Snack with homemade pickles

  • Ritz Crackers
  • Goat Cheese
  • Black Pepper
  • Pickled Red Beets

We have some delicious homemade pickled Red Beets around. For a happy hour snack here is a quick and easy one: put a teaspoon of goat cheese (the creamy variety) on a Ritz cracker, add some cracked black pepper and top with another spoonfull of the diced pickled Red Beets.Tastes great, but the color alone makes this one special!

For our happy hour we had a 1999 R.H. Phillips Syrah (California) which I happened to come across in my basement and it was wonderful! 

Clafouti à la Julia Childs

  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 3 cups cherries, pitted
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • some powdered sugar

This delicious desert can be made with about any fruit. However the color and sweet moisture of ripe cherries works particularly well.

In a blender blend the milk, sugar, eggs, vanilla, salt and flour. Pour a 1/4 inch layer of the batter in a buttered 7 or 8 cup lightly buttered fireproof baking dish. Place in the oven until a film of batter sets in the pan (approx. 10 minutes). Remove from the heat and spread the cherries over the batter. Sprinkle on the 1/3 cup of sugar. Pour on the rest of the batter. Bake at 350 degrees (175C) for about 45 minutes to an hour. The clafouti is done when puffed and brown and and a knife plunged in the center comes out clean. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, serve warm.

Mozarella with Tomatoes and Olives

  • 1 medium size ball of Mozarella
  • 2 ripe meaty heirloom tomatoes
  • 1/4-1/2 red onion very thinly sliced
  • 10 tsp good Olive Oil
  • 10 tsp balsamico vinegar
  • 2-3 pinches of coarse sea salt
  • 1 tsp freshly crushed or coarsely ground black pepper
  • 16 Kalamata Olives (preserved in red wine vinegar, pitted)
  • 10-12  fresh leaves of Basil
  • 1/3 cup of crumbled Feta cheese
  • 1 fresh Baguette

Easy to prepare summer treat full of freshness, juice and flavor. Cut the Mozarella in slices (about 1/4" thick) and spread out on a good size plate. Slice tomatoes and put one slice on each Mozarella pad.
Loosen up the onion slices with your hand and add on top. Now add about a tea spoon of olive oil and a tea spoon of balsamico vinegar on top of each tomato.
Sprinkle with coarse salt and crushed pepper (careful with the coarse salt - it is pretty strong and you don't want to over-salt).
Cut the olives in half and add on top of the tomatoes. Bundle the Basil leaves together (leaving 4 on the side for decoration later) on a cutting board and cut in stripes. Add on top. Sprinkle the Feta cheese over it.

Arrange the remaining whole basil leaves around the rim of the plate. Serve with fresh Baguette - warmed up in the oven.

St. Patricks Corned Beef & Cabbage

  • 4lb piece of corned beef
  • 1 head cabbage, cut in 8th (wedges)
  • 3 tbsp duck fat
  • 2 bottles of beer (Smithwicks Ale 12oz)
  • 8 cups (1/2l) of water
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp pepper corns (coarsely crushed)
  • 3-4 bay leaves
  • 1/2-1 onion finely chopped
  • 3 carrots cut in slices
  • 1 parsnip cut in slices
  • 3-4 potatoes, peeled and cut in cubes
  • 1 bunch parsley chopped

Unpack and rinse the corned beef. With a sharp knife remove the fat and gristle and discard. Rub in salt. Do not use the spice bag that might come with the meat.

In a large pot (6qt or bigger) heat the duck fat and brown the beef on high heat (about 5 min). Add the beer and deglaze the bottom of the pot. Add the water to cover most of the meat. Crush the pepper corns in a mortar&pestle and add along with the bay leaves and the sugar. Simmer for about 5-6 hours. Turn the meat over after about 2 hours.

Add carrots, onion, parsley, parsnip and potatoes and simmer for another 30-45 minutes. Add the cabbage wedges and simmer for another 15-30 minutes. Take the meat out and cut in 3/4" slices with a sharp knife. Very important: cut across the grain - otherwise it will be very tough to chew!

Serve in deep dishes with the meat slices on top - garnish with some parsley. As with all stews it's especially delicious and flavourful warmed up the next day!

Tastiest Chicken Ever

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon celtic sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup Kalamata olives, pitted
  • 5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

This is one awesome way to make chicken! The Lemon and Thyme create a wonderful foundaton for the overall composition, the browned cauliflower and the olives develop a stepped up intense flavor and the whole dish is just to die for! If the olive skins get a little crunchy while baking that just adds to the nice texture of this dish.

Spread thyme sprigs evenly in the bottom of a 7 x 11 inch baking dish.
Place chicken over thyme sprigs and scatter cauliflower around chicken.
In a small bowl, combine shallot, olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon zest and juice, olives and garlic.
Pour lemon mixture over chicken and cauliflower.
Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or better overnight.
Bake at 400° for 45-55 minutes, until chicken is cooked through and cauliflower is well browned.

Schnitzel a la Oak Ridge

  • 8 Pork Chops (thin, approx 1/4 to 1/2" thick)
  • 4 Eggs
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 cups breadcrumbs
  • 8 oz Clarified Butter (or Butterschmalz)
  • Non-stick Pan

Thanks to Jesko for showing us how it's done right (even that you claim it's still not!):

The goal is to get nice thin and juicy Schnitzels with a nice, golden-brown crisp coating of the breadcrumbs. After doing the pan frying with vegetable oil for years we found out that the clarified butter works miracles on the taste. You can buy the butter or make it yourself. The clarification process takes the heavier particles out of the butter and keeps it from getting brown or burnt. Get a good meat pounder and get started:

Prepare 3 good size plates, one with an eggwash the other with the flour and the third with the bredcrumbs. Trim the fat off the edges of the chops and pound them thin (about 1/8"to max 1/4") on a stable chopping board. Salt & pepper.

Heat half of the butter in the pan to medium heat (with a regular size pan you should be able to get 4 Schnitzel in there at a time, so use half of the butter on each batch). Dip the Schnitzels on both sides first in flour, then in eggwash, then in the breadcrumbs (watch out for a nice even coating). Now pan fry the first 4 Schnitzel until each side is golden-brown (should take about 4-6 minutes on each side). It is important that there is enough butter in the pan - don't be stingy, the Schnitzel can almost swim in it. That makes for a nice evenly browned coat without dark or burned spots. Also, don't go nuts with the heat - rather take a bit more time.

Take the first batch out and set aside (if you have a warming stove that's ideal - otherwise cover with aluminum foil) and finish the second one (using the rest of the butter).

Serve with a slice of lemon and a sprig of Parsley. Tastes great with German Potato Salad, Fries, Mashed Potatos or - of course - Spaetzle!

The Divine Breakfast Muesli

  • 1 Ripe Mango
  • 6 oz (170g) Blueberries
  • 1 Banana
  • 6 oz seedless Grapes(red or green)
  • 3 tblsp sugar (or vanilla sugar)
  • 2-3 cups of lowfat Vanilla Yoghurt
  • 2 cups Granola

This is one healthy, powerful and absolutely wonderful treat to start the day. The recipe can be altered any way you like - it tastes great with any kind of fruit so feel free to experiment with whatever you have at hand.

Get a big mixing bowl (the bigger the better). Peel the Mango and dice it in little cubes, slice the banana, cut the Grapes in half and mix all the fruit along with the sugar in the bowl. Let sit for a few minutes so the sugar can draw some fruit-juice and coat the mixture nicely.

Add the Vanilla Yoghurt and stirr well. I like my Granola mixed in right away, but you can do that later as well if you like it really crunchy.