Germany

A Sad And Unfortunate Temporary Break For Bella, Myself And ChefsOpinion – (Slowly Getting Better)……

Bella

>
Dear Friends,

I am happy to be back, able to post and enjoying to cook, eat and share my humble cuisine with you.
From 9/13th to 10/13th I spent a wonderful month in Germany and Spain, visiting friends and family and having a great time eating and drinking in the company of much-missed friends, most of which I had not seen for many years, as well as making new friends along the way 🙂 .
I also put time to good use to facilitate my return to Germany, where I plan to spend the remainder of my life with good food, good friends and (occassionally) good booze 🙂
I bought a car, started looking for a house, registrered my new address in Germany, etc, etc.
I also spend a long weekend in Spain, where my friends Gaby and Ralf own a Beautiful Spanish villa near the beach.
I had taken many notes and pictures to share my trip with y’all as soon as I’d be back in Miami.
However, the night before I got back, my beloved Bella was attacked and badly mauled by two loose-running rottweilers.
This caused both Bella and I to suffer tremendously, her physically, me psychologically, which eventually morphed into a full-blown breakdown of my well-being.
I was bed-ridden for a week, while trying my best to care for Bella (with the help of two great vet’s 🙂
Well, it has been 10 days now and I am happy to report that both Bella and I are on the way to recovery.
I assume that I am able to start posting my European experience starting this coming week, and that the unfortunate episode of Bellas attack will be but a bad memory soon.
>
Hans.
>
For those of you who are skirmish DON”T scroll down to the bottom of this page !!!
There are pictures of Bellas wound’s there, to let those of you who can handle this kind of stuff see how badly she had to suffer.
Again, she is (slowly) on her way to recovery, and things should be back to normal soon 🙂
>>
<
And, on a lighter note:
When I was sick I did not have the strenght nor the will to cook every day. The first two day’s, I lived off apples and dry  knäckebröd .
However, that did not provide me with the nutrition I needed to get back on my feet, so, during a spell of light improvement of my strength,  I prepared a big pot of what must be the oldest, best-working and best-tasting remedy in the word:
>
“Chicken Noodle Soup With Veggies And Egg”.
>
After five days of this for both lunch and dinner (apples for breakfast), I am now feeling better and blessed with enough strength to take on my daily chores, including driving Bella to the vet daily, preparing my usual food, and keeping “ChefsOpinion” up to date.
>
Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
>
>
>

Chicken Noodle Soup With Veggies And Egg

>

Chicken Noodle Soup With Veggies And Egg

>
>
>
Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
>
>
>

>>
>

>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>

>

 

LEFT SIDE


 

RIGHT SIDE


.

.

.

.

.

Advertisements

Serrano Ham, Morcilla, And A New Car

Dear Friends,

After the most recent hurricane, I have decided beautiful Florida is not for me anymore.
I am currently in Germany to scout for a new place to live. I will spend one month in Germany, a few days in Austria and a few days in Spain (where I am presently at).
Being with friends every day does not afford me to spend much time at the Computer, but I will at least try to show you a few of the “goodies” I encounter along the way 🙂
This morning, breakfast gifted me with the pleasure of eating the tastiest sausage ever, among many other outstanding, beautiful and yummy local products.
Later on, my friends Gaby and Ralf took me to the local market, which had an incredible abundance of local produce, fruits, meats, and seafood.  However, for me, the most outstanding moment came when I found this ham vendor.
Less than $ 20.00 for 1/2 an entire Serrano ham !!!

Aaahhhhh, Life is Good ! 🙂
>
>

Best Sausage – EVER !

>

1/2 entire Serrano Ham – Less than $ 20.00 – Paradise 🙂

>

My new baby…… 🙂 
Most everything set. Just need to buy a new apartment and I am done. Let the new Life begin …….. 🙂

“Blanquette De Veau” (And Please, Don’t Judge Me By The Color Of My – Pasta!)


>
In all my years living in the USA, I have never seen this dish on any restaurant menu. Growing up in Germany, it was very common and popular, served in many restaurants and homes. If I had to describe the type of food this is, I would say “sophisticated home cooking”. Full of flavor and texture, it is often served with rice.
I personally prefer it to be served with pasta (apparently, so did Escoffier – there are two recipes in his Le Guide Culinaire – “Blanquette de Veau a l’Ancienne” , as well as “Blanquette of Veal Breast with Celery root and Endive”, both served with pasta. Some folks like to add carrots when serving a blanquette, a practice to which many professionals object in order to keep the whole dish “blanc” (white). Well, usually I am in the “blanc” camp. However, my choice of pasta today has sabotaged that approach by sporting an impossible yellow color 😦 .
When raw, this pasta looked slightly more yellow than usual egg pasta, but I thought it would lose some of its excessive yellowness during the cooking process. Not so. On the contrary, it took on this neon yellow and I was ready to toss it and cook a less color-popping pasta instead. However, when I tried it, I was pleasantly surprised by the wonderful texture and taste of this abomination of food coloring. It had one of the best pasta tastes of any dried pasta I ever tasted. So, rather than tossing it, I ate it and enjoyed it very much. (Thank God I threw the packaging in the garbage and have no record of the brand, I also have never seen it before or since in any shop and therefore will not be able to buy it again 🙂
In the end, a delicious, classic, old-fashioned veal stew with a helping of not-so classic pasta 🙂
May the pasta Gods forgive me 🙂
>
Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
>
>
Click here for more  Veal  on  ChefsOpinion
>
Click here for more  Pasta  on  ChefsOpinion
>
>
>

Blanquette De Veau

>

Blanquette De Veau

>
>
>
Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
>
>
>

 

>
>
>
>

Falscher Hase (Fake Rabbit)

“Meatloaf With Sautéed Cabbage, Horseradish Potatoes And Mushroom Cream”
>

Falscher Hase (Fake Rabbit) (Meatloaf)

>

There is a little story about the origin of the name Falscher Hase.
(Also: Hackbraten, Faschierter Braten, Heuchelhase)
(It might be funny now, but back then it was not funny at all, since it tried to cover-up the poverty and embarrassment of ordinary folks who were too poor to put a meal  on the table of which they could be proud of)
You see, not too long ago there was a time in Germany, Baden-Wuerttemberg in particular, when ground meat was not considered a proper entrée. It was ok for burgers (buletten), which were mostly consumed as a vesper (snack), served cold with bread and mustard.
But meatloaf was perceived as nothing to be proud of, an inferior dish only served when there was no money for a real cut of protein. Usually, it contained hard-boiled eggs in the center and sometimes blanched carrots, celery and bell peppers, not to make the meatloaf prettier but to further stretch the budget, since eggs and veggies were even cheaper than ground meat.
>


>
So, in order to trick casual visitors or passersby to think there is a more prestigious piece of roast in the oven or on the table, “Hase” (Rabbit) was the usual answer to the question what smells so great at lunch or dinner time. This was a time before A/C and long notices before one went to visit one’s neighbor for a chat. Kitchen windows were always open, especially while cooking, everybody stopped by for a quick chat, either the passerby talking to the person inside or the person inside talking to the passerby. After all, before TV came along, leaning on the window and seeing the world go by was some of the choice entertainment as well as the main local news source – who walks with whom, who has new clothes, whose clothes are not properly ironed, how does this or that look……. 🙂
>

>
Of course, everything has changed considerably since then (at least in our “advanced, modern” part of the world, what with tv, the internet, and so forth, a/c which requires closed windows and therefore less personal contact with our neighbors. etc…….. 😦
However, to get back to the dish at hand, if one is able to prepare a good meatloaf, one can and should be proud if this once “inferior” dish. Unfortunately, it is not easy to find a good meatloaf around here, neither in restaurants or in many homes.
Therefore,  I give you this recipe which has been in my repertoire for 50 years. It was one of the very first things I learned to cook as an apprentice when I was 14 years old and I have done it with minor variations ever since. 🙂
>
Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
>
>
>

Falscher Hase (Fake Rabbit) (Meatloaf)

>

Falscher Hase (Fake Rabbit) (Meatloaf)

>

Falscher Hase (Fake Rabbit) (Meatloaf)

>

Falscher Hase. Fake Rabbit. Meatloaf

Falscher Hase (Fake Rabbit) (Meatloaf)


>

>
>
Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
>
>
>


>
>
P.S.
Each meatloaf serves 10-12.
Potatoes and cabbage – 5 servings each
>
>

Powidl Mit Pfirsich (Plum Chutney With Peaches)

>


>
>
Here is another delicious plum recipe I want to share with y’all 🙂
Powidl has its origin in Poland (powidła or powidło) and the Czech republic (povidla), from where it went on to Austria and Germany and other European countries.
Powidl was traditionally made without additional sweeteners or gelling agents and was mostly eaten as a spread on bread and cakes. It is comparable in appearance and texture to Indian spicy plum chutney, although as the name implies, the Indian version is chock-full of spices and seasoning and more suitable as accompaniment to meat dishes.
After the war, there was very little money to go around in a typical German household, especially in the countryside and even when there was, the selection of commercially prepared foods  was very limited. However, although my parents were no farmers, we owned a small amount of land with fruit trees on them, mainly apples and plums. As I described in previous posts, most of the fruits and vegetables from our land and garden were preserved to last well into the winter. With the help of our neighbors, my mom prepared our own pickles, sauerkraut, marmalade, apple sauce, etc, while most of the apples went to the communal  “Mosterei” to make our own cider.
However, when Powidl was made, the best way to enjoy it was to eat it fresh, while still warm and fragrant. A slice of home-made bread (baked in the communal oven by my best friends mom, Frau Vetter), slathered with fresh butter and heavenly Powidl – provided my very first culinary happy moments at age 6 :-). In order to put this into perspective – buttered bread with sugar sprinkled on top was a special treat, so the sweet, beautifully vibrant Powidl added a whole new dimension to a simple slice of bread. Like I said before, for a few years after the war,  Germany was not a place of culinary indulgence for most folks.
Well, back to the delicacy at hand; The plums I used were a bit on the tart side, so I added a small amount of sugar and honey to round out the taste. The peaches ended up in this Powidl because they had a few blemishes and therefore did not appeal to me in their raw state.
So, in the end, not a particular original Powidl – but nevertheless, a super delicious Powidl indeed 🙂
>
Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
>
>
Click here for   Indian Spiced Plum Chutney  (Alloo Bukharay Ki Chutney)
>
>
>

Powidl Mit Pfirsich  (Plum Chutney With Peaches)

Powidl Mit Pfirsich (Plum Chutney With Peaches)

>

Vanilla Ice cream With Powidl , Whipped Cream And Sweet Plum Sauce

Vanilla Ice cream With Powidl , Whipped Cream And Sweet Plum Sauce

>
>
>
Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
>
>
>


>

>
>

Corkscrews, Shrimp, Bok Choy and Eggs

>
>
I recently  came across an article which proclaimed “Pasta actually makes you lose Weight”.
Unfortunately, I don’t believe that ANY food I love (I love most 🙂 ) will make me loose weight, especially pasta. Why? Because if I love something, I consume it in excess quantities.
But then, a lot of food which falls into the category of “food I love”, will never make me fat, for the simple reason that it is too expensive to become fattening – caviar, lobster, fresh stone crab claws, foie gras, chanterelle, matsutake, wagyu (the real McCoy), and a bunch of other stuff I had the privilege to eat plenty of in the 70’s, when most of these delicacies were still affordable in their countries of origin.
I used to have a few cans of caviar in my fridge when we did black sea cruises in the mid-seventies, when one was able to exchange a pair of used jeans in St Petersburg’s black market for 1 kg of caviar. Matsutake and wagyu was expensive in Yokohama and Kobe, but not excessively so. Chanterelles in Germany in the 70’s and 80’s when I went home on vacation – same thing, not cheap but affordable. And so it was with most of these specialties at the time – not cheap but within reach, at least for me and my friends who traveled the world, loved good food and after visiting a place a couple of times, knew where to get a bargain.
But now let me get back to pasta.
Fortunately, pasta is one of the most affordable food stuffs which have a special place in my heart (and stomach).
Consequently, I eat it too often, and usually way too much, packing 2 or 3 portions into one meal – which is good for my happiness 🙂 , bad for my weight 😦 .
So there you have it – while pasta “does not actually make me lose weight”, it does actually makes me happy .
>
Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
>
>
Click here for more  Pasta  on  ChefsOpinion
>
>
P.S.
All the food you see on  ChefsOpinion  is cooked and served in my home, usually just for myself and Bella. I like to pick and hold the shrimp by their tail (Bella just eats the whole shrimp, tail and all, including the tails from my shrimps). If you are not comfortable with the tails on the plate, just remove them before adding the shrimp to the dish 🙂
>
>
>

Corksrews, Shrimp, Bok Choy and Eggs

Corkscrews, Shrimp, Bok Choy and Eggs

>

Corkscrews, Shrimp, Bok Choy and Eggs

Corkscrews, Shrimp, Bok Choy and Eggs

>
>
>
Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
>
>
>


>
>
>
>

Beef Medallions, Gnocchi And Truffled Eggs

>

>
Gnocchi,  in a slightly different shape as the Italian version, are very popular in Germany, especially in the south – namely, in  Baden-Württemberg and Bayern.
Our “Gnocchi” consist of the same basic ingredients, potatoes, flour and egg, but they are slightly different in shape -more elongated than the Italian version.
We prepare them savory or sweet. We use rye or wheat flour, add eggs or not, add potatoes or not, fry them or simmer them, saute them after simmering or not, and do basically whatever we want to do with them 🙂 (Unlike our Italian friends, who are pretty set on how to do their own gnocchi).
As for the name given to our versions, we are pretty flexible as well: Schupfnudel, Fingernudel, Baunzen, Dradewixpfeiferl, Erdepfebaunkerl, Schopperla, Bauchstecherla, and even “Bubenspitzle“, which literally translates into “little boys’ willies” – look at the pic and you’ll understand 🙂
Btw- If you wonder about the rather unrefined addition of a couple of slices of tomatoes- the texture and fresh taste of the tomatoes compliment the gnocchi, eggs and beef perfectly.
The entire recipe below serves 2 big eaters, or 4 with a smaller appetite…..
>
Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
>
>
Click here for more  Gnocchi  on  ChefsOpinion
>
>
P.S.
Jamaican Dumplings – Sinkers (round) or Spinners (bubenspitzle shape)  are another, even more distant version -made mostly of flour and water; they are fried (Jonny Cakes),  simmered, or first simmered and then fried. Add cornmeal, baking powder and sugar, then fry them and you have Festival.
>
Click here for  Jamaican Dumplings  on  ChefsOpinion
>
>
Gnocchi Recipe:
>
Ingredients:

1 lb Russet potatoes,   cooked, peeled, mashed
A/P flour,   sifted – as needed
Eggs,  whole, whisked
Kosher salt, to taste
Cayenne pepper, to taste
1 0z Butter
>
Method :
Add egg, seasoning and flour to potatoes, mix lightly until smooth.
Shape into gnocchi.
Make light indentations with a fork.
Cook a sample in simmering salted water. If too soft, add flour. If too dense, add egg.
Cook gnocchi in simmering water until gnocchi float. Remove with slotted spoon into strainer. Saute in melted butter.
>
>

Beef Medaillons, Gnocchi And Truffled Eggs

Beef Medallions, Gnocchi And Truffled Eggs

>

Beef Medaillons, Gnocchi And Truffled Eggs

Beef Medallions, Gnocchi And Truffled Eggs

>

Beef Medaillons, Gnocchi And Truffled Eggs

Beef Medallions, Gnocchi And Truffled Eggs

>
>
>
Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
>
>
>


>
>
>
>

“Gechinger Schnitzel Weckle”

>

Gechingen, Black Forrest, Germany

Gechingen, Black Forrest, Germany

>
>

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).
>
Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
>
>
>
Click here for all about  Weckle
>
Click here for more  Sandwiches  on  ChefsOpinion
>
Click here for more  Schnitzel  on  ChefsOpinion
>
Click here for a short  Video of Gechingen

>
>
>

 

Gechinger Schnitzel Weckle

Gechinger Schnitzel Weckle

>

Gechinger Schnitzel Weckle

Gechinger Schnitzel Weckle

>

Gechinger Schnitzel Weckle

Gechinger Schnitzel Weckle

>
>
>
>
Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
>
>
>


>
>
>
>
>

Lamb Stew “Wiedenfelsen”

>
>

Image - Property of Panoramio

Image: Property of Panoramio

>
Click here for a short Video of Hotel Wiedenfelsen
>
It  seems about time that I dedicate a dish and name it for the place which started it all for me, the wonderful, elegant and classy “Hotel Wiedenfelsen” in the  Black Forrest  in  Germany.
Before and during the time I was lucky to be am apprentice in this gem of a hotel, the tourist industry in Germany was dominated by hotels like this.
Medium in size, family-owned hotels and restaurants which were the pride of families which, in many cases, had operated these hotels and restaurants for generations. Sadly, because of changing demands, the industry took a sharp turn during the 70’s and many of these wonderful places became obsolete in a fast changing landscape of mostly chain-operated hotels. Only the strongest and the luckiest survived, while the rest gave way to cookie-cutter operations without charm and soul, or they just ceased to exist (including Hotel Wiedenfelsen). It has since seen various attempts to re-invent itself under different ownership, but has never managed to come even near it’s former glory).
Things were of course very different during the hotels heydays, the time during which I had the fortune to be accepted for a three-year apprenticeship under the tight and competent leadership of the Executive Chef (and son in law of the then-owners) Karl Mueller. Karl was a generous and warm person, taking care of us apprentices as if we were family. He was also extremely professional, strict and a severe applier of high culinary standards.
Although ours was a relatively small hotel (about 70 rooms, two restaurants and one banquet space), the standards with which our hotel operated were very high and impeccable indeed.
It was mostly because of these high standards of the whole family who owned and operated “Hotel Wiedenfelsen” that I have become the person I am and the chef I was for nearly five decades. Admittedly, it took an iron hand,  a (seemingly at the time) short leash and not a few “fresh ones” to shape me (and a bunch of other apprentices) into the professional I became, but, looking back today, I am grateful to the Mehr family and the Mueller family to have never given up on me and guided me into the right professional and personal direction.
All of this (and more) went through my head yesterday while I was cooking this dish which was the first lamb dish Chef Mueller taught me so many years ago………..
>
Thanks Karl, Uschi, Herr und Frau Mehr. God Bless ! 🙂
>
>

Lamb Stew

Lamb Stew “Wiedenfelsen”

>

Lamb Stew

Lamb Stew “Wiedenfelsen”

>
>
>
Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
>
>
>


>
>
>
>
>

Easy Does It # 27 – Strawberry Croissant


>
>
While
 I was shopping early this afternoon, I was nostalgically remembering the old German tradition of  “Kaffee und Kuchen”.
In Germany and Austria, between lunch and dinner, there is traditionally a short break for a social gathering around a piece of cake or two (or any other Pastry) and a hot steaming cup of coffee, hot chocolate or tea. This ritual is referred to as Kaffee und Kuchen, Kaffeetrinken, or Kaffeeklatsch. Even these days, it is still quite common to get together with friends and family on Sunday afternoon between 3:00 and 5:00 p.m. to share some cake/pastry and good conversation. Well, I was certainly not going to run home and start baking a cake just for my self, but I had an idea for a simple solution for my craving, so I bought a couple of freshly baked croissants, two small cups of sugar-free chocolate pudding and some fresh strawberries. To assemble these sexy beauties took only about as long as it took to brew a cup of strong Java and both the Java and the pastries were absolutely delightful. I was even able to enjoy the added bonus of having my  Kaffee und Kuchen  outside by the pool, since the sun was behind dark clouds and there was a nice breeze blowing, keeping the temperature pleasant 🙂
>
Bon Appetit !   Live is Good !
>
More  Kaffee und Kuchen
>
More  Easy Does It
>
>

Strawberry Croissants

Strawberry Croissants

>

Strawberry Croissants

Strawberry Croissants

>
>
>
Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
>
>
>


>
>
>
>
>
>