Tag Archives: Savory

Spaghetti alla Carbonara

One of my favorite dishes – period. Spaghetti alla Carbonara (the wife of the charcoal burner) has most of the important ingredients/allergens: Pasta, egg, cheese, bacon – and it’s prepared in minutes!

While you cook your pasta (spaghetti or maybe linguine) al dente, put a little olive oil in a pan and cook bacon, 2 minced cloves of garlic, and a little chili flakes over medium heat. Mix 2 eggs with a tbsp of milk and 2 tbsp of the pasta water, salt and pepper. When you tasted the pasta for doneness drain it, but leave a little water in the pot. Add the contents of the pan as well as the egg mixture into the pasta and add your parmesan. Mix well and add parsley, salt, and pepper to taste. Buon appetito!

Stone Soup

For our 10th wedding anniversary my wife had the great idea to take a page out of our kids’ favorite book: Stone Soup
Stone Soup
.
If you don’t know the story: 3 monks come to a village that is very suspicious of them and by pretending to teach them how to make soup from a stone, they get them to bring ingredients to share and the whole village enjoys a great feast. In Russia a similar tale is told (Каша из топора), where a hungry soldier gets food by saying he can make porridge from an axe.

We asked all party guests to bring an ingredient for the soup (only request was no raw meat). It turned out great! I started it off with a pound of mirepoix (2 parts diced onions, 1 part diced carrots & 1 part diced celery) and 3 quarts (liters) of low sodium vegetable broth – only slightly cheating over the stone and water in the story. Our guests brought: Garlic, Portabello Mushrooms, Onions, Carrots, Peas, Zucchini, Rutabaga, fresh Thyme, Oregano, & Rosemary. For the first half of the party, the soup was still vegetarian, all of a sudden there was also chicken sausage and shredded chicken and some crispy bacon on the side, which I have to say went really well with it :)

We had a little cutting station next to the pot to chop stuff and all I did before serving was adding some salt and pepper and tasting it to make sure everything had cooked through all right. It tasted quite delicious and the sense of community was a great addition to celebrating 10 years of marriage!

Pineapple Chicken Curry

Improvised a nice curry for dinner tonight, so no measurements, just inspiration :)

I marinated chicken with curry powder, garlic, salt, pepper, soy sauce and browned it. Next I added a lot of veggies (onions, carrots, red pepper, zucchini, pineapple -fruit, I know). Added chicken stock and coconut milk and seasoned it in the end with some of the pineapple juice, sesame oil, salt, pepper, and a little sugar.

For the rice I used chicken stock, curry powder, salt, and raisins and added a little coconut milk and pineapple juice as well after cooking.

The family liked it as well, except Sarah who doesn’t like raisins in savory food anymore since today ;)

Pumpkin Soup Recipe

I just got this recipe from my mom and we already cooked the soup 3 times in 2 weeks!

  • In a pressure cooker melt a spoon full of butter and fry a finely chopped onion.
  • Add 400g diced pumpkin and 200g diced carrots.
  • Fill up with a cup of meat stock or vegetable broth, season with 2 tablespoons of curry powder, a bay leave, salt and pepper.
  • Cook about 10min in the pressure cooker (much longer in a regular pot).
  • Remove the bay leave, now mashing everything with a potatoe masher or use a food processor.
  • Add Creme Fraiche or whipped cream.
  • Before serving put some roasted almonds on top and a spoon of sour cream.

Enjoy!

Spicy Slowcooker Goulash

I was very happy with how my slowcooker Gulasch (German spelling) turned out today. Since my wife didn’t want beef, I cooked it quite spicy and shared it with our neighbor ;)

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 lbs beef (London broil), cubed
  • 1 Onion, finely copped
  • 1-x cloves of Garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks of Celery, chopped
  • 2 medium Carrots, chopped
  • 1 can of diced Tomatoes
  • 1/2 can of Tomato Paste
  • 2 Cups of Beef Broth
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp Marjoram
  • 1-x dried Chili, without stems (add all things spicy, like hot-sauce and chili powder as much as you can take)
  • 1 tbsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • Salt & Pepper

Brown Onions, Garlic, Carrots and Celery in some Oil for 5min. Add Beef and brown. Add a little red wine, if you want or just the broth and cook loose the brown bits. Mix the contents of the pan and everything else together in the slowcooker.
Cook on low for 8 hrs. If the sauce is not thick enough at the end, cook it on high for a while.
Serve with Sour Creme and Semmelknödel or Spätzle :)

German Cabbage Cake – Krautkuchen

Recipe from my mom, typical in the Swabia region around Stuttgart, Germany.

Dough – mix all ingredients together and refrigerate for at least 45min.

  • 250 g – 1/2 lb flour
  • 120 g – 1/4 lb butter
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 75 ml – 1/3 cup water

For the filling:

  • 1 kg – 2 lbs (white) cabbage, finely grated
  • 2 tsp oil OR 1/2 lb diced bacon
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 300 g – 0.6 lb sour creme
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Caraway, salt, pepper to taste
  • butter to grease the form

Saute cabbage with the flour in oil or the rendered bacon for 20min. Preheat oven to 200C/400F. Mix sour creme with the eggs and the extra yolk with the still warm cabbage mixture. Add spices to taste.

Roll out the dough and put it into an 11″ spring form, forming a nice crust all around. Add the filling and bake for ca. 45min.

Baking Krautkuchen

Enjoy!

Real German Pretzels are called Brezel

This is the hard way of baking original German (Swabian) Bretzels. For the easy way, check out the Pretzel post at TheFreshLoaf. And by the way, I do think that going the extra mile of creating the Pâte fermentée and using real lye (Food grade Sodium Hydroxide – NaOH, which I bought from Amazon) is totally worth the effort. The second secret ingredient is the diastatic (baking) malt, which gave the dough the right chewy texture.

I got the recipe from a German site called Chili und Chiabatta. This is my English version, slightly simplified:

A day ahead, create the Pâte fermentée (fermented dough):

  • 144g White Flour
  • 94g Water
  • 2.8g Salt
  • 1 pinch of Dry Yeast

Kneed everything together, cover and let rise for 12-16h at about 70F.

Now create the real dough:

  • 578g White Flour
  • 340g Water
  • 12g Salt
  • 14g Fresh Yeast (I used 2.5 tsp Dry Yeasy)
  • 36g soft Butter
  • 7g Baking Malt (I used 1 tbsp Cane Sugar)
  • 240g Pâte fermentée (all the above)

Mix everything together, except the Pâte fermentée, for 3min in the FoodPro. Now add the Pâte fermentée in chunks and continue to kneed for 5min. Let rise for 1h (in a slightly greased bowl, covered with cling wrap at 21C), fold the dough and let rise for another hour.

Make about 15 portions (85g each) and roll them out to about 60cm long ‘worms’ with a thick middle section. Lay into the typical Bretzel shape.
Cover with cloth and let rise for 30-45min. Now cool in the fridge for 30min – the Bretzels are a lot easier to handle afterward.

Now the fun part – The lye:

  • 1250g cold Water
  • 50g NaOH

Warning: Wear protective goggles and gloves and only use glass or stainless steel – especially aluminum does not withstand this solution (check your baking pan)!
(Now is a good time to preheat your oven to 230C) Slowly stir the NaOH into the cold water until fully dissolved. Using a large skimmer dunk each Bretzel into the solution for 5s. Top with coarse salt and using a sharp knife, make an incision at the belly of the Bretzel.

Update: Because those Bretzels taste the best right after baking, I did try to freeze a couple of them at this point in the process and the result was encouraging – Give it a try, if you don’t think you will eat all of them right away :)

On a well greased baking pan (No Al!) bake the Bretzels for 14-16min at 230C.

More Pretzels

Bretzels taste best when still warm – try them with a Bavarian Cheese spread called Obatzda!

Slow Cooker Moroccan Chicken with Apricots

Here goes my Moroccan Chicken with Apricots:

Put into the slow cooker in this order
– One medium onion, chopped
– Two large carrots, chopped
– One medium chicken, 3-5 lbs, washed and patted dry
o Salt and Pepper chicken inside and out
o Mix 1.5 tsp ground coriander, 1.5 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp cinnamon, ½ tsp dried garlic and ¼ tsp ground nutmeg and rub chicken inside and out
o Put on carrots breast down
– One cup of dried apricots, add around the chicken
– Mix and pour over chicken and apricots
o one cup of dry red wine
o ½ cup of chicken broth
o Two tsp honey (use less, if you don’t like it too sweet – depending on the sweetness of the apricots)

Cook 3.5 hrs on high or 7 hrs on low (Chicken breast should reach 165F).
Top with fresh Cilantro before serving. Goes well with rice our couscous.

Moroccan Chicken with Apricots