18 October 2009

Zürcher Geschnetzeltes - Zurich Style Diced Veal Recipe

This delicious recipe is from the equally delicious book 'Winter In The Alps - Food by the Fireside' by Manuela Darling-Gansser. I fell in love with this book the moment I came across it one evening in a bookshop I like to visit when I really ought to be writing my thesis instead...

'Winter in the Alps' it is a combination of a cook book and a travel book with scrumptious recipes from Switzerland's many regions and stunning photography that really reminds me of how much I would like to travel through Switzerland by train one day.

This is the first dinner I have made from this book - I also made the Swiss pear bread a number of months ago and will post the recipe here once Geoff and I have a little photo re-shoot and I learn to take it out of the oven before it becomes a little too brown...

I did make a rösti to go with this, however it did not survive the flip out of the pan in order to be photographed, so I'll be posting that at a later date as well... I promise I am a good cook, really!

This recipe is a creamy, rich, delicious meal perfect on a wintery evening with a glass of red wine.

You will need:
  • 1 kg veal back strap sliced into strips
  • 2-3 tbsp plain flour
  • 50 g unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic finely sliced
  • 15 fresh sage leaves chopped
  • 200 g Swiss brown mushrooms thickly sliced
  • 250 ml dry white wine
  • 300 ml cream
Coat the meat in flour. Heat half of the oil and butter in a frying pan and once the butter foams add the meat and brown it quickly. Place the meat on a plate and put to the side.

Add the rest of the butter and oil to the pan and saute the onion, garlic and sage. After a few minutes add the mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes after they have started to soften.

Add the wine ato deglaze the bottom of the pan, then add back in the veal and cook, stirring until the wine has evaporated. Turn down the heat to low and continue to cook for another 10 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper and at the last moment add in the delicious cream, allowing to bubble for two minutes.

Remove from the heat, serve, enjoy and be merry!

12 October 2009

Ostkaka - Swedish Cheesecake recipe

This is a recipe for the delicious ostkaka, which is Swedish for cheese cake. It it not like normal cheesecake however, but is served warm and as Geoff commented when I made it, a little more like custard than a traditional cheese cake.

I have used this recipe which uses cottage cheese however the traditional way to make it involves using milk and ostlöpe (rennet) such as in this recipe. Try as I might, I have been unable to find rennet anywhere in Melbourne. The Swedish recipe says you can just buy it at the chemist, so I assume it must be fairly easy to buy in other countries, and I do think I have seen it mentioned in a couple of American recipes as well so hopefully you can get it there.

If anyone does know where you can buy it in Australia, please let me know as I would love to make the recipe the traditional way.

In the comments of another Ostkaka recipe, I did find a suggestion that an Indian cheese called Paneer could be used as a better alternative to cottage cheese. Another suggestion is to blend the cheese it in a food processor to give it a better consistency.

All of this said, this version of the ostkaka is very very delicious and I am sure you will enjoy it!

Anyway, on with the recipe!

Ostkaka with cottage cheese:

You will need:
(Serves 5-6)
  • 1/4 cup of almonds (I used almond slivers)
  • 3 eggs
  • 5 tbsp sugar (6 or 7 might be better though as I did not find this very sweet)
  • 1/4 cup of plain flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 500g cottage cheese
Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius.

If you are using whole almonds, chop them roughly, otherwise just use slivered almonds (I put these on everything! They are very good with semolina or custard).

Whisk the eggs and sugar together and then add in the sifted flour, milk, cream, cottage cheese and almonds. (You can use all milk or all cream if you prefer, I just though I would use a combination.)

Stir to combine and then pour into an oven proof dish of some sort. I just used a spring form pan, but you could use a ceramic square dish if you like. Something capable of holding a liter and a half.

Bake for 1 hour and then serve warm with whipped cream and lingon berry jam, or any cute berries you have really.


3 October 2009

Spinach, Feta and Roasted Pine Nut Salad

Geoff and I have just been visiting Western Australia for the past 8 days, hence the absence of posts. We had a lovely holiday exploring Perth and some surrounding areas, and also had some very delicious meals which we will post about this week.

Luckily our delicious bottles of port, raspberry coulis, mustard, butterscotch liqueur, truffle oil and other tasty things we bought while we were away survived the flight intact, and we will be posting all about our visit to the beautiful wine region in WA - Margaret River - this week. We also visited the Margaret River Chocolate Company, but for some weird reason we don't have any chocolate left to photograph... hmmm...

Also today while we were killing time in Perth before our flight, we went to see the very funny movie Julie & Julia, which is great if you like food, cooking, food blogging, French food, laughter, etc...

Anyway, back to the recipe!

I don't usually equate winter with salads, but this one is a real exception. The mixture of the spinach with the roasted pine nuts and feta is delicious, warm and comforting, perfect for a beautiful winters evening.

You will need:
  • Fresh spinach - about 250 g or so
  • 3 tbsp of pine nuts
  • Bulgarian feta
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt
  • Avocado (optional)
Wash the spinach under some water, drain it and add it to a large bowl.

Crumble a good amount of the Bulgarian feta over the top of the salad. I really would recommend that you use Bulgarian or another similar feta that is quite soft and crumbles easily so that it melts and creates a delicious creamy dressing once you have added the pine nuts - Greek feta simply does not do this.

Toast the pine nuts in oil with some salt - be very careful as they cook quite quickly. Pour the pine nuts over the salad, as well as any remaining oil.

Carefully mix the salad allowing the oil to melt the feta and cover the spinach leaves.

If you are so inclined, add in some sliced avocado as a delicious extra.

Enjoy alone or as a side dish - we had this with some chicken breast marinated in mustard, honey and soy sauce.
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