Tag Archives: Comfort Food

German “Hunter’s” Pork Cutlets with a Creamy Mushroom Sauce (Jägerschnitzel)

JagerschnitzelHi, so last night I had a hankerin’ for some good, old-fashioned German comfort food, so I decided to make one of my faves, Jägerschnitzel (right up there with Königsberger Klopse and Falscher Hase!). Jägerschnitzel means “hunter cutlet” in English — don’t ask me why they call it that, because I don’t know. Anyway, I always am sure to feast on this dish at least a couple of times when I’m in Germany, regardless of the season. The dish is so delicious, easy to prepare and worth the calories — hope you’ll try it out sometime this week and let me know what you think!

3 Tbsp butter
1 large onion, diced
1 lb sliced white button mushrooms
2 tsp salt, divided
1 tsp pepper, divided
1 tsp paprika
4 cups beef stock
4 1/2-inch thick pork loin slices (about 1 1/2 lbs, tot.), pounded to 1/4 inch between 2 pieces of plastic wrap
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
3 Tbsp heavy cream
3 Tbsp chopped parsley, divided
Spätzle — home-made, or cooked according to package instructions

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

Heat butter in a large sauté over medium heat. Once foam subsides, add onions and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in mushrooms and cook until they’ve released their liquid, about 10 minutes. Stir in 1 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper and the 1 tsp paprika. Stir constantly for an additional 1 minute. Turn heat to high, and stir in beef stock. Bring to a boil, then cook down until the liquid is reduced by 1 half. Remove from heat and stir in cream and 2 Tbsp parsley. Season with additional salt and pepper if desired (keeping in mind that there’s a bunch of salt and pepper on the cutlets). Set aside.

Sprinkle each cutlet with remaining salt and pepper on each side. Heat vegetable oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, cook each of the cutlets, one at a time, until they are browned and cooked through (about a minute and a half each) — keep cutlets warm, covered with aluminum foil in oven.

Plate each of the cutlets with a portion of spätzle. Spoon mushroom sauce over each and garnish with remaining chopped parsley and serve.

Serves 4.

 

Tomato and Gruyère Tarte

Tomato_and_Cheddar_Pie1Hi everyone, and happy fall (or spring in the Southern hemisphere)! The herbs in the garden are about to become history when the first frost hits (any time now), so I wanted to make the most of them. Also, I wanted to take advantage of the few farm stands that still have fresh, tasty heirloom tomatoes, so I decided to make this dish — fantastic! The simple, fresh ingredients all come together in this European-style, savory pie. I served it with a simple green salad, and it was a perfect, light meal. I hope you’ll try this before the fresh tomatoes and herbs are done for the season!

3 large, ripe and flavorful tomatoes, sliced in 1/4-inch slices
3/4 tsp salt, divided
1 store-bought pie dough/crust (bottom portion only)
1 Tbsp butter
1 medium Vidalia onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups grated gruyère cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs, such as basil, thyme, oregano, parsley, etc.
1 tsp hot sauce
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Place tomato slices on paper towels, sprinkle with 1/4 tsp salt, cover with more paper towels and let stand for 30 minutes (you want them to be pretty dry).

Place dough into a 9-inch, glass pie pan. Crimp edges. Line with parchment paper and fill with Tomato_and_Cheddar_Piepie weights. Bake crust 20 minutes, rotating 180 degrees after 10 minutes. Remove pie weights and parchment paper, and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat butter in a skillet over medium heat. once foam has subsided, add onion and 1/4 tsp salt. Cook until carmalized, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand.

In a medium bowl, combine cheese, mayo, chopped herbs, hot sauce, ground black pepper and onion mixture.

Assemble tarte by lining bottom of pie shell with tomato slices and top with the cheese mixture. Place in oven and bake for 40 – 45 minutes, until golden brown (rotating 180 degrees halfway into baking). Remove and let cool to room temperature before serving.

Serves 6.

 

 

 

 

Grilled Meatloaf with Romesco Sauce

Grilled_Meatloaf (1 of 1)Perfect weekend for outdoor cooking here in New England! As many of my readers know, I love meatloaf of all kinds — I’ve adapted one of my favorite recipes for the grill. The added benefit is that you’re not heating up the kitchen, and in particular, the meatloaf takes on a fantastic smokey bbq flavor. The romesco sauce is not typically served with meatloaf (usually served with shrimp/prawns), but I served it with this dish, and it  was a spot-on compliment to the meatloaf. This is an unusual, but great summer outdoor dish — I hope you’ll try it this weekend!

2 slices of bread
1/3 cup milk
2 slices bacon, finely chopped
2 Tbsp butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
7 cloves garlic (3 of them finely minced or grated; 4 unpeeled)
1 celery rib, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
1/4 ground allspice
2 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 cup pitted prunes, finely chopped
1 1/2 lean ground beef
1/2 lb lean ground pork
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup chopped parsley

1 plum tomato, halved and seeded
4 red Thai bird chillies, cut lengthwise and seeded
4 Tbsp shelled hazelnuts
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and finely chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
Pinch of salt
2 Tbsp water

For meatloaf, combine bread and milk in a medium bowl. Set aside to soak. Heat bacon in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until crisp. Remove from skillet with a slotted spoon to paper towels. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, heat butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once foam subsides, add onion, minced garlic, celery and carrot. Sauté 5 minutes. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, allspice, salt and pepper.

Squeeze excess milk from soaked bread, and place in large bowl. Add onion mixture, prunes, beef, pork, eggs and parsley. Combine with hands. Form into a loaf and place in an appropriate, disposable aluminum pan, approx. 8 inches x 10 inches.

Prepare gill for indirect cooking at 400 degrees (e.g. flame on one side, dish on other).

Place meatloaf in aluminum pan on hot grill. Cook covered for 1 1/4 hours, or until meat reaches an internal temperature of 155 degrees F. Remove from grill, cover with aluminum foil and let stand for 10 minutes.

For the romesco sauce, heat oven to 400 degrees F (can also be done on grill with the meatloaf).  Line a baking sheet with foil. Wrap garlic cloves in foil and place on sheet (or disposable aluminum sheet) together with tomato, chiles and bake for 12 minutes. Add hazelnuts and bake for another 4 minutes. Remove tray from oven and let cool 15 minutes. Peel the tomatoes and squeeze both tomatoes and garlic into a food processor. Add the hazelnuts, sun-dried tomatoes, chilies, olive oil, vinegar, salt and water. Process to a smooth, creamy consistency.

Slice meatloaf and serve with romesco sauce and mashed potatoes and perhaps, some green beans.

Serves 8.

 

 

 

Barbecued Scotch (aka Picnic) Eggs

Scotch_Eggs (1 of 1)“Scotch eggs” were apparently invented in England in 1738 at a London department store. They’ve been very popular since then as a snack, picnic food, pub food, etc.. I recently came across an Americanized version at Epicurious, which I used as a base for this recipe. I cooked them on my REC TEC wood pellet grill, and man, they were delicious! This is a perfect addition to a summer time, indoor or outdoor meal. I think they are much simpler to prepare than they look — I hope you’ll try this recipe this summer!

3 Tbsp paprika
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp ground black pepper
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp chili powder
3 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
3/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
6 large eggs
Ice water
1 lb lean ground pork

Combine 3 Tbsp paprika, 1 Tbsp ground black pepper, 1 Tbsp salt, 1 Tbsp sugar, 2 tsp chili powder, 2 tsp garlic powder, 2 tsp onion powder and 1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper in a small bowl.

In a medium sauce pan, cover eggs in cold water. Bring eggs to a boil over high heat and cook 2 minutes. Remove eggs and immediately put into ice water. Let cool for about 15 minutes. Remove eggs from water, peel and place them in the refrigerator.

Meanwhile, combine the pork, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp ground black pepper, 1 tsp garlic powder and 1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper in a medium bowl. Use hands to ensure ingredients are well-incorporated.

Divide pork mixture into 6 equal portions. Flatten each portion into about a 5-inch circle on plastic wrap or wax paper. Place an egg on each and lift up the sides to drape eggs. In your hands, work each egg and pork mixture so that the eggs are evenly concealed by the pork. Spread spice mixture in a shallow dish. Roll each egg in the spice mixture until it is evenly coated. Place eggs on a clean dish, cover gently with plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 hour.

Prepare charcoal (or smoker or wood pellet) grill for low-heat, indirect cooking. Add some mesquite chips soaked in water (or some other flavorful wood) if using charcoal. When Temperature reaches 235 degrees F, place the eggs on the grill. Close lid and cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Transfer eggs to a plate, let cool and slice length-wise into quarters. Serve with a good BBQ sauce (I like Stubb’s Original).

Serves 6.

Slow-Smoked Brisket of Beef, Marinated in a Flavorful Dry Rub

Smoked Brisket of Beef with Flavorful "Dry Rub" (1 of 1)A couple of weeks ago, we received our new Rec Tec wood pellet grill/smoker (rectecgrills.com) . I was thrilled to try it out, and I’ve been using it everyday since we got it.  I’m very pleased. Over the weekend, I smoked a couple of chickens, which were fantastic. On Sunday, I made this southern-style beef brisket, which was absolutely delicious — the dry rub mixture, beer “beer” mop, and of course, the low-slow smoking technique with the new grill were what made it! I hope you’ll try this stuff out this summer!

1/2 cup ground paprika
2 Tbsp ground black pepper
2 Tbsp salt
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp onion powder
1 tsp ground cayenne pepper

1 3-lb beef brisket

6 oz beer
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup water
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, finely grated or minced
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp of the dry rub, reserved from above

The night before you want to smoke the brisket, combine the dry rub ingredients (paprika through cayenne pepper in a medium bowl. Rub evenly and generously all over brisket (reserving 2 tsp for the “mop,” which is the basting liquid. Cover and refrigerate until next day.

Remove brisket from refrigerator and let stand 45 minutes prior to cooking.

Meanwhile, prepare the mop by combining the mop ingredients (beer through dry rub). Simmer for about 8 minutes, then remove from heat.

Prepare smoker and bring heat to 220 degrees F.

Place brisket on grill, and cook about 5 hours, until brisket is very tender. Baste with beer mop every half hour.  Remove from heat, wrap in foil and let stand 20 minutes prior to serving. Serve with your favorite barbeque sauce, cole slaw and corn bread.

Serves 4 – 6

Grilled Black Bean Burgers with Chipotle Guacamole

Grilled_Black_Bean_Burger (1 of 1)I consumed what seems like a ton of meat at a cook-out on Saturday, so I wanted to grill something meatless. I generally don’t think veggie burgers grill well because they are so delicate (loose, runny, etc.), so I did my best to use binders (flour, cornmeal and eggs) and a technique (freezing) to come up with something that would work well on the grill — I was successful! These burgers held up and grilled easily to perfection, and the creamy chipotle guacamole on top was absolutely delicious. I hope you’ll try them next time you grill out!

2 15-oz cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 medium shallot, finely diced
1 large clove garlic, very finely grated or minced
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground ancho chili
3 1/2 tsp salt, divided
2 ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and coarsely chopped
1 Tbsp lime juice
Fresh corn cut from 1 ear
1 plum tomato, seeded and diced
2 scallions, chopped
1 chipotle chili (from can, in adobo sauce), very finely chopped
1/4 cup sour cream
Lettuce

Combine first 9 ingredients (black beans through ground ancho chili) and 3 tsp salt in a food processor. Process until ingredients are well-incorporated, but not puréed. Spoon 6 equal portions onto a platter that has been sprinkled with some cornmeal. Form into patties, cover with plastic wrap and place in freezer until firm (about 1/2 hour).

Meanwhile, prepare the guacamole by placing the avocados and lime juice in a bowl. Mash with a fork until smooth. Stir in the balance of ingredients (corn through sour cream). Cover and place in refrigerator.

Prepare grill. Remove burgers from freezer and place on the hot grill. Grill 5 minutes per side. Serve with lettuce on hamburger buns that have been brushed with butter and browned on the grill. Top each with a generous portion of the guacamole.

Serves 6.

Grilled Indonesian Pork Satay with a Spicy Peanut Sauce

Indonesian_Pork_Satay (1 of 1)I’m about to get a brand-new pellet grill — can’t wait to show you how it does! In the mean time, I fired up the Weber grill and made these fantastic satays. This variety comes from the island of Bali (I believe it’s the cinnamon and nutmeg that make them Balinese). I love the combination of spices in these – wonderful with the peanut dipping sauce! This dish is a bit involved, but very well worth the effort. I hope you’ll give this one a try this weekend!

1 tsp + 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp sambal ulek, divided
1/2 tsp + 2 Tbsp brown sugar
3 shallots, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/2 tsp Laos powder
1 stalk lemongrass, outer leaves removed, lower six inches finely chopped
1 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2 green cardamom pods
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp grated nutmeg
1 Tbsp tamarind water or lime juice
1 tsp salt
1 lb lean ground pork

1 small onion
3 Tbsp peanutbutter
4 tsp kecap manis
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 stalk lemongrass, crushed
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 cup coconut milk

Soak about 18 bamboo skewers in water.

Combine 1 tsp vegetable oil, 1 tsp sambal ulek, 1/2 tsp brown sugar and the next 13 ingredients (shallots through ground pork) in a food processor. Process well until you have a smooth paste. In a large bowl combine paste and ground pork. Use hand to ensure ingredients are well-incorporated. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, prepare peanut sauce by heating 1 Tbsp vegetable oil in a small sauce pan over low heat. Add onion and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Stir in1 tsp sambal ulek, 2 Tbsp brown sugar and the next 6 ingredients (through lemon juice). Slowly heat, gradually adding the coconut milk, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and set aside.

Get grill going.

Mold about 2 Tbsp of the pork mixture onto each skewer (as in the picture above). Place satays on grill and cook, turning occasionally until done, about 7 minutes. Serve satays with the peanut sauce and steamed jasmine rice.

Serves 4.