Linguini Meatballs

I’ve only cooked spaghetti/linguini with meatballs two or three times in the last 10 years. The dish doesn’t exist in Italian restaurants in Germany and I would be hard pressed to think of a can or jar of marinara sauce with meatballs you could buy here.

Instead, the poison of choice should you be camping and all you have is a can opener and a lighter would be ravioli in marinara sauce. The camping crowd loves it, as do students, little kids and other strange people 🙂

The ravioli are so soft you could use them as brains on Halloween and the mouthfeel is something to get used to. But I digress.

But, every once in a while I get a hankering for good old American meatballs with pasta. Tonight was such a night.

  • 1 pound of ground beef/ground pork half and half
  • 1 can of very good Italian tomato puree (like sauce, but without herbs)
  • 2 Tbsp of tomato paste
  • 1 glass of red wine
  • Salt, pepper
  • 2 Thai chilis, ground in a mortar and pestle
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • dried rosemary, thyme and oregano, about 1 heaping tsp everything counted
  • 1/2 cup of panko crumbs
  • 1 large egg

Combine the ground meat with all ingredients except the tomato sauce, the tomato paste and the wine. Use your hands to combine everything, but don’t overdo, otherwise the meatballs will become rubbery.

Slowly saute the meatballs in a saucepan until they have browned and are half done. Take them out and park them while you add the tomato paste to the hot pan and let it start to color. Add the wine and stir to get all the bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the tomato puree and a pinch of oregano, salt and pepper. If you want, add 2 tbsp of good olive oil. Put the meatballs back in the sauce, put a lid on the saucepan and reduce the heat to barely simmering.

Start the water for the pasta, adding 16 grams of salt (1/2 oz.), wait for it to boil and add the pasta. Cook until they are al dente, take out and put in a soup bowl immediately and follow it by adding meatballs and sauce. Top with parmesan cheese (the real stuff, not the grated stuff that smells like baby puke).

Enjoy. I did 🙂


All these years I didn’t know my favorite mediterranean fish (albeit full of fishbones) is called seabream in English.

In German it is Dorade, Goldbrasse or Meerbrasse. I suppose the Brasse and the bream have some etymological connection, as close as the two languages are.

This is not a language site, however, so on to the business at hand.

Its Friday, we’re in a predominately catholic area (just barely), so fish is the food of choice on a Friday. All of this is really maxnix to me, I eat fish because I love fish, and especially this seabream.

The method of preparation is very simple.

The fish I gutted (the fishmonger neglected to offer this service and I didn’t notice, it was my first time in a fish shop across the street) and washed under clear water. The cavity was stuffed with fresh basil, the skin I serrated with 4 cuts on each side, rubbing the cuts with salt, thyme, rosemary and sage. The sage was fresh, the thyme not, I’m afraid.

I pre-cooked the potatoes until they were just done and set them aside.

The tomatoes were fresh and cut into quarters. They joined sautéed onion and garlic along with (canned) artichoke hearts- you never would have been able to tell. This mixture got liberal quantities of olive oil, parsley and basil.

All this was sautéed in a pan on the stove with a good measure of olive oilDorade-Tomaten-Artischocken-Kartoffeln-2-(2). The oven was pre-warmed to 180 C. Once the vegetables started to come together, I placed the fish over the veggies and roasted everything for 25 minutes.

That bream was bony, but so delicious! The vegetables were just what I like. Very seaside!

Superlatives aside-people who don’t like to deal with fishbones (and I know a few) should order something else, they’ll never be happy with this selection.



The PX in Paul-Revere-Village in Karlsruhe closed in 1995. After a few years of being closed, there were various attempts to integrate a store in the space. The third try, by my count, resulted in ‚Maxikauf‘, an Edeka spin-off run by a man who owns 2 more stores, another one in Karlsruhe, yet another on the outskirts. The stores have much of the standard Edeka selection, but have one thing in common otherwise.

They cater to a Russian population that lives in Karlsruhe and environs. Ironically, what used to be the American community in Karlsruhe has been densely populated by Russians, many of them of German descent who were welcomed back under Helmut Kohl.

I like going to this store from time to time. It has the largest smoked fish selection in Karlsruhe as well as about 20 fixture feet of vodka. In the summer they have the largest and least expensive watermelons, tomatoes and dill. Not to forget cucumbers, salt pickles and other Russian favorites. In the wintertime cabbage is king.

But today I went there thinking I would buy some fresh mushrooms to make a creamy Knödel with creamed mushrooms for Ms. B, when I got side-tracked by a wonderful deal: They had young artichokes for 49 cents a piece, a price unheard of in these parts, even at the market.

Having said before that artichokes must be my favorite vegetable food bar none, I scarfed up five of ‚em for a salad.


To make the salad I prepared some artchokes by cutting off the top two thirds of the leaves, taking off everything leafy at the bottom and using a hollowing device to scoop out the hay. After this I dropped them in lemony water.

Then I pared down the stalk to about an inch and peeled it. In the end I quartered the pared artichokes and put them in salted lemon water.

I cooked them for 20 minutes and threw them into cold water to stop them from cooking (and discoloring).

There were a few vine tomatoes from foreign lands I chopped and added to the salad bowl. A pinch of salt and pepper, juice from half a lemon along with a tablespoon of vinegar and three tablespoons of olive oil.

The artichokes were fried in olive oil, a finely chopped shallot and a clove of garlic, also finely chopped.

Then I added them to the tomatoes. Parsley is a must in my book for a salad like this, and the unchopped leaves look particularly good, I think.


The store had some pretty incredible deals on  semi-processed seafood, and so I walked out with a good pound of breaded

octopus rings. The instructions said to deep-fry them, I baked them for 25 minutes instead.

Together, this was a welcome breather from the winter fare that gives me the food blues sometimes.

Rote Bete Karotte

Wir essen rote Bete sehr gerne. Bisher hab ich sie immer gekocht, aber letztens hab ich eine rohe Scheibe probiert und festgestellt, daß sie mir roh besser, weil knackiger schmeckt.

Ich hatte Lust, einen Rohkostsalat mit roter Bete zu machen, der das typisch erdige einerseits und eine frische Zitrusnote andererseits hatte. Dazu kamen Walnüsse, die ich in karamelisiertem Zucker geschwenkt habe. Danach hab ich sie mit Fleur de Sel besprenkelt.

Für den Salat hab ich zwei Beten geschält und geraspelt. Dazu hab ich eine geschälte Möhre geraspelt.

Als Dressing

Saft einer halben Orange

Ein paar Spritzer Zitrone

1 Tl Honig

1 El weißer Balsamicoessig

2 El Olivenöl

Salz, Pfeffer


Dressing zum Salat geben, ziehen lassen.

Beim Anrichten überschüssiges Dressing abgiessen.

Walnüsse dazugeben.

Hat richtig gut geschmeckt!


While surfing the net I found an american foodblog (  that was relatively unusual insofar that the author made everything from scratch, something that I respect and do myself. The author described a version of a tapenade involving artichokes, one of my favorite foods. I was looking for a low calorie appetizer and decided to give this recipe a whirl.

I enjoyed it, but would add anchovies next time, as well as trying it with fresh artchokes rather than the canned artichoke hearts I used, because I don’t much care for the briny taste that overshadowed the tapenade.

Still, Ms.B and I managed to go through more than half of the tapenade just sitting and talking and it was good with the wine we had.

I used her recipe without any changes.

Beim Surfen hab ich einen amerikanischen Foodblog ( gefunden, der insofern etwas ungewöhnlich war, daß alles selbstgemacht war, ohne Vorgefertigtes zu benutzen. Das ist mir sehr sympathisch, und so war ich neugierig eines ihrer Rezepte auszuprobieren, bei dem mein Lieblingsgemüse eingesetzt wird, nämlich Artischocken.

Es handelt sich um eine Tapenadenvariation, also eine Gemüsecreme, die üblicherweise mit Oliven, Sardellen, Kapern und Olivenöl gemacht wird. In diesem Fall waren zwar Oliven mit dabei, allerdings in übersichtlicher Menge, dafür kam eine Dose Artischocken dazu.

Das Rezept ist denkbar einfach. Man benutzt eine Mixmaschine und gibt die einzelnen Zutaten hinein und püriert sie so, daß es noch einzelne Stückchen gibt.

Ich fand den Aufstrich lecker, würde es allerdings gerne mal mit frischen Artischockenböden ausprobieren, weil der Geschmack der Lake, in dem die Herzen eingelegt waren, auch noch durchkam und nicht so toll ist.  In diesem Rezept sind außerdem keine Sardellen, vielleicht wäre das auch eine gute Beigabe.

1 Dose Artischockenherzen

7 Oliven (ich hatte schwarze ohne Stein)

1 Knoblauchzehe gehackt

1 Eßlöffel Kapern

1 Tl Zitronensaft

1 El Olivenöl