This dinner we made whole chicken in the Schlemmertopf.
We started off with a nice mix of spices:
black pepper and
Together with that we cut a leek into three pieces and chopped a red chili, which we spread out on top of the chicken.
I have found that it makes for a better dish seasoning wise to decide on the amount of spices before one puts them in the pan or stew, etc. Putting them straight into the food I tend to be a bit restrictive, whereas if I place them on a plate or in the mortar and then pour them into the food I tend to be closer to the sweet spot. The past few times I have done this way I have ended up with close to perfect amount of the spices I selected. There is still a long way to go for me to get the whole composition between the tastes right, but in terms of using the spices to bring out the flavours of the food this seems to be working for me at least.
After pre-soaking the Schlemmertopf, mortaring the spices in need of that and chopping the chili it all was placed in the pot and put into the oven at 140 °C.
As sides we made white cabbage wedges that we roasted in the oven after taking out the chicken, that we left to rest in the Schlemmertopf.
Finally we served the chicken and the cabbage wedges with a few leaves of lettuce and some freshly grated carrots and red beets.
There are such lovely squash/pumpkins available now and I thought this recipe would be fun to test. A Hasselback variant of butternut squash, filled with two of my favorite seasonings. Chili and bay leaves, which turned out to be really nice and fresh together with the sweet squash.
Hasselback butternut squash
Slice the squash in half and remove the seeds.
Place in a oven ramekin with the flesh side upwards. Have some cooking fat on top as well as salt. Place in the oven at 250°C for about 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven and make sure the shell is soft enough to be able to make thin slits in it.
Slice the chili and put that and the bay leaves in the slits.
Place the halves with the flesh side downwards and cook for another 45 minutes or until soft.
Pretty and tasty squash, before going into the oven for a second time! Remember to put some salt and pepper on as well.
The Hasselback squash was served with some red cabbage salad, a meat apply and some liver. A nice weekday dinner, that requires some time in the kitchen.
Creamy soups are so satisfying, especially now when its colder and dark in the evenings. This is another variant of a butternut squash soup, a slightly better one then the last one we did, I have to say. The difference is that the squash, onion and all nice spices are roasted in the oven before going into the pot.
Curry butternut squash soup
1 butternut squash
~3 cans coconut cream/milk
~3 dl bone broth
Salt & pepper
Dice the butternut squash and place in a baking tray. Top with sliced onion and all the seasoning. Sprinkle an even layer over the whole tray and pour over coconut oil before placing in the oven at 250°C for about 25 minutes.
In a pot, heat up coconut cream and bone broth.
Add the squash into the pot when it has become soft.
Mix the soup into your desired texture.
To get some protein to the meal we did some meatballs that went into the oven at the same time as the squash. Time and energy effectiveness!
The soup served topped with meatballs, rosemary and olive oil. The richness of the butternut squash together with the curry and chili seasoning is so nice! You need to try this soup!
Time again for spare ribs! It’s so tasty and gives extra value in terms of bone broth. This time we seasoned it with slices of lime and chili flakes.
Placing the spare ribs in the oven at 120 °C for four hours and finishing them off with 30 minutes at 150°C turned out to be a good way of cooking them.
As side we steamed some Hokkaido pumpkin, carrots and purple kohlrabi. Served with a piece of feta cheese and a glass of cold kombucha.
It is definitely a dish that requires some planning, but considering the time spent actually cooking I would not call it slow cooking at all. I spent maybe five minutes preparing the spare ribs for the oven. An other five to decide and chop the vegetables to steam and then twenty minutes steaming the vegetables. So less than half an hour of effort in total. With some planning it might even be possible to reach the Jamie Oliver dinner in 15 minutes ideal, if one is allowed to have the oven on for half a day that is.
Yesterday it was time again for spare ribs! We bought it last time at the butcher’s and have been looking forward to eating it.
After setting the oven to about 120 °C I seasoned the spare ribs with cocoa powder, ginger powder, chili powder, black and white pepper and some salt. On the top I also placed a few slices of lemon to add some extra sourness, which goes so well with the fat in the spare ribs.
The spare ribs were left to cook in the oven for four and a half hours before we served them with some steamed fennel and carrots as well as some fried onion and some fresh herbs, which we picked up from my parents’ garden this weekend.
Add some olive oil, a piece of butter and some balsamic vinegar and we were all set. Enjoy!
We don’t have broccoli that often, but when we do we prefer to roast it in the oven with loads of coconut oil and rich flavoring.
This time chili powder was used, as well as black and white pepper. One of the tricks to get tasty food is to use high quality organic spices. It really makes a huge different to the final taste! Also, it is possible to use less of them since they taste so much more.
Roast the broccoli for about 20 minutes in 225°C, or until they are soft and slightly browned. Don’t forget to use the stem as well, it is as tasty as the bouquets!
Many of our dinners consists of both freshly cooked food and left-overs. Probably because we are really bad at food planning, but it makes everyday life so much simpler. This dinner was leftover pork chops, freshly steamed carrots, the broccoli and some salad with tomato and avocado.
I know it starts to get difficult to keep track of our favourite meats now, but pork belly definitely comes in at the top. It doesn’t trump ox tail, but it is not too far behind. Anyways, this time I ventured to try something different. During our year in Dublin we ate a lot of pork belly and found some really nice recipes and this is an iteration of one of those.
A really nice combination is chili and cacao. It also goes really well with the fat of the pork belly. To really get a nice flavour use a lot (!) of seasoning. The fat can accommodate a lot of the seasoning and a good way of getting adequate exposure to the spices is to rub them into the meat. Make sure that your butcher helps you to slit the rind.
Fennel, cabbage and pork belly in the Schlemmertopf
Starting off I chopped up the fennel and wedged the cabbage and put in the bottom of the Schlemmertopf together with some water. Put the pork belly on top of the vegetables and add the chili, cacao and cayenne pepper. I used two table spoons of cacao and a pinch each of the cayenne and chili powder. However, with the result in mind I would suggest you use more spices and rub them into the pork belly really thoroughly. When serving the meat one will only get a really small slice of the crust and to compensate for that it is nice to have a lot of spices there. I will definitely use more spices next time around.
After the seasoning is done put the whole thing in the oven for as long as you can wait… No, but at least for a couple of hours. Depending on the time you have available you might want to tune the temperature accordingly. I used 160 °C for the first two hours and then turned it up to 210 °C for the concluding 30 minutes.
Before the last 30 minutes I removed the Schlemmertopf from the oven and added some feta cheese on the top. For this last part of the cooking I left the lid off, to allow the feta cheese to get a nice colour.
After waiting for the pork belly to finish I sliced it in thin slices and served with some fresh home grown salad from our balcony together with a glass of kombucha.
Hope you found some inspiration from this outline of a recipe. Do you have any favourite seasoning for when you cook pork belly?