TV Personality Christel Berweiler and Organic Chef Christopher Hinze Tame Wild Herbs
TV personality and wild herb expert Christel Berweiler gives her expert advice on using ceramic knives while Organic Chef Christopher Hinze reveals two delicious recipes using wild herbs to enhance the flavors of his organic culinary creations.
Although wild herbs may look like simple garden weeds, they can work wonders by adding exotic flavors to foods while supplying the body with vitamins, minerals and powerful antioxidants.
Stinging nettles – Packed with more iron than any fruit or vegetable found in the grocery store, this wild herbs works as natures little plumber by cleansing the blood and flushing out excess water.
Dandelion – A powerful antioxidant, the pretty little dandelion contains ingredients that support the liver and gall bladder.
Ground elder - A natural antacid, ground elder has intensive body cleansing properties that restore the body’s PH balance while promoting regularity. It is often recommended for the treatment of gout or rheumatism.
Lavender – Popular for its calming effect on the senses, lavender also boosts the immune system and has been used for centuries to soothe the nerves as well as promote sleep.
“Our native wild herbs supply the body with vitamins, minerals and trace elements. Most herbs have an action that cleanses the blood, promotes digestion and loosens mucous,” says TV host and herb specialist Christel Berweiler. “With their combination of active ingredients, they support the inner organs and simply do us good.”
The TV host exclusively uses ceramic knives for the preparation of wild herbs in the kitchen and advises others to do the same. She insists on using ceramic blades because they are not only extremely sharp but they also have a low weight which makes precision cutting easier. She recommends using a ceramic knife while preparing wild herbs because they are made from materials that are fired in extreme temperatures, making the blade denser than steel which serves to prohibit transferring odors or tastes form one ingredient to another. Ceramic knives are perfect for working with fresh wild herbs to keep their potent flavors from clinging to the blades and passing from food to food.
Organic Chef Christopher Hinze also is a firm believer in using ceramics in the kitchen and shares his unique recipes using wild herbs expertly prepared with Kyocera Ceramic Knives:
50-70 freshly picked, young stinging nettle leaves
200 g ghee (clarified butter)
Herb mixture from the mortar:
2 tbsp rock salt (Himalayan unrefined salt)
1 tsp mixed peppercorns (white, black, pink, green)
pinch of paprika
pinch of cayenne pepper
Preparation: Carefully pluck the nettle leaves from the top, using the upper leaves from preferably young plants, and place them in a bowl. (Kyocera Ceramic Scissors represent a good alternative for cutting off the leaves if you do not wish to pluck them by hand.) Finely grind the spice mixture in the mortar, adding paprika and cayenne pepper to taste. The cayenne pepper adds a spicy note to the nettle crisps. Heat the ghee in a pan and then fry the nettle leaves while stirring until they are slightly crispy and start to curl. Take the nettle leaves out of the pan and allow the fat to drip off. Season chips with the spice mixture and serve hot.
Serves 3-4 people
Crème brûlée with fresh lavender and Bourbon vanilla
250 ml fresh full-cream milk
250 ml fresh whipping cream
1-2 untreated oranges, peel only
1 cinnamon stick
½ tsp Bourbon vanilla, ground
1 tsp fresh finely chopped lavender blossoms
4 eggs, yolks only
40 g raw cane sugar
4 tbsp fine raw can sugar for forming the sugar crust
Preheat the oven to 150°C. Line a deep baking tray with kitchen paper, fill it to a level of 2 cm with the hot water and then place it with the filled oven-proof ramekins in the centre of the oven.
Preparation: Place the milk, sweet whipping cream with the untreated orange peel, cinnamon stick, Bourbon vanilla and fine lavender blossoms into a pot and bring to the boil. Allow to boil briefly, remove the pot from the heat and take out the orange peel leaving the remainder to cool down a little. Beat the egg yolks with the sugar until frothy, then slowly stir in the milk/cream mixture and pour it through a fine sieve. Pour the egg/milk mixture carefully into small oven-proof ramekins, making sure that there is no froth on the surface. If necessary, remove the froth with a spoon. Place the ramekins into the water bath you have prepared, so that they are immersed to half their height in water. Leave to thicken in the oven for 1 hour. Take the ramekins out of the oven and leave them to cool down. Before serving, sprinkle 1 tbsp of fine raw cane sugar over the surface of each ramekin and burn the sugar crust with a blowtorch. Simply stroke the flame of the blowtorch over the sugar until it has caramelized. And there you have it!
Serves 4-5 people