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Tag: Traditional Recipes

How to: Prepare Sauerkraut…

… the traditional german way – or not?

Sauerkraut is so german it even gave us our name 🙂 , it’s very widespread in the nation, very regionally diverse and versatile. It is part of the traditional german cuisine, mostly eaten as a side dish but also as a full meal when made with the appropriate ingredients. It’ very healthy – for example for it’s contents of vitamin C which even increases when cooked.

There’s what feels like a gazillion ways of preparing sauerkraut in germany alone (and I bet there are even more recipes all over the world). To condense these down to some kind of a standard formula that everything else can be built upon, here’s my way. BTW: We’re talking fresh and unprocessed Sauerkraut here, not the pre-cooked, canned version from the supermarket.


Home Made Sauerkraut Tutorial

Update october 2020: New sauerkraut, substantially more information added 🙂

Sauerkraut

Since I happen to be a “Kraut” by birth, I decided to home-make my own Sauerkraut. Fermentation using wild lactobacillus is an ages-old and easy way of preserving almost every reasonably hard/crunchy vegetable you like. It’s easy and for our grandparent’s generation it was a perfectly common thing to do.

So what is this “fermentation thing” all about? Fermentation is latin and means the decomposing of carbohydrates in foods by various bacteria or yeasts with no oxygen around. Besides improving digestability, this produces a wide variety of distinct aromatics and other substances, the most important one being acid (lactic acid in this case). Harmful bacteria cannot thrive in an oxygen-free, acidic environment, thus, our food becomes preserved.

 


Crispy Browned Potato Rounds

Pan fried potato rounds. It feels like it’s been ages since I had these the last time as a kid from my aunt. I missed them… Basically, these are flattened german potato dumplings (Kartoffelklöße) fried in butter to golden brown deliciousness. Here’s how:


How To: Make a Roux

Roux - Stolen Image (allrecipes.com)

Roux – Stolen Image (allrecipes.com)

I was asked by a member of the extended family circle about a recipe requiring a roux.

So let’s make a “Roux“… Ahh… yeah, right. Sure. Of course. This is french. It’s pronounced ( /ˈr/ ) and this sounds sooo much better than the german Mehlschwitze, which – honestly – sounds more like a sore throat 🙂 .

A roux is used as a basis for things like heavy sauces, soups or stews. It thickens them up and makes them creamy and rich. Since it’s a base-ingredient, it is very versatile and can be used for a wide variety of cooking tasks from the standard french cuisine mother sauce Béchamel up to New Orleans Gumbo. Google “roux usage” and you’ll see what I mean.

Some people find making a roux a little intimidating because, yes, you can absolutely screw it up, but if you follow these simple steps here, I promise you’ll nail it every time. It’s no magic.


Ground Beef and Leek Soup

One of my personal classics, and I’m surprised that I didn’t even post this here yet. It’s a hearty, savoury and filling soup, best eaten on a cold day to warm up both body and soul. Yum! Aaand here’s how:


Sous Vide Duck Breast with Red Wine Reduction

This was yesterdays dinner and it turned out great. In fact I was so excited, I forgot to take photo of the final plate. Anyway, here’s how:


Yesterday Evening’s Beef Shank in Wine Sauce with Mushrooms

I’ll undergo a medical examination where I must not eat for one day in advance. So I treated myself with a grubby and substantial meal the evening before. Here is it:


Fried King Oyster Mushrooms with Spinach and Polenta

This is what I made for lunch today. Very delicious, but a little work to do. It’s indeed three separate but as such simple dishes to make, but with a little dedication it’s no problem:

Ingredients for 2:

500 g spinach, fresh
2 cloves garlic
1 shallot
6-8 king oyster mushrooms (depending on size)
125 g polenta
salt & pepper to taste


Preparing dried legumes

Although legumes (e.g. beans, peas or lentils in all their varieties, forms and shapes) are available ready-to-use and cheap in any given supermarket, many people don’t know how to prepare them from their dried state. Yet, for an old freaky prepper like me 🙂 they are very useful: Their shelf life is a felt eternity, they’re nutritious and, well, occasionally they taste really good.


Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts and Bacon

I  gave one of the Bacon sides from recently to a close friend of mine and he made this from some of it! Looks yummy, eh? 😀

He took the recipe from here (english translation below), but he recommends to leave out the butter for more crispiness. I’m glad he liked it!


 

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