Breads of Europe | Gerstel Sauerteig (barley leaven)

  • 300 g + 150 g rye flour
  • 100 ml water, lukewarm 
  • 50 g barley flour
  • 50 ml water, lukewarm

This leaven has three stages. 

First, mix 50 g barley with 50 ml lukewarm water, leave to ferment covered with a damp cloth for 24 hours. 

Second, mix 150 g rye flour with 100 ml lukewarm water, add to the first mixture and leave to ferment for 12 hours. 

Third, hold back 100 grams of this mixture, and add 300 grams rye flour to make a dry crumbly starter.

It will keep for weeks, and is reconstituted with an equal amount of water, then with rye and water to start the process all over again.


Legendary Dishes | Atriaux / Attriaux (pork, liver, garlic, onion meatballs)


Traditionally made in the home with a high liver content and gradually introduced to the general public via butchers’ shops the atriaux or attriaux is a variable feast, with countless versions that only have pork liver and pork meat in common.

According to the Swiss Culinary Heritage database entry for atriaux ‘there is virtually no standard’ for these iconic meatballs.

The Swiss Union of Master Butchers’ recipe includes sausage meat, liver, flour, garlic, mustard, egg, shallots, black pepper, coriander or parsley and marjoram, the liver content among Swiss butchers being no more than one fifth of the meat content.

There is also a huge difference between the attriaux made in France, in Haute Savoy and Savoy, and the atriaux made in Switzerland, in Neuchâtel, Vaud and the Jura.

They are regarded as specialities of the Chablais in Switzerland and of the Faucigny in France.

Of the combinations it might be said that with the wet mixture containing leek the content should include flour. With the dry mixture containing onion or shallot the content can include egg but not necessarily.

Garlic and mustard are options.

The researchers at Swiss Culinary Heritage found that flour, egg and mustard are never used together. ‘We can therefore find, for example, attriaux containing flour, egg and raw onion, but no mustard or garlic. There are others incorporating flour or egg, or mustard, or garlic, but no onion, leek and white wine.’

They found recipes with ginger, lovage and nutmeg, and that shallots replaced onion.

In France the tradition has liver and offal (heart, kidney, lung) whereas in Switzerland the tradition is liver only, with the content variable in both countries, as high as 70% in Savoy and as low as 5% in Neuchâtel.

The sausage school in Spiez in Switzerland have a variant that is a sausage rather than a meatball, with a mixture of pork and veal sausage meat.

Generally these meatballs or sausages are wrapped in pork caul.

The cooking method is also variable.

This is our version, a little wetter than most.

  • 700 g pork shoulder, minced
  • 300 g pork liver, minced
  • 100 g cured ham, diced
  • 100 g leek, thin sliced
  • 45 g white wheat flour + extra for handling
  • 35 ml water
  • 2 garlic cloves, mashed
  • 10 g mustard powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 sprigs marjoram, chopped small
  • Dried lovage
  • Pork caul (optional)
  • Water for cooking
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Paper towels for drying

Blend the leeks with the water, add the dried lovage, a pinch or a couple of teaspoons, and the mustard powder.

Combine the minces with the ham, knead to mix the ingredients. Add the garlic, marjoram and seasonings, then work in the leek mixture with three tablespoons of flour.

Rest the mixture in the refrigerator for 8 hours.

With floured hands and some flour on a clean work surface, spoon a large dollop of the mixture onto the flour, and with the palm of the hand shape into rolls.

For authenticity and to add a little flavour wrap each ball in pork caul.

Place water in a large deep frying pan, about half-way up, heat.

This amount will make about 16 meatballs, and we recommend they are cooked in two batches.

Place the meatballs in the hot water, begin to simmer. After a minute use a knife to free the meatballs from the bottom of the pan. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Heat oil in a separate frying pan.

Place the cooked meatballs on paper towels to remove the moisture.

Fry the meatballs turning several times until they are browned.

Serve with fried or mashed potatoes, and with a salad.

Legendary Dishes | Involtini di Vitello alla Milanese (meat rolls)



  • 2 litres water
  • 500 g carrots
  • 500 g onions
  • 30 g peperoncino
  • 15 g black peppercorns
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 4 sprigs thyme

Eggs for filling and for coating

  • 2 eggs, separated


  • 200 g chicken liver / veal liver, chopped finely
  • 9 cloves garlic, crushed, chopped finely
  • 50 g pecorino, grated
  • 30 g parsley, chopped finely
  • 15 g black pepper, freshly ground


  • 8 (60 g) veal escalopes, flattened
  • 600 ml spicy broth
  • 16 slices prosciutto
  • 16 sage leaves
  • Salt, pinch
  • Pepper, pinch
  • Butter, for frying
  • Flour, for dusting
  • Oil, for frying

Boil then simmer carrots, onions, peperoncino and peppercorns in water for two hours, strain and keep warm.

Mix the egg yolks, garlic, parsley, pecorino, liver and pepper into a thick paste.

Season an escalope, spread with filling. 

Place a slice of prosciutto with its protective sheet on a board. Place two sage leaves on top, followed by an escalope, season. Place a second slice on top.

Roll up.

Dust in flour, set aside.

Repeat with remaining ingredients.

Gently heat butter and oil in a wide saucepan.

Whisk the egg whites, coat rolls in the egg mixture.

Sauté the rolls in the butter-oil, browning all sides.

Deglaze saucepan with broth, add rosemary and thyme.

Cover and poach over a low heat for 20 minutes.

Legendary Dishes | Spaghetti con i Broccoli (pasta with broccoli)


This simply made broccoli sauce can be accompanied by several different types of pasta even if it is associated with orecchiette, the ear shaped pasta.

The broccoli sauce that goes with orecchiette contains anchovies and garlic but here it is onions and with a dressing of cheese to give the dish some flavour.

Therefore this is a dish for children and youths.

  • 750 g broccoli
  • 500 g spaghetti
  • 300 g onions, chopped small
  • 100 g pecorino, grated
  • 30 ml olive oil
  • 5 g black pepper
  • 5 g salt

Boil broccoli whole in sufficient salted water to cover the stalks, about 15 minutes.

Remove broccoli with a slotted spoon, peel the stalk and cut into small dice. Retain water.

Sauté onion in olive oil until soft.

Add broccoli and six tablespoons of cooking water. Mash the broccoli with a fork. Cover and lower heat.

Meanwhile cook the pasta, drain and serve with the broccoli sauce. Dress with black pepper and pecorino.

Legendary Dishes | Gepökeltes Eisbein (cured pork knuckle)


In Germany cured pork hocks or knuckles are readily available. In Cologne they are cooked in an aromatic stock, then served with mashed potato and an apple-onion-sauerkraut sauce, sometimes with mustard.

We have added lean smoked pork belly to the sauce.

  • 3 litres water
  • 2 cured pork hocks / knuckles, approximately 1.1 kg each
  • 8 apples (3 quartered, 5 cored, peeled and diced)
  • 400 g onions, quartered + 400 g onions, diced small
  • 500 g sauerkraut, drained
  • 400 g lean smoked pork belly
  • 400 g streaky bacon, diced / speck + 30 g bacon fat
  • 100 g carrot
  • 100 g shallots
  • 5 g black peppercorns
  • 5 g caraway seeds
  • 12 + 3 juniper berries
  • 5 allspice grains
  • 8 sage leaves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Dried lovage
  • Dried sage

In a large pot cook the hocks / knuckles with the apples, carrots, 400 g onions, shallots, smoked pork belly and berries, herbs except sage, seasonings and spices over a low heat for 3 hours.

Fry the bacon in a large saucepan over low heat.

Sauté 100 g onion in the bacon fat until translucent.

Add the sauerkraut to the pan, cover and sauté until warmed through.

Add the diced apples and the 3 juniper berries mashed, cover and cook until the apples have started to melt.

Chop the smoked pork belly into small pieces, add to the apple-sauerkraut mixture and heat through.

Deglaze with some of the hock / knuckle broth.

Serve the hock / knuckle meat with the apple-bacon-onion-sauerkraut mixture, mashed potatoes, mustard and some pieces of sage.

Legendary Dishes | Insalata di Valeriana (cornsalad salad)


The marriage of pecorino cheese and corn salad must be permanent by now, the two are made for each other. Tomato gives the salad a depth of flavour.

  • 300 g cornsalad, washed, dried
  • 150 g pecorino, shavings
  • 25 cherry tomatoes, halved / 2 plum tomatoes, skinned, crushed
  • 30 ml olive oil
  • 15 ml balsamic vinegar
  • 5 g black pepper
  • Salt, pinch

Combine oil and vinegar with the pepper and salt, add to the cornsalad and tomatoes, turn some cheese shavings into the mixture, dress remainder on top, serve.

Legendary Dishes | Aaloo Chole / Aaloo Cholay / Aloo Cholay (spicy chickpeas and potatoes)


Aloo cholay is not only one of the great potato dishes of the world, it is also one of the great breakfast dishes. It is the breakfast you will find on the streets of Pakistan. It comes as part of a three-item meal called halwa puri cholay, served with lassi, and finished with chai.

The primary ingredients are chickpeas, potatoes, root ginger, ground dried turmeric, ground cumin, ground red chilli, garam or chaat masala, tamarind juice and fresh mint.

The garnish is fresh green chillies, tomatoes, onions, coriander leaves and lime or lemon wedges. Some recipes include fried onion, garbanzo beans instead of chickpeas, and lemon juice instead of tamarind juice.

The value of this dish is that it can be made quickly by using tinned chickpeas and left-over or tinned potatoes.

Aloo cholay can be prepared hot and cold.

It goes well with hot crispy puris but can also be eaten with chapati, naan or paratha breads.

  • 1.5 litres water (for cooking dried chickpeas) / 250 ml water
  • 500 g potatoes, cut into 4 cm dice
  • 250 g chickpeas
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced
  • 150 g onion, sliced
  • 100 g ginger, grated
  • 1 lemon / 1 lime
  • 4 tbsp tamarind juice / lemon juice
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tsp chaat masala / garam masala
  • 2 tsp ghee
  • 2 green chillies
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp mint
  • 1 bunch coriander
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • Salt, pinch

If using dried chickpeas soak overnight with a pinch of bicarbonate of soda. Then place chickpeas in a large pot, add water, salt, bicarbonate of soda and ginger, boil, cover and simmer until they are tender, usually up to two hours. Drain and retain water.

If using tinned chickpeas thoroughly rinse and drain.

Option 1 (Hot)

Fry onions until they are lightly browned (to be mixed in before serving).

Heat ghee in a large pot. Add the chilli powder, cumin and masala. Follow with the ginger and then the potatoes. Fry this potato mixture for a few minutes. Add chickpeas, sufficent water to loosen the mixture, followed by the choice of juice and the turmeric. Stir.

Cover and simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes until the potatoes are cooked.

Stir in the mint and the fried onions.

Garnish with sliced onions, sliced tomatoes, green chillies sliced thin lengthwise and lime wedges.

Option 2 (Cold)

Grind 15 small red chillies with a tablespoon of cumin seeds, mix with well cooked chickpeas, cooked potatoes, masala and tamarind juice, as much as you like.

Serve in a large bowl, with a garnish of mint, coriander leaves, green chillies, tomatoes, onions and lime wedges.

Legendary Dishes | Zuppa di Fasogli (aromatic bean and bread soup)


The basic version of this soup contains cannelini beans and a liquid flavoured with celery and seasonings plus bread.

In Sezze they accompany this soup with side dishes of olives, onions and radishes.

  • 1.5 litres water
  • 500 g stale bread, cut into four thick slices
  • 500 g cannelini beans / pinto beans, soaked, boiled, drained
  • 250 g tomatoes (optional)
  • 2 stalks celery, diced small
  • 5 garlic cloves (optional)
  • 30 ml olive oil + 15 ml olive oil
  • 5 g black pepper
  • 5 g salt
  • 1 sprig rosemary (optional)

Option 1

Sauté garlic and rosemary in the oil with the celery, add the beans, coat in the mixture, then add the tomatoes, and the water, season.

Cook over a low heat for an hour.

Place a slice of bread in each bowl, pour soup over the bread until it is covered and beginning to absorb the liquid.

Drizzle some oil into the soup.

Option 2

Sauté celery in the oil, add the beans, coat in the mixture, then add the water, season.

Cook over a low heat for an hour.

Place a slice of bread in each bowl, pour soup over the bread until it is covered and beginning to absorb the liquid.

Drizzle some oil into the soup.

Breads of Europe | Schiacciata (flatbread)

Fingers of salty and stuffed schiacciata


In Livorno and Tuscany the schiacciata is a sweet Easter cake bread flavoured with aniseed or rosemary. It is also a salty or a savory flatbread made with white wheat flour or wholewheat flour and olive oil. Variously it is made with a stuffing, like the Catania version with anchovies and salt or the Messina version with fresh cheese and potato or the Florentine version with black grapes or the Chianti version with hard cheese. Other fillings include broccol, caulifower of the white and prurple varieties, coppa, mortadella, salami and sausage. It can be made with leftover dough or it can be made with fresh dough, and baked like a cake or crushed like focaccia to produce a crispy bread. This effect is also produced with an unleavened version. In Catania it is also known as scacciata and in dialect it is pronounced stiacciata, which is the term Pellegrino Artusi give the Livorno version in his Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well.

For your delight we have produced four versions: salty, sweet, stuffed and unleavened.

Salty Version

  • 350 g white wheat flour, t00
  • 150 g wholewheat flour, t0
  • 250 g water
  • 50 ml milk, warmed
  • 50 ml olive oil + 15 ml for finish
  • 25 g yeast
  • 10 g salt
  • 5 g sugar
  • 5 g coarse salt for seasoning

Sieve the flours into a bowl, add the water to form a dough. Autolyse for an hour.

Add the yeast and sugar to the warm milk, leave to froth for a few minutes.

Work salt into the dough, add the yeast mixture, knead into a soft dough. Add the oil, knead until the dough is smooth.

Leave to rise for three hours.

With oiled hands place the dough on an oiled tray. Press down to push the dough into the corners of the tray.

Leave to rise for two hours.

Scatter coarse salt across the surface of the dough.

Bake for 15 minutes in a 250ºC oven.

While still warm brush the surface with oil.

Sweet Version

  • 250 g white wheat flour, t00
  • 250 g strong white wheat flour (Manitoba)
  • 3 eggs
  • 150 g sugar
  • 60 g butter, softened
  • 60 ml milk, warmed
  • 25 g yeast
  • 30 ml marsala / sambuca
  • 2 oranges, zested / 1 orange, zested + 1 tsp orange liquer or a few drops orange aroma
  • 1 tsp anise seeds / fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Put the warm milk in a bowl with the yeast, add 60 g flour. Work into a smooth sponge.

Leave for 3 hours.

Combine 75 g sugar and 60 g flour in a bowl, add a large egg and marsala or sambuca. Work into a wet sponge.

Leave for 3 hours.

Sieve the remaining flours into a large bowl, whisk in the remaining sugar, work in the butter and orange zest.

Add remaining eggs and the two mixtures. Knead into a smooth dough. Leave to rise for 8 hours or overnight.

With oiled hands place the dough on an oiled tray, press into the corners to form a flat dough.

Leave to rise for 6 hours.

Scatter anise seeds or fennel seeds across the surface.

Bake at 180ºC for 30 minutes.

Unleavened Version

Stuffed Version

Legendary Dishes | Strangolapreti (spinach dumplings with butter, cheese and sage)


The name is a clue to the origins of this traditional dish of northern and central Italy. They are not, as some might imagine, a cousin of the spinatknödel, the spinach dumplings of Alpine Austria and Alpine Germany. And the name is not always associated with the dumpling tradition.

The priest strangler is a different dish despite the similarities with the ingredients – bread, cheese, egg and spinach – largely because the recipe is variously interpreted, specifically in Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna ,Tuscany, Trentino and in Friuli-Venezia Giulia, where the priest strangler is an altogether different beast.

In the southern provinces the priest strangler is potato gnocchi dressed with butter and cheese, and served with tomato sauce.

They can be made like gnocchi, with a semi-dry mixture to produce a light sponge, or they can be made like knödeln, with a semi-wet mixture to produce a heavy sponge.

They can also be made like a sweet sponge cake.

Nicola Malossini, owner of Ristorante Birreria in Trento, is certain their origin is not in the Italian Alps despite an association with the Council of Trent (1545–1563) when they were served to the high priests.

“They are contained in some recipe books dating back to the fifteenth century. These delicacies were mainly cooked between Emilia-Romagna and Tuscany. They consisted of millet bread gnocchi to which milk, cheese and butter were added at will.”

Over the years the influence of Alpine knödeln has produced the Trentino variant with the local Trentingrana cheese yet recipes with the Trentino appellation can also be made with breadcrumbs rather than stale bread, and are gnocchi-like.

Whatever they were known as in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, the legend of the priest strangler did not emerge until the eighteenth century when a generous plate of gnocchi made with wild green herbs was served by an Innkeeper to a hungry priest who had wandered lost in the countryside. The ravenous priest was so hungry he nearly choked on the gnocchi. Thereafter these green gnocchi became known as the priest stranglers!


  • 500 g spinach for 185 g cooked and squeezed
  • 120 g white wheat flour, t00
  • 100 g stale bread broken into pieces, soaked in 100 ml whole milk and 1 egg, squeezed and mashed
  • 75 g Parmigiano cheese
  • 30 g fine olive oil breadcrumbs
  • Salt, large pinch
  • Nutmeg, 5 gratings

Dressing 1

  • 300 ml whole milk
  • 100 g goat’s cheese
  • 50 ml cream
  • 15 g butter
  • 6 sage leaves, cut into strips

Dressing 2

  • 30 g Grana Padano / Parmigiano cheese, grated

Combine the cheese, spinach, soaked bread and flour. Rest for 1 hour.

Shape into small ovals, roll in the breadcrumbs.

Bring a pot of hot water to the boil, cook in batches, serve sprinkled with cheese or with a cheese sauce.

Strangolapreti alla Trentina

  • 750 g spinach
  • 200 g breadcrumbs soaked in 300 ml whole milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 180 g Trentingrana / Grana Padano cheese
  • 75 g white wheat flour, t00
  • 75 g onion, chopped small
  • 15 g butter
  • 1 garlic clove, mashed
  • 1 tsp dried vegetables
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 4 sage leaves


  • 30 g butter
  • 30 g Trentingrana, grated
  • 4 sage leaves

Whisk the eggs into the milk, pour into a bowl with the breadcrumbs, dried vegetables and seasonings and herbs. Leave for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Melt the butter in a frying pan, add the onion, cook gently until the onion is soft. Then fry the garlic in the mixture for a few minutes.

Blanch spinach in salted water, cool, squeeze, chop and toss in the fried onions. Leave to cool.

Combine the cheese, flour, spinach mixture and breadcrumb mixture. Rest for 1 hour.

Shape like large oval gnocchi.

Cook in salted water, drain when they come to the surface.

Heat the butter in a pan, reduce heat, fry sage for a few minutes.

Arrange strangolapreti on plates, leave to cool a little, sprinkle with cheese, drizzle with butter-sage sauce.

Strangolapreti alla Friuli-Venezia Giulia

This delicious cake from the mountains above Venice is also a priest strangler!

  • 300 g sponge cake, crumbled
  • 120 ml grappa / rum
  • 60 g walnut kernels, coarsely chopped
  • 60 g almonds, chopped
  • 60 g pine nuts
  • 45 ml water
  • 40 g candied lemon, cut into cubes
  • 40 g raisins soaked in warm water and squeezed
  • 30 g sugar
  • 5 g butter, to grease the mold

Dissolve sugar with water over low heat stirring with a wooden spoon to produce a syrup. Add grappa or rum, stir and leave to cool.

Place the crumbled cake in a bowl, add the syrup, nuts, candied lemon and raisins. Leave for 30 minutes.

Pour the mixture into a buttered mold.

Bake at 180ºC for 25 minutes.

Anne’s Anchovy, Courgette, Garlic and Tomato Sauce with Pasta


The marriage of anchovies, garlic and olive oil is a frequent event in Mediterranean countries, an exquisite union made in culinary heaven. This dish unites the union with roasted courgettes and tomatoes to produce a sauce that is perfect with pasta, especially spaghetti.

  • 4 courgettes, sliced thick lengthwise 
  • 4 plum tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
  • 24 anchovies with oil, coarsely chopped
  • 12 garlic cloves in skin
  • 2 tsp black peppercorns, coarse chopped

Arrange the courgette slices on an oiled baking tray. On a second oiled tray place the tomatoes cut-side down followed by the garlic cloves. Bake for 10 minutes at 200ºC turning the courgettes once, until the courgettes are tender.

Cook choice of pasta.

Lift the tomatoes on to a board with a pallet knife and remove skins. Coarsly chop tomatoes and place in an ovenproof bowl.

Nip each garlic at the edge, squeeze out the garlic pulp, chop and add to tomatoes.

Add the anchovies to the bowl.

Place the courgettes on the board, chop coarsly and add to tomato mixture. 

Keep warm.

Drain pasta.

Serve sauce with the pasta.

Legendary Dishes | Scarpazza (vegetable pie)


Scarpazza is a vegetable pie associated with the traditional food of Piedmont, Liguria, Lucca and Tuscany yet interpreted differently across the regions. It is known as Scarpazza in Lucca and in Piedmont, and as scherpada and stirpada in parts of Liguria.

Some insist it is a savory pie contained between thin sheets of shortcrust pastry, others that it is an open pie baked with a breadcrumb, butter and cheese crust.

Generally it is a savoury pie, but sometimes it is savoury and sweet, and it is the latter version we offer as a solution.

  • 500 g spinach, washed, drained
  • 4 eggs
  • 200 g leek, sliced thin
  • 140 g breadcrumbs
  • 100 g Grana cheese
  • 50 g currants soaked in warm water, leave for 60 minutes, drain
  • 30 g butter
  • 30 g walnuts, pounded
  • 9 almonds, skinned, coarsely chopped
  • 10 g black pepper
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • Cinnamon, large pinch
  • Salt, large pinch
  • Zest of 1 lemon

Sauté leek in oil and a small knob of butter.

Place spinach in a pot, cook and wilt, cool, chop.

Combine leek mixture with the spinach plus 75 g breadcrumbs, 75 g cheese, cinnamon, lemon zest, currants, almonds and walnuts.

Season with black pepper and salt.

Beat the eggs, fold into the spinach mixture.

Grease a 22 cm-24 cm round tray with butter, sprinkle with a thin layer of breadcrumbs.

Carefully spoon the spinach mixture into the tray.

Stir 25 g cheese into 50 g breadcumbs, sprinkle on top of the spinach mixture.

Place several curls of butter on top of the breadcrumb-cheese mixture.

Bake at 210ºC for 25 minutes.

Breads of Europe | Malki Tutmanik (small cheese bread spirals)


These small cheese bread spirals are enigmatic and fall nicely within the spiral bread tradition of the Balkans and Eastern Europe, particularly Bulgaria with its banitsa.

Olive oil can replace butter in the dough. Otherwise the main ingredients remain the same in both large and small spirals, vis flour, butter or oil, eggs, brined white cheese and yeast, the later direct or in a paste.

They require 20 minutes for hand kneading and somewhat less with the hook.

Dough temperature should be around 26ºC in a warm kitchen.


  • 125 ml water, warmed to 38ºC
  • 50 g white wheat flour, t500
  • 25 g yeast
  • 15 sugar

Dissolve yeast in the sugar and water in a large bowl, add flour, beat into a loose paste. Leave to rise for 60 minutes.


  • 425 g white wheat flour, t500
  • 120 g butter, softened
  • 115 g starter
  • 1 (55 g) egg
  • 45 g yoghurt
  • 10 salt
  • + 45 ml olive oil

Sift the salt into the flour. Work the starter, yoghurt and egg into the flour. Gradually add the butter, work into a smooth dough.

Leave to rise for about an hour, depending on ambient temperature.

Heat oil in a large pan.

Divide the dough into 85 g pieces. Shape into balls.

Place the balls in the pan to absorb the oil.


  • 250 g brined white cheese / feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 eggs

Combine the cheese and eggs.

Select the first ball put into the oil. With oiled fingers press the dough out into a 12 cm diameter round.

Spoon some of the cheese-egg mixture onto the round, spread evenly.

Fold the top two edges of the covered dough into itself, roll into a log, twist into a spiral. Place on its edge to seal the ends.

Repeat with remaining oiled dough balls and cheese-egg mixture.

Oil a baking tray, place the balls on the tray with the spiral evident, leave to rise for about an hour.

Preheat oven to 190ºC.


  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp olive oil 

Whisk the oil into an egg yolk. Glaze the top of each spiral.

Bake for 35 minutes.

Legendary Dishes | Mantija (meat parcels)



  • 500 g white wheat flour, t500
  • 250 ml water, lukewarm
  • 30 g + 30 g butter, melted
  • 15 ml sunflower oil
  • 5 g salt

Combine the flour, water, melted butter, oil and salt in a large bowl to form a firm dough.

Leave to rest for a couple of hours.

Prepare the filling.

Divide the dough into 15 pieces, shape into balls, roll out to a diameter of 15 centimetres.

Brush the surface of each piece with melted butter.

Fold the edges of each piece toward the centre to form a square, approximately 10 x 10 centimetres, push down on the folded dough.


  • 300 g beef, lean, minced
  • 300 g onions, chopped
  • 30 ml vegetable oil
  • 10 g black pepper
  • Salt, large pinch

Sauté the onions in the oil over a medium heat covered for 15 minutes. Turn the lid and allow the moisture to fall back into the pan. Increase heat, fry for 3 minutes stirring constantly. Replace lid, reduce heat to low, cook for 10 minutes, lift lid, let moisture fall back into the pan. Continue to cook until the onions are soft and have taken on some colour, about another 15 minutes.

Increase the heat, stir the browned onions, add the beef and seasonings. cook until the beef is brown. Set aside to cool.

Divide the beef mixture into 15 equal piles. Place each pile on the dough squares.

Fold each one into an envelope shape, seal all edges.

Place on greased trays, leave for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 200ºC.

Bake for 25 minutes.

Turn over and bake for another five minutes.

Remove from oven, cover and leave to cool a little, then serve with yoghurt.

Legendary Dishes | Bulgogi (grilled beef strips)


An essential ingredient of this traditional Korean dish is the Asian pear, colloquially known as the apple-pear.

The flavour is enhanced with sesame, oil and toasted seeds.

The garlic, ginger and shallots add piquancy while the soy and sugar provide colour and caramel.

The beef strips are traditionally cooked with carrots, onions and spring onions but they are optional.

Rib-eye is the preferred cut, sirloin is also acceptable.


  • 500 g beef, lean, cut into thin slices
  • 1 Asian pear (or half small apple and half small pear)
  • 100 g shallots, thin sliced
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 60 ml light soy sauce
  • 3 cm ginger root
  • 30 ml sesame oil
  • 30 g sugar
  • 30 ml rice wine
  • 30 ml water
  • 2 spring onions, thin sliced
  • 10 g sesame seeds, dry toasted

Blend pear or apple and pears, garlic, ginger, shallots, soy sauce and some water into a paste.

Combine the paste with the spring onions, sesame oil, toasted sesame seeds, rice wine and sugar. Marinade the beef slices in this mixture for 24 hours.

Finish (optional)

  • 150 g mushrooms, thin sliced
  • 100 g carrot, peeled, thin sliced
  • 100 g onions, thin sliced
  • 15 ml vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp black pepper

Place the marinated slices of beef on a hot grill, turning each time they began to take on colour.

Stir fry the carrots, mushrooms and onions in a little oil until they begin to soften, sprinkle with black pepper.

Serve with the beef strips.

Legendary Dishes | Spaghetti alla Soffritto (pasta with vegetable sauce)

  • 600 g onions, minced
  • 500 g passata / tomato sauce
  • 500 g spaghetti
  • 400 g carrots, minced
  • 300 g celery, minced
  • 150 ml water
  • 1 garlic bulb, minced
  • 60 ml olive oil
  • 30 g anchovies, chopped small
  • 2 parsley roots, chopped small
  • 2 parsley sprigs, chopped small
  • Black pepper, large pinch
  • Salt, large pinch

Sauté celery, garlic and onions in oil for 30 minutes, add carrots and parsley root, sauté for a further 30 minutes, until the carrots are soft.

Stir in the anchovies and seasonings, add the tomato and water and cook over a low heat for 15 minutes.

Serve with spaghetti.

Legendary Dishes | Sigeumchi Namul 시금치 나물 (spinach with sesame and soy sauce)


This is one of our favourite dishes and to make it one of yours it should be made with fresh spinach.

The amounts for the sesame-soy dressing are always personal but light soy of the Japanese type should be used, salt and sugar are not necessary.

Seasonings vary and also include garlic, gochujang, the Korean red chilli pepper paste (which can be replaced with red chilli powder) and spring onions. We like the sesame flavour so we go high with the oil and the seeds. And we omit the garlic and chilli.

It is a side-dish but we like it with boiled rice.

  • 500 g spinach, boiled in hot water, drained, squeezed
  • 30 ml light soy sauce
  • 15 ml sesame oil
  • 15 g sesame seeds, toasted, ground
  • 1 spring onion, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 10 g gochujang (red chilli pepper paste) / 5 g red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Salt, pinch

Keep the cooked spinach warm.

Combine the sesame oil and sesame seeds with the soy sauce and choice of seasonings.

Chop the spinach, dress with the soy mixture.

Serve as a side dish.

Legendary Dishes | Laksa Lemak (noodles in coconut soup)


A street breakfast food, laksa is a variable feast across the breadth of the Malay Peninsula and the Malaysian expanse in Borneo. Noodles in a spicy coconut soup with a choice of chicken and fish and an array of garnishes, laksa is a taste sensation, an aromatic and spicy creation to awake to the world on any morning.

Spice Paste

  • 300 g shallots, chopped small
  • 150 ml water
  • 6 radishes, chopped small
  • 5 cm galangal, chopped small
  • 5 cm ginger, chopped small
  • 2 stalks lemon grass, chopped small
  • 3 cm fresh turmeric, peeled, chopped small
  • 6 candlenuts / cashew nuts
  • 3 cm shrimp paste, toasted
  • 9 dried chilies
  • 3 fresh chilies


  • 600 g rice noodles
  • 500 ml fish stock
  • 500 ml coconut milk
  • 500 ml water
  • 3 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp tamarind
  • 6 kaffir lime leaves


  • 160 g pineapple, cut into julienne strips
  • 100 g red onion, thin sliced
  • 80 g cucumber, cut into julienne strips
  • 60 g omelette, cut into strips
  • 2 red chilies, thin sliced
  • 2 tbsp mint leaves
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges

Blend spice paste ingredients.

Heat oil in a large pot, add spice paste, cover and fry for five minutes over a high heat.

Add lime leaves, mint leaves, stock, coconut milk and water.

Bring soup to a gentle boil.

Season with tamarind, salt and sugar.

Lower heat, simmer for 10 minutes.

Strain into a new pot, and keep warm.

Add noodles to boiled water, heat for five minutes.

Turn off heat and leave noodles to soak for 15 minutes until soft, strain.

Place noodles in bowls, add choice of garnish, fill with soup.

Legendary Dishes | Eisbein (pork knuckle)


Traditionally made with cured or smoked pork knuckle and served with fried potatoes and boiled sour cabbage, this unassuming dish was a culinary feature of the 20th century until winter-stored produce lost its appeal. Eisbein is quintessentially European – indigenous produce from the time when berries, fruit, meat and vegetables were prepared for long winters – and typically Germanic.

It no longer appears on the menus of restaurants that once served it as the dish-of-the-day, but it is gradually being reinvented by inventive cooks and innovative chefs. Cooks replace the potatoes with pureé made from peas or potatoes, and try to do something different with the flavourings, especally the primary stock.

Kevin Fehling, a three-star Michelen chef, reinvented eisbein during his time at La Belle Epoque at the Columbia Hotel in Lübeck. Using cured suckling pig knuckles, he presented dinners with a tender piece of the haunch meat accompanied by horseradish, Gillardeau oyster, parsley emulsion, potato geleé and the ubiquitous sour cabbage, decoratively arranged.

We are keeping with tradition.

  • 2.5 litres vegetable stock, hot
  • 1.8 kg pork knuckles
  • 800 g sauerkraut, drained
  • 300 g peas
  • 300 g sour apples, cored, chopped small
  • 200 g onions, sliced thinly
  • 150 g celery, chopped small
  • 75 ml white wine
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed, chopped small
  • 30 g goose fat
  • 10 juniper berries, crushed
  • 10 g white pepper, ground
  • 5 g black pepper, ground
  • 5 g caraway seeds, whole
  • 5 cloves, whole
  • 2 bay leaves

Melt the fat over a low heat in a large pot, fry onions for 15 minutes, add sour cabbage and heat through.

Add apples, celery, garlic, juniper berries and spices. 

Make a well in the vegetable mixture, push knuckles down toward the base, add sufficient stock to submerge them. Cover pot, simmer over low heat for three hours.

With 30 minutes before the end of cooking, add the wine.

Cook the peas with two tablespoons of the broth, strain, blend into a pureé, return to a low heat.

Take out knuckles, remove meat, cut into pieces. 

Place meat on plates surrounded by the vegetable mixture.

Serve with fried potatoes or with potato dumplings and a pea pureé.

Garnish with parsley.

Legendary Dishes | Pastéis de Belém / Pastéis de Nata (custard tarts)


The original recipe for the pastels of Belém – originating from the Jerónimos Monastery, located in the area of Belém – is a secret well kept by the pastry masters of Pastéis de Belém, manufactured in the present premises since 1837 and baked according to the secret recipe of the monastery.

All others are different.

Annually the contest for the best pastel de nata is held, to evaluate this popular specialty.

This is believed to be the original Belém pastel.


  • 360 g butter / margarine
  • 250 g white wheat flour
  • 45 ml water
  • Salt, large pinch

Mix the flour with salt and water, beat into a loose mass.

With some flour, roll the dough out thin.

With a brush, spread a thin layer of butter or margarine over the dough.

Fold the dough and roll out again. Add another layer of fat, fold again.

Repeat twice more.

Reserve the dough.


  • 150 ml sugar syrup
  • 500 ml milk
  • 9 egg yolks

Combine the sugar and egg yolks in a pot.

In a separate pot, bring the milk to a boil.

Add a few tablespoons of the milk to the sugar and egg mixture, stir.

Gradually add remaining milk a little at a time, stirring untli the mixture thickens.

Reserve the cream.

Roll the dough to a thickness of about 1 centimetre. Cut rounds a little larger than your cups.

Place the rounds in the cups, fill with a spoonful of the thickened cream.

Bake at 290°C until golden brown on top, about 15 minutes.

Serve dusted with cinnamon.