OUR CULINARY HEARTBEAT
ROASTED PRAWN, FRENCH TOAST, ONION JAM & GRILLED SALAD.
We are off to a flying start into the new year with our sixth BRETTSESSION. And we do so with a reminiscence of our favourite format of seemingly long gone times: THE KITCHEN PARTY.
Relaxed cooking together, chatting, laughing. Eating the food straight from the pot, discussing tastes and techniques, and getting a bit tipsy on the go.
We did not let the current circumstances discourage us. The good mood even in the smallest circle is palpable in the video and the food was consistently so spectacularly good that we still think fondly of it (especially that toast... my goodness!).
The rustic centrepiece of the board session was a small Japanese table grill from the junkyard. Thoroughly refurbished, the good piece has become one of our absolute favourite tools. However, we recommend a powerful extractor bonnet if the grill is to be used indoors. Alternatively, it's also great on the balcony.
In this spirit - here's to cooking, eating and laughing together
Freshly caught prawns, roasted on the open coals, served with a marinade of chilli and lime.
This dish tastes best when it comes off the charcoal grill. Nice and charred on the outside, but tender and soft on the inside.
- 1.5-2 kg prawns
- 130 g coriander (or basil)
- 1-2 small red Thai chillies
- Thumb-sized piece of ginger
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 100 ml lemon juice
- 4 lime leaves
- 1 small red onion
- Lemon wedges
Remove the shrimp's intestines and place either on the grill or in the grill pan. The prawns should be grilled really hot to get the most tender meat and strong roasted flavours.
For the marinade, roughly chop the coriander. Finely chop the ginger, chillies and lime leaves. Cut the onion into fine rings. Mix the lemon juice and sugar in a bowl and season with salt. Mix everything together thoroughly in the bowl.
Place the prawns, fresh from the grill and in their shells, in a bowl, pour the marinade over them and toss well to distribute the marinade. This way, the shells of the prawns are nicely coated and you get sticky fingers when "picking them out of the shell", which you can then lick off with relish. Then place on a plate, garnish with some coriander and lemon wedges and serve with white bread.
Toast with French mountain cheese and good butter, served with heavenly onion jam.
- Mixed bread (wheat/spelt/rye)
- 250 g salty butter
- 500 g spicy old mountain cheese
- (with good development of salt crystals)
- 1.5 kg pickled gherkins (for 3 jars)
- Fresh garlic
- 1 bunch of dill
- Pink berries
Cut the bread into slices about 1.5-2 cm thick and spread salty butter on both sides (if you're watching your calories, just spread on one side - but you shouldn't be so fussy about it. So bring on the butter!).
Slice the cheese thinly or shave it down - this way it melts better with the bread and butter and makes a beautiful golden unit. Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium heat.
Meanwhile, generously top one half of the bread with cheese, cover with a second half of bread and place in the hot pan. If buttering one side, place the buttered side down in the pan and cover the unbuttered side with cheese.
Now keep an eye on the cheese toast. We want a golden crust and no overly dark spots, so it's a good idea to flip the toast more often. When the desired browning has been achieved and bread and cheese have formed the perfect unit, remove from the pan, cut in half and crisp up while still hot.
Prepare pickles according to a recipe from the internet or simply like we did: buy pickles and pimp them with fresh garlic, onions, dill and pink berries.
RED ONION MARMELADE
It is best to boil down the onion jam 2-3 hours in advance so that there is enough time to cool.
- 1 kg red onions
- 500 ml dark balsamic vinegar or
- mix 200 ml balsamic
- + 200 ml redcurrant vinegar
- 250 ml red wine
- 3 pieces of star anise
- 400 g brown sugar
- 1 small bunch of thyme
- 3-4 tbsp rapeseed oil
Peel the red onions, cut them in half and slice them into medium fine slices. Heat a suitable pot for the desired amount of onions so that the onions are lightly sautéed with a little oil until translucent. Add the star anise and sauté until translucent.
As soon as the onions are translucent, add the sugar and sauté everything, stirring constantly, until you get a hint of caramel. Now add the vinegar and let it boil away. Then add the red wine and thyme.
Now we have to be patient and stir until there is no more smell of alcohol from the red wine and the jam has a shiny, not too moist texture.
If you would like the onions to be even softer, you can always add a little liquid (water or wine, depending on the intensity) and continue to reduce and boil down until the desired result is achieved.
Before we let the jam rest and cool, remove the star anise and thyme. Set aside and it is ready.
Grilled lettuce hearts with pepper and oil.
For those who want to bring a bit of freshness to the first course or who want to keep it lean, we recommend grilled lettuce hearts without a lot of frills. Just coarse salt, lemon and a good Greek olive oil from your local dealer.
- 4 romaine lettuce hearts
- 5 organic lemons
- Olive oil
- Maldon sea salt flakes
Either prepare as we do (a bit over the top, exciting and decadent on our little Asian table grill with charcoal and pine branches) or cook in the multifunctional good old grill pan.
The whole thing is super easy:
Halve or divide the lettuce hearts. Remove the lower hard stalk beforehand, but only enough so that the leaves are still held together and don't fall apart.
If charcoal is used, please only put it on the grill when a nice glow has developed and the flames are no longer too high. Otherwise the fine lettuce leaves will burn. If a grill pan is used, full throttle! In the grill pan we need less time, but nimble fingers, because the pan must be so hot that it almost starts to smoke. Then quickly put the lettuce hearts in (without oil) and grill for about 20-30 seconds on the cut sides.