Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Fried eggs in a nest

I love me a good breakfast. But please, spare me cereals, rolls with butter and jam and the likes. My breakfast hast to originate in a pan. Preferably fried. And something with eggs - cholesterol, shmolesterol. There IS no better way to start your day than having treated your tummy to something hearty and filling. A good breakfast simply gets me off to a better start in the day. Mood and energy-wise. Without it I start scrounging for anything edible - usually junk - by mid-morning.

This easy recipe is now one of my new favorites for a perfect weekend morning (I'd have it on weekdays as well IF I had the energy to get up earlier). I always used to serve our own version of hash browns  - tiny potatoes, as my son Noah likes to call them  - with a side of scrambled eggs. It required to either prepare the hash browns first and then the eggs or the need to involve two pans at the same time. Too much fuss in the morning. So I recently had an inspiration for a small change: why not fry an egg with the potatoes in the same pan? And thus were born my fried eggs in a nest (of tiny potatoes).

Monday, 18 January 2010

Couscous à la maison

I am hungry. Feed me! Anything! It was lunch time and my wife's blood sugar levels were reaching alarmingly low levels. And she didn't have anything for breakfast. My food brain started to go through the inventories of our fridge and store cupboard and computing the options...pasta, instant soups, sandwich, bananas... COUSCOUS. That's it. She likes couscous... especially when you pimp it with other ingredients. From countless visits to Middle Eastern and North African restaurants I knew that couscous went really well with dried fruits and nutty flavors. I had a handful of raisins and dried apricot left. And some flaky almonds (although I had hoped to find some pine nuts...oh well, next time).
But what gives this recipe a truly Moroccan touch  is the use of the ras el hanout spice mixture. The term literally means head of the shop in Arabic. It apparently refers to being the signature spice mixture that a souk seller would offer his customers.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Soft and chewy chocolate chip cookies

Hello. My name is Daniel. And I have a sweet tooth. There. I said it. But I'm not the only one in my wife is very partial to all things sweet, my older son can sense chocolate 10 miles against the wind and it's not much of a bet to say that my youngest will follow in our family's sweet footsteps one day.

Now, instead of fulfilling my sweet cravings with supermarket-bought junk (which I do anyways...Toffifee anyone?), I'm attempting to resort to more home-made goodies. It won't be less calorific, but at least I know what goes in the finished product.

Chocolate chip cookies are a staple of our household. But they HAVE to be soft and they HAVE to be chewy.

Monday, 11 January 2010

Ginger beef and vegetable stir-fry

Stir-fry always means quick and healthy dinner for me. Perfect for midweek evenings and using up vegetables in the fridge. For the sake of this recipe I've listed ingredients that I normally use for my stir-fries. But honestly, take whatever is available in your fridge. Even substitute chicken or turkey for the beef (or pork...if you must). At this time of the year, however, the ginger-element is a must. Your immune system can use the additional boost...

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Potato pancakes aka Latkes

I know it's not Hanukkah anymore, but Latkes are just too tasty to limit to 8 days each year and they're perfect for a weekend breakfast or brunch. So throughout the year, whenever we eat them (which is about every other week), we call the finished product of this recipe potato pancakes. And on Hanukkah...they become Latkes again.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

My special New Year's champagne breakfast Part 2: Bélon oysters with two sauces

My wife LOVES oysters. And I don't mind them so much myself (apart from the hefty price tag they carry outside of France or any other country they're natives to). My favorites are Bélon oysters, also know as European flat oysters, or Huîtres de Bélon in their home country.  I harvest mine at Fisch Gruber on Naschmarkt.

I addition to eating them pure with a drizzle of lemon juice, I like to serve mine with completely different sauces: one, a classic mignonette of sherry and shallots, and the other, Jamie Oliver's chilli, ginger an rice wine sauce (my wife's favorite).

My special New Year's champagne breakfast Part 1: scrambled eggs with caviar on toast

Every year on January 1st, my wife an I indulge ourselves in a very decadent, two-course New Year's breakfast: scrambled eggs with caviar on buttered toast and Bélon oysters with two sorts of sauces. All while sipping on French champagne