Sunday, December 2, 2007

Savoy Cabbage Rolls

10 savoy cabbage leaves (Brassica olearaea)
sea salt
1 medium onion
200g tofu
3 medium carrots
2 tbsp olive oil
200g chestnuts (Castanea sativa)
a little butter


Boil cabbage leaves in hot salted water for 5 minutes. Drain them.
Cut a cross into each chestnut. Roast them in a medium dry pan for 30 minutes until soft and tasty. Peel them
Chop onion finely. Fry in oil at medium temperature for a couple of minutes.
Cut tofu into small cubes and add to the onion. Fry for 5 minutes.
Peel and grate the carrots and add to the tofu.
Chop the chestnuts and add to the tofu mix. Cover and steam for 5 minutes.
Butter a casserole dish.
Lay out the savoy cabbage leaves and add 2 tbsp of the filling to each. Roll them up and arrange them in the casserole. Put some flakes of butter on them. Cover with a lid.
Bake in the oven at 200°c for 30 minutes.

Serve with steamed potatoes and a cucumber-yoghurt salad.

Useful tips
  • Buy a whole small savoy cabbage. It is enough for 2 batches
  • Use steamed bunya nuts in Australia if there are no chestnuts.
  • Savoy cabbage leaves roll up very easily without skewers and do not have a strong cabbage taste after they are softened in boiling water. But you can use a Chinese cabbage instead of savoy if unavailable.

Monday, September 10, 2007


To go with the previous dish, I enjoyed this trailer for the upcoming movie. Via Yerom

Tuesday, September 4, 2007


6 large juicy organic tomatoes
1-2 large organic garlic cloves
1 tbsp cold pressed olive oil

4 medium organic onions
2 organic aubergines
1 tbsp saltflakes
1 organic zucchini, sliced.
3 tbsp cold pressed olive oil

Cut aubergines into small cubes, place on a plate, sprinkle with salt, leave for 1 hour.

Pour boiling water over tomatoes and peel them.
Press garlic and fry slowly in a pan.
After a few minutes add sliced tomatoes and cover with a lid.
Continue to cook on a low heat for 2 hours. Stir occasionally. Remove lid for some periods to reduce the liquid.

Meanwhile, chop onions and fry slowly in olive oil, stirring occasionally until lightly golden.
Rinse the aubergines and press out the brown liquid.
Add aubergines to the onions.
Fry for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add zucchini slices.
Fry for 5 minutes stirring occasionally.
Add a little of the tomato sauce, stir in and turn off the heat.
When the tomatoes are reduced to a sauce, add the other vegetable mixture to it and mix in. Add the chopped basil,

Serve hot or cold. Goes well with tofu or noodles.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Tajikistan Tea Room

At the Tajikistan Tea Room time still seems to stand still. The Soviet Republic of Tajikistan contributed some of the interior to this former East German establishment. The ambiance is quite, smoke-free and it is ok to read. The tea ceremonies are very elaborate. This place is in stark contrast to many buzzing cafes.

Update: Atlas Obscura should 'explore' the conditions of usage of images under Creative Commons.'You may not use this work for commercial purposes.' Especially hurling ads.120809

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Spinach-Yoghurt Casserole

1 bunch spinach
1 tbsp olive oil

200g bio-dynamic yoghurt
2 tbsp organic spelt flour
0.5 flat tsp ground nutmeg
150 g baking cheese, e.g young gouda, cheddar


Wash spinach and separate stems from leaves. Drain well.
Chop stems and put into casserole dish with olive oil.
Bake at 190°c for 15 minutes.
Add spinach leaves.
Bake a further 10 minutes to reduce size.

Mix yoghurt with flour and nutmeg.
Spread on spinach.
Grate cheese and sprinkle on the yoghurt.
Bake without a lid for 25 minutes.
Cover with lid to keep warm.

Serve with potatoes or rice as this dish has a lot of sauce.

This simple dish turns a bunch of spinach into a main course if you like. Adjust the amount of nutmeg to taste.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Ranking restaurants to avoid illness

As food-related illnesses are very common in Australia it would be wonderful to participate in a consumer-driven ranking of restaurants and other eateries such as CleanScores.

"The goal of CleanScores is to reduce the incidence of food-related illnesses by helping consumers make informed restaurant choices based on official hygiene inspections."

Cheese cake

300g wholemeal spelt flour
1 tbsp organic honey
1 egg yolk
125g organic butter

1kg organic quark
3tbsp organic honey
25g wholemeal spelt flour
3 free-range eggs, separated
1 egg white
1 untreated lemon
100g washed organic currants or sultanas

Add spelt flour to a large bowl.
Mix in honey and egg yolk.
Add butter in flakes and knead to a pastry.

Soak currants in lemon juice with grated lemon peel (zest).
Beat 4 egg whites and add honey. Continue beating until stiff.
Beat quark, 3 egg yolks, flour.
Add currants and lemon and mix.
Lift the egg white mixture under.

Roll out pastry into a 28cm buttered round spring form with sides about 4 cm high.
Add filling.
Bake at 180°c for 45 minutes.
Turn off oven and let the cake cool in it.
Remove from form.

Best eaten on the second day. And thereafter

Cheese cake is best made with quark. In Germany this is no problem. In Australia there is at least one brand of organic quark. I use one from the Adelaide Hills which is excellent, both the Swiss and German styles. The German style is very low fat. High-fat cheese should be avoided for health reasons. Some other types of curd cheese like cottage cheese are difficult to render smooth. Smoothness is an important quality for a cheese cake.
The egg yolk in the pastry functions to bind the pastry to the cheese mixture.

There is now a new version of cheese cake.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Lemon slices

300 g organic wholemeal spelt flour
1 heaped tbsp organic honey
1 organic free range egg
130g butter

200g organic almonds, blanched and finely grated
2 lemons
2 tbsp honey

50 g organic icing sugar

Put flour in a large bowl
Add honey and egg in the middle
Mix to a thick paste
Add flakes of butter
Knead to a pastry. If it is sticky, add more flour, if not smooth add more butter
Cool for an hour.

Mix almonds with grated lemon rind (zest), juice of 1.5 lemons and honey to make a thick spreadable paste.
Roll out half the pastry into a large thin rectangle on a linen cloth. Turn it over as you go to facilitate rolling it thinly.
Place on a buttered baking tray (e.g. 40 x 30 cm). Cut the edges to fit
Spread the lemon-almond paste evenly on the pastry
Roll out the other half of the pastry to the same size and place carefully on top.
Bake at 190°c for 15 minutes on the second shelf from the bottom.
Mix 0.5 lemon juice with icing sugar. Paint it on the hot pastry.
Cut into slices (about 40 rectangular biscuits)
Remove from baking tray and store in a tin.These biscuits are very tangy and light. The recipe seems quite simple and it is. Most of the time is spent rolling out the pastry thinly. This involves rolling it on a tea towel, squaring the edges, turning it over and rolling again. You need to turn it and roll it a few times before it is large enough and thin enough. Carefully turn it on the backs of your hands.
Arranging the top pastry on is also tricky. If necessary, cut it into 2 pieces.
These lemon slices last well in a tin, but are generally eaten very quickly.
>Check also the alternative jucier variety out.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Glazed Baby Turnips

Inspired by Delia Smith, Delia's Vegetarian Collection. Here is my variation

900g young turnips

800 ml stock

1 tsp. mustard

2 Tbs. white wine/lemon juice

1 tsp. sugar or agave sweetner

2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsely

S & P


Peel veg thinly

Place into boiling water for 3 min.

Drain, return to saucepan
Add enough stock to cover veg, boil

Then simmer for 10 min, until tender

Remove and keep warm

Blend mustard with lemon/wine and sweetner and
add to stock
Re-heat, season
Simmer rapidly, until it has the consistency of syrup

Pour it on over turnips

Sprinkle with parsley

Friday, August 3, 2007

Rejecting green stuff

Why is it that it so hard to buy organic lettuce, when in most eateries (in Australia and Europe) it is the 'green stuff' on the plate that is being returned.
What resources did it take to grow?
Where does it go?

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Apple Pie

This apple pie is different every time you make it. It depends on the type of apples and the quantity. If you take a lot of apples - about 2.5 kg - it becomes a very generous moist pie. If you take more almonds and fewer apples it becomes dryer. According to season, you can use red or green apples and each variety gives a different quality to your apple pie. I prefer red delicious, granny smiths, boskoop (from Holland) and cox orange.

450g wholemeal organic spelt flour
1 heaped tbsp honey
2 eggs
125g butter

1.5 - 2 kg organic apples (green, red, large or small)
0.25 cup water
100g organic sultanas
1 lemon
75g ground organic almonds
1 tsp ground cinnamon

50g organic icing sugar
lemon juice

Put flour in a large bowl.
Add honey in the middle and eggs.
Mix together with some flour into a paste.
Cut in butter. Mix.
Knead together into a pastry. Add more flour if sticky, more butter if not smooth. Cool.

Wash sultanas, soak in lemon juice and grated rind for 15 minutes.
Peel apples and core them. Slice into a large pot.
Add water and cook at a low temperature on the stove with the lid on until soft but not to mash. Turn of heat.
Add sultanas, then almonds to the apples. Add cinnamon. Mix.

Butter a 28 cm round spring form.
Cut pastry into 3 pieces for the pie (2 equal, one smaller).
Roll out one piece for the bottom, make 3 cm sides with the small piece. Save the other piece for the top.
Cover the bottom of the pie shell with greaseproof paper and put a few weights on it (e.g. nuts or metal spoons).
Bake on second shelf for 10 minutes at 190°.
Remove from oven, remove paper and weights.
Fill the pie with the apple mixture.
Roll out the remaining pastry and cover the pie with it.
Press down the edges using a patterned object (e.g. knife tip, lemon zester) to seal the pie.
Bake a further 20 minutes.
Loosen the pie from the bottom and sides of the form with a knife after 10 minutes and remove from form . Cool on a grid.
Sieve icing sugar. Mix in lemon juice until a sticky mass forms. Paint this on the pie with a spoon and smooth over.
In Germany they would serve it with cream, in America and Australia with ice-cream, but this pie needs neither.
>> Pear Apple Pie

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Baked cauliflower

1 cauliflower
1 head of broccoli
several Brussels sprouts
3 tbsp wholemeal flour (spelt)
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
100 ml boiling water
150 ml rice milk
200g cheese (e.g. young gouda, cheddar)
0,5 nutmeg grated

Break cauliflower into pieces discarding the thickest stem, cut broccoli in half, remove outer leaves from Brussels sprouts and cut into the hard end.
Steam vegetables until soft but firm.
Melt butter in the oil in a small saucepan on a low heat.
Add flour and stir. Let it cook a little but not change colour.
Add boiling water slowly while stirring avoiding lumps forming. Stir into a smooth mixture.
Add cold rice milk gradually while stirring and cook at a low temperature until it boils. Stir continuously as it thickens. The mixture should be thick but easy to stir. Allow to cook for 5 minutes. Turn of the heat. Stir occasionally.
Grate a little nutmeg into a casserole.
Arrange the vegetables in it. Grate more nutmeg on top. Grate some into the sauce and stir.
Pour the sauce onto the vegetables covering everything.
Grate cheese on top.
Bake at 190°c on the second shelf of the oven for 25 minutes.
Serve with steamed potatoes.

Baked cauliflower, broccoli, brussel sprouts

Monday, July 30, 2007

Roast Whole Garlics

Baste whole garlic heads with olive oil and a little salt
Place in casserole and cook for 30 min.

Cut off the bottoms, squeeze out paste

Serve with vegetables or bruschetta (video).

Inspired by Enjoy: New Veg, Nadine Abensur

Seasonal Fruit Flan

Mix Quark (curd cheese), Yoghurt, Honey, one beaten egg and some real Vanilla.
Top with seasonal fruit (here: apricots, blueberries and apples) and a bit of butter.
in the oven for approx. 25 min.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Cinnamon biscuits filled with Davidson plum jam

450 wholemeal flour (spelt flour)
2 tbsp honey
1 egg
1.5 heaped teasp ground cinnamon
250g butter
200g blanched almonds(+)
250g Davidson plum jam
1 tsp ground cinnamon


Mix honey and egg in the middle of the flour in a large bowl.
Add cinnamon, butter flakes, ground almonds
Knead to a pastry. Add extra flour if sticky.
Cool in fridge.
Roll out thin and cut out circles (or shapes)
Bake at 190°c for 10 minutes on a baking tray. Cool.
Spread Davidson plum jam to cover the surface of half of the cookies. Place the other cookies on top of them and press lightly.
Sprinkle cinnamon on each cookie through a fine sieve.
Store in a tin lined with greaseproof paper.Davidson's plum jam is made in the oven at 200°c in a baking dish. The plums are halved, sprinkled with raw sugar and stirred from time to time in the oven, adding more sugar until it tastes right. This may take a couple of hours. Then press through a sieve and bottle it up. This method of baking results in a rich, dark-red jam.
See Davidson plum sauce

Mushroom Nut Burgers

6 medium champignon mushrooms chopped small
150g finely ground macadamias or cashews or mixed
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 - 2 Tbsp tahini
3 Tbsp wholemeal flour (spelt flour)
herbs (e.g. parsley, thyme)
4 tbsp cold-pressed organic olive oil

Mix the finely chopped onions, the chopped mushrooms, herbs and the ground nuts in a large bowl. Add the tahini.
Stir well until a sticky mixture forms. Mix well.
Press the mixture down with a spoon so it is compressed.
Spread the flour on a large dinner plate.
Half fill a dessert bowl with water. Dip a tablespoon in the water and wet your clean hand with water.
Scoop out small amounts of the mixture with the tablespoon to make a spoon-shaped little burger. The water prevents the mixture sticking to the hand and spoon. It also moistens the outside of the burger.
Squeeze the burger onto the spoon and push it off onto the floured plate. Repeat until all the burgers are made.
Turn the burgers so there is flour on both sides. Add more flour if necessary. Let the floured burgers stand on the plate for some time turning occasionally so they are well covered with flour.
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan at a low temperature.
Fry the burgers in it until deep golden. They must be well cooked but not burnt. Add more olive oil if necessary.
Serve hot immediately or cold on a sandwich.
Complementary to rice with pine nuts and currants.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Rice with pine nuts and currants

Found this flaky rice dish in Cooking with Kurma by Kurma Dasa. As the link to his Turkish Rice Pilaf with Currants & Pine Nuts does not work I give a short summary with my local additions.
3 cups of stock
½ cup of (pine/macademia )nuts.
1 ½ cup of Basmati
4 cloves
6 cm sliced ginger
2 bay leaves
2 stalks fresh thyme
some orange zest
Tasmannian pepper
1/3 cup soaked currents
3 Tsp. chopped parsley
A few pomegranate kernels

-Boil stock
-Stir-fry nuts in oil, lift out
-Add washed rice, stir till they are whitish
-Add boiling stock, cloves, ginger, bay,thyme, orange zest & pepper
-Raise heat, then lower, cover, simmer for 20 - 25 min.
-Remove from heatsource, let stand for 5 min. remove unsightly stuff.
-Fold in currants, nuts,parsley and pomegrante
-Serve hot (or cold) with Tofu or Mushroom Nut Burgers