Borlotti und Scampi

Dieses Rezept ist Teil eines Menus für die Leser und Leserinnen der Zeit und deshalb auf Deutsch.

This recipe is part of a menu for the reader of zeit.de and for the time being only in german.The english version can be fond here.

Das ist eines unserer Lieblingsgerichte hier im Süden. Einfach und so lecker. Serviert mit einem einfachen Lattichsalat und einigen schreiben geröstetem dunklen Brot, - grossartig!

You'll need:

  • 12 - 16 kleine rote Mittelmeerscampi (andere gehen auch aber die sind einfach authentischer)
  • 2 Hand voll Borlotti Bohnen (aus der Hülle gelöst)
  • 1 Stangenselleri Stange grob gehackt
  • 6 Knoblauch Zehen
  • 1 Glas Weisswein
  • 1 Bündchen Salbei
  • 1 Chilli gehackt
  • etwas italienische Petersilie


Die Borlottibohnen in einem Topf mit ca. 6 cm Wasser bedecken. 3 ungeschälte Knoblauchzehen, den Stangensellerie und den Salbei beigeben und ca. 30 - 50 Minuten kochen.
Achtung kein Salz beigeben sonst werden die Bohnen nicht gar. Wenn die Borlotti weichgekocht sind, aus der Pfanne heben, den Knoblauch und den Salbei aussortieren und ein Glas des Kochwassers zur Seite stellen.



Währen die Bohnen kochen, die Scampi schälen (den Kopf unbedingt dran lassen) und den Darm der am Rücken entlang geht entfernen. Der schmeckt leicht bitter.


Die Scampi brauchen viel Platz zum braten, nur so lassen sie ihre wunderbaren Säfte fliessen. Wer keine grosse Bratpfanne hat, tut gut daran die Scampi in 2 - 3 Portionen zu kochen.
Den restlichen Knoblauch und die Chilli hacken und mit etwas Olivenöl anbraten aber nicht braun werden lassen. Die Scampi beigeben und glasig braten. Sobald sie glasig sind, die Köpfe mit einer Holzkelle etwas eindrücken das sie noch mehr Saft lassen. Mit dem Weisswein ablöschen und noch einige Minuten weiter kochen.


Die Scampi aus der Pfanne nehmen und nun die Bohnen in die selbe Pfanne geben und gut wenden. Das Bohnenwasser zugeben und aufkochen. Nun einige der Bohnen mit einem Holzlöffel zerdrücken so das die Sosse schön eindickt. Die Scampi zugeben gut mischen und auf einer Platte servieren. Mit etwas italienischer Petersilie servieren.

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Eingelegte Sardinen

Dieses Rezept ist Teil eines Menus für die Leser und Leserinnen der Zeit und deshalb voresrst nur auf Deutsch.

This recipe is part of a menu for the reader of zeit.de and for the time being only in german.

Ein wunderbarers Rezept, am besten serviert mit einem Dry Martini und grünen Oliven auf der Terrasse oder im Garten.
In diesem Rezept werden die Sardinen statt gekocht nur in Zitronensaft eingelegt. Die Fische garen also in der Säure. Eine sehr erfrischendes Gericht aus Sizilien.

You'll need:

  • 10- 20 frische Sardinen
  • 4-5 Zitronen
  • 1-2 EL gutes Olivenöl
  • Italienische Petersilie oder Teefenchel zum drüberstreuen (Menge nach Gutdünken)

Frische ganze Sardinen beim Fischhändler kaufen (wenn’s hat schon ausgenommen).
Falls die Fische noch nicht ausgenommen sind den Kopf abschneiden und die Sardinen ausnehmen ( dazu am besten mit einem Spitzen Messer den Bauch aufschneiden und die Innereien entfernen.) Nun lassen sich die Geräte locker von der Kopfseite her herausziehen.
Die Fische kurz ausspülen und in einer Schüssel auslegen.
3-4 Zitronen auspressen und die Fische mit dem Saft bedecken. Sie sollen richtig gut bedeckt sein. Nun für mindestens 30 Minuten in den Kühlschrank stellen.
Vor dem Servieren die Fische aus dem Saft nehmen und auf einer Platte anrichten. Wilden Fenchel ( Teefenchel ) oder italienische Petersilie darüber streuen und gutes Olivenöl darüber träufeln.
Wenn nicht alle Fische gegessen werden, kann man sie gut zurück in den Saft geben. Die Fische “garen” weiter im Zitronensaft und sind am nächsten Tag immer noch gut.

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Vietnamese salmon "burgers"

Salmon Cakes

This is a recipe I wanted to share with you since a long time but somehow it was impossible to get a decent photo.
Well last week I tried again and beside a lovely dinner I also ended up with a decent picture.
These little cakes or burgers are my favourite food a t the moment, they are incredibly yummy and not a big effort.

The Nuoc Cham

Start with making the "nuoc cham " the traditional Vietnamese dipping sauce which should be on every Vietnamese table . This recipe is my absolute favourite, it gives you a very balanced  "nuoc cham" which I'd almost want to drink. I recommend making at least 3 times the amount. It can be kept in the fridge for a week.

You'll need:

  • 1 ts rice vinegar
  • 3 ts sugar
  • 1 birds-eye chilli, finely chopped without the seeds
  • 2 garlic cloves squashed
  • 1 tbs fresh lime juice
  • 2 tbs fish sauce

Mix the sugar , vinegar and water in a pan. Bring to boil and let cool down.
Add the garlic, chilli and lime juice. Then add fish sauce.

The Caramel Sauce - Thang Nuoc Dung

You'll need:

  • 250 gr palm sugar or other sugar

Melt the sugar on very low heat. When the sugar has dissolved turn up the heat.
While stirring the sugar constantly let it caramelise until it turns brown. As soon as it starts to smoke take it of the heat and add 180 ml hot water. Be careful the sugar is very hot and adding the water will be quite "explosive".
In case the sugar crystallises again, put it back on the stove an let simmer on low heat until it dissolves again.

The caramel keeps a long time in the fridge.

The Burgers

You'll need:

  • 500 gr organic or msc salmon
  • 50 gr shallots finely chopped
  • 1 tbs sesame oil
  • 1 tbs fishsauce
  • 1 tbs caramel sauce
  • 5 tbs finely chopped cilantro
  • freshly ground pepper
  • rice noodles or soba noodles

Roughly chop the salmon. Add the chopped shallots, sesame oil, the caramel sauce, the chopped cilantro and fresh ground pepper.

Make little balls and gently press them into burger shape.
Fry briefly in a hot pan. Don't over cook them they are nicer on the raw side.

While the burgers are in the pan, cook the noodles. I like soba noodles (these take a little longer than rice noodles so start cooking them before the fish goes into the pan) but if you prefer rice noodles that's fine too.

Serve with fresh fresh herbs (dill, cilantro, mint and thai basil). As with the Cha Ca La Vong, take a bit of everything and mix in the bowl.

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Fish Frikadellen or reminiscing New York



I'm slowly cooking my way through Ottolenghi & Tamimi's Jerusalem. I don't know why I'm so tempted by the Jewish kitchen at the moment. Probably because I've fallen in love with New York again after a recent summer stay in Williamsburg.

A while ago I tried the "Fischfrikadellen", fish fritters with mint in tomatoe sauce. For me they tick all the comfort food boxes. I admit there are more elegant ways to cook fish, methods that accommodate this elegant animal better, but that`s what comfort food is about no? If I would eat meat I'd probably do minced lamb or similar, but I don't.

I try every fish fritter recipe I come across. I prefer the way the fish kebabs in the same book are served (with salted lemon and aubergine puree). I don't particularly fancy the combination of tomatoe sauce and fish. I think the tomatoe overpowers the delicate taste of the fish. But the fritters themselves were really nice - especial on the next day eaten cold for lunch with sourdough bread.

Fish fritters are easy to make and you can experiment with the seasoning.

You'll need:

  • For the fritters:
  • 60 gr white bread
  • 600gr white fish cod, polak or similar
  • 1 medium sized onion finely chopped
  • 4 garlic gloves squashed
  • 30 gr Parsley chopped
  • 30 gr coriander chopped
  • 1 tbs ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 Tbs sea salt
  • 50 ml fish sauce
  • 2 organic eggs
  • 4 tbs olive oil

  • For the sauce:
  • 2 1/2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 medium sized onion chopped
  • 1 1/2 ts ground cumin
  • 1/2 ts ground paprika
  • 1 ts ground coriander seeds
  • 125 ml white wine
  • 400gr pelati tomatoes
  • 1 chili without the seeds chopped
  • 1 garlic glove squashed
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • 2 tbs fresh mint chopped
  • salt and pepper

Heat the oil in a big shallow pan, fry the onion and the spice. Drench with wine and let simmer for 3 min. Add the tomatoes, chilli and garlic. Season with  salt and pepper. Let simmer for approximately 15 min until you get a thick sauce.

Meanwhile make the fritters. Blitz the bread in a food processor. Finely chop the fish and mix the bread, the fish and all the other ingredients except the oil. Form 8 compact fritters and let them sit in the fridge for 10 minutes.

Heat half the oil in a frying pan. Once the oil is hot, fry the fritters an both sides till slightly brown. Add more oil if needed.

Place the fritters on the tomatoe sauce, add 200 ml water and cover with the lid. Let simmer for 15-20 minutes. After that switch off the heat and take off the lid, let it rest for another 10 min. Sprinkle them with the freshly chopped mint and serve hot or at room temperature.


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Chinese Greens

We came home from Sardinia with several kilo of lime, (from just one tree) and this after 3 weeks of Daiquiri in the evening sun, only to discover that in the garden we were drowning in pak choy or tsatsoi (don't know which one it is we have). So my friend did some research and found the perfect recipe in Nigel Slaters "Tender". Almost all of the ingredients grow abundantly in our garden at the moment. All I needed to buy were shrimp and ginger and lemon grass.

We have cilantro, chillies, pak choy, thai basil and the limes. We even had a few "spring" onions left (lungo di firenze type).

So I went home and tried this recipe and I have to say it's probably one of the best asian recipe I cooked so far.
Vietnamese style, just how I like it, light with a lot of fragrance. Best of all it makes a really fast and easy dinner.

You'll need:

  • 150 gr chinese greens such as tatsoi or pak choy
  • 1 stalk of lemon grass
  • 1 medium hot chillie
  • 2 spring onions
  • 3 cm peeled
  • 15 - 20 raw shrimps
  • 2 tbs vegetable oil
  • 50 ml lime juice
  • 50 ml fish sauce
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • a good handful of coriander leaves
  • a good handful of thai basil leaves

Start with chopping all the ingredients you will need. Once you start everything goes quite fast and you don't want to have to chop things then.
Wash the chinese green and chop roughly.
Peel the ginger and chop into small sticks.
Remove the tough outer leaves of the lemongrass and finely chop the tender heart. Chop the chilli and the spring onions.

Warm the oil in a frying pan. Then add the ginger, chillies, spring onions and the lemongrass. Stir -fry for a couple of minutes. When the ginger starts to turn golden add the prawns. When they turn opaque and colour lightly, add the lime juice, fish sauce and sugar.
When all is sizzling and fragrant, add the greens. Turn them in the pan. Once they are tender add the coriander and basil leaves and serve immediately.

Serve with a bowl of rice.

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Borlotti and shrimps

One evening while eating at the restaurant our friend ordered a dish with Borlotti beans. While eating he said something like "we just don't eat enough Borlotti beans, they are so nice" . This made me realize that I actually never cooked Borlotti beans myself. I always look at them in the shops and think how nice they look but I never cooked a borlotti dish.
The next day I turned to Locatelli for inspiration and found a recipe that to me seems like an archetype of on Italian dish. Borlotti beans with shrimps.

Our local fishmonger has lovely very red local shrimp and they don't even cost so much so next days dinner was set. Preparing the shrimps takes quite some time and the beans need 40 minutes to cook but beside this its a simple dinner. In fact we got quite addicted to this and had it at least once a week while we were in Sardinia.

You'll need:

  • 500 gr Borlotti beans
  • 3 garlic gloves skin still on
  • a celery stalk roughly chopped
  • a small bunch of sage
  • 15 scampi
  • 3 garlic cloves roughly chopped
  • 1-2 chillies sliced depending on how spicy you like it
  • flat leave parsley roughly chopped
  • 1 fresh tomato or one canned pelati cut into dices
  • a glass of white wine
  • salt, pepper & olive oil

Cook the podded beans in a big pot of water. They need to be covered with at least 6 cm of water.
Add the sage, 3 garlic cloves with their skins still on, the chopped celery stalk and a bit of olive oil. Do not add any salt as this will stop the beans from becoming soft.
Bring to boil and cook for 40 - 60 minutes till tender.
Let them cool down in the pan.

Meanwhile prepare the scampi. Take of the peel at and remove the gut.
This is the black string going along the scampi's back. Leave the head on.

Finely chop 3 cloves, slice the chili. When the beans are cooked and have cooled down a bit start frying the scampi.
Depending on the amount of scampi you have, fry them in batches. The scampi need a bit of room in the pan otherwise they loose their juice and become dry. Fry the scampi with the garlic and the chillies in a dash of olive oil. When they turn opaque slightly press on them so they release some of their juice. This should prevent the garlic from becoming to brown. Add the white wine and let it evaporate. Take the scampi out of the pan and put aside.
Use the same pan for the beans. Sieve them out of the water and turn them a few times in the pan. Add the tomatoes and a glass of the bean's water and bring to boil. With a wooden spoon squash some of the bans so you get a thick sauce. Add the flat leaf parsley season and serve.

Serve with some bread and salad.

Here some advertising of our own cause: If you feel like spending some time in beautiful Sardinia and are looking for a lovely spacious house with a big kitchen and a beautiful garden have a look at our Casa Souk. Casa Souk is located in the hills behind Costa Smeralda, close to the city of Arzachena and the small village San Pantaleo. A thirty minute drive from Olbia airport and ferry port.The house is embedded in typical Sardic flora – la macchia – a dense assemblage of rocks and scrubs such as Juniper, Holm and Cork Oak, Myrtle, Barbary Fig. There are a few other houses in the neighborhood of Casa Souk, otherwise the house lies pretty remote. A thirty minute walk through the splendid hills takes you to the next shop and bar.

more information on www.casasouk.net

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Fish Burger Time

Here  in the middle of Europe we are currently in the middle of lovely heat wave.
Temperatures over 30° make it impossible to work, lunch break spent swimming down the river, evenings spent at the pool,  nights sleeping with no cover at all.
We love it!
I have to admit I could almost live off cocktails at the moment, but more on this in a later post.
So what to eat when the heat is on? Since I seem to have been born with the Spanish gene - if I could I would never eat before 21.30 - but when eating late I like eating light.
We live off garden salad, peas and fish these days. (That is if we don't eat fries by the public pool).

You'll need:

  • For the patties:
  • 600 gr fish. Smoked haddock, Salmon or firm white fish
  • 1 shallot chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1 good handful of chopped dill or estragon
  • 1 tbs chopped mint
  • 100 gr breadcrumbs soaked in 1 dl milk
  • Zest of half a lemon
  • Salt and pepper
  • Some fresh chopped chilli
  • Flour for coating

You'll need:

  • For the burgers:
  • Bread that is suitable for making burgers, not necessarily bun shaped (I like to use rougher parisian style bread).
  • Sliced radish
  • Sliced Avocado
  • Sliced cucumber

Roughly chop the fish in a food processor or with the knife.
Squeeze the soaked breadcrumbs.
Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.

Put into the fridge and let cool for 30 min for a firmer consistency.
Make little patties and turn them in the flour

Heat a large grid pan add some oil and fry the cakes briefly on both sides.

While the cakes are frying prepare the bread and the sliced radish, avocado and cucumber.

Assemble and serve with a slice of lime and lettuce.

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Spaghetti with mackerel and fennel seeds

This recipe is new favorite at our house. Dead simple, made with ingredients we always stock in our cupboard: spaghetti, tinned mackerel, garlic, onions, fennel seeds and olive oil. Brilliant just like this. If you feel like it it's nice to add some greens. Broad beans or swiss char work very well but I guess fennel would be nice too.

You'll need:

  • 1 pack spaghetti
  • 1-2 tinned mackerels
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 garlic glove
  • 1 tbs fennel seeds
  • a hand full broadbeans boiled and peeled
  • 1 stalk of swiss chard
  • 1 dl white wine or a some pastis
  • olive oil, salt and pepper

Boil the spaghetti water. Cut a small onion and some garlic. Slowly fry the onion with a pinch of salt. When they start to turn golden add the garlic and the fennel seeds. At this point I added some boiled and peeled broad beans and some finely cut swiss char. Drench with a bit of white wine or pastis. Add the tinned mackerel. Season with salt and fresh ground black pepper.

Mix with the spaghetti and serve.

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Fish Pie

I just realised that I never posted my Fish Pie here - how could this happen? It's the dish I have probably cooked most. It's a simple dish but it never fails to impress our guests and it's probably our favourite dish too.

We just came back from a 2 week trip to Ireland with our camper van. To me fish has never tasted better than up there. We found a lovely fishmonger who sold the freshest fish ever. He also sold homemade fish cakes and fish pie. Paradise! Eaten in the van looking out to the sea was just divine.

Cliffsofkerry1Cut

I have about 3 variations of the fish pie. I will post them all here, starting with the very classic fish pie in a pot.

The main ingredient is the smoked haddock. Unlike in France or England it's not easy to get in Switzerland. The fishmonger at Globus always has some frozen if you ask. If I go to Globus I alway buy a big stash full - our freezer is usually full of frozen haddock.
Since all the other ingredients can be frozen too it's the perfect dish for a Sunday night when you had no time for shopping.

You'll need:

  • 3 - 4 fillets of smoked haddock (depending on the size)
  • 4 cups peas
  • 1 big onion or a bunch of spring onions
  • 1-2 dl fresh cream
  • Mash for 4 persons

Slice the onion thinly. Fry half of it in some butter and add the frozen or fresh peas. Stew them for a while then drench with white wine and stock. Cook till done, season and set aside.

Take the skin off your haddock and cut the fish into big chunks. Fry the rest of the onion when they turn golden, add the fish and fry for some more minutes.

Since the fish is already smoked it does not need to be cooked long. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

To be honest I always use ready made mash but obviously freshly made mash would be nicer.

Layer in a ovenproof dish or a dutch oven. Start with the fish then the peas. If you like you can now add a bit of cream. Cover with the mash. Sprinkle on some butter flakes and put the dish in the oven. Bake for 40 minutes or so, until it turns slightly brown on top.

Serve with salad.

This is the very basic version. Feel free to add fresh herbs or use thinly sliced potatoes instead of mash or whatever you fancy.

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Italian Basics N°3 - Risotto

Pesca di Spada con Risotto and Fava

Not that my son son would suddenly eat fish but risotto is on of his favorites and sometimes he even likes fave beans.
Risotto is a dish that my son always likes to help because stirring is the only thing he has to do - perfect for the lazy cook.
The only problem is that one has to be careful not to get hit by splashes of the bubbling risotto, they can really burn your hands.

I always make my Risotto like THIS.

We used red onions for this risotto which gave it a really funny rose color which my son loved.

It's the first time I actually made Pesca di Spada and we were quite happy. I just had it cut really thinly at the fishmonger then marinated it with salt and pepper.
Then it went into the very hot  grid pan for less 1 minute on each side.  Then drizzled with some lemon.

I fell in love with the fishmongers wrapping paper.

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