Archive for April, 2010

Bratkartoffeln – Roasted Potatoes

By , 30 April, 2010, No Comment


This is a nice side dish you can make with “leftover” potatoes.


  • 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


  • Parsley – chopped


  1. Fry the onions in a little bit of oil at medium – low heat for 10 minutes.
  2. Add the bacon and fry for another 2 minutes
  3. Add the potatoes and continue frying at low -  medium heat until the potatoes are nicely roasted.
  4. Taste for salt and adjust according to taste.


By , 29 April, 2010, No Comment


This is a typical dish of Bavaria (Germany).


  • 2 lbs (1 Kg) tri-tip (bottom sirloin, tafelspitz or punta)
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1 Tablespoon salt


  • 2 Tablespoons horseradish
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 Tablespoons of the broth you boiled the meat in.
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch diluted in a little bit of water
  • nutmeg
  • Pepper to taste


  • Pasta (tagliatelle) or Spätzle.


  1. Boil the beef for 2 hours.  Add salt, peeled carrots and celery, and continue boiling for at least another 2 hours, or until tender.
    TIP:  I usually make this dish and carne mechada at the same time.  I boil 4 lbs instead, and then make both dishes out of it at once!
  2. To make the horseradish sauce, add the heavy cream, horseradish, nutmeg and broth. Cook for 5 minutes.  Add the cornstarch and adjust salt and pepper.  Let boil for a little bit, so that the sasuce thickens.
  3. Serve with spätzle or with pasta.

Carne Mechada – Shredded Beef

By , 28 April, 2010, No Comment

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

Arepas con Carne Mechada


  • 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



  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.


By , 27 April, 2010, No Comment


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 the father and godfather.


  • 2 avocados – ripe
  • 1 small onion – finely chopped
  • 1 tomato – finely chopped
  • cilantro -  leaves of a few stems, finely chopped
  • 1/2 lemon -  juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Mash the avocado with a fork.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients, and mix well.

Hungarian Salad

By , 26 April, 2010, No Comment

hungarian Salad

This is a nice alternative to coleslaw.


  • 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
  • pepper to taste


  1. Add the sliced cabbage and the salt to a large bowl.  Mix well with your hands, crunching it as you turn it.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.


By , 25 April, 2010, No Comment


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!


  • 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


  • cilantro chopped finely
  • corn
  • jalapeños
  • hot sauce


  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.


By , 24 April, 2010, No Comment

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 – but arepas I cannot resist!

harina PAN


  • 2 cups Harina PAN – corn flour, available at most latin american markets (Germany: Asia Markt)
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoom salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (brown or refined)


  1. arepas step 1
    Add the corn flour, salt and sugar to a bowl, and mix well.
  2. arepas step 2
    Measure the water, and then add it all at once to the bowl.
  3. arepas step 3
    Quickly, mix the flour and the water with one hand.  You have to make sure that you do this very fast, if not, lumps will form and you will have to knead it for a long time.  If you mix it while it’s still liquid, you will not have to knead at all – really! Instead, now you have time to make yourself a nice coffee and relax for about 15 minutes, while the flour soaks the water.
  4. Now it’s time to form the arepas.
  5. arepas step 4b
    Take about a large spoon of dough, and first make a ball
  6. arepas step 6
    Press it to form a disc 4 ” (8 cm) in diameter and about 1/2 ” (1 cm) thick – like an english muffin!
  7. arepas step 7
    Moisten your fingers with a little bit of water and close any gaps formed when pressing the dough.  The surface should be smooth. (See my Video on youtube if you need to clarify this procedure)
  8. budare
    If you happen to be the proud owner of a “budare”, please use it.  If not, a cured cast iron pan will also work (that’s more or less what a budare is).  A budare is better than a regualr cast iron pan because the edges are low, therefore making it much easier to turn the arepas.  If you do not have either one, buy one! ;-) …just kidding!!!, – just fry the arepas on a nonstick pan, with very little oil.  On the budare, it is enough to add just a little bit of oil, and then spread it with a paper towel.
  9. arepas step 8
    You need to fry the arepas for about 3 minutes on each side.  This is done just to form a hard film around the arepa, so that you can finish cooking them in the oven – on the rack, not on a cookie pan! The arepa I’m pointing at was turned earlier.  If you like your arepas to look lighter, by all means turn them as soon as the film forms, but if you like the toasted look, leave them a little bit longer!
  10. Bake in oven at 350ºF (180ºC) for 10 minutes.
  11. arepas in a basket
    Let the arepas rest in a basket (cover with a clean towel) for about 5 minutes.
  12. In Venezuela arepas are eaten almost every day for breakfast instead of bread.  You slice them through the middle (again, like an english muffin), and you can fill them with ham, cheese, queso blanco (similar to mozarella), avocado slices, “carne mechada” (post coming up soon), even tomato slices…  more or less, anything you would normally eat with bread!

Schnitzel with white asparagus and spring potatoes

By , 23 April, 2010, No Comment

Schnitzel with asparragus and spring potatoes


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
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Hollandaise sauce or melted butter for the asparagus



  • Peel the asparagus. I like to do this on a large cutting board.  Leave the asparagus on the board, and then peel the upper part of the asparagus.  This way you avoid breaking the stems.peeling asparagus
  • Cut about 1/2 inch (1 cm) off the bottom part of the asparagus.cutting asparagus
  • Place in an asparagus cooker, filled with hot water, add the salt and sugar, and boil for 30 asparagus


  1. Wash the potatoes thoroughly.
  2. Boil the spring potatoes in hot water (with 1 teaspoon salt) for about 1 hour. Adjust cooking time according to the size of the potatoes.  If they are very small they may require less time.  To check, just insert a fork.  If they feel soft, then they are ready.
  3. Let cool down for 10 minutes.
  4. Peel the potatoes with a small knife.  You can hold the potatoes with a small fork, in case the potatoes are too hot.


  1. Place the cutlets on a board, and using a meat hammer, pound them until they are about 1/4″ (1/2 cm) thick.
  2. Add salt and pepper.
  3. Pass the cutlets through the egg, and then, on a separate plate, cover them well with the bread crumbs.
  4. schnitzel
    Fry the cutlets at med – high heat for about 8 minutes on one side, then turn and cook again for another 8 minutes. Cook on low heat further in case they are not thoroughly cooked.

Hungarian Goulash

By , 22 April, 2010, No Comment


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.


  • 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


  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.


By , 21 April, 2010, No Comment

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 time is short, and you only need to keep an eye on it.

  • 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
  • 2 onions – chopped
  • 2 peppers – chopped
  • 2 cups canned kidney beans
  • 2 cups canned corn
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar


Extras to serve with:

  • A couple Baguettes
  • Any nice hot sauce


  1. Start by making a “sofrito”:  fry, at low-medium heat, the chopped onions, peppers, and garlic, for around 15 minutes.
  2. In the meantime, cook the ground beef, pelati tomatoes, puree and tomato paste in a large pot. Remember to mix all really well at the beginning, so that the ground beef does not lump together.
  3. Add the “sofrito” to the meat, and cook on low for about 1 hour.
  4. Now add the rest of the ingredients and continue cooking at a very low temperature for at least another 40 minutes.
  5. Check for seasonings.  Add more chili to taste or, better yet, have some nice hot sauces handy to serve with!
  6. Serve with baguettes.