Saturday, June 24, 2017

Street Food Tour ,Germany

Today, I envied a cow. For cows can  spend their entire day grazing, chewing and eating  without bursting their seams. Thanks to their four chambered- stomachs ! It makes me wonder how it feels to be a bottomless pit.


I  put my only gut and its distention capability to a test today when we visited Schloss Rastatt, location of this week's Germany's Street Food Tour , featuring numerous food trucks.



FF and I came across the  Website about this Street Food Fair few days ago. Each weekend, a handful of chefs and their mobile kitchen visit  different cities , bringing with them their masterworks. These Foods on wheels enable many promising and creative culinarians to share their specialties and passion to the public.


Food trucks is a relatively new dining concept in this country , as far as I know. Although Germans love reasonably - priced and top- quality foods, they undeniably love to  sit, savour and enjoy the comforts of food establishments. Restaurants, cafes,  beer gardens where they can sit, eat  and mingle. They however, do enjoy outdoor setting  , soaking up as much Vitamin D  as possible when the sun is up and shining. It did not came as a surprise that this project was a big hit especially to the younger generation.

 This weekend's food tour location is starting to fill up at 4 PM when we arrived. The  glossy eyed visitors like me and FF are looking happily lost and excited. Sweets and savouries stalls stood side by side. I feel like a kid in Candyland.

 The sun was blazingly hot that afternoon. The heat seems to be a bit too much for many, I saw a lot of patrons grabbing their nosh and retreating back to the shadows , before braving the heat in search for edible treasures once again and again and again  . FF and I watched , learned and followed suit . When the temperature finally mellowed down , we almost sign and relief as we to went out in the open without getting toasted by the scorching sun .

With icy Caipirinhas in our hands, we leisurely checked out each and every food truck and was pretty stoke  with the smorgasbord of food choices. Aside from the usual Burgers, hot dogs, Barbecues, wraps, brownie , fudge  and cup cakes , there are exotic food choices from Sri Lanka, Thailand, Africa and other countries.

FF and I had a food tour without paying a dime for plane tickets. I feel like I am on a holiday!



First Stop:  Rib Eye Patty Burger for 6.50 EUR

 The Bun was too thick for my liking, the patty thin and was honestly dry. Taste wise, it was ok, the veggies are fresh and crunchy, the sauce quite good, I can't complain for what I get, this burger is quite big and filling. Some people might get too full from eating this, luckily I am not some people.

 2nd Stop. Barbecue Wrap.  Almost a foot long, and brimming with pulled pork filling for only 6 EUR. This is worth every penny. Our favourite among the foods we tasted that day. This tortilla wrap from The Duke is highly recommended! Delicious and generously portioned.


3rd Stop: Spanish Churros. Freshly made , this little stall in the middle of the courtyard got a slow but steady costumers. The churros are made from scratch and fried as you order, served pipping hot. For 4 EUR,  my churros was drizzled with generous Nutella cream.  It tasted almost as good as I had in Spain. Fantastico!

 4th Stop: Mr. Adobo's Pimped Lumpia. The reason why I dragged FF to this food fair. Filipino foods is rarely represented in Germany. While Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese and even Malay restaurants are popping all over the country, Philippine cuisine is sadly absent in the culinary scene.  So it's pretty exciting to see  a food truck in Germany serving Filipino Foods. I am also happy to to see how Germans are showing curiosity and interest in our cuisine.  For 4 EUR, this spring roll certainly is steep, considering how small it was. But it tasted good and brimming with  flavours. The crunchy cucumber salad gives the whole dish a nice textural kick.

 5th Stop: Mexican Taco. After a half an hour break, we went to a food truck manned by a sweaty and stressed looking German guy and a Mexican lady. They were whipping tacos one after the other, serving a rather long queue of hopeful diners. For 1 got a taco 3.50 EUR . It was rather a smallish taco shell with about a tablespoonful of meat and look suspiciously different from the posters gracing the food truck . I heard many dumfounded costumers complaining what they got from their money. I got the cheapest  taco on the menu and I'm starting to be very full so I was not bothered. Taste wise, hmm beefy and spicy. I don't know how original tacos are supposed taste , maybe when I visit Mexico I will know. But in the meantime, I'm quite happy .


 6th Stop: African Barbecue and Samosa. I was lured by the lively music and energy of the people behind this stall. They seemed to be really happy to be here , dancing ,cooking and serving  curious Europeans. I asked for a Samosa, FF , meat on a stick, which came with aromanic rice, fried banana and tomato based sauce. It cost us 9.50 EUR and full , distended bellies.


Final Stop: Dessert. After having all those meats and savory treats, FF and I shared a 4 EUR frozen yogurt topped with berries and fruits. We went into a food coma soon after that.....😔




















Friday, June 16, 2017

Shallow Poached Salmon, my way

It's white asparagus season in our place! My family have been having it for lunch every Sunday since mid- May.This subtle -tasting, diuretic- inducing and smelly- pee causing delicacy have been many German's  spring food tradition.



My family enjoys asparagus in it's simplest form. Simmered in salted water and served with white or hollandaise sauce. Not baked, not roasted,  not grilled and certainly no overpowering seasoning. So to make our Sunday spread less monotonous, I have been serving these boiled goodness with all things imaginable . Grilled sausages, roasted chicken, Schnitzel, ham and cheese pancakes, you read it, we ate it.



 I saw the a sexy looking salmon filet at the supermarket this weekend and I decided to serve it  with this weekend's asparagus.



It took me few hours to decide how to cook the salmon . After coming to a decision, prep and cooking was surprisingly brisk. It took me a mere 15 minutes to prepare, cook and serve the fish .
It went very well with white asparagus and pasta. I guess, I still have a room for 1 weekend or two of this delicacy!





Shallow Poached  Salmon
serves 3

about 700 g salmon, cut into 3 servings
salt and pepper
2 lemons
3 shallots, chopped
a handful of parley and dill
1/4 cup white whine
2/3- 1 cup water, depending on the side of your pan


Let's go poached some salmon!

In a wide pan, Put sliced lemons, sliced onion, and your herbs.


Carefully lay salmon filets/steaks over it. Season salmon with salt and pepper. I keep the skin of the salmon on, it holds the flesh together better but you can remove it if you will. Pour wine and and water on the side the salmon. There should be enough fluid to submerge at least the lemon slices and parts of the herbs but it should not soak the salmon.

Bring liquid to a boil, once boiling cover and lower the heat. Allow herb and wine infused steam to gently cook the fish. It will take 8-12 minutes of gentle poaching for the salmon to be cooked, a tad longer of the filets are thicker. Do not over cook the fish, nobody wants to eat dry fish.


Herb and Lemon White sauce
2 tbsp. butter
2  tbsp. flour
1 cup milk ( feel free to add more)
a handful of chopped parsley and dill
rind of 1 lemon
salt and pepper

 Now while the fish is cooking, heat butter in a sauce pan. Stir in flour and cook until buttery aroma is prominent.

 Stir  the milk, stir until no lumps remain in the sauce. 


Add the chopped herbs and lemon rind, season with salt and pepper. Done!



Serve salmon with the herb and lemon white sauce. Enjoy!






Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Honey- Butter- Garlic Korean Fried Chicken

I noticed that many Koreans got this Honey-Butter  and Garlic obsession during my spring holiday in South Korea this year. They have honey, butter and garlic- flavoured chips, breads, pastries, sweets, nuts, rice cakes, anchovies,  lobsters, scallops, shrimps and or course in their staple guilty pleasure, their fried chicken. I might have missed out other delicious stuff which they drench  in this sweet and tangy sauce  but I will be very happy to give it a try.



This golden brown,  twice fried, drenched in butter chicken is not the healthiest thing  I put in my mouth, but my, it certainly is one of the yummiest! Sinfully delicious and irresistibly addicting.
I served it to colleagues at dinner and they loved it just as much.




Ingredients:

chicken drumstick, about 800 
marinated in : 5 cloves of garlic,salt and pepper,2 tbsp. rice wine
1 egg, beaten
1  cup potato starch
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup glutinous rice flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 cup raw peanuts
oil for deep frying

Sauce: 
1/2 cup softened butter
5 cloves  of garlic
4 tbsp. light soy sauce
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp. honey






Marinate chicken  in  minced garlic,salt and pepper , rice wine for 15-20 minutes.
Add the rest of the dry ingredients and the egg. Coat chicken well. 

 Heat oil in a deep pan/deep fryer. Deep fry for about 12 minutes.


Using a slotted spoon, fry the peanuts  around 1-2 minutes.  Take chicken and peanuts out of the hot oil , drain and set aside.

Turn the heat to high, fry the chicken again until golden brown or until  the the skin crisps. Took me 12-15 more minutes. If you are using smaller pieces of chicken, adjust cooking time.

In a separate pan/wok, heat all the sauce ingredients and cook until bubbly/ foamy.



Put twice fried, crispy chicken along with the peanuts and toss until each chicken piece is well coated in Honey-Butter-Garlic sauce. Serve with  Pickled daikon and enjoy with lots of beer, like Koreans do.




Sunday, May 14, 2017

Lime -Honey-Garlic Roasted Butterfly Chicken

Since coming back from Korea, I noticed that I used honey in many recipes, both sweets and savouries . Korean love for Honey somehow influences me that my honey jar end up empty 2 weeks after I started using it. I now put in in my teas, my salad dressings, basically in almost everything , even to my face!  Don't ask.

This is just one of the many honey flavoured recipes I tried . 




I purchase two  fresh poussin from our local butcher last weekend. Each weighing between 400-500 g. 1 bird is enough one person, says our friendly butcher. But since we won't be having just the bird but side dishes as well, I cooked these spring chicken two ways and we enjoyed it two days in a row.
A hearty and nostalgic Tinolang Manok ( Chicken soup) on a particularly rainy day and this yummy  roasted butterfly chicken the next. 





I learned to butterfly a chicken by following tutorials on Youtube.  God bless the Internet!  Since a poussin don't have really thick and hard bones considering that it's a young chicken , butterflying it was quite easy. I was able to do it with my kitchen scissors. If you don't trust yourself with shiny and sharp kitchen utensils and know that you can't slice an onion without losing a digit,  ask your butcher to do the butterflying for you. If poussin is not available , simply use chicken breast or thigh with skin on for this recipe.
Making this dish is also extremely easy.


Ingredients:
Good for 2 people  or 1 extra hungry person. 
 Just double or triple the recipe if you're feeding more.

1 poussin about 500 g,
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
chopped parsley

Marinade:

juice of 1 lime
4 cloves of garlic
1 tsp. grated ginger
1/4 cup light soy sauce
2 tbsp. honey
1 tsp. turmeric powder





Let's get cooking!



 Mix marinade ingredients together. 

 Put your meat in the marinade. You can marinate the meat for few hours or even overnight .



Heat over to 190°c. Take chicken from marinade ( keep the marinade!) , put bird on a baking parchment lined baking tray, season with salt and pepper.  Bake until fully cooked. My poussin took about 31 minutes to cook. To test, prick the thickest meaty part  with tip of a knife, if  juice coming out is clear and not bloody, then it's done. Do not overbake it, nobody wants a  dry chicken.


While the bird is baking, put the marinade in a sauce pan. Cook it under low medium heat until reduce and thickens. You can use it as a sauce to drizzle the cooked bird. It's quite tasty!


Once the chicken is cooked, sprinkle it with toasted sesame seeds and chopped parsley. 




You can enjoy it with rice  . Today, we had some pan fried potatoes and green salad with this delicious chicken. 

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Dak Galbi, my way.

Dak Galbi became my and hubby's favourite Korean dish during our holiday in South Korea last April. Don't get me wrong, we loved everything we ate during our 9 -day stay in Seoul and Busan. From the barbecues,  the stews, the kimchi, the bread and pastries, the Fried Chickens and even the street foods. However,  there's something about this cooked- on- the- table , spicy chicken dish that simply made crave us for more.



So when we landed back in Germany , I did what I do best, scourge the Internet for recipes of my newest food obsession and went online shopping for ingredients .


 I was so obsessed that I even made korean rice cakes (  Gareatteok ) from scratch since I can't find it in my place.

Unfortunately Sesame/ Perilla leaves is also not available in our area, I even bought sesame seeds for planting out of sheer frustration of missing an important ingredient . However,  I  can not   wait for months for these seeds to grow and give me a handful of its leaves.Patience is clearly NOT my virtue when it comes to food and cooking ,so I simply replace it with home grown herbs. I tried perilla leaves and it has its distinct taste. I used fresh sages, sweet thai basil and few mint leaves, it tasted pretty delish to me, FF and I had it twice since coming back home and we want to have it again next week!!




I also did not find Korean Curry powder so I ordered this Japanese Curry Roux from Amazon. I used my  cheese grater to turn it into powder like consistency.



Ingredients:
Serves 2-3 people

400 g chicken, cut into strips, bone and skin remove.  
I used chicken breast
2 cups cabbage
1 small carrot
1 cup korean rice cake
1 cup sweet potato
1 medium sized potato
2 stalks spring onion
a handful of perilla leaves 
( I replaced it with sage, sweet thai basil and 4 mint leaves)
1 cup mozzarella cheese
2 cups cooked korean rice
( short grain rice/sushi rice)
3 tbsp. korean dried seaweeds
1-2 tbsp. oil for frying

Marinade:
1 cube. Japanese curry roux or
 if you got korean curry powder, the better
1 tsp. grated ginger
6 cloves garlic, finely minced
3 tbsp. Korean chili paste ,Gochujang
1 tbs. Korean chilis powder, Gochugaru
use more if you like it really spicy!
2 tbsp. light soy sauce
1 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. sugar
3 tbsp. rice vinegar
1 tbsp. roasted sesame oil


1. Mix all marinade ingredients together . Take about 1/3 of it and use it to marinate chicken strips for at least 1 hour. Keep the rest.


2. Add oil in the pan.Add you cabbage, then put sweet potato, carrot , chopped spring onion, perilla leaves ( hope you got some).


Scatter sliced potato and rice cake over vegetables.


 Put marinated chicken strips on top of the vegetable. Add the rest of the marinade. Turn on the heat.



Cook under medium high heat. The water from the vegetable will keep the dish from drying. Stir once in a while to avoid the ingredients from sticking to the bottom of the pan.


Once the vegetables and chicken are cooked, add mozzarella cheese.  




If you want to eat Dak Galbi like the Koreans do, start eating while it bubbling and straight from the pan.  Enjoy it with lots of banchans /side dishes such as kimchi or lettuce leaves for wrapping. Eating is communal thing in Korea so sharing is the way to go. You can naturally scoop your portion into you plate/bowl if double dipping is not your thing but where's the fun in there?!😜


When there's almost nothing left on the pan but sauce and bits of pieces or veggies and meat. Dump the cold rice, add the seaweeds. Stir, stir, stir.



This is my favourite part of  Dak Galbi. I especially  enjoyed  scrapping off crusty rice at the bottom of  the pan!


Do try this dish and fall in love with Korean cuisine. If you're already at it , I wish you ', Bon Appetit! ''

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