quail egg breakfast

quail egg breakfast

For a special occasion such as New Years, or just for a lovely weekend brunch or breakfast, try quail eggs instead. Here a selection of breakfast favorites, just smaller and all on one plate:

eggs benedict with prosciutto and poached eggs

boiled eggs

omelette with mini porcini mushrooms and fresh herbs

fried egg


baked goat cheese salad

baked goat cheese salad

An easy salad with great taste and quite the wow effect:

On lettuce with balsamic reduction, walnuts, cranberries and pink pepper serve a baked goat cheese wrapped in prosciutto, topped with a spoonful of cranberry marmalade.

Bake the cheese in the oven for about 3-5 minutes to warm it through, and then with top heat for a minute or two to let it bubble up a bit before serving it immediately.

Buon appetit!

Walnut Rosemary Bread

Walnut Rosemary Bread

Ingredients – makes 2 loaves:

325 grams bread flour
200 ml water
25 ml olive oil, extra virgin
16 grams dry yeast
30 grams chopped walnuts
2 – 3 teaspoons dried rosemary
sea salt & green and pink pepper


Knead all the ingredients together, let the dough rise for 2 hours and knead it through again; or put all the ingredients into a bread maker (setting artisan bread) for the knead, rise and knead, rise cycle.

Take the dough and put it in a lightly oiled bowl and (covered with plastic foil) let it rise in a warm place for another 10 – 12 hours.

Make 2 loaves (round or baguette shaped – slash the top, if desired) and bake in the oven with a bowl of water at 220 degrees Celsius for 35 – 40 minutes until the crust is crisp and golden. Let the breads cool down a bit and serve with fresh slightly salted butter, olive oil for dipping or cheese and cold cuts.


gruyère thyme gougères

gruyère thyme gougères

Hot Gruyere Thyme Gougères

Ingredients for 24-28 gougères:

1 cup hot water
1/2 cup butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 cup flour
4 eggs
1/3 cup grated Gruyère cheese
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 Teaspoon of dried and finely ground Thyme


Combine the water, butter, salt and sugar, and heat until the butter is melted. Add the flour and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until the dough forms a firm ball and breaks away from the edges of the pan. Remove the dough from the pan and beat in the eggs, one by one until the “pâte à choux”is  firm, smooth and waxy.

Add the cheese, mustard and the thyme to the pâte à choux and blend thoroughly. Butter a baking sheet and drop the dough by spoonfuls, or press through the plain tube of a pastry bag, making small round mounds on the sheets.

Sprinkle with a little additional cheese.

Bake in a 150°C oven for Abut 35 to 40 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the gougère to dry out in the oven for a few minutes before removing them to prevent them from weeping — that is, showing drops of moisture.

Serve the gougères hot – they are wonderful with a glass of champagne.

white poppy ice cream

white poppy ice cream

White Poppy Ice Cream:

For 8 servings:

¼ cup of paste of ground white poppy seeds
2 cups of milk
2/3 cups of heavy whipping cream
3 egg yolks
1/3 cup of sugar

Mix the poppy paste with the milk and the heavy cream. In a saucepan heat the mixture and bring to a boil. Once boiling, remove from heat and set aside.

In a separate bowl, with a mixer mix egg yolks and sugar until fluffy. Add the poppy mixture and stir together with a wooden spoon. Return mixture to the saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat until the custard thickens and coats the spoon. Do not boil!

Strain custard into a clean bowl and refrigerate until cold. Process custard in ice cream maker or put in the freezer and stir every 30 minutes until frozen.

pate sablee cookies

pate sablee cookies

Pate Sablee Cookies


125 grams of flour “00”
100 grams of butter, cut into small pieces, slightly softened
50 grams of icing sugar
1 egg yolk
pinch of salt
dark chocolate, sugar and almond slivers for decorating


Mix the flour with the salt and icing sugar. Gently work in the butter and the egg yolk with your fingertips until completely smooth.

Wrapped in cling film, let rest in the refrigerator for an hour.

Roll out to 2mm thickness and create desired shapes. Set on a baking sheet or silpat. Bake in pre-heated oven at 170 degrees for 6 – 10 minutes until blond or lightly browned.

Decorate with dark chocolate, brulee-ed sugar or almonds.

Seafood Trio

Seafood Trio

Seafood Trio:

Mussels in Dijon-Mustard Saffron Broth
Garlic-Lime Shrimp with Parsley and Lime Dip
Scallops Seared in Duck Fat with Thyme and Tangerine Zest

And here the recipes:

Mussels in Dijon-Mustard Saffron Broth

Ingredients for 4 people:
1 kg mussels (250grams per person) in the shell, cleaned
50 grams of butter
3 cloves of garlic
1 medium sized shallot
1 teaspoon of pink pepper
good pinch of grey sea salt
1 cup of dry white wine
2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard
25 milligrams of saffron
2 – 3 teaspoons of starch for binding
Melt the butter in a large saucepan, pot or wok.
Sauté the garlic and the shallots until tender, but not browned.
Add the pepper, the salt and the mussels and sauté for about 1 minute.
Add the white wine and steam cook the mussels for about another 5 minutes, stir occasionally.
Take the mussels out of the liquid, discard any unopened mussels and de-shell the open ones. Distribute the mussels evenly in 4 pre-warmed bowls and cover.
Add the Dijon mustard to the cooking liquid and bring to a boil, add the starch for binding the broth.
Add the saffron.
Pour the broth over the mussels and serve immediately.

Garlic-Lime Shrimp with Parsley and Lime Dip

Ingredients for 4 people:
600 grams of large shrimp
¼ cup of olive oil
juice of 2 limes
5 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon of ground pink and green pepper
small bunch of flat leave parsley (fresh) – chopped with 4 sprigs preserved for decorating.
pinch of grey sea salt
Make a marinade with 2/3 of the ¼ cup of olive oil, juice of 1 lime, the garlic (peeled, crushed and roughly chopped) and the teaspoon of pepper .
Marinade cleaned and de-veined shrimp for at least 1 hour, but no more than 3.
Heat the rest of the olive oil in a pan.
Sauté the shrimp until tender, about 2 minutes. Set on the plates for serving, sprinkle with the chopped parsley and decorate with the parsley sprigs.
Add the juice of the second lime and the sea salt to the pan and let it boil up for a few seconds. Pour in little dipping dishes with the shrimp and swerve immediately.

Scallops Seared in Duck Fat with Thyme and Tangerine Zest

Ingredients for 4 people:
3 – 4 tablespoons of duck fat
zest of 1 tangerine
1 teaspoon of chopped thyme (fresh)
12 medium-sized scallops, cleaned and out of the shell
Heat the duck fat in a medium size pan, large enough for all the scallops.
Sauté the scallops until tender and lightly browned on both sides, about 3 – 4 minutes depending on the size of the scallops.
Plate and sprinkle with the thyme and tangerine zest. Serve immediately.
Wine Pairing:
Use the same dry white wine used for the mussels, ideally a Soave or Sauvignon Blanc.

decoration, appetizer or main course

asparagus stuffed rigatoni

These asparagus stuffed rigatoni are a great way to make two simple ingredients look fabulous:

Cook the pasta and the asparagus both al dente and then stuff the asparagus into the pasta. It works nicely as a decoration for a bowl of pasta with asparagus or a vegetable or tomato sauce, with a dipping sauce as an appetizer, or, if you have the patience, you can make a whole main course of it!


bread dumplings

bread dumpling in mushroom cream

bread dumpling in mushroom cream

bread dumplings are a great winter dish and fabulous for making use of old and stale bread. However, they work just as well with nice fresh bread, too!

Ingredients for 4 – 6 people:

one French baguette (sourdough, rye, rolls or hearty dark bread are fine as well – you also can mix if you like)

2 eggs

milk (skim or full fat)

bread crumbs (unflavored)

half an onion (medium size, white)

parsley (dried or fresh) – optional

caraway seeds (optional)




Cut the bread in medium size cubes – maybe about 1″x1″ – and put them in a large bowl. Pour milk on the bread that is nicely dowsed. Don’t drown it though, you want to soak the bread, not making a liquid bread soup.

Dice the onion finely and add to the bread and add the parsley and the caraway seeds if you like. Season with salt and pepper. Mix everything together. The mixture should be kind of crumbly at this point. Don’t mush the bread completely – it is okay to still have visible junks.

Add the two eggs and knead everything together. Add breadcrumbs until you reach a consistency that allows the dough to stick together and you can form it into a shape.

Make dumplings – as large or small as you like. If you have them as a side dish, make them a bit bigger. If you want to serve them in a soup, I recommend a smaller size to make it easier to eat.

Bring a large pot of salted  water to a boil and boil the dumplings in the salt water until done. The small ones will need about 20-25 minutes, the big ones up to 35-40. Another option is to steam them – it keeps the outside drier and the risk of them falling apart during the cooking process is eliminated.

Check one dumpling to make sure that they are really done – the inside needs to be dry. If it it is still wet and doughy, they need longer.

Serve the dumplings with anything from a beef stew to a light creamy mushroom sauce. I love fresh chanterelles for example – as a soup or in a sauce.


Happy Thanksgiving



Happy Thanksgiving!

In my case without turkey – and unfortunately – also without Tofurky!

This soy based substitute tastes really, really good – if you haven’t tried it, please do yourself a favor and try it! It is healthy, yummy and also has less fat. I haven’t heard from anyone yet, who didn’t like it! However, it is not available in India and there are no companies importing it, or willing to send it to India. There also seem to be some restrictions on food shipments into India. If anyone knows of anyone wanting to change that, please let me know!

Anyway, of course I don’t want to talk anyone into vegetarianism, especially on Thanksgiving, but I want to mention that there are alternatives. 45 million dead turkeys just for one meal sounds like an awful lot to me, but hey!

Either way, enjoy your dinner, a very happy Thanksgiving, wherever in the world you may be, and lots of love to your and your families!

private cooking classes

private cooking classes

private cooking classes

Following the request communicated by some of my friends and guests from prior culinary events, I would like to post information on private cooking classes that I am making available in India.

There are two versions I am currently offering:

1. a morning cooking class from 10 am – 2pm for 2 – 4 participants (I can’t fit more into my kitchen there and I would like a hands-on experience for every participant):

The class will include the preparation of an appetizer or soup (this can be decided by the participants), one main course (maybe something like home-made pasta with a nice sauce or fresh pesto) and a dessert. Once it is decided what we will make, I’ll put together an overview of the respective recipes, including detailed instructions, with space for making additional notes during the session. The materials are for the participants to take home after the class.

We will prepare all the dishes together – with the hands on experience for everybody so that the participants really learn how to make every dish. Any questions, thoughts and challenges can be discussed right there, while preparing!

Afterwards we will eat the dishes as a 3-course lunch and while enjoying the food, we can further discuss alternative versions and other potential ideas.

2. an afternoon cooking class from 2pm – 8pm for also 2 – 4 participants:

This class will include the preparation of a four-course meal including an appetizer, a soup, a main course  and dessert. Same as with the morning course, once it is decided what we will make, I’ll put together an overview of the respective recipes, including instructions, with space for making additional notes during the session. The materials are for the participants to take home after the class.

We will prepare all the dishes together – with the hands on experience for everybody so that the participants really learn how to make every dish. Any questions, thoughts and challenges can be discussed right there, while preparing!

Afterwards for this class, we will eat the dishes as a 4-course dinner that also includes wine to match and while enjoying the food, we can further discuss alternative versions and other potential ideas for the dishes we created.

The morning course is offered for INR 2,500 per person and the afternoon course for INR 3,500 per person. Interested students and participants, please send an e-mail to with “cooking classes” in the subject line. Thank you!

The information and pricing above is for participants in India. However, classes also can be offered to students in other locations! Please let me know if you are interested and/or have any questions and I am happy to work with you wherever you are in the world!

vertical eggs

vertical eggs

vertical eggs

This recipe is a bit elaborate and requires a good deal of logistical discipline since seconds are a matter of importance in order to pull this one off. However, it is worth the effort!

Here is what you need:

2 egg yolks

2 egg whites

2 eggs

yes, that is 4 eggs in total!

fresh or dried chives


sea salt

truffles (fresh or in a glass)

truffle oil (black or white – either is fine!)

white sesame seeds

grated mozzarella or another mild cheese such as young Edam or Gouda



Start by separating the two eggs into the yolks and the egg whites. Keep the yolks separate in two small bowls. Coat one egg yolk with sesame seeds. Be careful that the seeds don’t pierce the egg!

Mix the egg whites with the chives and some sesame seeds, season with pepper and sea salt.

Break the other two eggs and mix them with the cheese, also season to taste with pepper and salt (sea salt – always!).

Now here is where the timing gets important! You want everything ready at the same time (cold eggs are awful!), therefore put the following aspects into consideration:

If you want your egg yolks medium done (still soft and and slightly runny on the inside, but a bit firm on the outside) that takes about 2-3 minutes for both, the poaching and the frying).

Bring the salted water for the egg yolk you are poaching to a boil. Don’t put the egg yolk in until you are sure you only need another 3 minutes to finish everything else.

Butter two pans, one for the egg white omelet and one for the regular cheese omelet. Use medium sized pans since you want the omelets thin.

Add the respective egg mixtures to the pans, let one side fry and then flip over to do the other side.

Get a third pan ready for the sesame covered egg yolk. Once you flipped the omelets over to fry the second side, put the egg yolks in the water and pan.

Once the omelets are done, take them out of the pan and cut into two-inch wide strips. Weave them together, or in other words, fold the omelets over each other – one layer egg white omelet, one layer regular – that you create a verticality on your plate: a 2’x2” square parcel out of the two omelets. You will have the outer strips of the omelet left over since they have the sides rounded and therefore can’t be used. Keep them separate for another use, or eat them as you layer the actual dish.

Take the egg yolks out of the pan and water – make sure that they weren’t in for more than the necessary 2-3 minutes and stack them on top of the omelet parcel. Put the sesame yolk first and then top it with the poached yolk. Make sure they don;t break before they are in position!

Decorate with truffle oil and shaved truffles and serve on toast or thin-cut roasted potato strips.


P.S. If at first you don’t succeed, keep trying – it is worth it!

pink peppercorn pasta

pink peppercorn pasta pink peppercorn pasta

here is the recipe for one of my recent discoveries and I dare to say it is quite the revelation:

pink peppercorn pasta with pink peppercorn pesto

No, there is no such thing as too many peppercorns – well, there is of course, but this recipe is sure to please:

ingredients for the for the pasta:

2 cups of flour (00 if you can find it or very, very finely ground flour – regular or whole wheat)

3 egg yolks

2 eggs

sea salt

3 tablespoons of dried pink peppercorns



pile the flour on a working surface (the kitchen counter is fine – make sure it is clean!). Grind the peppercorns – grind as finely as you like, but if you leave them somewhat coarse the flavor comes out better. Make a mold in the middle of the flour heap and add ground peppercorns. Separate the 3 eggs (keep the egg whites for your breakfast omelet) and add yolks to the flour and pepper. Add a healthy pinch of the sea salt. Start to knead the mixture together. It is quite messy in the beginning, but the flour will start to absorb the egg yolks and the whole mixture will get crumbly. Once that happens, make a new heap with a mold in the middle and add the two remaining eggs. Keep kneading. The whole mess will start to stop sticking to your fingers and you will get a smooth and silky dough. If you feel you need more moisture, add some water, but be very careful not to use too much. If the mixture gets too wet, add more flour. Keep kneading for 5 minutes more than you think necessary. This also helps to burn off some of the calories you will add back when eating the pasta afterwards.

Roll the dough out to about 1mm or 1/16″ thick and cut in strips. You can make any shape you like, but I prefer pappardelle for this recipe. About 3/4″ wide or about 2cm. Keep the length somewhere between 2 and 3″ or 6 to 10cm. Flour them lightly when you set them aside while working the rest of the dough, otherwise the strands are sticking together.

ingredients for the pesto:

3 table spoons of dried pink peppercorns

extra virgin olive oil

Parmesan (about 3 table spoons)

sea salt


grind the peppercorns (see above), grate the Parmesan (in this case you want it relatively fine), add the sea salt and top off with olive oil that everything is nicely doused in the oil. Stir and add more oil if necessary. Taste and add accordingly more cheese, salt or oil. Set aside.

Boil the pasta in salt water – this will only take a few minutes since the pasta is fresh. If you don’t want to turn your hard work into mush, drain them pretty much right after they are coming up to the surface of the boiling water. 

Put pasta in a bowl, pour pesto over it and gently stir the pasta that the pesto covers every pappardelle strand. Add some peppercorns for decoration if you like. Add more Parmesan for taste.