02 April 2011

Koenigsberger Klopse. Not for capers haters.

cut open meat ball
This is a real granny dish. My grandma cooked it, telling me it reminded her of her own childhood - and I also found similar recipes in my oldest cook book, which dates form 1926. Seems it's named after the town of Königsberg, which is now in Russia and called Kaliningrad. Quite a bit of history, ain't it?

Anyway, basically you make meat balls, cook them in a savory broth and serve them in a Béchamel sauce with capers. Tons of capers. So please, do not make this for anyone who hates them.

sardine can
And the secret ingredient is - if you like to call it like that - anchovies. I know, they're gross. I mean, really. And this might seem totally unreal coming from me, who absolutely despises every food that comes out of the ocean: you MUST put in anchovies! Otherwise it just won't taste good. Trust me, you won't taste any fishiness, instead this small amount of fish acts as a flavor enhancer (unless, of course, you are allergic to fish protein. Then leave it out, for heavens sake!). And why are sardine packagings always so pretty? 

OK, let's travel back in time:

09 March 2011

Bread Pudding. What a delicious mess.

Two weeks ago, I was in the Dominican Republic on vacation. Apart from the fact that sitting on a beach in February felt like real luxury, the food in the hotel was great. Made-to-order omelets for breakfast, wide range of salads, vegetables, meats and fish for lunch, à la carte for dinner. The dessert buffet was always a sight, so many cakes, flans, and creams that made it impossible to decide. And there was always bread pudding to find, though it looked more like sweet Semmelknödel than bread pudding to me.

Back home, I tried to make it myself, it is really easy and the results were delicious. I personally prefer this version, where you still can see the bread cubes in the finished dish. The whiskey cream sauce makes it really perfect, much better than versions with fruit or raisins...

05 February 2011

Burgers. It's a celebration!

This blog now exists for 2 years - amazing how time goes by. And what had started as experiment and more of a recipe catalog for myself, now has lots of regular readers and over 100 facebook fans. Thank you so much!

My life is about to change drastically: I have quit my job (which I had for 11 years) and will now be a student again. I will be concentrating on web design, so don't be surprised if appearances or features of this blog change once in a while. Please don't be afraid to tell me what you like - and maybe don't like.

Real burgers have become some kind of celebratory meal for me, so while most of you watch the Superbowl, I will celebrate this blog's second anniversary and the changes that lie ahead.

24 January 2011

Paella. Bringing some summer into your kitchen.

Winter really is harsh this year - it has now been snowing for at least 24 consecutive hours and it doesn't seem to stop. I haven't seen the sun in a while, and if, it's so bitter cold outside, it feels like the cold is cutting into the skin. Hence the yearning for some summer vibes, easily delivered by a Paella. 

Similar to Risotto and Djuvec, Paella is a Mediterranean rice dish. They all have in common that you first fry the rice in some oil and only then add water to cook the rice. For me, Paella absolutely tastes like summer, reminding me of some very nice days in Bilbao. So whenever I come to Spain, I buy some smoked paprika powder, some saffron and of course, Paella rice:

Paella rice is a small grain rice, very similar to risotto or Abrioro rice. So don't worry if you can't find special Paella rice in your supermarket - I have also made very tasty Paellas with risotto rice, even milk pudding rice. Hell, in my opinion, better make a Paella with long grain rice than no Paella at all!

12 January 2011

Pork Wellington. Another tribute to Alton Brown.

Guess you already know that I really like watching Alton Brown's show "Good Eats". Since I had access to Food Network in New Zealand, I'm hooked. And when he made a modernized (and affordable) version of Beef Wellington, I was totally smitten. Apart from one thing: he uses dried apples.

Apples are pure poison to me. Since I was diagnosed with fructose malabsorption, I have cut out nearly all fruit, except bananas, citrus and papaya from my shopping list. You don't want to be near me when I have eaten apples. Honestly. Right now, I'm carefully testing various berries and to my great delight, I found that cranberries are totally compatible to my digestive system.

So I changed the fruit, took Bayonne ham instead of prosciutto and Dijon mustard instead of the coarse variety. Not because I am a manic individualist, just because I happened to have those things at home. Be creative and don't follow recipes to the letter!

12 December 2010

Plum Pudding. Christmas classic.

When I lived in New Zealand, you could find puddings in every supermarket. And I don't mean the milk-and-starch-based kind. But the English kind which more resembles a cake, either chocolate, caramel or passion fruit. They came in little plastic pots, you would heat them up in the microwave, turn them over on a little plate and the sauce would very slowly run down the sides. Especially the chocolate kind was devine. And around Christmas, you could find plum pudding and mince pies.

Original Christmas Puddings are made with suet, which is kinda hard to find where I live - so I used butter. And I don't have a pudding mold for steaming, so I googled and found a method to steam in the oven.

And those puddings need a lot of time, first for soaking and baking, then for resting so that the flavors can develop.