This year’s Barbecue Season is, at least for the casuals amongst us, slowly approaching its end. This is causing a huge variety of BBQ’ish goods to flood stores, butcher’s shops and markets like you wouldn’t believe. One thing I’ve encountered in truly obscene amounts recently is Tofu – styled, chem-bombed, colored and shaped to work out as a meat substitute. One ridiculous specimen I’ve found in a store nearby was a brown’ish kind of tofu-goo wrapped around a bone’ish type of theoretically-edible-don’t-worry-about-it, looking like a cartoon version of a drumstick from hell, sporting a label along the lines of: „Almost tastes like real meat! Almost feels like real meat! Even with real skin and bone-marrow substitutes, flavored to almost taste like the real thing!“
Well, well, now that, in theory, summer’s already holding up the door for autumn at the end of august, she suddenly decided to catch up on the last couple of weeks and go out with a bang. Literally. All we can do right now is shadow-hop to the next best ice cream parlor and back again. On one of those trips a couple of days ago, I ordered a specific combination of ice creams in order to taste-test a flavor combination I’ve only seen on the Tyrian Menu up until now, Passionfruit and Raspberry. Totally wow’ed by the burst of deliciously fruity and zingy yum in my bowl, I decided I had to do something with those two lovelies.
As the berry season is coming to an end in our corner of the world, there’s a rare type of late strawberries popping up all over the farmer’s market – deep red and very intense „Blood Strawberries“ as the vendors call them. They have a flavor to them that immediately made me think about using them in a savory dish when I first tried them – something with a little bit of a zing to it, something not quite meaty… Before I could even finish wrapping my head around the idea of combining fish and berries – really good or ridiculously bad idea? – I found myself making a beeline for the Fishmonger’s stall, not really sure what I was actually looking for.
One fine day, around lunch time, about 2 years ago, I spotted the Poultry and Leek Soup recipe in the list at the Chef’s Guild and felt the sudden urge to have a bowl of something along those lines on this side of the screen. Pronto. Somewhat blindsided by this unexpected assault on my carefully laid-out lunch-plans, I dashed over to the store and grabbed everything I could possibly need to bring chicken and leeks together in a delicious dish.
Today’s midweek special is one of our all-time favorites when it comes to salads. Easy to make, low on carbs and fat, crispy, spicy and refreshing, this one fits into any season, ready to satisfy our inner vampires on a moments notice. The preparation method might seem familiar to you guys in case you’ve encountered my Summer Chilli Con Carne before – well, this one is the root of all deliciously crispy evil, the „Original“, if you will.
I’m aware you guys might not think of a bowl of granola or muesli when someone drops the term „Trail Mix“ on you, but seeing this one, or rather the ingredients listed in the recipe, at the Chef’s Station immediately made me think of my personal blend of seeds, nuts and dried berries that has been playing an important role in our regular diet for years now. Like its Tyrian counterpart, my blend places the blueberries, sour cherries, walnuts and almonds at the front and center of the stage, highlighting the rest of the blend with intense flavors and contrasting textures. While hubby usually munches on a handful of this with some milk or yoghurt in the morning, I sprinkle a couple of teaspoons over a bowl of fruit every once in a while, as a kind of seasoning for a fruit salad, if you will, or have a few pinches when I’m feeling a little peckish… just because. So, you see, it’s actually closer to a trail mix than one would expect at first glance~!
Time to satisfy the sweet tooth for this month! When it comes to summery desserts, the first thing coming to mind is, of course, ice cream in all shapes and sizes. In that area, fruity sorbets are, with very few exceptions, my favorite type of icy delights. I started making these regularly pretty much right after I had my own kitchen to turn upside down. Back then, I wasn’t aware of things like ice cream makers being available for normal home-kitchens, so I delved straight into the colorful world of sorbets with its seemingly endless variety of possible combinations of flavors. As an added bonus to the delicious deal, most of them are really non-fussy to make, even without an ice cream maker.
Looking at more than 10 of your recipes involving a combination of 1 head of garlic and 1 leaf of a herb or 1 seed/nut – my personal favorite being the hummus made from 1 head of garlic, 1 chickpea and 1 sesame seed – I get the feeling some of you might either be posessed by or famously obsessed with the humble bulb. Either way, to prevent me from giving myself a whiplash, shaking my head at these bizarre concoctions of yours, I decided to embrace the garlic and dedicate one of my top three crowd-pleasing condiments to you guys. Get ready to have lots of personal space around you in the office for a couple of days.
There’s something to be said for classic combinations. Goat’s Cheese and Beetroots is one of them – regrettably underrepresented on the big stages of the food circus for years, lately I’ve been delighted to see more and more beety things appearing on menus. While I’ve always loved beets, goat’s cheese was an acquired taste. One specific pivotal moment almost closed the lid on the whole goat’s cheese thing for me, but in the end, while it made me tread more carefully around that cheesy matter, it not only made me really like the stuff but also brought on the answer to the “why” of cheese being so often combined with fruity or sweet things.