Tomato Tarte Tatin

I’m totally exhausted. I really need some days off somewhere it’s hot and I can sit on the beach and have a cocktail. Thank god we will fly off tonight. It has been a crazy two weeks. Especially the last five days were so packed. We had to pack all our stuff so I can move the day after I come back from Asia. Also, of course it’s busy at work on the last days before you are off for three weeks. So after a long day at work I had to pack and still think about what I would need for the trip. I’m glad it’s all over now and I only have to work today and then we’ll be sitting on the plane. The boyfriend was a huge help, he packed most of our stuff. I’m so glad he’s always calm and shows me that we can manage, even when I freak out because I think we don’t have enough time to manage.

I really don’t have too much time to chat and tell you everything about our trip to London. But it was a great trip, we went on a food tour which I really have to cover in a future post in more detail. It was such a treat! Also, I met Selma from Selma’s Table and we spent a wonderful afternoon together, thank you so much for that! We also met a good friend of the boyfriend who lives in London. On Sunday we went to a great art market in the Eastend. It was awesome to see all those small stalls with different products they produce themselves. It was a great weekend trip, even though I’d have loved to stay longer, as always.

Tomato Tarte Tatin

A couple of weeks back I was really craving puff pastry. Somehow I wanted to have some delicious fatty treat. I remembered a savory tarte tatin I had seen in a magazine. I had to try to make a tarte tatin and it is unbelievably easy. It only took me about 30 minutes and it is a lovely comforting yet light meal.

I’ll be off to Asia in a couple of hours and am already looking forward to some delicious food of course. Have a lovely weekend and eat something delicious. But don’t forget to stop by Angie’s party.

Mademoiselle

TOMATO TARTE TATIN

SERVES: 2   |  PREP TIME: 5 min   |  COOKING TIME: 25 min

Tomato Tarte Tatin

INGREDIENTS

TARTE

1 sheet puff pastry (store bought)
3-4 cups cocktail tomatoes (depending on the size of your pan)
1 red onion
2 tablespoons butter
good quality balsamic vinegar
sprigs of thyme
grated Parmesan
salt and pepper

HOW TO

Preheat the oven to 440 °F (230°C). Then start with cutting the onion in thin slices and roughly chop a few sprigs of thyme. Take an ovenproof frying pan and hold over the puff pastry sheet. Cut the sheet in the size of the pan and set aside. Heat one tablespoon of butter in the pan over medium heat. Add the onion and fry for couple of minutes until soft and slightly golden. Add a generous splash of balsamic vinegar (3 tablespoons) and let reduce. Take the onions out of the pan and set aside. Add one more tablespoon of butter to the pan and add the tomatoes once heated. They should cover the bottom of the pan, make sure there are no big free spots. It looks awesome with differently colored tomatoes but red is fine as well. Add salt and pepper to taste and most of the thyme to the tomatoes. Fry for 2-3 minutes. stir from time to time. Then add the onions and stir gently. Place the pastry on top and press down on the sides, into the pan. Take a fork and make a few holes into the pastry. That way the steam can get out and the tarte doesn’t get too moist.

Place the pan in the lower part of the oven and bake for approximately 15 to 20 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Meanwhile, prepare some salad if you want. I used rocket salad and added some olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper and topped it with a few pine nuts as well as grated Parmesan. Once the tarte is ready, take a large serving plate and place up-side-down over the pan. Then turn the pan and serve with some fresh thyme, grated Parmesan and ground black pepper.

Spain Recap and Bolognese Pasta

We are back again and it feels absolutely weird. I love Spain and especially Barcelona. I don’t even know what it is really that makes this city so enjoyable. It just seems to have a really good vibe. The people are extremely positive and friendly. Somehow it seems to be different than in other cities in Europe – at least in the Northern part. Another plus is the Spanish food of course. It’s just absolutely delicious! I would probably gain at least five kilos if I lived in Spain – or Italy for that matter. I did put on some weight even in this one week. But all well worth it of course considering all the food we ate. We had an awesome, unbelievably massive Paella at the wedding we attended. Below is a picture of it, bad quality I know but it was dark already. The most amazing part of the food at the wedding was a basil champagne drink, it was awesome and I will probably try to do it myself soon.

It was especially on our last day that I really wanted to stay in Spain. Seeing our friends being able to live in Barcelona also made me want to be able to do that. What an increase of life quality when you can spend most of the year outdoors! But now we are back and it is soooo cold already. September has just begun, how can it be autumn already? I even bought a winter coat yesterday – oh well.

Paella

I somehow always need to have the next holiday planned already when we get back from one trip. It makes it so much easier to be back at work. Thank god that is the case this time. We’ll be heading off to London today and are going to watch the movie ‘Wish I was here’ from and with Zach Braff. The boyfriend funded a small part of this movie through their kickstarter campaign and got tickets to the pre-screening with a Q&A session with Zach Braff.

It might just be a bit too busy at the moment, at least for my taste (I’m a lazy bum). Next week we’ll be heading off to Asia again to finally get some warmth after this rather shitty summer here in Germany (and the already approaching autumn). I’m really looking forward to three weeks of sun, warmth, good food and a bit of sight-seeing of course – just a bit though. Even though I am very much looking forward to the trip itself, I am not really comfortable with all the work ahead of us before we’ll be flying off. A couple of weeks back we found a new flat to move into. Unfortunately, it will be available from the first of October, while we are on vacation. So we will have to do all the packing before we leave in order to be able to move in right after we get back. Well, it’s more me moving than us as the boyfriend will be staying in Thailand for two more weeks – lucky him, poor me. But anyway, that makes the travel prep extra stressful. We still have 5 days to get everything sorted though. Oh wait, only five days?

Let’s get to the not so stressful part in life – cooking and eating. I have loved Bolognese for my entire life. I guess I’ve told you that already, but my Mom loves vegetables. Therefore, also the Bolognese sauce always used to be with lots and lots of vegetables. It’s probably too much of it for some people but I really enjoy it that way. Especially as you don’t have to use too much meat as well – watch the documentary cowspiracy and you know that this really is a good thing. I think that my version might be substantially different from my Mom’s in the preparation process but it does taste very similar. One thing that you should really care about is the quality of the beef. Rather take less meat but good quality than medium quality. The taste of the entire sauce is much better if it’s good quality meat. It is a lovely dish but you should really use some of that red wine in it. Otherwise it does not taste the same. Also you should never forget the Parmesan, have plenty of it ready.

I hope you will also have some great and exciting plans for your weekend and have a lovely time. Maybe I’ll see you at Angie’s Fiesta Friday.

Mademoiselle

BOLOGNESE PASTA

SERVES: 4   |  PREP TIME: 30 min   |  COOKING TIME: 40 min

Bolognese Pasta

INGREDIENTS

1 pack (500g) spaghetti
300g minced beef
2 onions (diced)
1 1/2 cup medium sized carrots (diced)
1 1/2 cup celery (diced)
1 1/2 cup leek (diced)
1 glass good quality red wine
2 teaspoons tomato puree
3 cups canned diced tomatoes
oregano
paprika powder
salt and pepper
olive oil
dried chili flakes(optional)
vegetable bouillon cube
2 tablespoons parsley (chopped)

HOW TO

Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Once it’s hot, place the minced beef in the pan and fry it, don’t stir it for the first few minutes. That way the water can evaporate better. After a few minutes turn and let sit again. If it’s good quality meat you won’t need to season it yet. If it isn’t you might want to add some salt already or the meat will taste a bit dull later. Once the meat is done, take it out of the pan. Reduce the heat to medium heat and add a tablespoon of olive oil. I like to use the oil from sun-dried tomatoes, it’s full of delicious flavors. Add all the vegetables and fry for a couple of minutes, stir occasionally. Once they are nearly done, add the meat. You can already season with some salt, pepper, oregano and paprika powder to taste. Also add the dried chili if used. Heat it up and add the red wine once all is hot. After the wine has reduced, add the tomato paste and stir.

Add the diced tomatoes to the sauce and add some vegetable bouillon cube to taste. Let the sauce simmer over medium heat for 45 to 60 minutes. Some people think that you have to let it simmer for at least four hours but I’m not the biggest fan of that as the vegetables get all soft. But if you prefer it like that, go ahead and let it cook. 20 minutes before serving bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the spaghetti. Try the sauce and maybe add some water if it is too thick. Season with salt, pepper, paprika powder, oregano and add most of the parsley. Keep some for serving. I like to mix the pasta with the sauce before serving and let it sit for 5 minutes. That way the pasta incorporates the sauce much better. Then serve with a lot of Parmesan and a few sprinkles of parsley.

Seafood Pasta and Barcelona

We safely arrived in Barcelona on Sunday and have since enjoyed the sunshine as well as the premium food here. Well, with exceptions I must admit. We chose an airbnb apartment to stay in the center of Barcelona which was a pretty bad decision. The second bad experience with airbnb after our bad choice last year in Barcelona. We survived it even though we also had a horrible and expensive lunch on the first day. But it could only get better after that and it did. As planned, we enjoyed heaps of seafood on the first night at La Paradeta.

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Salmon Tartar

With today’s delicious recipe I really intend to get into holiday mood! Finally, after two months of working and staying mostly at home we’ll head off to a week of sunshine in Spain. I know it sounds stupid but it feels like a long time since we went on holiday. Yet it doesn’t really, as time appears to fly by this year. It feels like autumn anyway around here with only 10 to 20°C and without sunshine yet with as much rain it could be a wet November. Maybe that is why I feel like Christmas is around the corner. Oh well, there you go, I REALLY need some summer now. The weather forecast is pretty awesome for Barcelona. We’ll finally get some summer sun in September. Which is desperately needed after a cooooold and wet August.

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Party Dips – Guacamole and Tapenade

I did not remember how exhausting Birthdays are… I’ll probably forget again until next year and do the same thing again. The whole celebration weekend started with a dinner at a nice Japanese Restaurant. We already went there once a couple of months back and loved it. It was amazing, they offer lovely sushi as well as awesome starters. We never had any main dish but they look great as well. We finished our dinner with hot chocolate cake with green tea ice cream. What a start to the whole weekend.

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