Archive for ‘Dinner’

June 5, 2011

Salad Nicoise

by heikes3

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We had gotten lettuce, beans, tomatoes, potatoes and onions in our Local Food Stop bag this week. It is freakishly hot outside, so we like cool or semi cool dinners.
The array of goodies brought this salad to mind, a salad we all enjoy very much. It looks so majestic, so special, just the way it tastes. What a treat!

April 29, 2010

Green Beans with Savory

by heikes3

I always thought green beans were so so, and I found you are either a green bean lover or you couldn’t care less. To make them fresh, many people think they are a nuisance to prepare. Then they buy frozen, tasteless green beans or, oh horror, the canned variety. They already look like they’ve been long dead, well past their prime.

No, when I eat green beans, they have to be fresh, steamed, still crisp and fresh tasting, and that’s what my family is used to.  Our 8-year old is into trying out different foods (I thought she would never get there, constantly resisting something new, but now she is downright adventurous, as long as it does not have to do with mushrooms.). So, she requested green beans a different way, “without the sauce”, as she calls it. I made it. I just plainly steamed them, added a little salt and served them. They tasted like green beans do, a little boring. She gladly admitted she liked my variety much better!

My normal green beans are served with a light coating of buttery, lemony, savory goodness coating them. My girls even clean those off their plates before touching their sausages, I’m proud to say.

How I came about this combination? When we were living back in Germany, I would buy green beans at the local farmers market. When you buy green beans you are asked if you want some savory to go with that. Savory is also called bean herb. It is added then to the boiling water to cook the green beans. It is not added purely for taste, which dissipates in the boiling water, but mostly for it’s digestive properties. It makes beans easier to digest, if you know what I mean. I found, though, that it also tastes quite nicely with beans and wanted to find a way to get more of the taste around my beans.

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August 9, 2009

A whole dinner off the grill!

by heikes3

Summer time … hot in Hotlanta … with the past few days back above the 90’s and no cooling in view. Sometimes, I just can’t get away from switching on the oven, like when I have to destress, which has been a lot lately. Then the oven produces new and the trusty old cakes, pies, cookies, but also a lot of heat.

Our house has an open floor plan. Gosh, that sounded so amazingly enticing when we bought the house, but it pretty much just means that whatever you are making, baking, cooking, burning – unfortunately it does happen in my kitchen from time to time, when I am doing too many things at once – spreads it’s delicious, or not so delicious olfactory wings through the whole 1st level – from kitchen to breakfast room to den to front room into the hallway, and even to the upstairs. Now, if I am baking or cooking up a storm that also means heat everywhere. Our old air conditioning cannot keep up with that, nor does the fan move enough air to give some sweet, windy relief.

No wonder my favorite cooking method in the summer is our grill. I admit – I LOVE my Weber grill!!! It is hooked straight up to the gas supply line of the house and I just got all new flavorizer bars and grates for it … stainless steel. Sweet! I get excited about these kind of things. I am a kitchen nerd!

So, tonight, I thought, why not make the whole dinner on the grill? I had some Frikadellen – German meatballs, practically – which I had already made and frozen. Our CSA package yesterday had an eggplant in it and I still had half a zucchini from our own garden in the fridge. I found a phenomenal marinade recipe for the latter, which I will share in a minute. Hm, what for the starch? Friends of ours had made pizza on the grill before. And our new infatuation with garlic bread brought me to the best and truly easiest pizza dough ever. I made pizza rounds and brushed them with garlicy olive oil, a little salt and voila … amazing bread from the grill!

A big platter … sorry no picture, everybody was diving in so quickly, I could not even get a snap shot … of grilled, juicy meatballs, herb-coated veggie rounds and crispy, garlicky flatbread. Oh, it was so delicious, we all – kids included, or actually particularly the kids – ate ourselves silly. No dessert, no room! Sometimes, dinner is so good, you could not care less about cake. Imagine that!

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July 1, 2009

German Pancakes (Pfannkuchen)

by heikes3
German pancakes, Pfannkuchen

German pancakes, Pfannkuchen

This is one of my family’s absolutely favorite dinners. Yes, we eat breakfast for dinner – pancakes, or as they are called here, German Pancakes. Some people just know pancakes (American style) and crepes (which this type belongs to). So, from now on I will refer to them just as pancakes instead of Pfannkuchen. I am not using German here, so … go with the flow.

The following recipe is formula based and makes about 3 pancakes per person. I also dabble in variations of it as it is a very forgiving kind of recipe. The only problem you could have is that it could be too thick and would not spread enough in the pan, thus yielding thicker pancakes. The first one is the tell-tale one with which you can adjust your batter. Just add more liquid if need be! My pancakes usually turn out to be about 1/8″ to 1/6″ thick, NOT paperthin like crepes. They have some meat to them, like a good old German gal 😉  Today, I had some sourdough left over, so I substituted that for part of the flour and milk. It made for a very aromatic, light pancake. Sometimes, I use hazelnut meal or almond flour for about 1/3 of the flour. Depending on what flour you use, you might need to add a bit more milk as already mentioned above. On with the recipe:

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