Clam Chowder my way/ Scallops Lentils


I have a nice story to tell about one of the proprietors in my neighborhood: I went to see my fishmonger across the street because I had a hankering for seafood. My company closed the store for Thanksgiving, making us all take the day off. No problem, I still have a few days left over, but I wanted to at least make a good meal today, since I’m not going to make a turkey dinner just for myself.

But I was in luck: He had scallops, which I was wanting. Then he asked me if I liked mussels. Is the pope from Argentina? Sure, I said. He walked back to his cooler, brought back a 3 pound airtight package of dutch mussels, handed them over, saying that even though the due date was today, they would last through tomorrow. I took his gift and four scallops, thanked him and was on my way.

After a short stop at the vegetable store next door, I crossed the street again and was home. Just about an hour later, I started to make a meal fit for a king (crab). I’m not usually koi when gushing over my exploits in the kitchen, fishing for compliments wherever I can and reeling them in.

I broke the dinner down to two courses. The first was a soup of sorts made from the broth used to cook the mussels. This consisted of carrot, celery root, leek, potato, parsley and garlic, all cut into a small brunoise that was stirred in olive oil over medium high heat until it became fragrant and then splashed with a cup of Riesling. The mussels were added, the lid went on, and I gave the timer five minutes. After the mussels had a few minutes to cool down, I removed them from their shells and placed them aside. The stock I let evaporate, adding two cups of water, and when it had reduced by half, another cup of chicken stock and a half cup of cream. This was reduced again, building strength. At this point I added a small capsule (1/4 gram) of saffron. After cooking it a few more minutes, I used my immersion blender to blend the vegetables in the soup along with about half of the mussels to make a thicker chowder.

I’m from Boston originally, so I’m aware of the Chowder Wars with New York and the fact that we just don’t have Quahogs here in Europe or Littleneck clams, but trust me – seafood can be a great equalizer, even when saffron is involved, which I don’t think the English, Irish and maybe even the Italian immigrants in the 17th century would have known about anyway.

Long story short – the chowder was great, something for a Christmas or Thanksgiving table, very regal on account of the saffron and its price.

Time to switch languages 🙂

Der zweite Gang bestand aus 4 Jakobsmuscheln auf den wunderbaren Beluga Linsen. Ein Wort zu Linsen: Wir sind hier in Europa nicht die Experten wie die Inder, was Linsen angeht. Aber während indische Köche oft schnellkochende Sorten wie rote Linsen wählen, um sie zu transformieren (Paste daraus machen oder eine Basis für Pfannkuchen oder Gebäck) gibt es in Europa die Tendenz in verschiedenen Ländern diese alte Hülsenfrucht, die auf mageren Böden in der Höhe gedeiht, wieder anzubauen. Die Franzosen waren die Vorreiter mit ihrem Zeichen AOC – Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée, das die Herkunft garantiert, als sie die Puy Linsen aus der Auvergne damit auszeichneten. Nach und nach tauchten andere Sorten von Edel Linsen auf. Die feinste kleine Linse aus Italien ist die aus Castelluccio im umbrischen Hügelland, in Deutschland gibt es Albloisa von der Schwäbischen Alb (auch eine alte Sorte), wie auch neuere Schwarzwaldlinsen und überregional auch in Österreich Berglinsen und Belugalinsen. All diese Sorten brauchen etwas länger um gar zu werden, sind zwischen grün, mittelbraun und fast schwarz im Aussehen und schmecken nussig, aber cremig mit verschiedenen Nuancen.

Diese Sorten sind hervorragend geeignet, ein Teil eines sehr leckeren Ganges zu sein. Sie passen ebenso zu Fleisch- wie auch Fisch- und Meeresfrüchtegerichten. Sie sind sich auch nicht zu schade für die schwäbische Variante mit Saiten, Kartoffeln und Spätzle, sind da aber leicht unterfordert 🙂

Für meinen zweiten Gang nahm ich einen Teil der Brunoise Gemüsesorten für meine Basis und briet sie in ein wenig Rapsöl an. Nachdem sie etwas Farbe genommen hatten, gab ich die Belugalinsen dazu und füllte den Topf zur Hälfte mit Wasser (ein kleiner Topf). Nachdem der gut eingekocht war, gab ich einen Teil des Hühnerfonds dazu und reduzierte wieder. Insgesamt dauerte der Kochvorgang etwas 35-40 Minuten. Dann haben sie noch einen ganz leichten Biss, sind aber sonst cremig und sehr lecker.

Ich würzte erst am Schluss, weil alle Hülsenfrüchte hart bleiben, wenn man sie zu Anfang salzt.

Die Jakobsmuscheln machte ich erst zum Schluss – Erst ritzte ich die Haut ein, erhitzte etwas Olivenöl und bereitete ein großzügiges Stück Butter vor.

Die Jakobsmuscheln wurden auf der geritzten Seite zuerst angebraten, bis sie gebräunt waren, dann drehte ich sie um, gab das Stück Butter dazu, stellte die Pfanne schräg und übergoss die Jakobsmuscheln die ganze
Zeit mit der Olivenöl – Butter Mischung, um sie von oben und unten zu beheizen. Nach etwa 5-6 Minuten nahm ich sie heraus und platzierte sie auf dem Linsenweg, den ich schon vorher geteert hatte.

Zum Abschluss, und, weil ich keine weitere Sauce (Flüssigkeit) machen wollte, gab es nur etwas Lemon Pepper aus der Mühle, das alles frisch und rund machte.

Mit 3 oder 2 Jakobsmuscheln wäre dies eine perfekte Vorspeise. Ich hab die Linsen auch schon mit Tomatenconcasee gemacht, das passt auch gut und erlaubt einen Schritt weiter in Richtung Mittelmeer, was die Gewürze angeht.

Stubenküken Zitrone Lauch Kartoffel Sahne


Originell ist anders! Das ist hier jetzt der 3. Post mit Stubenküken, dem eine Zitrone in den Körper geschoben wurde.

Man kann es natürlich auch anders sehen- Never change a winning team.

Wie auch immer, ich denke es hat eher was mit Verkalkung, Gedächtnisschwund oder Alzheimers zu tun, unbestritten bleibt, daß Zitrone spitze zu Hähnchen paßt, egal in welcher Form.

Und die Beilage war auch anders.

Ganz einfach- Lauch in Ringeln, Kartoffeln in Scheiben darunter, Butter Muskat, Salz, Pfeffer, Sahne, ein Schluck Wein, als Bett für das Küken. Vorher im Topf anschwitzen mit Butter, damit das Gemüse zusammenfällt, dann würzen und umtopfen. Küken drauf und in den Ofen.

Eine Stunde bei 190 C- saftig und lecker.

ZitronenStubenküken-Lauch-Kartoffel-Sahne

ZitronenStubenküken-Lauch-Kartoffel-Sahne

 

Muschelragout Kartoffeltaler Safransauce


Wir finden Muscheln toll. Sie geben ein vergnügliches Essen ab, wenn man sie in der Schale läßt, und sie sind auch ausgelöst wohlschmeckend und vielseitig.

Da die Saison noch jung ist, wollte ich die in der letzten Woche auf dem Markt gesehenen Bouchon-Muscheln probieren, hatte aber kein Glück und mußte anderswo auf holländische Ware ausweichen. Dafür waren die Holländer wesentlich preiswerter. Deshalb nahm ich zum Ausgleich noch 50 g Nordseekrabben mit.

Ursprünglich war mein Gedanke das Ragout im Reisring zu servieren- das ist so schön retro, aber zuhause stellte ich fest, daß der Reis alle war. Deshalb hab ich umdisponiert und ein paar Kartoffeltaler dazu gemacht.

Für das Ragout:

Suppengrün klein geschnitten anrösten

mit Noilly Prat ablöschen

100 ml Wasser dazu, zum kochen bringen

Muscheln dazu, Deckel drauf

Kochen, bis Muscheln aufgehen (ca. 7 Minuten)

Abseihen, Muschelwasser auffangen

Muscheln aus der Schale lösen, beiseite stellen

Muschelwasser reduzieren

frische Lauchstreifen, Karottenstreifen pochieren, beiseite stellen

150 ml Sahne zum Muschelfond, einkochen

Safranfäden dazu, salzen, pfeffern

Muscheln und Nordseekrabben in der Sauce erwärmen

mit den Talern anrichten

Taler

4 Kartoffeln schälen, auf der feinen Reibe raspeln

mit etwas Mehl abbinden

Salzen, pfeffern, Muskat

In heißem Öl anbraten, auf Küchenkrepp abtropfen

Das ganze war ziemlich lecker und sehr preiswert!

Lachsfrikadelle/ Salmon burger


I had two salmon steaks 10 oz. each and wanted something different. For salmon burgers, I found a recipe by Austrian cook Johann Lafer that modulated the finely chopped salmon by adding lime zest, lime juice, ginger, and, to bind the ingredients, an egg white and cornstarch. Also some cayenne pepper for extra zest.

I used the well-known stainless steel rings to portion the fish, and left the rings on to turn them. I did the same for the potatoes. They were taller, though. The savoy was hand-shredded into manageable small triangles (I read somewhere this was the best way to do it) and sauteed, then cooked with the lid on. When the savoy was ready, the cream was added, as was the nutmeg. There was also a small amount of Noilly Prat to curb the heat.

The potatoes weren’t too soft when cooked. I used a fork to roughly mash them. Do not overdo, you want some lumps for texture. The next step was to add 1.5 oz. of butter and work into the potato mixture. Salt and pepper, then place the mass in rings and slowly fry to golden brown. These were delicious! The savoy was very good, too. The salmon burger was very juicy (careful when frying, lower the heat soon). The best part of the fish was the fresh flavor. It had lime zest, ginger, pepper, salt, koriander seeds, and laurel leaf.

The dish looks only OK in the picture. My pictures leave something to be desired, but  can’t seem to improve on them with the set-up/equipment I’m using now. Hopefully that will change in the future.

The burgers were very fresh-tasting with lots f citrus notes. My better half did not enjoy them as much as me, but she’s not much of a fish-eater at the moment. The potato tower was delicious as well, courtesy a recipe by Lea Linster of Luxembourg. Both potatoes and savoy would go well with any variety of winter venison/meat dishes, as they are usually served in Germany this time of year. But they go with salmon as well.
This dish tasted much better than it looked!

Als Frikadelle war der Lachsklops sehr überzeugend. Aber auch Wirsingrahm und Kartoffelturm waren sehr lecker! Die Sauce für den Fisch hab ich so gemacht: Lachsabschnitte in einen kleinen Topf mit Wasser geben. Lorbeerblatt, Pfeffer- Korianderkörner dazu. Etwa 20 Minuten ziehen lassen, dann abseihen.
Einkochen, einen Schluck Noilly Prat dazu, nochmal reduzieren, nochmals salzen und pfeffern. Manche machen Sahne dran.

Chicken Pot Pie


This is one of the dishes I remember from my childhood and teenage years. If memory serves we were buying the frozen Swanson pot pies, both the chicken and the beef. I remember they took about 45 minutes starting in a cold oven, because they were frozen solid.
People call it comfort food nowadays, but it is actually a convenience food adapted from an earlier convenience food. I believe this dish was invented to 1.) portion a meal, and 2.) make it easy to take along. Back in the day, these would have been casseroles of different sizes, which gave way to aluminum pie pans. To freeze it just constitutes the next step in convenience. To be clear: I don’t see convenience as an end, on the contrary, I don’t have much use for the „fast“ in food. But if I’m making something to eat for work, I will sometimes cut a few (convenient) corners.
This pot pie, however, was cooked because I wanted to try to improve the flavors etched on my hard drive.
I think it was a hands down win.For the dough:
2 cups flour
1/2 cup butter
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup water
2 eggs

Combine flour, salt and butter to make pea-sized pellets. Make a bowl, add the 2 eggs and the water. Stir, then knead, until dough is smooth. Refrigerate several hours. Quarter the dough. Flour the board and roll the dough so it will fit into your bowl. Line the bowl, prick the dough with a fork, prebake.

Separate an egg, brush baked dough with egg white (keeps the dough from getting soggy).
Fill the bowl, roll a second piece of dough to make a lid. Adorn with dough ornaments, bake.

Filling:
1 leek, in rolls
2 carrots, in rolls
15 snap peas
mushrooms (good with this, I didn’t have any)
2 potatoes, diced
flour
butter
veal stock or chicken stock a little cream
tarragon

I diced the potatoes and cooked them in a little salt water. Sliced the carrots 3mm, added butter and a pinch of sugar to the pan and sauted the carrots and the snap peas for 10 minutes. Then I added a 1/4 cup water and let cook until dry and tender. In a third pan, I sauted the leek rolls.
In a sauce pan I took a chunk of butter sauted a diced shallot, added a tablespoon of flour and cooked a medium brown roux, about 4 minutes, then added some Noilly Prat and some veal stock and also some cream.
Should I be irritating you with the maddening „some“- „some“ is just a swig of cream, about 250 ml of veal stock and just a jigger of Noilly Prat. I cooked this mixture to about 2/3 of its volume and added two diced chicken breasts and cooked them about 10 minute. Then I let it cool off. The vegetables were done, so I added them to the sauce.
This mixture was placed in the bowl and the top crust was added and baked.

The result? Much better than my memory.
And for added elegance, add fresh french tarragon at the last minute.

A Classic, Revisited


I had bought an Alsatian free-range chicken Saturday, which I turned into a lemon chicken a la ‚Arthur’s Tochter‘, a blogger I like to follow. She says she first became aware of the recipe in a book bei Alfred Biolek, one of Germany’s cooking show pioneers, but says it could have originated with Marcella Hazan. The discussion is pointless, since the process of stuffing juicy lemons into a chicken cavity is not so out-of-this-world as not to have been thought up by regular folks preparing something with a twist. The question is merely who first recorded the recipe.
Anyway, even this text is pointless, because as I readied my camera, it first whirred, then whined and then died. No picture.
This Sunday night dinner is an attempt to salvage what was left of the weekend’s delicious foods.I had a pound each of white and green asparagus.
Peel the white and cut off 1/2 an inch of the ends. The green only need it’s last third peeled. I then cut the stalks into thirds and put them in a pot with 1 inch water, salt, sugar and lemon juice. Bring to a boil and cook the asparagus until tender with a little bite.

1/2 pound of mushrooms (Champignons)
2 shallots
butter
1 leftover breast of chicken in different sized pieces.
leftover chicken gravy .25l
cream

Basmati rice
cook the rice in the usual way (2x water, 1x rice, salt simmer 20 minutes)

for the gravy dice the shallots, fry in butter, deglaze the pan with Noilly Prat, add the leftover chicken stock and cream. I used about 100 ml of cream of 32%. After that I added the mushrooms and the chicken pieces/shreds to warm them.

To put the dish together, I made a ring of rice (I own a wooden shaper). I added the separately cooked asparagus, then topped it with the chicken mushroom gravy mixture. To thicken the sauce a little bit, I used a teaspoon of cornstarch mixed with a little cold water.
This was quite good, with the base of course being the chicken stock. I had cooked chicken stock from scratch a few weeks ago and had portioned it in freezebags. I used the last of these bags today. To make the stock from scratch is completely worth it, I can only recommend it.

The quantities described here would have fed four, but we are two. So I get it tomorrow as lunch-pretty fancy!