This has been quite a nice weekend with some wonderful barbecue at a friend’s garden, some fancy food photo deco shop-till-you drop and a nice dinner in the end. Almost perfect – almost.
I had thoroughly prepared tofu koftas for the barbecue, one sort with roses inside and outside, the other one with raw cocoa nibs. But I forgot to take them with me – how scatty is that… Fortunately, my friend and her daughter had prepared wonderful things as well, and I had nevertheless managed to put in the box some marinated carrots and Susannes great Salzkaramell-Pudding (salted caramel pudding) on her fine blog Magentratzerl – thank you so much for this major treats’ recipe, Susanne.
Later that weekend, finally the koftas attained honors in a delicious meal with some Belgian endive & raspberry salad. The former is not really in season currently, but I found such beautiful ones at the organic shop (and the berries as well), that I finally wanted to try the truffle & endive idea that Lindsay of Fleur de Sel came up with in her most beautiful post Shaved endive, cucumber and fennel salad with truffle oil and which I varied with raspberries and pine nuts. Thanks a lot for the inspiration, Lindsay.
Here are my recipes
Truffled Belgian endive salad with raspberries, herbs and pine nuts
For two servings, cut the leaves of two Belgian endives into pieces. Clean a handful of mixed herbs (I took basil, sorrel, and chervil). If you don’t cut the herbs and take the whole leaves, this looks nice in the salad and is interesting in taste as well. Mix white truffle oil of good quality, hazelnut oil, raspberry vinegar, salt, and pepper. Mix with the herbs and endives. Roast some pine nuts in a dry pan, clean two handsful of raspberries and arrange on top of the salad. Serve this elegant little dish with bread.
Vegetarian tofu kofta with cocoa nibs and roses
The basic recipe is inspired by Yotam Ottolenghis and Sami Tamimis „Jerusalem“ which I changed into a vegetarian version with two different toppings.
To get 12 kofta, take 150 g natural tofu and smoked tofu each and crumble finely with a fork. Chop 2 shallots into fine pieces and rice 1 big clove of garlic. Add to the tofu, as well as 1 egg, 1 level spoonful of baharat spice blend, 20g of breadcrumbs and salt to taste (for baharat, see below). Mix well. Divide the dough in two halves. Add 1 teaspoon of dried mint, 1 tablespoon of fresh parsley and another teaspoon of baharat to one half and mix well. Add 1 tablespoon of finely grind dried rose leaves to the other half and mix well.
Cut some raw cocoa beans with a sharp knife into small nibs. You can take off the shell pieces if you want, but as they are eatable and soft and have a cocoa taste as well I don’t do that. Put aside. In a dry pan, roast some pine nuts and take off, then roast some roughly chopped pumpkin seeds and take off as well (separately). Add enough olive oil in the pan and put to medium heat. Roast the kofta on both sides until they are done (about 3 minutes on each side). Put on a plate (or leave in a pan to serve) and give a little butter on top. Sprinkle the herbal kofta with some paprika powder on top, as well as the cocoa nibs and the pine nuts. Give the pumkin seeds ans some whole dried rose leaves on top of the rose kofta. Serve with bread and humus.
Back to the baharat spice blend. Mine is home-made on the basis of the recipe in the book mentioned above (by the way: is there anyone in the whole wide blogosphere who has not at least head of this book?) and I adopted it to the content of my spice rack and to my taste. This means that I take the same ingredients, but while the recipe in the book demands for most of the spices as whole spices (not ground), I have mainly ground spices at hand. I also love cardamom and cinnamon a lot, therefore I take a bit more of those. I do it like this: 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds, 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon clove, ½ teaspoon allspice, 2 teaspoons cumin, 1 teaspoon cardamom – all ground. Grind ¼ nutmeg and mix well with the other spices.
Marinated carrots for barbecue
Cut some small trimmed carrots into halves and marinate right before use with a mix of sunflower oil, chili, raw brown sugar, a little salt and cocoa powder. Put on a grill end roast on both sides for about 10 minutes each.
Salted caramel pudding
I stuck to Susannes recipe 1:1 except for the sugar (and the amount of salt): I had just raw mascobado sugar at hand which doesn’t caramelize that easily due to its consistency which is different from sugar crystals. But it adds a fantastic malt flavor to the dessert which is worth the little struggle. Of course you can take normal sugar as well like Susanne does in her recipe and it will be a great treat as well.
For six servings of 160 ml each, mix 3 egg yolks with 100 ml milk and, in another dish, mix 35 g starch with 100 ml milk as well (you can take soy or rice milk as well). In a pot, heat gently 150 g mascobado raw sugar and make very sure that you stir all the time – otherwise the sugar will skip the caramelizing part and will tend to burn immediately. Once all of the sugar has gone „liquid“ (it has quite a viscous texture, it’s not really liquid). If you use normal sugar, you should gently go on cooking the sugar until it get’s light brown – you will thus also get a lighter-coloured pudding.
Take off the heat and put 500 ml milk in. The sugar get’s very firm now. Put it back to heat and stir until the sugar softens again and mixes with the milk. Add the starch & milk mixture and stir for about 2 minutes until you get a creamy texture. Put three tablespoons of the pudding into the egg & milk mixture and stir well after each portion. Then put the whole egg mixture into the pudding and stir at low heat (it shouldn’t cook any more). Add 45 g soft butter, the inner part of 1 vanilla bean and 1 teaspoon of sea salt (Susanne takes ½ teaspoon). Mix well and fill into jars or little pots. I don’t have a crème brulée burner, but in case you have, you can give some sugar on top and caramelize with the burner. Enjoy!
Today’s urban (garden) shots