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Salzburger Nockerln – a sweet dumpling from Salzburg in Austria (made by my friend Heidi)

In 1983 or 1984 my parents decided to spend summer vacation in Bad Fuessing in Bavaria. My Dad wanted to visit the hot springs and because Bad Fuessing is near the Austrian Border, the whole family had the chance to see a few sights nearby and have a good time.

On one day we all went on a one day trip and decided to eat in a small Austrian restaurant. I don't really remember what we had for dinner, but there was one thing I will never forget – the dessert! This was the first time in my life I ordered some “Salzburger Nockerln”. But this is not the end of my story. As I have mentioned before, we already had something to eat and it was a lot of food. If you have tried these sweet dumplings before, you can imagine how surprised the waitress was, because we all wanted to have one dish per person. She even asked us twice – but we didn't know, that you can feed a whole family with one dish “Salzburger Nockerln”. So if you are planning to come to Austria and want to try this delicious dessert, here´s my advice: split it into pieces and let your family and friends have a try. You won't regret it.

During the last Christmas season, my friend Heidi went to Salzburg and tried a piece of this sweet souffle and because she knows that I really like “Salzburger Nockerln” very much, she prepared some for Christmas.

The recipe is very simple:

Egg WhiteEgg Yolk You need 4 eggs, 50 g sugar, 1 sachet vanilla sugar, 20 g flour, 40 g butter.

Beat Egg White Separate the egg white from the egg yolk. Then beat the egg whites and then add the sugar and the vanilla sugar.
Mix everything together. Now skim three tablespoons of the whipped egg white and mix it with the egg yolk. Sieve the flour into the egg yolk and blend it very carefully.
Combine the stiff egg white and the egg yolk and mix everything together.
Melted butter Spread some (melted) butter onto some fireproof plates. You can use the heat of the oven in order to melt the butter.
Dough on plates Take a dipper or a big spoon and divide the dough on each plate. Pile it up like a little mountain, because the shape of the “Salzburger Nockerln” should remind you of the shape of the Alps.
Bake dough Let the dough bake for about 8 or 10 minutes. Please do not open the oven door or otherwise the “Salzburger Nockerln” will collapse.
Salzburger Nokerl The best thing is just to look through the oven door window and as soon as the summit of the dough turns light brown, the sweet dumplings are ready to eat. 

If you feel like adding a little sugar powder or vanilla sugar, give it a try – it tastes delicious.

Mussels cooked in a white wine stock

Mussels cooked in a white wine stock
Mussels cooked in a white wine stock.

Wintertime is mussel season. Lucky you, if you live somewhere near the ocean, you always can buy fresh sea shells. Thanks to the great inventor of the refrigerator, we all can enjoy scallops in various ways - even during the warm season. All kinds of algae develop during the summer. Some of the components are toxic and get filtered by the clams. The fishermen put them in fresh water and leave them there for several weeks. During this time the poisonous substances will be flushed out again and cannot do any harm anymore.

Mussels can be found in the Atlantic Ocean, North Sea, Baltic Sea and even in the Mediterranean Sea. Before preparing them, it´s important to find out, if they are still alive. This is very easy. Just check, if the shells are closed. Sometimes they open up a little, but you can knock on them and see, if the mussel reacts. All the shells which don't close and stay open, you can throw away.

Here is a basic recipe for mussels - this is what you need:

1000 g Mussels
1 Onion
2 Garlic cloves
2 Tablespoons herbs (parsley, oregano, thyme - whatever you like)
¼ Dry white wine
Pepper

Now let´s start cooking:

Now it´s time to clean the shells. Just take a brush and scrub them under running water.
Afterwards you can put them in a bowl.
Clean the mussels
Clean the mussels.

Cleaned mussels in a bowl
Cleaned mussels in a bowl.

Cut some onion rings and a few garlic cloves.

Cut onion rings
Cut onion rings.

Heat up a pot and pour in the white wine.
Don't forget to ad herbs, pepper, the onion rings and the garlic cloves.

Heat up the pot
Heat up the pot.



As soon as the stock is broiling, fill up the pot with the mussels and let it brew for about 10 minutes.

Fill up the pot with the mussels
Fill up the pot with the mussels.

Put the mussels in a bowl and pour some stock over them.

Put the mussels in a bowl
Put the mussels in a bowl.

Delicious mussels.
Delicious mussels.

You can eat all mussels which are open, please throw the closed ones away. These are inedible. Dip some toast or French bread into the stock - it´s very delicious.

 



Saffron-Parmesan-Risotto

Americans and Germans love Italian food. You can find lots of restaurants and diners serving all kinds of pizza and pasta. One of my favorites is a risotto with saffron and Parmesan. It´s not very easy to cook this special kind of rice. In shops you can buy three different kinds of these round and sticky-cooking rice grains. Very popular are the types Arborio and Carnaroli. Arborio risotto rice comes from a town called Arborio in Piedmont in Italy. The grains have a very symmetric shape. The type Carnaroli is a hybrid. It derives from the hybridization between the type Lencino and Vialone. Carnaroli rice is spindle-shaped and takes also about 16 minutes until it´s „al dente“. Vialone rice grains are very big and its cooking time is 14 minutes.

Risotto
A very good risotto has to have a creamy taste and the grains should not be overcooked as well as undercooked. The secret is that you must have lots of patience. Risotto has to be stirred until it´s ready to serve and please don't turn up the heat of the cooking plate too high. Just stir in the hot broth (I prefer venison or canard broth, but you also can use beef, chicken or vegetable stock) and the wine and let the grains absorb the fluids.

 

Here are the ingredients for the risotto with saffron and Parmesan:

500 g risotto rice
500 ml broth
100 g Parmesan
Butter
1 Little jar of saffron
1 Onion
1/8 l White wine (dry)
Salt and Pepper
Ingredients
Heat up the broth and the white wine in a pan. Heat up the broth
Dice the onion in small pieces and start melting some butter in a pan. Sauté the onions until they are clear and soft and then fill up the pan with the risotto rice.

Heat up some butter

Sauté the onion pieces

Now you have to take a soup ladle and fill the pan with some hot broth and wine. The risotto only has to be covered up a little. Now you have to stir the rice grains until it has sucked up all the fluid. Don't stop stirring, let the risotto simmer and don't forget to ad some more both and white wine. Some grains will stick on the edge of the pan, just push them down with a wooden spoon, so that they also can soak up some fluid. Risotto with broth
After a few minutes you can try the risotto and as soon as the grains are al dente, ad a few flakes of butter, the grated Parmesan and the saffron. Stir until everything is mixed together.

Parmesan

Saffron

Now it´s time to eat - enjoy! Risotto is ready to eat

 

Franconian „Schaeuferle”

I´m sure you know what a „Schweinshaxe“ is - but have you ever tried a „Schaeuferle”? If not, please try this recipe - you´ll love it.

Schaeuferle with red cabbage, chestnuts, a potato-dumping and gravy
Schaeuferle with red cabbage, chestnuts,
a potato-dumping and gravy

 

In Southern Germany, especially in Franconia, the „Schaeuferle” is one of the best known regional specialties. In every restaurant with home-style cooking you will have the chance to try it. This dish is made of a pork shoulder. Also in Baden (Germany) and in Switzerland people love to cook this piece of meat. In comparison to the Franconian recipe, the “Schaeufele” in Baden or the “Schuefeli” in Switzerland is cured and smoked.

The word „Schaeuferle” originates from the word “Schaufelblatt”. Translated in English this means bladebone or shoulder blade. This part of the body looks like a little shovel.

The Franconian „Schaeuferle” is a roast and has to be cooked and served with its bladebone and rind. There are many kinds of side dishes you can choose - mostly it depends on in which region you are staying. In Central Franconia potatoe dumplings, red cabbage and mixed salad mostly is served with your „Schaeuferle”. In Upper Franconia people prefer sauerkraut instead of red cabbage and in Lower Franconia savoy cabbage.

As the „Schaeuferle” is not very common in the USA, please look for a German meat market near your hometown. Mostly you can find instructions how to cut this in the internet.

This is what you need for 4 persons:

Schaeuferle
Schaeuferle
Vegetables (Carrots, celery, garden leek, parsley
Vegetables



4x750 g pork shoulders with bladebone and rind
1 big onion
3 cloves
Celery
Garden leek
Parsley
Carrots
Salt and pepper
2 Teaspoon ground caraway seeds
3 Garlic cloves
2 Teaspoon potato flour
1200 ml water

Now let´s start cooking:

Cut the rind crosswise

Please wash and dry the meat. Then cut the rind crosswise

(leave about 0,5 cm space between every cut).

 

rub the seasoning on the meat

salt the rind

Now mix salt, pepper, the ground caraway seeds and the smashed garlic cloves together

and rub the seasoning on the meat.

 

 

 

 

 

The rind only has to be salted.

Stick the cloves into the onion

Cut the vegetables into pieces, peel the onion and stick the cloves into it and mince the parsley.

Schaeuferle, vegetables and water in a roaster

Put the „Schaeuferle” in a roaster. Then pour the water into it. Now add the vegetables, parsley, salt and pepper.

Please do not forget to pour some sauce on the meat

The  „Schaeuferle” has to stay in the oven for approximately two to three hours (at 390° - 430°F). Please don't forget to pour some sauce over the meat once in a while.


As soon as the rind develops some bubbles and has a brownish color, it is time to fix the plates. The meat is perfectly done, if it falls off the bone.

Strain the sauce and mix it with some potato flour, salt and pepper. You also can add some beer to it, if you like.

Put one „Schaeuferle”, a potato dumpling and some red cabbage with chestnuts on a plate and pour some gravy on it. Enjoy!

Schauferle with a potatoe dumpling, red cabbage with chestnuts and gravy

 

Chicken with lemon-mint-sauce

Between 1960 and 1968 the German state recruited foreign workers from Spain, Greece, Turkey and many other countries. Some immigrants found a new home in Germany and built up a new life. Their cultural heritage you can find in many places. You can find shops where you can buy wine, preserves and many other tasty specialties from all over the world. If you are not in the mood to cook, just drop by at a restaurant and enjoy a yummy meal from your favorite holiday destination.

My chicken with lemon-mint sauce is based on a Greek recipe. I changed some ingredients. Feel free to do so, too.

Here the list of items you need for this dish:

1 Chicken
Lemon Juice
3 Tablespoons Butter
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
3 Garlic cloves
4-5 fl oz Dry White Wine
Thyme
Mint
Salt and Pepper
Chicken with lemon-mint-sauce
Cut the chicken into pieces and don't forget to salt and pepper them. Cut chicken into pieces
Heat up a casserole and put the butter and the olive oil in it. Then sear the chicken pieces until the skin has a nice golden color. sear the chicken pieces
Use a garlic press and press the garlic cloves onto the chicken pieces. Use the garlic press
Now you need the lemon juice and the white wine and pour it over them, too. Chop the thyme and the mint into little pieces and add it to the sauce. Cover up the casserole and put it into the Oven. I always set the clock for 30 to 50 minutes – it depends on how big the chicken pieces are – and let the oven heat up to about 350° F to 390° F. Occasionally pour some sauce over the chicken pieces.

As a side dish you can cook some pasta, potatoes or some potato or zucchini fritters.
You can use the sauce and pour it over the meat and the side dish. If you want to make the sauce a little thicker, just add some gravy thickener into the lemon-mint-wine-sauce.
Thyme and mint

 

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