I am a big fan of fleamarkets when it comes to kitchen staff... plates, glasses, jars, bowls and cutlery. I can go on for hours looking for a special piece. Those special pieces they do not really produce anymore and which will make my future dishes shine on the table. Some fleamarket visits can be a real success and you will find exactly the piece you were looking for and some rather not. Every time I do buy new plate or bowl I like to image what kind of dishes were served or prepared with this and then I would think about the dishes I would like to serve in them. I love this feeling, it makes the buy so different and on top you always will get something unique.
During our vacation in Sweden I have been visiting couple of fleamarket shops with my mother in law and I was more than lucky to acquire some special pieces for my kitchen, for a very very good price. Next challenges I was facing, were to convince my husband that all the pieces I bought are really needed in our kitchen in Spain, then make enough space in my luggage to fit them all in and transport them all in one piece to Spain. I overcame all those challenges successfully and now my kitchen is filled with some new treasures. The convincing part however still continues, to have my husband really believe, that those pieces were missed in our kitchen, I have been using them for the last couple of days, to prepare and serve our dinners. I think by now he does agree, confirming to me that it does look quite special (he might also just gave up arguing :-)). Today I am sharing some of the dish pictures I served in my new treasures since we return back to Spain. Let me know what you think about fleamarket shopping tours.... special or not?
I paid about 4 Euro for these two oval porcelain plates with a gold trim, which were produced by some famous German porcelain factory. Both in perfect condition and exactly what I have been looking for for some time now. The plates are quite versatile and can be used for any dishes and desserts. I used them to serve salad and I just love how lovely it looks.
These lovely cocotte dishes were rather a spontaneous buy. I was not really looking for them, but then there were there and they looked so gorgeous so I could not resist of not taking them with me. I paid about 4 Euro for four cocotte dishes and I think they are going to be well used in the future. Cocottes are perfect for small dishes you could serve as an aperitif, small individual starters or even individual desserts. A friend of my, who is also a patient cook (Gregous Food) told me once that having cocottes at home is a blessing, you can always put some easy ingredients, scallop them in the oven and serve something tasty and gorgeous for your guest. My first dish in my new cocottes were oven baked figs with goat cheese, honey and nuts. He was right, it does look spectacular in it...
Oven baked figs with goat cheese and nuts
- goat cheese
Preheat the oven to 180C. Place the goat cheese in the middle of the cocotte dish and surround it with fresh quartered figs. Drizzle some honey over the cheese and sprinkle some nuts on top. Bake it in the oven for about 15 minutes, when the cheese starts to melt. Serve it with some fresh baguette bread as starter.
And then there was this gorgeous brass skillet in oval shape. The moment I saw it, I knew it has to be mine. The price was simple ridiculous, I paid only 2 Euro for this. I don´t know what it is with this brass dishes, I just love them and always wanted to have some of those. Yesterday I used the skillet to prepare a fish dish for dinner. The skillet was perfect for this, as you can also put it into the oven. And then there is of course the serving part....you can simple put it as such on the table and it looks just amazing.
Oven baked hake with spinach
- 4 hake fillet (boneless and skinned)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- cold milk
- 50 g parmesan cheese (finely grated)
- 3 handful fresh spinach
- salt, pepper
- olive oil, butter
In a sauce pan melt the butter, add the flour and steer till all flour is incorporated. Add some of the milk and whisk, you will end up with a dough clump at first. Add more milk without stopping to whisk. The mixture will thicken as you go... add more milk till you will get a smooth not too runny white sauce. Add the permesan cheese and steer till cheese is all melted and well combined. Season with nutmeg, pepper and salt.
Blanch the spinach in hot water for couple of seconds, squeeze out the water as much as you can and add the spinach to the sauce, mix briefly.
Preheat the oven to 180C. Put some olive oil and butter into the frying pan and fry the hake fillet for a minute on each side. Take the hake out of the pan, pour in the sauce and top it with the fried hake fillet. Put the skillet for about 15 minutes into the oven V(till the sauce starts to bubble). Garnish it wit some fresh lemon slices and serve it with rice, fresh baguette bread or cooked potatoes.