Guinea Fowl Roast Potatoes Brussels Sprouts Red Wine Sauce Blue Berries Cranberries

I went shopping at my Go to Butcher in Pforzheim, Mr. Zorn, who has built a 4 pronged business around the original butchery he inherited from his father. He now has a gourmet shop, a place to serve hungry workers in the area with fast snacks and warm daily specials at an affordable price (main courses typically go for €6.50, about $7.00), a restaurant supplier and a wholesale outlet for larger entities.

The Guinea fowl came from a chicken and fowl farm in Alsace, France, that is only about 30 miles away from where we are. This farm also produces Label Rouge produce, which is the highest standard for chicken and other feathered animals worldwide.

Anyway, I separated the parts of the Guinea fowl and sautéed it in butter, browning it in the process. Taking it out of the pan and resting it on a plate, I added a soffrito of celery (stalks), red pepper, and onion (and a clove of garlic), and browned it before adding half a bottle of red Burgundy. After it had cooked a bit, I added a cup of water and kept reducing it, adding salt, pepper, a bay leaf and some thyme.

In the meantime, the brussels sprouts were cooked in salt water until slightly underdone, then removed and splashed with cold water to preserve the color, and potatoes were peeled, quartered, cooked and roasted in butter with the brussels sprouts when everything was ready to be served.

Some dried blueberries as well as some cranberries were added to the sauce, which had been reduced and strained to remove all the solids. These berries sweetened and thickened the sauce a bit.

Guinea fowl is more gamey than chicken, the meat looks more like duck (in terms of redness), but tastes different. The sides are very standard, but tasty, owing the sauce the star quality. It was very good, tasted like Christmas or Thanksgiving and was easy to make. Since I had a whole bird, I didn’t need any stock, I just cooked the carcass (in smaller pieces, with the soffrito, wine and water, about 25 minutes).

So, if you want to try something slightly different and can lay your hands on a guinea fowl, give it a try – its worth it 🙂


Friends for Dinner

I had two friends for dinner today, and they were mighty tasty… just kidding, let me rephrase that. I had invited two friends over for dinner this evening. Knowing that P. is a seafood and veggie kind of girl, and R., her husband and I could both use food with a few less calories, I decided to make a 2 course dinner with lots of vegetables. R. loves fish and seafood in general and so does P.

I have a great fishmonger across the street, but I know he never has medium size shrimp, only the very large ones. So I got a carton of frozen shrimp, uncooked and free range – about 20 in a pound.

This morning I visited the fish shop and got 4 scallops and a small squid (calamaretto). Later in the day I prebaked a quiche dough that I had put into a round baking form. After it had cooled it was filled first with garlic, some yellow and red bell pepper strips, a hot pepper, about 2 ounces of finely sliced leeks, some thin slices of fennel bulb and a few zucchini cubes.

Then I added the scallops, the shrimp and the cleaned calamaretto.

I poured a Royale (a mix of 2 whole eggs, 4 fl. oz. of cream, salt, white pepper, 2.5 oz. of Gruyere cheese and a bunch of finely chopped chervil) over this and then put it in the oven to bake it.

It took a while, because I had neglected to parblanch the vegetables, and as they cooked they started to sweat their water. I watched this for a while and finally poured some of the water off, which made the rest firm up.

For the second and main course, I chopped up broccoli, shitake mushrooms,some more bell peppers, scallions, red onions and sprouts. Then I marinated 2 chicken breasts that I had cut up into strips in 2 tbs. of light soy sauce, 2 tbs of oyster sauce, a few squirts of fish sauce, some mirin and freshly grated ginger and garlic. The meat stayed in the marinade about an hour, then I got out my wok, used a mix of rapeseed and sesame seed oil and started the stir-fry with the meat. Then I threw in the vegetables to finish everything off with a tbs of ponzu sauce, a lemony twist on soy sauce.

I finished this dish with some cilantro sprinkled over it and served it with rice. My guests really liked it, as did I. The chicken was free range from France, the quality is called Cordon Rouge and is considered the highest standard worldwide. The meat is firmer and has more taste then regular chickens. You can buy two breasts for roughly €5, which is about 6US$. Two regular chicken breasts might cost you between €3.50 and €4, so there is not much of a difference.

Both dishes were well received. I purposely didn’t offer a dessert, since neither really has a sweet tooth, but I did follow the two courses with a cheese platter I had selected the day before when I went to visit my cheese „affineur“ at the market.

I don’t have a picture, but there was a Coloummier (Camembert family), a Brie de Melun, a Chaource that was wonderful, an 18 month old Comte, a Bleu d’Auvergne, and a goat cheese that the sales lady smuggled into my bag as a present.

I didn’t have a red wine to show off the cheeses, but there was a bottle of Durbacher Riesling to go around. This wine is one of the better ones from the area around the Kaiserstuhl, the most prestigeous wine growing area in Baden, the one half of the state of Baden-Württemberg, which is where I live.

We had a good time and will meet again some other time, maybe with less restrictions, less anxiety and more people 🙂

Tri Tip Potato Broccoli Chanterelle mushrooms

It has been ages since I’ve written a post to satisfy a basic tenet I started with, which was that the blog would essentially be bilingual.

Realistically though, most of my readers are German. But the amount of English speaking readers has increased quite a bit over the last two years, with people from India holding a strong place in my readership.

But there are some Americans, a few Australians and even someone from New Zealand, but no one from Great Britain, so far as I know.

Anyway, here goes nothing!

My favorite butcher had a piece of Tri Tip that I bought. In Germany it goes by the name of „Bürgermeisterstück“, which translated means „Piece reserved for the mayor“. There are other specialities here that have names with similar origins, such as „Pfaffenstück“ (the best piece of meat, fowl or fish for a roast) which was reserved for the priest.

I got some broccoli in another store, and I still had a potato made for the oven at home.

I popped the potato into the oven first, since it would take the longest, then went to work on the broccoli, cutting the florets from the stem and then cuttin the peeled stem into thin diagonal slices. The broccoli was steamed for 5 minutes in a sauce pan and then fried in a hot pan with a teaspoon of chopped garlic steeped in some olive oil until florets and stem pieces were „al dente“ or with a bite to them. I put them back into the sauce pan and placed the lid on it. No more heat below.

I cleaned the chanterelle mushrooms (I had 3.5 oz.) and set them aside. Next, the Tri Tip was added to the pan reserved for steak, a beautiful orange Le Creuset enameled pan I’ve had for nearly 40 years now, which also makes all my omelets 🙂

I seared the steak from all sides, then turned it back to the original position and did it all over again. After about 10 minutes, I wrapped it in foil and let it rest for a few minutes. In the meantime the chanterelles were added to the still hot steak pan and a knob of butter was added to the mushrooms.

When they were done, I placed the potato in its jacket on the plate, opened it up and added butter and the chanterelles. The broccoli went next to the potato and the steak next to it.

When resting, the steak had hardly lost any of its juices, so I decided to cut it into tranches to better arrange it. I realized then that it was very rare (which I like). The expression for that in German is „die Kuh am Ofen vorbeiführen“, which means walking the cow by the hot oven 🙂

The meal was very „lecker“ (scrumptious).

Meatloaf Corn Potatoes Mushroom Gravy

First I got concert tickets to Mother’s Finest in Pforzheim in September. Yay!!!!
Then I went to the grocery store to see what I could make. First I wanted to make a greek dish called Melitzanes Papoutsakia, a dish of eggplant with ground beef and Bechamel sauce, but it was getting late and I knew I had to make something less time consuming. I haven’t had meatloaf in a while and had just bought a pound of ground beef, so I went to work.

Meat loaf ingredients:
1 lb ground beef
3/4 cup of fresh (homemade) bread crumbs
1 sprig of fresh rosemary, chopped
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1 Tbs of marjoram
salt, pepper
1 fresh egg
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

Combine everything. Don’t overwork, because that will take the air out of the meat and compact it too much. Fill the mixture into a pound cake form (greased) and bake at 375 F for 35-45 minutes. This depends on your oven. I have a very fast oven, but if you don’t, you might want to test your meat with a meat thermometer. It is done at 155 F.

Meanwhile, start the potatoes and the corn. Use one pot, since they take a similar amount of time.

In another skillet, fry a handful of bacon lardons. Add chopped onion and garlic, add 2 inches of tomato paste from a tube and brown. Add the sliced mushrooms (about 8 medium), saute until they lose their water, then add a swig of port. Let it evaporate and add a cup of red wine. Slowly reduce, adjust the seasoning.

When the corn and the potatoes are ready, place on a plate, mash the potatoes, add butter to corn and potatoes and add a slice of meatloaf and the mushroom gravy.

Great taste, no fillers, pre-made sauces, helpers, glutamate – nothing but herbs, infusions, meat and vegetables… and a lot of taste!

Beef Noodle Soup

Anyone who has ever opened a can of Campbell’s Beef Noodle Soup should try this at home. I don’t claim that Campbell’s is a bad product, just that you can make a very satifying, improved and versatile base yourself and add whatever you prefer.
To make my base, I loosely used a recipe I saw on Heston Blumenthal’s website. Blumenthal is a scientist/3 Michelin starred cook in England with a different way to do things in the kitchen.
I used beef bones, beef shank and marrow bones, which I put into a pressure cooker along with 2 liters of water. Once the pot came to a boil, I turned the heat down to a simmer and cooked it for an hour. Then I cooled the pot, removed bone and beef and added chopped soup vegetables (carrots, celery, parsley, leeks and onion) and cooked it the same way, for an hour.
To this stock you can add peppercorns, laurel leaves and allspice, if you want.
The stock is normally cooked until the fluid is reduced by half. Then you can add salt or more exotic condiments like soy sauce.

For my soup, I added broad beans sliced in small pieces, as well as carrots and parsley. Toward the end of the cooking process I added the beef I had removed from the shanks and had cut into bite sized pieces. Also, the noodles I used and remind me a lot of the Campbell soup can noodles of my childhood are japanese Udon noodles. Slurpy and wonderful!

Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Manchmal muß es etwas Anderes sein. Ich hab eigentlich schon eine Weile Lust, Sandwiches zu machen. Das Problem ist einerseits, daß es sehr, sehr viele richtig gut fotografierte Sandwiches im Netz gibt, und andererseits, daß es sehr, sehr phantasievolle Menschen gibt, die da alles Mögliche draufpacken, auf was ich gar nicht käme.

Trotzdem hat es mich heute gejuckt, ein Sandwich zu machen, zumal ich ein größeres Stück Appenzeller im Haus hatte.

Jetzt darf man Grilled Cheese Sandwiches grundsätzlich mit jedem genehmen Käse machen, es gibt allerdings Lieblingssorten. Der Appenzeller eignet sich hervorragend dazu. Er duftet aromatisch und hat einen genügend niedrigen Schmelzpunkt, um schön zu verlaufen.

Allerdings wollte ich das Sandwich ein bißchen pimpen 🙂  Dazu hab ich eine halbe Avocado in dünne Scheiben geschnitten und in Limettensaft und Salz mariniert. Ich hatte auch noch ein Sträußchen Koriandergrün, das bot sich ebenfalls an. Und dazu passten wiederum Scheiben einer Jalapeno (komisch, das klingt schon wieder mexikanisch *g*).

Also Pfanne heiß machen, auf beide Toastscheiben ein ordentliches Stück Butter geben und eine bei mittlerer Hitze anbraten. Dabei mit dem geschnittenen Käse belegen. Nicht geizen! Dann die Jalapenos, die Avocado und das Cilantro drübergeben. Zweite Toastscheibe draufgeben, langsam bräunen lassen und umdrehen. Wichtig ist, die Bräunung langsam vorzunehmen, damit der Käse Zeit hat zu schmelzen.

Bei mir gab es ein halbes Salatherz mit Olivenöl und Balsamico dazu, außerdem, und nicht zur Deko, sondern wegen der Schärfe, Kresse.

War lecker, ich würd es wieder tun 🙂


Sometimes I like something a little different. I like the occasional sandwich, but the internet is so full of great variations I wouldn’t really know what to contribute.

Nonetheless, I had this large chunk of swiss Appenzeller, a smelly, but delicious cheese with a low melting point. A plain sandwich was a little too simple, so I added slices of fresh avocado marinated in lime juice and salt, some cilantro and a few slices of jalapeno.

To make the sandwich, heat the pan, add a generous piece of butter, put the white bread on top of it, add the cheese, cilantro, avocado and jalapenos and cover with the second slice of bread. Put another piece of butter on the top. Fry slowly over low heat to make sure the cheese melts properly. Turn and repeat.

I added some cress to the top, because I like the sharpness it imparts. A romano salad with some roasted peppers with olive oil ans balsamic rounded off the meal.

Good choice!










Spaghetti Meatballs Tomato Bell Pepper Sauce

This recipe isn’t really extraordinary, but it has a few twists that make it a little bit different.

First, the meatballs were made using veal instead of beef or pork, making a milder and softer ball. I also added some parmesan and a little bit of day old white bread in small pieces. Salt and pepper, too.

Secondly, the tomato sauce was made by combining a can of very good italian tomatoes (Datterini by „Mutti“), which are date(sized) tomatoes with a wonderful sweetness. To these tomatoes I added a jar of chicken stock without salt and two red bell peppers. I used a potato masher to mash the datterini, and smoothed the sauce in a blender once the bell peppers were done. To this mixture I added a Serrano chili, but you decide if you want that heat. All I had to do was to reduce the sauce to make it a little bit more full-bodied. Check the seasoning and put the raw meatballs into the sauce to slowly simmer until they’re done. Add a little bit of lemon zest.

Cook the spaghetti (I like to use the De Cecco brand, they use brass spouts to process their pasta, which roughens it and allows it to absorb more sauce than conventionally produced pasta.

All you have to do once everything is ready is to give it a dusting of fresh parmesan.

The dish itself is a kind of anachronism, because of the attempt to make it as italian as possible, when in reality the meatball is a thoroughly american invention 🙂

Don’t get me wrong: there are italian dishes that have small salsiccia meatballs, but the standard spaghetti and meatballs present on every italian restaurant in the USA is an american invention.

That said, there is nothing at all wrong with that, I grew up with them and like them from time to time 🙂





Flammkuchen elsässisch

Ich bin manchmal etwas begriffstutzig, speziell wenn es um Teig geht. Es ist nicht mein großes Thema, obwohl ich natürlich weiß, daß es die Palette an Speisen stark erweitern kann.

Aber über die Jahre hab ich mir immer wieder einen speziellen Teig vorgenommen und meistens festgestellt, daß es doch nicht so schwer war.

Nachdem vor ein paar Wochen ein „Flammkuchen“ mit Hefeteig sehr pizzamäßig daherkam, wollte ich es zumindest noch einmal versuchen. Auf youtube fand ich einen Beitrag von einem der Köche des „Kochduells“ (lang, lang ist’s her 🙂 ) , Carsten Dohrs. Der hat das richtig gut erklärt. Dazu kam, daß seine Mengenangaben mit denen zweier anderer Rezepte übereinstimmte. Immer ein gutes Zeichen.

Lange Rede, kurzer Sinn: Der Teig kam sehr schnell zusammen, die Kniffe von Herrn Dohrs halfen, und in 20 Minuten (ohne Ruhezeit) konnte ich den Teig belegen.

Der Flammkuchen schmeckte, wie ich ihn aus dem Elsaß kenne. Ich bin sehr zufrieden!

Der Teig:

250g Mehl

125 g Wasser

2-3 El Öl

1 Tl Salz

In einer Küchenmaschine kneten, bis der Teig eine Kugel bildet. In Folie einschlagen, eine halbe Stunde im Kühlschrank ruhen lassen. Mit etwas Mehl verkneten und mit dem Handballen durchwalken. Man merkt, wenn der Teig sich anfängt zu entspannen. Dann ausrollen und belegen.

Der Teig reicht für zwei normalgroße Pizzableche.

Für den Belag nahm ich 4 kleinere rote Zwiebel, 60 g Speckstreifen und 100 g Creme Fraiche.


Sometimes I’m a little slow when it comes to dough. Its not my favourite subject, even though I realize it could expand my palette of foods. But, I’ve experimented with different doughs through the years to find out they weren’t that hard to make after all.

After having attempted to make a „Flammkuchen“, an Alsatian specialty using a yeasty pizza-dough, which was less than satisfying, I at least wanted to give it another try. This time I googled a few recipes without yeast, found a few I trusted, and watched a youtube video featuring a cook I remember from a German cooking show from ages ago. But the video was great!

The dough consisted of:

250g flour

125 g water

2-3 Tbs oil

1 Tsp salt

Use a mixer with a kneading hook and knead until the dough forms a ball. Wrap in foil and let rest in the fridge for half an hour. Before you roll the dough, knead it with the back of your hand, using a little bit of flour to adjust the moisture. You will feel the dough relaxing after a few minutes and can start rolling it. The traditional shape is a longish rectangle, but I had nothing to bake it in, so I used my pizza pan.

The classic „Flammkuchen“ (which means flame-cake in German) uses Creme fraiche or heavy sour cream as the topping, spread generously, followed by onion rings or red onion rings and finished with  fatter bacon bits. These are not the skinny kind and you might have to find a larger piece to cut them from. They are still juicy when you bite into them with just a little bit of crispness. In earlier times, „Flammkuchen“ was used as a means to test a baker’s oven to see if the temperature was right for baking bread. The crust of the flammkuchen was so thin you could see within 3-4 minutes how hot the oven was. Hence the name.

It is a rich affair, but very delicious! Variations include a fig slice, goat cheese and rocket concoction that is good (add the rocket after it comes out of the oven and watch it wilt), as well as a dessert variant with cinnamon sugar, but most afficionados would warn not to overload it with too many ingredients. In this case, less is more 🙂


Flammkuchen echt 1


Flammkuchen echt 3


Flammkuchen echt 4

Heilbutt Kartoffelsalat

Ich hatte Lust auf Kartoffelsalat, aber keine Lust einzukaufen. Auch wollte ich irgendwie Fisch, aber auch da war ich zu faul über die Strasse zu gehen…

Beim Nachdenken fielen mir Elemente ein, die ich hatte und mit denen ich Fisch und Kartoffelsalat machen könnte.

Die Elemente:

1 Heilbuttfilet im Froster/ frozen halibut filet

Butter/ butter

Kartoffeln/ salad potatoes

Frühlingszwiebel/ scallions

Gurke vom Biogarten/ organic cucumber

3 Stangen Sellerie/ 3 celery stalks

Apfelessig/ cider vinegar

Rapsöl/canola oil

Senf/mild mustard

Speck/ bacon lardons

Die Kartoffeln wurden mit Schale über 30 Minuten gekocht, weil zwei sehr große dabei waren. Danach wurden die in kaltem Wasser schnell ausgekühlt und anschliessend geschält.

Frühlingszwiebel, Selleriestangen und Gurke wurden in dünne Scheiben geschnitten und beiseite gestellt. Der Speck wurde knackig angebraten und abgetropft.

Essig, Salz, Pfeffer und Senf wird gemischt und dann mit dem Öl aufgeschlagen. Mischungsverhältnis Essig/Öl ist 1:3.

Das Heilbuttfilet hab ich mehliert und in brauner Butter (Nussbutter) angebraten (deshalb sieht es auch paniert aus, ist es aber nicht).

Nach dem Foto hab ich noch großzügig Zitrone über das Filet gegeben.

Es hat geschmeckt wie ein richtig guter Freitag! 🙂

I felt like having potato salad, but didn’t feel like going shopping. I also wanted some fish, and there is an Italian fishmonger across the street, but I just didn’t have the energy…

Thinking about my future meal, I saw the available elements to make my meal before my mind’s eye. (The above list)

I cooked the salad potatoes in their skins for about 30 minutes, because there were two pretty large specimens among them. When they were done, I cooled them quickly in cold water before peeling and slicing them.

I cut the scallions, the celery stalks and the cucumber into thin slices and set them aside. The bacon lardons were fried until crispy, then placed on a paper towel to drain.

Then I made the potato salad dressing from 2 Tbs cider vinegar, 1 Tbs mild mustard, salt and pepper, combining these ingredients and making sure the salt dissolved in the vinegar mix. Now 6 Tbs of canola oil were incorporated into the fluid using a whisk and making an aerated emulsion.

The sliced potatoes and all the other sliced vegetables and the bacon were added and mixed. This is not an original german potato salad, BUT it was great! The vegetables offered a special crunch and the celery imparted extra flavor.

My last task was to dredge the halibut through flour after I seasoned it, put a generous knob of butter into a hot frying pan and letting it brown (for nut butter or beurre noisette) and to fry the filet in just 3 minutes on each side.

After taking the picture I drizzled the fish with the lemon 🙂

It tasted like a really good friday! (pardon the pun 🙂  )


Heilbutt Kartoffelsalat 1


Heilbutt Kartoffelsalat 2


Heilbutt Kartoffelsalat 3




Bauch Chili-Gemüse Zucchini-Kartoffelrösti

Am Wochenende war ich in der alten (badischen) Heimat, um einen schönen Abend mit Freunden zu verbringen. Dabei hab ich fast die ganze Familie wiedergesehen, die mich vor über 30 Jahren sehr freundlich, um nicht zu sagen familiär aufnahm. Ich wohnte 7 Jahre dort und fühlte mich sehr wohl.

Die Frau des älteren Bruders meines Freundes kam nach oben, um Zucchini und Gurken aus dem Biogarten der Freundin zu verschenken. Als sie mich sah hat sie gleich den Adressaten geändert und mir das Gemüse gegeben. Gestern hatte ich Zucchinitaler (ohne Foto) gemacht, nur Mehl, dann durch Ei ziehen und mit Parmesan bestreut in der Pfanne ausbacken.

Heute hatte ich noch einen Zucchino übrig und machte daraus ein Rösti mit Zucchinianteil.

Der halbe Zucchino wird mit Schale auf einer groben Reibe geraspelt. 2 kleinere Kartoffeln geschält ebenso. Ich gab nur etwa 2 El Mehl dazu, etwas Salz, Pfeffer und eine Prise Za’atar, mischte alles mit einer Gabel durch und briet 2 Rösti langsam in Olivenöl an.

Der Rest des Essens waren aufgewärmte Sachen aus der Tiefkühltruhe: Einmal ein langsam bei Niedrigtemperatur gegares Stück Schweinebauch, und dann ein Chili-Paprika-Tomatengemüse, das eine leichte Schärfe hatte, und das Gericht schön abrundete.

Fürs Mittagessen morgen hab ich noch einen Rösti übrig. Die sind problemlos, brauchen aber eine Weile, bis die Feuchtigkeit der Zucchini verdunstet und sich etwas Biss einstellt. Am besten im Ofen nachgaren lassen.

I was back to visit friends in the city I spent 30 years in (Karlsruhe, Germany). I had lived in this house for seven years and felt like part of the family back then. When the wife of my friend’s older brother came up to the apartment to share some organic vegetables from her friend’s garden, she saw me and gave me the 2 zucchinis and 2 cucumbers instead.

Yesterday I cut one zucchino in slices, seasoned them and dredged them in flour. After that I scrambled an egg and dragged the slices through the egg to coat them. Then I fried them in some olive oil. I don’t have a picture of this.

Today I grated half a zucchino with its‘ peel still on and added two grated potatoes to the zucchino. Salt and pepper and a pinch of Za’atar, a spice mix from the middle east that has sumac as one of it’s ingredients. This rösti ( a swiss term) was slow fried in a teflon coated pan, until the extra water from the zucchino had evaporated.

The rest of the meal came from my deep-freeze. One item was a piece of slow cooked pork belly, the other was a bag of chili-paprika-tomato stewed vegetable mix that had a light kick to it.

It came together easily and tasted good. The best part is the fact that there is one rösti left over for lunch at work tomorrow.


Bauch Chiligemüse Zucchini-Kartoffelrösti 1


Bauch Chiligemüse Zucchini-Kartoffelrösti 2


Bauch Chiligemüse Zucchini-Kartoffelrösti 3