The sauce vierge is a traditional french, meditarranean-style, infused sauce invented by some super important french cooking guy several decades ago. Goes very deliciously with fish, and that’s what I had yesterday.
Well, I’m really into cooking, but these days I stumbled upon something completely new to me again: Rillettes. A french type of shredded strands of pork/chicken/duck or even fish as a soft and savoury spread for toasted bread and the like.
Meat or poultry or whatever is cooked over a long period of time until very tender and aromatic, then frayed and mixed with it’s own juices and rendered fat. Stored in a glass jar and topped with a layer of fat for preservation this is a hearty, savoury and addictive addition to a rustic and “good and solid” dinner. Obviously, this is not for the calorie-conscious…
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.
Update october 2020: New sauerkraut, substantially more information added 🙂
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.
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 ( /ˈruː/ ) 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.
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:
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:
Ingredients for 2:
500 g spinach, fresh
2 cloves garlic
6-8 king oyster mushrooms (depending on size)
125 g polenta
salt & pepper to taste
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