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.

Passion Fruit Yuzu Tart with Meringue

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

Last Saturday was the 70th birthday of my mother-in-law. This lady with her lovely nature is really one of the great treasures which I found on my journey discovering Europe. ;-)

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

Meanwhile, this great destination (Germany) has become my home, where I experience happiness and deep satisfaction in my heart. To all of this, my mother-in-law has surely contributed a great part. For her big birthday I wanted to bake a very special birthday cake to show my love and respect.

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

 

After several days of deliberation, I finally decided. It should be a summer tart with yuzu, a yummy popular fruit from East Asia which tastes similar like pomelo but a bit sauer. In this case, passion fruit fits incredibly well, considering both the taste and the color. To give the aesthetics a special kick, I decided to put a hood of sweet meringue on top of this  wonderful fruity tart.

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

It was the most elaborate cake I’ve ever made. I must confess that I was really curious if it could work out at all. ;-)

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

Fortunately, the result has become more than fantastic! The tart dough was wonderfully crispy. The filling nicely fruity and juicy. The meringue was enchantingly beautiful and sinfully sweet.

A special person deserves special food: No effort is too much. ;-)

Ingredients:

For the tart dough:

250g wheat flour
100g icing sugar
120g butter
1 egg (and optionally some water, to obtain a liquid volume of 60 ml)

Preparation: See the recipe peach iced tea tart.

For the filling:

2 tbsp yuzu honey (Korean or Japanese Yuzu tea, in asia shop)
Juice and grated peel of 2 lemons
3 passion fruits (pulp exempt)
250ml passion fruit nectar
85g butter
2 tbsp corn flour
3 egg yolks
1 egg
60g sugar

For the meringue:

4 egg whites (at room temperature)
200g sugar
2 tsp passion fruit powder (gourmet food shop)
2 tsp corn flour

Preparation:

  1. Prepare the pastry first (see the recipe of peach iced tea tart).
  2. Now the filling: distribute yuzu honey on the baked pastry. Boil the passion fruit nectar with the scraped pulp together in a pot for 10 minutes. Then run the juice through a sieve. Collect the juice (about 200ml).
  3. Mix the corn flour with lemon peel and place in a pot. Pour the lemon juice and the passion fruit juice and mix well. Bring to boil over medium heat, stir constantly, until the mixture thickens. As soon as it begins to bubble, take the pan off the heat, add butter, stir until the butter is melted completely.
  4. Beat the yolks, the egg and sugar together until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  5. Pour the lemon mixture carefully onto the egg mixture and mix well. Reheat everything over medium heat again. Stir constantly, until the mixture thickens. Set aside.
  6. Finally, the meringue: Preheat the oven to 220 degrees (grill). Beat egg whites in a large bowl  until slightly frothy. Then add half the sugar, continue beating. Add the lemon grass powder, corn flour and the rest of the sugar to it. Beat until the mixture is smooth and thick.
  7. Heat the filling shortly and then spread on the dough-ground. Give the egg whites mixture into a piping bag with a smooth nozzle. Put balls of different sizes on the lemon filling. Place the tart in the preheated oven and bake for about 5 minutes until the tip is golden brown.
  8. Serve the tart immediately. Otherwise the dough base and the meringue on the filling will become soaked.

Eggplant Dates Paste with Cardamom

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

What a hot summer!

I am absolutely not a person that fancies 30 degrees. As soon as the thermometer shows 30+ degrees, my inner biological clock automatically turns down a gear.

Then I move slower, I think slower, I even eat slower.

Not only I eat slower, but also much less. Above all, I cannot stand at all to have something warm on my plate.

Therefore, I prefer mainly cold dishes in summer. Just like some pieces of yummy bread with this wonderful eggplant dates paste with cardamom.

I like eggplants in combination with dates a lot. In the winter I love to prepare an eggplant stew with dates and cinnamon now and then. It tastes like an oriental dream, totally delicious!

So I got the idea, why not prepare it as a cold dish, such as a spread on a slice of delicious bread?

The result was a super delicious summer meal on our small balcony in the evening sunshine with a glass of chilled white wine … Hmm ….

Ce la vie… ;-)

Best of all, the kitchen stayed pretty cool, no sweating while cooking in front of the hot stove. So cool, so easy, so happy! :-D

By the way, don’t forget to add some crumbs of Feta-Cheese on top of the paste. This is FANTASTIC!

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

Ingredients:

For the date cardamom cream:

120g dried dates (soak overnight in water, keep the water for later)
30g dried cherries (soak overnight in the water)
5 pieces of cardamom
Pulp from 1 vanilla bean
2 tsp honey
100ml cherry juice

For the eggplant dates paste:

2 eggplants
2 tbsp homemade dates cardamom cream
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 tsp sea salt
olive oil
Salt and pepper

Preparation:

  1. For the date cardamom cream: crush the cardamom in a mortar. Boil the dates and cranberry in the soaking water over low heat, add the crushed cardamom and scraped vanilla bean. Simmer everything covered for about 10 minutes. Take out of the vanilla bean. Add the honey and cherry juice. Puree everything with a hand blender. Pour the paste in a cleaned glass and allow to cool in a refrigerator.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Wash the eggplants and dry with kitchen paper. Cut with a knife several times. Place the eggplant on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes. Then switch the oven to grill and grill the eggplant at 220 degrees for about further 15 minutes. In between turn the eggplants several times. Take the eggplants out of the oven, allow to cool briefly. Peel off the skin with a knife and drain the pulp in a colander, chill completely.
  3. In a mortar, crush the garlic with the sea salt. Add the eggplant, garlic, paprika and the date cardamom cream to a mixing bowl. Puree everything with a hand blender. Then pour 2 tablespoons of good olive oil and mix well. Add salt and pepper.

By the way, the Date cardamom cream also tastes great as jam for breakfast. :-)

Sweet Sour Fish with Garlic Sesame Crunch

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

Do you love garlic? I really do, very much. ;-) Yeah, I know, this intense smell … it could be uncomfortable for some people…

But a life without garlic? No way, not for me. How can a magician perform on stage without his magic hat? ;-)

On my stage of cooking, garlic is the indispensable magic hat for me. It can perfectly transform an ordinary dish into a unforgettable food experience.

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

In the Sichuan Cuisine, spring onions, ginger and garlic are the indispensable trio for a fish dish. In most cases “only” two or three garlic cloves are used, which are cut into slices and stir fried with the rest of the ingredients.

For this dish, however, you need A LOT OF these beautiful garlic cloves! Before you begin with the preparation of the garlic sesame crunch, make sure all windows and doors are open, hide all your clothes in the closets, cover your beautiful hair with a shower cap, warn your neighbors about the upcoming garlic bomb, put on the gas mask (if you have one at home. No, just a joke. It is not THAT terrible). Anyway, the conclusion: IT WILL SMELL! ;-)

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

But if you have tried the fish, you will immediately understand why I put up with all these circumstances. IT’S JUST SO DELICIOUS! What won’t a passionate foodie do to get a great meal? :-D

These wonderfully juicy fish fillets, this slightly sweet and mildly sour sauce with the crispy garlic and sesame mixture: an outstanding sensual taste experience with different textures and structures in the consistency!

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

Ingredients

2 fish fillets a 200g (for example halibut)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper

For the garlic sesame crunch:
200ml rapeseed oil for frying
10 cloves of garlic (pressed)
2 green chillies (finely chopped)
2 red chillies (finely chopped)
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
2 tablespoons almonds (chopped)
1 tablespoon rapeseed oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil

For the sweet sour sauce:
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon palm sugar
2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice (pressed, fresh)
3 tablespoons water
½ teaspoon of starch
2 clove of garlic (pressed)
1 handful of basil leaves (chopped)
½ teaspoon paprika
Salt and pepper

 Preparation:

  1. First of all, the garlic sesame crunch: Heat the oil in a pot to about 160 degrees. Add the pressed garlic to the oil. Once it starts to turn golden brown, take it out and drain it on kitchen paper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil to a pot,  add the peppers and fry briefly, then add the sesame, almonds, salt, chilies and sesame oil. Remove from the heat and set aside. At last mix with the fried garlic.
  2. Now the sauce: Boil the palm sugar in a pot with the water until the sugar is dissolved. Take off the heat. Then add garlic and basil. Let it infuse for a few minutes. Add the remaining ingredients into a bowl. Mix well, then pour into the pot, boil until getting a thick sauce. Remove from heat and keep warm.
  3. Clean and pat dry the fish. Marinate with the lemon juice for about 10 minutes. Pat dry the fish once again, salt and pepper.
  4. In a large skillet, heat olive oil briefly. Put the fish fillets in the pan and fry on both sides for about 4-5 minutes. Remove from the pan and place on a plate. First, pour the sweet sour sauce on the fish. Then, distribute the garlic sesame crunch on top, serve with jasmine rice.