Sunday, September 24, 2006

Sunday Morning: French Toast

One of the weekend bakery specialties is "Butterzopfe", which is a twisted (challah-like) brioche loaf. We hadn't bought one of these before because they are generally huge and we tend towards heartier breads. Yesterday though we saw that Coop sells pieces of Butterzopfe. So this morning I made french toast with the pieces.

For the egg mixture I just used eggs and milk. I sprinkled the pieces of bread with cinnamon as they were cooking and we ate them with Zuckerruben Sirop. The bread is slightly salty, so this ended up being a very nice combination.

For the last piece, I skipped the cinnamon and topped it with a bit of cheese (Gottardo) instead. This was also quite good. I should remember this savory french toast thing.

Saturday Night: Pumpkin Soup

We picked up a nice reddish pumpkin at the market yesterday, so last night's dinner was pumpkin soup. Our oven isn't completely functional yet, so I browned the squash pieces in olive oil instead of roasting them. This obviously wasn't the same, but the soup still ended up being downright edible.

I served the soup with fresh walnuts (toasted in a bit of oil butter for a couple of minutes to bring out the flavor), chopped chives, and creme fraiche.

We also had a green salad. We should have also had bread, but we managed to confuse ourselves at the store so we didn't end up with any.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Leftovers leftovers

We ate either leftover stew from Monday or abendbrot all week.
There were salads in there too.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Monday Stew

There is a pressure-cooker stew recipe in JPFF that seemed pretty intriguing. I love stew, but it's too time consuming to make during the week; the pressure cooker method is an escape from this.

I winged a recipe:
4 chicken thighs
olive oil
2 medium yellow onions, diced
6 cloves garlic, chopped
2 Tbs sherry vinegar
2 sausages (I used a game sausage), cut into 1 cm slices
1 large can crushed tomatoes
smoked paprika
sweet paprika
freshly ground cumin and coriander
black pepper
1 can beans

In the pressure cooker container brown the chicken thighs well in the olive oil. Remove from the pan and add the onions and garlic. Cook for a couple of minutes, stirring frequently, to partially deglaze. Finish deglazing with the vinegar. Add a goodly quantity of both types of paprika, cumin, coriander, and black pepper. Add the tomatoes, sausage, bouillion, the chicken (along with whatever juices have collected around it), and a bit of water. Cover the pressure cooker and bring up to pressure. Cook for 30 minutes. Add the beans just before serving.

This took less than an hour and half start to finish and was very good. We ate it over spaetzle.

As a side we had sauteed blue beans and a green salad.

Sunday Night: Quick Steaks, Slow Vegetables

This all started because they didn't have mackerel fillets at the store on Saturday; so I had to change menu plans for yesterday, which led to us buying some "minute steaks". We also had some zucchini waiting to be used from the market on Saturday.

So... for the zucchini: cut it into 1 cm slices. Halve the slices if they're huge. Toss in a coverable pan with a good couple Tbs of olive oil, some chopped garlic, a bit of bouillion and a Tbs or so of water. Bring to a boil and let simmer, covered, over low heat for 30-40 minutes, until the zucchini starts to get nice and soft. If too much liquid collects in the bottom of the pan, leave the lid ajar. If the pieces don't fit in a single layer, give the pan an occasional gentle stir. When the zucchini is soft, stir in some chopped fresh herbs (I used parsley, basil, and oregano) and serve immediately.

The steaks were very simple: after salting and white-peppering them, I pan fried them until they were medium rare, then served them topped with chopped fresh herbs (parsley, basil, and oregano... same as the zucchini amazingly enough).

There was also bratkartoffeln made from the remaining cooked potatoes from Thursday and a big green salad.

Wine: Dynamite 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Saturday Night: Flounder poached in caramel

Flounder was on sale at the Coop yesterday, so I grabbed a few fillets to do Southeast Asian food with. I more or less followed the recipe in BittmanWorld: Make a caramel with 1/2 cup sugar; add 1/4 cup fish sauce mixed 1:1 with water; add 1/2 cup minced onion (supposed to be shallots, but we didn't have that); add copious black pepper; cook until the onion starts to soften; add juice from 1/2 a lime; add the fish and poach; add another 1/2 a lime just before serving.

To accompany this, I simmered some julienned ginger and beans (purple beans) cut into 2 inch pieces in a mixture of soy sauce and water until the beans were tender. After pouring off the liquid, I tossed the beans with a bit of butter and served them.

We had all this with rice.

No wine because I forgot to get a bottle of riesling (or some other appropriate white) and we didn't have anything appropriate in the house.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Thursday Night Pork chops

I finally managed to finish eating all the chicken salad from last weekend, so Thursday night I got to make something new.

I pan-fried a couple of pork chops until nicely browned, then served them with a sauce made from browned mushrooms, garlic, sulz, and the pan juices from the pork (thickened with a bit of potato starch). It wouldn't have hurt to top this with some minced parsley, but we didn't have any in the house.

We ate this with sides of bratkartoffeln and stewed chard. No green salad. ;-)

Wine: Château Franc Grace-Dieu AC 2002 St-Emilion

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Saturday Noodle Salad

This was inspired by last week's "Weeknight Kitchen" recipe (30 seconds of looking didn't yield a useful URL) from Lynne Rossetto Kasper.
I used roasted chicken from the Coop, rice noodles (vermicelli), fresh mint and 'tro, shredded carrots (salted for a bit and then drained), sliced cucumber, lettuce, and minced onion and made a dressing from rice vinegar, fish sauce, soy sauce, sriracacha, sugar, black pepper, and peanut oil.

Good food. Way too much good food; I'm gonna be eating this for days (particularly since Andrea is going to be out of town).

I haven't previously done the "buy a roasted chicken and use it for quick dishes" for many reasons, but this was mighty convenient and the chicken was awfully good...

Friday, September 08, 2006

Thursday Pasta

We're partially moved into our real flat now, so it's starting to be possible to cook. Of course, with all the unpacking and organizing there's not actually much time to do so. Thus last night's pasta quickie: I made a sauce by browning some sausage chunks (saucisson vaudoise), then cooking diced onion and minced garlic until they start to brown, adding a can of tomatoes and cooking until the tomatoes start to break down, adding back the sausage to reheat, and serving over penne with a good hit of grated parmesan.

And a green salad.

Wine: Tait 2004 Ballbuster. This is the first bottle we've opened from the wine that came over by boat; luckily it seems fine.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Sunday Night: Roasted Veal Breast

For this meal I followed the Marcella Hazan recipe for pan-roasted veal with garlic, rosemary, and white wine pretty much directly. I used a boned piece of veal breast (that's what they had at the meat counter) and a Swiss white wine.

To accompany the veal we had green beans sauteed with garlic and savory until nicely browned, and the leftover polenta from last week.

Also a composed/green salad (diced celery root, carrot, and cucumber mixed with lettuce).

Aside from the veal being a tad dry, this was very good food.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Saturday Geschnetzeltes

Yesterday we picked up some pork geschnetzeltes and a piece of veal breast. After spending the entire afternoon getting furniture and stuff for our new flat, I didn't feel like doing something particularly time consuming or demanding, so I made the pork.

Heat some neutral oil over medium heat in a sautee pan. Add 300g geschnetzeltes, a minced garlic clove, and half of a finely chopped onion and cook, stirring occaisionally, for a couple of minutes, until the meat is no longer pink on the outside. Don't brown the meat. Add 200g chopped mushrooms (I used cremini) and continue to cook until they give up some of their liquid. Add a bit of stock, a grind of pepper, and salt (if you aren't using boullion or salty stock) and let things simmer, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes. Keep an eye on the pan to make sure you don't lose all the liquid. Add about 150ml of cream (I used halbrahm, 25% fat) and simmer for another 5 minutes or so to reduce the cream a bit. Adjust seasonings. Serve topped with very finely chopped parsley.

We ate this over spätzle, and it was gooood.

Instead of green salad, I made a "composed salad" out of celery root, carrot, and cucumber. I diced everything to the same size (about 1/4") and dressed the salad with salt, pepper, sherry vinegar, and olive oil.

Wine: Les Dailles 2004 Dole De Salquenen. This pinot noir from Valais went nicely with the food.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Test Post

I just switched over to the new blogger beta, so I want to check that everything works.

Thursday: Polenta with Wild Mushrooms

When we got the chanterelles I used with the venison, we also got a bag of mixed wild mushrooms. I have no idea what most of these mushrooms were, but they were amazingly varied in shape, color, and texture.

I particularly liked these boletes that turned blue when cut:

To serve them, I made a sauce of sorts: Cut wild mushrooms into pieces, sautee the pieces in butter for a few minutes until some start to soften and some take on color. Add a bit of stock, reduce the heat, and cover. Simmer until the mushrooms are done (10-15 minutes). If necessary, remove the lid for the last couple of minutes to drive off any excess liquid (there should be some liquid left).

We ate this over a fairly firm, basic (no cheese) polenta and were very happy with the meal.

yes, yes, green salad.