It‘s November, the month of ghastly weather and to q.e.d. that: Yesterday, Oct 31st was an unusually golden, sunny, warm autumn day. Today, November 1st it’s all wind and rain, a friendly reminder what the next couple of weeks are gonna look like.
Perfect time to snuggle up, drink tea, and watch the raindrops roll down the windows while an Erik Satie piano piece is playing. Welcome to your YA indie movie. It’s the season of long autumn walks in colourful forests, a yellowredorangebrown palette that shows in the seasonal food, too: Pumpkins, pears, walnuts. Comfort food to fall for. And due to the second Covid lockdown in Germany, starting tomorrow, so restaurants will be closed for business, it’s the time to cook and finally try out all these recipes that are piling up, those torn-out pages from magazines that have been on my to-cook-list forever.
Mostly, my recipes turn out successful but of course even I am merely a human after all. Just the other week, the only one and real Jay-Z (Johannes Zimmermann) came by and we tried vegan sweet potato pancakes. Clear kitchen fail. It tasted good but it was more of a pan-fried mush than actual pancakes. Well, at least we had a good laugh. The supposed filling, baby spinach sautéed with pine nuts and raisins, however was an absolute winner and I decided to combine it with my next autumn treat:
Pumpkin potato waffles with pear-ginger-chutney
And that one was good so I’m sharing it. For your own interest: Read until the end first, I‘m describing the different meal components separately. If you don‘t, the waffles will be cold by the time the spinach is ready.
For the waffles you’ll need 100g grated potatoes, 1 onion, 400g grated hokkaido (no need to peel it first but to remove the seeds), 2 eggs, 2 tbsp starch, 2 tbsp flour, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Mix it all together in a bowl. Take a coated pan, heat up some oil and put two big spoons of dough into it, pressing them down into a flatbread sort of shape. The pan should be hot but not on full heat. Fry it for a couple of minutes (3-8 depending on the settings of your oven), flip over and repeat on the other side until golden brown.
The chutney (which is more of a compote but chutney sounds fancier) requires 2 tbsp vinegar and 1 tbsp sugar heated up on the stove. Once the sugar has dissolved and the liquid is boiling, add 4 chopped up pears (as chunky or small as you like it), a girl‘s thumbsized peace of ginger, peeled and chopped, and lemon zest and juice from half a lemon. Let simmer on low to medium heat for about 20 minutes.
The spinach is basically self-explanatory. As soon as the voluminous leaves have shrunken to the depressingly small heap they shrink to, add a handful of pinenuts and a handful of raisins, fry and stir well. Add some salt and pepper and let the ingredients do the rest.