Posts tagged januaryfeature
June | Puberty
 
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Changes: From Sweet to Bitter, from Bitter to Sweet.

Kohlrabi Rose, garlic cream cheese, rose honey, licorice, lavender honey and angostura drops

For 1 person

Ingredients:

Kohlrabi fresh cheese salad

1 kohlrabi

4 teaspoons cream cheese

1 clove of garlic

salt

Maldon salt

For the lavender honey

1 teaspoon lavender

4 teaspoons honey

For the rose water

3 tablespoons dried roses

1 cup of water

1 teaspoon honey

For the liquorice drops

5g liquorice

1 tablespoon water

A few drops of Angostura bitter

Preparation

Lavender honey

Pour the honey into the pot and place over medium heat.

Pour the lavender into the pot and bring the honey to the boil.

Cook the honey for about 5 minutes so that the lavender can pass through, then remove from the heat.

Pour the honey through a sieve into a heat-resistant container. Let the honey cool to room temperature and put in the fridge.

Rose water honey

Pour a cup of water into a saucepan.

Put the dried rose petals in a pot.

Cover and bring to the boil.

Reduce the temperature to a lower level so that the water can still simmer.

Allow to boil until the colour of the rose petals has faded.

Pour the rose water through a sieve into a container.

Boil some rose water with 1 teaspoon of honey in a pot until the water has evaporated. Store.

Liquorice syrup

Heat the liquorice in 1 tablespoon of water until it dissolves.

Kohlrabi - Cream cheese salad

Cut the kohlrabi into thin slices.

Mix the cream cheese with some garlic. Salt to taste.

Place a 5-6 cm mousse-ring in the middle of a plate.

Fill the mousse-ring with the cream (a 1 cm thick layer should suffice). Remove the cake ring.

Make a small dent in the middle of the cream. Pour about 1 teaspoon of rose water honey in the dent.

Arrange thin slices of kohlrabi on the cream cheese and form into a half closed rose. Sprinkle some Maldon salt over the rose.

Take a plastic syringe with the cold lavender honey (will be a little rubbery) and put a few drops on the plate.

Take another plastic syringe with the liquorice syrup and put a few drops on the plate.

Put a few drops of Angostura Bitter on the plate.

Garnish with a sprig of lavender.

 
May | Childhood

That Recipe on my Mind | The Cycle of Life Calendar 19

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Growing and learning

Iberico Ham , seasonal vegetables, fruits and herbs.

For 3-4 persons 
1 bunch of small white and green asparagus, washed and ends trimmed 
3-4 thin slices of iberic ham.
1 bunch of blueberries
1 bunch wild garlic 
1 small/baby carrot
1 bunch of wild eatable herbs 
Some strawberries
Some small pieces of cauliflower.
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil.
Juice of half a lemon.
1 teaspoon honey
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.



Pour olive oil into large bowl. Whisk in oil, lemon and honey. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. Add the wild berries, eatable herbs and the pieces of cauliflower. Mix well with dressing and reserve. 

Wash wild garlic leaves thoroughly.
Add wild garlic leaves and a table spoon of olive oil (The pesto should not be to thin), and pound and grind against the walls of a mortar. Continue until all basil leaves have been crushed to fine bits. It should have the consistency of a thick paste.

Take a spoon of the wild garlic pesto and put it on the plate. Arrange some asparagus around the slice of iberico ham. Add the wild herb salad with the blueberries and cauliflower. Serve.

 
April | Infancy

That Recipe on my Mind | The Cycle of Life Calendar 19

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First steps into the world.


Watercress soup. Wild herbs and flowers salad with quail egg, baby carrot and radish cheese ball.

Servings: 4


Watercress soup


Ingredients

1 large onion, chopped

1 large bunch watercress, washed and roughly chopped

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup olive oil

3 cups chicken or vegetable stock

2 1/2 cups milk


How to prepare:

In a large pan heat the olive oil. Add onions and cook until translucent. Add watercress. When watercress is wilted add flour and mix well.

Add chicken (or vegetable) stock. Add milk and simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring constantly.

Turn off the heat and let it cool a little. Purée the soup with a blender.

Serve.


Wild herbs and flowers salad with quail egg, baby carrot and radish cheese ball.


Ingredients:

1 handfull of wild herbs and flowers (dandelion, nettles, violets, wild garlic leaves, cowslip…)

2 tbsp. apple vinegar

2 tbsp. olive oil

4 baby carrots

1 tbsp butter

1 tbsp. honey

4 quail eggs

2 radish

2 tbsp cream cheese

1 tbsp salt

1 tbsp sugar


How to prepare:

Salad:

Wash herbs and flowers, wrap in a dishtowel.

In the salad bowl, mix the vinegar, add salt and honey and mix until both have dissolved.

Add the wild herbs to the vinegar mix in the bowl and mix well with the olive oil.


Eggs:

Fill a small saucepan with water and bring it to the boil.

Carefully lower the eggs into the boiling water and cover the pan.

Simmer for a minute.

Remove from heat and leave to stand for a minute.

Drain in cold water until they are cool enough to carefully shell.


Carrot:

Place already trimmed baby carrots in a pan with butter, sugar, and salt. Bring water to a boil, cover pan, and reduce heat to simmer. Cook carrots 7 or 8 minutes or until tender.


Cheese balls:

Combine cream cheese and fine chopped radish in a bowl and form balls with a spoon.

 
March | Birth

That Recipe on my Mind | The Cycle of Life Calendar 19

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An other kind of Oyakodon

Chicken-Almond milk soup. Egg almond souffle on rice crackers, simmered chicken, brown rice and chives.

Chicken stock-almond milk soup

Ingredients:

1 cups raw almonds, soaked overnight

4 cups of water

1 cup of chicken stock

pinch of salt

How to prepare:

After the almonds have soaked overnight, drain and rinse them.

Place the almonds in a blender along with four cups of water.

Blend on high for 2 minutes.

Strain the almond milk through a nut-milk bag and drop the mixture into a bowl or large measuring cup. Pour the almond milk into an air-tight storage container and place in the fridge overnight. Before serving add the almond milk to the chicken stock and heat but not boil. Add salt to taste.

Sake jelly

Ingredients:

1 tbsp sake

1 tbsp of unflavoured and disolved gelatine

How to prepare:

Pour 1 tbsp of the hot disolved gelatin in the small bowl with the sake nd stir.

Pour the mixture into tupperware or flat food container.

Leave the gelatin in the fridge until is completely set.

Ultra-thin rice cracker

Ingredients:

1 cup cooked sushi rice (I also tried with basmati and worked well)

1 tsp salt

How to prepare:

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius

Place the cooked sushi rice in a bowl. Add salt.

Line a baking tray with baking paper.

Wet your hands and a tablespoon, use the wet spoon to form a golf ball sized rice ball.

Place the ball on the baking tray.

Top with another layer of baking paper, then squish the ball evenly. You could use your hands or a rolling pin till you a have a very thin rice layer (about 2mm). With 1 cup of rice you can prepare several golf ball sized rice balls.

Bake at 180 degrees for approximately 20-25 minutes.

Allow the rice crackers to cool and break them in different pieces before serving.

Simmered chicken and boiled brown rice with chives

Ingredients:

250g chicken (thighs or breasts)

1/2 onion

75ml dashi stock

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp mirin

pinch of sugar

250g Japanese brown rice

clump of chives.

How to prepare:

In a pot, cook the rice so that it is ready for when you finish cooking the dish.

Cut up the chicken into very small bite-size pieces.

Add the dashi stock to the frying pan and heat before adding the mirin and soy sauce plus a pinch of sugar.

Bring to the boil and then simmer on medium heat.

Once the soup has been simmering for a few minutes, chop up a whole onion into thin slices and add them to the pan.

Add the chicken pieces and cook about 10 more minutes until chicken is done. Drain the mixture with a colander and set aside. Cut the chives in different lengths and set also aside.

Egg-almond souffle

Ingredients:

2 tbsp butter

2 tbsp all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp salt

Pinch pepper

1/4 cup almond milk

1/2 cup milk

4 eggs yolks

2 egg whites

1/4 tsp cream of tartar

How to prepare:

Preheat oven to 190°.

In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt butter and add carefully flour, milk, salt and pepper, stirring constantly until the sauce boils.

Set aside.

Separate eggs. Beat egg yolks well and combine yolk mixture with remaining sauce.

Beat egg whites and cream of tartar in large bowl, until stiff but not dry.

Fold the sauce into the remaining egg whites.

Spray 4 ramekins with non-stick cooking spray (or spread them with butter). Pour sauce into ramekins and fill to top. Place ramekins on cookie sheet and bake at 180° C for 20 to 25 minutes or until the soufflé rises and edge pieces start to turn brown. Serve immediately (see plating instructions).

Plating

Instructions:

Place carefully the egg souffle in the center of a bowl (This is a tricky part: I call it “the birthing”, and you will have to play the role of the “midwife”. Turn the ramekin 180 degrees and allow the soufflé to fall holding it softly with your hand. If it sticks to the ramekin help you with a spoon or two, or -worst-case scenario- cut the rised part of the soufflé with a palette knife and place it in the middle of the bowl).

Add cautiously 3 or 4 tbsp of the boiled brown rice around the soufflé and add the simmered and drained chicken on top of the rice. Add now the rice crackers around the shuffle and garnish with the sake jelly and the chives.

Pour over the chicken stock-almond milk soup.

 
February | Pregnancy

That Recipe on my Mind | The Cycle of Life Calendar 19

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Mother Oyster and her Pearl

 
 

Caramelized Backerbse* in oyster jelly, lemon jelly with herbs, frozen crumbles of cream, sour cream and yoghurt , horseradish

Backerbsen(*)

Backerbsen - common in Germany and Austria - are deep fried little dumplings that are used like croutons in soups. In Germany and Austria you can find it in almost every supermarket ready-to-use, but here is the recipe for self-made Backerbsen:

Ingredients:

3 tbsp Flour

1 egg

1 tbsp milk

1 tsp Muskat

Water

Vegetable oil, to deep fry

How to prepare:

Pour oil in a sauce pan and heat it.

Make a batter of the ingredients for the backerbsen and put into a Spätzlepresse (a colander, strainer or pastry tube will also work)

Squeeze out small drops about the size of a pea into the cooking deep oil/fat.

Fry to golden brown.

When done, dip out with a sieve, drain, set aside to cool and place them on a paper towel to cool off.

You can continue until all the batter is used. You can use those Bakerbsen as croutons for a soup even 2-3 weeks later.

Take one for caramelization.


Backerbsen caramelization

This step let the backerbse remain crunchy for a longer period inside the Oyster Jelly - otherwise the backerbse will absorve the liquid and has a soft consistency.

Ingredients:

2-3 tsp Sugar

1 dash of Muskat

How to prepare:

Take a saucepan and add the sugar, add the muskat, heat over medium-high heat. Stir the pan to dissolve the sugar, but once the mixture comes to a boil, be careful not to overcook it. The caramelization of sugar should produce a very deep, rich, brown-colored syrup.

Dip the Backerbse (deep fried little dumpling), drain well and set aside on a plate to cool off till dry


Oyster jelly

Ingredients:

1 tbsp fresh Rock Oyster juice

1 tbsp of unflavoured and disolved gelatine

How to prepare:

Drain the juice from the fresh Oyster into a small bowl. You should get 1 tablespoon of Oyster juice.

Follow the instructions for the gelatin.

Pour 1 tbsp of the hot disolved gelatin in the small bowl with the fresh Oyster juice and stir. Reserve the rest of the gelatin mixture for the Lemmon Jelly with herbs (recipe above)

Pour the mixture into a jelly mould (I used an egg cup)

Put a caramelized Backerbse (see recipe above) in it.

Leave the gelatin in the fridge until is completely set (it´s a small amount of jelly so it will take less than 30 minutes).


Lemmon jelly with herbs

Ingredients:

1 tbsp fresh lemmon juice

1 tbsp of unflavoured and disolved gelatine

1 tsp of chopped dill or fennel leaves

How to prepare:

Pour 1 tbsp of the hot disolved gelatin in the small bowl with the lemon juice juice, add the herbs and stir.

Pour the mixture into a jelly mould.

Leave the gelatin in the fridge until is completely set.

Cut it into small cubes.


Different types of „snow“ (frozen cream/sour cream/yoghurt) and arrangement

Ingredients:

1/2 cup cream

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup yoghurt

1 tsp horseradish

How to prepare:

In 3 different small bowls or tupperwares put a 1-2cm thick cream /sour cream/yoghurt lawyers and freeze until solid.

After defreezing a bit make crumbles out of it with a spoon or knife. Freeze again keeping them apart from each other.

Arrange the frozen crumbles on a cold plate with the oyster jelly on top of the oystershell, the lemon jelly and a bit of horseradish.frozen

 
 

Learn more about the Cycle of Life Calendar Concept here or follow the creative process and weekly updates through the stories at my diary on instagram here.

A Mini Road Trip Movie with Topsi Venter

Exploring | Cape Winelands, South Africa 

 
 
 
 

Topsi Venter was the Grand Dame of South African cuisine. Topsi, whose real name was Pauline Venter, was a living legend among her chef colleagues. No matter who you asked, all roads in South African cuisine seem to lead to her.

 

I wasn't even aware of her when I met her for the first time in her restaurant. I had just visited Margot Janse in the award-winning Tasting Room in the Quartier Francais when she said that I just had to go to see Topsi since she only lived a few houses further down on the same street. Sometimes when you go through a door you have no idea that something important is about to happen. Awaiting me that afternoon was a high-speed journey into the past, the present and the future of South African cuisine.

A few days before, I found out that Topsi was an old woman who, due to an operation, could barely walk and talk... yet it turned out that this was only partly the truth. When I entered the house, Topsi was stood right in front of me on her crutches. Margot Janse had apparently just been on the phone to her and so she knew that I was on my way. "So, young man", she said "you’re interested in South African cuisine? Where are you from?" "Actually," I answered, "I’m half from Spain, half from Austria, and..." "Spain...?" She didn't let me finish my sentence " a famous Spanish chef spent a few weeks in South Africa. How was he called?... Oh yes, Ferran Adria, and I cooked something for him – he was quite nice and just as curious as any child. But follow me, let me show you something." She went limping into the kitchen. "Oh, my knee hurts! she said," I’ve just had an operation"

"...a famous Spanish chef spent a few weeks in South Africa. How was he called?... Oh yes, Ferran Adria, and I cooked something for him – he was quite nice and just as curious as any child...

We went briefly into the kitchen, greeted her daughter Danielle, who was just cooking a Bootie -a South African national dish with Malaysian origins - and then we went right on through into the next room. It was a library. The room was filled with shelves stacked high with cookbooks, cookbooks and even more cookbooks. As if she could read my mind, she knew that this was something quite extraordinary for me.  "This is my treasure trove!", said the trained architect and art historian, which is where her love for eating turned into a love for cooking.

She showed me the books, many of which were beautifully illustrated. I was fascinated and intrigued. She took yet another one from the shelf read it to me.  "This is by C. Louis Leipoldt, a South African poet... listen to this: and there is the art of cooking, which is one the greatest expressions of culture and civilisation, because it converts food from a mere necessity into a social delight and rejoicing in being alive, however cold the day and dark the night...." She took a long pause and looked at me and said: "What I thought now, is that we should go to Renata! Come on, get your things. I’ll fetch the car keys!" She limped quickly towards the desk. Somewhat shocked I thought, "Oh my, are we really taking the car? Seriously? If she can barely get around, how on earth can she drive?".

Approaching the desk with difficulty, she carefully opened a drawer and suddenly a parrot appeared, "Can I introduce you to Miss Oscar Wilde?" said Topsi "I think he's gay.

Approaching the desk with difficulty, she carefully opened a drawer and suddenly a parrot appeared, "Can I introduce you to Miss Oscar Wilde?" said Topsi "I think he's gay. Now where the hell are those car keys?" she cursed loudly.  We got in to an old, rusty brown Mercedes.  "You’ll have to keep hold of the door while we’re driving – it sometimes flies open", said Topsi. "Where are we going? And who is this Renata?" I asked.  "To the past and into the future!!!" Topsi replied. Renata Coetzee – as Topsi told me while driving at full throttle through the Winelands – was a food historian, also 80 years of age, who knew ten times as much about South African cuisine as any other person. Her area of research was the oldest cuisine in the world, the thousand-year-old cuisine of San and the Khoikhoin people. It had become her life mission. She had even documented the plants and herbs of this original cuisine - Fynbos vegetation. "Then we could drive down to see Shoeman", Topsi said. "Guys like him embody the culinary future of our country. He cooks with these completely unknown plants and herbs in the Fyndraai Restaurant. It will open up a completely new universe of tastes and smells. You'll see". "I hope so!" I think, as I regard the rickety door of the Mercedes with something approaching panic.

 
Topsi Venter in her old Mercedes Benz

Topsi Venter in her old Mercedes Benz

 

"Where are we going Topsi? And who is this Renata?" I asked.  "To the past and into the future!!!" Topsi replied. Renata Coetzee – as Topsi told me while driving at full throttle through the Winelands – was a food historian, also 80 years of age, who knew ten times as much about South African cuisine as any other person.

 
 
 
 
A present from the dessert for me: Kalahari Truffle (peeled), "the potato of the Koihsan".

A present from the dessert for me: Kalahari Truffle (peeled), "the potato of the Koihsan".

"...Guys like Shoeman embody the culinary future of our country. He cooks with these completely unknown plants and herbs..." 

Topsi Venter

Indigenous herbs: Koekemakranka, or Kroekemakrank or also known as Gethyllis was a plant used in one of the most ancient kitchens of the world: the one of the Khoisan people, who live in the south-west coastal strips of Africa (actual Southafrica and Namibia). The may once have comprised the majority of living humans on the planet, for much of the past 150,000 years. Today, The ripe fruit is sometimes used to impart its special aroma to brandy. More Illustrations  here

Indigenous herbs: Koekemakranka, or Kroekemakrank or also known as Gethyllis was a plant used in one of the most ancient kitchens of the world: the one of the Khoisan people, who live in the south-west coastal strips of Africa (actual Southafrica and Namibia). The may once have comprised the majority of living humans on the planet, for much of the past 150,000 years. Today, The ripe fruit is sometimes used to impart its special aroma to brandy. More Illustrations here

 
 
 
In memorian: Topsi Venter passed 2016 away at the age of 85. Thank you Topsi for this awesome day!

In memorian: Topsi Venter passed 2016 away at the age of 85. Thank you Topsi for this awesome day!

© Text, Artwork and Photography by Fred Mel / Eatnologist

 
 
 
Cruz de Maiz con Pecado
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Red Radish, corn and Tomato Tapa Salad with red chili pepper, peppermint and fried shredded pork skin (chicharrones)

Ingredients:
a. 3 cherry tomatoes sliced (different colours) and seeded.
b. 1/4 white onion diced
c. 3 red radish sliced
d. 1 red chili pepper  and seeded if you want a more mild taste
f. 1 tsp cup peppermint minced
g. 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
h. some shredded fried pork skins.

How to prepare:
Place all ingredients into a large bowl.
Mix and season with salt, to taste.
Add the chicharrones right before serving.

Garnish with some edible flowers.

 
 
 
 
FO 066
 
Aguaje

Food Object 066  Aguaje Fruit | Tropical Central & Northern South America.

A hand grenade? Not exactly, but this fruit is truly a vitamin bomb.

"Aguaje" grows in tropical Central and South America and contains from 21 to 38 times more vitamin A than carrot, from 25 to 31 times more vitamin E than avocado, and it has the same content of vitamin C as an orange. Plus: It helps to shape the female figure and increase breast size (however, this is not backed by scientific studies).

 
 
 
 
Food inspired by Landscape

Sketching / Quick notes

 
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Rocket salad, oven baked Ricotta, dried tomatoes-walnut pesto. Inspired | Italy

 
 
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Halloumi Olive Tapenade & lamb's lettuce. Inspired | Greece

 
 
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Backed sweet potato, baby mangold, mint vinaigrette, almond. Inspired | Spain

 
2 p.m. Caye Caulker

That Recipe on my Mind

 

Quick note / no recipe: Squid ceviche with spicy mango jelly, avocado mousse and tortilla crumble. A (modified) recipe from Belize.

Conch meat is dense and chewy like squid (and taste similar, so as conch meat is pretty rare or inexistent in Vienna I went for squid. Cutting the conch into very small cubes is the most important step to prepare a Conch Ceviche, a dish that is common in Belize (also in Bahamas). After covering the conch cubes (in that case squid) with lime juice, let it marinate for a couple of hours (if possible in the fridge), add onion, tomato some chili (or tabasco), salt and chopped cilantro if you like.

Many other variations are possible and just as delicious (for example adding small cubes of pineapple or avocado). For that occasion I added mango jelly with chili flakes, some avocado mousse and tortilla crumble.

 
 
 
Oh! she has Spines

That Recipe on my Mind | Inspired, Croatia

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Raw Sea Urchins with Lemon Foam/Air Recipe

 

Makes 2 servings

 

Ingredients
a. 6 Sea urchins in shells
b. 1 cup Lemon juice
c. 1 cup Water
d. 3g Soy Lecithin

How to prepare:

Sea Urchins:
Sea urchins spines are venomous, so prompt and proper care is important.
Wear gloves while you trim off the spines to protect your hands from accidental stings.
1. Insert scissors in hole located on domed top of sea urchin.
2. Rotate around top of shell, cutting toward outer edge, exposing flesh.
3. Arrange sea urchins on plates

Lemon Foam / Air:  
1. Mix all 3 ingredients in a high container. 
2 Hold blender in the upper part of the liquid to bring the largest amount of air, so that a foam forms on the surface.
3. Collect the upper part with a large spoon. Arrange on sea urchins.

January | Conception

That Recipe on my Mind | The Cycle of Life Calendar 19

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The Beginning of a New Year | The Beginning of a New Life

 

Pour-Over-Pear-Hazelnut and Celeriac Tapioca Pearl Soup with Egg Yolk

Ingredients for 2 persons

1 tablespoon butter

2 shallots, finely sliced

2 teaspoons finely chopped hazelnut

1 celeriac, peeled and roughly chopped

2 pears ripe, cored and roughly chopped

1/2 litre vegetable stock

1/2 cup pearl tapioca

2 egg yolks

How to prepare:

Pour the tapioca into boiling water (use 1 cup of boiling water for 1/2 cup tapioca), Stir in the tapioca pearls and cook, stirring occasionally. To check tapioca pearls for doneness, look for a tiny white dot in the center of the pearl. Drain and set aside.

Heat butter in a saucepan, add the shallots and hazelnut, and cook over a medium heat for about 5 minutes until softened but not coloured.

Add the celeriac, pears and stock, bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until the celeriac has softened enough to mash easily.

Liquidise the soup in a blender until silky smooth. Sieve to catch any bits.

Before serving add the pearl tapioca to the soup, season to taste and boil it again.

Plating: place the egg yolk in a soup plate and pour the hot soup. The egg yolk will get partially poached with the soup.

 

Learn more about the Cycle of Life Calendar Concept here or follow the creative process and weekly updates through the stories at my diary on instagram here.

Maldivian Island Hopping

That Recipe on my Mind | Maldives

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Fihunu Mas (Maldivian grilled fish spice mix) on shredded coconut, herbs and algae.

Ingredients:

3 fish fillets with skin on: tuna, red snapper and sea bass gutted and descaled

1 red dried chilli, finely chopped

1/2 chopped onion2 cloves garlic

1 teaspoon cumin powder

2 curry leaves

1 teaspoon black peppercorns

Salt to season.

Plating:

3 teaspoons shredded coconut

1 teaspoon algae (nori seaweed stripes)

1 teaspoon coriander

How to prepare:

Blend the spice mixture to a smooth thick paste. Make deep slashes along the sides of the descaled fish, and pack with the spice paste. Grill over hot coal (or a grill pan), on both sides until done.

Place the grilled fish on the shredded coconut and garnish with herbs and algae

 
 
 
 
 
Thank you Topsi

That Recipe of my Mind

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Kalahari Truffle with Rooibos Risotto

Ingredients:

1 litre chicken or vegetable stock

1 tsp rooibos powder

Olive oil

1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped

1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped

200 g risotto rice

50 ml white wine

50 g butter

How to prepare:

Heat the stock in a large saucepan and add the rooibos.

Melt butter in a different saucepan.

Add onion and garlic to butter, saute until tender.

Add rice. Saute 2-3 minutes.

Add white wine. Stir until absorbed.

Add hot broth 1/4 cup at a time.

Continue adding broth in small amounts until all broth is absorbed.

Garnish with some herbs and/or rooibos powder

 
 
Autumn Passion

That Recipe on my Mind

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Quick note / no recipe: Crème brûlée with passion fruit mousse. Passion fruit season in Vietnam starts in october and France is the main market. There are so many cultural and culinary links between those two countries... so why not mix this two concepts on a dish? Crème brûlée - the french classic with vanilla bean and caramelized sugar - and the citric notes of the passion fruit (and a bit of lime) bring the colors of autumn and a little bit of sun now that days are getting darker and colder.

 
The Happy Meal

Exploring | Rasdu Atoll, Maldives

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Paradise (definition):

- a very beautiful, pleasant, or peaceful place that seems to be perfect

- a place that is perfect for a particular activity or for a person who enjoys that activity

- a state of complete happiness

 

"...what about Maldivians who live here? Are they always happy? What do they dream about? What is their idea of paradise on earth?..." 

 

 
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The water is crystal clear. I see my footprints fading in the sand. I look around. The breeze is blowing through the palm trees. The air is warm and humid and there is a delicious smell of fresh, charcoal-grilled fish. I want to try every single Maldivian seafood dish. It´s all just too perfect here. Am I dreaming? 

But what about Maldivians who live here? Are they always happy? What do they dream about? What is their idea of paradise on earth? 

 
 
Faraha and Anha

Faraha and Anha

 
 

Faraha, Anha and Ahusan.

Later on I met Faraha and Anha on a neighbouring island where locals live. The two little girls were going to see their older cousin Ahusam play soccer and they invited me to follow them.

Ahusan was wearing an old Real Madrid T-shirt. He came to greet us and I took the chance to introduce myself.

Ahusan, may I ask you something? If you imagined yourself in a paradise, what would it look like and what would you like to eat there?

- Chicken McNuggets.

Sorry?

 
 

"...Ahusan, may I ask you something? If you imagined yourself in a paradise, what would it look like and what would you like to eat there?

- Chicken McNuggets.

Sorry!?..."

 

- Chicken McNuggets, says Ahusan again.

Are you serious? Is this your idea of Paradise?

- Yes. My idea of Paradise is to eat a box of Chicken McNuggets while watching a game between Real Madrid and another team at the Bernabeu stadium in Madrid. That would be my dream.

- Yeeeeees, Chicken Mc Nuggets! - yelled the two cousins.

But why??

- We saw these Chicken McNuggets yesterday on tv!

***k globalisation.

 
 

© Text, Artwork and Photography by Fred Mel / Eatnologist

 
 
 
 
 
Tom Yum Ice Tea Cocktail with grilled Prawn

That Recipe on my Mind  | Inspired, Thailand

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Tom Yum Ice Tea Cocktail with grilled Prawn Recipe

Ingredients:
a. 30 ml lime juice
b. 1 cup finely chopped lemon grass
c. 1 tsps palm sugar
d. 2 Kaffir lime leaves
e. 4 galangal slices
f. 1 red chili, sliced
g. 2 to 3 ice-cubes, to serve
h. 1 prawn (grilled)

How to prepare:
Combine the lemon grass, 2 slices of galangal and sugar with 2 cups of water in a pan and bring it to a boil.
Remove from the fire, allow to cool overnight (or 8 hours). Strain through a muslin cloth to get an infusion.

In the serving glass, put kaffir lime leaves, galangal and chili and 2 to 3 ice-cubes and pour ¼ cup of the cold infusion.
Top with the lime juice, stir gently, and garnish with a grilled prawn (skewer the shrimp with satay or wood sticks and place on top.)

Serve immediately.

 
 
Assa Nigua! Real Men are made of Corn

Exploring | Chichicastenango, Guatemala

 

Guatemalan syncretism: The Santo Tomas (Saint Thomas) catholic church -one of the main attractions, was built atop of the platform of one of the Maya temples in the area, and the 18 steps -one for each month of the Maya calendar, are still venerated.

Guatemalan syncretism: The Santo Tomas (Saint Thomas) catholic church -one of the main attractions, was built atop of the platform of one of the Maya temples in the area, and the 18 steps -one for each month of the Maya calendar, are still venerated.

 

Lovingly called Chichi, the small village of Chichicastenango has been one of the largest trading centers in the mayan world since pre-hispanic times. There is lots to see, smell and taste. 500 years ago, one of the best kept secrets of the mayan civilization was hidden from the spanish conquerors in this tiny town. A mysterious book.

 

“Their flesh was made of white and yellow corn. The arms and legs of men were made of corn meal." So goes the story of creation of men from the Maya sacred book the “Popol Vuh”, the so called Mayan bible. Most of the Mayan codices were burnt by the Spanish conquerors, who feared the influence of the devil, but in 1558, a Mayan transcribed the Popol Vuh into the Quiche language.

The manuscript was treasured by the Mayans of Chichicastenango  village and it was hidden from the Spanish conquerors. Two centuries later, a Spanish priest named Francisco Ximénez gained the trust of the Mayan community. They allowed him to see the book and he translated it into Spanish.

The Popol Vuh deals with the Mayan creation myth. After many attempts with clay and wood, the Mayan gods finally made four men out of corn and they became “true people”.

 

The Popol Vuh deals with the Mayan creation myth. After many attempts with clay and wood, the Mayan gods finally made four men out of corn and they became “true people”.

Which makes a kind of metaphorical sense: it was the cultivation of corn that gave the early Maya culture the means to change from hunter- gatherers to their advanced civilization... 

 
 
Chicicastenango: The market place.

Chicicastenango: The market place.

 
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"Chichicastenango is still a mystical place where Guatemalans from all around the country come to trade and sell their goods every Thursday and Sunday in a big outdoor market that -in essence- has not changed very much in the last 500 years."

 
Flower vendors. Chichicastenango

Flower vendors. Chichicastenango

 

"There is lots to see, smell and taste. Food vendors sell local dishes with pre-Hispanic origins"

 
Pulique, a prehispanic chicken dish with "recado" (a Guatemalan word for a complex sauce)

Pulique, a prehispanic chicken dish with "recado" (a Guatemalan word for a complex sauce)

 
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Signs of catholicic and mayan syncretism

Signs of catholicic and mayan syncretism

Notes for the recipe

Notes for the recipe

 
The church of Santo Tomás in front of the Chichicastenango market, the church where centuries ago the priest Francisco Ximénez kept his transcription of the Popol Vuh.

The church of Santo Tomás in front of the Chichicastenango market, the church where centuries ago the priest Francisco Ximénez kept his transcription of the Popol Vuh.

 

Situated not too far away from Lake Atitlan, the village of Chichicastenango is still a mystical place where Guatemalans from all around the country come to trade and sell their goods every Thursday and Sunday in a big outdoor market that -in essence- has not changed very much in the last 500 years. There is lots to see, smell and taste. Food vendors sell local dishes with pre-Hispanic origins, such as Pulique, a chicken dish with recado (recado is the Guatemalan word for a complex sauce with a thick texture which is the result of adding corn flour at the end of the cooking process).It is served with -yes- corn tortillas. However, the unique flavour of this recado is provided by the Apazote plant. People believe that Apazote is great to help remove negative forces from the body. For positive forces you should drink Atol Blanco. Atol Blanco is a traditional corn-starch-based thick hot drink. So if you want to prove that you are a mero mero- a really true Guatemalan - and want hear them say "Assa Nigua!" - a Guatemalan expression of admiration- you have to drink lots of Atol. Don´t be surprised if at the end you really believe that you are made of corn.

 

So if you want to prove that you are a mero mero - a really true Guatemalan - and want hear them say "Assa Nigua!" - a Guatemalan expression of admiration- you have to drink lots of Atol. Don´t be surprised if at the end you really believe that you are made of corn.

But one of my favourite recipes from “Chichi” that I often prepare at home is totally corn free: a tasty radish salad with Chicharrones (fried pork rinds) called Cojin Chichicastengo* that I first tasted at a food stall in front of the church of Santo Tomás, the church where centuries ago the priest Francisco Ximénez kept his transcription of the Popol Vuh. 

(*) 
Without Chicharrones (fried pork rinds) the salad is known as Picado de Rabanos and it is a delicious side dish (very close to the mexican Pico de Gallo Salad) that goes well with any kind of grilled meat, adding Chicharrones turns into Cojin Chichicastengo.

 

© Text, Artwork and Photography by Fred Mel / Eatnologist