Spinach Omelette with Fried (Finger) Soldiers

I really fancied something substantial that didn’t take hours to make. I happen to have some spinach and a little pack of pancetta. So here is a delicious spinach omelette with onions, pancetta and fried soldiers.

Preparation and cooking time 5-10 minutes

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Step 1: Fry the pancetta and onion; when blanched add the spinach, lower the heat and leave until the spinach is wilted.

Step2: Mix 1-2 eggs with a little water (half an eggshell of water), salt, pepper and whatever flavour you want. Pour this mixture over the fried onions, pancetta & spinach. Cover with lid and fry on low heat for another minute

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Step3: While Step2 is finishing, heat another frying pan, butter the bread and place buttered side down in the frying pan, when the first side is nearly done (approx. 1 minute) butter the other side and turn the bread over.

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Step4: Cut the fried bread into finger soldiers and serve with the omelette.

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Chicken Liver Pâté

I just didn’t believe I had not published my special Chicken Liver Pâté, so her it is.
Preparation and Cooking time: max 10 minutes

  • 50g Goose Fat (or butter)
  • 400-450g Chicken Liver (trimmed and sinew removed)
  • 1 large Spring Onion (approx 2cm) finely chopped
  • 1 large clove Garlic (finely chopped)
  • Salt and black Pepper
  • 1 tsp fresh Thyme (leaves only)
  • * The following are optional
  • 75-100ml Red Wine (or 75-100ml Chicken Stock)
  • 1-2 tbsp Brandy
  • 1-2 Bay Leaves (for decoration)
  • Some fresh Cranberries (for decoration)
  1. Remove the sinew from the chicken liver and halve the larger pieces
  2. In a mortar add the salt and cut the thymes into 2-3cm length, grind this and the salt will help removing the leaves of the thyme. Don’t overdo it. Then remove all the stalks and add the pepper.
  3. I prefer to use a wok as the heat surface is smaller but the cooking is easier to deal with
  4. Melt the goose fat in a pan over a medium heat; add the onion and the garlic; fry until softened, but not coloured.
  5. Add the herbs and fry for ½ minute
  6. Add the chicken liver and ensure it has been sealed all over, fry for 1-2 minutes constantly turning the liver so that it does not get brown.
  7. Now stir in the alcohol (or the chicken stock) and let it cook vigorously for 3-4 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated/boiled away.
  8. Place everything in the food processor and blend until smooth.
  9. Transfer the pâté into a serving ramekin or small dish and cover with cling film.
  10. Keep the pâté refrigerated
  11. Decorate with a couple of cranberries and a bay leaf when serving.

Rumtopf

A rumtopf is a tasty German concoction made with fresh fruit, sugar and rum.
It is a preservation method in which fruit is fermented in alcohol and eaten later as a topping for various desserts. The word “rumtopf” literally means “rum pot”.
The traditional way of making this beverage starts as early as the fresh fruit are available in spring / summer and ends with the last fresh fruit in autumn; today you can start it anytime because you can always get fresh fruit in the supermarkets. You can also use just one type of fruit e.g. plums.

Rumtopf is traditionally served during Advent or on Christmas morning.
Serve the fruits with its syrup (hot or cold) over ice-cream, cake, flan, puddings, or cheese cake, in an elegant dish topped with whipped cream or crème fraîche.
It can also be used as a side dish with any game meat.Strain the liquid and use the liquor for an after-dinner cordial or add two tablespoons of the strained liquid to Champagne for a unique and elegant cocktail or add 1 or 2 teaspoons of the liquid to a glass of white wine.

Rumtopf (rum pot) Recipe

Ideal fruits are:
Apricots (halves, pitted)
Cherries (any variety, pitted)
Grapes (sweet seedless red or green grapes are ideal)
Nectarines (halves, pitted)
Peaches (remove pits and cut in halves, quarters, or slices)
Pears (cored, peeled & sliced)
Plums (remove seed and half or quarter)
Raspberries (don’t wash). Raspberries will lose some of their red colour.
Red currants (removed from stem)
Strawberries (don’t wash, just remove stem & leaves).
Strawberries will lose their red colour.

Directions:

Wash and dry the inside of the Rumtopf.
Wash and dry the first chosen fruit.  (Don’t wash Strawberries and Raspberries.)
Remove any stems, seed and pits.
In a separate bowl cover the fruit with an equal weight of granulated sugar and allow to stand for one hour. (Example: 3 pounds of fruit and 3 pounds of sugar)
Place the fruit, sugar and any juices left in the bowl into the Rumtopf.
Pour in just enough rum to cover the fruit.
Weigh the fruit down with a clean saucer or plate
Cover the opening of the Rumtopf with plastic (to avoid evaporation) and place the lid firmly on top.
Stir daily until the sugar has dissolved then store in a cool place; away from heat and sunlight.

 Adding additional layers of fruit:
For each additional layer of fruit follow the instructions above but use only half as much sugar. (Example: 3 pounds of fruit and 1½ pounds of sugar.)
After the fruit and sugar has rested for one hour, gently add this mixture onto the earlier layer.
Do not disturb the original fruits.
Add more rum to cover the new layer.
Cover with fresh Saran or plastic wrap and the lid.
Throughout the summer, repeat the process for each new fruit until your Rumtopf is full.
Then allow the entire mixture to sit for another 4 to 6 weeks.
It is best after 2-3 months rest.