Tag Archives: spinach

Spinach “Cupcake” parfait – Popeye sure would love that one…

24 Apr

Last time when we went back to my hometown, I was very happy to meet up with my godmother who I have not seen in a very long time. A surprise that was skilfully prepared by my mom. She had the great idea to present my wife with a pictured cookbook: Germany – a culinary tour. The book contains a good number of typical German dishes alongside with some pictures and their recipes (sounds a bit like this blog, doesn’t it? haha). Maybe my godmother made this gift in the hope that my wife would take this book as a motivating moment and so she would start to cook some those dishes for me. By now, all that know me, already can have a good guess how the story ended up? Right, I ended up using it and cook some of those dishes for my wife. She still enjoys the book very much by looking at the pictures and telling me what she would like me to cook for her.

In that book there is a Broccoli parfait that is really delicious but I changed it the broccoli to spinach that i prefer over broccoli anyway (alongside with some other minor modifications) and, long story short, here I would like to present you this dish that I usually serve as a veggie side dish.

Spinatkuchen

1 good kg of spinach (if you use raw spinach buy 1.5 kg fresh spinach) 1 carrot, 5 eggs, 250 ml of cream (cream is one of the things that are very hard to get here, so I skip this one most of the time but if you have some, add it, it’s really worth it, makes everything just so much better), 4 table spoons of grated Swiss cheese (I recommend Emmental or Gruyere), Nutmeg, pepper and salt for seasoning and butter for greasing.

If you got fresh spinach, just as me, first you got to clean the spinach well as spinach grows on sandy soil and you don’t want to have the sandy sensations added to your pallet. Soak the spinach a good 10 – 20 minutes in water. After that you cut of the stem of the spinach and steam it with a little water for a very short time to keep most of the good stuff (Vitamines A and B, Iron, Calcium, Magnesium etc…) inside the plant. Then you take it out and put it in a blender, alongside with all the other ingredients. Blend everything together until you got a consistent light green color spinach cream. This is the time that you start to heat the oven at 180 C. In the meantime you grease up some little cupcake forms in which we will make our little spinach cupcakes. Then you pour the spinach cream in the greased forms. This ones, we will put on a bigger ove tray in which we will fill water, so that the cupcake forms will be baking in this water bath. Now we put the waterbath with the forms in the oven and bake the spinach pies for about 60 – 70 minutes. After that, just shake the pies out of the cupcake forms and enjoy the spinach meal :).

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Pizza, my most favorite italian dish

12 Apr

Fast Food, I love it. My favorite fast food must be Pizza I think. Did i read somewhere that Pizza is the world’s most favorite food? They must be right. Even in China one can witness the victory that Pizza is currently having. In every big city you can find at least a couple of Pizza Hut already. By the way, did you know that Pizza Hut in China is a sit in restaurant that targets the potential rich clients? Well anyway, this is not to promote Pizza Hut or any fast food style kind of Pizza joint. When come to Pizza, I actually like to have it as authentic as possible. Thin crust, few but well selected toppings, fine balanced seasonings and roasted on a wood fired oven if possible. But that is not always possible. We are already lucky to have an oven at all. It is not yet common if you rent an apartment in China that it will come with an oven. So we had to venture out to the professional kitchen equipment market one day and buy a Pizza oven. My wife says that this was the best investment we ever did since we landed in China. Next to other things we will of course bake the occasional Pizza in this oven. Below you find a basic recipe on how to make a PIzza, the picture is from our last experiment making a spinach Pizza.

spinach tuna pizza

How to make it?

The dough: This one is my favorite Pizza dough recipe: http://www.grouprecipes.com/46552/italian-thin-crust-pizza-dough.html. I know, the recipe follows an Austrian cook but since recently I disicovered that Austrians know quite a thing or two about a good Pizza. The dough is easy to do, it tastes really good and if you worked with dough before, it is quite all right to work with. But if you are just starting with cooking and dough making, you want to search for an easier recipe to work with.

The tomato sauce: The most important ingredient when it comes to making a good Pizza.

Ingredients: 1 can of Pizza tomatoes (if you want to replace those by fresh tomatoes, the Pizza just won’t taste the same, so it’s always better to have the canned stuff at home), pinch of salt, pinch of pepper, pinch of sugar, 1 table spoon of vinegar, oregano (take as much as you want, but don’t be too stingy with that stuff :)), ognions, garlic, 125 ml red wine

how to make it: dice the onions, fry them on medium heat in hot olive oil till they turn see through. Then you add the garlic and fry for 30 seconds to quickly extract the Cavour, then you add the red wine. Just bring the whole stuff to a simmering temperature before you add the squashed tomatoes. After that you just add all the other ingredients. Now you let everything cook on a small flame and reduce until you got a consistent tomato paste with all the concentrated flavors that you can easily spread on your pizza dough.

After you worked the pizza dough on your Pizza baking tray, your oven form or your cookie sheet, if you have nothing else at hand. Now you add the tomato paste on your dough and spread it so the whole dough with be covered thinly with your sauce. Then you add your most favorite topping in this sequence: first the cheese, then veggies and then the meat (on top of all of this i normally add a good tablespoon of dried oregano on top, just gives the Pizza that certain Italian taste).

After this, you pop the pizza in the preheated oven. The oven should be HOT. You can preheat it at 350 Celsius or higher if you can. Then you bake the Pizza for 10 – 12 minutes until crisp and the cheese melted nicely. Now all you have to do is lean back and enjoy.