Boeuf à la Bourguignonne

After a long time finally back in my own kitchen. This called for a celebration. We wanted something we love, soulfood so to say. Our choice fell on “Boeuf Bourguignonne” à la Julia Child.

As is the case with most stews there are different opinions about the best meat and best way how to prepare it. Personally, I prefer for my stews not too lean meat pieces, I like it a bit marbled thus the meat doesn`t dry out and we can have a tasty sauce.

Boeuf Bourguignonne1

The recipe (“Mastering the Art of French Cooking” by Julia Child, Page 290-292) is actually quite simple, good piece of meat, a few fresh ingredients, a bottle of red wine, and off you go.

I like to rinse the meat with cold water and dry it with paper towels before I start preparing the dish. Cut the meat into nice big at least 2 inch pieces. Then dry the meat cubes with paper towels and set aside.

Julia Child also uses a thick slice of bacon (about 6 oz/170g), which she boils for 10 minutes in water in beforehand.

Here I cheat a little;) I buy thin slices of our favourite ham (about 2 oz/50-60g), cut those into thin strips and add into the dish without doing anything further with it 😉

I sear the meat well in olive oil and take the meat out onto a plate. Then I sauté the onions and carrots in the same casserole.

Boeuf bourguignonne2

In her book “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” Julia Child adds meat and bacon to the vegetables, seasons with salt and pepper and adds 1 oz flour and stirs well before she adds the remaining ingredients.

Here I dare a little deviation. I add garlic, thyme, bay leaf and tomato paste to the vegetables first. Then I stir in the flour and finally add the meat and bacon. Slowly I pour in the red wine and the broth. I season with salt and pepper and heat up until the fluid starts simmering. Now I can transfer the covered casserole into the preheated oven and let the stew simmer slowly for three to four ours.

Boeuf bourguignonne3

Boeuf Bourguignonne4

This time I removed the stew after three hours. Shortly before the end I add good sautéed mushrooms. My French friend says that some people add mushrooms, but it also works without mushrooms. If you decide to use mushrooms, please make sure that your pan is large enough to fry the mushrooms nicely.

After more than three hours I stood in the kitchen like the editor of Julia Child in the film version “Julie and Julia”, enjoying the first bite “Boeuf Bourguignonne”. Yumm! Enjoy your beef stew with baguette or potatoes or pasta or rice and red wine :) Bon appetit! Afiyet olsun!

I like the sauce as it is, but you are free to skimm the fat off the sauce and reduce the sauce a little. To do so, please transfer first meat and vegetables into a bowl and keep warm. Then you can easily skim the fat off and boil the sauce until reduced a little and to taste. Before serving pour sauce over the meat and vegetables.


3 lbs/ about 1200 g stewing steak cut into 2 inch cubes, dried with paper towels
Olive oil

2 oz/ about 60 g thinly sliced bacon, cut in stripes

1 onion, cut into cubes
1 carrot, cut into cubes

2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1-2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 tablespoon plain flour

1 pint / 500 ml full-bodied red wine, I took a bordeaux
1 pint / 500 ml beef stock

Salt and freshly groud pepper

1/2 lbs/200 g mushrooms, sliced and sauteed in butter (optional)

  1. Heat olive oil in a ovenproof casserole and sear the meat pieces in batches from all sides. Take the meat onto a plate and set aside.Saute onion and carrot in the same casserole.
  2. Add garlic, thyme, bay leaf and tomato paste to the vegetables. Stir in the flour until well combined with the other ingredients. Now trasfer meat and bacon into the casserole and stir well.
  3. Slowly pour in the red wine and the broth. Season with salt and pepper and heat until simmering point is reached.
  4. Preheat oven to 325ºF/160ºC. Transfer the covered casserole into the preheated oven onto the wire rack and let the stew simmer for three to four hours. Please regulate heat so that the liquid is simmering very slowly.
  5. Add the sautéed mushrooms and let it simmer for a couple of minutes. Serve with baguette and red wine. Enjoy it! Afiyet olsun!
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„Light & Easy. Healthy recipes for Every Day“ by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

Bildschirmfoto 2015-06-29 um 17.41.53

„Light & Easy. Healthy recipes for Every Day“ by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, by Bloomsbury Publishing

***** A wonderful cookbook that belongs in every kitchen. It is full with many ideas and new delicious combinations and delightful compositions without dairy products and wheat. Simple food celebration. A must have!

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is a well-known British TV chef, award-winning food journalist and food activist who advocates for biological, regional, sustainable and animal friendly produced food. In his popular television program “River Cottage” he talks about life in the country, and tells stories about his experience in his orchard and vegetable garden.

The author started his cooking career as a sous chef in the “River Café” in London. After that he worked as a journalist. His television career began with “Cook on the Wild Side”. Hugh Fearnley-Whittinghall moved from London to his holiday property “River Cottage” at the border to Devon / Dorset in 1997. Since then, he has filmed a series of “River Cottage” programs. Here his comitment to organic gardening and animal welfare began. Meanwhile, “River Cottage” became more than just a place for the telecast.

The beautiful photos are from Simon Wheeler, who finds always a way to show the simple minimalist food in all its beauty. Additional elements of the visual design are the illustrations by Mariko Jesse. The composition of photos and illustrations form a harmonious and beautiful book.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall responds with this book to the needs of people who require for health reasons food without milk and wheat products. More and more people have problems with particularly wheat, but can still enjoy other cereals. Researches show that the wheat has changed significantly in recent decades. The author shows baking recipes with corn, buckwheat or rye. Instead of milk or dairy products the autor uses almond milk and cashew-cream.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstal has additionally provided the vegan food with a symbol. The title “Light & Easy” reveals the guideline for this cookbook. The meals are light, because of the lack of dairy products and wheat and they are easy to prepare.

This cookbook is divided into eleven chapters: Introduction, breakfast, baking, soup, salad, fish, meat, vegetables, fruits, sweets, ingredients. I want to emphasize especially the chapters breakfast and fruit: Here we can find very simple and light meals that require little time, thus everyone can find something light and easy for breakfast. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall simply shows simple food with a twist like grapefruit with pepper, berry fruit with spice, banana with lime, strawberries with almonds, polenta with honey, various smoothies like Pina Colada smoothie, berry smoothie, but also pumpkin pancakes, scrambled eggs with herring, masala omelette, raspberry lime-date salad, pineapple with brown sugar and allspice, apple with basil and pine nuts, and many more.

Each chapter is introduced by a text. The recipes are built in classic way, first the ingredients list then the preparation steps. The explanations are clear and easy to understand. You will also find variations just below the preparation steps. Almost all recipes are illustrated with a full-page photo.

In the chapter soups, you will find many easy recipes for cold fresh and fruity soups such as peas and spinach soup, carrot and apple soup, beetroot soup, Waldorf soup, gooseberry gazpacho, Nectarine soup with raspberries or very green soup. You will also find hot soups in that chapter. The author gives the dishes a special touch just by using some spices or herbs such as “pears and blueberries with thyme and dates with cracked pepper” or “quinoa gooseberry tabbouleh with fresh mint leaves, allspice and cinnamon” or “roasted pumpkin with garlic, chicory, blackberry and thyme “. In this book, one is forced to his happiness. Although the compositions sometimes sound strange, the result is surprisingly good.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall takes the best ideas from the kitchens of the world, especially the Mediterranean region and combines them with the preferences of British and creates a new recipe. His compositions are brave and full of surprises. Here are some recipe examples: Salad with braised parsnips and apples, Fischorizo ​​with broad beans, pigeon with cabbage and star anise, lamb with green beans and mint, chicken with lentils and rosemary, Jerusalem artichoke puree with capers and olive pesto, beetroot burger, new potatoes braised with lettuce, roasted carrots with sesame seeds, prunes and honey star anise granita, peach with crumble, fruit cake with cider, and many more.

After the chapters for the recipes we find a detailed glossary of ingredients used. The baking recipes without gluten are seperately listed. At last we find the alphabetical recipe register.

Of course I’ve tried a few recipes and I am sure many will follow.

Bananen-Limone“Banana with Lime”: We started with “banana with lime”. This is a a delightful way to enjoy bananas. So fresh and good.





“Trout with Chermoula”: With fresh fish from the market, I cooked the “Trout with Chermoula”. It is so simple and so delicious, that we had it already several times.

Würzige Hühnerleber auf Gurke



“Chicken Liver on Cucumber”: This spicy “Chicken liver on cucumber” is a delicious light dinner and thanks to the cucumber it tastes fresh and light.




“Coconut Macaroons”: For tea I baked some “coconut macaroons”. My first fluffy coconut macaroons. A Pleasure! Next time I will try them with chocolate topping.



Conclusion: ***** A wonderful cookbook that belongs in every kitchen. It is full with many ideas and new delicious combinations and delightful compositions without dairy products and wheat. Simple food celebration. A must have!

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Cardamom-Panna Cotta with Strawberry-Prosecco-Sorbet


For a long time I tried to find a substitute for gelatin and finally I found it in agar-agar powder. It is tasteless and binds like gelatin. The only difficulty is that you have to boil and cook it for at least 2 minutes, because it starts gelling shortly afterwards. You put all ingredients and the agar-agar into a large sauce pan and bring all to a boil stirring constantly. Then you reduce the heat and keep cooking still stirring all the time. After 10 minutes in total you are released :) pour the milk into prepared dessert moulds, bowls or one bigger form. I wash the bowls just with cold water and don’t dry them. This way the remaining drops of water are enough to get the cold Panna Cotta out onto the dessert plates. This time I used cardamom to scent the Panna Cotta and serve it with strawberry-prosecco-sorbet. Delicious! Enjoy it! Afiyet olsun!

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Taste of Turkey: Kofta-Event — Köfte Salatası

Insane in the kitchen and Kleine Chaosküche are on a culinary journey through Turkey and this month theme is “Kofta”. I had to post for this event.

Taste of Turkey

As soon as the weather is suitable everyone in Turkey is crazy for barbecuing and “Kofta” (Turkish meatballs) are the easiest way to enjoy barbecue outside in the garden with family and friends.

Today I want to show you a basic and traditional recipe. You just need ground meat, onions, chili powder, salt and pepper. No eggs and no breadcrumbs, but the ground meat must be fresh otherwise the meatballs can break easily.


I love to serve the meatballs with lots of fresh chopped herbs, dried tomatoes, lemon slices and sumach. My family prefers aditional aromatised butter and for more heat, you can have some chili flakes. Add a courgette salad with yogurt as a side dish and bread and ready is your fresh and delightful meal. Enjoy it! Afiyet olsun!

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Review: „Zu Gast in MAROKKO. Verführerische Rezepte einer kulinarischen Reise.“ von Rob&Sophia Palmer, Callwey Verlag 2015

>“Zu Gast in Marokko: Verführerische Rezepte einer kulinarischen Reise” von Rob&Sophia Palmer, Callwey Verlag 2015Bucheinband

***** This woderful book about the colours and food of Morocco is a pleasure to read. With beautiful stunning photos and many little stories about their experiences the authors take us on a journey into the unknown Morocco and thus we may discover with them, experience new tastes, learn about the history and the people and enjoy the delicious food. An absolute must for anyone who is interested in Morocco and its very varied cuisine.

This book is also published in Autralia: “Colours of Maroc” by Rob and Sophia Palmer, published by Murdoch Books 2013.

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Harissa versus Biber Salçası

I discovered Yotam Ottolenghi in England. I love his books, because they are full of new ideas and combinations. His books are a source of inspiration for me. Too bad I can not watch his culinary travel programs on Canal D in England, but I found them on Youtube :) I made a pot of tea and sat in front of my computer and watched his “culinary trip to Tunisia”. Stunning views and countless varieties of fish dishes. Yotam Ottolenghi got a kind of “Ceviche” served by Pepe and fish soup and of course the famous “Brik”. I just wanted to pack my suitcase and travel there immediately.

Yotam Ottolenghi also mentioned the world famous Tunisian paste “Harissa” and was about to buy a jar of Harissa paste. The companion of Yotam Ottolenghi saved him from purchasing a jar and promissed to show him their homemade harissa.


The two Tunisian sisters showed Yotam Ottoglenghi their family recipe. I was very curious and quickly took a pen and a pad. I was ready to take notes. I listened and couldn’t believe my ears and eyes; they made a chili paste similar to our “Biber salçası” from Turkey.

The lady from Tunisia had soaked dried chili peppers, which they turned through a meat grinder to get a fine paste. Then they salted the paste and their harissa was ready to use!

My aunts make chili paste in the following way: The fresh red peppers that are grown especifically for this paste in eastern Anatolia, are sliced, cored and dried in the sun. Then the peppers are pressed through a meat grinder, best two times to get a fine paste. The chili paste thus obtained is again placed in the sun and dried a few days in shallow plates. Then, the lightly dried paste is boiled with salt (to make it last even longer) and filled into sterilized jars.

The main difference seems to be that the Tunisian “Harissa” paste is prepared from dried chili peppers and the Turkish “Biber Salçası” from fresh red peppers, but which are dried previously 😉

Yotam Ottolenghi does not fail to tell us that everyone in Tunisia has its own recipe for “Harissa”. Sometimes the people add spices such as cumin and coriander to their harissa paste. I tried the recipe of the Tunisian sisters and made harissa with dried peppers. It is challenging to get a fine paste using a blender, thus I add a little olive oil. I prefer to season the dish with cumin and coriander and not my really spicy harissa 😉

In Turkey, there are different variations too. Some mix fresh and dried chillies for their chili paste. Others stir in further herbs and spices and add olive oil and enjoy this paste as a spread on bread. As usual, the imagination has no limits. And the world is culinary closer than some might think. Enjoy it! Afiyet olsun!

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Pastry with Tahini — Tahınlı Çörek

Happy Birthday dear Bushcook! We wish you all the best for the future and hope to read more culinary reports on your food blog.

I made some Turkish pastry for your birthday event “Souvenirs in der Kueche

4. Geburtstags-Blog-Event - Souvenirs in der Küche

Everytime when I visit my family in Turkey I bring special ingredients back home. This time I had tahini with roasted sesame seeds and date syrup. Delicious!


I love this dark nutty tahini and the date syrup is just heavenly.
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Turkish Ravioli with Kadaifi Pastry — Kadayıflı Mantı

In one case, the Turks are very similar to Italian or French: They prepare their food the same way as always. Tradition in the preparation is very important, the main thing is, it tastes good and makes everybody happy. Their aim is to make everyone feel good. The food is always at the center of the common social life, little spice compositions may change here and there, but the food should taste like always.

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Lemon Tarte – Limonlu Tart

A few weeks ago my friend Claudia surprised me with Meyer lemons. I had read a lot about this wonderful fruits but I couldn’t get them at our small farmers market. You can imagine how happy I was to finally get the chance to try out these fruits. :) :) :) Thank you Claudia!


Meyer lemons look like small oranges in the shape of lemons and they taste of lemon and orange in one fruit. The peel is very thin and soft but extremly aromatic. When I started to take off the zest, the kitchen was filled with an orange-lemon cloud. Wonderful! There I decided to take out a recipe from my collection, which was resting there for the last 20 years. I wanted to use the zest and the juice of this wonderful fruits for the pastry as well as for the filling.


The tarte is juicy and creamy at the same time. In Germany I use only “sweet creme butter” for the filling. In English speaking world you can use either clotted cream or double cream. The pastry is similar to shortbread dough with lemon aroma. Continue reading

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Pulled Lamb – Tandır/Fırın Kebab

The poet Celaleddin Rumi left his mark in Konya. In Turkey the people named him Mevlana – it could be translated as “our priest”. The former monastry is now a museum near a huge mosque. The whirling derwish are known all over the world.


The museum is on a little “island” surrounded by busy roads, but the noise seems to be shy to go inside and glides just along the walls and away into nowhere. Within the monastry walls you will find a beautiful rose garden and a few fountains. In the museum there are the graves of high decorated Sufis. The graves are covered with lovely ornamented fabrics. Continue reading

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