Saturday, May 24, 2008

What did you eat today?

My lunch today was something similar to risotto, but only by looks. I used barley instead and I didn't add cheese.
The barley had to soak in water over night bevor cooking. I fried some onions, added brown champignons and let it simmer for some time. At the same time I cooked the barley, washed it and later added it to the vegetables. I put some salt there, spices: thyme and rosemary. Very nice!

It was quick and tasty :)

Monday, May 19, 2008

Halászlé - Hungarian Fish Soup

Tonights dinner was Halászlé, very spicy fish soup from Hungary. There are dozens of variaties, and I kind of invented my own. I didn't use fish stock, yet, maybe I should try, as it will intensify the fishy tast. I tried it plain (only fish and peppers), with beans and Knöpfle (tiny dumplings, I have no idea how you call them in English), only with beans - and all were good! Today it was with potatoes. I don't use fresh fish, but I should. And I don't take a variety of fish - just one. And I buy the cheapest one, as I don't want to pay too much. Still, this soup is great :)
here you go:

ingredients (for probably 2-3 people)
2 middle sized potatoes
300 g fish (I had aslaska pollack, still frozen)
1 big onion
2 hungarian wax/banana peppers (yellow pepper. in German "Spitzpaprika", search for pictures)
2-3 tomatoes or even tomato juice or concentrate
oil 2-3 table spoons hot red paprika (powder)
salt, pepper, bouillon cube/fish stock
1/2-1 table spoon hot red paprika paste (Hungarian style. Sambal Oelek is similar, but tastes a little different...)
sour cream (here they call it teiföl, it has 12% fat)
1 hot hungarian wax/banana pepper (greeeeeeeen and HOT. But no pepperoni)

serve with fresh white bread

how to
Fry the chopped onions in some oil, not too hot though.
when turning a little brown, take from the fire, add the paprika, stir well. Be careful, it can easily burn.
Add water (maybe about one litre? I didn't measure), put on fire again.
Add the small chopped potatoes and the chopped tomatoes. Add salt/pepper/bouillon cubes, as much as you like. Bring to a boil and cook for about 5 minutes.
Then add the fish and the yellow peppers. If you have, add some tomatoe juice or something. Just as much as you like tomatoe ;)
If you want, add the hot paste, too. Cook on low heat for about 10 minutes.

Serve with some sour cream, some hot pepper (if you like) and fresh, white bread.

I simply love this soup.

Classification of Spices

What actually falls into the catecory of spice? Are herbs spices? And how do seasonings fit in there?
I have just learnt that the German law does not distinguish between spices and herbs, they are in the same category.

Definition: Spices and herbs are parts of plant, that are, due to their natural ingredients, determined to be taste- and smell imparting ingredients for food.
Those can be flowers, fruits, buds, seeds, barks/peels, roots, bulbs or only parts of these, mostly dried.
Herbs are fresh or dried leaves, flowers, scions or parts of them.

Well, and then there are spice-mixtures, spice-salts, seasonings and lots more... that is so much! Reading about those spices I miss my kitchen... there are some Indian spices waiting for me, a friend brought them from India a couple of months ago, but I had to leave for Hungary... what a pity! Well, I keep waiting and hope they are good :)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Spicy Beginning

As from this day I want to start a cooking blog, I think it will be fun. Having read many different ones before I think I really like this. So I want to do something like those cool people out there, too :)
I have had some blogs before, and even now I also have a flickr-account, ipernity, facebook, studivz and mixi as well as a the project "korealove" ... to name the most popular ones :) Hopefully I will manage to update this one regulary. Which actually should be easy, as I love cooking :)