29 March 2009

Chimichurri. My favorite BBQ sauce.

My mom was born and raised in Argentina - and learned to cook from an Italian family. So despite growing up in Germany, I almost never had typical German meals at home. Instead, there was often homemade pasta, gnocchi, lasagna and cannelloni. And the occasional BBQ in the summer that was impossible without this sauce. Everyone has their own recipe, and even mine is very different from the chimichurri my mom makes. There must be millions of variants: red or green, hot or mild, sweet or sour, thick or thin.

This is for Ben and Bryan - my New Zealand mates who liked to eat it straight from the jar with a spoon...


28 March 2009

Sausage salad. The Bavarian beer garden classic.

You heard right: sausage salad. Salad made from sausages. Ham sausage to be exact. This may sound weird, but it's really delicious.

It's a Bavarian beer garden classic and I guess that's why this dish was invented: the sausage keeps fresh longer when you put it in a sour and salty solution. And you needed that when the only available air condition was chestnut trees... By the way, most beer gardens in Bavaria are still "cooled" with old chestnut trees and are BYO ("bring your own"), but a little differently as you might expect if you were born in an English speaking country: you're allowed to bring your own food, but you have to buy the beer there.


13 March 2009

Salad. Suitable for male humans.

This is a little salad I like to make, because it's quick and tasty. And not to forget: it's a light lunch or dinner, but not so light that you're hungry again after half an hour. Depending on your hunger, you can make it even more filling by adding nuts or Parmesan cheese. Or both.

Another thing: You'll save washing some dishes, as the salad dressing is made in the pan with the chicken. I like dressing. My husband likes it so much he even drinks it. So don't be surprised if it looks a little bit too much. If you prefer having less dressing, start with the half amounts of soy sauce and vinegar or let it cook longer.


11 March 2009

Pesto. Not from a supermarket shelf.

I love pesto. It tastes great on pasta, you can use it on pizzas or chicken, it even helps putting some taste in an otherwise boring tomato or bechamel sauce.

Problem is, once you have tasted the homemade stuff, you're never going back to the jars and plastic bags from the supermarket. On the other hand it's very simple to make at home. You can also use a blender or food processor instead of pestle and mortar, but personally I like to see some bits and pieces.

Parmesan cheese is practically lactose free - like the most hard cheeses. Check the carbohydrates section on the nutrition facts: If a cheese (or any other dairy product without added sugar) has less than 0,5 grams of sugars/carbohydrates per 100 grams, then you can consider it lactose free (for me, even up to 1,5 grams is OK). If you are hyper-lactose-intolerant, better leave the cheese out or substitute it with toasted bread crumbs. Then it's even vegan!


01 March 2009

Macarons. First take.

As I have said in my Carbonara post, I have tons of egg whites in my freezer. And that gets even worse when I make Pasteis de Nata (a sweet that reminds me of vacations), you need 6 (six!) yolks for one muffin tray. So I'm looking for ways to use those egg whites, apart from the plain white meringue. Quite a few food bloggers post about macarons, about how delicious they are and how difficult they are to make. A way to use those egg whites and a challenge - what could be better?

Have you ever eaten macarons? It's a French sweet, a bit like a sandwich made of almond meringues and with ganache in the middle. I first tasted them last September in Bordeaux, so apart from being delicious by themselves, they taste like holidays for me... The drawback is that they're really expensive and they're - of course - only available in France. There also seems to exist a Swiss variant, named Luxemburgerli.

After reading several posts and recipes, the one presented by David Lebovitz seemed the most reasonable one - hey, he gave it seven tries! Click on this link for the RECIPE and INSTRUCTIONS...

This is my first try - doesn't look too bad:


Carbonara. Quick comfort food.

One of my all-time-favorite comfort foods is Spaghetti Carbonara. It's quick, simple, I almost always have the ingredients at home - and most important of all - it's delicious. How could you not love noodles with a creamy, cheesy sauce and bacon? The recipe I use is a very traditional Italian one, although I like it best with capers. Yes, I know it's not the classic combination (some might even shout "blasphemy!"), but I like the acidity of the capers in contrast to the creamy sauce. Please don't kill me, try it. If you don't like it you can still use the traditional chopped parsley.