My Berlin Kitchen

Thank you all for the lovely comments about my impending move across the pond. It was so nice to receive such warm support about our decision and many of you made me even more excited to start living in London!

You may remember that last year I gave away a copy of the lovely Luisa Weiss’ book, My Berlin Kitchen. Well, that giveaway was so popular that when her publisher contacted me about giving away a copy of the book in its gorgeous new paperback format, I said yes immediately. I also said yes because Luisa’s story, which has involved moving back and forth between America and Europe several times feels very apt as I prepare to make my own big leap back to the familiar-yet-unfamiliar. This giveaway is a little way of celebrating new adventures, leaps of faith, and change.

Congratulations, Kate! Your comment was randomly selected (using random.org) from all the entries! I’ll be in touch to get your address! Thanks to everyone who entered and made me feel equal parts hungry and wanderlust-y. Kate’s comment was as follows:

Kate August 29, 2013 at 10:13 pm

Italy. Pizza, pasta, prosciutto…the list of wonderful foods I could taste there is endless.

If you’d like to enter to win a copy of My Berlin Kitchen in paperback, please leave a comment below telling me where in the world you would most like to visit for its food – and why.

For an additional entry you can tweet about the giveaway (e.g. “I’d love to win a copy of My Berlin Kitchen by @wednesdaychef from @AngharadGuy! http://bit.ly/19IkO3p″). Leave an additional comment here telling me you posted it on twitter.

This giveaway is only open to U.S. residents and will close this Friday, August 30 at 10pm CST. Photo from Luisa’s wonderful blog, The Wednesday Chef.

If you don’t win then you can always buy yourself a copy – the paperback edition comes out today. Good luck!


42 comments     posted in:   Links, Reading, Travel



Sweet Corn Pancakes

I’ve been desperately trying to find time to write here and tell you something pretty exciting. After over six years together in this incredible city, it’s time for a new adventure. Dan and I are moving to London!

It still feels entirely surreal but we are so excited to take a big leap and experience something new and completely different together. I can’t wait to experience living in a city as vibrant as London and to have all of Europe on our doorstep.

Despite our heady anticipation we’re also very sad to be saying goodbye to Minnepolis and all our friends and family here. In the midst of the dog days of summer we’ve been packing, selling and donating things, paring down, and planning our hearts out.

I had my last day at work earlier this week, which filled me with melancholy. There’s so much of that feeling right now, as we prepare to say goodbye to so much that we love: family, close friends, and an incredible city. The rest of this week has been a daze of organising madness and yet, Dan and I have been trying to inject it with moments of relaxation by taking breaks for smoothies and walks by the river, sunny (sweaty) runs, lots of time with friends, afternoons at the beach and – this morning – pancakes for breakfast.

Sweetcorn Pancakes

Sweetcorn, as I’m sure you are well aware, is at its peak right now — maybe even passing its peak — and we are doing our best to consume as much as possible. Dan bought a dozen cobs from a farm stand the other day and since then there have been tacos filled with grilled corn salsa and many evenings where we just eat it plain off the cob. (Other corn favourites include arepas and these moreish sweetcorn fritters.) This morning we decided something sweeter was in order.

I have America to thank for bringing pancakes into my life. I never ate them growing up (unless it was Shrove Tuesday, and that’s a very different kind of pancake). Since living here I’ve experimented with blueberry cornmeal pancakes, buckwheat pancakes, pumpkin spice pancakesfresh cranberry cornmeal pancakes, and many more that never made it to this blog. Now, we have sweetcorn pancakes which I know I’ll carry on making wherever we live. Thanks, America.

Sweetcorn Pancake

Sweetcorn Pancakes

These pancakes are sweetly studded with corn throughout so you might decide to reduce the amount of sugar used in the recipe. I like a sweet breakfast pancake so I loved them like this – Dan prefers something a little more savoury and said he could have used less sugar. I’ll let you decide.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup / 4oz / 113g wholewheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Large pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup / 4oz/ 118ml unsweetened almond milk
  • 2.5 tbsp canola oil
  • Heaping 1/2 cup / 2.9oz / 82g of cooked sweetcorn kernels (from about 2 cobs)

Directions

  1. Combine the sugars, flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl and mix well. Slowly add the almond milk and oil, then the corn, mixing just until the mixture is smooth. If it’s too thick, add a little more almond milk. Set aside to rest for a moment.
  2. Heat a large pan over medium-high heat and add enough oil to coat the bottom. Ladle some batter into the hot pan and allow to sit until bubbles appear, about four minutes. Flip and cook on the other side for another few minutes. Serve with maple syrup. Makes two pancakes.

14 comments     posted in:   Recipe, Travel



Grilled Summer Vegetable Tacos

We’ve hit that mid-to-late summer sweet spot when all the things I eagerly await year-round are finally here. Sweetcorn, courgettes, berries, summer squash, and tomatoes. Warm nights, beers on the porch, sunburnt shoulders, coconut soft serve, and sweaty bike rides. As much as I love these days, I also feel a mild anxiety as each one passes, not wanting to let summer go yet.

This blog post is for more of an idea than a recipe, but it’s a delicious one that’s worthy of your time nonetheless, and especially good if you’re a bit tired of simply grilling vegetables for salads or whatnot. Warmed corn tortillas are filled with seasoned pinto beans, zingy grilled corn salsa, slices of creamy avocado, grilled summer vegetables, and a spoonful of hot tomato salsa.

Summer Vegetable and Bean Tacos

If you haven’t made this grilled corn salsa before then you’re in for a treat. It has a gorgeous charred-sweet flavour with a pick-me-up from the fresh cilantro and lime juice, and a little kick of cumin. It’s excellent and so simple.

If you follow the instructions below you’ll have more corn salsa and beans than you need for tacos but that is personally how I prefer to cook and both are so versatile and delicious that you’ll want to use them in many other ways. Add leftover beans to a bowl of rice, topped with a fried egg, avocado, cilantro, and hot sauce for a delicious dinner. Scoop up the corn salsa with tortilla chips or add it to green salads. Or…make more tacos! Your choices at this time of year for grilling vegetables are near endless.

Grilled Summer Vegetable and Bean Tacos

These are a stunning way to show off summer vegetables in a simple and easy way. They’re vegan and gluten-free so an excellent option for feeding a group of hungry friends in your sunny backyard, though if you wanted to add some crumbled queso fresco, I bet that would be delicious too. Just add some ice cold beers, and a bowl of tortilla chips with the rest of that corn salsa and you have yourself a seriously good time in the making.

Summer Vegetable Tacos

Grilled Summer Vegetable and Bean Tacos
Makes enough for two people.

Ingredients

  • 8 corn tortillas (I like to double up and use two tortillas for one taco)
  • About half a cup of grilled corn salsa (recipe below)
  • About half a cup of cooked pinto beans (instructions below)
  • Two baby courgettes (zucchini) (or aubergine/eggplant, or summer squash) sliced in half lengthwise
  • Half an avocado, pit removed
  • Fresh tomato salsa, as desired – or – a handful of cherry tomatoes sliced into halves

Directions

  1. Heat the grill to high and make the corn salsa per the instructions below.
  2. Grill your courgettes (zucchini), aubergine (eggplant), or summer squash until lightly charred but not too soft. Remove from grill and slice into half moons about 1/4 inch thick.
  3. Place halved avocado flesh down on the grill and warm through until you have grill marks, a minute or two. Remove and slice into strips, lengthwise.
  4. Meanwhile, heat up corn tortillas on the grill until soft and pliable.
  5. Construct tacos by taking two corn tortillas and filling them with a little grilled corn salsa, some beans, courgette/squash, slices of avocado, some cilantro and a little salsa (or tomatoes).

To make the pinto beans:

Ingredients

  • 1 lb dried pinto beans, picked through
  • 1 onion, halved
  • 2 chiles
  • 1-2 tbsp white vinegar
  • Salt, to taste

Directions

  1. Place beans in a large pot and cover with about an inch of water. Bring to the boil and then turn heat down and simmer for thirty minutes. Drain the beans. 
  2. Return beans to the pot and cover with about an inch of water again. Add the onion and chiles and bring water to a boil. Turn heat down and let beans simmer for 1 – 2 hours or until tender, stirring every 10-15 minutes. You don’t want tons of water left at the end but you also don’t want the beans to run out of water so keep an eye on them and make sure they’re just simmering the entire time.
  3. About ten minutes before the beans are done, add the vinegar and salt, to taste.
  4. This will make more beans than you need for the tacos – use the leftovers as you wish! (My favourite is to make a batch of rice and eat them with that, avocado slices, and hot sauce. A runny egg on top is super good.)

To make the grilled corn salsa:

Ingredients

  • 2 ears of sweetcorn
  • 1/4 red onion, diced
  • 1/2 bunch of cilantro, diced
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pinch of cumin

Directions

  1. Remove husks from corn and lightly coat in olive oil. Cook on the bbq right over the flames charring the corn slightly as you turn it.
  2. Place onion and cilantro in a bowl. Combine the lime juice, olive oil, cumin and salt in a small jam jar and shake. Set aside.
  3. Once corn has cooled down use a knife to gently slide down the sides of the corn, removing the kernels. Add the corn to the cilantro and onion, pour over dressing to taste, and toss. Adjust seasoning if needed.
  4. This will make more than you need for the tacos – save the rest to enjoy with corn tortilla chips!

7 comments     posted in:   Healthy Food, Recipe