quickly pickled red onions

by Eva Felis on November 27, 2014

quickly pickled red onions-4

Quickly pickled red onions saved me from going through my life without the joy of this layered vegetable all together. I had missed onions, not talking about their side effects like bad breath and daylong aftertaste, both goes hand in hand with a overdose of breath mints. But you have to give me that, they complete a stew and a few onion rings look very good on your burger. When I started cooking on my own, peeling onions had been almost always a part of the process. All this changed with Mr. F in my life, who is not eating any kind of onions and suddenly I find myself going through onion-free weeks unintentionally. Most of the time it’s convenience and here is how this quickly pickled red onions join the game. They are really effortless, look pretty in pink and are almost always available. I love the additionally tart bite from the pickling, you don’t get this from a regular (read boring) onion. Also they can be as sweet as you like them, just add more sugar. Think about your leftover turkey sandwiches with a decent slice of provolone and a layer of this quickly pickled red onions. They also go really well with Mexican food and almost every meat, especially the smoked and barbequed meats.

quickly pickled red onions-5

quickly pickled red onions
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 medium size firm onion, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 415 ml / 1 ¾ cups apple or rice vinegar (I use a mix of both)
  • 55 g / ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 bay leave
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed
  • 10 black pepper corns
  • 1 tsp. salt
Instructions
  1. In a small, non-reactive saucepan, heat vinegar, sugar, bay leave, garlic and pepper corns until boiling. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. The sugar should be dissolved.
  2. Add the onion slices and then simmer gently for 30 seconds
  3. Transfer the onions and the vinegar into a jar, cover tightly with a lid and let cool until room temperature.
  4. The onions will keep for several weeks in your refrigerator.

quickly pickled red onions

 

 

quickly pickled red onions-3

 


 

pan-fried kale, cannellini beans with salami

by Eva Felis on November 17, 2014

tangy kale, white bean, salami_-5

 

Although I already live in the big ATL, urban getaways are still on the top of my list. Last weekend I got the opportunity to spend a few days in Nashville, TN and I was all in. If you think about Nashville and think nothing but country music, you have no idea what you are missing out. For sure Nashville is called Music City not without a (damn good) reason but this city also offers an amazing wide range of restaurants with outstanding Southern cuisine, trendy shops, thriving neighborhoods, cozy coffee shops and of cause honky tonks with all day and night live music. But this here is not a tourist guide, this is about the great dinner I had at City House which inspired me to this pan-fried kale, cannellini beans with salami. Imagine one half of your parents is from Italy and the other from the Southern US and you have a knack for cocktails, this is what dinner at City House looks like.

 

nashville collage

 

Due to a let’s call it misunderstanding about reserving a table, we arrived and I thought there is no way we will get food that night. The host wowed me with getting seats for us in two minutes. We had been seated at the bar, just for a drink until a table would open up. But we decided to stay there because we had fun watching the bar tender and chatting with other guests. Needless to mention, this dinner was all we could hope for and more.

Let’s talk about this kale, yes kale again, it’s everywhere and there is a reason for that. It’s rather random that something tasty is actually also good for you. But if you are supporting the again the kale brigade, this doesn’t have to stop you from eating this dish, just substitute with your favorite greens for this recipe. The overall flavor picture is a combination of hearty and tangy. The salami adds an Italian spin and also great texture to the dish. And don’t worry about leftovers, rethink and hope for it. Give it a short reheat in the pan and top it with a fried egg sunny side up.

 

tangy kale, white bean, salami

pan-fried kale, cannellini beans with salami
 
Author:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 140 g / 5 oz. salami (Rosette de Lyon), sliced into stripes
  • 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¾ bunch (300 g / 10.5 oz.) kale, stems removed
  • ½ - 1 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 3 handfuls Cannellini beans, cooked
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • ½ - 1 tsp. fine sea salt
  • about ½ red onion, sliced or pickled onions
Instructions
  1. Heat a large skillet over medium/high heat. Add the olive oil and the salami. Fry the salami until it begins to get crisp and render some fat, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the salami from the pan and place on a paper towel to absorb any excess grease. Spoon all but 2 tablespoons of fat out of the pan.
  2. Add the kale and the salt to the pan and increase the heat to high. Move the kale around the pan cooking the kale until wilted and tender (about 10 minutes), the leaves should be still dark green and slightly firm. The kale will collapse as it hits the heat.
  3. Move the kale from the pan to a bowl, top with Cannellini beans and fried salami.
  4. To prepare the dressing: add the garlic to the pan and sauté until pale golden, remove from the heat and add Worcestershire sauce and vinegar and stir well. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well. Serve hot.

 


 

stuffed cabbage

by Eva Felis on November 3, 2014

stuffed cabbage-3Last weekend a cold front from Canada had approached and lived up to its promise for snow in the Appalachian Mountains and yet unusual cold weather for us in Atlanta. I wouldn’t dare to say this out loud, but I had been waiting for that. I should mention to my defense, I am not getting excited about cold feet and icy cold wind. Not at all! On the other hand how does wrapping up in a blanket, hot tea and a good book sound to you? Cozy and comforting! That’s what I am talking about. There is just one thing missing to complete the picture, hearty food the way my mum makes it. I had stuffed cabbage on my mind for weeks, indeed I had been eagerly anticipating cooler weather. Stuffed cabbage may not sound that sexy but they look promising on your plate and they are very satisfying in your belly. This recipe takes a little more effort than the usual dinner preparation but it’s just two more steps and its not complicated at all.

stuffed cabbage-8

stuffed cabbage-7

stuffed cabbage-6

stuffed cabbage-5

stuffed cabbage
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 green cabbage
  • 200 g / 1 cup long-grain rice (weighed before cooking)
  • 450 g / 1 lb. ground beef (preferable grass-fed)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. paprika powder
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 liter / 1 quart beef broth
  • 1 can (170 g / 6 oz.) tomato paste
  • 4 Tbsp. corn starch
Instructions
  1. Cook the rice until molto al dente, still hard in the middle. Drain and set aside.
  2. Remove the cabbage core with a paring knife. Dig as much of the core out as possible. Doing this makes it easier to remove the leaves afterwards.
  3. Immerse the whole head of cabbage in big pot with boiling water and simmer for 10 minutes. There should be enough water to completely cover the head of cabbage. Remove from the pot and let drain until cool enough to handle. Remove and discard the outer leaves of the cabbage. Peel off the leaves. You won’t need all of them, depending on the size of your cabbage. You’ll need one leave for each roll. Make a V-shaped cut to remove the hard rib from the base of each cabbage leaf and set aside.
  4. For the filling: in a large bowl, combine the ground beef, undercooked rice, onion, garlic and seasonings and mix the ingredients with your hands until thoroughly combined.
  5. Place about a small handful of the filling on each of the leaves, just above the cut where you removed the rib. Roll and tuck the sides in as you roll, create a tight bundle. Place into a large heavy pan, seam side down in a single layer. Pour the broth over the stuffed cabbage (it should be about half way up), cover the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer and continue cooking for 45 to 60 minutes.
  6. Remove the cabbage rolls from the pan to prepare the sauce. Add tomato paste to the broth and whisk until dissolved. To thicken the sauce, mix corn starch with a some cold water until it’s very smooth. Then, gradually stir the corn starch mixture into the broth until it’s blended. Continue whisking while you bring the mixture to boil, and boil for 1 minute. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Some brown sugar and oregano wouldn't hurt either. Serve hot
Notes
Stuffed cabbage taste even better the next day, just reheat in the sauce or pan-fry. They also freeze well, making extra filling and prepare stuffed cabbage for the next cold front, is a pretty smart move.

 

stuffed cabbage-4

stuffed cabbage

 


 

establish your oatmeal routine

by Eva Felis on October 8, 2014

steel-cut oatmeal

 

Routines are important, especially in the early morning of a working day. Where would I be without routines? I am afraid nowhere, most likely never leaving my bed or rushing out of the door without having brushed my teeth and forgotten most of all the other important things, like breakfast. That’s the reason why someone invented routines and I am grateful for that. One of my Sunday night routines is making a truckload overnight steel-cut oats, enough for Mr. F and me for the upcoming week. It takes just five minutes to accomplish a healthy breakfast for several days to come. Overnight steel-cut oats are as simple as my breakfast routine can get. I know what you think, oats every morning all week, sounds boring. It’s actually not, because my oatmeal tastes different every day. I am not going to tell you how many various kinds of fruits, seeds or nut butters you can stir into your oats, that’s up to you and would miss today’s subject. But consider it stirring into Greek yoghurt, that’s one of my favorites recently.

And if you think right now, there are already recipes for overnight oats out there. Sure, but then tell me why are so many hungry folks still having microwaved instant oatmeal, the stuff with artificial flavors and too much sugar? Is this even real food?

 

steel-cut oatmeal

 

Overnight steel-cut oats
 
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 8-10
Ingredients
  • 1 ½ cups steel-cut oats
  • 1 Tbsp. oil (I use coconut oil)
  • 6 cups water (filtered)
  • ¼ tsp. fine sea salt
Instructions
  1. The night before heat the oil in a medium size saucepan over high heat and add the oats, stir-fry until fragrant and golden brown.
  2. Add water and salt and bring to a boil. Turn off the stove, stir and cover the saucepan.
  3. Watch a nice movie while your oats are continue "cooking". Before you go to bed, don’t forget to stir once more, because they may clump up at the bottom of the pan until the next morning.
  4. If you prefer oats rather mushy (I mean that in a good way), you can substitute ½ cup steel-cut oats for rolled oats.
  5. The next morning heat up what you desire for breakfast and fill the remaining oatmeal into one airtight container or distribute into jars, so you can grab one by one every morning before you leave the house.
Notes
The more you stir, the creamier the oats will get.
The ratio for this is 1:4, means 1 part steel-cut oats and 4 parts water. One cup holds about 240 ml. If you are not familiar with measuring cups, you can also use your favorite coffee cup, but you are going to end up with a different amount of servings.

 

 

 

 


 

damson vodka

by Eva Felis on September 17, 2014

damson vodka

The plum season is almost over and I didn’t dare to hope finding damson plums on the farmers market this year. But voilà they had been sitting in a wicker basket, just a few of them. I assumed they had been waiting for me.

damson vodka

I grew up climbing massive plum trees in my backyard. Autumn was all about picking them directly from the tree, rubbing them one by one vigorously on my sleeve until the dusky skin showed it’s polished face. I could say by touch if they are ripe and ready to pick or should be left alone for a few more sunny days. I knew exactly where to pinch them and pull in half to remove the pits and check for hidden worms. And I knew every branch of those trees, the ones that would hold my weight so I can carefully hunt for those plums in the bright sun, riper and sweeter than the others. Some say they have kind of preference or connection to a thing, sometimes even unexplainable. Mine are pretty obvious: I am prone to boxy cars  since my parents used to drive Volvo while I grew up, and I can never say no to: plum cake, plum jam, plum schnapps…

damson vodka

Damsons are egg-shaped plums and of smaller size. They can be found in many shades of blue and purple and they are rather popular in Europe for jams and baking than eating due to their tart skin, but underneath lies sweet flesh.

I had cake on my mind, when I came home the other day with my damson plums. But karma had a better plan. My neighbor came over before I even unpacked my farmer’s market bounty and shared her German plum cake with me. Can you believe that? What a coincidence! I still have a few pieces stashed away in my freezer for desperate times. That’s why I made another batch of booze with plums and because it’s damn good. Last years plum and cinnamon flavored bourbon is long gone and I promise to share with my neighbor.

damson vodka

 

damson vodka
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 600g / 21 oz. (about 20) damson plums
  • 300g / 10.5 oz. light brown sugar
  • 950ml / 4 cups vodka
Instructions
  1. Wash the plums, cut in half and remove the pits. Quarter the plums and add with the pits into a large and clean jar.
  2. Add sugar and fill up with vodka. Seal tightly and wait patiently for at least 3-4 months. For what it’s worth it won’t hurt to wait six months. Store at a dark and cooler place and give it a shake every time you pass by.
  3. Strain the damson vodka and transfer into clean bottles. It will last for a long time and improve with age.
Notes
The amount of sugar is rather on the lower site, you can always add more later on if you like.

 

damson vodka

damson vodka


 

spicy marinated pork tenderloin wrapped in bacon

by Eva Felis on September 4, 2014

spicy marinated pork tenderloin wrapped in bacon

Pork tenderloin doesn’t get as much attention as it should. I am also guilty as charged, I rather enjoy a leaner piece of meat than a fat dripping pork belly -uh- makes my stomach sick and sits in my belly heavy like a stone. But I used to prefer chicken breast or turkey burger and omit the pork tenderloin. Not on purpose and then again yes, no excuses. I think I had just too much of those overcooked and dry shoe soles, best case scenario served with a thick sauce or garlic butter. Beside being extra lean, pork tenderloin is also very versatile and used in many kitchens all over the world and doesn’t have to be dry and though at all.

 

spicy marinated pork tenderloin wrapped in bacon

During my recent trip to Germany my mom made some pork tenderloin on the grill and she quickly disabused me and I enjoyed to be taught otherwise. Unfortunately my mom is an instinctive cook: no rules, no recipes, but for sure good food. When I asked her about the spices she used, she couldn’t even tell anymore. Fine I can improvise too, guess who taught me.

 

spicy marinated pork tenderloin wrapped in bacon

The marinate will also work magic with another cut of pork or even beef. It’s a nice tanginess with just a hint of sweetness from the honey. You can also get a fair hint of garlic, add as much as you like, that’s up to you. The herbs are not just there to look nice, they merge so well with the other spices. Although my mom skipped the bacon wrapping, I was eager to give it a try. Everything is better with bacon, right? Right!I had a fairly romantic imagination of wrapping the bacon around the pork tenderloins, in my dreams more similar to gift wrapping at Christmas time. No kidding it’s messy, get yourself a second pair of hands and you will be fine for sure.

 

spicy marinated pork tenderloin wrapped in bacon
 
Author:
Recipe type: BBQ
Ingredients
  • for the marinade:
  • ½ tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ tsp. ground fennel seeds
  • 5 stalks of parsley, finely chopped
  • 4 stalks of cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 3 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pork tenderloins (about 2 pound)
  • furthermore:
  • 2 pork tenderloins (about 1 pound each), trimmed
  • 10 slices of bacon
  • also:
  • butcher twine
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients for the marinade. Rub the marinade into the pork tenderloin. Wrap five slices of bacon evenly around each of the tenderloin and tie the bacon in place with kitchen twine. Cover with plastic foil and let marinade for at least one hour in your refrigerator.
  2. Remove from the fridge 30 minutes before you want to start cooking to let the meat come to room temperature.
  3. Heat your grill to 550 F and grill each side of the tenderloins for 45-60 seconds. Watch out for flare-ups, move the tenderloin out of the way to prevent your food from burning.
  4. Reduce the heat and continue cooking indirect low heat 200-250 F for 40 minutes until the temperature on the thickest parts reach 145 F.
  5. Transfer tenderloins to a cutting board and let stand 10 minutes. Remove twine before carving.
  6. This can be made easily inside: Preheat your oven to 200-250 F. Heat one Tbsp. oil in a large pan over high heat and sear the tenderloin until brown form each side. Transfer to the oven and continue cooking until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part shows 145 F, should also take approx.. 40 minutes.

spicy marinated pork tenderloin wrapped in bacon

 

spicy marinated pork tenderloin wrapped in bacon


 

my eats and drinks in Berlin

by Eva Felis on August 27, 2014

Berlin food

Obviously I took a little summer break from my website and just as well from my kitchen – rather unintended due to the heat. Sorry I kind of sneak out without telling you, the days before my trip had been crazy and the time afterwards had been worst. Where does all this laundry come from? Clean clothes are the least of my problems. Did I mention post vacation days are more than crazy?

I visited my family in Germany and I had a jolly good time. I planned and anticipated this trip for many good reasons, particularly spending time with my family and being spoiled with mom’s home cooked meals. There is nothing out there, that beats home cooked food, especially child hood favorites. Being the list-maker I am, I filled pages in my notebook with things to do, things to eat (this one for my mom obviously), things to bring to Germany and things to bring from Germany to Atlanta. On the other side, I didn’t plan what to eat during my stay in Berlin, my vacation while on vacation. I spend a couple of days with my parents and my two sisters in Berlin and would love to share some of the eats and drinks I enjoyed during my stay. They are all snapshots, please be forbearing! My family is not known for being patient in front of a plate and I had to hurry to get some pictures.

berlin food burritosDolores had been the only thing on my sister list, the crazy burrito lover she is, could not let the chance pass by to get a California-style burrito in her belly. It is a fun place, affordable and the food is very good. I also enjoyed a refreshing agua fresca.

 

Berlin food-1035I didn’t know we are a family of sushi lovers. You always learn something new about those people. We ordered all the same and had to get over that awkward moment when my mom asked for a fork… I guess it’s better this way, you can cause some damage if you don’t know how to handle those sticks.

 

berlin street foodAbove (left): If you are on vacation, you can eat what ever you like. That’s the law. You bet I had my fare share of fast food. In the US I had occationally waiter looking strangely at me when I ask for mayo with my fries. In many European countries you order mayo or ketchup or both, some places in Germany also offer sauces like brown sauce with mushrooms (Jaegersauce) or bell peppers (Zigeunersauce). Berlin is famous for their currywurst (right), a bratwurst with warm tomato ketchup sauce heavily topped with curry powder, spicy and comforting. Currywurst comes already cut with a side of french fries or a roll to dip into the leftover sauce.

My hometown is just a few hours away from Netherlands border and if I am on a short visit to our neighbors a friet speciaal (left) is mandatory. It’s basically French fries with curry sauce, mayo and diced onions, so simple and so good.

 

Berlin food-5881

 

 

berlin foods sweet

Those little jamed filled balls are called Mini-Berliner (above right), except the Berliner, the real ones who live in Berlin, they call them Pfannkuchen, which means pancakes. It’s kind of weird.

My mom made yoghurt parfait with Muesli and fresh fruits one morning. I didn’t get that growning up…

(left) In Germany cake is typically not eaten as dessert after dinner. You have coffee and/or tea with cake in the afternoon mostly on weekends or special occasions (similar to the British tea time) rather than after dinner. I remember meeting my friends for coffee and a chat after work, calling it Kaffeeklatsch in jest. I had a long list of favorite cakes like red currant cake, plum cake, German cheese cake and apple cake. Unfortunately I didn’t manage to eat them all.

berlin biergarten You can find some Biergarten and Beach Bars during the summer months along the Spree river.  You don’t need to be especially lucky to snag one of those patio chairs facing the river and it feels so good to rest your legs after a day on the streets of Berlin. I let some water passing by in the Spree with a cocktail in one hand and a salty Prezel in the other.

 

First picture on top shows a Berliner Weisse. It’s also a Berlin original: very tart and sour beer becomes drinkable (and very refreshing) by adding syrup. Traditional it’s raspberry syrup for the red colored Berliner Weisse and the green one is made with woodruff syrup.

 

 


 

white wine sangria with blackberries and rosemary

by Eva Felis on July 25, 2014

blackberry sangria

A certain sign and kind of proof that I drift from adolescence into adulthood is the change of my taste. Obviously also a change into bad humor, as I should rather say: senility lies in wait. Growing up nothing could be sweet enough and I had been able to eat bags of candies. Nowadays the very thought of it, hurts my stomach and gives me toothache. My first experience with coffee or even wine went along with a sugar high, both had been judged as too bitter and I improved with tablespoons of sugar. All this had altered, I still appreciate donuts and cupcakes but prefer less sweeter fruit tarts. If it comes to wine, it has to be at least a dryer version of semi-sweet and that also reflects the kind of sangria I prefer. Forgotten are those bottles labeled “Sangria” in colorful letters, which also translates in “headache”, containing a potpourri of red wine from the bottom of barrels from all other the world. Homemade is the best, and that’s also true for wine and fruit based beverages. In summer times I prefer white to red wine, for it’s light and crisp taste. Read more >>


 

Weltmeisterbrot – world champion bread

by Eva Felis on July 18, 2014

weltmeisterbrot-1417

Is it okay to talk about soccer on a food blog? Especially me as someone usually total uninterested and clueless person when it comes to sports, but to my defense I truly enjoyed watching the world cup. And you know why, because Germany won that golden thing! That might be old news for you, but some fun facts are: it’s said the trophy is hollow and the winning team just gets a replicate with platted gold to take home. So even I figured out, winning the world cup is not all about the glory and the fake trophy, it’s about getting people together – actually nations – to share tears of joy and sometimes frustration. And also play soccer, needless to say… Read more >>


 

raspberry-marzipan coffee cake

by Eva Felis on July 7, 2014

Raspberry-Marzipan Coffee Cake-3

This cake is long gone, its life span had been cut short – literally cut in pieces – and is countable in hours, certainly not days. The minute I moved it from the oven to a rack to cool, I almost attacked it with a knife. I could hardly pull myself together to wait long enough to take a few pictures. I am that marzipan nutz. As soon as the raspberry-marzipan coffee cake made its appearance on the kitchen counter, everyone passing by cut one piece after another, and this goes without saying every time it had been just to taste a bit (e), until all was gone too fast. My only regret is that I haven’t been able to wait until the full flavor develops, it’s even better the next day. Read more >>