Gechingen

Schwäbischer Zwiebelkuchen (Swabian Onion Tart/Pie/Cake)

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Schwäbischer Zwiebelkuchen is usually eaten in late Summer and early Fall, typically served with new wine, but fans (there are legions of them, including myself), will eat it year-round. As with any “traditional/classic” dish which is mostly prepared at home, there are many variations, most of them excellent. After all, it is pretty hard to screw up a simple dish like this, consisting of just a few basic ingredients –
Yeast Dough, (or shortcrust)
Creme Fraiche, (or, in a pinch, sour cream, which makes it slightly more tart)
Onions, sautéed, diced, (or sliced), anywhere from just transparent to caramelized
Bacon, (or not)
Chives (or not)
Caraway Seeds, (or not)
Eggs,
Salt & Pepper,
Round Pie Pan (or square or rectangular)
Deep Dish Springform (or large flat sheet pan) – because of the different heights, the ratio of onions to cream mixture also varies greatly.

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I grew up eating Schwäbischer Zwiebelkuchen all the time, but even in the area where I lived, cooks (mostly housewives), were very flexible which the variation they would use.
The only exception was the Schwäbischer Zwiebelkuchen from the time I was but a small child until I was about 7 years old, after which time the village communal oven was not used anymore. Up ’til I was about 7 years old, we still had a communal oven in the village bakery, everybody followed the same regional, well-established recipe. During that time, most farmers wife’s baked huge sheet pan’s of Zwiebelkuchen in the communal oven (as well as the bread for the following week).
Because there where no refrigerators in farmers homes at that time, a good part of the Zwiebelkuchen was shared with friends and neighbors, so that nothing was wasted. This is how I got my first taste of Schwäbischer Zwiebelkuchen, since my Mom was a city girl and was not fond of cooking, baking or any other domestic chores. when I was about five, my family moved from a large City (Stuttgart) to the small Village of Gechingen, where my father inherited his childhood home from my grandparents, who, like their parents and their parents and their parents……… were farmers. Growing up in a rural environment was in part very great, and in another part very bad for a city boy. I never got used to some of the customs, way’s and restrictions the small-village life provided us with. (One of the biggest reasons why I left home to start an apprenticeship as cook before I was 14 years old)
But, all the food from this time, including Schwäbischer Zwiebelkuchen, became highly regarded favorites as I got older. To this day, I seek those dishes wherever I go. Sadly, most everywhere, many of these items are not valued anymore and have gone the way of so many old-fashioned things – they have just disappeared. Good food, dood customs, good manners and so many other good things we used to respect, love nurture and appreciate in the past are just gone. Those of us who still (or just newly, in some cases) are fond of the time-proven pillars of “the good old times”, can only hope that “old is new again” will one day soon again apply to most of the beloved standards of our past 🙂
Until then, when I crave Schwäbischer Zwiebelkuchen, I have to prepare it myself.
And now, don’t get me going about old-fashioned manners, customs, and decent behavior…….
Bit of a nostalgic, old farts rant there, but I feel better now 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  “Schwäbische Dishes”  on  ChefsOpinion
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Zwiebelkuchen Dough:
Use your favorite shortcrust dough or yeast dough.
Substitute with pre-made shortcrust dough, pizza dough, pre-baked Quiche crust or pre-baked pizza crust. I suggest you experiment until you find your favorite. It’s well worth the extra effort 🙂
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Schwäbischer Zwiebelkuchen (Swabian Onion Tart/Pie/Cake)

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Schwäbischer Zwiebelkuchen (Swabian Onion Tart/Pie/Cake)

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Schwäbischer Zwiebelkuchen (Swabian Onion Tart/Pie/Cake)

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Schwäbischer Zwiebelkuchen (Swabian Onion Tart/Pie/Cake)

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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“Gechinger Schnitzel Weckle”

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Gechingen, Black Forrest, Germany

Gechingen, Black Forrest, Germany

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I have  for some time pondered if and which dish I should dedicate to my hometown of Gechingen.
After the process of eliminating one candidate after another for many different reasons, I finally concocted and decided on this dish, which for me encapsulates the essence of what I remember to be some of the typical food we consumed at home when I was a child – sandwiches, pickles, schnitzel and “Weckle” (bread rolls).
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for all about  Weckle
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Click here for more  Sandwiches  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for more  Schnitzel  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for a short  Video of Gechingen

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Gechinger Schnitzel Weckle

Gechinger Schnitzel Weckle

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Gechinger Schnitzel Weckle

Gechinger Schnitzel Weckle

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Gechinger Schnitzel Weckle

Gechinger Schnitzel Weckle

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Metzelsuppe Mit Grießklößchen

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Of  the thousands of readers and followers of ChefsOpinion, I am sure only a small handful will be familiar with this dish. To all others, I highly recommend this if you are a lover of hearty fare, especially now during the winter months.
Metzelsuppe, Schlachtsuppe, Metzel Supp, Kesselsuppe – the proper translation would be Slaughter Soup or Butcher Soup, which does not exactly sound politically correct these days. Sausage soup would be a more palatable name, although it would not give you the proper idea what this dish is all about.
When I was a kid, I grew up in  Gechingen, a small village in the  Black Forrest  in  Southern Germany  (Baden Wuerttemberg). Most of our neighbors were farmers. Once or twice a year, they slaughtered one of the pigs which most of them raised at the back of the house in the  Schweinestall ( Pigsty). It was a time honored tradition to bring the friends and neighbors which had no pigs of their own, each a pair of liver wurst, a pair of blood wurst, a small piece of boiled belly and a small amount of Metzelsupp. This soup was the stock which resulted by cooking all the sausages, belly, head, feet and tail of the pig in one large  Cauldron. Some of the sausages burst during the cooking. This, together with all the flavor from the meat and fat, as well as from the herbs and seasoning used in all the sausages, made for the most flavorful soup you can imagine. My Mom usually served it either with Spaetzle or Grießklößchen as  Einlage (garnish).
Later, when I was an  cook apprentice, we also raised pigs at the back of the hotel (as did many other hotels and restaurants at the time who were lucky enough to have the space to do so).
As a price, everybody who helped with the slaughtering got to share the head as soon as it was boiled, served sprinkled with coarse salt and accompanied by sour dough bread and a cup of Metzelsupp. Life sure was good then……..

Now, I did not slaughter a pig on my patio yesterday so I had to resort to some other methods and ingredients to come as close as possible to the Metzelsupp of my youth.
To be sure it was not as rich and mind-blowing good as the real deal, but it came darn close and made me real happy 🙂
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An Guata Wönsch I Eich Älle  !
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Click here for Semolina Dumpling Recipe

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Metzelsuppe Mit Grießklößchen

Metzelsuppe Mit Grießklößchen

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Metzelsuppe Mit Grießklößchen
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Preparation :
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liverwurst, blood wurst, pork wurst - remove casing, crumble

liver sausage, blood sausage, pork sausage – remove casing, crumble

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add sausages, onions and plenty of italian parsley to a strong pork stock, simmer for one hour, season with kosher salt and black pepper, check / adjust seasoning

add sausages, thyme, oregano, sage, majoram, onions and plenty of italian parsley to a strong pork stock, simmer for one hour, season with kosher salt and black pepper, check / adjust seasoning

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make semolina dumplings

semolina dumpling massa

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simmer dumplings in salted water until done, about 40 minutes, depending on size

simmer dumplings in salted water until done, about 40 minutes, depending on size

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almost........

almost……..

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plate dumplings

plate dumplings

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add soup, sprinkle with chopped parsley

add soup, sprinkle with chopped parsley

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Metzelsuppe Mit Grießklößchen

Metzelsuppe Mit Grießklößchen

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Metzelsuppe Mit Grießklößchen
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