Posts Tagged ‘butter’

a little bit of goose

January 8, 2014

On Christmas day, usually the Big Bird-day in our tradition, my kids, who were visiting, had to catch a train an hour before mealtime (which, in good German style, is around 1 P.M.), leaving me with neither the time nor rest to stand in the kitchen monitoring a goose roast or some other long-winded extravagancy.

I cooked goose breast fillets (skin on) instead – and white cabbage in wine.

Much nonsense about goose breast fillets can be found on the internet. The most objectionable feature of most of those recipes seems to be that they deny the fact that one is cooking goose at all. In order to, as it seems, camouflage the (quite delicious, if fresh) natural taste of the bird, many of these recipes not only seem to go south, but east, west and north as well. (more…)

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red cabbage and chestnuts

December 5, 2009

To explain why I ended up combining chestnuts (Wikipedia wants me to call them sweet chestnuts or marrons with 2 “r” or, in American, Spanish chestnuts; all in order to avoid confusing them with lesser, inedible kinds) and red cabbage, I will first introduce my childhood red cabbages. At home, red cabbage contained a few cloves, perhaps bay leaves, allspice, in fancy moments some apples, and some smoked pork of the bacony kind. I sort-of liked red cabbage but it was certainly not my ultimate favorite.

At the age of four, I learned to be careful with food away from home: The kitchen of the Weberhof on the island Juist (at the time best described as a seaside vacation kindergarten, where I was supposed to have fun while my parents went on an old-instrument museum trip), bluntly introduced me to the culinary side of homesickness (my present addiction to home-cooking may still be a late compensation for the loneliness of those four weeks).

Regarding North-German red cabbage, there was every reason for my reluctance: (more…)

kitchen gadgets of doom

October 19, 2009

My flat in the UK, a new temporary post-doc-studies accommodating asset, is furnished, which includes pots and pans and things in the kitchen. Most of these are new or at least clean. Only the oven, split into a baking and a grilling compartment, has seen way too many moons and could apparently not be cleaned any more. I am looking forward to a 19th century-style ur-British day of coal mining one day. For now, I’m happy to consider here the various things I am renting.

First, there is the scooper. This is a bent slotted spoon made from heat-resistant black plastic, apparently, or hopefully, used for scooping up sausages from their greasy bath. The plumber, who came after a week to fix a leaking tap, forgot his keys behind the wooden panel in front of the bathtub and used the scooper to retrieve them. (more…)

parcel experiments with savoy cabbage

October 17, 2009

Somewhere in my archives there is a recipe with Savoy cabbage and salmon. I am sneakily not giving the link. Otherwise people would never have to leaf through my accumulated postings which would be sad.

I keep being interested in the possibilities of savoy cabbage –  it should be a marvelous vegetable, the queen of leaf cabbages. We might, for example, attempt to braise the cut-up cabbage in white wine and give it a creamy lift at the end. We’ll likely end up with a soggy and squishy heap that tastes quite nice but looks like what, when I was little, the farmers gave to the pig. Alternatively, we might try out some kitchen-wiz oven treatment with shredded savoy and minced lamb, which could result in dried-out, brown and bitter strands between the sizzling fragments of meat.

(more…)

braised vegetables, the buttery kind

March 21, 2008

One of the classical methods to braise vegetables (as, for example, taught by Marcella Hazan) is to put them into a wide pan with olive oil and/or butter, water to cover, and salt, and to cook them until done. At the end the water should have evaporated and the vegetables just begin to hiss in the fat. Here is a refined version of this technique. (more…)

small improvements

February 26, 2008

Someone on ask metafilter is asking for new hamburger recipes. Funny that people actually know what to answer. I mean, we’re talking about hamburgers. What I would find interesting with hamburgers is how they are cooked, technique-wise. This is much more important than what happens in terms of authenticity if I mix another teaspoon full of this, that or the other into the burger mix. Spices and combinations can be improvised, cooking techniques much less so. A spoiled burger remains spoiled, no matter whether we’ve added thyme or not.

The small good things that happen in the kitchen have little to do with recipes. They are about spending tiny bits of time on actions that make all the difference. Reducing watery matter is one such example. (more…)