Friday, March 22, 2013

Yesterday's motivational purchases.

These books are so inspiring. I cannot wait to cook, preserve and plan day trips out of these!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Wine bottling and bread making!

Miserable weather outside. But Thursday mornings could be worse.

Wil made bread with our sourdough this morning with 80%rye and 20% wheat flour. And now he is bottling our crabapple wine, while I'm lazy, erm, getting ready for work...

Monday, March 18, 2013

Spring anticipated Grilled Vegetable Terrine

It really has to turn spring now! I even made a mediterranean vegetable terrine the other day to lure spring over. I may be a little too optimistic, given that I now live in a country where winter lasts until the end of April. But I had way too much braised beef and meat stews in the last couple of months, and now I'm craving something less hearty and savory but fresh and healthy.
I found this recipe in one of my mediterranean cookbooks and instantly fell in love.

You'll see, the to-do list for this dish is long. Vegetable dishes usually require a little bit more work.
But it's actually quite easy to prepare, once you figured it out. The result not only looks impressive and tastes delicious, it'll definitely add more color and fancy to your spring/summer buffet.

Ok, I try to keep it as short as possible, also because I accidentally erased my first draft, which was really, really long....

Here is what you need:

2 red peppers (quartered and seeded)
2 yellow peppers (quartered and seeded)
2 zucchini (sliced lengthwise)
1 eggplant (sliced lengthwise)
1 red onion (cut in rings)
1 garlic clove (finely chopped)
75g raisins
1 tbsp balsamico vinegar
1 tbsp white wine or red wine vinegar

2-3 tsp tomato paste
400-500ml tomato juice
4-5 tsp powdered gelatine
basil leaves
salt, pepper
olive oil


Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
Place the peppers on the baking sheet, skin side up, put them on the upper rack of your oven, turn on the broiler and broil them until their skin has turned black. You'll will only be able to easily peel the skin off the flesh with your fingers, once it has burnt completely. just make sure to let the peppers cool down for a few minutes before you start peeling, otherwise you'll burn your fingers.

Sprinkle salt over the egg plant slices and let them sit for a bout 20-30 minutes. The salt draws out the excess water of the eggplant which otherwise makes it mushy and unappetizing. 
Once enough water has been "sweated out" pat slices dry with paper towel.

Just like the peppers, place the egg plant slices on a parchment paper covered baking sheet, brush the upper sides with some olive oil and broil until golden brown.

Then do the same thing with the zucchini slices.

In a pan heat up 2 tbsp of olive oil. Add onion rings and garlic and sauté until onions are translucent.
Add tomato paste and both vinegars, and cook for about five minutes.

Slightly grease a bread pan (or even better: a terrine pan) with some vegetable oil. Line with plastic wrap and allow the plastic wrap to hang over the edge of the pan. 

In a saucepan heat up the tomato juice. Add the gelatine and stir until dissolved.
Cover the bottom of the bread pan with a thin layer of the tomato juice.

Now start layering the vegetable slices and onion-raisin mix.
It doesn't really matter in which order you place the vegetables in the pan. But it'll probably be best to start off and finish with the peppers and have the onion-raisin mix be in the middle.
Make sure to always pour a little bit of the tomato juice on top of each new layer. You can also press each layer down with your hands so that the juice spreads evenly and gets in every corner of the pan.
In between season with salt and pepper.
After you have placed the last vegetable layer on top of the others pour the remaining tomato juice over it. 

Chill in the refrigerator for a couple of hours or overnight, until gelatine has set.
By pressing a big plate on the top of the bread pan, turn the terrine upside down. 
Remove the pan and the plastic wrap.
Decorate with basil leaves and serve!

I served my terrine with a yoghurt sauce I quickly made the next day. I just mixed yoghurt with some heavy cream, stirred in some finely grated cucumber and chopped mint, and seasoned with salt, pepper and a bit of sugar.

There will definitely be more terrine in the future. Next time probably with some meat in it, as well.

Now that our chickens have turned into awkward teenagers and we had to put them into their coop, we decided to get our second batch of cuteness for the brooding box...