Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Herb Crusted Pork Filet

Airplane travel is nature's way to make you look like your passport photo.
I think it was Al Gore who made this statement and I couldn't agree more.
The trip from Vienna to Lima lasts door to door about 20 hours

 and after finally arriving I looked even worst than my passport picture. Believe me it is possible.
 Nowadays a good flight means probally that your plane didn't have any major delight, that you didn'tget hijacked and that you did arrive at the right airport. So you see, making passengers happy is quite easy for the airlines.
 Now we have recovered and I can't believe that it's already two weeks that we are back to Peru.
Actually, sometimes it feels as we would have never left, so fast we were back to routine.
Anyhow, looking at the bright sight of life, we have escaped the incredible heat in Europe and are emjoying an extremely mild winter in Peru, due to "El Nino"
After redirecting my kitchen GPS, I was finally able to find my way around and even found surprising kitchen items I didn't know I had.
The piles of laundry have disaapeared, luggage is stored and I was in the mood for some comfort food that is light and easy to prepare but still wakes up your taste buds and appetite.
This pork tenderloin, combined with fresh, aromatic herbs that melt together with bredcrumbs to a crispy, delicious crust is one of our family favorites, no leftovers ever.
Pork filet is one of the moste tender  and lean parts of pork meat.
Preparin it is easy and fast but keeping it moist and juicy can be tricky as it tends to try out soon when overcooked.
Just use your kitchen "Sense Ad Sensibility" and you won't be sorry to prepare this fantastic meat.

Herb Crusted Pork Filet (Tenderloin): 
1 cup of finely chopped toast bread
1\2 cup of olive oil
2 spoonful olive oil to brown the meat and seal in the juices
1 crushed garlic clove
1 spoonful Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon of lemon zest
3\4 cup finely chopped parsley
2 spoonful finely chopped chives
2 spoonful finely chopped roesmary
1 spoonful finely chopped thyme (fresh or dried)
1 spoonful mild paprika
 Freshly ground salt and pepper

With a sharp knife rempve the white, tough membrane from the meat.

Preheat oven to 450 F (230C )

Heat the 2 spoonful of olive oil in a heavy frying pan, season the meat with salt, pepper and paprika and brown it well on all sides to seal in the juices.
 Combine chopped bread, herbs , lemon zest, mustard, crushed garlic and olive oil in a bowl.

Press herb mixture on both sides of the tender loin adhering well.

Transfer the fillet to a roasting pan. 
Roast pork fillet only 15 to 20 minutes or until just a hint of pink remains.
 Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for about 5 minutes before cutting into slices.


Serves about 4 p.


Thursday, August 20, 2015

Salmorejo- Gazpacho's Creamier Cousin

While I'm writing this, I'm sitting in a lovely garden over looking the beautiful Danube region of Wachau in Lower Austria.

The last weeks have been so incredibly hot that even the Austrian country side known for its lovely landscape displaying all shades of green has slowly turned into  sad 50 shades of brown.
People try to escape the heat in the city travleing to the many lakes that surround Vienna and having a refreshing swim, even it's only after office hours.
We had literally tropical nights with temperatures far beyond any historical record.
But it's not all about heat, there are as well the joys of summer such as:
-Wonderful ice cream at our favorite Italian ice cream parlor.  Zanoni in Down Town Vienna seems quite addictive to all my family.  http://www.zanoni.co.at/

-A delicious Frapuccino at one of the many traditional Viennese Cafes.

 -A refreshing swim at the gorgeous "Krapfenwaldl" public swimminig pool
 -Summer nights at one of the typical Heurigen, where white wine from the latest harvest is served, together with fresh and delightful simple food and typical Viennese music.
Fuhrgasselhuber at the district of Neustift is one of our favorites.

-Enjoying my favorite book under the shadow of an old tree
And there are as well all the gastronomic pleasures of summer.
One of them is the simple, light and refreshing Salmorejo.
This wonderful iced tomatoe soup comes originally from the Spanish region of Cordoba.
Its simple elegance and perfect harmony of flavors and textures makes it an all time summer favorite.

I got this recipe from my friend Pepe, a Spanish diplomat and  foodie with a passion for the delicious plates of his home country.
When we tried the Salmorejo at his home, I got carried away by it-s fantastic taste and was astonished how simple it is to prepare.
This is why I want to share this gorgeous little summer secret with you.
Less known abroad than it's cousin Gazpacho, it is very popular in Spain and is starting to conquer the many foreign visitors to Spain as well.
This is what you need:
1 cup of day old white bread. crusts discard, cut into chunks
1 kg of ripe red tomatoes,  peeled.
1/2 a cup of excellent quality Spanish olive oil
1-2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed ( for me, just one worked fine)
1/4 cup of Balsamico vinegar (or Sherry vinegar)
1 hard boild egg and Jamon Serrano to garnish
Coarse salt
Cut out the cores of the tomatoes and divide each tomato into four.

Blend tomatoes at high speed until creamy..
Add the bread soaked in a bit tomato juice or water, the  garlic and the vinegar. Pulse through.
Add olive oil and if necessary a bit more of water and blend just to reach a creamy texture. At the end add the vinegar and mix again.
Check the seasoning, add more oil if necessary and this wonderful summer dish is ready.
Garnish with chopped hard boiled egg and chopped Jamon Serrano,

Serves 4 larger or 6 small p.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Summer Break

 Dear all.
I'l take a summer break from blogging for some weeks.
It's very hot here in Vienna, next week 37C (about 98F) are expected and we are literally melting.
Therefor at home,our main menu will be salads, ice cream and lots of cold drinks.
In the evenings, when it hopefully starts to freshen up a bit, I'll try to create some fresh summer dishes and drinks, find new ideas and inspirations and would love to share all these  experiences with you on my next post by the beginning of August.
Here are some of the pictures from our latest trips, maybe they inspire you for your next holidays.
Have a great summer, enjoy sun , the outdoors, the company of family and friends and all the wonderful summer food.
See you soon, take care

Arrivederci Roma!
Rome: Life as such

Part 2 A Magic Journey To The Heart Of The Inca Empire
A Magic Journey To The Heart Of The Inca Empire
Surprising Sunday
Discovering markets and hidden treasures

From Spain With Love: Royal Delights

Cartagena - Colombia
Cartagena - Colombia's Caribbean Crown Jewel



Sunday, June 21, 2015

Istanbul - Where Orient Meets Occident

Just close your eyes and imagine a far away place where Orient meets Occident, where a bridge connects Asia with Europe, where the old Greeks, Romans, Byzantines and Osmans erected stunning buildings and now people from all over the world come to visit, admiring it's beauty.
Got the picture? No more guessing, it's Istanbul the former Constantinople, Capital of the East Roman Empire.
The sights, sounds and scents of the city are amazing.
When you walk through Istanbul, open not only your eyes but experience the place with all your senses.
So many long gone Empires ruled here and left their traces, the stunning Byzantine Hagia Sophia , one of the most beautiful  buildings the world has ever seen, the amazing Blue Mosque, The Basilica Cistern, for sure the world's most beautiful water reservoir.
After hours of strolling through the city, visiting the many sights it has to offer, we decided to experience the ambience of Istanbul,  enjoying a Turkish coffee at the garden of the Archeological Museum.
Surrounded by stunning vegetation, it's a place where time and the noise of modern Istanbul  stand still for a precious moment and the old Greek columns, sarcophagus and sculptures seem to speak to the visitors.
The nights are long in Istanbul and in the evening there are many restaurants serving excellent Turkish cuisine making it quite difficult which one to choose.
Pricy roof top bars with amazing views invite visitors to sip drinks and enjoy the amazing views over the city.  
Later, trendy nightclubs for the young and beautiful ones open their doors with the beat of Arabic and International Dancefloor music.
The next morning, I would recommend you to try some Anatolian Breakfast to recover your energies. It offers different kind of fruits, veggies, cheese, Philo past filled with spinach or cheese and wonderful honey with fresh made yogurt, the perfect treat to start a new day.

The perfect beauty of Hagia Sophia, built in the 6th century.
It's central dome was often interpreted as the dome of heaven itself.

The splendor of the Ottoman Empire captured in this room at the Topkapi Palace.

Charms and decorations, used to repel the evil eye.

A colorful selection of hand made soaps.

Tasting Turkish Coffee at the Grand Bazaar

Sharing ou breakfast with this cute little fellow

A huge variety of bath sponges on display

The right ilumination for 1001 nights

The legendary Blue Mosque

Having tea at the garden of the Archeological Museum

Rich sweets made of honey and pistaccios called rightfully Turkish Delights

A symphony in blue at the Topkapi Palace

 Freshly made bread at a restaurant

The old city seen from the Bosphorus side

Our last evening at Istanbul - dinner at a friend's place with a to die for view over the city and the sea

Places to visit:
Hagia Sophia- http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/haso/hd_haso.htm
Chora Church -  http://www.choramuseum.com/history/mosaics-and-frescoes/, one of my favorites, it-s mosaics are stunning. Unfortunatly, the main part is under restauration until 2016, but the entrance, which is open to the public is worth the visit.
 Basilica Cistern - http://www.istanbultrails.com/2008/06/the-basilica-cistern-the-coolest-spot-in-town/
Blue Mosque - http://www.bluemosque.co/
Topkapi Palace -  http://topkapisarayi.gov.tr/en
Insider Tip:
-A beautiful place to enjoy Turkish tea or coffee is the garden of the Archeological Museum   
-Instead of the quite pricy and very touristic Bosphorus cruises take one of the regular ferry boats - an enjoyable aprox. 2 hours boat trip at a moderate price.

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