Monday, April 30, 2012

Sweet and sour Fish

I love Sweet and Sour, being it fish or pork or even vegetables. It is the tangyness and sweetness of the sauce that makes the difference. I have eaten many times sweet and sour sauces and many times they were not that great. Now I got a recipe which I actually got from a friend in Switzerland. It is extremely simple to prepare and I usually o a bigger batch and keep some in the fridge. One can use it as well as a base for a dressing, so it is really versatile.

The fish is simply rolled in corn starch and then deep fried, like this it is crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. Don't forget to marinate the fish a bit, the dish will be more flavorful and there is more corn starch sticking on the fish, giving you this nice crust

The Spice menu is going really well here, I am glad, it is nice to create something and then it is well received. I know that the Sweet and Sour fish will go on the normal a la carte when the special weeks are over.

But now to the recipe, like I said, it is really so easy to do and simply delicious. By the way, Kingklip is just another name for Ling Cod, an absolute perfect fish for making Sweet and Sour

2 kg King Klip Fillet (or any other firm white fish)
30 Ml Oil
30 G Shallots, chopped
5 G Garlic, chopped
1 G Chili, chopped
80 G Peppers, brunoise
80 G Carrots, brunoise
40 G Leeks, brunoise
2 Pineapple
30 G Sugar
100 Ml Redwine vinegar
100 Ml White wine
200 Ml Chicken stock
60 Ml Tomato sauce
20 G Tomato puree
50 Ml Soy sauce
10 G Maizena

Simmer the shallots, garlic and chili in oil,
Add the vegetable brunoise and sugar
Add all the other ingredients except maizena
Boil the sauce for 5 min, then thicken with maizena

Cut the kingklip in cubes
Season with soy and marinated for 2 hours
Roll in corn flour
Deep fry till crispy, but juicy inside
Toss the fish in the sweet and sour sauce
Serve immediately

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Tandoori Chicken

Aren't we all a bit scared of cooking Indian food? I think we are because it is the unknown factor that makes us shy away, the use of all these spices, it might just be too complicated. But the real deal is that when you have done this very first step and done some really simple food, then you see that it is not so difficult and you will get more and more adventurous.

So I thought let me start with something very, very simple, the Tandoori Chicken. Which basically means that the chicken is cooked in a Tandoor, a special clay oven in India. Most of us will buy a finished mix of Tandoori spices, mix it with yogurt and then marinate the chicken, I did exactly the same as here in Ghana it is rather difficult to find each ingredient needed

But now to the recipe, you see the result on top in the photo and it is really something nice to eat

6 kg Chicken whole
1 glass Tandoori Paste
500 G Plain Yogurt
600 G Basmati Rice
75 G Raisins
200 G Plain Yogurt
200 G Cucumber
Salt Pepper

Debone the breast and legs, making sure that there is only one bone left in the leg and the breast has still the wing bone on, cleaned
Marinate the chicken with Tandoori paste and yogurt
Roast the chicken in the oven, fairly hot but not that it burns
Cook the Basmati rice with raisins
Mix the yogurt with the finely shredded cucumber
Season to taste
Plate first the rice, then add the roast chicken

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Spiced Butternut Salad

A new menu has started and of course we have a salad on it. The menu is all about spices, from Saffron to Chili to Harissa, Curry and Tandoori and of course I will share the recipes here. Like the title gives it away, I like to start with the salad. I love salads and like to experiment a bit with them. This one here is a very simple salad, totally vegetarian and delicious. The Butternut is cut in small cubes which are then roasted with spices and honey. The sweet chili dressing is really simple with bought sweet chili sauce, honey and a good vinegar and to give the whole salad some more texture, I made deepfried potato spaghetti and topped the salad with it.

To cook with spices is one one side challenging but on the other side very rewarding. It gives so much flavour to the food and atthe same time one can cut down a bit on the salt, which makes everything healthier again. Even in salads one can play with spices. For Example instead of doing a simple chicken Caesar, try to season the chicken with Cajun Spices, I tell you, the salad will have a lovel lick to it and taste delicious

But now to the recipe

750 G Pumkin
10 G Cinnamon
30 G Honey
25 G Chili
Salt, Pepper
75 G Green Oak Lettuce
75 G Red Oak Lettuce
75 G Lollo Rosso Lettuce
75 G Lollo Biond Lettuce
100 G Rocket Lettuce
50 G Cilantro
100 G White Beans
75 G Sweet Chili Sauce
15 G Sesame Oil
25 G Cider Vinegar
50 G Sunflower Oil

Peel the pumpkin and cut in 1 cm cubes
Season with Cinnamon, Honey, Chili, Salt and Pepper
Roast in the oven till tender
Clean all the lettuce leaves
Mix all ingredients for the dressing
Plate the lettuce in a deep pasta bowl
Sprinkle with the roast pumpkin
Drizzle with the dredssing

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Amazing Mongolia

The Country Gourmet Traveler is writing about Mongolia? Wow, I wonder what it might be......OK, to be honest, I just want to spread the word about a really good organization where a friend of mine is part of. They are doing an amazing job helping and keeping the nature clean......and of course helping the people there.

This friend of mine has a love affair since many years as he goes there every year to run an ultra Marathon, yes you guessed it right, I do NOT run, so I think he does it for both of us and a couple more people. Anyway, I just wanted to copy a little letter he sent to me about what they do and how we can help, either with spreading the word or with donating....or both, but please read on

There are still a few spots left for our adventure run/visit to Mongolia (28 July - 04August, 2012) so please help spread the word.

The MS2S organizing team is very active working on the details of this year’s race. We are now organizing the local drivers to transport race participants from Moron and the Toilogt Camp, the local horsemen to look after us on the course on race day, the local and international doctors for the race and also contacting the local handcraft and dairy product suppliers.

As you may know, the race is just one of our activities, actually the race helps raise funds for our environmental activities and support for the local community. Here are some of our 2011 achievements:

A total of 22,300 Hovsgol National Park visitors were introduced to the program of garbage collection and recycling, and 9,600 garbage bags have been handed out to them, with a return rate of over 86%, which is very encouraging.
In addition, overall 368 truckloads of garbage have been transported out of the National Park from tourist camps and campsites.
The Litter Education Program in the Park continues, with awarness and education in the local schools located in the park, competition and awards to the cleanest nomadic household ( local Family Zaya won this time.....Congratulations! ) and the Ashihai Tourist Camp on the shore of the Hovsgol Lake was recognized and awarded as the cleanest tourist camp for 2011.

As a result of this, Hovsgol National Park is currently recognized the cleanest among the National Parks in Mongolia.

However not everything went smoothly this past year; our dear old Russian made garbage truck totally broke down and is beyond repair. We are now going to buy a used Korean made truck (more environmental friendly) and as such we are looking for sponsors and donations. We need about 12,000 USD and have to date raised 5,966USD so if you have an idea, or could contribute, let me know!

You can also donate either with a VISA or MasterCard on this link:
or via bank transfer - details can be found here:

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Lobster Thermidor

Oh yes, now we talk, the Lobster Thermidor, what a beautiful way to prepare Lobster. Maybe not for the purist who would say that the sauce is taking away the lovely lobster taste, but I like to disagree. Yes it is nice to boil a lobster just in the sea water and eating it directly with a rereshing glass of white wine and some baguette, I have to admit it is actually really even is lobster pure, cooked to perfection and simply tantalizing.

Still I like my Lobster in combination of something and have to say that I really love that. I have to admit as well that my Thermidor is most probably not tha original recipe... no it is defenitely not the original recipe but it is a yummy one and I think that is the most important part.

To explain in a couple of short sentences how I prepare it....very simple. I take a fresh lobster, cut in half, then quick on the grill, then a rich Hollandaise sauce enriched with goodies on top, quick under the salamender and voila, I got a perfectly cooked Lobster Thermidor.

Just a quick one about the killing of the lobster, which method is the best? Honestly, there is no perfect method but there are a few that are not that bad. Most probably number one is to put the lobster in the freezer for about half an hour, apparently that quietens him down completely and then the death is sudden when plunged into boiling water. The other one is to ut the head in half in a sudden movement......a little dangerous if not experienced and I am not sure if it works 100% as oftn one is not getting it right int he middle. Anyway, I heard that lobster are very sensitive creatures and I feel that if the lobster is calmed in the freezer for a while and there is plenty of boiling is ok.

Do you want the recipe now? OK, I will part with it and hope you enjoy it as much as I do

2 Each Lobster
30 G Shallots
50 Ml Cognac
200 Ml White Whine
½ Bunch Parsley, chopped
120 G Hollandaise Sauce
100 Ml Olive Oil
½ Each Garlic Glove
50 Ml Glace de Viande
100 Ml Fish Fumet
150 G Tomato Concassé
1 G Cayenne Pepper
Salt & Pepper

Kill the lobster in boiling water
Cut in half, take the meat out of the tail and scissors
Remove the corail for later
Fry the lobster shell in olive oil, add shallots, parsley and garlic
Flambé with cognac, then add white wine, fish fumet and glace de viande
Simmer for 15-20 min
Strain the stock and reduce to required thickness
Add the corail and tomato concassé
Season with cayenne, salt and pepper
Mix up with the Hollandaise Sauce, add some chopped parsley
Fry the lobster meat and add some of the sauce at the end
Plate the lobster and pour the rest of the sauce on top

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Spring Vegetable Salad

Another lovely salad is the spring vegetable salad. I give you a recipe but this does not mean that you really have to follow it, this is just a piece of art that is great to look at and very healthy to eat. It is gluten free and of course vegetarian. I just put it on the menu because the colors are so pretty and one can really play around a bit, so go wild and see what you can find on the farmers market, bring it home and put it in your salad.

I am finding more and more interesting goods here in Ghana, OK, still a lot is imported but I found some organically grown products here and i will write soon about them. I am very excited as I didn't expect all of these products
But now to the salad, it is something you can play with, just make it look really pretty

75 G Frisee lettuce
75 G Chicory lettuce
75 G Lollo rosso lettuce
75 G Radiccio lettuce
100 G Cocktail tomatoes
100 G cucumbers
100 G Snow Peas
100 G Fine green beans, French
100 G Baby Beetroot
100 G Baby Carrots
75 G Arugula lettuce
75 Ml Olive oil
25 Ml Sherry vinegar
Salt, Pepper

Clean all the lettuce
Blanch the vegetables
Cook the baby beetroot and peel carefully
Arrange the lettuce leaves nicely on a large plate
Top with baby vegetables
Mix olive oil and vinegar, season with salt and pepper
Drizzle over the salad

Monday, April 9, 2012

Nicoise Salad

And another salad recipe, again a total classic and great for summer. I love the combunation of freshly grilled tuna and the salad, I know often the Nicoise is made with canned tuna, but I prefer it fresh, just cooked medium rare. Of course you need to make sure you have a high quality tuna for that.

As the name says, this salad is actually from the Nice region of the Mediterranean France. It is beautiful there and the food is absolutely amazing, there are artichokes, olives, tasty tomatoes, aubergines and so much more that the list would be so long you could not believe it. Food is very important for the loacal people and the Nicoise is one of their great dishes, maybe the best known of them all.
So, then lets get to it, the third salad of this little mini series of beautiful and healthy salads

150 G French Beans
100 G Onions, red
100 G Tomatoes
150 G Potatoes
50 G Olives
5 Ea Eggs
50 G Frisee lettuce
50 G Endive lettuce
50 G Lollo Rosso lettuce
50 G Green Oak lettuce
100 Ml Olive Oil
50 Ml Sherry Vinegar
Salt Pepper

800 G Tuna, fresh

Boil the eggs till just hard, peel and cut in wedges
Boil the potatoes till soft, peel and dice
Dice the tomatoes
Clean the lettuche
Toss the vegetables and olives with the vinegar and olive oil
Season to taste
Grill the tuna steak rare
Plate the lettuce, then add the vegetables
At the end top with the tuna steak Drizzle with some more Olive oil and black pepper

Friday, April 6, 2012

Caprese Salad

Mmmmmm Caprese, this must be Italian and somehow it is, it is very Italian but it is by now one of the most favorite salads in any corner of the world. The fancy name of Caprese is actually just a simple Tomato and Mozzarella salad, but not just any Mozzarella, it has to be Buffalo Mozzarella.

Buffalo Mozzarella is a fresh cheese that is usually sold in bags swimming in its own water. The taste is absolutely delicious and cannot be compared with these "Mozzarella" Blocks one buys to grate and put on the Pizza. There are as well normal Mozarella balls made from cows milk, they are made exactly the same way like Buffalo Mozzarella, just instead of Buffalo milk one takes Cow's milk.

I see even here this salad is so popular, served not just with Arugla (Rocket) but as well some Endive and Radiccio Lettuce for the color. Of course there is basil and then we make a reduction of Balsamic vinegar and a bit honey that is then mixed up with some really nice Olive Oil

So enough talking, I am getting
already get hungry just thinking about it

10 Each Tomatoes
5 Balls Buffalo Mozzarella
1 Bunch Basil
1 Bunch Rocket lettuce
1 Head Endive lettuce
1 Head Radiccio lettuce
100 Ml Olive Oil
100 Ml Balsamic Vinegar
30 G Honey
Salt Pepper black

Slice the tomatoes Slice the buffalo Mozzarella
Clean the lettuce leaves
Place the lettuce prettily on a large plate
Layer one slice of tomato and then one slice of mozzarella always with a little basil between each slice
Reduce Balsamic vinegar with honey to half
Cool down completely
Drizzle salad with Olive Oil and Balsamic Add some ground pepper

Monday, April 2, 2012

Lyonnaise Salad

We are now having one special after the other, the lobster week is finished and was a great success, we sold a lot of dishes and people in town know that every time they come to us there is something new, something exciting. Next on my list is making some healthy salads

Unfortunately here in Ghana we don't get a lot of varity in lettuce, it is mostly just called salad and everybody has the same, so we got together with a food enthusiast who is importing gourmet delicacies from France to Ghana and he is nw bringing in a variety of salads that are nowhere else to be found. That makes my life easy and happy as with these beautiful products it is an absolute pleasure to work.

I like to start with a Lyonnais Salad which is basically loads of frisee lettuce with a poached egg, croutons and crispy bacon. Even the eggs are coming from France as the local eggs are not always up to our high hygiene standard and I am always extremely careful when it comes to eggs, especially if they are not cooked through.

So here is the recipe, enjoy it, it is really a great salad which is easy to prepare and extremely effective with your guests

150 g Frisee lettuce
100 g Oak leave lettuce
100 g Lollo verde lettuce
100 g Chicory lettuce (Endive)
50 g Italian Flat leaf Parsley

150 g Bread Croutons
8 ea Eggs
200 g Streaky Bacon

75 g Pommery Mustard
50 Ml Champagne Vinegar
25 g Honey
100 ml Olive oil

Clean all the lettuce and dress in a deep pasta bowl
Fry the bacon till crispy
Poach the eggs till soft in the center
Mix all ingredience for the dressing

Plate the soft warm poached egg in the salad and add the crispy bacon
Drizzle everything with the dressing
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