Mediterranean lamb strudel with dried plums, tzatziki and mint

Mediterranean lamb strudel

Aromatic lamb, a hint of chili, cool mint and surprise sweetness

Since it’s been quite cold and grey outside recently I thought it would be nice to have a hearty dish on the blog.

The strudel features a lot of warm, intense flavors from the lamb – red wine – cinnamon combination and a hint of spiciness from the chili. I also added bits of dried plum, so you’ll have a surprise sweetness from time to time, which is very exciting and gives the whole strudel a little kick. All of this is balanced with fresh tzatziki and mint, which adds a nice contrast as well. I love mediterranen food with all its aromatic herbs and meat combinations. This dish is somewhat Greek inspired and since I’ve had this recipe on my mind for quite a while now I’m glad I finally managed to try it out!

Regarding preparation: it is really important that you make the filling the day before and let it sit overnight for the flavor to develop. Trust me, it makes a huge (!) difference. If you don’t like lamb, you could also substitute it with ground beef or a mix of ground beef and pork. In case you don’t have any dried plums, just use raisins. For the tzatziki, make sure you crush the mint properly (just like when making a mojito) in order to get the most flavor out of it.

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Crunchy winter salad with root vegetables, warm goat cheese and smoked bacon

Crunchy winter salad

A salad that adds color to you life

This salad has a nice fall / winter feeling to it and is filled with flavors and different textures: celery-apple and orange-carrot always work together nicely and together with the walnuts add a nice crunch, radicchio salad has this slight bitterness, which is balanced by the sweetness of the honey-mustard dressing, the warm goat cheese adds a beautiful creaminess topped off by a lovely smokey flavor from the bacon. There are so many delicious vegetables in it, it’s filled with vitamins and just generally speaking, a very healthy meal. If you’re vegetarian, you can either just leave out the bacon or maybe replace the bacon with some smoked tofu if you want the smokey flavor (I think, but haven’t tried it!). Serve with some toasted dark bread, you’ll love it!

Just one quick note on how to get the orange meat out if it the easiest way: first cut off top and bottom of the oranges, so they will not roll around anymore. Next, cut off the peel on the sides making sure that as little of the white stuff remains. You will see where the skin between the slices is now. Just cut into the orange as closely to the skin as you can and remove piece by piece. Continue reading

Roast butternut squash risotto with goat cheese and crispy sage

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Beautiful creamy fall risotto with lots of flavor

Quite truthfully, I always thought squash was a somewhat useless vegetable, because when you cook it it doesn’t add much flavor. And then I baked it and realized I had been wrong all along! I rubbed the squash with cinnamon, nutmeg, cayenne pepper and salt and left it in the oven until it was totally soft and some parts had even become a little crispy. To be honest, when I took it out of the oven it smelled so delicious that I couldn’t help but try some of the squash. Bottom line: I ate a lot of it! (therefore the amount of squash that went into the risotto is a rough estimate) 😉 The baked squash gives this risotto a really nice sweet flavor with a hint of cinnamon which just works very well with the goat cheese. Add a little bit of lemon zest for freshness and crispy sage leaves for texture and you have a beautiful warm fall risotto. Continue reading