Chanterelles Risotto and Tempura Zucchini Blossoms

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

It looks like summer is turning its back on us. Last weekend I was at the Open Air Cinema in Ludwigsburg. I had imagined a very romantic warm summer night with a starry sky and a gentle summer breeze.

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

And, what happened? It rained cats and dogs for hours before the movie began! It was really freezing cold! Below 10 degrees in summer?! We sat there in thick pullovers and windproof jackets, covered from top to bottom with a blanket! Quite different from my imagination about the summer night! Though, it was kind of totally romantic. We had a starry night! :-D

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

After a few days of rain, the average temperature dropped to slightly below 20 degrees. As I saw the beautiful shining chanterelles at the farmers’ market, I knew right away that autumn was officially announced. ;-)

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

On one hand, I am mourning a little bit about the warm summer days with lovely sunshine, a big variety of vegetables, and the colorful berries being gone. On the other hand, I am also looking forward to the golden chanterelles, gorgeous pumpkins, sweet grapes and of course the new wine! :-D

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

For waving my slightly melancholic “Good-Bye” to the wonderful summer and at the same time giving a welcoming “Hello” to the upcoming autumn, I prepared a meal with two typical symbols of these two seasons: the zucchini flowers for the summer, and the chanterelles for the autumn.

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

Bye-Bye, summer! Welcome, autumn!!!

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

 

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

Are you also looking forward to the golden autumn now? ;-)

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

 

Ingredients (2 servings):

For the risotto:
1 onion
1 clove of garlic
200g risotto rice
200g chanterelles (clean and cut into small pieces)
50g dried mixed mushrooms
1 bunch flat-leaf parsley (chopped)
1 shot of white wine in good quality
1L beef stock (vegetable stock for vegetarians)
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Freshly grated parmesan and pecorino cheese

For the tempura zucchini blossoms:

8 zucchini blossoms (washed and drain)
3 tbsp tempura flour (Asia shop)
1 tablespoon extra tempura flour
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
5 tablespoons ice cold water
Salt and pepper
Peanut oil for frying

Preparation:

  1. Risotto: Stak the mushrooms in warm water for about 30 minutes, then drain (save the soaking water for later). Cook the chicken broth and keep it hot on the stove. Pour the soaking water into the chicen broth. Cut onion into tiny cubes and squeeze the garlic clove. Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat.  Sauté  the onion and garlic until they are turning glazed.
  2. Add the risotto rice and mix well until all rice grains have absorbed the oil. Pour the wine into the rice and stir until the wine is completely absorbed. Add the soaked mushrooms, stir fry shortly. Add one big scoop of hot stock and stir constantly until the fluid is completely absorbed. Add the broth gradually until the rice grains are soft outside and still al dente in the core. Stier in the freshly grated parmesan and pecorino. Remove the risotto from heat and set aside with lid.
  3. Tempura zucchini blossoms: bread the flowers with the extra tempura flour a little, mix rest of the flour with the water. Bread the zucchini flowers with it. Add oil generously into a sauce pan and heat to 180 degrees. Add the zucchini flowers and fry till golden brown, then drain on kitchen paper.
  4. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a pan, add the chanterelles and parsley, fry briefly, add salt and pepper, remove from the pan. Mix the half of chanterelles with the risotto. Garnish the risotto with the rest of chanterelles. Serve with the tempura zucchini blossoms and extra portion of freshly grated cheese.

 

Dim Sum: filled with Soup 灌湯包

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

In one of my previous articles I have already introduced my favorite dim sum – Bao. Today I have a special version of this great dim sum for you.

This version of Bao is also stuffed with a very tasty meat filling like the classic ones. But it has even more! When you bite on it, a fantastic tasting chicken soup will flow from the “bag” right into your mouth. Awesome, isn’t it? :-D

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

In China dim sum comes always with an additional soup or a cup of tea. This soup filled dim sum thus combines both dishes in one! I love this idea! :-D

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

Especially it is even easier to prepare than the classical Bao. Namely, we don’t need the tricky yeast dough for this recipe!

In Shanghai there is a famous tea house which is well known for its Bao filled with soup. It is always crowded in the tea house. Even at the take away counter there is an endless queue all the time.

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

In the traditional way of preparation for this dim sum people cook the pig skin in water so long  until a thick gelatinous mass is produced. This will be added to the filling later on. From the heat while steaming this solid mass, it will turn into liquid again.  This is how you get the soup in the dim sum. Really great idea!

 

 

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

For my version I decided for a homemade chicken soup with gelatin sheets. On one hand, the chicken soup taste adds a great aroma to the filling, on the other hand, this version has got significantly less calories. ;-)

But if you have no time to cook your own chicken soup yourself, no problem. Just take a good chicken stock from the jar.

 

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

Ingredients and preparation (about 25 pieces):

For the filling:
250g gelled chicken soup (out of homemade chicken soup or chicken stock in the jar)
made of 400ml hot chicken soup and 6 gelatin leaves: Soak the gelatin leaves in cold water for about 5 min, squeeze out gently, add to the hot chicken soup and allow to dissolve. Chill in the refrigerator overnight.

200g minced meat from the butcher
½ tsp salt
4 tablespoons water
1 egg
50g prawns without shell

Mix the minced meat with the salt and water very well (add spoon after spoon). Add the egg and mix well, too. Cut the shrimps in small cubes and also blend the gelled chicken soup in.

2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tsp rice wine
½ tsp salt
½ teaspoon freshly grated ginger
Freshly ground pepper

Add the spices and sauce to the minced meat and shrimp mixture and mix well. Season with salt and pepper. For tasting, microwave a small portion of the filling for about 30 sec. so you can judge whether the filling is sufficiently seasoned.

For the dough:
150g flour type 405
50g boiling water
50g cold water

  1. Sieve the flour in the bowl of the food processor, distribute the boiling water on the flour.  Stir at low speed until you get tiny loose pieces of dough. Then pour the cold water to it. Keep stirring until you get a sticky dough chunk. Now take the dough out of the bowl and knead briefly and carefully with hand on a floured work surface. Then cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rest for about 30 minutes.
  2. Roll the dough in a cylinder shaped form and cut into small pieces (ca. 1.5cm). Flatten each dough piece with your palm and roll out with a rolling pin to a thin round sheet (about 6 cm in diameter). Spread the filling on the round sheets. Pull up the edge of the dough sheet with your index finger and the thumb of the right hand, press the dough edge together until the dumpling is completely closed (important: it must be completely closed, otherwise the dim sum will loose its soup during steaming).
  3. Cut baking paper into small round pieces just the size of the Bao and put them under the Bao, place them into a bamboo steaming basket or steaming pot.
  4. Bring water to a boil in a wok. Place the bamboo steaming bowl on it, steam for 8-10 min.

Caution: Hot Soup at the first bite. ;-)

Genmaicha Mousse au Chocolate Tart 玄米茶杏撻

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

Genmaicha??? I guess you were quite curious about what this could be when you were clicking on this post. ;-)

At least one thing I can tell you: This click has definitely been paid off! Because, today you’ll get to know a fabulous green tea. :-D

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

Although I appreciate the wonderful smell of coffee very much, I am not a coffee drinker at all, but I really love tea. I like to drink European tea such as fruit tea and herbs tea. However, green tea, jasmine tea, oolong tea, white tea and co. are clearly my favorites.

During my trip to Japan last year, I discovered the wonderful genmaicha for me. Since then this tea has taken first place in my ranking list of the best teas.

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

Now back to the answer for your question: Genmaicha is a species of green tea with roasted rice grains. According to a Japanese legend, the origin of this tea can be traced back to a Kyoto tea merchant who lived a long time ago. Apparently he should have invented this tea by accident (like almost all the most delicious foods all over the world): some crumbles of rice cakes dropped in his tea, he kept drinking the tea without taking those crumbles out of tea and loved the additional flavor of the baked rice cakes with the tea taste. Then he started to mix his green tea with roasted rice grains and sold this tea as a new assortment. It was a best seller!

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

Whether this story is true, I can not judge. I assume that at least Chinese and Koreans will strongly disagree, for these two countries also have similar versions of green tea with roasted rice. The very close cultural and traditional ties between these three countries doesn’t really make everything easy.

But for me, it’s really not important who invented this great tea. The main thing is that it has been invented and I can fully enjoy it today! ;-)

Comparing to the other green teas, Genmaicha is much milder. The bitter taste of green tea is softened a lot by the roasting flavor of the rice grains.

 

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

Pouring the hot water (80 degrees) onto the tea makes a seductive fragrance of roasted rice grains rise into your nose. It is absolutely a treat of multiple senses! Therefore using a teapot with a large opening is necessarily to illustrate this great fragrance experience.

Among the different genmaichas from different regions, I like the Japanese the most. Because the clever Japanese have mixed their unique lovely Macha powder in their genmaicha. This ground green tea powder of excellent quality adds a delighting green color to the Japanese genmaicha. When it comes to aesthetics, the Japanese are one of the best!

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

So, long story short: For my new experiment with tarts, this time I have laid my eyes on the genmaicha. If you have already followed my posts of last summer, then you must have already read about my Peach Ice Tea Tart. Today I have a sister version for you: Apricot-Genmaicha Tart!

If you feel like you want more sweets with green tea, check the Macha Mousse au Chocolate. Enjoy the great summer! :-)

Ingredients:

For the dough:
250g wheat flour
100g icing sugar
100g butter
1 egg

For the topping:
200g white chocolate
400g cream
3 egg yolks
5 TL Genmaicha (Asia Shop)

Preparation:

  1. For the dough: check the recipe of peach iced tea tart.
  2. For the Genmaicha cream: boil 150g cream in a saucepan, turn off the heat, add Genmaicha to the cream. Let the tea steep for about 10 minutes. Sieve the tea cream mixture, remove the tea leaves and rice grains. Then melt the chocolate while stirring constantly. Chill the chocolate cream. Add the rest of the cream in a tall mixing bowl and beat until stiff. Beat the egg yolks in a bowl until fluffy. Stir in the chocolate cream at first, then fold in the whipped cream gently.
  3. Spread the mousse on the chilled tart lay split apricots on top. Chill the tart in the refrigerator overnight.
  4. Serve with a cup of fresh brewed genmaicha. Yummy …

Green Peas Coconut Soup

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

There are actually people who do not like peas (can you imagine it?), such as my husband. To say it correctly: he DIDN’T like peas at all. Once he hears the word “pea”, his face looks like a crying clown. ;-)

Yet I am very proud that I was able to change his strong antipathy against this lovely vegetable. :-)

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

How did I do it? Well, it was not that hard… Just one secret tip: Take the fresh peas! July is the peak season for fresh peas per se. This is almost all you need. The fresh peas taste a thousand times better than the frozen ones.

Then you will only need a few fresh herbs such as mint, or maybe something more exotic, such as lemongrass and kaffir leaf. Then nothing stands in the way that everyone will love these lush green peas! :-D

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

I always enjoy it a lot to peel the thick green balls out of their green coats. Sometimes they try to escape my fingers and dance happily through my living room, where I love to do this kind of work at our dining table while listening to music.

I can almost hear their naughty laugh while they are rolling under the table, hiding themselves in the corners. Yes, I can tell you, peas are absolutely a vegetable with a cheerful nature. ;-)

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

For this soup I made up a Thai-inspired version. The sweet taste of the peas, fruity coconut milk, a few mint leaves, citron-scented lemon grass and kaffir leaves, and then THE peak for this exciting taste symphony: green chili, which gives this lovely soup a bite and a distinctive character.

My husband was blown away! :-)

Extra tip: For hot summer days, this soup tastes chilled super refreshing and sensationally delicious!

Bon appetit!

Ingredients (4 servings as starter):

1kg fresh peas in shell
Several fresh mint leaves
1 onion
1 clove of garlic
2 kaffir leaves
1 lemon grass
1 green chili pepper (I took the Jalapeño)
200ml coconut milk
½ tsp brown sugar
2 tbsp crème fraîche
1 tablespoon canola oil
Salt and pepper

Preparation:

Cook the peas in boiling salted water for about 3 minutes, chill peas with cold water and drain. Save the cooking water for later. Slice the onion and the garlic, cut lemon grass (remove the outer leaves) in shorter pieces, cut chilli into small rings.

Add canola oil in a saucepan and heat briefly. Add the chopped ingredients to fry, then the sugar, let it caramelise shortly. Pour in the coconut milk and bring to a boil.

Add the peas with mint, kaffir leaves and 300ml of the cooking water into the pot. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove the leaves and lemon grass. Purée the peas. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with a blob of crème fraîche on the soup.

Wok Zucchini with Grapefruit Ginger Sauce

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

Do you like the combination of fruits and vegetables? Presenting this color gorgeousness on one plate definitely means a lot of fun for me. It is like playing a game with exciting colors and flavors.

Yellow zucchini, pink grapefruit, golden oranges … with a fruity and slightly spicy grapefruit-ginger sauce. If this does not give you a kick for a good mood, …  ;-)

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

The slightly sweet or sour taste of citrus gives the relatively neutral-tasting zucchini a wonderful summery flavor.

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

Ingredients (2 servings):

1 yellow zucchini (cut into sticks)
1 onion (cut into thin strips)
2 cloves of garlic (cut into thin slices)
1/2 Thai chili (cored and cut into small pieces)
Juice of 1 grapefruit and 1 orange
Pulp of 1/2 grapefruit and 1/2 orange (remove the white skin and cut into slices)
1 piece of ginger (freshly grated)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper

Preparation:

  1. Boil the juice with the grated ginger in a sauce pan over medium heat and let stand for about 10 minutes. Strain the juice through a sieve. Reheat the fluid in the pot. Cook until getting a thick sauce.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a wok briefly. Add the sliced ​​onion, chili and garlic, fry briefly. Add the zucchini and stir-fry 3-4 minutes. Pour the pulp of citrus into the wok and swirl gently. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Serve the zucchini with the grapefruit and ginger sauce on a large plate. This fits very well with jasmine rice.