27 February 2010

Roast Chicken. Leaping frogs and butterflies.

(adapted from Alton Brown, on youtube: part 1 and part 2)

20 February 2010

Dates and bacon. Only better with parmesan.

In foodie questionnaires, one question that almost always pops up is: "sweet or savory?" Seems that I belong to the rather small group that answers: "both! at the same time!" I have always been a fan of sweet/salty combinations, like cheese and membrillo, toast Hawaii or arroz a la cubana (fried rice, eggs and bananas). As Flo finds those combinations ranging between barley edible to downright revolting, I sometimes make myself something he really doesn't like - when he's not there. For example, dates rolled in bacon, then fried until crispy. This is a classic combination, just like prunes rolled in bacon. Then I read somewhere about filling them with Parmesan. And let me tell you, this takes this party classic to a whole new level.

Side note for you fructose malabsorption guys: dates contain sorbitol, which deactivates the very few fructose transporters you have. For me, 4 dates are just the limit.

14 February 2010

Fondue sauces. A rainbow of colors and tastes.

Fondue is our standard meal for special occasions. We have it almost every Christmas and New Year's and some other times of the year, too. I like it because it's festive, you get to eat beef tenderloin and for the fact that you can prepare everything in advance. So on the great day, you only have to heat the broth, set the table and everyone is cooking for himself and having fun. Not to mention the romance, coziness and warmth an open fire brings into your house.

And in fact, we prefer the "fondue chinoise" variant, that means cooking thin slices of meat in a broth. As opposed to "fondue bourginonne", which means cooking the meat in hot oil. That is, of course, tasty like everything that has been fried. But your house will also smell for days as it has been fried. And I'm really not the one to count calories, but food cooked in oil and served with mayo-based sauces simply is too fatty for my taste.

06 February 2010

Mushroom Sauce. Perfect with Semmelknödel.

Last week on the Semmelknödel post, I promised you a recipe for mushroom sauce. This is a classic combination in Bavaria and in most cases, the only vegetarian option in traditional restaurants. I'm really not a vegetarian, but I sometimes wonder about the "meatless" menus in restaurants - accompanied by gravy, lard or even bacon. Personally, I think humans are omnivores (just ask a biologist about our teeth sets), but I deeply respect the choices people make. You never know what's really behind it. For example, when I was a teenager, there was a year when just the sight and smell of meat made me feel sick. And it even happens nowadays that I prefer a meatless meal. Just like on other days, I crave a steak. Medium rare.

Note for you fructose malabsorption guys out there: those white mushrooms contain mannite/mannitol and if you can't handle sorbitol you can't handle that one either. Apparently, I can't. Lesson learned.