Cumin-chile lamb skewers with lemon yoghurt

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We ate those gorgeous spiced lamb skewers since they were on the cover of Bon Appétit’s Grilling Issue basically all through summer and haven’t stopped since. Why not, caraway & cumin are as much winter players as summer spices and their warm tones are welcome in cooler weather, just as heat & floral notes are provided by Sichuan, Aleppo and black pepper. Most importantly if you have two hurricanes, ahem babies, playing havoc with longwinded supper plans: they are super easy to prepare and quick to make (if you have your butcher debone and cut the lamb shoulder, of course, which you definitely should) and reward you with an explosion of flavour that revives the taste buds after a long, long day. Continue reading

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white bean gratin ( + grilled lamb chops & salsa)

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If the notion of a bean gratin evokes images of heavy & greige institution food, think again. This fine gratin is a layered flavour affair: tiny white creamy beans, a savoury, herb infused broth, a bed of sweet caramelized onions and all is covered by crispy thyme scented breadcrumbs. It can’t get any better and we found it a perfect partner to lamb chops with a slightly acidic tomato, feta & parsley salsa. Continue reading

Cochinita pibil with sour orange, quick-pickled onions & habanero chile sauce

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Recipe in English & auf deutsch

 

It’s the height of the (very) short Seville orange season right now and if you see them anywhere you should definitely get some. The intense orange flavour with its distinct bitter note and a bright, fresh sourness usually is transformed into beautiful preserves & wine but plays out beautifully in savoury dishes, too. You may have already produced this years’ vintage of Vin d’orange and jars of English orange marmalade or are harbouring plans to do so but I urge you to get a few more (great, you’ll be able to use the extra peel) to make this exceptional aromatic Mexican pork dish originating from the Yucatán Peninsula and going back to the Mayas.

Originally a pit-barbecued suckling pig, for domestic use we’ll skip the digging & burying the glowing embers in favour of a Dutch oven (cast-iron casserole), marinate a piece of pork shoulder in a paste of sour Seville orange juice, herbs & brick red achiote seeds, then slow-cook the meat in layers of banana leaves which equally impart their gently perfume. Serve pulled pork pieces in warm corn tortillas with a beautiful bright pink bitter orange sauce with quick-pickled onions & orange Habanero chile dots. Continue reading

Steak & Guinness pie

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I am going to tell you a (food) love story. The protagonists are textbook romantic drama types: the beautiful heroine (me, of course) and the misunderstood, ill-reputed and much maligned British cuisine with its hidden charm & a pedigree of manifold honourable ancestors (all to be revealed in the course of the dramatic events). They have a first encounter where sparks fly: ours happened in children’s books and English literature and who could not fall in love with the descriptions of picture perfect countryside picnics, mad tea-parties or feasts in Sherwood Forest? Then, crisis! Reality came down as a hammer, literally shattering those idyllic images with really ghastly fish & chips, horrendous breakfasts, weak tea & cardboard sandwiches on my first trip to England (late 80’s) where the food lived up to the bad rep it had abroad.

Fast forward to years later (you are visualizing the movie, aren’t you?): I am married to a wonderful British husband, visiting England regularly and indulging in my love for most things British (& rhapsodizing about here), which has certainly taught me a thing or two about English food – first of all: it can be amazing. And surprising, fresh, light & startling beautiful (I only wish my husband would be a seafood fanatic as I am). There are great historic recipes (lemon posset), fantastic condiments, traditional foods, Country house cooking (kedgeree, game pie), Cream teas, iconic preserves (marmelade, chutney) & puddings, great breakfast dishes, sandwiches and sponges, really good fish & chips and and and.

It also has a great amount of comfort foods with fantastic & unexpected deep, intense flavours that belie every clichéd opinion out there. One stellar example is certainly Steak & Guinness pie. Continue reading

Lamb meatballs in tomato sauce

lamb meatballs

 

On Saturday we have been wined and dined exquisitely, including a spectacular tasting goose with all the trimmings. There is nothing so joyful than a long table full of happy people, laughter & merriment, champagne, good food and a few treasures form a well-stocked cellar. I am still dreaming about that particular goose with apple, thyme & chestnuts, red cabbage and Klöße (dumplings) and I am quite sure that something along those lines will become our Christmas dinner.

I don’t know about you, but I never have problems thinking about dishes for big occasions: Christmas, birthdays, dinners and can daydream about splendid meals – preferably perusing favourite cookbooks on a weekend lie-in where the only problem that presents itself is to make a decision when spoilt for choice. The everyday supper on the other hand proves more of a challenge: a weekday meal has to be simpler though equally tasty and sumptuous not just nutrition. Continue reading

Bourbon-marinated pork filet & creamy polenta

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Well, it was getting darker and we were hungry, we’ll have it again this weekend, so photo update might be rather sooner than later (unless plans or the weather changes). Recipes in German at the end / Deutsche Rezepte am Ende

Altweibersommer (Old women’s summer) is what Germans call Indian Summer: spiders casting long strings to anchor their cobwebs which are wafting through the mellow & clear air reminding people of long grey hair of elder women. Currently, we are experiencing glorious summery autumn days with sunshine galore, silky warm air and blue skies. The leaves on the trees are slowly turning yellow, orange and red but it is warm enough to even have (an early) supper outside – fire up the grill! Continue reading

Momofuku pork buns & pork belly ssäms

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Find the recipe in German below / für das Deutsche Rezept s. u.

The heat. It makes me crave salty, spicy, briny, bacon-y buns. Here are two, if you feel the same:

Momofuku pork buns & pork belly ssäms with pickled mustard seed sauce

These are THE Momofuku pork buns, the pork buns, Momofuku, David Chang’s restaurant in New York, is famous for. – Or rather the German milk roll short-cut to the fabulous pork belly sandwich with crunchy quick-pickled cucumbers, plummy (no plums in there) Hoisin sauce & Sriracha-heat to bring it all together (even if you cannot abide hot sauces, do not leave out). As I said, this is a short-cut version, which means buying the buns (lucky if you can find the authentic Chinese steamed buns) or, if far away from such luxuries: substitute German Milchbrötchen (= milk rolls: soft & slightly sweet small buns, which are not as rich as brioche, but are quite similar to the steamed buns and equally contain milk powder). For the real experience you should make the original steamed buns a weekend project & produce industrial quantities, which is fun & very rewarding: The recipe works really well, they keep excellent in the freezer – great for future bun cravings. If your freezer is chock-a-block-full like ours or on the small side – these soft German rolls are great stand-ins. Continue reading