Friday, August 21, 2009

Floral summer salad with apple-lemon-dressing and handmade goat cheese
A mixed summer salad – fresh form a garden – is a real luxury if you live in the middle of a big city. Nasturtium with flowers is nearly top of the city summer luxury level. The fresh flowers of this plant are very sensitive to handle, therefore rare to get and then mostly overpriced. I have to admit: I adore them deeply.
Nasturtium with flowers is not only wonderful to look at, the whole plant is magnificant and sapid. To feel the slightly acrid taste and the smooth texture of the flowers on the tongue evoces immediately my personal high summer feeling.

Wild salad mix of the day
The salad mix I had yesterday came from my beloved organic food store, directly brought from their own little farm, freshly cut in the morning. This really means to have a salad almost as carefully treated as in the own garden. I bought their wild, randomly arranged garden salad mix of the day which consists out of nasturtium, orache, a special salad gabbage, a very fine young rocket, small dandelion leaves and red oak leaf lettuce.

Fresh, handmade present from the farm
Furthermore, one of the ladies gave me a very nice present: a fresh, handmade, wonderful gentle goat cheese. Lunch of this day seemed to become a real feast. To perfect my feat of the day I bought a fresh baguette, a lemon and a bottle of unfiltered natural apple juice. Arrived at home I mixed the goat cheese with a bit of fresh crushed sea salt and stored it in a few spoons of mild tuscan olive oil until lunchtime.

The dressing
For the garden salad mix I composed a fresh dressing with a very mild olive oil as a basis. To this basis I added  tea spoon of lemon juice, a spoon of apple juice, a bit of a mild honey, sea salt and minimum of fine crushed white pepper and stirred it altogether until it became a gentle, creamy 

I didin´t add any herbs or other ingredients because I did not want the sophisticated flavours of the salad being overlayed. Fortunately lunchtime arrived quickly and I sat down, met the dressing over the garden salad, cut a piece of fresh baguette and dipped it into the goat cheese. I was very happy to have time to savor this feast for lunch and thought about the next dinner invitation for friends to share it, with a spark of hope, that the wonderful goat cheese is for sale next time.

dolce vita ahoi • mobile minds • monika ebert

Monday, August 10, 2009

Stewed vanilla apples with orange peel 
and calvados

Last sunday I was invited to a wonderful afternoon coffee. The event took place in a tiny little allotment in the south of Berlin. To be honest, I´m really no fan of 
allotments because of their narrowness and all those neighbours sitting so close to you that they can understand every word you say. My personal conception of a 
garden is wild and big, neighbours far away. But I have to admit that being there under a sunshade on a lazy hot afternoon, having coffee and nice cakes combined with interesting talks was cushy and very recreative. 
Furthermore, the smell of the little wooden house there reminded me to the smell of our old sailing boat at the Chiemsee. That was why I fell in the mood of thinking about other tastes of childhood. One of those tastes were light warm stewed apples with cream of wheat sprinkled with cinamon and sugar. 

Different garden apples as inspiration
Having the opportunity to get a few fresh garden apples to take with me, I did not hesitate a minute. Driving home with this nugget of a frist-class ingredient, having their fresh smell in my nose, I invented a huge amount of combinations for stewed apples with different spices and flavours in my mind. The one I nominated as the winner I tried later on in my kitchen. 

Taste enhancement: Orange, vanilla, brown sugar, 
butter and calvados
Important with my winner was to use spices that enhance the apples very own flavour. Cinamon and cloves, the first spices that came to my mind, are also very tasteful in combination with apples. But I regarded them as too strong together with the bright and sour natural taste that fresh garden apples donate.
My idea was to add more slight tastes that enhance the apple aroma and so I decided to use orange, a bit of vanilla, butter sugar and last but not least Calvados.
I started to brown butter and sugar softly with an opened vanilla bean in a flat pot. Afterwards I added the peel of one orange cut in stripes. 
Shortly before the brown suggar-butter became dark, I added a bit more than a quater of fine calvados in sips and reduced the heat. 

After having met the peeled and sliced apples, more or less 750 grammes, in the pot, I stirred it altogehter carefully. It really has to be cooked very slowly about 20 minutes – lid on. Before the stewed apples cooled down completely I lifted the lid and was very content about the smell:-) I put a small amount of stewed apples into a bowl and served them with a spoon of double cream and a few fine stripes of orange peel. This was an unbelievable harmonic finale for a lazy sunday afternoon in august spent in an allotment.

dolce vita ahoi • mobile minds • monika ebert

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Mango-Orange Sorbet with a whiff of laurel

Currently I find myself stuck in a strong mango phase. In plain language: I´m addicted to these supersweet fresh fruits and therefore I try to compose all kind of dishes around them.

Last night I cooked for a very dear friend of mine. We 
had one of those satiny summer nights, when you loose the feeling for time while dining, and talking, and laughing, and drinking light white wine...

Furthermore, last night was a perfect night for an icy sorbet as desert and finish of our dinner. Though I like mangos very much, this fruit sometimes seems to be not more than sickly-sweet. To avoid an only-sweet-sorbet-experience, the mango needs to be accompanied by fresh tastes or strong spices like curry or chili.
For our satiny summer night finish I decided to add lemon, orange and something completely unusual: a very small, fresh laurel leave from my windowsill, to insert a surprising whiff of spice into the sorbet.

The preparation of the fruits
For the sorbet one mango has to be peeled, cut in slices and then pureed afterwards. From the orange I only rubbed off the shell, form the lemon I used not more than the juice. 

Sorbet cooking
The base of this sorbet was half a liter of water, a very small leave of fresh laurel and 50 grams of brown sugar, together boiled up until the sugar dissolved. Then I took the pot off the cooker, removed the laurel and let the liquid cool down a bit. Later on the pureed mango, the lemon juice and the orange shell were added into the sugared liquid. I stirred one leave of soaked gelantine into the puree at the end. Gelatine in general makes the texture of sorbets a little more smooth.

After the sorbet cooled down in the fridge I filled it into my little ice machine and turned this horrible kitchen utensil on. I quickly left the kitchen for a coffee outside: this machine unfortunately has a sound like a tractor, that is why sorbet @ mobile-minds really has become a highly rare desert:-).

Serving the sorbet
Before the sorbet was served I took it out of the fridge and let the surface melt a bit so that I could easily abrade little portions. Wonderful decorations with the mango-orange-sorbet are candied violets and a few spots of vanilla yoghurt. 
Our evening ended far after midnight – having still a mix out of white wine and softly melting sorbet on our tongues.

dolce vita ahoi • mobile minds • monika ebert

about mobile-minds

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gaumenperlen - a label by mobile minds, monika ebert::: gaumenperlen is a diary about affairs of the heart. I´m addicted to delicious food, unique and extraordinary places as well as valuable things, fine arts, design, music, tango argentino and interesting people. The focus of this diary is food. Delicious food is much more than nutrition, health or prestige. it is the basis of your body& soul, it is at the core of your way to think, to live and act, it is your attitude towards nature. For me cooking is a wild, joyful, creative process with the objective to share the result in the end. This process is surrounded by a bunch of exciting encounters - nevertheless where I am:: at the markets, talking to producers, at the book stores, in restaurants, in my kitchen. That´s why I love cooking and travelling.