New home, new kitchen, new pots helped create Steamed Seabass with Estragon Sauce and Goat Cheese, Spinach and Leek Soufflé
The move went like a whirlwind – 6 weeks from the initial apartment visit to actually living in our new place. It was exhasting, in parts frustrating, definitely expensive as moving can be. But the best part is:
I LOVE THE NEW APARTMENT!
I love the light, the warmth, being on one floor instead of 4, having parquet under my feet, the stunning views, being back so close to the city, and having so many public transportation options to choose from.
And of course I am learning to love my new kitchen. It is a slow love, that needs ripening and nurturing. It is based on practicle things such as induction cooking and a steam oven rather than the warmth of gas and the glow of my old copper pots. It is also sometimes a love of convenience like an arranged marriage that needs to settle in and learn to appreciate the good points of such a matching.
It is not just the appliances and cookware that I miss, it is also the space. The kitchen in our old house was approx. 24 square meters large – my kitchen now has 480 cm length but only 175 cm width a total of 8.4 square meters. A closet, a tube, do they even make submarine kitchens this small in width? We bought new cupboards and appliances, and had a cabinet maker do the best possible job. And I brought along my beloved refrigerator. But it is still strange to me that when I bend over the pots drawer, my bottom opens the cabinet behind me. LOL! I take it with humor and just push back.
But that is how it is. You take the good with the not so good and make the very best of it. I am learning new cooking methods and who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?
I think I am going to definitely love my steamer oven – it was my biggest wish and I got it and it is a Miele – simply the best!
So to celebrate all this newness here are 2 delicious recipes I cooked in my new kitchen with my new appliances.
Steamed seabass with estragon oil and lemon butter sauce and an adaptation of Gordon Ramsay’s soufflé: goat cheese, spinach and leek soufflé. Lighte and airy with a touch of lemon zest fantastic with the steamed fish and great the next day cold on a bulky roll.
Steamed Seabass with Estragon oil and Estragon Lemon Butter Sauce – read recipe below
Steamed Seabass with Estragon oil and Estragon Lemon Butter Sauce
- 3-4 or more Seabass filets
- Estragon oil – I get mine from the wonderful http://www.frankfurter-senfgalerie.de/
- sea salt & fresh ground pepper
For the sauce:
- 2 TBSP butter
- juice of one lemon
- 4 sprigs of fresh estragon
- sea salt & fresh ground pepper
Putting it all together:
Wash the filets in very cold water and remove any stray fishbones. Pat them dry with paper towels. Cover the perforated steamer tray with foil and lay them on it. Place the tray over a non-perforated one.
Grind sea salt and pepper over the filets and then use a pastry brush to apply a coating of estragon oil.
Place the fish in the middle of the steamer oven.
Heat the steamer oven to 100° C / 212° F and then steam for 4 minutes. Leave the filets in the turned off steamer for another 2 minutes.
In the meantime, melt the butter in a sauce pan, add the lemon juice (if it is a lot of juice: add 1/2 and then more according to taste), grind in sea salt and pepper. Wash the estragon and using your kitchen scissors snip in the estragon. Do you boil!! Swirl it around to mix and transfer to a sauce warmer.
Serve the filets with the sauce on the side or spooned over the fish.
- 2 cups / 400 grams of pre-cooked, thawed or steamed fresh spinach leaves
- 2 leeks, hard outer leaves removed so that the whites and light greens remain
- 1/4 tsp of ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp of dried oregano
- 3 TBSP olive oil
- 1 shallot peeled and finely chopped
- 1/2 clove of garlic peeled finely chopped
- zest of 1/2 of a washed organic lemon
- 1 heaping TBSP of flour
- 1 grind of cayenne pepper or 1-2 pinches of cayenne flakes to taste
- 2/3 cup / 160 ml of skin-milk (I used 1.5 % lactose-free)
- 1/3 cup / 80 ml of light cream (I use lactose-free)
- 1 cup / 200 grams of soft goat cheese
- 2 TBSP grated Pecorino with or without peppercorns; you may use Parmesan
- 4 large eggs separated
- softened butter for the ramekins
Putting it all together:
Pre-heat the oven to 200°C / 390°F . Brush 8 ramekins or one large soufflé dish with soft butter. Put them on the baking tray and cool for 15 minutes.
Wash the leeks and finely chop them into thin slices. Place the slices in water so as to remove any sand. Wash several times if necessary. Then drain well.
Squeeze the spinach again well, so as to remove any remaining water and roughly chop.
Heat 2 TBSPs olive oil in a medium saucepan and add the shallot and garlic. Stir over medium heat for 4 minutes until soft and then add the leeks, the spinach, the cinnamon, the oregano, sea salt and pepper, the cayenne and the lemon zest. Stir until mixed and warmed through about 4 minutes over medium heat. Remove to a bowl and let cool, set the pan aside. When the mixture is cooler add the egg yolks and mix well.
Return the pan to the heat with the remaining 1 TBSP of oilve oil. Add the flour and stir over low heat 3-4 minutes until smooth and bubbly. Remove from the heat and gently add the milk and cream stirring constantly. Return to the heat and simmer and stir until the mixture is thick and smooth. Remove from the heat and let cool somewhat. When cooler add the goat cheese and the Pecorino. Stir well to combine.
Add this sauce to the spinach mixture and combine well. Set aside.
Beat the egg whites in a clean bowl with an electric mixer until they hold firm peaks, then fold them gently and slowly into the spinach mixture until just combined, don’t overmix and keep it airy. Best done with a fork.
Spoon into the prepared ramekins or soufflé dish and tap gently on the work surface to get rid of any air pockets. Run the tip of a small knife around the edge of each one.
Bake for 16 minutes and then let stand with oven off and without opening the door for another 4 minutes until risen and golden brown on top.
Serve immediately. Soufflés will deflate slightly when removed from the oven.
Eat any leftovers cold on a bulky roll. Or reheat for 8 minutes in amedium oven. Yum and more……