Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Wonderful 2015 for everybody!

Folks:-), what an intense year lies behind us! Sometimes it felt like a ride through heavy sea and sometimes it felt so smooth like a bath in milk and honey.
Now it´s over and I am grateful for the days I spent with my friends! I appreciated all the dinners we had, the lovely moments we shared, the fine food we tasted, the great wines we drank, the trips we made. Thank you so much for all kisses and lovely compliments and feedbacks you gave to me in 2014! :-)) Thanks a lot to everybody I met, be it an old or a new friend!

3 very special culinary discoveries of the last year are worth to mention here at the end of 2014: 
2 new places in Berlin and one in Amsterdam (the Amsterdam seafoodbar, I wrote about that before http://mobile-minds.blogspot.de/2014_07_01_archive.html)

Back to the Berlin places: 
One is french, the other one italien. Very very different places. But the hosts share the same passion for what they do and that´s why I love to be there:

The Italien one is made by Alessandro and Nicola from the south of Italy

and the French one is hosted by Sébastien from Grenoble

It´s not only the excellent food and wines they serve at their places, it is also the lovely attitude to care about their guests in their role of a host.

A lot of other very nice retsaurants and bars opened this year. The list is long and the choice where to go becomes more and more difficult in Berlin, what a wonderful place to be! I am happy that we have the year 2015 to come and hopefully the time to try all the new things together.
Wish you all a happy new years eve and a wonderful 2015! See you soon @ palais gaumenperlen in my kitchen or in any other extraordinary culinary place on this earth! I hope 2015 will be my year for the next big trips.  
Big hug! Monica

dolce vita ahoi • monika ebert • mobile minds

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Beeeeeeeeeeeeetroooooot forever!

Beetroot is one of my favourite vegetables. Its sweetness and the slight taste of soil, the wonderful colour, the cute round appearance – all that is a challenge to enhance or combine it when I cook winter dinners.
I chose three very simple recipies for my post: the first one is a beetroot spread which enhances the sweet taste of the beet through lemon or lime and shapes their character with a hot aspect of red chili pepper. The second one is a beetroot pumkin soup with a slight touch of curry and cinamon, which emphasises their sweetness and the manifold possibilities to combine it. And the third one - my alltime favourite – is a beetroot salad with a fine tuned mustard-honey-apple-lemon dressing. All three dishes are very simple to duplicate, simple and handsome like their main ingredient: the beetroot.

No1: Beetroot spread

For a small appetizer you need 1 up to 2 beetroots, depending on their size. Cook the beetroots - without the peel - "al dente" in enough very salty water and a small red hot chili pepper without the pits. If the chili is very hot, only take a half. Let the vegetables cool down. Cut them into small slices, add a good amount of seesalt of necessary and a very little piece of garlic as well as two tea spoons of lime juice, the  same amount of fine light olive oil and a half teaspoon of fresh cut lemon peel.  
Depending on the size of your beetroots change the amount of the olive oil. Put all the ingredienst in a mixer an purée it until you got a fine, smooth spread. Let the spread rest for minimum 2 hours. Taste it agian and add some more sea salt if you like. Normally the sweetness of the beetroot takes a huge amount of salt.

No2: Beetroot-pumpkin soup

For the beetroot pumkin soup for around 3 up to 4 persons as an entrée you need the following ingredients:
• a small half a big/one very little hoakido pumpkin
• 2 big beetroots
• 3 red onions
• 1 boskop apple
0,25 liter of white wine with a strong acid
• 0,25 liter of apple juice 
• 0,25 liter of hot water
2 branch of thyme  (one for decoration)
1 leave of laurel 
1 red hot chili in the whole 
1 glove of garlic 
• 1 teaspoon of hot indian curry
• knife point of cinamon
black crushed pepper and seasalt 
• sour cream

Peel the onions, the garlic and the apple. Cut everything into small pieces. Same thing with the hokaido and the peeled beetroots. 
Heat 3 soup spoons of olive oil in a big pot and roast onions, apple and garlic gently in it. Before the ingredients became brown deglaze them with the wine and put the lid on for 7 minutes. Add all other ingredients and let the soup cook very slowly until the vegetables are done as you like it. After everything is ready remove the laurel, the chili and the thyme branch.
You can purée this soup or eat it with the vegetable pieces. Bevor serving it, add a spoon of sourcream on top and decorate it with a few thyme leaves.

No3: Beetroot salad

For the beetroot salad as an entrée for 4 people you need the following ingredients:
• 2 beetroots
• 4 leaves of raddichio
• sea salt as you like
• 3 teaspoons of a fine, hot french mustard
• 1 teaspoon of a strong dark honey
black crushed pepper 
• 1 teaspoon of lime juice
• 2 teaspoon of white soft vinegar
• 6 soup spoons of fine olive oil 
For the second oil on the radicchio:
• about 10 crushed salted pistachios
6 soup spoons of fine pistachio oil
• 2 branches of parsley

Cook the beetroots with the peel on in water until they are not just done (al dente). Let them cool down and peel them. Cut the vegetables into small long pieces. Out of all the other ingredients of the first part mix a fine dressing, and oversalt it slightly. The beetroot will need a lot of sea salt, as already mentioned before. Put the dressing over the beetroot slices, cover the bowl and let it rest over night, but not in the fridge! 
Wash the raddicio and cut in into very fine slices. Out of the 3 last ingredients mix a fine pistacchio oil. Stir the beetroot salad before serving and add salt as you like. Arrange the beetroot salad in the middle, the rdicchio slices around it. pure the pistacchio oil over the radicchio.

dolce vita ahoi • monika ebert • mobile minds

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Two of the million ways to cook a pumpkin

Another one of my favourite vegetables are pumpkins. So if you do not want to read my hymn for the pumpkin, I recommend strongly other articles of my blog. :-) One of the main reasons why I love pumpkins so much is that they possess a slight own very fine sweet taste and with this taste and their special texture they are able to absorb a whole amount of additional aroma: of the herbs you add, of the salt you put on them, of the side dishes you serve with them. Pumpkins are like a warm, well heated ground floor for a lot of dishes in autumn.

There are two kinds of pumpkins I prefer: the orange pumpkin we call "hokaido" and the butternut pumpkin. A huge variety of other fantastic pumpkins has to be left out here. The best way ever to get close to their own characteristics is to experiment with them. My following recipes are built for the hokaido, the most common one of the eatable pumpkins here.

Pumpkin Capellini with celery 

I developed a very nice pumpkin pasta recipe for one of my last dinner guests. I love to have Capellini with it, the very very thing Spaghetti, of you get them buy organic fresh ones for that dish or make them on your own. Capellini go very well with light sauces and that´s why i choose them this time.

What you need for the gaumenperlen
pumpkin sauce How to cook it

1 very small orange hokaido
3 very little onions, better shallots
1 fresh celery stalk
Homemade garlic salt
1 glass of white wine
Peel of a half lime
Knife point of homemade chili flakes
crushed black pepper
Creme fraîche

How to cook it

Peel the shallots and cut them into very, very fine slices. Wash the celery stalk put the leaves of and cit the stalk also into very fine slices and the leaves into bigger slices.
Wash the pumpkin, cut it and put the inner pits and stuff away. According to the size of your hokaido and the guests on your table use it half or completely.
Cut the pumpkin into small pieces.

Put enough oil into a pan and give medium heat to it. Fry the shallots until they become lucent. Add the pumpkin, the celery stalk pieces and half of the cut leaves, all the spices, the lemon peel and steam it fry it for 10 minutes stirring it permanently. Deglaze it with the glass of wine, if necessary add another one. Put the lid on. After 10 up to 15 further minutes it should be ready.
Open the lid, add the creme fraîche and taste if there is some more salt necessary. Mix the cooked Capellini with the sauce and serve it immediately.

Oven pumpkin with 
cashews and thyme

Another fine and easy recipe is the gaumenperlen oven pumpkin with fresh thyme and cashews. Here as well the homemade garlic salt is used to enhance the taste without adding an overlay of garlic to the dish.

What you need 

1 small orange hokaido
Homemade garlic salt
100 grams of cashews 
Bunch of fresh thyme
Black pepper
Good organic oil to fry things
Baking paper
A dash of fresh lime juice

How to cook it

Wash the pumpkin, cut it and put the inner pits and stuff away. According to the size of your hokaido and the guests on your table use it half or completely.
Cut the pumpkin into long slices of 2 cm. 
Put baking paper on your baking tray. Lay all the pumpkin slices down. Pour enough oil over each slice. Add salt, pepper and the cashews over the pumpkin slices. In the end add a lot of fresh thyme leaves over it and bake it for 25 minutes (depending on the thickness of your slices) in the hot oven until it gets a bit crispy and the cashews are not too brown.
After your tray has left die oven, take a lime half and add a dash of lime juice over every slice of pumpkin. The acid rounds up the sweetness of the pumpkin. Serve it hot with a nice glass of white wine which covers well the thyme aromas.
Enjoy your meal!

dolce vita ahoi • monika ebert • mobile minds


Beetsalad forever!

Beetroot is one of my favourite vegetables. Their sweetness combined with a fine peatiness is a wonderful autumn basic to be enhanced with salty, sour and spicy tastes.
For one of my last dinner for friends i crated a combination of a classical homemade beet salad and radicchio with a parsley dressing enhanced with pistachio.

My guests liked that combination so much, that i decided to blog this gaumenperlen recipe here.

What you need for 4 appetizer salads

2 medium sized beetroots
a bunch of parsil
a little peace of radicchio
one clove of garlic
fine sunflower oil
10 salted pistachios
sea salt
fine white and dark balsamic vinegar
a good dash of fresh lime juice
spicy dijon mustard
dark honey

How to do it

Steam the unpeeled beetroots slowly in enough water. Normal steaming time is about 15 minutes, so they stay "al dente".
Let them cool down, peal them and cut them into little sticks.
Put them in a flat bowl, add a lot of mild sea salt and let them rest for an hour. Afterwards make a dressing out of salt, a tea spoon of mustard, a teaspoon of honey, salt, oil, lemon juice and dark balsamic vinegar. The dressing has to cover the beets nearly totally so prepare enough. Pour the dressing over the beetroot, mix it and let it rest one whole night at a cool place, but not in the fridge!
The next day wash the radicchio and cut the dried leaves into small slices. Produce a fine dressing in a mixe with white 
balsamic vinegar, parsil leaves, a little bit of crushed garlic, seasalt, sunflower oil and the pistacchios. 
This dressing poure over the radicchio slices. Not over the beetroot.-)

Serve it together on a plate with the beetroot. A sancerre/sauvignon blanc goes very well with this autumn entrée. Enjoy your meal!

dolce vita ahoi • monika ebert • mobile minds

Monday, July 28, 2014

Summer, seafood, seafood and again seafood!

Last week I was in Brussels and Amsterdam. Hot summernights, my friend and I had a great time.

In Brussels we invited a few friends for a "gaumenperlen - soirée des amis" with a lot of different fried cold fresh vegetables on the table - iatlien style:-), a few fresh goat chesse arrangements, butter with basil and dried tamtoes and a marvellous sellerie mango salad flollowed by a great melon dessert in the end: fresh sliced water melon with a menta-cinamon-lemon yoghurt. The guests, my friend and I spent a wonderful evening at the terrasse with a nice Cremant from the Loire region and a gentle midnight breeze around 29 degrée.-)

Then we went for a short trip to Amsterdam, my beloved city which I hadn´t visited for a long time. Too long.
Imposed by the reopened new Rijksmuseum with its unbelievable tresures we got stuck in Vermeer, Rembrandt, Claesz and all the other wonderful dutch painters and artisans. Unbelievable, we did not manage to see one hundreth of one percent of this amazing museum and the other ones. I would love to go back to Amsterdam for two weeks and do nothing else than to look at all the treasures every day for 3 hours.

But we discovered another real treasure in Amsterdam:

An unbelievable nice and relaxed bar/restaurant with fantastic fresh seafood, raw or enhanced by a decent modern and inspiring preparation. They also care about organic ingredients and the latest fish-farm certificates.
I fell for their menta paesto served with the clam shells, but everything else I tried there was excellent - especially the scallops with a gentle safran sauce. The fine fresh seafood can be accompanied by a small but well chosen wine selection in all price levels. Friendly people, fantastic relaxed atmospheere, a bit raw cantine style. To cut a long story short: I love this place and I hope, they will soon open a spin-off in Berlin.:-)

Being back again to my Berlin day by day routine, re-feeling my deep passion for seafood and especially scallops, I went immediately to Galeries Laffayette to buy some fresh ones. Unfortunately not half of the quality I ate in Amsterdam. I did not get any fresh menta but a marvellous balm and fresh eatable flowers from my organic shop at the corner and so I mixed a paesto out of balm, a bit dried mentha, a dash of fresh lime, a bit of home-made very decent garlic-salt and saffron - pureed in a fine and decent sunflower oil. Marvellous, even if it was far from the delight for my taste-buds in Amsterdam.

I have to travel to Amsterdam again as soon as possible!

dolce vita ahoi!
monika ebert • mobile minds

Friday, May 2, 2014

Diner à l`orange –
the orange dinner

Cooking for friends is one of my greatest pleasures. Two weeks ago after the yellow dinner I cooked a whole five course menu for friends who are real gourmets and gourmands. This dinner was cooked with a lot of orange flavours, decorated with orange acessories and shortly before easter there had to be orange wrapped nougat eggs for sure:-) It was my first time cooking quails as main course. This main course I surrounded by french oriented little creations with duck pasty, orange goat cheese, flowered-orange-curry-butter and the meanwhile famous cannéles à l`orange as desert (you can find the recipy for cannéles two blog entries before this one).

Foie gras de canard with orange peel

Another dear friend of mine was travelling through France last summer. He broungt me a avery fine foie de gras from a famous french butcher in the South of France. This foie gras de canard was so refined concerning the taste, that I only added a bit black pepper and pureed fresh orange peel.
For the little canapés I used frech dark bread baked in a baked in a wood-fired oven, added a generous level of butter and then covered it with a more generous level of foie de canard. The orange peel refined the taste a little bit in a fresh direction and connected it to our marvellous crémant de loire.

Goat cheese with orange

Another fine and very simple recipy is fresh goat cheese with black crushed pepper, seasalt, very fine orange peel silces and 2 teaspoons of freshly pressed orange juice. All you need is a good orangic fresh goat cheese as basis. Add the listed ingredients to the cheese and let it rest for at minimum 2 hours. That´s necessary that the aromas merge well.

Quails filled with dates, nuts and white bread
Quails are a really nice and delicate white meat. They have a very fine taste so the filling for this bird should not overwhelm the taste of the meet. Orange peel is also one ingredient of my quail filling. Furthermore you need very fine sliced fresh dates, seasalt, cruched dried rose leaves and chili flakes. Moreover you need a few chopped peacans and very small cubes of dry white bread like baguette. Heat a little pot with a soup spoon of butter and add all the ingredients except for the bread cubes. Add a soup spoon of orange liquor and simmer it on very low heat for about 15 minutes until the nuts and dates are smooth. Stir it from time to time.In the end add the bread cubes.
The quails are very small birds, therefore the body of one quail can hold at most one or mximum two tea spoons of the filling. After you have filled your quails close their backsides with a thoothpick or better with a cooking twine and a needle.
Heat a good organic sunflower oil in a big pan and sauté the quails from every side. Put them in an earthen baking mold, lid on and cook them for maximum 25 minutes in the preheated oven.
We had a fine orange shallot wine sauce wth the quails and spicy little bavarian bread dumplings with thyme. The thyme, the dates and the orange flavours went together marvellouslly with the quails. My gourmand-gourmet friends were very content afterwards:-)

dolce vita ahoi!
monika ebert • mobile minds

Monday, April 7, 2014


Smoked trout spread on
dark bread and butter

Two weeks ago I cooked dinner for two dear friends of mine. A fine five course meal with a wild apetizer: a spread made out of boiled potatoes, smoked trout, lemon, olive oil, parsil and a handmade garlic salt.
It is not very intricate to produce and moreover a nice stronger appetizer going very well with aperitifs like sweet wine and a tasteful dinner after it.

The ingredients

1 smoked trout filet – take a fresh one from the market or your lokal fish dealer if possible, cut it into little pieces
1 big boiled potatoe
1/2 peeled apple, grated
4 stalks of parsley finely chopped
5 table spoons of mild olive oil
peel of a half lemon, in very fine slices
garlic salt
black pepper
tea spoon of honey mustard
tea spoon of lemon juice or soft wite vinegar

How to prepare the smoked trout spread

Boil the potatoe in salt water, let it cool down and peel it. Put all the ingredients exept for the trout in a bowl and use a fork to puree everything. It takes a while until all the potatoe pieces have dissapeared. In the end add the trout filet slices. Taste the spread and add more salt and pepper according to your personal preference. Let the spread rest for minimum 2 hours – it needs this time to fully develop its flavour.

Then take small slices of dark crust bred from a very good lokal bakery, butter them generously and add the trout spread on top. Garnish the little appetizers with parsley. Serve them with a strong cava or a sweet wine.

How to produce your own garlic salt

Garlic salt is very easy to produce. I like it very much because it allows to bring a slight, taste-supporting dash of garlic into dishes and underlines all other flavours without overlaying them as normally garlic does.
Take 150 grammes of raw sea salt, chop a clove of garlic finely and put it together in a glass. Let it rest for minumum two weeks. That´s it.

dolce vita ahoi • monika ebert • mobile minds

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Cannelés Bordelais with creme fraiche + gaumenperlen orange jelly.

I love Cannelés. A fine french bakery in form of little cakes from the Bordeaux region. The French say, they were invented on the vineyards. Because the huge amount of egg white used for the clarifictaion processs of the vine there was so many egg yolk remaining in the kitchen that they had to invent a recipy using a lot of yolk. On the other hand the English claimed to have invented them. Nevertheless if these little cakes come form France or Great Britain – there are 100s of recipies, same same but different. 
I tried about 10 of these hundreds I found and as often I decided to establish a mix of the two best ones.
There are various flavours added in the different Cannelés recipies. Some are made with rum, some with lemon peel, some with abricot brandy. I decided to flavour them with orange peel, cover them with sugar powder and serve them with a bit of gaumenperlen orange-cranberry-jelly and a spoon of fat creme fraiche. The guests were very pleased with that version:-)

Here comes my favourite recipy für Cannelés Bordelais

50 cl fresh fat milk
30 grammes butter
2 egg yolk
1 egg
250 grammes sugar
130 grammes flouer
2 vanlilla beans
fresh peel of an organic orange

Heat the milk, the butter and the opened and vanilla beans and the vaniilla pulp slowly up. After the milk has slightly cooked turn the heat down and let it cool down for 2 hours to get the whole aromas aut of the vanilla beans.

Cut the fresh orange peel in very tiny slices.
Stir the eggs and the sugar, add the flour step by step and the milk-vanilla-butter liquid afterwards. Add the orange slices in the end.

The dough has to rest for minimum 24 hours in the fridge. Better is 2 days. The consistence changes within these rest phase and the dough becomes better.
So Cannelés are an easy dessert to prepare.

Baking the Cannelés

What you really need is an adequate cake pan. Even if I am not a fan of silicone baking pans they were the only ones to get. The old fashioned way is to bake Cannelés in very nice single copper forms, but they are so high priced that I decided to convince myself to buy a silicone pan. In former times they used real bee wax to cover the inner side of the pan before they poured the dough into it. What a taste! I definitely have to try this when I get a bee-wachs connection to a Berlin beemaster. The silicone pan should also be covered with a slight baking oil layer.
Turn your oven on, chose the hottest temperature you have. Fill the little Cannelés pans a bit more than over the half with dough. Put it in the oven for about 8 minutes and then turn the heat down to approximately 150 degree (electric).
The Cannelés need to bake slowly round about 1 hour and 10 minutes – depending on the size of pan you bought.

Only fresh!

Take the Cannelés out of the oven, powder them with sugar and serve them with orange jelly and a big spoon of fat creme fraiche. They can be served warm (I like them best freshly out of the oven) and up to 4 hours later. Afterwards they are not really as tasty as before. 
So Cannelés are one of these beloved volatile culinary pleasures you should never keep.

dolce vita ahoi • monika ebert • mobile minds

about mobile-minds

My photo
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.