Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Sour Cherry Mint Streusel Tart

I'm streuseling again. It's a verb I made up, like schnitzeling. Streuseling is making a streusel dessert. Schnitzeling is making schnitzel, often out of unconventional food items. Thanks for your attention. 

I tried to get my hands on some fresh sour cherries this season but was not able to. 


So a jarred version will have to do for this recipe. However, if you can procure fresh sour cherries, please use them instead and ignore my envy.

Sour cherries are the bomb. I love their sour sweet flavor. This recipe comes from a German cooking magazine. Sour cherry recipes are hugely popular in Germany. At our home there, a neighbor with a sour cherry tree shares the bounty with my mother-in-law. She in turn gifts me with some fresh and preserves the rest. 

Monday, August 28, 2017

Caprese in Crunchy Fried Potato Jackets

Here's a recipe idea for your upcoming Labor Day festivities. I assume you all in the USA are having Labor Day festivities. If not, just make these for your family or next get together. You will need a spiralizer.

Ever since I made that Garlic Chicken Wrapped in Potato Jackets, I've been wanting to wrap some other food item. Didn't think this idea would happen so soon but here we are. 

What's not to love about Caprese? When done right and by right I mean with good quality tomatoes, mozzarella, olive oil and fresh basil, you have a perfect meal. Summer's bounty of gorgeous fresh tomatoes are made for this dish. 

Friday, August 25, 2017

Marzipan Apricot Gugelhupf with Pistachios

You would have to have a cold heart of stone fruit not to love this combination of flavors. I admit to fondly gazing at fresh apricots whenever I see them in the market. I can't resist their sweet and tart flavor. 

The best ones I've ever eaten were bought off a street vendor in Istanbul. I was starving after running all over the city. Soft and fragrant in my hands, when I close my eyes, I can still summon their deep flavor. 

The apricot print kitchen towel in the pictures was purchased in Dürnstein, the apricot capital of Austria. A fairytale city perched on the banks of the Danube River where I sampled all types of apricot products including brandy, liquor and roasted, salted and chocolate covered apricot kernels. 

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Tomato Gruyére Tart with Shallots and Thyme

I don't know about you all but I'm trying to pack as many tomato recipes into these last summer meals to take advantage of the last of the tasty, colorful fresh summer bounty. When I see beautiful colorful fresh tomatoes in the markets I just can't resist buying them.

Having way too many to use up on salads, I'm always looking for new creative ways to use them up. Here's a quick, creative and delicious solution. The recipe takes 45 minutes tops. 

Monday, August 21, 2017

Cherry Chili Margaritas

I know there still are a few weeks of summer left. However, most of us food bloggers are now working on our upcoming Fall and dare I say it, Halloween and Thanksgiving recipes which will all be here before we know it. 

Have no fear. I have no intention of posting anything pumpkin spice related before it's time but I am looking ahead toward Labor Day weekend entertaining. A little leap of time. A baby step. With me?

If you are expecting company over for some grill time or just having a small family get together, I suggest serving these delicious Cherry Chili Margaritas. 

The foundation for the cocktail is homemade cherry chili syrup. You can use whatever hot peppers you have on hand (I used Serranos) or pick your favorite based on how hot you want the syrup to be. The glasses are rimmed with chili laced sugar, not salt. Use salt if you prefer.

I served these straight up with ice. Throw the drink, some ice and some extra pitted cherries in the blender to create a sexy slushy frozen version.

Make the syrup at least the day before. For additional flavor add some fresh herbs from your gardens like mint or basil to the syrup in the simmering phase. 

This lovely cocktail that still celebrates the flavors of summer with a spicy bit of heat. what better way to celebrate the end of summer than to booze up some fresh cherries?

Cherry Chili Margaritas
Prep time: 10 minutes
Yield: Makes 2
  • 1 teaspoon Chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon white granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 4 shots chilled tequila
  • 2 tablespoons cold cherry chili syrup (recipe below)
  • Splash kirschwasser
  • 2 fresh cherries to garnish each drink 
  • ice
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the chili powder, sugar, and salt. Pour out onto a flat plate.
  • Wet the rims for two margarita glasses and dip in the chili sugar and salt mixture.
  • Add ice to the glasses.
  • Combine all liquid ingredients in a cocktail shaker.
  • Shake and pour into the two prepared margarita glasses filled with ice cubes.
  • Garnish each margarita with a cherry and serve
Cherry Chili Syrup
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Rest Time: 18 hours
Yield: About 1+1/2 cups
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 lb fresh cherries, pitted
  • 2 Serrano chilis (or your choice of chili variety) de-stemmed, de-seeded cut into tiny pieces.
  • Place all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. 
  • Turn the heat down to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the heat, let the mixture stand overnight.
  • Strain the liquid into a second saucepan and cook for 5 minutes until it starts to simmer.
  • Remove from heat and transfer to a sterilized bottle or jar.

Like Margaritas? Try this one:

Friday, August 18, 2017

Red Beet Almond Schnitzel

Schnitzeling should be a verb. I like to schnitzel everything. Celery root, cauliflower, eggs. I also like to switch up the coating ingredients, using everything from cornflakes to pretzels and potato chips. I've even made a schnitzel casserole once. 

Since I haven't gotten hate mail yet from schnitzel purists. Here I go again. 

Red beets are my schnitzel victims this time. And because I couldn't just make any old crust, I decided to use almonds. The result is a nutty crunchy vegetarian schnitzel with the earthy taste of beet.

There are so many ways to serve this beet schnitzel. I was a bit lazy with this post in not offering a dipping sauce. Apologies. 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Mandarin Orange Basil Sorbet

I admit I struggled a bit with this recipe. The most of which was I made the base before I realized both sets of the ice cream making attachments for my kitchen aid mixer were back in the city and I was in the country.


I almost gave up and converted the mixture to a granita. My husband eventually showed up to the rescue from the city with the proper attachments and all was put to right here in blogland. 

Mandarin orange and fresh basil make a great marriage. Who knew? Not me, until now. The citrusy, tangy mandarine flavors blends perfectly with the sweet savory taste of basil.  I added some mandarin zest to the sorbet for an extra kick. You can easily leave that step out. 

Monday, August 14, 2017

Garlic Chicken Wrapped in Potato Jackets

Tender, juicy, garlic studded and seasoned chicken breasts are wrapped in potato spirals then pan fried to crispy perfection. 

You can get creative with this dish. Stuff some spinach, kale,  herbs or cheese between the chicken and potato parts. 

I garnished this dish with rosemary but you can use any fresh herb you prefer or have on hand. Fresh thyme, basil or tarragon would also be a nice option.

If you don't have clarified butter on hand, you can make your own very easily. Recipes for clarified butter are found here and here

You will need a Spiralizer or a similar device to make this dish. This is a kitchen gadget that cuts vegetables into long continuous ribbons. On most of these gadgets, there are several blade options. For this dish, you want to select the "thin spiral" option or something similar. 

Friday, August 11, 2017

Golden Focaccia - King Arthur Flour's August Bakealong Recipe

I was excited when I saw this month's  recipe from King Arthur flour's Bakealong challenge. I have never made focaccia bread. It has been on my list to try for a long time. Focaccia is on my top 10 list of favorite breads. 

I was also excited to see I already had all the ingredients on hand in my pantry so I made this bread the day after it was posted. Couldn't. Wait. This recipe is for a traditional version topped with olive oil, large grain salt and rosemary. 

I followed the recipe exactly, except I substituted fresh rosemary from my garden for the dried called for in the recipe. 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Stracciatella Blackberry Torte

Somehow I always forget about blackberries until I see them in the market. Once I spot them, I am itching to create something with them. blackberries. The forgotten inspiring berry. I resisted buying them because I didn't have a solid idea on how to use them. 

Awhile back a strawberry version of this torte in one of my German cooking magazines caught my eye. They had me at "stracciatella", my favorite gelato flavor.  Creamy goodness laced with shaved chocolate. What's not to love? A genius invention in my book. So I marked the recipe intending to reinvent it with a new flavor. Then I forgot about it.

A recent trip to the market had those blackberries waving at me "hello! Remember us?" and finally the penny dropped. They were waiting to be stracciatella-ized.

Monday, August 7, 2017

German Potato Pancakes with Radish Leaf Pesto

Reibekuchen or Kartoffelpuffer are a common street food in Germany, often found at festivals and Christmas Markets. These German potato pancakes or fritters are a favorite of my husband. We often indulge in one in the rare occasion we are visiting a Christmas market together. Unlike me, he's not a big Christmas Market goer.

Most of the time we eat them with applesauce or a creamy garlicky sauce. Instead, I went all fancy schmancy and made a special sharp tasting pesto from radish greens, garlic and almonds. This radish pesto recipe is also a great way to use up those radish greens. I always feel guilty about throwing out. 

The radish pesto is strong so you only need small portion to pair with the pancake and the spicy flavor goes perfectly with the crunchy golden potato pancakes. 

Friday, August 4, 2017

Piña Colada Knödel

This summer it's all about switching sides. In the recipe department, I mean. Sweet to savory and savory to sweet. 

Pfannkuchen went from sweet Rhubarb to savory one-pan steak salad versions. Knödel went from Lemon Roast Chicken over a Bed of Knödel to this pineapple coconut rum version.

Please excuse me while theater roots are showing. I often listen to show tunes while working away in the kitchen and the songs somehow become about food. Instead of the obvious Piña Colada Song, this was running through my brain... It's Knödel's Turn, like Rose in the musical Gypsy. 

Knödel's talkin' loud.
Knödel's doin' fine.
Knödel's gettin' hot.
Knödel's goin' stong.
Knödel's movin' on.

Knödel's all alone.
Knödel's doesn't care.
Knödel's lettin' loose.
Knödel's got the stuff.
Knödel's lettin' go.
Knödel's got the stuff.
Knödel's gotta move.
Knödel's gotta go.

 Musical theater interlude over. On to the dish.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Sheet Pan Steak Gouda Pfannkuchen with Creamy Chive Sauce

Like the American version, German pancakes or Pfannkuchen can also be sweet or savory.  I had fun creating these sweet Rhubarb Basil Pfannkuchen. It was time to test drive a savory variety. 

And why make a bunch of boring old round pancakes when you can make a whole sheet cake version? One pan meals are the best.

This version uses sliced pan fried steak scattered over an oven baked pfannkuchen laced with shredded gouda cheese and studded with colorful mini tomatoes. I added some spring mix salad for color and vitamins. The whole pan is drizzled with a creamy chive dressing.