Paniertes Sellerieschnitzel, Kartoffel-Pastinakenpüree, Senf-Sahne-Sauce

The remarks this time before the recipe, the more food related remarks as usual after the recipe.

  • I found parts of this recipe years ago in a German TV cooking show called ‘Kochen mit Klink’. Vincent Klink is a one star chef in his own restaurant ‘Wielandshöhe’ in Stuttgart. He has a certain, personal quite philosophical cooking style and was once editor of a book series called ‘Cotta’s Kulinarischer Almanach’. And today he’s Editor of ‘Häuptling Eigener Herd’ and still patron of his restaurant.
  • the English name of this recipe would be something like

‘crumbed beet celery schnitzel, potato parsnip mash, cream mustard sauce’

don’t like the sound of that therefore the German title

  • It was one of the first recipes I ever prepared for my non-wife. She told me afterwards that she was VERY doubtful during my cooking that this could be edible or good. But since that day she’s a fan !

Here we goDSC00545

ingredients:

1.Paniertes Sellerieschnitzel

  • -one medium beet celeri
  • -1 teaspoon salt
  • -1 tablespoon lime juice
  • -flour
  • -2-3 battered eggs
  • -bread crumb (home-made if possible)
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • Olive oil and a pinch of butter for the pan

2.Kartoffel-Pastinaken-Puree

  • -400g potatoes
  • -400g parsnips
  • -1 teaspoon salt
  • -approx. 50ml milk
  • -butter (quantity as you like)
  • -fresh ground nutmeg

3.Senf-Sahne-Sauce

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 small shallot
  • 0.2 l vegetable broth
  • 0.2 l cream
  • Fresh (or dried) chives cut into small rolls
  • 1 tablespoon mustard (preferably Dijon)
  • Fresh ground pepper

Preparation:

1.Sellerieschnitzel

  1. Cut the celery in half and peel it
  2. When peeled, cut it into slices of about 2 cm width.
  3. Bring about 2 litres of water to boil in a big enough pot. When boiling add lime juice and salt. Let it boil again. Add the sliced celery.
  4. Let it cook for 8 to 10 minutes, counting from boiling point.
  5. Pour the slices in a strainer and let them cool down.
  6. Take one deep plate and add flour to it, battered eggs in a second and the breadcrumbs in a third plate. You could add pepper and/or a bit of cream (or milk) to the battered eggs, but it’s not really necessary.
  7. Turn the slices first in flour then in eggs and finally in the breadcrumbs. The slices should have a complete layer of breadcrumbs on top. If there happen to be holes in the layer, repeat with eggs and breadcrumbs.
  8. Place the finished slices on a plate and let them rest several minutes.
  9. In a pan: heat olive oil and a bit of butter to moderate heat. Put in the slices and let them bake for 2 to 3 minutes on either side, till moderately brown. Remove from the pan and keep them warm in an oven at around 70°.

2.Kartoffel-Pastinaken-Püree

  1. Peel potatoes and parsnips. Cut them into pieces.
  2. Put both in a pot, cover with water, add salt and let boil until soft.
  3. Drain the resting water. Put pot back on stove and let evaporate the resting humidity.
  4. Put potatoes and parsnips in a bowl and mash them. Or use a ricer to press them into the bowl.
  5. Add the fresh ground nutmeg and a bit of the slightly heated milk.
  6. Stir in the butter (as many as you like). Add milk if needed. Verify seasoning (salt and nutmeg).
  7. Stir again before serving. Should be kind of fluffy

3.Senf-Sahne –Sauce

1.Cut the shallot in tiny cubes (the tinier the better)

2.Heat a bit of oil and butter in a small pot, pour in the shallot, heat time till they become translucent.

  1. When translucent add in the broth and let cook.
  2. When the liquid has reduced a bit (one third to one quart) add in the cream, stir.
  3. Stir and let it cook, till the sauce gets thick.
  4. Add the mustard and continue to stir.
  5. When the sauce is at its desired thickness add in the chives, stir.
  6. Verify seasoningDSC00546

Sprinkle a bit of lime juice on the Schnitzel before eating,

Serves normally 4

Remarks:

Püree: You could replace the parsnips with potatoes or carrots or sun choke. Use as many butter as you like. In a 3 start restaurant in France they make a Püree consisting of 50 % butter, I never tried more than 20%.

Sauce: If you like you could add a glass of wine or sherry before the broth. Then let it nearly completely evaporate before adding the broth. For this sauce I never add alcohol. The amount of mustard is absolutely as you like, you could even try different sorts of mustard (moutarde à l’ancienne, for example)

Bon appétit

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On labelling

In general there are two kinds of labels.

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The ones that you can find on everything you buy (electronics, chemicals, food et al.) And the ones we put on ourselves.

The first are necessary and as far as I know an obligation.

Those that we put on ourselves or society pins on us are the ones I’d like to “rant” about.

From our birth on we are labelled and judged by our gender, social background, preferences (sportive, musical, political, sexual), nationality, etc.

When we grow older we are so used to that we do involuntarily auto labelling.

Does this serve us and the society any good ? Do we as individuals really need that ? And if so for which purpose ?

I’m afraid the principal reason for this is that our educations main purpose is to transform us into tools for our economy. The main purpose is not simply ‘being’ but mere functioning. And thus we are educated to become “valuable” tools. By the time we’re’ adults we all have incorporated this kind of thinking. And we are on autopilot.

“If I will be this (whatever) I’ll have to behave like that”

“I have to name what I think, feel, do.”

My answer to these two has to be. No, neither of them. We are all individuals, human beings, more or less complex.

If we put a label on others we start to judge them. While judging we kind of open Pandora’s box. It’s inevitable to compare someone you are judging (Better than me? Worse?) With comparing comes competition. With competition comes the desire to win.

You don’t always have to win. Just being, doing what you are doing without harming someone else is enough.

If we are judging ourselves we are constantly in competition with ourselves, instead of just being.

Don’t get me wrong competition is not per se a bad thing. But we should never forget we don’t have to beat someone or something. Striving to be a better more humane more compassionate self can be a good thing.

If we only compete with ourselves striving to become a better self without forgetting to just be. Just accepting us as we are. Without trying to harm someone or something. Then there’s not something wrong with it.

Let others think of us what they want, we can’t change them. We can only accept them as they are. If we are capable of accepting us as we are we’ve made the first step towards accepting others as they are. And thus a first step to a better, friendly, compassionate, humane society.

And this should be our main goal.

Thanks for reading, as usual If you like it spread the word, comment, like, whatever

Expatriate in Belgium

In July 2008 I finally followed my non-wife to Belgium. At 42 I left my home country to live in a country with another language.

Not even the mother tongue of Milady, she’s French. Belgian French and the French spoken in France are still 2 different languages.

The area were we are living (approx. 40 km south of Brussels) is calm, quite nice but too windy for my taste. But you get used to nearly everything.

What I really like about living here are the people of Wallonia, in general friendly, open minded. They love eating, partying and complaining about their government, if they have one. They just like to live.

What I don’t like:

-Having grown up in the tidiest part of Germany (30 km south of Stuttgart, the part where “Kehrwoche*” was invented) It’s just dirty here. As I’m a runner I spent quite some time on foot in the countryside. It’s horrible what you have to see on the side of the roads. Empty beer cans, empty packs of cigarettes, bottles, etc. I once saw a used diaper on the pavement. It’s not that there are no dustbins. They just don’t give a f.. .

-Smoking: I’m still a smoker but what you can see here is just I can’t believe it

People arriving on the parking of the supermarket, longest possible distance to the entrance 8 metres. The first thing they do when they leave the car, lighting their cigarette. If you happen to stay in the parking. You could see them leaving the supermarket and lighting another cigarette for the horrible distance of 8 metres.

-Mobile phones while driving

It’s forbidden in Belgium, too. But no one gives a fuck. I once did my shopping on foot, was passed by 4 cars. Every driver was on the phone. There are a lot of cats on the roads and the area is inhabited by mostly elderly people. The school is 400 metres from my home. They just don’t care and the police doesn’t give a … Police prefers to take care of bad parked cars. I once paid a fine of 100 Euro cause my car was parked half on the pavement. Enough space for pedestrians (even with a pushchair) but the rules say 1 metre and it was only 90 centimetres.

So, what I’m complaining about ?

Idiotic human behaviour and the police, I’m getting old

  • “Kehrwoche” is kind of sacred in Baden-Württemberg. It means: Imagine you’re living in a building with 4 parties, every 4 weeks it’s your turn to a)clean the stairs inside the house (even if you’re never ever using them) b) clean the pavement in front of the house and c) if there are shared rooms in the house like for washing machines you have to clean them, too. Which means it’s very clean, the dirty stuff stays under the surface !

Why I’m not #vegan (Attention: Ranting !)

As promised here’s why I’m not vegan.

There are two reasons both personal and maybe both make me a bad person.

I still eat eggs and dairy.

Yup, I am not capable of skipping milk and eggs. As already stated I LOVE cheese. And vegan alternatives are not the same as the 270 something different cheeses of France. I’m trying to make mindful choices when I’m buying my cheese (sometimes I still fail). But with a good cheese dealer and buying your milk from a local farm, it works . Avoiding factory farming whenever possible makes me feeling less guilty.

Rubbish, I’m not feeling guilty I do what I can and I’ve accepted my choice(s). If someone believes he is superior because he’s the perfect vegan, SO BE IT. I know I’m not perfect and I can live with that.

A morning porridge with almond or soy milk ? Tried, no way, it’s just not what I want for breakfast

Even worse I have shoes made out of leather; I can live with that, too.

Second reason is…parts of the vegan movement.

Reading things like:” I’m vegan so my cat is vegan too”.

What a complete and utter idiot ! Cats are carnivore they NEED meat. Just have a look at their teeth. Cats who are allowed to, will hunt and they’re not doing it for pleasure. They’re hunting to eat and only to eat. OK, once a year, as a cat owner, you get your present from your cat. A hunted present !

Trophy hunting. This American dentist who killed Cecil the lion for pleasure. There were people in the vegan community who claimed that there’s no difference between people eating meat and/or using leather goods and the guy who killed Cecil. I’m sorry there is a difference, there’s even a big difference. On one hand people who are feeding and dressing themselves. And on the other an idiot who killed an animal for his pleasure, not to eat or dress. Just for his pleasure. THAT’S A DIFFERENCE.

I read on Twitter: “Drove an hour to the only place where I could get a decent vegan shake. No regrets. “

Goodness me. Ever heard the word ecological fingerprint ?

I’m quite sure the vehicle was powered by a carbohydrate fuelled motor or the energy was produced using carbohydrates.

Where does this petrol or gas come from ? How many animals died because of your unnecessary petrol consumption ?

Ever heard of DIY ? If you’re in need of a vegan shake. You can make one yourself, it’s not that complicated. You published your crap on Twitter so you are able to use the internet. A quick Google research and you’ll find enough recipes for your “decent vegan shake”.

I honestly don’t want to be a member of a movement like that

If the vegan movement wants to change people and promote the vegan life style. Do it with love and kindness, encourage those who are trying to do something for animals. Never ever tell them “But that’s not enough” and most important: Don’t claim that you’re better than the rest. The Catholic Church tried it and failed miserably. There’s no need for a rerun.

If you like it, spread the word. If not, just tell me.

Potato Chard Gratin

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Ingredients :

  • 400 g potatoes (peeled and cut in thin slices)
  • 200 g Chard (leaves cut in half and then in stripes)
  • 0.2 l cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 50 g cheese (grated, I use Italian hard cheese like pecorino, grana padano or parmesan)
  • A bit of butter for the casserole
  • Salt, pepper, fresh ground nutmeg, dried garlic evt. powdered vegetable broth

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Preparation:

    1. Preheat the oven to 180°
    2. Put potatoes and chard into a pot with boiling water with 1 teaspoon of salt.
    3. After 8 to 10 minutes pour the potato mix in a colander and stop the cooking process with cold water, let drain for several minutes.
    4. Put potatoes and chard in the buttered casserole.
    5. In a bowl, mix cream, eggs and the spices
    6. Pour the cream over the potato chard mix
    7. Let bake for 45 minutes
    8. After 30 minutes sprinkle the surface with the grated cheese
    9. Serves 4 with a small side salad. 2 if they’re hungry

Remarks:

You could use any cheese you like, blue cheese is very nice.

You can completely cut of the stems (use it for a soup) or not, your decision. I keep half of them in the preparation.

I use dried garlic just because I hate to peel garlic and there’s always too much left over if you use only one clove

If you like it, spread the word. If you happen to not like it, just tell me.

Bon appétit

Why am I vegetarian ?

I grew up normal so meat was in general the main part of the meal. Never thought about it just ate what was on the plate.

Fast-forward 1: At the age of 19 I left home for university and was “forced” to eat in the canteen. Wasn’t something I would recommend not even to an enemy. On the weekend there was no canteen so I had to prepare myself something to eat. Just basic things but the positive thing was this sparked my interest in cooking.

Fast-forward 2: When I finally left home and settled with my first girlfriend. It was, against all tradition, me who took care of cooking.

Fast-forward 3: At the age of 42 I followed my actual girlfriend (not the same) to another country (Belgium). It was still me cooking although Milady is French, the cook is me

As I restarted running and took the decision to take running a bit more serious. (Not competitive. Just wanting to know if I would be capable of doing the mileage of a serious runner.) I became more and more interested in my nutrition. Ate more and more veggies. A lot of pasta, rice and semolina. And less and less meat.

If you run you want to know what you put in your body. I found an article on a Ultra running website about the nutritional habits of several high profile runners. One of them was a female runner from Spain or Italy. She is vegetarian because she realized that if she wasn’t capable of killing an animal for food. She doesn’t have the right to let someone else kill it for her.

This made me think: Would I be capable of killing an animal for food ?

After one week I realized that although there are still some plates that I might miss if I stop consuming meat. I am not capable of killing an animal for food and so don’t have the right to do so. If my survival would depend on it I guess I would be capable of killing for food. But my survival doesn’t depend on it. So it would be unnecessary or easier said just plain wrong.

Short discussion with Milady, won’t be a problem for her if I’m vegetarian. So I just stopped with fish and meat. Still eating eggs and dairy (cheese, my girlfriend is French !) Vegan cheese is just not the same culinary pleasure as a ‘Camembert or Brillat Savarin artisanal’.

I will write a follow-up post to this one explaining why I’m not vegan

As usual if you like what you’ve read spread the word

Bon appétit

Addendum: Finally fund the article I’ve mentioned http://www.ultrarunning.com/features/health-and-nutrition/ultrarunning-and-vegetarianism/ The runner I was talking about is Aliza Lapierre and, oops, she’s American. Sorry !

Chard Risotto (risotto ai bietola)

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Ingredients:

  • 150g risotto rice (arborio, cannaroli, vialone)
  • 1 small onion (cut into small dices)
  • 120g chard (cut into stripes)
  • one or two tomatoes (cut in small dices)
  • vegetable broth
  • grated cheese (italian like parmesan, pecorino, etc.)
  • butter (I use salted about 1 table spoon)
  • olive oil (1 to 2 tablespoons)
  • a glass of wine (white, optional)
  • salt, pepper, nutmeg, 1 tsp dried herbes de Provence (or fresh herbs)

Preparation:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a casserole.
  2. Add onion, chard and rice. Stir until rice becomes translucent.
  3. If you’re opting for the glass of wine, add it when the rice is translucent. Stir until wine has evaporated.
  4. Add hot broth (a third) and continue stirring. When the liquid is nearly sucked up by the rice add the second third of the broth and continue stirring.
  5. Season with pepper and fresh ground nutmeg. Add the dried herbes de Provence and the diced tomato(es).
  6. Repeat step 4 using a bit less than the resting third.
  7. Verify if the rice is ready (no longer hard but you should still have something to bite)
  8. Verify seasoning. If you opt for fresh herbs add them now (parsley or basil, thyme)
  9. Stir in the butter
  10. Stir in the cheese (I’m not allowed to use all Milady prefers some grated cheese added onto her plate)
  11. Serve hot and enjoy

Remarks:

This is not the ultimate recipe this is MY recipe

Risotto is my go to plate whenever milady or me are in need of something good. It’s so versatile you could make a risotto with whatever you like: mushrooms (fresh or dried) whatever leafy vegetable you have. Just herbs. If you happen to (still) eat meat of fish no problem. Snail risotto is just awesome.

Instead of wine you could try every alcohol you have (Pastis is interesting) or just don’t use the alcohol at all.

If you like it: Spread the word. If you happen to not like it, just tell me.