Thursday, September 22, 2011

My Creative Space_Culinary Patchwork


I think I’ve reached a turning point in my cooking career – I can take a recipe and turn it into something different without feeling the urge to adhere to it completely. And it even tastes good.

All started this weekend, when I got some free radicchio from my MIL. Lots of radicchio it was, and it has to be cooked, as it’s rather bitter for a salad. I had a recipe on hand, too. So off I went today, to buy all the necessary ingredients (listed in the book, that is). And then I added this, and this, and made my own dough, and made a pie out of the whole thing instead of a strudel. It turned out very tasty, slightly bitter, and a nice company to a glass of red wine…

Would you like to know how I did it? Well, first of all, you’ll need a pie crust – store-bought or your own. I’m not very good with pie dough, so I have a go-to recipe that NEVER fails you. I mean it, never. It’s foolproof. Really. You just take 200 g butter and 2 cups of flour (my cups are 250 ml), BUT mixed with baking powder; you cut the butter into the flour, just as with the regular pie crust. And now comes the fun part: you take 250 g cottage cheese (known as topfen  in Austria) and simply mix everything together, with your own bare hands. Perhaps you’ll need some more flour. The good part is that you are allowed to knead the dough a bit more than a pie dough – you have to mix everything well. And then it’s ready to get rolled out and put in the pie form! Out of the above mentioned amount I got a double crust pie.

The filling: actually, it needs some time on the stove, so you’d better start with it before – the dough does not have to rest because of the baking powder. Cut some nice juicy onion in rings and cook it slowly in fragrant oil. Then add radicchio in stripes and let it cook, until it reduces its volume and gets soft. Salt and pepper, of course, and a nutmeg was such a nice addition! Then let your fantasy roam free, I would say. Mine went into the direction of some button mushrooms, cooked together with onion/radicchio mixture, and some ham and cheese in cubes, added at the very end. Then just put the filling into the pie crust (no pre-baking!), cover with the “lid”, cut some holes in it to let the hot air out, and slide into the oven, 225°C, 25-30 min. And then pour a glass of full-bodied red wine and enjoy!

Creativity goes wild here

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