by knocking on the bottom of the breadwith a knuckle. If it sounds dull and hollow your bread is well baked. Take it  from the oven and let it cool down on a grid.

The durum wheat colours the dough yellow. To my mind, the smaller pores are result from the more thorough mixing and kneading of the dough, If this is not to your liking you should apply the no-knead method.
This bread is typical of Puglia, Italy. People there also like making it with olives. Actually, I can’t see why the lolive stones should be left in; I'd rather think they're a nuisance. But anyway - it’s simply delicious!

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Geschrieben von Franz um 11:36 | in: recipes in English
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Lentil and Bulgur fritters with goat farmer cheese
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Today these small, delicious lentil fritters have their showing in a very elegant disguise: as fingerfood for all Ladies and Gentlemen of the lentil cooking event in the German Gärtnerblog.

Mixed from several recipes for fritters and salads, they are my contribution to the event.
By the way, Bulgur is a kind of pre-cooked durum wheat grout, similar to couscous. In Germany you can buy it in every Turkish grocery.

Lentil and Bulgur fritters with goat farmer cheese
Category: vegetarian
Serves: 60-70 fritters
Source: own recipe

140 g red lentils
150 ml orange juice
350 ml water
2 bay leaves
90 g Bulgur
80 ml olive oil
1 onion
1 tsp. sugar
4 eggs
6-8 grains of allspice, ground
chili pepper powder
2-3 tsp. salt
ground black pepper
1 tbsp. flour
goat farmer cheese
liquid honey
fresh red chili peppers
peppermint leaves


Cook the lentils with the bay leaves for 15 min. in water and orange juice.
Peel the onion and finely dice it. Glaze it with the sugar in olive oil and 1 tbsp. of water.
Mix onion and bulgur with the lentils and their cooking liquid and leave the mixture to soak for 1 1/2 hours.

Mix the flour and the eggs and add them to the lentils. Season generously with pepper, chili- and allspice powder. Divide the batter into two halves. season the first half with salt and fry small fritters from 1 tsp. of batter in a hot pan with olive oil, approx. 2 min. on each side. Let them drip off on kitchen paper.
Do the same with the second half of the batter.

Cream some liquid honey into the goat farmer cheese and dab a blob on each cooled fritter. Decorate with finely minced chili pepper and with peppermint leaves.

Always split the batter into two halves and add the salt shortly before frying the fritters because a salted batter with eggs will become very liquid.
You can use any cream you like as a topping. I find the combination of lentils and mint very delicious. You can also add some curry powder to the batter or some finely minced parsley.

This looks like I made some experiments.

A variation with brown lentils is in made the same way but you should fry bigger fritters, using one tablespoon of batter for each one. Season with garlic, cumin and coriander. And you should sprinkle a lot of freshly minced peppermint leaves into the mixture.
I prefer Turkish yoghurt sauce with these savoury lentil fritters: 2 cloves of garlic squeezed into 250 ml Turkish yoghurt, a pinch of salt, 2 tbsp. finely chopped dill and a small finely diced cucumber.

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Geschrieben von Franz um 13:30 | in: recipes in English
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Spinach Ricotta Gnocchi with chili pepper and sage butter
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These very light gnocchi are enormously delicious. They should be generously seasoned.

Spinach Ricotta Gnocchi with chili pepper and sage butter

Catergory: gnocchi, vegetarian
Serves: 4
Recipe source: own recipe

300 g spinach leaves without the stems
100 g butter
50 ml olive oil
250 g ricotta cheese
1 clove of garlic
3 eggs medium size
1 tsp. salt
freshly ground pepper
150 g flour
50 g durum wheat semolina
1 small red onion
1 tsp. sugar
20 sage leaves
1/2 red chili pepper
50 g pecorino cheese


Wash the spinach and make it wilt, while still dripping wet, in a hot sausepan. Then rinse it in very cold water. Squeeze the water out and chop the spinach finely.

Purée the spinach, 50 g butter, ricotta, eggs, 1/2 clove of garlic with salt, pepper and nutmeg in a food processor. Then mix it with the flour and the semolina. Let the mixture rest for about 30 min. in the fridge.

Use a wide pot to boil 5 litres of salt water ( use at least 1/2 tbsp. salt for 1 litre of water). Use two tablespoons to shape oval gnocchi, put them into the boiling water and simmer them for an additional 3 min. after they have risen to the water’s surface. Remove them from the water and let them drip off on kitchen paper.

Cut the peeled onion in fine slices and fry them with 50 g butter and 50 ml olive oil in a pan. Sprinkle some sugar over the onions and fry until they are slightly golden. Now add 1/2 clove of garlic and 1/2  chili pepper without the seeds, both finely diced. Cut the sage leaves in small strips and add them with the drained gnocchi. Swing the gnocchi in the pan until they are warmed up. Serve on hot plates and sprinkle some pecorino cheese over the gnocchi.

Use more or less chili pepper as you like. Always remove the seeds so that you can control its pepperiness more easily. The little white skins inside are very hot, too.

If you don’t like pecorino cheese you might want to take parmesan or grana pardano.

Geschrieben von Franz um 10:30 | in: recipes in English
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Matters of the heart
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This is my contribution to the HotM#7 Fruit & Berries - event.

Let me talk about some new experiences. A while ago, when experimenting for a cooking contest called “innards” I came into contact with some recipes and ingredients which so far couldn’t be found on my bill of fare. In doing so, I learned a great deal of new things and I’ve shed many a prejudice.

Recently, in a German TV cooking show they were frying a calf’s heart and everybody with at least a trace of taste enthused about it. Shortly afterwards I found a similar recipe in a German chef’s newsletter. I couldn´t help doing it any longer– I ordered a calf’s heart at the butcher’s.

When I unpacked the heart I did feel a little queasy. A heart is a very special organ. On the one hand it’s innards but on the other hand it’s pure muscle. This heart was well cleaned. I removed all skins and strings until there were only pure, lean pieces of meat in different sizes left. After all they weighed about 500 grams.

Now the meat is sorted in thickness and thin ends are cut off. With the thin snippets you can cook a wonderful sauce, for example with noodles.

For making a variety of Boeuf Stroganoff calf’s heart is also a very good choice. It’s very tasty with a sour or a sweet sauce. The fried meat’s taste is very mild and is reminiscent of liver. It has a medium firm structure.

As a course in a menu one calf’s heart is enough to serve 4 plates. Additionally, you can cook a very nice sugo for four persons with the thin cut-offs.

Calf's heart with Balsamico and pearl onions

Category: veal lights/innards
Serves: 4
Recipe source: based on a recipe by Vincent Klink

1 calf's heart, approx. 650 g
2  shallots
12 pearl onions (or small shallots)
1 clove of garlic
250 ml bouillon
1 tbsp. black currant marmelade
2 tbsp. Balsamico
125 ml red wine
2 tbsp. butter
vegetable oil
salt, pepper

Clean the calf's heart. Use only pure and lean pieces with about the same thickness. You can use the small and thin pieces for cooking something else, for example a pasta sauce.

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C with circulating air. Roast the meat pieces shortly on all sides in a pan with a mixture of butter and vegetable oil. Then fry it in the oven for an additional 12 minutes. Remove the heart pieces from the oven, season with salt and pepper and wrap them in aluminium foil. Let them rest in a warm place for about 15 min.

Finely dice two shallots and the garlic clove and fry them with some oil in another pan until they turn golden. Now add the black currant marmelade and deglaze with the bouillon and the Balsamico. Add the peeled pearl onions and let them simmer.

Loosen all browned food particles stuck to the first pan with the red wine and pour the liquid into the pearl onion's pan. Let the mixture boil down until it is syrupy or slightly thicken with potato flour which is first dissolved in a little cold water.

Slice the heart pieces thinly and arrange them on plates. Season with Fleur de sel and ground black pepper. Add the onion and Balsamico sauce.

A buttery potato puree corresponds very well with this recipe.

A piece of advice:
The heart's structure will be medium firm. If you like the heart to be soft and tender use the low-temperature-method: after shortly frying simmer the heart pieces for 3 or 4 hours at maximum 75 - 80 degrees C in the oven.

I think it would be great to add some fresh black currants to the sauce too.
Don't worry too much about the buttery potato puree - it's so delicious that everybody's heart will jubilate.
Instead of the butter you could use Swedish butter oil, a rape-seed oil with butter flavour as well, or (ok, this would be the best) you take a native olive oil. These are heart healthy alternatives that you easily can make to many dishes.

Give heart a try. After all, cooking with calf’s heart is a very delicious, easy and reasonable affair.

Geschrieben von Franz um 11:32 | in: recipes in English
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Must be in heaven or in paradise at least
Rezept in Deutsch   

This is the flavour of summer - fresh and mellow fruit in a heavenly light cream of joghurt.
Also made for those who love to gorge on glorious food here on earth.

Fruit and joghurt terrine

Category: Dessert
Serves: 10
Recipe source: Andreas Geitl



3         egg yolks
120 g  curd cheese
120 g  sugar
1 lemon, the juice
300 g joghurt
8 leaves gelatine ( or 12 gram)
200 ml whipped cream
mixed fruit of the season, approx. 300 g
spearmint leaves

Cut the fruit in small dices.
Mix the egg yolks with the curd, sugar, lemon juice and joghurt thoroughly in a bowl.
Soak the gelatine in cold water first, squeeze it out and melt it in a little whipping cream at moderate temperature until it dissolves. Together with the whipped cream stir it into the joghurt mixture.
Cover the surface of a longish terrine bowl with a plastic wrap or with baking paper. Fill in some joghurt cream and put fruit and joghurt cream in layers one on top of the other. End with an even surface of joghurt cream.

Cover the terrine bowl with plastic wrap and let it cool in the fridge for at least 6 hours.

Turn the terrine out of the bowl onto a plate, carefully remove the film or the baking paper and cut the joghurt terrine in slices. Serve with some fruit mousse and spearmint leaves.

For my fruit terrine I choose strawberries, apricots, plums, huckleberries, aplles and pears. I blanched the diced apples and pears in some white wine so that they were as soft as the other fruit.

In very hot summers you should increase the gelatine quantity by 30 %.

When you slice the terrine you should use a slightly heated knife with a very sharp und slim blade.

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Geschrieben von Franz um 10:12 | in: recipes in English
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Small balls of lentils and my most indispensable crazy kitchen gadget
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Crazy Kitchen Gadgets from all over the world are currentlly being collected in the US! The event is organised by Not Eating Out in New York. You've probably also got some such doodad of which knows any more what it is actually good for.
Anyway, this is my contribution.

My kitchen is quite well equipped, I think. Actually there is nothing I haven't used at least one time. I may have used the one or other thingy only once: just before tossing it out with howls of fury. But that's not what I want to talk about.

I want to show you one of my extraordinary kitchen gadgets. The other day, there was a new recipe for lentils balls which I happened upon and I realised: this is a sign from heaven. Onions had to be grated for this dish. Hooray, here comes - no, not a grater - but my onion mask!

Granted, when I bought it it was called a diving mask. But if you ever had to chip a hole sackful of onions, you will be admit that a diving mask can be rather helpful  in a kitchen. So let's call it an onion mask.

By the way, on this picture I'm not wearing a neoprene diving suit but a black cotton t-shirt. You can't see I was actually barefoot when the photo was shot but I was not  wearing flippers, I swear.

So, when I started grating the onions my eyes were save, no tears, no cry, but it turned out that grating onions with my kitchen grater is not very effective. When I instead used my electric food cutter it was much easier and the result was a simply perfect puree.

Anyhow, I felt a little bit disappointed when I realised I would not need my beloved, tried and tested onion mask any longer. Shortly afterwards I noticed the recipe was rather schlock and the mush I had produced reminded me of the flavour of fire proof paper. Seemed it was't my best day.

Well, I chucked the whole in the garbage bin and then I fished my own proven lentil balls recipe out of my recipe binder. Here it is:

Curry balls my style

Cathegory: vegetarian
Serves: 6 - 8
Recipe source: own recipe


Lentil balls:
600  ml   water
1      tsp. cucuma
1      tsp. cumin
1      tsp. Madras curry powder hot
2      tsp. Madras curry powder mild
1      tsp. paprika powder hot
1      tsp. salt
1      piece of ginger, sliced
1      tsp.  vegetable soup instant
1      tsp. sugar
250    g  lentils
2            eggs
8-10  tbsp. breadcrumbs
               oil to deep-frying

spice bag:
            lemon grass
            dried chili
2   tsp. coriander seed

2            cloves of garlic
1   piece of ginger, grated (sic!)
250   ml  mushed tomatoes
500   ml  vegetable soup
250   ml  heavy cream or coconut cream
200     g  string beans
2            carrots
2            eggs

For the lentil balls heat the water with the spice bag and all spices except the lemon juice and let the lentils simmer in it for about 35 min. Pour off the water, let the remaining water evaporate and remove the sliced ginger.
Mix 2 whisked eggs, breadcrumbs and lemon juice, to make a dough, season to taste and shape 20 small balls in your wet hands. Deep-fry the balls in very hot oil for about 3 min. Be careful: use a big pot because oil can awfully foam up. Remove the balls from the oil and let them drip off on kitchen paper.

For the sauce boil the eggs until hard, peel and dice them. Wash the beans and blanch them in salt water for 5 min., put them in very cold water. Peel, slice and braise the carrots slightly with some butter, salt and sugar.

Chop garlic and ginger and braise it in 2 tbsp. of oil. Add the mushed tomatoes, vegetable soup and fresh cream (or coconut cream) and let it all simmer for about 10 min. Add the beans, carrots and lentil balls and let it simmer for another 5 - 10 min. while carefully stiring one or two times. Season to taste, add the egg cubes and serve.

Unfortunately, I don't know yet at which precise point I could use may onion mask, because in this wonderful recipe you don't do such silly things as grating onions. If you are a squeamish cook, you might use the onion mask whenever you cut onions. Oh, you can use it when grating ginger root!

Or maybe you have to cook somewhat bigger portions of lentil balls, say for 90 or 150 people. You may rest assured that this will happen if you tell the world how delicious these lentil balls are. So be careful with my recipe. It is so terrific that you will have to grate many, many ginger roots anyway. And actually you will be lucky having an onion mask in your kitchen ready to hand all time.

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Geschrieben von Franz um 12:47 | in: recipes in English
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