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Exotic summer salad

3 Jul

Summer is on and we are enjoying it at full throttle. Sitting on the terrace for a late dinner while there is still light out there feels so good. Because I want to enjoy the long days as much as I can, I tend to make quick meals in the summer.

Last week, I ended up in the kitchen baking birthday muffins and I can tell you that it felt like a visit to the sauna with the hot oven around me. That adds to my point about quick meals without long cooking.

Today, I decided to go for a salad in which I bring together a rainbow of tastes. Let surprise yourself with this summer salad recipe!

IMG_20160626_140228

Ingredients (serves 2 people):

1/s lettuce

2-3 carrots

1 shallot

1 fennel head

1/2 cup barley or bulgur

Roast pork

Cantaloupe melon

For the dressing:

Orange

Soy sauce

Basil infused olive oil (or regular olive oil)

Preparation:

  1. Prepare the dressing by squeezing one orange and adding 2-3 tablespoons of soy sauce and oil. Basil infused olive oil will give your dressing an exceptional and fresh note. In case you do not have basil infused olive oil at home, you can as well chop up a few fresh basil leaves and add them together with extra virgin olive oil.
  2. Cut your veggies and arrange them layer by layer on a plate: First comes shredding your lettuce, then peeling and thinly slicing 2-3 carrots. After that, slice the fennel and shallot.
  3. At high heat, sear the shallot and fennel in a pan with a teaspoon of butter. When your done, place it as the next layer on your salad.
  4. Cut the cantaloupe in small dices.
  5. In a small pan, cook your barley or bulgur as instructed. Add a pinch of salt to the boiling water.
  6. Now for the roast pork, you have two options: Buy it cooked and ready for use or make a roast yourself (very time consuming). I used left-overs that I had in the freezer and cut them in dices.
  7. Before you put the last layer on your salad, combine the cantaloupe, barley or bulgur and the diced roast pork in a bowl and add some olive oil and a spoon of the dressing that you have prepared in the beginning.
  8. Pour the dressing over the first two layers, add the last layer (melon-meat-barley/bulgur mix) and enjoy.

 

Mousse au chocolat

29 May

Who does not like desserts?

As far as I know, almost nobody. I am sure that out of a group of 10, a maximum of 1-2 persons do not have a sweet tooth and do not get attracted by a sweet seduction after a good meal. For you as a hobby chef, that is good news. Offering a tasty dessert at a dinner party will make your guests happy. That being said, do not skip dessert :)

My experience is that desserts with dark chocolate always are a perfect fit after any kind of main course. They go well with digestives like liqueurs, an espresso or your glass of red or white wine.

I was invited to a dinner party last night and decided to go with mousse au chocolat. Turns out, it was a good choice: It is quick to make and you only need 4 ingredients.

mousse au chocolat

Ingredients (serves 6-7 people):

200g dark chocolate (60% cocoa)

100g very dark chocolate (85% cocoa)

20g white chocolate

400ml whipping cream

2 eggs

Raspberries for decoration

Preparation:

1. Melt all the dark chocolate in a bain-marie.

What is a bain-marie? You do not want to destroy the chocolate by melting it at a too hot temperature. Therefore, you use a bowl or small pot that you place in a larger pot with hot water. Stir the chocolate while melting it and make sure that no water spills into the chocolate. This would make the chocolate flaky instead of smooth.

Put aside and let cool down. The consistency of the chocolate has to be viscous (not liquid) before you continue processing it.

2. Separate egg white from yolks. In separate bowls,  whisk the egg whites until they are stiff and the egg yolks until they are fluffy.

3. Whip the cream with a hand mixer until it has a very firm consistency. Takes about 2-3 min.

4. Prepare a bowl that is large enough for all ingredients. Use a spatula and not a hand mixer from now on as you want to slowly combine all ingredients.

Start with the fluffy egg yolks by adding them to your bowl.

Now stir in the chocolate.

Add the egg whites.

Finally, work in the whipped cream. Leave about 2-3 tablespoons of whipped cream for decoration.

5. Serve the mousse straight away or chill it in the fridge (good idea if you want to prepare the mousse in advance). It is important that the mousse is firm like a pudding. Should that not be the case, cool it in an ice bath by placing the bowl into a larger bowl with ice-cube infused water or in the fridge until it gets firm.

6. Decoration: Melt the white chocolate in a bain-marie (just like the dark chocolate earlier). Wash a few raspberries. In a small bowl, put a scoop of mousse au chocolate and decorate it with a spoon of whipped cream, 2-3 raspberries and drizzle a few lines of white chocolate on top of the mousse. Enjoy with pleasure.

 

Seafood bolognese with sepia pasta

28 Mar

Living in Hamburg, I am getting used to eating good fish and on some occasions seafood. Little did I know for quite a long time that the fish shacks near Fischmarkt (on Grosse Elbstrasse) that do not look very inviting from the outside but make excellent fish rolls and traditional seafood dishes are an excellent escape for a quick and good lunch. If you get a chance to spend a day in Hamburg during the week go there for your lunch and you will get to feel a piece of Hamburgeois life.

This year I tried Stinte fish for the first time – Stint is a fish that lives in the ocean and comes to the river Elbe for breeding. When the baby fish are born end of February/March you will find them on the menus of traditional restaurants across Hamburg. Stint fish are served fried with potatoes (boiled potatoes or potato salad) on the side.

Matjes and hering are also traditional fish here and should you not find the time for a restaurant visit you can go to any supermarket (e.g. Rewe or Edeka) and get your dose of fish to go. Matjes and hering are eaten cold with bread and usually come in a cream sauce.

In my corner, we do not have any fish store nearby. I sometimes store seafood in the freezer so that I have something at hand if I feel like eating seafood and this is what I came up with the other day as I was craving a simple seafood dish on a Sunday night:

Seafood bolognese with sepia pasta

Seafood bolognese with sepia pasta

Ingredients (serves 2 people):

200-250g of sepia colored pasta

1 bunch arugula salad

A handful of cocktail tomatoes

2-3 tablespoons tomato paste

1 cup seafood (I used frozen seafood – e.g. mussels, squid/calamari, shrimps)

2 garlic cloves

Juice of half a lemon

Large capers for decoration

1/2 teaspoon shrimp or fish sauce

Salt and pepper

For the salad dressing: cranberry vinegar, olive oil, dill mustard

Preparation:

1) Defrost the seafood. For quick defrosting: Pour hot water over the seafood and let stand for a few minutes. Drain the water and drizzle the seafood with lemon juice.

2) Chop the garlic and slice the cocktail tomatoes in half.

3) In a pan, fry the garlic in a little oil, then add the tomatoes and tomato paste. Season with salt, pepper and a little shrimp or fish sauce. Stir in the seafood. Keep warm.

4) Wash and drain the arugula salad.

5) Prepare the salad dressing by mixing 1 part of cranberry vinegar, 1 part of oil and 1 part of dill mustard together. Season with salt and pepper.

6) Boil the pasta as indicated on the package.

7) On a plate, arrange the pasta in the middle, then add the seafood tomato sauce and finally arrange the arugula salad on the side.

Heavenly dinner starter: Paté

14 Sep

Ulalaa, a paté recipe is a fine delicacy. Although liver is not the most favourite food of many of us French foie gras, made of duck or goose liver, reigns the tables of gourmets. In my opinion, home-made liver beef or chicken paté is just as delicious.

Paté

The inspiration for this recipe came to me on a rather unexpected note. As I was browsing a booked called ‘Eat fat, lose fat’ by Mary Enig and Sally Fallon that my sister had recommended to me I stumbled upon it and decided to keep it in mind.

A few days later, I had a conversation with Spencer, my sister’s boyfriend, about food entrepreneurs and why nobody has tried running a food truck serving meat delicacies based on the very red meat, e.g. liver, heart and what other organs there are, that we have almost completely wiped off our menus.

True. I am afraid that we have gotten too comfortable with traditional dishes like pizza, pasta, hamburgers, salad variations like caprese or cesar’s, sandwiches, tacos and the like. Liver just does not fit into this picture. But guess what is fantastic about it: Being a by-product, liver is very cheap and just as easy to prepare as a steak.

DSC_0270

 Enjoy this recipe and I hope that some of you will let me know how they liked their home-made paté!

Before I forget, I would also like to mention Lynn, Spencer’s mom, for the good ideas and very delicious pecans she made me. The bag was gone faster than I could think. Maybe we should post the recipe so you can see what I am talking about. Stay tuned :)

Ingredients:

1 lb/ca.500 g liver (chicken or beef)

1 cup veggie stock

1/4 cup port wine

5 tablespoons soft butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 garlic cloves

1 teaspoon rosemary, dried

1 teaspoon whole pepper corns, dried

1 tablespoon mustard

Preparation:

1) Cut the liver pieces in finger thick slices or cubes.

2) In a pan, heat up 2 tablespoons olive oil with 2 tablespoons butter and then add the liver pieces. Fry for about 10 min on all sides until the meat is cooked. Then put aside.

3) Prepare 1 cup of veggie broth. I used powder that can be dissolved in hot water.

4) In a cup or small bowl, mix together the port wine, rosemary, and mustard.

5) Put the pan back on the stove at small heat and pour both the veggie stock as well as the port wine mix over the meat. Stir until most of the liquid has evaporated. Put aside and let cool down for a few minutes.

6) In a blender, process all ingredients with 3 tablespoons of soft butter. If you feel that the paté needs to be moister, add a sip of port wine.

7) Transfer the paté into a glass or ceramic jar and keep it in the fridge until you serve it.

Tip: The paté tastes also great while still warm, ideally served on a warm piece of baguette.

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Szegediner Goulash

2 Sep

Today I am proudly presenting you one of the best dishes in the world which I have been keeping as a draft for over a year until i found time and courage to give the good old Czech dumplings a premiere.

I should tell you a little bit about my personal experience with Czech dumplings: my parents are Czech and so it happened that whenever I visited Prague with my family those delicious dumplings (not to be confused with toast bread even though they look like it) had to be on my plate, preferably home-made. You may find them at any supermarket, yet it is a question of every Czech mom’s and grandma’s honor to make them from scratch. I perceived this tradition as a kind of dumpling religion and it took me almost 30 years until I gave it my first try. Too scared was I to fail. Looking back I assure you there is no need to wait so long. It’s as easy as kneading a pizza dough ;)

Now to the goulash: There exist dozens of fantastic goulash recipes. What makes the Szegediner goulash special is its mild and moist taste that comes from sweet paprika powder, a good amount of sauerkraut and sour cream.

If I could send you a tiny note of the smell and taste, you would immediately head out to the supermarket and start cooking, that’s how good it is!

Szegediner Gulasch

Dumplings in the making

Dumplings

Goulash meat:

Ingredients:

1 kg goulash meat (should be one piece of tender meat, e.g. roast meat)

1 slice lard (ca. 30g/1 ounce)

2 large white onions (at least 300g/a little over 1/2 pound)

3 garlic cloves, pressed

500g (1 lbs) sauerkraut

1 cup veggie broth

3 tablespoons tomato paste

1 tablespoon caraway

sweet paprika powder

spicy paprika powder

salt

pepper

1 cup creme fraiche or sour cream

Preparation:

1) Dice the onions, peel the garlic and cut the meat into mouth big pieces.

2) Put the piece of lard in a hot pot and sear the onions until they are glassy. Put aside.

3) Leave the lard in the pot and saute the meat at the highest heat available.

4) Cover with broth, then add the tomato paste, garlic and spices. Mix everything together and let simmer at medium to low heat for about 25-30 min.

5) Add the sauerkraut and let simmer for another 10-15 min. If the goulash comes out too dry, add a little more water.

6) Before serving stir in 3-4 generous spoons of creme fraiche or sour cream. Add salt and/or pepper to taste.

7) Serve with oven warm baguette, bread or traditional bread dumplings.

Dumplings

Ingredients:

500g (1 lbs) flour

1 old roll

1 egg

250 ml milk (water for vegans)

1 pack baking soda

Pinch of salt

Preparation:

1) In a large bowl, combine the flour with the baking soda and a pinch of salt. Brake the roll into crumbles and add.

2) Add the egg and start stirring it in.

3) Then slowly add the milk (or water) and with your hands knead everything into a soft dough.

4) Form 2-3 rolls with your hands, wrap in plastic foil over and leave them at the fridge for 30 min.

5) Bring water to a boil, add salt and let the dumplings cook for 20 min. Every once in a while turn them around.

6) Now comes the tricky part: you don’t want to slice the dumplings with a knife. Instead, use a sewing thread. Wrap the thread around the dumpling always about one finger tip wide, cross the ends at the top and slice them down. This way you get perfect dumpling slices that will not fall apart and deform their shape.

7) for serving, arrange 2-3 dumpling slices on a plate and place a scoop of goulash meat next to it. Enjoy!

Eating like in Israel

1 Jun

A while ago I stumbled across a restaurant called Sababa in Berlin (http://www.yelp.de/biz/sababa-restaurant-berlin). From the outside it did not seem very special. A small place, not crowded and we were extremely hungry after a long day. I had a quick look at the menu and was very convinced to stay. Sababa offers Israeli food, the perfect place for hummus lovers!

Some of the food combinations were new to me and I was curious to see how they would taste: Without a doubt delicious. Tonight I cook an imitation of what we ate there, spoiling ourselves with a quick and delicious dinner. Here is an overview of what was served:

Home-made hummus

Mung beans with tahini sauce

Ground beef seasoned with cinnamon

Pomegranate tomato salad with caramel mustard dressing

Minced meat, mung beans, hummus, pomegranate salad

DSC_0106

Ingredients:

1 pack dry mung beans

1 can chick peas

1 pound/450 g ground beef

1 plain yoghurt (e.g. greek yoghurt)

1 salad

1 pomegranate

1 tomato

1 lemon

1 red onion

1 small yellow onion

2 garlic cloves

Tahini paste (sesame paste)

Whole grain mustard (e.g. Dijon mustard type)

2 tablespoons chopped almonds

Olive oil, vinegar

Cinnamon, salt, pepper

Hummus

1) Drain the chick peas. Put them in a high container or a large measuring cup.

2) Peel and press the garlic; then add it to the chick peas.

3) Add the yoghurt. Season with salt and drizzle with lemon juice. Then blend until smooth. Keep the hummus in the fridge until you serve it.

Mung beans

1) Rinse one cup of dried mung beans under running water.

2) Bring a small pot with unsalted water to a boil. Add the mung beans and let boil at medium heat for about 30 min.

3) Drain the remaining water. Season with salt and add a spoon of tahini sauce. Serve while still warm.

Ground beef

1) Chop up the yellow onion.

2) Preheat a pan with a spoon of oil and saute the onion at high heat until glassy.

3) Add the minced beef, season with salt, pepper and cinnamon and keep on stirring for a few minutes. Serve warm.

Salad

1) Wash and clean the salad.

2) Chop up the red onion and the tomato. Separate half of the seeds of the pomegranate. Add all ingredients to the salad.

3) For the dressing, combine 2 tablespoons mustard with the chopped nuts, 3 tablespoons oil, 1-2 tablespoons vinegar and season with salt and pepper.

Red soup (Asian inspired veggie soup)

20 May

Soups are always a good idea for a light meal. I like making soups for dinner. Also because they are perfect for throwing in any leftover veggies you find in the fridge. I can’t think of any vegetable soup combination that has not worked so far. Since I prepared the Assam Laksa dish the other day, I now have a huge glass of sambal laksa paste sitting in my fridge.  The soup I am presenting today has a similar base (sambal laksa paste & tamarind) than the Assam Laksa, however, it is 100% vegetarian and vegan.

You can count roughly 30 min to prepare the soup and we finished the whole pot with only 2 people for dinner as it was quite delicious :)

A while ago I posted a Chinese sweet & sour soup recipe (https://fourchetteknife.com/2012/02/26/chinese-sweet-sour-soup/), maybe that’s also something for you if you don’t happen to have chili paste and tamarind in your fridge.

China inspired soup

Ingredients:

1,5 l water

1 small red onion

1 fresh chili

1 inch long piece fresh ginger

2 carrots, cut into thin 1 inch long stripes

1 small glas pickled mini corn

1 small glass gherkins

1 small red bell pepper

1 bunch spring onion

1 cup cocktail tomatoes

1 cup shredded or pickled red cabbage (optional)

5 dried mu-err mushrooms (soaked in water as indicated on the package, optional)

Cooking oil

For the broth:

Tamarind (sour)

Sambal laksa paste (or chili paste or also red curry paste)

Tomato paste

Ketchup

Dark soy sauce

Preparation:

1) Bring the water to a boil and add the ginger, peeled and diced. Let boil at medium heat while you prepare the veggies.

2) Clean, peel and cut the veggies. The onion should be diced, the carrots striped and all other ingredients  can be sliced.

3) In a wok or pan, preheat a tablespoon of cooking oil and saute the onion and the chili. Then add all other veggies and saute them for a few minutes. If you feel that the veggies start burning, add a sip of water.

4) Transfer the veggies to the broth. Continue cooking at medium heat.

5) In a bowl, dissolve tamarind (the size of a tablespoon) in about 1/2 cup of warm water. Then stir in 1-2 tablespoons laksa paste (depending on how spicy you want the soup to be), add half a cup of ketchup and 2 tablespoons tomato paste. Season with dark soy sauce (about 2 tablespoons). Pour the sauce into the soup and stir well. Let the soup simmer at low heat for another 10 min.

Malaysian Assam Laksa

18 May

Malaysians like their laksa soup. We would most likely call it a  noodle soup, yet I would argue that laksa has a quite distinct taste because of the spices added to it. Little did I know that there were different types of laksa until I travelled to Borneo this winter. To me, the traditional laksa version was the one with a coconut milk base and shrimps. Assam laksa is a sweet & sour version with fish. One afternoon I decided to go on a food discovery tour in Kota Kinabalu. Food stands are very common there and I couldn’t get enough of the fresh fish and vegetable variety that was offered and just before I left, I visited a local supermarket to get my laksa supply so that I could make it at home and share it with you.

In case you are wondering where to buy the ingredients in your home country: A well assorted Asian grocery store should have all you need. Instead of traditional laksa noodles I found thick Vietnamese noodles.

assam laksa

Ingredients (serves 4 people):

1 pound white fish filet (e.g. mackerel, catfish)

1 small onion or shallot, chopped into mini dices

1 stalk lemon grass, the white part of it cut into 3-4 pieces

1 pack dried and peeled sour tamarind

2 tablespoons Sambal laksa paste or these ingredients to make your own chill paste:

– 12 dried red chilies (seeded)

– 5 fresh red chilies (seeded)

– 2 teaspoons shrimp paste

– 1 stalk lemon grass

1 pack instant thick noodles

Seasoning: fish sauce, sugar, salt

2 hard-boiled eggs, fresh pineapple pieces, grated cucumber, and a few arugula or lettuce leaves for decoration

Preparation: 

1) Start with the fish. Bring 1,5l of water to a boil. Rinse the filet under water and then boil it for about 10 min. Remove the fish and let it cool down on a plate. Add 5 pieces of tamarind, approximately the size of your finger tip, to the broth and stir a few times.

As soon as the fish meat has cooled down, take it apart with your fingers. You want to have small pieces as shown on the picture. Add it back to the broth and let the soup cook at slow heat. Also, add the lemon grass stalk. fisch filet

2) Prepare the paste. In a wok, heat up a tablespoon of cooking oil and saute the onion dices.  Then add the paste and stir for about a minute at medium heat.

If you do not cook with ready to use laksa paste, make your own: All you need is a small food processor or mortar to grind the ingredients (onion, chilies, shrimp paste). Then roast them in hot oil inside a wok for a few minutes until the paste has caramelized.

chili paste

3) Now, back to the soup. Stir in the chili paste. Once this is done, take a small handful of tamarind (the size of a golf ball) and start dissolving it in warm water. The best way of doing this is to fill up half a cup with warm water and using your hands squeeze the tamarind until it dissolves and the water turns brown (see picture below). Repeat this 3-4 times so that in the end you come out with 1.5 to 2 cups of tamarind extract that you add to the soup. Next, season the soup with sugar, salt and fish sauce to taste. You will notice that the tamarind leaves a rather sour taste by itself. The soup is almost ready now. Before you serve it, prepare the noodles as indicated on the package. Typically, soaking the noodles for 5 min in boiled water will do. And don’t forget to rinse them under ice-cold water to avoid their glueing together.

sour tamarind

dissolve tamarind4) Finish with decoration. Traveling around South East Asia you will notice that soups usually get rounded up with a bouquet of fresh greens. For example, a Vietnamese Pho is decorated with coriander leaves. Assam laksa can be decorated with small pineapple pieces, grated cucumber and a few arugula or chopped up lettuce leaves. I added half a boiled egg to mine. If you like it spicy, you might add chili slices on top. Let your imagination run wild and be creative!

This recipe has been cooked based on http://rasamalaysia.com/recipe-penang-assam-laksa/ recipe with slight modifications.

Exotic lentils with baked shrimps & sausage

21 Apr

Holidays like Easter or Christmas are an excellent occasion to heat up the kitchen. This year I spent most of the Easter time outside but still found enough time for tasty creations in the evening. The recipe I want to share with you today is an adoption by Christian Rindfleisch, a chef from Hamburg. I coincidentally came across the recipe in a magazine a little while ago. If you happen to be a Hamburg local, don’t miss out on his cuisine in his restaurant (www.roeperhof-restaurant.de). I am sure it is worth a visit.

Before I present you a quite extensive list of ingredients and cooking instructions, I would like to advice you to plan about 1 hour for the preparation of this meal. And please make sure that you have at least two small pots, a pan and a sauce blender at hand. You will work with two different sauces, the meat and lentils which requires a little juggling around in the kitchen. So take the time to read through the recipe 2 or 3 times before you start to get the order of the different steps right. If you have a friend or your partner around, I recommend to use them as your assistant for chopping and cleaning the veggies. With a glass of wine or beer next to you and some good music, this cooking action will be fun.

What you will come out with is a very tasty, colorful and light meal that you and your guests will enjoy!

Exotic lentils with shrimps and salami

Ingredients (serves 4 people):

250 g or 1/2 pound shrimps

2 smoked sausages

350g red lentils

20g popped amaranth

500 ml carrot juice

1 can coconut milk (400 ml)

2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar

1 lemon

2 parsnips (alternatively a celery head)

1 carrot

4 small onions or 3-4 shallots

1 large garlic clove

1 red chilli

1 small piece ginger root (about 3 cm or 1 inch long)

250 g or 1/2 pound cocktail tomatoes

parsley

salt, pepper, thyme, a rosemary bunch, bay leaves, sugar

veggie broth (powder or cube)

canola oil for frying

butter for the sauce and for frying (max. 50g)

 

Preparation:

Lentils

1) Peel the carrot, the parsnip, the onions, ginger and garlic. Wash the chilli. Proceed with chopping everything up into small pieces and make separate piles of each.

2) In a pot, bring 500 ml veggie broth to a boil. At the same time, start preheating a pan with a sip of oil and sauté half of the onion until glassy. Add the lentils for about 1-2 minutes and continue sautéing the mix. Deglaze with balsamic vinegar. Then add the lentils to the veggie broth and let boil at medium heat for about 10 min (or as indicated on the lentil package). You can start with the preparation of the shrimps and sausage at this point (see below).

3) As soon as the cooking time is over and the water has evaporated, mix in a handful parsnip pieces and the carrot pieces. Keep on stirring for 2-3 min at medium heat. At the end, season the lentils with a teaspoon salt and sugar, a teaspoon thyme and 2-3 bay leaves. Cover with a lid, put aside and continue with the sauces.

Baked shrimps & sausage

1) If you purchased frozen shrimps, take them out of the freezer and defrost them a few hours prior to cooking. Slice the sausage.

2) In a pan, preheat a sip of oil. At the same time, start preheating your oven. Then saute the garlic and a quarter of the onions in the pan. Add the shrimps and sausage and stir a few minutes. Then transfer the shrimps and sausage to the oven, add a rosemary twig and bake them at high heat until you are done with the remaining cooking.

3) Drizzle with lemon juice right before serving.

Carrot sauce

1) In a small pot, saute the remaining onion. Add the carrot juice, 2 tablespoons coconut milk and a tablespoon butter. Process in a blender until foamy. The texture of the sauce should be liquid.

Parsnip sauce

1) In another small pot, boil the remaining parsnip pieces in veggie broth until they are soft (5-10 min).

2) Add the remaining coconut milk as well as the ginger and chilli pieces. Process the sauce in a blender. The sauce should be rather firm and not liquid in texture. You should be able to scoop it with a spoon.

Popped amaranth

1) In a small sauce pan, heat up 1 inch of oil. Add the amaranth and wait until it pops. Immediately take it out of the oil with a spoon and place it into a small bowl or cup. You will use it for decoration when arranging the plate.

How to arrange the plate

As soon as your lentils are cooked, the shrimps & sausage are baked and your sauces are done, you start with spreading a layer of lentils on a large white plate. On top of the lentils, place the shrimps & sausage. Spread small piles of parsnip sauce around the lentils. Then pour a layer of carrot sauce around the plate.  Add a few cocktail tomatoes and top with popped amaranth.

Beef roulade, traditionally German

10 Mar

Traditional meals are not always in ‘culinary fashion’ but let me tell you this: Cooked with devotion and fresh ingredients they are delicious! Like the traditional German dish we call ‘Rouladen’ – rolled beef meat, stuffed with pickles, onion and bacon, served with potato mash.

Hand-made roulades are a little piece of art. I would not have guessed that rolling 3 kg of meat could make me sweat (that was for 10 guests, not to forget). It is not really difficult although you need a skillful hand and a little patience to wrap the thread around the meat roll. Once you have the meat in the oven, you can relax for an hour. Important to remember for the side dish: Roulades are typically served with mashed potato and hand-mashed potatoes cannot be beaten. That being sad, try to find a strong arm in your house who can mash the potatoes (we had over 2 kg/4 lb in that bowl which was quite impressive).

This meal is a good alternative to the beloved Sunday roast.

Rouladen in the making_the filling

Rouladen in the making_the meat

Rouladen in the making_the preparation

Rouladen in the making_the raw result

Rouladen in the making_finaleIngredients:

Rouladen

sliced beef Keule  (1 slice per person=1 roll per person, 1 slice equals about 300g)

bacon (1 slice per roll)

long pickles (sweet mustard pickles)

red beet (optional)

1 onion

mustard

oil or butter for the pan

Mashed potatoes (serves 5)

1.2 kg potatoes

1/2 celery head

30-50 g butter

1-1.5 cups whole milk

salt, nutmeg

Preparation:

1) Put the beef slice on a flat and clean surface. Sprinkle with pepper and salt. Then spread a layer of mustard on the meat. In one end, align 1-2 pickle slices, 1-2 onion slices and some red beet (it’s hard to find red beet in stripes, I used pickled cubes). Roll together firmly from one side to the other. Tie together with a cord or thread (regular sewing thread will do but you can find kitchen thread in most supermarkets). Repeat multiple times until you are out of meat :)

In case you are wondering where to get the meat from. I had it cut by the butcher and suggest to ask at the meat counter at your grocery store. The meat should be lean and red in color with no lard on the ends, similar to filet.

2) Heat up 2 spoons of butter or oil in a large pan and then sear the meat rolls aka Rouladen from both sides. Add a sliced onion to the pan if you like. This process shouldn’t take longer than 2-3 min. Completely cover with water and let simmer at low heat for a minimum of 1.5 hours. Frequently check the water level, if it decreases too much, add more water.

In case you end up with 3 kg of meat like me to feed 10 hungry stomachs, I suggest to first sear the meat in a pan and then to cook it in a lasagne pan covered with water in the oven for 1.5 hours. If you use the oven, a temperature of around 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit) is good.

3) About 30 min before the meat is ready, start preparing the potatoes and the celery root. Peel them, cut them into mouth big pieces and boil them in salted water for about 15-20 min until they are soft enough to be mashed.

Before you start mashing the potatoes and celery, add the butter, milk, salt, pepper and ground nutmeg. Carefully mash with a spatula and try to avoid using a blender. In home-made potato mash, little potatoes and celery pieces are actually quite tasty. Preparing the mash by hand will also prevent it from becoming a sticky mass.

Tip: If you have vegetarian guests coming over you can easily create a veggie roulade by rolling the pickles, onion and red beet into a piece of puff pastry.

P.S. I apologize that today you won´t find a picture of how we arranged the meal on the plate. We were all so hungry and it was so delicious that the thought of a photo came to my mind only after I was done with eating! And of course, we had no left overs ;)

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