I played with the topping and this time I added chocolate chips. A whole hazelnut is another option. The ground hazelnuts provide a distinctive nutty flavor. You could also substitute ground almond meal, available at Trader Joe's. Since I have never made them with ground almonds, let me know how they taste.
A healthy satisfying vegan dish
This is by far my favorite way to prepare winter greens. The raisins and sugar add a touch of sweetness to the vegetables. The vinegar gives it a bite, and the nuts add a bit of crunch. I have used kale with this recipe and it works well. I'm always happy when I bring home a big bunch from the farmer's market. I prepare the greens for dinner and then have a leftover for lunch the next day. By the way, it tastes great with a fried egg on top—the perfect lunch.
This is a healthy and nourishing dish
Once in while, you prepare food you usually don't eat. It's fall in northern California and the farmers’ markets sell every kind of pumpkin or squash you’ve ever dreamed of. There is a splendid variety of kale, spinach, mustard greens and Swiss chard. We still have some dry-farmed tomatoes in the market too. Although the skin is a little thicker, they are still delicious and I will miss them when they are gone. The peppers have a couple of weeks left. I discovered Padron (aka Shishito) peppers this year, small green peppers that are a bit on the hot side. I love to sauté them in olive oil, sprinkle with garlic salt and nibble on them all day long and they taste fabulous cold.
Then there are the red and green cabbages. Ron, my strawberry farmer, is selling Spitzkohl, a cone-shaped white cabbage. So, it is at that time that my German DNA takes hold of me and my childhood memories come streaming back of all the ways to eat cabbage: as soup, as a cooked vegetable, stuffed cabbage, homemade sauerkraut, not to mention my aunt’s Weißkraut mit Kümmel (white cabbage with cumin seeds). That is what I'm cooking tonight with boiled potatoes (mashed potatoes would be good too) and a pig’s knuckle I got from the rotisserie wagon at the farmer's market. Personally I love the cabbage and potatoes, but not the knuckle. Let's not get too German...sometimes I wonder whatever happened to my French cooking? I will make up for it tomorrow night, when we will dine at Absinthe in San Francisco and I will eat the best onion soup on this side of the Pacific. My husband loves pork knuckles and will eat them whenever we are in Germany. This is the first time I have served it at home. After all, he is taking me to the opera in San Francisco tomorrow to see the “Barber of Seville,” so he deserves his favorite food. I ate a little of the knuckle meat and it was good smothered in mustard. The cabbage was a little overcooked and I’m not sure about adding the sour cream. Actually, I think it is better without it. Mashed potatoes would also complement this dish. This can also be turned into a great vegan meal using tofu for the protein. You see, my Californian environment has influenced me.
An easy to make elegant and light soup, perfect for a first course.
When wandering through the Whole Foods produce department, I spotted white asparagus—my all time favorite vegetable—and it was fresh! In the past, the asparagus sold in this country was old and not worth the effort. Leave it to Whole Foods to make me happy. So, I decided to make Spargelsuppe (asparagus soup). This is a very delicate soup that brings out the wonderful flavor of the asparagus. Germans love their asparagus and when it is in season you will find asparagus on the menu of every restaurant. It is traditionally eaten with melted butter and boiled potatoes, and sometimes hollandaise sauce is substituted for the melted butter. It is also served with different kinds of hams or schnitzel (a breaded pork chop).
Juicy ginger-flavored pork chops
These pork chops are absolutely delicious. The ginger and orange juice add a fusion twist, and my addition of apples adds an another layer of flavor and taste. The recipe was sent to me by my friend, Linda, who is one of the best cooks I have ever known. She and her husband inspired my interest in cooking years ago, and we have had a lot of fun cooking together. My husband had his first gourmet meal when I took him to their house to prepare "Caneton à l'Orange," the classic duck recipe from Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Now back to the pork chops: Linda got the recipe from the Northern Exposure Cookbook, from the old TV show. The pork chops are named after Ruth Ann, a character in the show. Over the years, I have tweaked the recipe quite a bit.
A Chocolate Delight
This is definitely a pie for chocolate lovers and the crust tastes like a shortbread cookie. I found the recipe in a German magazine years ago, although the original recipe had twice the amount of butter. This recipe is a keeper and I am going to use this crust in other dessert recipes. Add the chocolate filling and the nutty egg white topping and you will have a dessert you can’t resist. The pie can be kept for several days, so you can bake it ahead of time (great for the upcoming holidays). I'm thinking of baking this recipe in individual pie tins for gifts. Being the hazelnut lover that I am, I'll try using hazelnuts instead of walnuts. And maybe I'll add caramel or Nutella too, although that might be going over the top.
A healthy vegetable dish with a satisfying and rich flavor
I have prepared this dish for many years—and it is a staple winter vegetable in my house. It goes well with any kind of potato, polenta, and the flavors improve with age. It is a great side dish for the holidays and any other meal. It is also an everyday vegetable that can be eaten any time of day. Personally, I love it on a buttered slice of bread. This is the first time I have written down the recipe and it always tastes a little different. There are guidelines that I follow that come from my godmother in Germany. For the sweetener, she uses sugar, but I use my homemade jams or jellies (red currant jelly is my favorite). I add some additional spices like peppercorns, whole cloves and a bay leaf. My godmother uses goose or duck fat to sauté the onions and cabbage, which gives it a wonderfully rich flavor.
A crunchy, buttery almond cake that will melt in your mouth
This is a German Blechkuchen (sheet cake), which is available in a wide variety of styles throughout Germany. My mom uses a recipe with custard on top, while some are made with custard and fruit, and others with just with sugar, butter and a yeast dough. This recipe is a rich version of a buttery, crunchy tasting almond cake. I made it for the first time last week for a movie night at home and it was devoured by my diet-conscious California friends. It is also a great dessert to take to the office or a party. I can't give credit to the cook, because I copied an old German magazine article years ago.
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Comments in English and German are welcome!
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