My Mom's "Zwiebelkartoffeln" (onion potaotes)


I love potatoes and this is a really tasty side dish. Of course, you can also get an extra big portion and eat it as a main dish ;) The buttery and partly crunchy onions give the potatoes a nice flavor. I just cannot get enough of those potatoes when my Mom cooks them...

Ingredients:

  • 5 big potatoes (waxy, low-starch)
  • 2 l water
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 2 onions
  • 1-2 teaspoons salt (to taste)

Preparation:

Prepare the potatoes

Choose waxy, low-starch potatoes such as Yukon Gold. Other potatoes might fall apart too much and turn the dish into a mush. Put the potatoes unpeeled in cold salted water and bring to a boil. Cook for about 15-20 minutes till potatoes are soft. Potatoes should not fall apart, but a fork should go in and out smoothly. Drain potatoes, quench with cold water. Peel potatoes and slice them.

Finish the onion potatoes

Heat oil and butter in a frying pan. Add the chopped onions and fry till they are translucent and start to slightly turn brown. Add the sliced potatoes and add salt. Stir and break down the potato slices a little bit with a wooden spoon. Heat up. Stir carefully and not too strongly to not completly mash the potatoes. Also, let the bottom layer of the potatos-onion mix get a tiny bit stuck to the bottom. When you scrape it out later, it adds a crispy part to the dish.

Serving

When serving the potatoes, scrape from the bottom to get the crispy parts. Those onion potatoes go well with deep fried fish / fishsticks and a side salad.





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    My Mom's "Grünkohl"- slow cooked kale with cured sausage and oven roasted potatoes



    Kale does not hit everyone's tastebuds, it actually is an acquired taste as kale can be quite bitter. However, I do love my Mom's slow cooked kale. It is seasoned with veggie broth, slow cooked and not at all bitter. The slow cooking actually takes away the bitterness and soften up the tough leaves. Together with the cured sausage and the oven roasted potatoes it actually is a delight and one of my favorite childhood dishes :)

    Purple Kale

    My Mom uses frozen kale. During my stay in the US, I had to use fresh kale as I couldn't find frozen or unseasoned cut kale. Here, I discovered purple kale. When you cook it, you actually cannot differ between green and purple kale. But its flavor is a bit stronger than the green kale and I enjoyed it a lot.

    German "Bauernbratwurst"

    For the cured sausage, I always used the German "Bauernbratwurst". It usually hangs out to dry and you eat it as a hard sausage similar to salami. When cooking with it, it adds a nice flavor. You can use the original Bauernbratwurst or the Paprika Bauernbratwurst which gives it a bit of spice. We also use the cured sausage for My Mom's "Kartoffelsuppe" (potato soup).


    Ingredients:

    • 30g lard
    • 1 onion - finely diced
    • 2 cured sausages - they are called "Bauernbratwurst"
    • 450g kale - frozen or fresh and coarsly chopped
    • 2 cubes of veggie broth
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt (more to taste)
    • 1/2 teaspoon pepper (more to taste)
    • 1 liter water  
    • 2 tablespoon flour and 2 tablespoon water - for thickening
    • 2 tablespoon oil
    • 5 potatos - cut in big cubes (ca. 2 inch)
    • 2 tablespoon lard
    • salt
    • caraway seeds

    Preparation:

    Slow cook the kale

    • Heat up the lard. Add the onions and fry for 2-4 minutes. Add the sausages and keep frying till the onions are translucent.
    • Take the pot from the heat. Add the kale, season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the broth cubes on top. Fill up the pot with water. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 1 - 1.5h. Keep adding water, so that the kale is covered.
    • Season and thicken the kale. Mix the flour with the water. Add a bit at a time to the kale, stir and bring to a boil. Wait a bit. If it doesn't thicken up enough, add more flour/water mix. 

    Prepare the oven roasted potatoes

    • Preheat the oven at 200 degree Celsius.
    • Oil the roasting pan. Add the potato cubes. Sprinkle with salt and caraway seeds. Add flocks of lard on some of the potatoes.
    • Roast the potatoes for 45 minutes to 1 hour till soft. You do not need to flip them, you want a crispy bottom.








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      Christmas Chocolate Crunch


      This is another recipe from my favorite little Taste of Home - Best Holiday Recipe magazine (see also Holidy Peas and Blueberry Sparkling Lemonade). It brings back memories of one of my first Thanksgiving in the US :)

      This chocolate-butterscotch treat may not look like much, but if you start snacking it, you sure cannot stop ;) I especially like the salty snacks (popcorn, pretzles). They are a good contrast to the sweetness of the chocolate. Also, you will barley notice the butterscotch. If you prefer a stronger butterscotch flavor than chocolate, add more butterscotch and less chocolate.


      Ingredients:

      • 1 package (11 oz) butterscotch morsels
      • 11 oz (ca. 300g) bittersweet chocolate
      • 10 cups slated microwave popcorn
      • 3 cups pretzles
      • 1 cup toppas
      • 1 cup cornflakes
      • 1 cup nuts (walnuts, almonds, etc.)
      • 1/2 cup dried cranberries or raisins

      Preparation:

      Mix the snacks

      Prepare the microwave popcorn by following package instructions. Break half of the pretzles in little pieces. Now, combine all snacks (popcorn, pretzles, toppas, cornflakes, nuts, dried cranberries) into a big bowl and set aside.

      Melt the butterscotch


      You can use the microwave and follow the package instructions. I advise to let it melt for 1 minute and then take it out of the microwave and stir it, squeeze the morzels as much as you can. As the butterscotch morzels stay in form and it does not really melt, it is easy to overmelt and burn the butterscotch. It is important that you frequently stir and see whether it is already done.
       

      Melt the bittersweet choclate

      This is easier. Put it in the microwave for 1 to 1.5 minutes and stir. You will definitely see it melting. You don't need to wait till all the pieces are comletely melted. Just keep stiring it and the mix will be so warm, that it will melt the remaining pieces while it rests.
       

      Finish the chocolate crunch

      Mix the melted butterscotch and chocolate. Pour it over the snacks in the bowl. Give the snacks a good stir with a big spoon so that all pieces are covered. Then spread the covered snacks out on a baking tray. Butter the tray or use a baking sheet, so that the chocolate crunch will not stick to the tray. Let rest for a bit till the chocolate dries. Then break pieces apart.










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          My Mom's "Rindfleischsuppe" (beef based veggie soup)


          The name of this soup is a little misleading. It is called "beef" soup because the soup's broth is beef based. However, that beef is way to fatty to eat (at least to me), so you don't actually have beef to eat in the soup. It is not a beef stew kind of soup.

          It is more or less a hearty veggie soup with a beef broth as a base. And it is inspired by our famous family holiday recipe "Cous Cous" :) Everything is just on a way smaller scale, cooks faster and is less a stew than a watery soup.

          Ingredients:

          • 1 tablespoon oil
          • 1 teapsoon butter (or margerine)
          • stewing beef (very fatty, with bones)
          • 1/2 cup finely diced onion (1 onion)
          • 2 tablespoons tomatoe paste
          • 1 tablespoon harissa
          • 1 tablespoon salt
          • 1 teaspoon pepper
          • 1 clove garlic (optional)
          • 1 l water
          • 2 cups of leek ringletts (2 leeks)
          • 2 cups of small diced zucchini (1 big zucchini)
          • 2 cups of small diced potatoes (4 potatoes)
          • 2 cups of small cut carrots (2-3 carrots)
          • 2 cups of chickpeas (or 1 can)
          • salt, pepper, vegeta to taste 
          • parsley
          • optional: serve with instant cous cous

           

          Preparation:

          Step 1 - Preparing the broth

          Heat the oil and butter in a big pot. Add the stewing beef and fry quickly from all sides. You need to use very fatty beef with bones. The beef is not supposed to be eaten afterwards. You can add a second piece of more tender beef for eating if you prefer some meat in your soup.
          Then add the finely chopped onion, tomatoe paste, harissa, salt and pepper. If you want, also add a full clove of garlic, that you just give a quick squash to release the flavor. Stir the mix and let fry for a few minutes till onions are translucent. They should not turn brown. Now, fill up the pot with water till meat is covered. Let simmer at medium heat for 1 to 1.5 hours till the beef is soft.

          Step 2 - Adding the veggies

          In the meantime, cut the veggies in very small pieces: Cut the leeks lengthwise and then slice it into half ringletts. Cut the zucchini in half lenthwise and then each half additional two times lenthwise, then slice it. Dice the potatoes in small cubes of 0.5cm. Cut the carrot twice lenthwise (so that you have quarters lenthwise) and then slice it.
          When the beef broth is ready, add first the carrots and let cook for about 5 minuts. Carrots are the hardest veggies and take the most time. Then add the leek, zucchini, potatoes, and chickpeas and let cook for another 5-10 minutes. The veggies schould be soft. Now, season it with salt, pepper and vegeta to taste. Sprinkle some chopped parsley on top.

          You may serve it over a little cous cous at the bottom of the plate or at the side. The 5-minute instant cous cous, prepared according to package instructions, works fine.






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            Kona Café (Orlando, FL)


            My last stop on my Florida roadtrip was my return to Orlando. Here, of course, I decided to try out another Disney Hotel restaurant for breakfast. I chose the Kona Café at the Polynesian Village Resort. This resort demonstrates the spirit of the South Pacific with tropical palms and lush vegetation. I had been at this Resort Hotel before with my friend for a quick nighttime stop for fireworks and a drink at Trader Sam's Grog Grotto.

            At the Kona Café

            The Kona Café is located on the second floor of the Grand Ceremonial House at the Polynesian Village Resort. It is an open casual table service restaurant with view of the atrium. It serves American dishes with an Asian twist and also offers an open sushi station for lunch and dinner. 

            What I ordered:

            • Mimosa Flight - three mimosas, one with Liliko'i Juice (blend of orange, passion fruit and guave juice), one with pink grapefruit juice, and one with pineapple juice
            • Seven Seas Samoan - Poached eggs with a citrus sauce hollondaise on turkey and pulled pork hash with mustard greens and tomatoes tossed in a citrus vinaigrette

            Other famous Kona Café dishes: 

            • Tonga Toast - the legendary large banana stuffed french toast with a cinnamon sugar crust and strawberry compote
            • Loco Moco - a tower of rice with a hamburger patty, chorizo gravy, eggs and tomato salsa
            • Polynesian Egg Platter - traditional platter with eggs, potatoes, a choice of meat and with a Mickey shaped coconut macademia nut muffin
            • Macademia Nut Pancake - with a macademia nut butter and pineapple sauce

             

            Runny Eggs in Florida :)

            The Kona Café offers with their Seven Seas Samoan a special and interesting version of eggs benedicts/ runny eggs. The mix of pulled pork and turkey in the hash was great. Surprisingly, the dish did not seem to heavy despite the meat, the citrus hollondaise and the greens tossed in a citrus vinaigrette really lightened the dish up.

            This was a nice continuation to my previous experiences during my Florida road trip. I do love my runny eggs!














            Another Broken Egg Café (Naples, FL)


            Naples, FL -

            My next stops on my way through Florida were Ft. Myers and Naples. I originally had planned to spend my last week on the east coast side of south Florida. However, after Fort Lauderdale did not really work out for me - too stormy and rainy - I had returned to the west side of south Florida.

            Naples is a really nice town right beneath Ft. Myers Beach. It is a little more upscale. The beach there is just amazing with nice little palm tree huts. Before driving back to Orlando, I enjoyed a nice breakfast and some nice last beach time here in Naples :)

            What I liked about "Another Broken Egg Café"

            My friend recommended to try out the "Another Broken Egg Café" as a nice chain restaurants. I looked at the menu and was sold :) Also, if it is your first visit to one of their cafés, you get a free order of their specialty biscuit beignets with a sweet dipping sauce. There are freshly made and crispy.

            They offer a nice selection of decadent eggs benedicts including a vegetarian one and some with lobster, salmon or crab cake. They also have a good variety of sweet treats including different kinds of pancakes and toppings. And check out their incredible nice brunch cocktail section. They have different juice mimosas, bloody marys and champagne cocktails.

            Also, everything I tried tasted really delicious. I was most surprised by their country potatoes. They do look like they have been sitting under a heat lamp for a while, but they are real crispy on the outside and soft inside. They were probably fried instead of re-heated, but it defenitely worked. They were also not greasy at all.

            And look at their cute signature clay mug! You can also buy them, even though they are a little pricy.

            My decadent brunch :)

            As always on my vacation, I went a little overboard and ordered way too much. I just wanted to try everything ;)
            • A free serving of biscuit beignets
            • Breakfast tea in a nice signature clay mug
            • Peach Blini (Champagne, peach and orange juice)
            • Crab Cake Benedicts served with country potatoes
            • A side of Peach Cobbler Pancake (cake filled with honey-roasted granola, topped with peach compote, cream and maple syrup)








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