What a day

Wow. It’s amazing how many things I learned today. I’ve learned

  • how to make Paneer from just milk and lemon juice
  • what the difference between Mozarella, Paneer and Ricotta is
  • that the Dutch term Karnemelk actually means buttermilk and not just milk
  • that gauze bandage does not work well as a replacement for a cheese cloth, but will instead result in a dense matter of cheese and cloth if used as such
  • that the whey that’s left after making Paneer is a delicious drink.

Life’s good!

Hot stuff in Adobo Sauce

1000803901About a year ago I got a can of La Costeña Chipotle peppers in Adobo Sauce as a gift from a friend, who was in Mexico for a few weeks.
Ever since, I was wondering if I could make these myself. I have a love for hot stuff, am cooking quite a bit, and own a small smoking box, which I used quite a bit back in the days, when I still was fishing more.

So, when I saw some Jalapeños on sale in the local supermarket, I decided to give it a try. On chefkoch.de, I found a wonderful recipe, which I’d like to share with you:

16 freshly smoked Chipotle peppers
200 ml vinegar
50 g brown sugar
1 medium sized onion
4 clefts of garlic
3 medium sized tomato
2 bay leafs
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. ground black pepper
½ tsp. cumin
1 pinch of cinnamon

Cut the tomato, onion and garlic in coarse pieces. Heat the vinegar in a pot and dissolve the sugar in it. Add all remaining ingredients and simmer for 20 minutes. Now add the Chipotle peppers and simmer for another 30 minutes. If you use dried Chipotle peppers, add them to the Adobo Sauce from the start. Keep stirring the sauce every few minutes so the ingredients fall apart a bit. After cooking, you can put the sauce into glasses and keep them for some time. Enjoy!

Below are some pictures of a variant of this recipe, in which I used green tomato instead of fully ripened ones and ordinary smoked red chilli peppers instead of Jalapeños. The result was still hot and tasty!

NP: WIZO – Zombiemann

BBQ and range finding code

The other day we had a very nice oriental-style BBQ at my place. Susi made a Couscous salad, while I made some hummus, a bell pepper salad, a salsa with Habanero chilis, and some marinated olives. On the meaty side, we had lamb chops and chicken wings. Very nice food indeed!

The evening ended with us all sitting still in the semi-dark of my terrace watching out for shooting stars. And we even saw some. Even one, which we will remember forever 😉

In the other life (work), I’ve written an algorithm for finding the bordering elements of contiguous ranges in a given array of ordered values. I’ve used rapid prototyping in Python before transferring the solution to C++. The Python code goes like this:

n = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7,    9, 10, 11, 12,      14, 15, 16]
end = len(n) - 1

ranges = []

def get_right(left, step):
    if left == end:
        return left
    leftmost_r = None
    i = last_i = end
    while True:
        match = n[i] - n[left] == i - left
        if (i == end and match) or i == leftmost_r:
            return last_i
        last_i = i 
        if match:
            i += step
            leftmost_r = i
            i -= step
        if step != 1:
            step /= 2

left = 0
while True:
    right = get_right(left, (len(n) - left) / 2)
    ranges.append((n[left], n[right]))
    if right == end:
        left = right + 1

The basic assumption for the algorithm to work is that n contains sorted values. This allows us to do a kind of binary search, if the currently looked at range (from left to i) does not fit the criterion for a match (namely that n[i] - n[left] != i - left). Maybe this is useful for someone!


NP: Agnostic Front – Gotta go

Pain Pickles

This is just a quick update to the pain harvest post. Meanwhile, I prepared a nice bottle of chili-garlic oil from some of them and pickled most of the remaining chili in brine, made from vinegar and salt, sugar, juniper berries, and bay leaves. Please also note, how nicely my kitchen counter supports AppleTM-style reflections 😉

The rest of my harvest now lays in the kitchen to dry. I’m really looking forward to use them during the winter! Now off to Freiburg.

Harvester of sorrow pain

Today, I harvested the chili from my garden and am quite happy with the result of almost 1kg 🙂 This year, I had 7 different breeds: Red and Green Spanish Peppers, two different plants of Fire Kiss, Turkish Peppers, Pinocchio’s Nose, and Jalapeños.

Pain Harvest 2011Unfortunately, I only started growing in June, when I finally arrived here. This means that some of the chili did not get completely ripe. For example Pinocchio’s nose should have become purple. They are still hot, though 😉

To conserve my harvest, I will dry some of them, make garlic-chili oil of some, and try to pickle the rest in a salt-vinegar mixture, I read about on the web. I am already looking forward to cooking with them. Maybe I’ll post some follow-ups to this post with recipes and pictures…


500g Mehl
50g Zucker
1 Kaffeelöffel Salz
1/4 l Milch
80g Margarine
1 Würfel Hefe
2 Eier

Alle Zutaten zu einem festen Teig verkneten. Eine Stunde gehen lassen, dann ausrollen und in Rauten schneiden. Die Rauten in reichlich heißem Distelöl ausbacken und auf einem Küchenkrepp abtropfen lassen. Anschließend mit Zimt und Zucker oder Puderzucker bestreuen oder einfach so genießen.

Ade, Tante Honhanna!

Lapin rôti

I just come back from a very nice dinner with three colleagues at La Garrigue in Edinburgh [Update 2015-08-11: their place in the New Town seems closed now]. For starters, I had “Le petit pot d’escargots et gésiers de canard confit, sauce tomate et croutons à l’ail”. My main course was “Le lapin rôti avec pipperade Basquaise et petits pois à la Française”. And as if this would not have been enough, I finished off with “La tarte au chocolat, rayon de miel”. Delicious!