April 20, 2013
German, Kosher, Pasta, Recipes, Side Dish, Vegetarian
cooking, dinner, food, German, Gourmet, Kosher, pasta, postaday, recipe, recipes, side dish, vegetarian
I am perpetually amazed at how little I know about food. Until I started down this endeavor to purposefully make items from a “foodie bucket list”, I never really knew how simple it was to make certain items.
In many cases in the absence of knowledge, I generally assumed certain food items were more difficult to make than they really are.
- Pasta – Mix eggs and flour, roll thin and cut. That’s it.
- Tortillas – Flour, baking powder, salt and lard. Mix, roll thin and fry.
- Mozzarella Cheese – Heat milk, add enzymes, press.
Another one of those items that I hadn’t thought about (and by default assumed was difficult) was spaetzle. I don’t make German food often, but when I do it is my go-to starch. In the past I would walk down the “ethnic” aisle and at the European Foods section pick up a box of spaetzle. Boil some water and drop it in.
In a conversation with a co-worker a number of years ago, she mentioned that she was going to make spaetzle that night. She proceeded to describe how easy it is. Make a quick batter and push it through a grater into hot water. Easy peasy.
After making it the first time, I found that the grater I had (box kind) was not the best one for this purpose. First, it was difficult to navigate inside the box. Second, it was too short to lay across the top of the pot, so I really needed a hand to hold it while I pushed the dough through the holes. After the first time I bought a spaetzle press.
I love me some spaetzle.
Not much to this.
What an ingenious device. It is a flat grater that is long enough to sit over the pot (with a slight lip to help lock it in place) and has a box to put in the dough.
Mixing up the dough.
Press down on the dough and slide the box back and forth over the grater and drops of the dough drop into the water making spaetzle.
After the boil.
Once you are done with the quick boil, sauté up in butter and serve.
Prep Time: 0 hours 15 minutes | Cook Time: 0 hours 5 minutes | Makes: 4 servings | Difficulty: Easy
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs
- Kosher salt
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter; 2 tablespoons melted
- Freshly ground pepper
- Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
Mix the flour, eggs and a pinch of salt in a bowl, then gradually stir in up to 1 cup water to make a smooth, batter-like dough. Beat with a wooden spoon until bubbles form, then stir in the melted butter.Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Place about 1 cup of the dough in a colander with large holes; use a rubber spatula to push the dough through the holes and into the boiling water. (Or use a spaetzle press.) Cook for about 1 minute after the spaetzle float to the surface, then transfer with a slotted spoon to another colander. Repeat with the remaining dough. Rinse the spaetzle in cold water if not serving immediately and set aside.Before serving, saute the spaetzle in a skillet with the remaining 2 tablespoons butter until warmed through. Season with pepper and garnish with parsley.Photograph by Kate Mathis
April 12, 2013
Baking, Breakfast, Eggs, Fruit, German, Kosher, Recipes, Vegetarian
baking, breakfast, brunch, cooking, dinner, food, fruit, German, Gourmet, Kosher, postaday, recipe, recipes, vegetarian
Today we have another guest post from Diana at Food n Thought Peddler. Unlike Diana, I am a morning person. It is rare that I am not awake and up before my alarm goes off as equally rare that I’m not in bed before 11PM. Take a look at Food n Thought Peddler and Diana’s post below…
I don’t know how about you, but I’m not a morning person, at all. When I was very young and had to get up early, my mom would always say “you’ll get used to it as you grow older”. Nope, mom, decades later, and I’m still not there. Maybe I should give myself another 10-20 years, right when insomnia settles in. Though knowing me, I’d probably be even grumpier, that I didn’t sleep well AND had to get up early.
Plus some people are able to get up as soon as their alarm goes off. Nope, not me. I need another 15 minutes in bed to even pry my eyes open, and then at least an hour to get ready as the first 20 minutes are usually spent on a customary morning meltdown that I had to get up in the first place. So by the time I’m finally at work and sitting down to have breakfast, a couple of hours have passed, and I’m feeling more human. Mornings really should start sometime around noon!
And I guess it’s no wonder that I happened to create a child who is not a morning person either (that on top of the usual pleasantries you’d get from a teenager), so some early weekday hours are really charged and full of sparks flying. It’s better to just spend them in silence I think, or you may lose the last drop of sanity even before the workday has begun.
Weekends then become our “moderation” days, to sleep in, have a leisurely breakfast along with some civilized conversations. Yes, it does help that it’s all happening around noon. And no matter what, a nice breakfast food is usually making its appearance to lure the sleepy teenager out of bed. The dish below has been “an eye opener” on weekend mornings these past couple of months, it’s pretty quick and fairly versatile to satisfy many moods and make any morning a good one indeed.
German Pancake “Bowls”
Makes 18 pancake bowls:
1 cup of milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
1 cup of flour (I used Cup4Cup gluten free mix)
4 Tbspoons of butter, melted
1 tspoon of vanilla
1 tspoon of orange zest
1/2 tspoon of sea salt
Berries or other cut up fruit or jam
Powdered sugar and mint for garnish
Combine all ingredients except melted butter in a blender gradually adding flour to make sure that no clumps are left. Then blend in butter a little at a time to temper the eggs. The mix will resemble a bit thinner pancake batter.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Butter the muffin pans really well to make sure the pancakes won’t stick, fill them just about half full.
Bake for about 15 minutes or until the tops are golden and look puffy. Once you remove them from the oven, they deflate a bit or you can gently push the tops in to make them look like a bowl.
Remove them from the pans and fill in with berries, cut up fruit or jam, sprinkle with powdered sugar and garnish with chopped mint leaves.
And you can play with other possible toppings since the pancakes are not sweet, like chopped tomato and bacon crumble topped with shredded mozzarella or salmon roe and scallions.
And since the pancakes are kind of hollow inside and resemble cream puffs, I think it’d be fun to inject them with jelly or the actual cream. That could be my next morning project!
April 3, 2013
Beef, German, Kosher, Low Carb, Recipes, Steakhouse
beef, cooking, dinner, food, German, Gourmet, Kosher, low carb, postaday, recipe, recipes
A number of years ago my wife and I spent twelve days in Europe. We flew into Frankfurt, Germany and immediately drove down to the little historic town of Heidelburg. We walked around the old town and when it started to rain we ducked into a local tavern right on the main market square.
After perusing the menu, I chose the Sauerbraten. I knew that I had eaten it before, but honestly could not have described it at the time. This plate of savory slices of beef in a rich tangy gravy arrived and I dug right in. For the rest of my time in Germany, I fought off the desire from ordering it every time as it was so good.
Back home I found out that it was one of my father-in-law’s favorite dishes and months later made it for his birthday. This time he once again was at the table.
Succulent and robust.
This is one dish that requires much forethought. You need to start 2-3 days in advance.
Making the marinade.
In the bag for the long haul.
After the marinating. It has a vinegary smell and a purplish color.
Straining out the solids.
Browning up the meat.
Cooking up the aromatics.
With the liquid back in.
Thickening the gravy.
Cook Time: 2 hr 45 min | Makes: 6 servings | Difficulty: Easy
- 3 cups low-sodium beef broth
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 1 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 large onions, cut into large chunks
- 5 cloves garlic; 3 crushed, 2 chopped
- 10 sprigs fresh thyme, plus 1 tablespoon chopped leaves
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon juniper berries (available in the spice aisle)
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
- 1 3-to-4-pound boneless beef top chuck roast
- Kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 medium carrots, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 2 stalks celery, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons crushed gingersnap cookies
- Freshly ground pepper
- Spaetzle, for serving (see page 152)
- Sour cream, for serving (optional)
- Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
Combine 2 cups broth, the wine, vinegar, 1 chopped onion, the crushed garlic, thyme sprigs, bay leaves, juniper berries, peppercorns and cloves in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Place the beef in a large resealable plastic bag and pour in the marinade. Seal the bag and refrigerate for 2 to 3 days, turning daily.
Preheat the oven to 350. Remove the meat from the marinade and pat dry; season with salt. Strain the marinade, discarding the solids. Heat a large ovenproof pot over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the meat and brown on all sides, 10 to 12 minutes, then transfer to a plate. Add the carrots, celery and the remaining onion to the pot and cook until slightly softened, 5 minutes. Stir in the chopped garlic and chopped thyme and cook 1 minute. Sprinkle in the flour and cook 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the strained marinade and the remaining 1 cup broth and bring to a simmer. Return the meat to the pot, cover and cook in the oven until tender, 2 hours 30 minutes.
Remove the meat and transfer to a plate. Bring the sauce to a simmer over medium heat. Whisk in the gingersnaps and simmer until thickened; season with salt and pepper. Thinly slice the meat; serve with spaetzle, the vegetables and sauce and sour cream, if desired. Top with parsley.
May 10, 2012
German, Kosher, Low Carb, Recipes, Side Dish, Tips, Vegetable, Vegetarian
cooking, dinner, food, German, Gourmet, Kosher, low carb, recipe, recipes, side dish, vegetable, vegetarian
Several years ago my wife and I had the opportunity to travel to southern Germany. After we flew into Frankfurt, we spent the next several days driving down to Bavaria, seeing castles (and sleeping in one) and all the other sights. It was mid May and at virtually every farmhouse and in every restaurant window there was a homemade sign with one word on it: SPARGEL.
It took us a few days, but finally as we sat down for dinner one night in a tiny family restaurant in the walled town of Nordlingen, and we asked what Spargel was. To our surprise, we found it to be white asparagus. I had not only never had it before, but never even heard of it. The crop had been bursting through the ground and the country was celebrating this unique fresh vegetable. It was served simply, boiled and then served with a little butter.
It looks like asparagus, but does not taste much like it. It seems almost silly to say, but it seemed lighter than the green kind. For a number of years after, I looked for it in my local store but to no avail. This year, I was in luck.
Beautiful and tasty.
White asparagus is really pretty fragile.
Unlike the more common green asparagus, you need to peel the white ones. As they are so fragile, you have to be very careful. Gently pinching the tip between your thumb and forefinger and laying down your palm and forearm provides enough support that you should be able to peel it without breaking many.
Another way is to support with your index finger.
I normally abhor boiling your vegetables, but it works for these. 8 to 10 minutes in water that is just short of boiling.
Ok. Maybe I went a little overboard on the butter.
If you haven’t tried them, do yourself a favor and pick some up.
If you have an interest in being a guest blogger here on the Rantings of an Amateur Chef, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.