Family recipes from around the world

Month: April 2010

Bratkartoffeln – Roasted Potatoes

Bratkartoffeln – Roasted Potatoes

This is a nice side dish you can make with “leftover” potatoes. Ingredients: 1 lb (500 gr) boiled potatoes –  peeled and sliced 1 onion – finely chopped 3 oz (100 gr) bacon – sliced, and cut in thin stripes salt to taste Oil Optional: […]

Tafelspitz

Tafelspitz

This is a typical dish of Bavaria (Germany). Ingredients: 2 lbs (1 Kg) tri-tip (bottom sirloin, tafelspitz or punta) 2 carrots 1 stalk celery 1 Tablespoon salt Sauce: 2 Tablespoons horseradish 1 1/2 cups heavy cream 3 Tablespoons of the broth you boiled the meat […]

Carne Mechada – Shredded Beef

Carne Mechada – Shredded Beef

This is a Venezuelan favorite.  It is usually eaten for breakfast with arepas:

Arepas con Carne Mechada

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs beef (sirloin or skirt – skirt shreads easier! – I cannot buy in Germany, but if I could I would prefer it)
  • 2 peppers – chopped
  • 2 onions- chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves – pressed
  • 1/2 cup tomato puree
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin (in Germany, buy it at the Asia Markt – do not use german cumin)
  • Pepper to taste

Extras:

Directions:

  1. Boil the beef for 2 hours.  Add salt, peeled carrots and celery, and continue boiling for at least another 2 hours.
  2. Let cool, and then shred the beef using 2 forks or with your fingers – I prefer the fork method:carne mechada step 1
  3. Make a “Sofrito”:  Fry the onions, peppers and garlic for about 15 minutes at medium heat.
  4. Add the shredded beef to the pan, and then add the broth you boiled the beef in.carne mechada step 2
  5. Add the tomato puree and the cumin, and cook until the broth has reduced.
  6. Taste for salt and pepper.
  7. Fill your arepas with carne mechada, or eat with rice and black beans.
Guacamole

Guacamole

Now this is the original mexican guacamole. My comadre Wendy – from Mexico – made it, and was happy to share the recipe with us! “Comadres” in spanish is what  godmother and the mother of a child become after the christening –  “Compadres” refer to […]

Hungarian Salad

Hungarian Salad

This is a nice alternative to coleslaw. Ingredients: 1 small cabbage- thinly sliced 2 onions – thinly sliced 2 peppers – thinly sliced 1 large cucumber – thinly sliced 1 tablespoon salt 2 laurel leaves 1/4 cup vinegar 1/2 cup olive oil 1/4 cup water […]

Salsa

Salsa

My Comadre tought me how to make this recipe. It’s much tastier than the commercial salsas, healthier, and you can make it as hot or mild as you want.  Since I learned how to make it, I refuse to buy the ready made alternative!

Ingredientes:

  • 3 tomatoes – chopped finely
  • 1 pepper – chopped finely
  • 1 small onion – chopped finely
  • 1/2 cup tomato puree
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 lime – juice

extras:

  • cilantro chopped finely
  • corn
  • jalapeños
  • hot sauce

Directions:

  1. Fry the chopped peppers in a little bit of oil for about 5 minutes.
  2. Mix all ingredients in a bowl, and refrigerate for 1 hour. Choose your extras, and make it according to your taste.
Arepas

Arepas

This is a Venezuelan delicacy I was happy to grow up with.  There is nothing better than to eat an arepa and have a nice “cafe con leche” for breakfast.  I’ll break any diet for them! I’ll happily skip crème brûlée – no problem – […]

Schnitzel with white asparagus and spring potatoes

Schnitzel with white asparagus and spring potatoes

Ingredients: For the Schnitzel: 4 pork chops (boneless) 1 cup bread crumbs 2 eggs – beaten Salt and pepper to taste Oil For the asparagus: 2 lbs (1 Kg) asparagus 1 teaspoon sugar 1 teaspoon salt For the potatoes: 2 lbs (1 kg) spring potatoes […]

Hungarian Goulash

Hungarian Goulash

In Venezuela my family had many friends from Hungary, so once in a while my Mother made this dish… I think you are supposed to eat Goulash with gnocchi, but pasta or rice also taste good with it.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs (1 kg ) beef in cubes
  • 3 peppers (red or green or both)- chopped
  • 2 onions – chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves – crushed
  • 3 teaspoons hungarian paprika
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato puree
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Marjoram
  • 1 cup water
  • crushed pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. goulash
    Fry the onions, chopped peppers and the garlic on low heat for about 15 minutes.
  2. goulasch2
    In the meantime, fry the beef cubes to sear them on all sides.
  3. goulasch
    Place the onions, peppers and garlic in a stew pot. Add the tomato puree.
  4. When you are done searing the beef, add it to the stew pot.  I usually fry the cubes in small batches to make sure that the pan remains hot, so that it does not loose water.  Every time a batch is ready, I just add it to the stewpot.
  5. When you are done with the beef, fry the paprika very shortly at lower heat, just before you add it to the rest of the ingredients.
  6. Add the rest of the ingredients to the stew, and cook for at least 2.5 hours at low heat.
  7. Stir once in a while and adjust heat.  Add more water if necessary.
Chili

Chili

I like to make chili on a “lazy” day – a day where I know I’ll be at home, and I do not want to spend too much time preparing something, but don’t mind the cooking time.  It takes long to cook, but the preparation […]

Baba Ghanoush

Baba Ghanoush

This is very similar to the Hummus, but made with roasted eggplants. Ingredients: 3 large eggplants 2 Tablespoons Tahini (sesame seed paste) 1/2 lemon (juice) 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (if you are in Germany, buy the cumin for this recipe at an Asian Market – […]

Hummus

Hummus

This is a dish we learned to make in Venezuela, but the original recipe came from a Lebanese family.  I have made some minor changes in order to be able to make it quickly…

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups canned chickpeas (drained)
  • 2 Tablespoons Tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • 1/2 lemon (juice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (if you are in Germany, buy the cumin for this recipe at an Asian Market – German cumin tastes different)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 dash allspice or four spice mix (Quatre-épices)
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive oil

—-

  • sweet paprika and olive oil to decorate
  • Pita bread to serve with

Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients in a food processor and blend to a paste. If the chickpeas are too dry, it might be difficult to blend.  To fix it (if it needs to), just add a little bit of water to the mix – the paste should be smooth, not dry, but also not watery.
  2. Spread some Hummus on a Plate (see above image), and then sprinkle some sweet paprika on top.
  3. Pour around 3 Tablespoons olive oil over the Hummus.
  4. Serve with toasted Pita bread
Greek Salad

Greek Salad

This salad I learned to make with Chris, a dear friend of mine from Cyprus, while going to school at Indiana University. Ever since, it has been a favorite of mine, specially at large gatherings, for its ease of making, and because it is a […]

Angemachter Camembert – Camembert Cheese Spread

Angemachter Camembert – Camembert Cheese Spread

This is a nice appetizer, usually served at a “Beer Garten”  in the southern part of Germany. Ingredients: 1 small Camembert cheese (around 9 oz) 1 small onion quartered 1/2 small onion chopped very finelly 1/2 small onion in thin slices (for decoration) 2 tablespoons […]

Bolognese

Bolognese

This is my version to make a Bolognese sauce very quickly!  It needs lots of time to cook, but the “putting together” does not take long at all. For those of you who make it the “old fashioned way”, just give it a try…

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb (500 gr) ground beef
  • 1.5 lb (750 gr) pelati tomatoes (I prefer the ones in the tetra paks) – in chunks
  • 1/2 lb (250 gr) tomato puree
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 onion – chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 1 pesto recipe
  • 1 additional teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • black pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Now this is the easy part… Add all your ingredients to your stock pot and mix them really, really well. No need to fry anything first – really!  I usualy use a crock pot, but you can use a large stock pot, and start cooking on high, and as soon as it has just started to boil, bring it down to low.
  2. This is a dish that you can cook for hours… the longer, the better!  Just make sure to check that it is not sticking to the bottom , and that it has enough liquid… add water if needed.
  3. Serve with your favorite pasta. My kids like rotelli, just because they are easier to pick up!  …and do not forget to add parmesan cheese!!!

(Serves 4)

Pesto

Pesto

This is a very simple yet delicious pasta sauce. Ingredients: 3 cups basil leaves 1 teaspoon salt 3 garlic cloves 3 Tablespoons olive oil Directions: Mix all ingredients in a food processor. Serve with your favorite pasta and add lots of parmesan cheese.  You can […]

Garlic Bread

Garlic Bread

A very simple recipe, but always a favorite! 1 – 2 Baguettes Butter Garlic powder Salt Dried parsley Directions: Cut the Baguettes in half lengthwise. Spread with butter. Sprinkle some salt, garlic powder and dried parsley. Place in oven at 350ºF (189ºC) for about 10 […]

Frikadellen – Meat Patties – Albóndigas

Frikadellen – Meat Patties – Albóndigas

These meat patties can be found all around Europe with small variations from country to country. They taste great alone with some mustard or ketchup, or eaten with a bun “hamburger style”.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs ground meat (1/2 pork, 1/2 beef)
  • 2 Tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 Onion – finely chopped and fried in a little bit of oil
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Slices of sandwich bread
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Directions:

  1. Chop the onion finely and fry it for about 10 min at low heat.
  2. Put the bread slices in a bowl, add water and let it soak. Then take the crust off and squeeze the water out.
  3. Frikadellen
    In a big bowl, add the ground meat, bread, sour cream, onions, eggs, salt and pepper and mix well.
  4. Make the meat patties (about 4.5 ” in diameter and about 1″ thick) (11 cm diameter, 2 cm thick)
  5. Frikadellen
    Start frying them at high heat (to sear), and then bring the heat down to medium and continue frying for about 10 – 15 min each side or until done.
Chicken with Turmeric

Chicken with Turmeric

Turmeric is the ingredient that makes curry yellow.  If you check out its health benefits, I’m sure you’ll love this recipe! Ingredients: 1 Chicken 2 Onions, peeled and quartered 2 Carrots, peeled and sliced in 4 2 teaspoons Garlic Powder 3 teaspoons Salt Pepper 3 […]

Tuna Salad

Tuna Salad

Ingredients: 2 cans tuna (in water) 1 Tablespoon Mayonaise 1 teaspoon ketchup 1 cup yogurt 1 small onion – finely chopped 2 celery stalks – finely chopped 1 hard boiled egg – finely chopped salt and pepper to taste Directions: Mix the mayo and the […]

Guasacaca – Venezuelan Guacamole

Guasacaca – Venezuelan Guacamole

This is the Venezuelan version of guacamole.   It is a little darker than the Mexican version and that is due to the fact that we use red peppers instead of or besides using tomatoes.  In Venezuela it is served with steaks.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Avocado – make sure it is ripe!
  • 1/2 lime juice
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1/3 red pepper (without seeds)
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon salt
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • cilantro leaves

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and mix well. That’s it! … I’m assuming you understand the avocado needs to be peeled and seeded first…. 🙂
Ceasar style salad with chicken

Ceasar style salad with chicken

Ingredients: Croutons Ceasar style salad (see recipe) 4 chicken breasts, skinless and deboned, cut in thin stripes Marinade: 1 large lemon 4 Tablespoons olive oil 1.5 teaspoons salt pepper 3 garlic cloves crushed Directions: Combine lemon, salt, pepper, oil and garlic. Add chicken, mix, cover […]

Ceasar style salad

Ceasar style salad

This is definitely my version of a classic.  My mom used to make this dish with eggs (the original), but I prefer mayo to go on the “safe” side…   I also like to add a little bit of balsamic vinegar because its sweetness adds a […]

Croutons

Croutons

Ingredients;

  • 8 Slices of sandwich bread
  • 6 teaspoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley

Directions:

  1. Cut the sandwich bread slices into 1.5″ (2 cm) cubes.
  2. Warm up a large pan.  Add butter and olive oil.
  3. Add the Bread and sprinkle the salt, garlic and parsley and toss the bread to spread evenly.
  4. Bring the heat down to low and continue cooking for about 40 min, tossing occasionally to make sure the bread is frying evenly.

Great for soups and salads.  (Tomorrow’s post: Ceasar salad!)

Perico – Venezuelan scrambled eggs

Perico – Venezuelan scrambled eggs

This is the way scrambled eggs are eaten in Venezuela.  Since we are on vacation right now, I had enough time to make this for breakfast… Ingredients: 6 Tomatoes 1 Onion 8 Eggs 1 teaspoon salt Ground pepper Oil Directions: Chop the onion finely and […]

Latvian Canapés

Latvian Canapés

The canapé in the middle is a classic at any Latvian party!   It is actually a classic at any northern European gathering, but my latvian grandmother tought me how to make them. The other 2 are just variations made with creamed herrings… It is also […]

Camarones al Ajillo – Shrimp with garlic

Camarones al Ajillo – Shrimp with garlic

Ingredients:

  • Pimientos Morrones (yesterday’s post)
  • 2 lbs tiger shrimps (1 kg)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon Spanish paprika (pimentón dulce español)
  • 5 garlic cloves – crushed or thinly sliced
  • Olive oil
  • 2 Baguettes
  • pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Fry the shrimps in olive oil.  I prefer to do this in 3 batches.  This allows me to fry the shrimps quickly and avoid that they loose too much water – so that they remain tender!
  2. When I’m on the third batch, I’ll make some space on the pan, add the spanish paprika so it fries a little bit, and then add the garlic.  When the garlic has fried a little bit (do not let it burn or it will ruin your dish!!!), add the already fried shrimps.
  3. Add the pimientos morrones (roasted peppers). It should have enough juice to make a nice sauce.  If there is not enough, add some more olive oil.  Now add the salt and finish cooking.
  4. When the shrimps finished cooking, add the parsley.  Toss and it should be ready to serve.  Taste for salt – this dish requires quite a bit of salt.  That is due to the grilled peppers.

This dish is best served with baguettes or any nice crust bread.

Serves 4.

Pimientos Morrones – Roasted Peppers

Pimientos Morrones – Roasted Peppers

This is the first part of a recipe.  The rest continues tomorrow.  Prepare one day in advance in order for the flavour to develop! Ingredients: 6 – 8 Red Peppers Directions: Arrange the peppers on a pan. Roast in oven at 350º F (Europe 200º […]

North Sea Crayfish

North Sea Crayfish

This is the way crayfish are eaten in Sylt,  Germany. Ingredients: 1 lb Crayfish 1/4 cup olive oil 1 teaspoon butter 1 – 2 garlic cloves – crushed 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon paprika Sour cream 2 – 4 Baked potatoes Directions: Fry the crushed […]

Latvian Easter eggs

Latvian Easter eggs

This has been a tradition in my family for generations! It is very popular in Latvia and in other Baltic countries.

Ingredients:

  • Onion skins – just the outer darker ones, as many as you can gather.
  • White eggs – as many as you want for Easter.
  • Parsley, marjoram and dill.  You can use other edible leaves of your choice.
  • Thread – colored ones so each member of the family can figure out which ones he/she made!

Directions:

  1. Fill up a large pot with the onion skins.  Fill up about one third with water and boil for about 10 minutes.  Let it cool down while you prepare the eggs.
  2. Place the leaves on top of the eggs, and wrap them with a thread, so the leaves stay closely attached to the eggs.  This is the whole trick to make leave patterns on your eggs.
  3. Add more water to your pot.  Place the wrapped eggs carefully in the water.
  4. Bring the water to boil, then set it to medium heat and cook the eggs for about 15 minutes to make sure that they are well cooked.
  5. Let the eggs cool down and then open the threads carefully to see your Easter eggs!
This is how you start adding the leaves to the eggs. Leave a longer piece of thread loose at the beginning so that you can then use it to tie a knot at the end!
Cooking the Easter eggs.
Easter eggs
Easter eggs

Happy Easter!!!

Crispy Fish Fillets

Crispy Fish Fillets

This recipe I figured out while on vacation in Sylt, Germany.  The fish used is called Seelachs in german (pollock) and is very mild in taste. Kids approved! Ingredients: 1.5 lbs Fish fillets (2 Pollock filets) 2 cups corn flakes 1/2 cup flour 2 eggs […]