Samstag, 23. Juni 2012

Elderflower Summer Syrup

It is now the middle of june, and the best time to pick elderflowers.
Next to my home (and everywhere I go), there are a lot of bushes - it seems to be a very thankful plant: It grows everywhere, presents us with those wonderful tasting and smelling umbels - and later in the year, it gives us also berries to cook with.

A wonderful precious friend of mine, Simone, came to my home and we took a walk to pick elderflowers.
We had luck: The sun was shining - and this is not self-evident here in Hamburg.

So, here are some pictures, they can tell you more, and the recipe, for sure.
It is sooo easy, every baby can do it! The only thing you have to do it: take a walk in the forests or parks and pick the umbels!


Please do not pick the umbels next to streets - better get some from more natural environment!!

>> 1,5 litres of water
>> 1,5 kg sugar   
***(1 part water + 1 part sugar - works also with 1 litre/1kg and so on)
>> 15 - 20  umbels
>> 1-2 lemons (biological), quartered or sliced
>> 1-2 oranges (biological) (optional - does not belong to the classical recipe)

Clean the umbels by hand (if there are still little flies or something).
Better do not wash it! If you really want to, very very quickly under cold water.

>> Boil water
>> Add sugar, boil until sugar dissolved...simmer it for a couple of more minutes.
>> Let it cool down a little bit. Hot water over the umbels destroys the taste!
>> Put umbels and lemon (/oranges) into a big pot and souse it with the sugarwater.
>> Cover with lid, cloth, foil or something.
>> Hardest part: wait for 3-5 days
>> Teem the syrup through a sieve into a something lockable or screw-top jar. Put it in the refrigerator and enjoy! Best before at least 4 months.

How many umbels you take belongs to YOUR fondness for taste - stronger means: more umbels, softer means: less. Simone and me took more, and when it is too strong in the end, I can add more sugarwater to the syrup.
The same for the lemons and/or oranges: more lemon = more sour and so on.
Try it out!


Mittwoch, 20. Juni 2012

Strawberry Sorbet

Here is something very very easy to do! It catches the wonderful summer flair into smooth, tasty scoops!

[What you need for this is an icecreammaker.
I know there a a few ways to create icecream without one, but because I never tried it, you have to google that solution on your own.]

STRAWBERRY SORBET - with whateveryouwant

>> 500 gramm strawberries
>> 1 TBSP fresh lemonjuice
>> 1 TBSP powder sugar
>> 80 ml white wine or water
>> 80 gramms fine sugar
>> (1 eggwhite)

Combine the strawberries, lemonjuice and powder sugar with a hand-held blender until smooth.
Heat the wine/water with the fine sugar until soft boiling and the sugar dissolved.

Add the strawberry-mixture through a colander into the wine/sugar.
Put it into the refrigerator for 30 minutes until cool.

If you like your sorbet a little more creamy:
Beat the eggwhite until fluffy and fold it gently under the strawberry-mass.

Put everything into the icecreammaker until you have a creamy mass.
Before eating, put it 5 or 6 hours into the freezer, because it is a little bit to soft after leaving the icecreammachine.

I bought a fine vanillasauce...but use whatever you want as topping...cookies....chocolatsauce....strawberry liquer.... feel free to play around with tastes!

Donnerstag, 14. Juni 2012

Apricot-Chicken with Halloumi

Summer arrived in Hamburg - and me, too, after my holidays in France.

I started to work immediately after my return. I am a Freelancer, and when I am out of office for holidays, nobody is there to do the work and check the mails.
So when I am back I have to catch up on everything.

The first days, I had nothing in my head but clearing my desk.

Yesterday, the first delight for cooking came back and here we go!
I made a very quick dinner for Timo and me. It is REALLY quick and it doesn`t soil the kitchen at all, so: a little work for a mouth full of flavour and love :)

APRICOT-CHICKEN with Halloumi (grillcheese)
(serves 2)

>> 2 filets of chickenbreast (200 grams each worked perfectly for us)
>> 4 apricots (quartered)
>> 10 cherry tomatoes (or another amount of whatever tomatoes.Follow your preferences)
>> 150 grams Halloumi (greek grillcheese), cut in 4 slices
>> 1 TBSP liquid honey
>> 1,5 TBSP olive oil
>> grated lemon peel of 1 lemon
>> a few branches fresh thyme
>> 2 teacups Couscous

Preheat oven: 180°C
Thinly slice each breast three times and stuff the thyme into the cuts.  Put the chickenbreast, the Halloumi slices, the apricots and tomatoes (prick every tomatoe softly with a pointed knife, so they won´t burst under the heat) next to each other into a casserole.

Mix olive oil with honey and lemon peel.
Spread it equally over everything.

Put it into the oven for 20-25 minutes (have a look for the breast. When it is tanning, the meat should be can also have  a look into the cuts. If the meat is done: Out!)Couscous: Boil 3 teacups of water and mix it with the Couscous (if you want, add juice from the lemon into it). Let it soak for 10 minutes.
>> Enjooooy!

Freitag, 1. Juni 2012

~~The lovely Mediterranean Sea - Back from France~~

HELLOOOOOUH! I am back from holidays in south of France!

Torreilles Plage - even more beautiful with the best friend!

I had 11 wonderful days with lots of relaxing.
"Relaxing" was my first intention for those vacations, because I really have been out of energy the last months. I know, 11 days won`t give me back all of it, but it worked so far, and I am back, fresh and crispy tanned :D

Me and my best friend Lissy spent the days mostly with enjoying nature and mediterranean food (and a little bit of comic-bijoux-food-shopping, for sure!).

I guess we made up for all the fish we did not eat this year in Germany.

We bought salmon, crevettes, codfish and more and mostly mixed it only with olive oil, lemon and salt.

We picked wild rosemary and thyme, which is really growing EVERYWHERE there. The air is full of different bloomy and tangy smells. - we nearly got drunk by it!

Wild thyme from the Pyrenées
We bought some fresh vegetables at the market, for example at St. Laurent de la Salanque, which is incredibly cute, with all the stands curling through the little alleys.
Or the market at Le Barcarès lies next to the beach and the turquoise Mediterranean Sea...

We put beans, tomatoes and sugar pods under our salmon in aluminium foil, drippled it with lemon juice and god oil from the regional mills...onto the BBQ...some potatoes with rosemary into the blaze...not missing the garlic, for sure!!...and enjoyed our fish in a warm summer breeze.
Sunsets were red and the near mountains full of snow, we could listen to the breakers not far from the house and to the whine of the wild cats who were always looking after our cheese plates.

Fresh salmon, cooked in foil ~ Artichokes from the market ~
Pain Epi ~ One wonderful cheese of thousand

Oh, and - PREMIERE! - Lissy and I prepared our first artichoke, which was really an adventure, but finally so yummy.
I already miss the slow and calm days down there.
Weather is nice, too, in Hamburg. But the silence and the soft warm air gave me a feeling of time is not important. I really really miss that.

We are such good friends that we bite the same way without knowing!
Where it meets the Pyrenées mountainregion, the Roussillon is also rough and wild.
Beach, snow and old history meet there all in one.