i am always looking for cool ideas to cook fish these days. so when i found this recipe for sardines as fingerfood / tapas i ripped it right out of the magazine. sardines? sure! i tried several kinds of fish in the past weeks and i think i am already tasting differences. so today i'll buy myself some sardines and quickly fry them up for a nice lunch ... or so i thought! can you believe i did not find one single fishmonger in linz who could sell me fresh sardines?! yes, okay, after half a day on my bike on tour through the city i finally found a shop that would sell frozen ones (which i bought anyway). but i wanted to cook them straight away! i would have to thaw and gill them - and that is something that i am not really curious about. i never gilled a fish and honestly, i don't ever want to. i confess that i prefer my meat clean and cut into handy pieces in a styrofoam box. see no evil, hear no evil, don't think of the fact that you actually eat something that was alive once ... yesyesyes! how naive ... don't judge me!
so what is all that about?! are there really no fresh sardines available in this city?!
of course there are. somebody hinted that i could order them in a local eurospar and they would have them available cleaned and gilled the next morning. this is exactly what i wanted! i stuck the frozen sardines in my freezer compartment - they can wait until i am ready to actually gill an animal ... and then i ordered fresh sardines from the eurospar at the city's (only?) shopping center.
[stop looking at me like that!]
rinse 500 g sardines (15 fish) and pat them dry. dredge in flour, shaking off any excess.
heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. when the oil is hot, fry the sardines until brown and crispy. remove to a large serving plate, and keep warm.
add four chopped cloves of garlic to the pan and cook until brown. add one tbsp of paprika powder, one bayleaf, 100 ml balsamic vinegar (the original requires white vinegar), 100 ml white wine and 100 ml water and allow the mixture to simmer, stirring occasionally. when the liquid has reduced by about half, pour the sauce over the sardines. you can sprinkle the fish with chopped herbs too - i used chopped basil. the herbs are optional. let stand for at least two hours to allow the fish to marinate.
while looking for other recipes about sardines i found a similar one here. apparently those sardines are called "naples style". who knew!
i also strained and reduced the marinade by two thirds and it makes a wonderful and glossy dip / sauce for the filets. though there is 1/3 of balsamic vinegar in this sauce, it is not acidic at all. it actually gives the fish the final kick!
all in all it took me half a day to cook plus two days to actually obtain sardines, but it really was all worth it!
25. August 2007
15. August 2007
with the crazy weather here in austria it almost feels like summer is gone already. that sucks, let me tell you! because it has been a marvellous summer so far and i still want more of it - and yes, sure, i almost collapsed a few times when we had 40°c and sometimes even more - but the summer of 2007 will always be remembered as the summer of bbq and chill out afternoons on the deck ♥.
don't get me wrong - i barbecued before. i used to throw the odd cutlet or a hamburger on the grill, a few times every summer, i was experimental enough to grill a pineapple once. it actually became quite a ritual in my circle of friends in 2003, but that bbq never was more than food that was bound to be digested.
that changed this year. i can't even put my finger on it. i don't know what's different now - maybe because food is not just food anymore. this summer was very different in so many ways, and my different approach towards nutrition really might have something to do with it :) i am much more aware somehow. i enjoy every second with my friends and my ♥ out on the deck and i soak up every last sunbeam. and i am even more experimental as far as the food is concerned!
in order to preserve a little of this bbq spirit on a very cloudy lunchbreak i decided to make myself a tasty (and handy!) little sandwich with the ingredients i loved and discovered this summer. that's the best thing since sliced bread! nonono, let me rephrase that: it is the best thing between two slices of bread, baby!
i grilled different vegetables i found in my fridge, basically a tricolour of zucchini, tomatoes and garlic. i also grilled a few cloves of garlic and - the main ingredient now - halloumi! i discovered this unbelievable cheese in early summer and i am hooked ever since. i still like grilled cutlets and grilled hamburgers today, but actually i almost always chose halloumi over meat when we fetched the grill!
when your veggies and the halloumi are done just do this:
i don't want to brag, but this has been the most satisfying lunch i've had in months! now let me get back to the second half of my summer bbq sandwich! you definitely should make yourself one too!
14. August 2007
trig tagged me for a meme which sounded pretty familiar to me ... so i grabbed my shovel and started to dig through my archives - indeed, i had done this one before a year ago! so today you'll get an updated version of this meme:
4 jobs I’ve had in my life:
no changes here, though i could add call center agent (*ugh*) to that list now!
wow, no changes here either!
- one year in london, england right after i graduated from commercial college
- two years in wels, upper austria because my first job was there
- a month in vienna, austria because i did not know what to do with my life
- and now for the last three years in linz, austria
cool, this question is new but ... uhm ... i have to admit that i am not a big holiday person. holiday means "relaxing at home". so, have i done anything spectacular? i don't really think so, what a shame!
- i was in praia da rocha near portimão in portugal right after graduation. a typical austrian ritual called "maturareise" where the only goal is to booze the time away with your soon to be ex-classmates. i remember the delicious food though since i was not into heavy drinking at all - okay, the odd beer every now and then, but mostly i remember avoiding the sun (my fair and frekled skin does not respond very well to hot hot heat!). so a few of us where always looking out for cheap places to eat delicious regional food - oh, and i remember drinking quite some port wine!
- alright, the flagship europe trip on the river danube two years ago was pretty cool. my class at university chartered and renovated a cargo ship, and went 2000 km on the river danube from linz to the black sea. i recently (re-)uploaded a few pictures, maybe you want to check them out?
- last year i spent a few days in london - a decade after my year as an au-pair i found that trip pretty spectacular too! a very nostalgic trip indeed!
- looks like i don't even have a 4th trip to share! sorry, that's it as far as big holidays are concerned! i've had lovely day trips with my ♥ though and we where talking about a longer getaway this summer ... gosh, i am a couple now ... and i am just starting to realise that!
hey nice, that one was not in the meme last year either! i hope i can narrow my favorites down! they have changed quite a bit over the last couple of weeks since i completely altered my diet.
- one of my favorite foods still is roasted potatoes in every way, shape or form. i constantly invent new variations. actually, i just love love love anything with potatoes. really a-ny-thing!
- blueberries! i ate them a lot as a child and i sort of rediscovered them this summer. i always had some in my fridge the last couple of weeks - i just love fresh fruits and veggies now and always have plenty in my fridge - but blueberries are my favorite. they are just perfect for nibbling!
- just like trig before me i'd have to add our christmas meal to this list. it is not very spectacular, not even christmas-y, but totally loaded with memories. mama tried to make something different once, we all where devastated.
- a brandnew favourite is fish! it is not easy to get quality fish at a reasonable price here and i am just learning about various types of fish and preparations. i am sure i will get better at this, a few of my fish dishes have been merely disasters!
- it is not so much about "where" these days ...
- ... it is more about being with my ♥. that's about it, really.
- but he is out of town for another week.
- i am not a clingy person but i'd rather have him here right now.
trig, thanks for tagging me!
12. August 2007
see that? i am really back to foodblogging now - with all that implies! only a few days into the rekindling of this foodblog-romance and i have quite some unpublished posts piling up on my blogger dashboard! i just can't make up my mind which one to finish first for crying out loud!
but i will definitely show you the yummie, the not so yummie, the experiments and the failed attempts ... and today, ladies and gentlemen you'll get another issue of the popular category "an attempt to (once again) save my precious organic produce from going to waste" ... that started out a little half-hearted but turned out surprisingly yummie!
thus said: i don't like bell peppers. i don't know what it is, because i don't hate them, i actually don't mind if i accidentally have a bite or two of a bell pepper. so i technically don't even dislike them ... i just don't eat them. whenever i find one in my farmbox i try to get rid of it as quickly as possible. i either give it away to my mum or my neighbours/friends or i boil it to a pulp and add it to my tomato sauce. i just can't put my finger on why i don't want to eat them. i try to figure that out every once in a while ... just like with this recipe here, that turned out surprisingly delicious, considered the unloved ingredients.
bell pepper stuffed with rice and mushrooms
since i am not eating much meat anymore i went for a vegetarin yet somewhat "meaty" version of the stuffed pepper.
cook 30 g of rice. you should end up with about 100 g to stuff the bell pepper with. set the rice aside when it is done.
you end up with about 4 times as much rice once you cook it. interesting! i didn't know that!
cut the top of a bell pepper off and clean out the inside. this one is fairly large, so if you stick to the measurements i used you might as well be able to fill two regular sized peppers.
rinse the pepper. in a saucepan, sauté some leek in a tbsp of olive oil. cut up 100 g oyster mushrooms and add them to the pan. fry them a little.
add about 100 ml of cream or rama cremefine.
now add the rice and mix well. season to taste with salt and pepper. fresh herbs would be nice too!
stuff your pepper with this mixture. but would you look at this mess? i am sure you can do this way better than me! place it in a fireproof dish and bake it for about 15-20 minutes on 180°c.
i did not make any sauce for that dish, because i simply had no idea which taste would go nicely with bell pepper and mushrooms. i remember that we always had tomato sauce with a regular stuffed bell pepper when i was a kid. then again, those peppers back then where stuffed with lean ground beef.
do you have any suggestions on a nice sauce that would suit that recipe?
update: astrid suggested to enter this recipe in a foodblog event and i love to do that!
5. August 2007
since my foodie blogroll and its ~400 blogs seem to be quite unmanageable now and i don't find the time to regularly check on who is still posting and who is on hiatus ... well, thank goddess i stumbled over the left-over queen and her ambitious project! come and join me over there, won't you?
2. August 2007
first of all i want to thank you for your overwhelming support.
i honestly don't know what to say.
healthwise i've had some very troubled times lately which i announced on this foodblog to a great extent. it almost seems that this is not a foodblog anymore, this might be a chronic ailment blog now! what a shame, don't you think?! no, i don't want that. i need to turn things around again and this little hiatus has to stop.
like, right now.
because i feel so much stronger! i am getting in shape, i can feel that my body is changing because of my much healthier lifestyle and a very balanced nutrition. i have the feeling that a healthier body might even give me the strength to overcome bad times more easily. i don't want to be weak when i have to face bad times again! and not-so-funny-times are straight ahead: i will start with medication in a few days. i basically had to make the decision to either go ahead with orthodox medicine or rely on alternatives. and while i am not opposed to complementary treatment in general i don't believe in an esoteric approach at all. so i decided that i will be on meds for the rest of my life.
sounds so ultimate, doesn't it?
i have to admit that i am scared.
like, really really scared.
but actually, it is not so bad ...
... because, uhm ♥ love is in the air ♥ frankly, that's the other reason why i did not blog that much in recent weeks. i did not expect this at all - honestly, i was expecting quite the opposite because i tend to shut down in troubled times ... but this guy, oh, this gorgeous guy ... with his split-second timing! he managed to catch me off guard and just stole my heart - and now we're two enamoured geeks, how cool is that?! and we cook and eat together ... he seems to be a little concerned about my deserted foodblog too, because the other day as we stood by the stove he asked why i was not taking any pictures of the things we cook together ... aaawww, need i say more? i am one very happy gal!
one happy gal that can offer you another austrian dish today:
marillenknödel (apricot dumplings)
cook and peel 200 g of potatoes. though i am not particularly messy in the kitchen i always need a lot of space for making the dough. so i place my potatoes on the clean kitchen counter when they are cool enough to handle and i thoroughly squish them while they are still warm. use a fork or a potatoe masher, either would work. add a pinch of salt. hollow out a little hole in the middle of your pile of potatoes and crack one egg into it. it really depends on your potatoes how much flour you need, for my dough i added a little more than 100 g of flour. now knead the mixture well until it is compact and smooth. it should not be too moist!
slice open 4 apricots and remove the pit. my mom always slices them almost half open and replaces the pit with a sugar cube. since my apricots are really ripe and sweet i did not do that.
in the meantime bring a pot of water to a boil.
now roll out your dough a little and cut it into 4 pieces. flatten one piece with your hand. now hold this fairly round thingy in your hand and place one apricot you prepared earlier in the center. press the dough around the fruit to seal the edges together. make sure there are no leaks!
repeat with the other three pieces of dough. now place your dumplings in the water and let simmer for about 10 - 15 minutes. check back often, when your dumplings rise to the top they are done.
melt a knob of butter in a pan. stir in 8 tablespoons of breadcrumbs and one tablespoon of sugar. roast the crumbs until they turn brown. again, my mum makes them much sweeter and adds like 4 times as much sugar (which, honestly, every austrian chef would do. but i want to stay away from too much calories, so i cut out white sugar whenever i can).
when your dumplings are done, place them in the pan and turn them a little to coat them in the crumbs.
garnish your dumplings with a tablespoon or two of the roasted breadcrumbs.
by the way, you can also use plumbs or other stone fruits for that recipe.