Jam ‘n Rosemary

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It’s time for a new Cocktail. I think we focused a bit too much on food dishes and posts and forget about the word of drinking and mixing. To be honest I am a real Lover of good Cocktails, mostly of a simple and dry one. Iker is more the sweet ‘n creamy type. I love the scenario when we are having Drinks on a Bar, because the waiter always mixes our orders, they don’t expect men drinking Coladas. He is just a little Lady!

The last weeks I noticed that I really miss working as a Barkeeper, mixing Cocktails, shaking, watching people drinking, mixing again, shaking again, watching again…
But not working as a Barkeeper doesn’t mean, not drinking Cocktails, right? And how says no to a nice drink after dinner, is like having dessert, it closes the circle.

What you need: Shaker and Ice cubes and…

  • 4 cl Hendricks Gin (you can also use any other Gin)
  • 2 cl Grand Marnier
  • fresh Rosemary
  • 2 cl fresh Lemon Juice
  • a big tbsp Orange Jam ( we use a home made, but you can also buy one)
  • 5 cl fresh Orange Juice
  • fill up with Sparkling Water

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How to mix your perfect Jam ‘n Rosemary:

It’s actually very simple and a lot of fun: Pour all the liquids plus rosemary in a shaker, add ice and start shaking. You can also smash the rosemary gently in the shaker before adding the rest of the liquids. Shake for a few minutes and strain it in a glass, filled with ice. A slice of Orange and a rosemary branch finish the drink. Lay back, cool down and get drunk….no  kidding…enjoy!

DSC_0066Iker& Julia, Cheers 🙂

Giant Champignons filled with Quinoa and Raisins

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The today’s post wasn’t really plant, but while we were preparing dinner, we though: That’s actually a really nice dish, we should  make a post out of it. And here we are….posting our lovely Saturday Night Dinner.
We got some giant Champignons and thought about grilling and filling…What a sentence… and as a side dish we had some green  beans. Iker prefers to sauté them, with some garlic and oil. I prefer eating them as a salad with onion, white vinegar and olive oil. How do you like them?

What you need for the Champignons:

  • 4 Giant Champignons
  • 2 Cups of Quinoa
  • 2 small Onions
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic
  • A Hand of Raisins, soaked for 15 min in hot water
  • Fresh Parsley
  • 1 Carrot, grated
  • Juice of 1/2 a Lemon
  • 1 Tbsp of Oregano
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and Peeper

And for the green Beans:

  • Actually just green beans…about 200 g
  • as a Salad: Olive Oil, Vinegar, Salt and Pepper and some Onion
  • saut’e: Olive Oil, Garlic, Salt and Pepper

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Ok let’s start cooking: 

Preheat the oven to 170 °C. While we are preparing the champignon we can cook the beans and the quinoa. Cook the green beans in boiling water for about 5 min, so they are still crunchy. Before cooking the quinoa, soak it in hot water for about 10 min, then cook it  in boiling water for about 15 min.

Let’s begin with the champignon: Take the flesh of the champignons out, use for this a little spoon, but please be carful, because they can easily break. We are gonna use the flesh for the filling, it gives a lovely taste!
Take a pan and add the Olive Oil, don’t be stingy with it, because you can never have enough Olive Oil.

Iker always says: “Olive Oil is liquid Gold!”  And I think he is damn right, because the quality of the Oil makes a hell of a difference. When my dad comes to Vienna for visiting us, he always brings 2 liters of Olive Oil from the Toscana, but it’s never enough and I really start thinking that we are Vienna’s most Olive Oil consumer. Kind of scary! 

Back to the champignons: So, you add the Olive Oil to the pan and start grilling the chopped onion till it get golden brown, then add the garlic, champignon flesh, carrots and raisins and continue stirring. You will smell the mushrooms, oh I love this smell, it reminds me always of wood and forest and autumn. Now add the quinoa and the rest of the herbs, as well salt and pepper and lemon juice, mix it all together and take it aways from the heat.

Take a second pan and add for a second time Olive Oil, when the pan starts sort of smoking add the champignon and grill them on both sides till they have a nice color. Take them away from the heat and place them on a baking tray with backing paper. Start filling them with the quinoa- mixture and put them in the oven for about 10-15 min. You can also add some grated Parmesan before putting in the oven.

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Julia Beens ,   Iker Beens

Sauté the beens in Olive Oil and Garlic or have them as a salad and place the champignons on it. We had some of the beetroot hummus with it. You find the recipe for the beetroot smash also on our blog.

Glass of wine, lovely dinner and let’s forget the rest!!

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Lots of Love and a good week
Iker& Julia

Raw Beetroot Smash

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What a sunny Saturday. I went outside to make some shopping at the Rochusmarkt, which is very closed to our home and I am pretty sure I could smell the spring. Every year, there is this special single day, when you can smell the spring and it changes your mood immediately. You start feeling more fresh and you are full of energy. Today it’s my Spring Day! I got some Beetroots and other food from the market. When I was about to leave and go back home, I saw some tulips. I really don’t know if now is tulips- time, but they looked so colourful and mirrored my mood. So I decided to take some with me. I love to have some fresh flowers in our flat, because they make every room shining!

What you need for the raw beetroot smash:

  • ½ kg of raw Beetroot
  • 50 g of Pumpkin Seeds
  • 2 ripe Avocados
  • 1 Tbsp of Tahini
  • 2 Tbsp of Mustard
  • 1-2 Lemon (Juice and Zest)
  • 2 Tbsp of Capers
  • 2 Tbsp of grated Horseradish
  • Salt and Pepper

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That’s how you make it:

First wash the beetroots, peel them and grate them into a bowl. This could be a bit annoying, because your hands gonna look quite pink, but don’t give up, because the result it’s worth!

Put all the other ingredients in a blender and start blending. If it doesn’t work add some water and continue blending till it’s creamy and smooth. Try the mixture and if necessary add some more salt or lemon juice.

Now add the Avocado Cream to the beetroots and mix all together. I love to cook with beetroots, not only the colour looks great but the taste is very special and it fits to so many other ingredients or dishes. Last flavour check and you are finished.

We like to eat it with salad or fish or just simply as a dip.

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Happy weekend
Iker& Julia

Homemade Banana Granola

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The today’s post is gonna be a very short one: Some home made Granola with Nuts and Banana.
Iker and me we are both cereal lovers and we have almost every morning some kind of  muesli with fresh fruits. But we can never decide which one we like the most: More a crunchy? Or a fruity? Or just  simply porridge?

That’s how the idea of making our own granola  born.

What you need: 

  • 200 g of Oats
  • 1 Tbsp of flax seeds
  • 1 Tbsp of Sesame
  • 80 g of raw Almonds
  • 80 g of Pumpkin Seeds
  • 2 ripe Bananas
  • 3 Tbsp Honey
  • 3 Tbsp of coconut flakes
  • 3 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • pinch of Salt

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Step by Step: 

Preheat the oven on 200 °C . Take two bowls: In the first one go all the dry ingredients: Oats, Nuts and Seeds and the salt, mix it good. Add in the second bowl the banana, the coconut oil and the honey. You can knead it with your hands so you get a nice homogeny mixture. Give now the banana mix to the Oat and mix everything together.

Put some backing paper on a baking tray and spread the granola on it. You can press a bit harder, so it really sticks together. Now it goes in the oven for about 10 min. Take it out and flip it with a spatula. Don’t worry if it breaks, it will still taste delicious. Back in the oven for another 10- 15 min.  Take it out of the oven and let it cool down. When it’s cold, you can  break the granola in smaller chunks.

I really like it as a topping on a fruit smoothie. Iker likes it more in his breakfast bowl with yogurt and fruits. I am sure you will find your way to enjoy it.

Iker& Julia

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Smoked Trout Tartar

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Wohoo….the first sunny day since a couple of days or maybe also weeks. We took our bikes and went to the Karmelitermarkt, a little food market in Vienna. The sun kissed our face and while enjoying a cup of coffee we were thinking about what to cook.
A good friend of us came over for Dinner and we wanted to prepare her something nice and where can you get more inspiration than on a market. A place full of fresh fruits and vegetables, meat and dairy products! Heaven!

With two backpacks full of ingredients and a big smile on our face were we trying to get home safety.
Our friend, Nicole, is working as a manager and she gives workshops on blogs and advertisement. Short or long story, she was helping us with our blog and we decided to say ” Thank you” trough a nice dinner!

Dinner Part 1: The Starter:

We decided to open our dinner with a Smoked Trout Tartar on smashed Avocado and Pumpernickel Bread.

For the smoked trout tartar (4 per.): 

  • 1 smoked Trout Filet
  • 1 tsp of Capers
  • 2 small Pickels
  • fresh Coriander
  • juice of 1/2  a Lemon
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil

For the smashed Avocados:

  • 2 ripe Avocados
  • 1 Tbsp of Wasabi
  • half an Onion
  • 1 Tbsp of Pumpkinseed
  • Juice of a whole Lemon
  • Fresh Coriander
  • 4 Radishes

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Let’s start with the Tartar: 

Take a bowl of your choice and mince with your fingers the trout fillet into small pieces, careful with the little fish bones. Cut the capers and pickles into small pieces and add them to the fish. Squeeze the lemon and chop the fresh coriander, add both ingredients plus the Olive Oil and mix gently. You can refine the tartar with some salt and pepper, but pay attention, because the trout is already quite salty. Cover it with plastic film and put it back in the fridge for cooling down.

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For the smashed Avocados: 

Give the flesh of the avocados into a bowl and add the lemon juice, which prevents any discoloration of the avocado. Mince the avocado with a fork until you get a kind of mousse. Cut the radishes into thin slices and add them too, as well as the wasabi paste, the pumpkin seeds, salt and pepper. Mix everything and try. When you are happy with the result and the taste, put it back in the fridge.

Serve it: 

First, we need to cut the pumpernickel bread, we have used for this a Starter- ring (also know as a Tartar Ring), with which you can cut the bread easily and you get a nice form, but you can also use a knife.
Take a dish of your choice and start with the round piece of the pumpernickel on the bottom of the tower, on the bread comes the avocado mousse and on the top the trout tartar. We finished the dish with a thin slice of cucumber around the tower.

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To be continued…..with the Main Dish+ Dessert
Iker and Julia

DSC_0022-side      Asking ourselves, what is the best way to eat healthy during winter, compared to any other season of the year, winter is a time for staying at home most likely and specially in the kitchen, where the heat of the oven and savory smells from the stove can give us what we for sure are going to need in the following days of the degrees that looks under zero lately.

Yes, it’s really cold outside, and according to the website “BBC Good Food” during winter we should provide ourselves meals that gave us those extra calories that we will require to keep warm, that it’s, my friends, the only reason here: we gotta stay warm! Nothing is more satisfying after a long trip outside home dealing with frozen noses and fingers, besides the feeling of the cold entering our bones than a bowl full of hot soup or a stew made by mom, am I right?

Just thinking in the idea of a shelve with a lot of compartments full of ingredients that can gifts us these moments of keeping active inside the kitchen during winter, with this constant focus or inner warmth, we ask you to stay thinking about the winter as a time to celebrate the warmth of eating.

Couple of days ago we were hanging out at the Nachmarkt, a local market here in Vienna, where you can meet in person the influence of diverse cultures striking for a place, and dozens of owners trying to catch your attention offering you a bite of their products: “Champagne sauerkrat madame!”, “You don’t know what you’re missing!”, You never had something like this before!”, “Come and try, the best spices that you can find”.

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During our whole trip around the market we realize which products were more important or the priority of each place in the market, all those filled with carbohydrates, proteins and full of energy! You must stay between these halls in the market, otherwise exposing yourself that day outside the market, you will be ending like us, looking for a small coffee where to warm up ourselves and making a small break to gain some batteries.

I think we got everything at home, this week the box was really full of interesting products, and the name of one plate was keep shouted during all these days in our heads, I think it would be silly to deny it and try to cook something else. “Hey, looks like the pork is fat enough, right?” We got this amazing Bio bacon at our local bio store, which is smoked but as tasteful as the same smell being reproduced in our memory. It’s from a local farmer and it have

Preparation: 

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For the filling

  • 2 chopped King Royale pears.
  • 4 big chopped dried dates.
  • 70gr Roasted almonds.
  • Half of a chopped and caramelized red onion.
  • 2 branches of fresh coriander.
  • Salt.
  • Grounded Pepper.
  • Olive oil.
  1. Cut red onion in small pieces, place them in a hot pan with a dash of olive oil and let them caramelize on low heat, remove constantly so they don’t stick to the pan either burn.
  2. When finished place them inside a bowl. Pour in the pears and dates chopped in cubes with the roasted and chopped almonds. Add some fresh chopped coriander, salt, pepper and olive oil, mix all together and reserve.

For the bed of roots: 

  • 2 small Parsnip
  • 1 small Celery root
  • 3 thin and long Cassava
  • Salt
  • A Half of a Red Onion
  • Grounded pepper
  • Olive oil
  1. Peel off the skin of the parsnip, celery and cassava with the help of a peeler and knife. Then chopped them in pieces of 2cm approximately.
  2. Place a wok either a pan on the stove on high heat pouring a generous quantity of oil on it. Add the chopped veggies altogether with the onion and let them roast and get a nice golden brown color, allow yourself to hear those sounds when the ingredients are jumping into the pan, it’s a nice tip to know you’re doing good.
  3. Don’t forget to add some salt and pepper, and why not trying some spice you had storage in your shelves, thyme and rosemary.
  4. Reserve until service.

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For the filled onions:

  • 2-3 baby onions cut in half.
  • Half of an avocado
  • 10cl of buttermilk
  • Salt
  • Grounded pepper
  • Oregano
  • Olive oil
  1. Peel off and cut in half the baby onions.
  2. Place a pan on the stove and heat it up on high heat. Add a dash of olive oil and place the onions with the cut side facing the pan. Let them caramelize and get a nice shiny and golden color. Then low down the heat and finish cooking them.
  3. Reserve and in the meanwhile, place in a bowl the avocado and smash it with the help of a fork, add the buttermilk and beat it gently, add some salt, pepper and oregano. Check and correct.

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Finishing the plate!

  1. Now we are finally going to do the loin! For this step just take a sharpen knife and cut the loin through the half without reaching the bottom, them twist your knife 90º to one side and cut again without reaching the bottom, repeat this operation on the other side. This will allow you to “open” the loin like a book and fill it so then later we can close it. Amazing, right? You can check a video and see how to do this operation.
  2. Now add a generous quantity of salt and pepper on top so then you can place the filling inside and then close again the sides of the loin.
  3. Now take some cord and we are going to make us sure this won’t open during the cooking. How? Let’s try checking this video. You can also try this with a rice packet before you jump with the pork.
  4. Now add some salt and pepper on top, also you can add some butter and spread it or herbs. But we got this amazing bacon we told you about, remember? So we are going to wrapped it with it, and indeed we won’t need to add any salt!
  5. Now the exciting moment is when you place the final pan on maximum heat, and when start to spread smoke, pour in gently this generous quantity of olive oil and place the pork loin in. Sealed it on each side moving with careful the piece, make yourself sure that each corner got a nice colour, remember this is going to be the final presentation of the dish, so even for the sides, hold the loin with the help of two forks and force him to get dress!
  6. Now place on a tray and take it into the oven. Before this I would recommend to put some backing paper at least, but the better is to put it on a metal rack and then over a tray, so you can collect afterwards the juices that the meat drops, and why not? Feeling like making a sauce? Feel free to ask us how if you want to try it
  7. After the meat is ready and you can know this either cutting the meat or, my favorite and best way, just pressing the meat and checking it with your hand, how? Check it for yourself in this video: Here
  8. Now you can finish the cooking process of the veggies in the oven.
  9. Now just let it rest on the table for five minutes, please! This step is necessary with any piece of meat you prepared. Otherwise it will bleed out, let it rest! When the time it’s done, cut the cord and then cut it in slices.
  10. Place a generous quantity of veggies on the plate and then two nice slices of the meat on top. Dissemble the onions and take the nicest ones on the plate, filling them with the first preparation. Be sure to make it look sexy and nice on the plate, treat it with love and this plate cannot fail!

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Stuffed Roasted Pork Loin over Veggies Bed

Warm Lentil and Radicchio Salad

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Vienna in snow. Now the winter arrived also here. I think it’s actually the first real snow of this winter. After a whole month full of warm temperatures and sunny days, the city turned into a white winter wonderland. Deep inside I was hoping t0 put my winter clothes back in the wardrobe and to bring some color in my daily life! Long or short story, we still have to wait to wear summer dresses and sunglasses!

To celebrate the winter we decided to have a nice and warm salad with radicchio and lentils:

That’s what you need for this dish:

  • 1 Radicchio
  • 2 Cups of Mountain Lentils
  • 1 Apple
  • Some Ham or Bacon
  • Some Peccorino
  • Aceto Balsamico
  • Some Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper

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Preperation: 

Start with cooking the lentils; we used for this dish the green mountain lentils, which take about 20 min to be cooked. In the meantime you can start with the radicchio: Wash and cut the radicchio and the apple in pieces. But some oil in a pan and start with the radicchio. As soon as it gets some color pour it with aceto balsamico, we also used some of the balsamico cream, which is kind of sweet and it fits perfectly with the radicchio. Just before the vinegar is cooked, add the apples, so that they remain crisp.

Remove the lentils from the stove and strain them.
Put some oil in a second pan and sear the bacon or ham in it, add the lentils, Salt and Pepper.

The lentils made the basic of our dish, the radicchio above and some grained peccorino on top. Finish your dish with some Olive oil and….enjoy!!

DSC_0030Fresh start of this week
Iker& Julia
from winter wonderland

Kurkuma

DSC_0183Its time for our first Cocktail- Post:

Every saturday there is a Vintage market next to the food market “Naschmarkt” where we like to go and look for accessories, little gifts or jewelry. It’s always really crowded and you have to get there quite early to find something nice. A box full of old glasses awoke our attention today. We started to rummage in those boxes and brought home 4 new cocktail glasses. We got Kurkuma and the rest of the ingredients from the Naschmarkt and went home to prepare our first drink.
Whats better than starting a saturday night with a nice drink?

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Thats what you need for the drink

  • Rum
  • Grand Marnier
  • Fresh Lime Juice
  • Home made Kurkuma- Sirup
  • Lime Twist for Decoration and of course a Shaker and Ice

Preparation:

The basic to make a sirup is actually always the same: Same amount of sugar and water. For half a liter of sirup take 500g sugar and 500 ml water. Put both ingredients in a bowl, heat it up until it starts boiling. Add the grated Kurkuma (it takes some time to grate it and be carful with the yellow color.) Remove it from the stove and let it cool down. To make the flavor more intense, you can leave the Kurkuma in the sirup over night. Strain it and fill it up in a nice bottle of your taste.

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For the Drink:

  • 4cl Rum
  • 2 cl Grand Marnier
  • 2cl Kurkuma- Sirup
  • 2cl Lime Juice

Put all the ingredients in the shaker, add ice and start shaking. Don’t be afraid and continue shaking, so you will get a creamy topping. Fill it in one of your most beautiful glasses and finish you cocktail with a lime twist!

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Call your friends, or just enjoy by yourself…
What a perfect start in the weekend.

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Root Salad with roasted Pumpkin and Feta

DSC_0011Roots, Roots, Roots!!!

Our weekly Box arrived yesterday, during winter the box doesn’t look that colorful and sometimes it’s getting a bit annoying, every week almost the same veggies and fruits: lots of radish, carrots, cabbage in any shape or form and apples without end.

Today it’s gonna be root salad with roasted pumpkin and feta.

And that’s what you need for it:

  • 1 kg of different kind of roots veggies (we used, beetroot, pink radish, black radish and carrots)
  • Half a Pumpkin
  • Spring Onions
  • Fresh Coriander
  • Feta
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Pumpkinseed Oil
  • Pumpkinseeds and Cashews

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Preparation: 

  1. Preheat the oven on 180 °C. In the meantime you can peel the pumpkin and cut it into small slices. But them on a baking plate and add some pumpkinseeds- and oil and some salt and pepper.
  2. While the pumpkin gets brown and crunchy you can start working on your root- veggies. I really like this recipe, because it doesn’t take long to prepare it and it tastes really nice.
    Peel your roots and radish and cut them in piece you like, it doesn’t really matter what size, as long as you like it!
  3. But the veggies in a bowl and add some lemon juice, pumpkinseed oil, salt and pepper, the spring onion, fresh coriander and the cashews. Mix it good.
    We left the pumpkin for about 20-30 min in the oven, so its soft and crunchy.
  4. Serve: Serve the root salad on a nice plate, put the pumping plus seeds on top and finish the dish with some feta cheese.

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Happy Thursday e buon appetito!
Iker and Julia

Fennel-Pear-Soup

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Its January, but not really cold in Vienna, which is very untypical. Normally at this time of the year, you don’t really want to leave home, normally its grey and foggy, but today it’s a lovely January day, which are very rare. So I decided to take a walk in the sun and I crossed one of those little Turkish markets in Vienna and I got some fennel, pears and fresh coriander and I decided to cook a nice soup today.

This was a really fresh and tasty soup, but to catch all the flavor of these elements in each one of the spoons you have to slowly poached them together in low heat.

That’s what you need for it:

  • 2 Fennel
  • 3 Pears
  • 1/2 Spring onion
  • 2 Garlic teeth
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Water
  • A branch of fresh coriander
  • Clove and caraway.
  • Some cottage cheese for the topping

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Preparation:

1. First, we are going to wash our hands and all the ingredients, right away peel the onion and cut everything in small cubes of an approximately size.

2. Now we are going to place a small pot on the heat with a high heat. Just when the pot is properly heated we are going to add some olive oil and immediately the onions, fennel, garlic and pears.

3. Then we lower the heat and continue stirring in the pot with a wooden spoon for avoiding sticking to the base of the pot either burning the elements in.

4. Here what do we pretend is to slowly cook the ingredients so all the aromas can spread out, a fast cook will not let us enjoy properly all these gifts.

5. Add some salt and pepper. Keep stirring.

6. For a tip you can add the spices that you want, even a small dash of liquor and then burn it. We used a little bit of caraway and a clove but feel free to try the ones you like!

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7. Once everything have been poached properly put some water till you cover all the contain. Let it boil up once and with a hand mixer, mix up everything together. Check the consistency of the soup, if needed you can add some cornstarch or just reduce the mixture until it thickens. Try it and if needed add more salt or pepper, or who knows maybe more spices!

8. Serve in a soup bowl, add some cottage cheese on top and some fresh chopped coriander, a dash of olive oil and that’s it!

9. Enjoy!

Its a very simple dish, but I think the fennel and the pear, they fit very good together. For some sort of decorations we also shaved some fennel shaves and add it in the middle, looks awesome doesn’t it?

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We wish you love this recipe and again we invite all of you to try it at home and share your ideas or thoughts. Want to follow the recipe step by step? or are you feeling gourmet and will you add some new things in it? Please share with us and everyone your ideas!

Have a nice day everyone see you soon!

Julia and Iker.